Tow Speed - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-26-2010, 08:24 PM   #1
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Tow Speed

Is there a speed that gives the best MPG or does it depend on the TV.
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Old 09-26-2010, 09:08 PM   #2
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It depends on the tug. Each vehicle will have a "sweet spot" based on the trailer being tugged and route of travel. My F-150 gets the best mileage while towing at about 58-59 mph on the flats. Drops like a rock the faster I drive and more mountains I need to climb. I'd rather go slower and leave some $$ in my pocket. YMMV
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Old 09-26-2010, 09:29 PM   #3
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I think a lot of it has to do with wind resistance, but that said, as Donna mentioned, there are many variables with tow vehicle, engine, camper, etc. There's really no way to put a general number on it, except to say that (due to the wind resistance factor), a slower highway speed probably always better on fuel, as long as it is appropriate for the road and for the rpms of your vehicle (no lugging!).

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Old 09-26-2010, 09:46 PM   #4
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Ease off on the gas pedal and keep tires inflated to proper air pressure. I have driven or towed my units at just under 60mph.
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Old 09-26-2010, 10:37 PM   #5
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When towing with my Escape 4CYL,about 58MPH does the trick, slower gives little gain, faster gets costly quickly, on my Ranger 4.0 that spot is about 64MPH.
Gearing and Engine type are important, as are wind resistance and grade, fuel quality, vehicle maintenance, tire size and pressure, and overall weight.
Rapid ACCELERATION is the most expensive automotive thing you can buy, and it costs by the pound.

The opposite of a tow vehicle....
My 95 Mustang produced it's best highway mileage at 80MPH...
Lots of HP and low end torque + great aerodynamics + 2:73 gear with 275/45 R17 tires and overdrive = 2000RPM @ 80MPH just barely touching the bottom of it's efficiency. OF course with no trailer! [lol]
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Old 09-26-2010, 11:34 PM   #6
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As has been said many things effect best mpg and tow speed. However there's another or two to consideration when towing. ST tires are generally rated for 65 mph max. Also many states have a maximum towing speed of 55 mph. In our case here in Oregon it's not well published, but is in the laws. California posts maximum towing speed. To avoid speeding tickets check the state laws you'll be towing in or do as I do always tow between 55 mph and 60 mph. I like to stay closer to 55.

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Old 09-27-2010, 03:11 AM   #7
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Air resistance factor goes up as the SQUARE of the speed.

40 mph = 1600

for a 125% increase in speed you pay a with a 156% increase in drag

50 mph = 2500

for a 120% increase in speed, you pay with a 144% increase in drag.

60 mph = 3600

and compared to 40 mph for a 150% increase in speed you get a 225% increase in drag.

Which is why auto mfgrs try to keep their air resistance figures low.
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Old 09-27-2010, 08:31 AM   #8
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I have said it before and it is worth repeating.

Towing or not, my Escalade gets its best MPG at 30 MPH with cruise control engaged. Engine speed is just above idle.

Anything speed above that and it gets worse and worse.

There's an old myth, repeated again and again by over the road truck drivers, "My truck is geared to get the best MPG at 70 MPH".

It is also a myth that your "MPG sweet spot' is any MPH above zero.

This is not 'rocket science' its 'physics'. Every revolution of your engine takes a specific amount of fuel. If you think your 'sweet spot' is 80 MPH a 2,000 RPM, you woulfd be amazed what it would be if you just lower your RPM by 1500.

IMHO
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Old 09-27-2010, 08:51 AM   #9
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I generally run about 60mph when towing my 13' Scamp. I guess I'm concerned about those 13" tires spinning too fast at speeds much higher.
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Old 09-27-2010, 10:14 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CD Smith View Post
I have said it before and it is worth repeating.

Towing or not, my Escalade gets its best MPG at 30 MPH with cruise control engaged. Engine speed is just above idle.

Anything speed above that and it gets worse and worse.

There's an old myth, repeated again and again by over the road truck drivers, "My truck is geared to get the best MPG at 70 MPH".

It is also a myth that your "MPG sweet spot' is any MPH above zero.

This is not 'rocket science' its 'physics'. Every revolution of your engine takes a specific amount of fuel. If you think your 'sweet spot' is 80 MPH a 2,000 RPM, you woulfd be amazed what it would be if you just lower your RPM by 1500.

IMHO
I agree that speed has a lot to do with towing fuel efficiency but that relationship is not completely linear. Towing at maximum torque (my 7.3l diesel Ford maximum torque is at 1600 RPM) will likely be most efficient. Towing at RPMs below and above the power band (between peaks of maximum torque and power) will not be efficient especially above power peak.
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Old 09-27-2010, 10:29 AM   #11
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Cool It depends on what gauge you read...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tezha View Post
Is there a speed that gives the best MPG or does it depend on the TV.
I have found that my Tachometer is the 1st gauge to follow for maximizing mpg, and my Speedometer is a modifier for road conditions. I try to keep it at 1500 rpm's or lower, and really get amazing fuel economy at 1000 rpm's. However, I have found that since I strengthened the frame on my Fiber Stream which raised it by 2", most freeway speeds happen closer to 2000 rpm's. Any speed above 2500 rpm's really sucks the gas.

As a Californian, I set my cruise control to 55 mph when towing, stay in the right lane, and allow everybody else to pass.
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Old 09-27-2010, 11:25 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger C H View Post
Air resistance factor goes up as the SQUARE of the speed.

40 mph = 1600

for a 125% increase in speed you pay a with a 156% increase in drag

50 mph = 2500

for a 120% increase in speed, you pay with a 144% increase in drag.

60 mph = 3600

and compared to 40 mph for a 150% increase in speed you get a 225% increase in drag.

Which is why auto mfgrs try to keep their air resistance figures low.

You make a legitimate point here, this is one of the reasons that a Scamp tows so much easier than most other trailers.
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Old 09-27-2010, 11:36 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CD Smith View Post
I have said it before and it is worth repeating.

Towing or not, my Escalade gets its best MPG at 30 MPH with cruise control engaged. Engine speed is just above idle.

Anything speed above that and it gets worse and worse.

There's an old myth, repeated again and again by over the road truck drivers, "My truck is geared to get the best MPG at 70 MPH".

It is also a myth that your "MPG sweet spot' is any MPH above zero.

This is not 'rocket science' its 'physics'. Every revolution of your engine takes a specific amount of fuel. If you think your 'sweet spot' is 80 MPH a 2,000 RPM, you woulfd be amazed what it would be if you just lower your RPM by 1500.

IMHO
While one could easily take issue with most of the misapprehensions in your post, the most vulnerable is the first sentence, next would be that
"IMHO" thing.<_<
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Old 09-27-2010, 11:52 AM   #14
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Many TVs are designed to run the air conditioner in several settings, including those which involve "defrost". The air conditioner can adversely affect fuel econmomy, to varying degrees, If you don't need it on don't run it.

Preemptively....<_<
Yes, I have heard the data on rolled down windows and air conditioning.

Frederick;
Another guage which used to be common and installed for watching fuel consumption is the Vacuum guage.
The thing worked pretty well, but it was distracting, tedious and annoying when used properly.{lol}
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