real life mpg - Page 4 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-09-2013, 10:43 AM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate R View Post
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'. 1360 lbs when towing.

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.
Calling all fear mongers! We've got a live one. Cue the little kid in Colorado story.
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Old 09-09-2013, 10:53 AM   #44
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Hyperbole is the mother of contention.

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Old 09-09-2013, 11:08 AM   #45
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Did it happen to occur to anyone that, just maybe, the owner didn't know what the towing limits were for the vehicle????? Maybe it was blessed by CanAm, who knows.

But, pulling a trailer that will weight almost as much as a TV, which is rated to "Do Not Tow", places all of us at risk.

Then again, just maybe the Honda transaxle will rear it's ugly head and put an end to the entire question.

Sorry, but IMHO, this combimation makes almost as much sense as the recently posted 5th wheel being towed by a Blazer.
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Old 09-09-2013, 11:12 AM   #46
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Towing a trailer that weighs half as much at the tow vehicle? That's just crazy.

2013 Ram HD: The King of Towing at 30,000 Pounds - PickupTrucks.com News
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Old 09-09-2013, 11:29 AM   #47
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Don't you mean the trailer weighing TWICE as much as the tow? The pic in the article towing a flat with two large tractors, that is crazy, that should only be towed by a proper tractor (as in tractor/trailer).

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Old 09-09-2013, 11:40 AM   #48
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Towing a trailer that weighs half as much at the tow vehicle? That's just crazy.
Quote:
Originally Posted by emers382 View Post
Don't you mean the trailer weighing TWICE as much as the tow?
No, I'm pretty sure Tom was referring to the combination of a 2700 pound Civic (although it may in fact be only a 2400 pound car) towing a Casita of half that weight, which had just been judged as dangerous by another member. The Ram truck link was to illustrate that manufacturers endorse towing far higher fractions (or even multiples) of the tow vehicle weight.

The topic of this thread is real-world fuel economy, and Nate provided his experience, with a description of his rig for context. Perhaps yet another discussion of tow vehicle adequacy could go in a separate thread?
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Old 09-09-2013, 11:43 AM   #49
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Generally the rule of thumb is that the trailer should not weigh more than 85% of the tow vehicle. In Europe this would mean the Civic should not tow more than about 2200lbs. In fact the Civic is rated for 2200 lb trailers in Europe assuming a 1.8L engine.

I frequently see trailers, not fifth wheels, being towed by vehicles weighing less than 50% of the tow vehicle weight.

The only question I would ask, Does the trailer have brakes?, definitely a big positive in any towing situation.
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Old 09-09-2013, 11:45 AM   #50
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Lets say we want to tow a Casita,Scamp,parkliner , Lil snoozy about 17ft trailer We need a little over 6ft headroom. we now tow a 23ft boat with a Sequoia that gets 10mpg . We would like somthing that gets over 20mpg towing and 30mpg not towing is this possible ? So what are real life mpg figures ? Can we tow with a subaru outback? Can you tow with a 4cylinder or do you need a v-6. we have lots of questions new to campers . we somtimes use our c-dory for boaterhoming but not good mpg.What is the smallest car,truck one can safetly tow with? Jim
Yes you can: I too am interested in not driving and towing with a Guzzler.


There has been quite a bit of testing up here with the Jetta Diesel. The numbers look great. Like others here I do have some concerns with reliability (yes we have been spoiled with our last 5 imported far east vehicles).



Article here.. "A couple of years ago, we took a 4200 kilometer trip through Europe. I was surprised to see that there were far more trailers on the road there than is usual in North America. Most of the trailers we saw were 20-24’ long and most were being towed by four cylinder cars."


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Old 09-09-2013, 11:54 AM   #51
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I had a pt cruiser. Sat very low to the ground, and was reputed to haveing a too small an engine for its weight. I couldn't imagine towing a 19' airstream with it. I traded it in for my Rav4 v6.
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Old 09-09-2013, 11:59 AM   #52
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Whether or not Nate's rig is safe or reliable would be a separate topic. For this thread, it does help to be sure that people understand the size of trailer...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
In our listing of "Real World Weights", we didn't see a single 13' Casita under 2000 lbs
That list (Trailer Weights in the Real World) is great, but it is far from exhaustive. The 13' Casitas that happened to come to meets where Frederick had his scales were heavy, but that doesn't mean every trailer of this model is this heavy. I know of no reason for a 13' Casita to be heavier than the13' Boler and Burro which appear in the list at about Nate's weight.

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But, pulling a trailer that will weight almost as much as a TV, which is rated to "Do Not Tow", places all of us at risk.
There is no 2002 Civic which is anywhere near as light as 2000 pounds, let alone the 1366 pounds which Nate reported for his trailer.

Now, are we asking for clarification, or are we accusing a fellow forum member of lying? I think only one of those is acceptable.
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Old 09-09-2013, 12:03 PM   #53
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I had a pt cruiser. Sat very low to the ground, and was reputed to haveing a too small an engine for its weight. I couldn't imagine towing a 19' airstream with it. I traded it in for my Rav4 v6.
Understand and we have a similar story. When we 1st took out a 1993 Nissan Quest the salesman told us the vans were pretty gutless and you just had to push hard on the pedal to get them going. Amazingly the 150HP Quest had no problem towing our 4,500lb 23' Airstream.
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Old 09-09-2013, 12:03 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
Whether or not Nates rig is safe or reliable would be a separate topic. For this thread, it does help to be sure that people understand the size of trailer...


That list (Trailer Weights in the Real World) is great, but it is far from exhaustive. The 13' Casitas that happened to come to meets where Frederick had his scales were heavy, but that doesn't mean every trailer of this model is this heavy. I know of no reason for a 13' Casita to be heavier than the13' Boler and Burro which appear in the list at about Nate's weight.


There is no 2002 Civic which is anywhere near as light as 2000 pounds, let alone the 1366 pounds which Nate reported.

Now, are we asking for clarification, or are we accusing a fellow forum member of lying? I think only one of those is acceptable.

My 1981 13' Casita weighed 1380 lbs on Sunday on a certified truck scale.
My 2002 Civic with me, my wife, my dogs, my Casita's battery and some other gear and a full tank of gas weighed 3320 lbs.
(Weighed the TV and trailer together, then the TV only. So I know TRUE tongue weight since there was an axle weight for the trailer, and actual weights of both the TV and trailer)

As others stated, this isn't out of line for other TVs and their tow ratings. But it DOES require trailer brakes. I feel that's even more urgent now that I know the true weight of the trailer. Before yesterday, I thought it was probably 1100 lbs.
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Old 09-09-2013, 12:10 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
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
Bob, (And others who had concerns)

No secrets here.
Here's my thinking: The concensus of those that doubt the ratings seems to be that manufs either "under-rate" small vehicles for towing either because the SAE standard is a pain/expensive to test, and/or because they think Americans will instead buy a bigger TV. Some also think it's a manufacturer liability avoidance tactic. But repeatedly, through several different manufacturers, I find small cars with tow ratings in Australia or the UK, but those same models aren't recommending for towing in the US. For example: The 2012 Honda Civic is "Not Recommended" for towing in the US. In the UK, it can tow 500 kilos (1200 lbs) w/ No trailer brakes, or 1000 kilos (2200 lbs) w/ trailer brakes. I highly doubt the chassis is substantially different between the American and UK models. The old Chevy Aveo was able to pull 1000 lbs in Australia, if memory serves. But here? No rating. If in the UK a Civic can handle PULLING 2500 lbs, I feel I'll be OK on American roads w/ 1400 lbs. Now, I'm not going 90 down mountain slopes for hours at a time. 99% of my towing miles are on flat or relatively flat ground, and on interstates or other very well maintained roads. So I'm not very concerned about that. While I do 65 MPH on open interstate, I'm otherwise VERY conservative with the trailer (Long following distances in the rare instance a car is going slower than me, a wider tow mirror to see behind me, slower speeds in town, gentle gradual braking when needed, accelerating as briskly as I can on onramps so as to merge at a reasonable speed, etc)
I have a manual transmission with short gearing, so it pulls well, and no concerns about overheating the trans, unlike an automatic.

Currently, I do not have brakes on the trailer. That's merely because the trailer didn't come with brakes when I picked it up 3 weeks ago from the PO. I'm in the process of figuring out where I'll be ordering the components and controller from so I can add them. (Now that I know the actual weight of the trailer, not only is it a good idea, I believe I have to have brakes to comply with state law. )

Just because people on the Honda owner's group are hesitant to pull something like a Sea-Doo, doesn't mean the car is incapable of safely doing so. I worked my way up to the FGRV on this particular car. Started w/ a tiny 4X4' trailer with camping gear in it. Towed it empty, lightly loaded, and then later with a motorcycle on it for a few hundred miles over several trips, and then later yet fully loaded down w/ construction debris. As I learned the car could handle it well, I felt more comfortable. Eventually once I found FGRVS, thought it through and felt that I'd be comfortable towing 1000-1400 lbs w/ trailer brakes on my particular car. Not sure I'd feel that way on an earlier year, less powerful Civic, or even one from the same year of a different model. (The LX has different Manual Transmisison gear ratios than the EX I have.) I've made decisions based on past experience with this very car. I can't say others would make the same decision.

In the listing of real word weights, there are now 2 Casitas under 2000 lbs. A 1982 model that was recently posted, and my 1981 model which I weighed on a certified truck scale yesterday. The 1982 model is either 1220 lbs or 1360, depending on your interpretation of his post, and my 1981 model weighed 1380 lbs as it sat yesterday. So I'm not making up the weight, or doing anything to make it lighter other than carrying the battery in the TV when we tow.

As to the 26 MPG: I have to admit that was a typo. It was 25 this past weekend. We traveled 427.3 miles according to the car's odometer. (Filled up RIGHT after I coupled the trailer, and then again during the trip, then again after the trip. That way I could isolate the towing MPG.)
So, in 427.3 miles, I used 11.907 Gals in the first fill up, and 4.537 at the 2nd fill, totalling 16.444 gallons. so 25.98 MPG for the weekend. Some miles were done w/ no trailer, I kept track of that. So 378 towing miles out of that 427.3. If we assume (and that's all I CAN do) that I got 35 MPG when the car was NOT towing for 49.3 miles, that gives us a towing MPG of 25.1. If I'm wrong, and we somehow got 40 MPG when not towing, we're STILL talking 24.8 MPG when towing. The 65 MPH # is GPS verified. I kept the speed between 64 and 66 during the trip. (A few MPH slower on "bigger" hills.

The other trip we've done with the trailer was the weekend prior. 217 towing miles out of 286.1 total on a fill. That fill got 31.4 MPG, so I'm guessing about 30 MPG towing. BUT, the wind was at our backs both traveling to the campsite and back home a couple days later, so it wasn't a fair test, and we were doing less than 65 most of the way on some 2 lane roads. (Which is why I was so careful to get a "good" test of MPG this past weekend.) And yes, Google agrees w/ my car's odo within a few miles, so it's not that my trip odo is way off, either.

Pic below shows first tow with the car on a trip when we picked up the Casita. Car itself was a bit overloaded for comfort. (We started this trip with FULL camping gear and NO camper. So the trunk had 2 coolers with ice, etc, tent, sleeping bags, etc.) So now that the trunk is more lightly loaded, the rear of the car doesn't sag as much as in the picture here. (And the front sags more than pictured when there's 2 people in the front seats.)
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Casita First Tow.jpg  
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Old 09-09-2013, 12:44 PM   #56
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It looks like Nate's fuel economy secret is knowing exactly what he is doing.

As with Norm's experience, others should not expect to match this performance unless they follow the same priorities and so make all of the same decisions, in tow vehicle size and equipment, trailer size and content weight, and driving style and conditions.
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