real life mpg - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-07-2013, 08:44 AM   #1
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real life mpg

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
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Old 09-07-2013, 08:55 AM   #2
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I have a 2011 Outback which tows 2700lb. The drawback is the tongue weight limit which is only 200 lbs. OK for a Scamp 13 but not for the trailers you listed. 30 MPG non-tow/ 22MPG towing.
Check out the Ford Escape, 3500lb tow limit with 350 tongue weight, the mileage figures are about the same. A lot of people are looking at that car for towing.
Anyone towing with a 2013 Ford Escape?
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Old 09-07-2013, 09:07 AM   #3
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Jim, the Escape ecoboost is the route we are considering if we go for an Escape 17 trailer.

Rick M. who began the thread Eddie linked to is pretty happy with the way his tows, mind you he has a 13' Boler. Here's part of his reply to me on a PM

"The Escape towed great. Even in the heavy rain on the way home the 4wd did not miss a beat. And no turbo lag at all just pure power. Stomp on it and all 4 wheels hook up and go where you want it to go."

We originally planned to get a 19 or fifth wheel Escape but realize that we want only one vehicle for non towing, and the Escape ecoboost seems to fit the bill. Our daughter and son-in-law in NC have the F150 with the six cyl. ecoboost but they're not very happy with their mileage.

Adrian
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Old 09-07-2013, 09:39 AM   #4
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Real life
2001 Nissan Pathfinder 3.5 V6 automatic rated to tow 5,000 lbs part time 4WD, not towing 16 street/21 Highway.
Towing 13 foot Scamp or my 17 foot Boston Whaler boat street mileage stays about 15 and Highway drops to 16 without overdrive. Has enough power to maintain highway speed while towing going over moutain passes if your out of overdrive. A pleasure to tow with. Only bummer is premium fuel that I use when towing. Around town premium fuel is not needed.
Not the greatest mileage but a great compromise medium size SUV with enough power to be fun. Bummer they screwed up the design in 2005.
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Old 09-07-2013, 09:47 AM   #5
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My 2008 V6 Rav4 averages 20mpg (I drive a mix of highway/city) When my 15' ParkLiner is attached and Im running the air conditioner towing it at 60mph I average about 15mpg. Without the ac, cutting it down to 55mph I average 16mpg. I do 60 with the ac on lol. Trailer weight is around 2500lbs maybe 200 less on the way home with no water in my tanks.(I usually travel with the full 15gallon water tank plus an extra 7 gallon tank I carry in my forward bathroom. My parents have real good tasting well water and this way I know the water is ok in the tank.)
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Old 09-07-2013, 09:55 AM   #6
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My V6 with tow package RAV4 is about the smallest vehicle I'd consider for towing a 17' trailer. It is rated at 3500 tow weight & 350 lbs hitch weight. For my Escape 17B (dry weight 2100 lbs, actual weight packed for a trip 3000 lbs) non towing highway is 25MPG, towing (over 35,000 miles) 15 MPG.

If you check the Trailer Weights in the Real World thread, you will find most 17' trailers are close to or exceed the 350 tongue weight limit that is typical for many smaller vehicles. To get the mileage you are looking for I suspect you will need to go to a small diesel or a smaller trailer.
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Old 09-07-2013, 10:10 AM   #7
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20MPG Towing a 17'er Wow, that's a fairly big order unless you can spell "Diesel".

With 17'ers running between 2500 & 4000 lbs in the real weights listings (see here: Trailer Weights in the Real World ) You can ferget almost all 4 cylinder tv's and almost be at the edge of many v6's.

Something to keep in mind is that high MPH vehicles are usually designed to deliver the advertised MPG's under optimum conditions, and adding a trailer plays havoc with the figures. In years gone by, adding a trailer might cost 10-15% in MPG's but now many report closer to a 40% loss, especially if they try to drive at non-towing speeds.
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Old 09-07-2013, 10:16 AM   #8
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I know someone at work who has a diesel jeep liberty 4cyl he says he gets around 25mpg with a 5000lb tow capacity. Might be something to consider.
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Old 09-07-2013, 10:17 AM   #9
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Towing and gas economy mix like oil and water, they don't. If you want 30/20 mpg you will need a diesel, perhaps the new Ram 1500 diesel will fit your wants, but at $40k, quite expensive.
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Old 09-07-2013, 10:18 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deryk View Post
I know someone at work who has a diesel jeep liberty 4cyl he says he gets around 25mpg with a 5000lb tow capacity. Might be something to consider.
Only made in 2006- Jeep CRD- I had one, good vehicle.
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Old 09-07-2013, 10:30 AM   #11
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Name: Norm and Ginny
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Scamp 16 Towed by Honda CRV

We tow with a 2004, 2.4L 4 cylinder, manual transmission, on demand 4 wheel drive, Honda CRV. We now have 200,000 miles on the CRV. We have been towing for 6 years and have towed three trailers, a 1982 Sunline 1550, a 1995 Casita 16 and a 1991 Scamp 16 before that we towed the Honda behind our motorhome. Presently we are towing the Scamp 16 weighing 2400 lbs and with a tongue weight of 200 lbs.

We are on the road for almost 8 months a year and have been all over the United States and Canada. The Scamp has been the easiest to tow because it's lighter than the Casita and more aerodynamic than the Sunline. Our trips have include the Trans Labrador highway, virtually a 1000 mile dirt road with more 10% grades than we've ever seen.

We average 20-23 mpg with t towing the Sunline, the lightest trailer getting 20 mpg, I assume due to its box shape and the Scamp the best. Over our long trips, loops of the USA, the Honda averages between 22 and 23 mpg towing the Scamp. The short trip mileage varies due to road conditions, traffic, wind, rain, .... Non-towing on the interstate the CRv gets 30 mpg.

We tow in the 3,000 to 3,500 RPM range and typically drive in 4th gear when towing. We don't drive over 62 mph and typically avoid Interstates and tow at 55 mph on non interstate highways.

We bought the Honda new and so far the only repairs have been a thermostat and an engine fan, both this summer.

The Honda CRV has performed marvelously and has low cost of ownership.

We choose to tow a Scamp 16 over the Casita 16 or Casita 17. Over the Casita 16 because the Scamp 16 is taller inside and the Casita 17 because the tongue weight of the Casita 17 has too high a tongue weight.

The disclaimer is that in the United States, even though the American CRV has a larger engine than the typical European Honda, it is only rated for towing 1500 lbs. In Europe it is rated for about 3000 lbs and 220 lbs tongue weight.

Happy to answer any questions about our tow vehicles setup for towing.
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Old 09-07-2013, 10:40 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Towing and gas economy mix like oil and water, they don't. If you want 30/20 mpg you will need a diesel, perhaps the new Ram 1500 diesel will fit your wants, but at $40k, quite expensive.
The Ram 1500 diesel mileage ratings are based on the truck being equipped with the 8 speed automatic transmission. The trouble is from what I am reading is that the 8 speed transmission is only rated for 350 lbs of torque. The new small diesel engine in the 1500 puts out over 400 lbs of torque more than the transmission is rated for , causing transmission problems.
They are also experiencing problems when coupling the 8 speed transmission with the 5.7 Ltr Hemi gas engine again too much torque. They are working on a beefed up 8 speed transmission so it may be wise to wait until they get the problem solved
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Old 09-07-2013, 11:23 AM   #13
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While not as much travel trailer towing experience as Norm and Ginny I have been towing since before I had a license. And I have the same upside down towing setup as them.

We have towed from Michigan to Florida and round trip to Kentucky. From Michigan we averaged 30 MPG and the Kentucky trip average was 28 MPG. The rest of the time I get between 45-50 MPG. I try to keep speeds between 55-60 when towing and at or below 70 when not towing.

I think diesel will be the only reasonable way to get the mileage numbers you want without huge changes in how you drive. And like people pointed out the high mileage of newer cars is a lot about air flow. Of which towing a huge brick/parachute behind you is going to destroy.

Oh, and look closely at the trailer as well as the tow vehicle. A smooth, aero trailer will make as big a difference on the highway as a high mileage tow vehicle.

Jason
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Old 09-07-2013, 11:36 AM   #14
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Jason,

Though diesel fuel is about 10% more expensive, we would have a diesel Honda in a minute if they were available here. We've considered the available diesels but haven't seen anything with the reliability that is just as important as mpg, i.e. fuel cost.
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