Highlander / Casita trip stats - Fiberglass RV
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Old 06-19-2018, 08:52 AM   #1
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Name: mark
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Highlander / Casita trip stats

Some might be interested how a 2018 Toyota Highlander AWD V6, performed towing a 2017 Casita SD on a 4.5 weeks road trip covering 5,234 miles.



Overall impression is very good. The Highlander pulled many grades of 6% and several different mountain ranges from western Calif to Wichita Ks ( farthest east ) to Buffalo Wy. (Farthest north) .



The Casita also did it's job with nary a complaint.



Total miles 5,234

MPG (calculated by Highlander onboard computer) 14.9 ( max MPH 65 in all states but Calif where 60MPH was common but not legal, 55MPH being the posted limit.)

Total gasoline cost $1,044. ( low $2.52/ gal Dodge City Ks. High $4.26/ gal Death Valley)

Gasoline burned 445gal



As a side note we stayed in private RV parks except for 6 nights. Reservations were made well in advance. Most sites had empty spaces. Average per night cost Approx $38 mostly full hook ups. We dumped the black and grey tanks every 3-4 days. All showers were taken in RV facility bathrooms. 99% were very clean, all had hot water.



Nice to be home, next trip in 2.5 weeks already planned.

Mark
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Old 06-19-2018, 09:58 AM   #2
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Name: Michael
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Interesting data. But, um, since you posted the total miles covered and the total gallons, I divided miles by gallons and got 11.76 mpg. Is there some other factor here that should be accounted for? Even if I subtract 15 gallons in case you included a "before leaving on the trip" initial fill-up, I still get only 12.17 mpg.

I have often heard the onboard computers referred to as "lie-o-meters"; the one on my GX 470 always overstates by 1.0 to 1.8 mpg.
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Old 06-19-2018, 10:24 AM   #3
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Name: Dick
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That probably includes some better mileage while not hooked up to the Casita...
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Old 06-19-2018, 10:25 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Magee View Post
...
I have often heard the onboard computers referred to as "lie-o-meters"; the one on my GX 470 always overstates by 1.0 to 1.8 mpg.
Same for my Toyota Van.. and speedometer reads high which is the rule more than the exception I am sure. And its allowed (within limits).

Interesting that my van, with the same engine and tranny as the Highlander I had before, also gets just a fraction over 14 MPG towing the Scamp 16. Thats real world, not the lie-o-meter readout.

I wonder what MPG I would get with this 2018 Toyota Tacoma (451 on odometer) that is now sitting my my garage (while the van is in the shop). Its tow capacity is over 6,400 lbs, it has hitch and 7/4 pin ready to plug into... nice. I hope they dont try too hard to sell it to me when I take it back. The color even matches the Scamp

(But payload is only about 1,000 I think. That leaves 750 after subtracting the tongue weight, not very much.)
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Old 06-19-2018, 11:36 PM   #5
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Ah, the errors of my ways. Yes I did drive at times without the Casita. I also missed one or two fill ups, or I missed writing them down.
So sorry for my misinformation. Guilty as charged.
Mark
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Old 06-19-2018, 11:41 PM   #6
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Gordon, perhaps they will loose the keys to your van and make you an offer on the Tacoma that you can't refuse!
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Old 06-22-2018, 01:48 PM   #7
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MK Evenson, You beat me to it. Losing keys must not be that rare.

Hint: Take a ladder, your keys may be on the dealership roof. Along with 200 other sets.

Nice pickup. Color matches?
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Old 06-22-2018, 02:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom 72 View Post
...

Nice pickup. Color matches?
Yes white.. (or is that lack of color?)... same as the Scamp.

But the Tacoma is not for me. The bed is too small, I get get full 4x8 sheets of wood in my van but not in this pick-up. And the interior of the Tacoma is not very big, and the rear seats when folded does not give me a flat or safe place for the dog (or her crate)/ And it is too high for her to jump up to. The Sienna is making more sense than ever, but the truck is nice and would go about anywhere with its V6 and 4wd.
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Old 06-22-2018, 08:20 PM   #9
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the crewcab tacomas have a ridiculously short bed (5'?), and ~200 lb less payload than the access cab tacomas. carry 4 beer drinkers, and you can't even carry a case of beer.

4x8 sheets of plywood pretty much puts you in american longbed land. my f250 would carry 1000 lbs of that AND tow the escape 21 and carry both of us with all sorts of gear.
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Old 06-23-2018, 04:06 AM   #10
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Name: steven
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I pull my Casita with a '17 Tacoma. It does have a really small bed but it pulls the Casita with ease. I would guess I get around 12 Mpg pulling. My 80lb 14 year old Rottweiler loves it. I can not say the word truck in my house without her getting up and following me around. I just got my Casita less than 2 months ago and have taken it out 4 times. Each time someone has told me they like my truck, mostly because it is Orange. For those who travel with medium to large dogs I would suggest one of these hammock type rear seat protectors. Baby could not travel without it. She is elderly and would fall off seat otherwise. Also provides some protection from dirt and dog hair. The Casita draws much attention too and people have commented and asked to see the inside on every trip. On the last trip we stop at Dunkin Doughnuts for coffee and ended up giving a ten minute tour of the Casita in the parking lot. Lol
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Old 06-30-2018, 11:40 AM   #11
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Thanks for posting that info. I currently tow with an 07 Tundra but I want to downsize to having only one vehicle so at the end of 2016 we bought a Highlander. Same set-up as you and a 2013 Casita SD. As soon as I get the hitch and electrics installed, mid July, I am going to sell my Tundra! Happy Camping!
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Old 06-30-2018, 11:58 AM   #12
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Is this a TOYOTA Chat room ???

Our family is a Toyota family.

My tow beast is a 2007 Toyota FJ Land Cruiser, 4.0Ltr /V6/5 speed automatic
With added after market trans cooler....non towing mileage is 21 MPG average
when towing a 5,000+ Lb travel trailer it drops down to 12 MPG.
Best vehicle I have ever owned.....zero repairs....just routine maintenance and
tires. (I believe the 4 Runner has the same engine and drive train...the 4 Runner has a longer drive shaft....otherwise twin systems).
Tacoma V6 has similar specs.

Can’t beat Toyota for reliability and longevity !

Happy Camping
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Old 06-30-2018, 11:15 PM   #13
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We bought a 06' Lexus RX400h AWD with towing package to tow a 2011 Escape 15a. This Lexis is a hybrid, w/ a 3.3 v6, rated for 3500#. The window sticker says it should get 27-32 mpg, in the three months we've had it, it seems to get in mid 20s. Pulling the 2k# trailer up the 395, along the eastern Sierras, it was getting 17 mpg at 65 mph. I bought it for $7800 w/ 100k on the odometer. Research found many others with almost 200k miles, so I thought I would be interesting trying as a tow vehicle. It's very quiet and comfortable. Tows all electric through the campground. Quite a contrast to the diesel trucks in that respect.
I'm sharing because it's also a Toyota v6, so thought the info would be of interest. I wish it got closer to the window sticker on mpg, but really, it's a nice ride. Oh, it does require Premium fuel, which is close to $4 in CA.

We had been pulling a 1997 Lit Bigfoot with a 07' Honda CRV. The Honda didn't like pulling the 1600# trailer. The tranny would hunt, downshift,pull high rpm, and get 13 mpg.

The Lexus has a crt transmission, so no hunting for right gear. More power and torque than needed.
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Old 06-30-2018, 11:25 PM   #14
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The Lexus RX is a spiffed up Highlander, a unibody primarily FWD vehicle (the AWD versions have rear wheel assist when the front wheels slip, but under normal driving, they are mostly FWD)..

CVT transmissions are belt driven. They don't have a very good track record of surviving heavy loads like towing... But, at least Wikipedia suggests the current generation of RX have an 8 speed automatic with a lockup torque converter, not a CVT.

edit: oops, realized you said a 2006 RX400h, that indeed is a CVT.
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Old 07-01-2018, 08:58 AM   #15
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My daughter owns a Lexus RX400h......it gets great mileage but she does not tow with it.
Your post seemed to indicate you expect to get the sticker mileage when towing. That will NEVER happen. If you tow with any vehicle the mileage you get is “pot-luck”..... a surprise on every trip....downhill your mileage will be great! ....BUT....sooner or later you will have to drive up hill....if you want really bad mileage try crossing the Rocky Mountains!!

My 5,000 pound Toyota/4Ltr/V6/5speed automatic/4X4 averages an honest 21MPG when not towing.....but hook up my 5,000 Lb travel trailer and the pot luck starts.....12 MPG.....and I am happy.....ask around and you might hear 10 MPG...8 MPG...or even 6 MPG.....it is all part of the RV experience....if you want to enjoy the freedom of RV living you must pay for the adventure.

Happy Camping !!!
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Old 07-01-2018, 03:13 PM   #16
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In most non hybrids you can probably get the sticker mpg when not towing, by going 55 mph. Almost no one goes 55 when not towing. Above 55, a lot goes to wind resistance. You might enjoy going 55 more and enjoy your journey more if you take older U.S. Highways. Some here may know a few tricks to researching them in advance. I'll listen.

Of course, with a hybrid, mileage is best when using the electric side. That may be in town.
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Old 07-01-2018, 08:58 PM   #17
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The Toyota cynergy hybrid system uses two engines to move their vehicles.
Depending on speed and the driver’s driving style the vehicle will either use the electric motor alone or the gas engine....or....a combination of both.
All this is done by computer controls....it is a seem less process and most drivers are unaware of the syatem’s change over from electric motor to gasoline engine....the system is in fact amazing !
The gasoline engine keeps the battery for the electric engine charged...the braking action also charges the battery....it is all automatic.
How much gas you burn is determined by your driving speeds.
Needless to say when you tow the gas engine does do most of the work but the electric motor also helps move the load.

Unlike the all electric cars this system allows you to tow....all electric vehicles lack both power and range. Toyota cynergy drive never needs to be plugged into electric charging stations....just gas and go....and....the system has proven it works over decades of service.

Special note: Toyota labels some of their vehicles for
Premium Fuel Only....however you might try a tank or two of “Regular” grade gas....when not towing.
If you do not note any “Pinging” when accelerating up hills your motor may be happy with regular gas.
If it passes the non towing test then try it when towing. My FJ LandCrusier has been happy burning regular for 10+years....with or without a trailer in tow.

Happy Camping !
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