real life mpg - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-07-2013, 06:56 PM   #29
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Name: Norm and Ginny
Trailer: Scamp 16
Florida
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Towing Mileage

We maintain a running total of fuel used and calculate mpg based upon gas purchased and miles driven. As to checking Ultra Guage calculated mpg versus gas bought/miles driven we have done that a few times early in our use of Ultra Gauge and it was right on. We haven't done it in a while because we keep track of every fuel purchase, actually we keep track of everything we spend and have for 13 years.

We keep a running mpg on the car's Ultraguage when on a long trip. The most interesting thing I noticed was our average speed on our Newfoundland trip. We drove 6372 miles and our average speed was 37 mph. It was hard for me to believe because across Newfoundland on the TCH we were driving between 55 and 62 mph.

We did do a lot of driving thru villages, on less than secondary roads and some dirt road driving but I was surprised to see how low our average speed was. It turns out that our driving around mpg was not much better than our towing mpgs. Still the 37 miles per hour average for the whole trip was amazing.

Our best mpg run ever was the return trip from from Crater Lake to Sutherland, OR. On that run we averaged something like 30mpg, a coastable, downhill run with little traffic that we could coast a fair portion of the run. (If I can throw our manual transmission into neutral and roll I do as long as it does not effect traffic.)

As to buying an American car that can be fixed anywhere ask Dave(?) about that, he described almost a nightmare. To me the solution is to buy a vehicle that rarely needs repair. Our Honda is is still on it's original clutch with 200,000 miles on it and has had olny the most minor, inexpensive repairs. We do carry brake pads and a fan belt.

We carry the fan belt because we were somewhere in South Dakota and had a hard time finding a fan belt for our Ford motorhome, generally a very reliable vehicle. We've been a lot of places infinitely more rural than nowhere SD.

Our Honda has worked out better than I would have imagined. We did not buy it to tow a trailer but rather to be towed behind our motorhome. Six years ago we only planned to tow for tow months, 6 years later we're towing almost 8 months a year. Good things sometimes happen on the way to the fair.

Carl, Ultragauge is one of those plug in gauges that Brian described. I watch it all the time because it teaches me about my driving style.
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Old 09-07-2013, 07:05 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
Although diesel engines are held out at the solution to all towing and fuel consumption problems, the new Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel only claims "up to 30 mpg" under ideal non-towing conditions. I believe that there is little chance this or the Ram 1500 coming with the same engine will haul a ton and half or more of trailer and get 20 mpg(US).

Norm achieves great fuel economy, but his Scamp 16 is the lightest and narrowest of the range of trailers being considered, and he drives very carefully. I don't think it is reasonable to expect to match this performance, expecially with a bigger trailer.
I agree. 14 to 16 mpg is really much more typical and more likely with 99% of the tow vehicles available. There are always going to be the occasional exceptions.

As for the GC and Ram diesels, one could hope for a bit better (2 or 3 mpg maybe?) towing economy than the gassers, but I would like to be pleasantly surprised and have them turn out to do better. I'm not interested in being a first-year guinea pig, however.
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Old 09-07-2013, 08:28 PM   #31
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Name: Eric
Trailer: Scamp 13
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I tow a 13' Scamp with a Honda Odyssey with the 3.5L V6 engine. It has plenty of seating for a family and as we have it setup from the dealer it is capable of towing 3500lbs. Over the last 10,000 miles of towing I have gotten slightly better than 18 mpg. When I am not towing and traveling at ~70mph I typically get 25-28mpg.

I have gotten 23 mpg towing with no AC and minimal wind and flat driving. I can get >30mpg on the highway not towing in similar good conditions by slowing down.
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Old 09-08-2013, 12:56 AM   #32
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Norm, I remember that you pulled a Casita 16 with your CRV a few yrs. back. Was the curb wgt. of the Casita about the same as that of your current trailer? If memory serves, your average mpg was, if memory serves, also 23 mpg with the Casita.

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Old 09-08-2013, 06:41 AM   #33
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Name: Norm and Ginny
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Florida
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Jack,

The 1995 Casita 16 belonged to our son. He offered it to us so we could try a fiberglass trailer (and as his wife said "upgrade the trailer"). We towed the Casita for only one winter, back and forth to FL from NH, that was a pretty flat tow and a short tow for us compared to our more varied weather and terrain loops of the USA.

The Casita 16 weighed 2800 lbs and had a tongue weight of 230 lbs compared the Scamp 16's 2400 lbs and 190 lb tongue weight. So the Casita was significantly heavier.

Though heavier, the Casita was only 5'10" on the inside compared to the Scamps 6'1" so the Scamp is taller and has a bigger frontal area. I think that frontal area is important, advantage to Casita possibly balancing the Casita's weight disadvantage.

Preciously we had towed a lighter and shorter Sunline stick built trailer with the CRV got 20 mpg indicating shape counts, shape advantage to Casita and Scamp.

Though I have not looked it up my recollection was that we averaged 22-23 mpg towing the Casita.

None of our trailers have had a rooftop air conditioner.

Though the miles per gallon has been good, the reliability of the Honda CRV is also a significant factor in it's cost effectiveness. You can drive a lot of miles for the price of expensive repairs and expensive maintenance.

I have noticed there are a few people who tow Scamp 13s that also get similar mileage numbers. As I drive I'm totally conscious of miles per gallon, rolling to stop lights and the like as example. Unlike my youth I'm no longer a rocket off the line towing or not.

I see a lot of trailer drivers flying around, driving at high speeds, we don't. We all know this has a significant effect on mileage.

We fortunately have been retired for 13 years traveling about North America. We hope to do it for 10 more years. We are in no rush and drive conservatively. I'm certain our driving style adds to our miles per gallom and possibly the reliability of our Honda. Still on the same clutch after 200,000 miles.
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Old 09-08-2013, 08:49 AM   #34
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Yes I have a diesel. A 2005 VW Golf to be exact.

My experience has been diesels exceed their MPG ratings while gas car rarely even meet their MPG ratings. I back this up with reading Fuelly and EPA feedback sites. Pay attention to driver habits, if they provide it.

You aren't going to get 20+MPG towing if you drive like most of the people I see on the road. I think we could all learn a lot from Norm and Ginny about economical towing. Slow down, don't be the first away from the green light and first to the next red. Of course the same goes for when you aren't towing.

Jason
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Old 09-08-2013, 09:21 AM   #35
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My 01 Jeep Cherokee with a 4 liter six cylinder, 2 WD, and manual transmission, and 72 K miles gets 25 mpg highway not towing. Towing my Lil Snoozy at 60 mph highway it gets almost 17 mpg consistently. It will get 19 mpg towing at non highway speeds.

I don't know of any tug that will legally tow a trailer of the type you reference exists. If you find one let us know.
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Old 09-08-2013, 12:50 PM   #36
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Norm, thanks for recording and providing the "as towed" weights of your Scamp and Casita trailers as well as a rough estimate of the difference in exposed frontal areas. I conclude from statements you have made about your preference for avoiding limited access highways that you would experience the milage penalty of frequent stops and repeated accelerations to speed at least in the eastern third of the US and Canada.

It appears that 400lb. difference in trailer weight isn't sufficient to influence mpg to an observable degree with those conditions. You propose that an additional 2+ sq. ft. of exposed frontal area on the Scamp directly offsets its advantage of lighter weight and the inertial advantage of the Scamp which might be predicated thereon. I wouldn't hazard a guess concerning any of these inputs to the resultant mpg.

As others have said previously in this thread, your mileage-conscious driving habits are a major component in your success. I note that your wife's average is 3 mpg less than yours. Perhaps her number lies closer to the NORM of towing mileage with the 2.4L CRV.

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Old 09-08-2013, 02:12 PM   #37
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mpg

Thanks Jason and others .Jason how big is your egg camper ? I like the snoozy for putting bikes in back also no A/C on roof .Does anyone know the weight of the snoozy? Also how are the campsites in florida? I wonder how the cruze diesel will do? Maybe there will be more diesels in the future Jim
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Old 09-08-2013, 02:23 PM   #38
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Name: Norm and Ginny
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Jack,

We do weigh our trailer every year at least once and the tongue weight more frequently. Ginny never drives towing the Scamp. We drive such relatively short distances, no more than 150 miles and usually less, that I usually do all the driving.

The reality is there's not much difference between towing the Scamp and towing the Casita 16. The real difference to me was I'm 6'1" and the Casita is 5'10". I found the tongue weight of the Casita too high, above the 220 lb limit. The Scamp 16 varies between 185 and 200 lbs depending on loading.

We do drive limited access highways but generally only in the Northeast, sometimes in Montana. Heading south, as soon as we get to DE/MD we break off and avoid the Interstate system. On our trip to Newfoundland we drove virtually no Intersates, in Nfld the TCH is not limited access but definitely limited traffic.



Speaking of Nfld driving, I tended to drive with a wide view, simultaneously watching both sides of the road while also watching the center, keeping an eye out for the ever present moose.
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Old 09-08-2013, 03:32 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by jennykatz View Post
Thanks Jason and others .Jason how big is your egg camper ? I like the snoozy for putting bikes in back also no A/C on roof .Does anyone know the weight of the snoozy? Also how are the campsites in florida? I wonder how the cruze diesel will do? Maybe there will be more diesels in the future Jim
I think the Snoozy is right close to 2000 lbs dry weight, so 2500-2700 or thereabouts might be a reasonable camping weight.
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Old 09-08-2013, 08:00 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by jennykatz View Post
Thanks Jason and others .Jason how big is your egg camper ? I like the snoozy for putting bikes in back also no A/C on roof .Does anyone know the weight of the snoozy? Also how are the campsites in florida? I wonder how the cruze diesel will do? Maybe there will be more diesels in the future Jim
Our EggCamper is listed at 1980lbs and 17 feet. The tag on the tongue states max tongue weight 275lbs. I'm 6ft and the ceiling is still several inches above my head.

The campsites down here have electric, I assume because everyone runs AC. The ones I have been to have water and sewer. The pads are not paved a lot because of storm drainage code in Florida. I was told you get charged higher taxes the more land you have paved.

The magazine reviews don't say nice things about the Cruze's handling. Nothing dangerous, just not fun. Lets hope GM spent a few bucks improving the diesel Cruze.

Jason
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Old 09-09-2013, 09:48 AM   #41
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Trailer: 1981 Casita 13. TV: 2011 Honda CR-V
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TV:
2002 Honda Civic EX Coupe, Manual Trans. (shorter gearing than other sub-models for that year, too. Around 3100 RPM @ 65 MPH in 5th gear.)

Trailer: 1981 Casita 13'. Trailer weights 1380 lbs when being towed.
Towing MPG so far over several hundred miles: About 26 MPG. (Doing 64-65 MPH on interstates.) Normally get 34-37 MPG when not towing.
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Old 09-09-2013, 10:12 AM   #42
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Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
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You must have discovered towing's (and Honda's) biggest secret ever......

According to the owners manual (right about page 190 or so) your TV's tow rating is "0", and even those on the Honda owners group hesitate to tow anything as heavy as a Seadoo, much less a FGRV trailer.

In our listing of "Real World Weights", we didn't see a single 13' Casita under 2000 lbs

And 26 mpg while towing at 65mph, with any 13' FGRV, sets a record for this entire site.

Let us know some of your secrets.

BTW: You might want to ask your ins company about your coverage when towing when, apparently, so far out of manufacturers specs
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