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Old 01-26-2013, 02:10 PM   #1
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Ballpark figure on towing, MPG while towing

Hi all, I'm having cabin fever and am planning a trip to Northern California to see the Redwoods. At this point I'm debating the sanity of towing my 18' sunline for a three week vacation. Roundtrip from Durango Colorado to Klamath California. In the late winter and early spring I'll take the sweet ride (Red jeep cherokee and Saturn) out to Southern Utah to learn what its like to enjoy camping off the ground! Any travel experiences in Northern California and across Nevada? I hope to camp at Great Basin and boondock along HWY 50 in Nevada. I've driven that road, sans trailer, and would love to explore the backcountry before and after Reno too.

Anyway, as I calculate the positives and negatives. I'm wondering if anyone has a ball park of the MPG of the 8 cyl cherokee towing the Saturn. I get a bit over 20 MPG without towing. It looks like lots of Sunline owners camp east of the mississippi. But I'm sure you've traveled out here in our glorious west. Thanks for info. Kit
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Old 01-26-2013, 03:55 PM   #2
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10-12
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Old 01-26-2013, 05:00 PM   #3
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Old 01-26-2013, 06:58 PM   #4
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10 to 12 with my 4Runner.

That sick feeling I get when I pay the gas credit card bill after a good camping trip is offset by the good memories of the camping.
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Old 01-26-2013, 07:21 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Photokit View Post

Anyway, as I calculate the positives and negatives. I'm wondering if anyone has a ball park of the MPG of the 8 cyl cherokee towing the Saturn. I get a bit over 20 MPG without towing.
If you keep the speed down to 55 mph on the semi flat areas less than say 4,000 to 5,000 foot elevation, your towing mileage can drop about 50%. AKA about 10 mpg. If your lucky, maybe 11 to tops at 12. The wind drag of an 8 foot wide camper is why we nick name it, towing a brick.... Once you go above 60 mph the mileage can be even worse...

As you rise about 5,000 foot and more up hill mountains come, it goes down from there. Don't be shocked if it gets down in the 7 to 8 mpg area. Your V8 gasser is losing power every 1,000 foot of elevation. After 8,000 feet you can be close to losing 2 cylinders worth of power or it will act like a V6. Super charger or Turbo charger is the only way to help this problem of elevation. For those of us, me included, all we can do is keep filling it up...

My big engine has no problem pulling, but she sure has a drink'in problem....
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:19 PM   #6
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10 to 12 with my 4Runner.

That sick feeling I get when I pay the gas credit card bill after a good camping trip is offset by the good memories of the camping.

Good memories are priceless! I have tons of great memories in our Sunnys!
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Old 01-27-2013, 02:19 AM   #7
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Good memories are priceless! I have tons of great memories in our Sunnys!
x2, and this is what it's all about!
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Old 01-27-2013, 05:31 AM   #8
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It's not the cost, It's the experience.
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Old 01-27-2013, 06:15 AM   #9
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There are no motels in state parks. The money you save boondocking will pay for the gas.
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Old 01-27-2013, 02:46 PM   #10
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A couple nights in Walmart too will pay for some gas
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Old 01-28-2013, 07:17 AM   #11
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When you carry your own bed/bedding you don't worry about bedbugs/cooties/excrement from strangers with God only knows what kind of disease. I'd sleep in the car, sitting up, before I'd stay at a motel.
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Old 01-28-2013, 05:57 PM   #12
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Quote:
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....
My big engine has no problem pulling, but she sure has a drink'in problem....
Now that's funny
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Old 01-29-2013, 07:16 PM   #13
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My experience:
Nissan 6cyl with 260 hp and 5500# tow cap towing 4800# T-1950, 7-8 mpg. 24 mpg best not towing.

F150 with V8 and 3:73 rear end 300 hp towing 4800# T-1950, 9-10 mpg. 22 mpg best not towing. 7300# tow cap.

F150 V6 ecoboost with 3:55 rear end 365 hp towing 8500# 5th wheel, 10-11 mpg. 21 mpg best not towing. 11300# tow cap.

If you are towing better than 75% your tow cap you can expect worse mpg since the transmission will spend a lot of time in lower gear. A good torque rating will get you better mileage.
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Old 01-30-2013, 03:23 AM   #14
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When trying to budget for a trip I will take my worse case fuel MPG, city driving, and that with trip miles I think I may drive can figure a fuel budget. It usually figures out that city MPG and towing MPG are closely related. My TV gets about 12 MPG around town and towing our 2363 I'll get about the same, 11 MPG. On the trip I found that I will average non-towing/city MPG because of miles driven sight seeing which is usually city driving or more miles than figured for the total trip.

Then after all due considerations I then grab extra money, just in case.
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Old 06-07-2013, 12:19 PM   #15
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8-10mpg realistically. The 10 - 13 mpg estimates would be with a diesel. It's just the way it is at highway speeds.
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Old 11-09-2013, 06:13 AM   #16
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While this is NOT while towing it could still change towing figures. For a long time I have only used BP gasoline/ethanol mixture of up to 10%. the station I use has now changed to Marathon, same ethanol mixture since mandated by laws. the old BP would give a 18.2 highway but the new Marathon gave me 19.8 highway on the same road at same cruise controlled speeds.

On the first tank of Marathon I thought I felt a difference in the seat of my pants. On the road the dashboard readout proved a difference. More power per gallon.
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Old 11-09-2013, 09:49 AM   #17
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Jim,

Your vintage Ford and mine have some of the same attributes, they do not work as efficient on ethanol blends. The Marathon in your area might be a little more pure gas then the BP. BP may well still be within tolerance however different brands and blends change the performance.
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Old 11-09-2013, 10:19 AM   #18
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Being brand looyal doesn't always pay, it seems. Maybe others have noticed improved mileage by different brands.
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Old 12-25-2013, 07:49 PM   #19
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Hey Kit,
Most of us do live in the east. My one venture towing in the glorious west had me so bummed out about mileage, I quit keeping track. I regret that now. East coast touring nets me 10.5 - 11.5 mpg with a V8 Tahoe and a 27' Solaris. Out west I think I was near 7 - 8 mpg with the altitude difference. And those winds! Man, I thought I knew wind conditions, but the desert winds coming off the lowlands into the mountains had me accelerating to go downhill! Woof!

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Old 12-26-2013, 09:11 AM   #20
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Here in the east every one has 10% booze in their gas I buy gas at the station that has the lowest price on any given day and see no difference in mileage.
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