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Old 03-25-2014, 10:18 AM   #11
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I personally don't have any interest in changing the front of my trailer. What I am interested in is ideas that the group uses to gain better efficiency. The Swift SRX line should be capable of better mileage than a full frontal trailer. My experience shows this. I've learned soooo much from folks on this site that I'll try again to get conversation reestablished.
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Old 03-26-2014, 07:48 PM   #12
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I understand not wanting to change the front. I agree 100% with you. But it seems the only other real answer anyone has is to keep to 60 mph max. Oh yeah, and avoid hills.
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Old 03-29-2014, 10:39 PM   #13
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I am convinced that improving aerodynamics is the key. I have done a ton of research after realizing the vehicle I was using as a tow vehicle (RAM 1500 4.7 V8) got lousy gas mileage despite being setup with tow package from factory. The trailer (when towed by a conventional pickup) has a huge flat area that catches the wind like a parachute and causes so much drag, the engine needs to work harder to overcome it. The higher the speed, the more drag. The sweet spot for speed is in around the 60 MPH, anything higher, you just burn way more fuel, any slower - might as well stay home. You need to get the flow of air up and over the top of the trailer and if possible reduce the gap between TV and TT. Search "Nosecone" (probably nosecone.com) on the internet, there is a video which clearly demonstrates the benefits of their product - (improving aerodynamics). If there was a way to hinge this nose cone onto my trailer so when parker I could see thru my front window and secure it for driving, I'd install one in a second. Maybe they need to make a "clear" version. They promise you improved fuel economy and better handling. When was the last time you saw a commercial truck/trailer combo without some additions to direct the wind over their trailers? It's not just a theory. Poke that hole as big as you can.
Their site says "Improve your mileage from 5% up to 15%!". Here's one google found. http://www.tarpstop.com/nosecones.php

The cheapest is $575

If you are getting 15mpg towing, you might get 17.25mpg (15%) with the nosecone. If gas is $3.50, you would have to travel about 20,000 miles just to break even.

At 5% increase you would be looking at about 60,000 miles.
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Old 04-03-2014, 09:21 AM   #14
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If it were just about saving on fuel to payback the cost of any upgrade/improvement, the same could be said about putting on a truck topper. or a tonneau cover, or even investing in a better set of tires. The nose cone offer improved fuel economy by reducing the drag. So not only does it save on fuel everytime you pull the trailer on short or long hauls, but you will have less wear and tear on your drive train and improved stability. Perhaps at $3.50/gallon is not enough of an incentive, but here in Canada, the conversion cost for fuel exceeds $5.00/U.S. Gallon. Maybe when the cost of your fuel exceeds 5 bucks, you may look at it differently. But take notice of the new trailer and 5th wheel models coming out, see any 'unique' feature that would help improve fuel economy? Yeah, the manufacturers have finally figured it our or listened to their customers and are now rounding off their trailers. And believe me, you the consumer is paying for that round nose in the cost of purchase - they have to recoup R&D and tooling/mold costs don't forget. (kinda like the fuel cost/savings scenario you describe.)
If you are towing any trailer, expect poor performance in gas mileage by about half, it's just that way - why is this a surprise to so many people? We should all be open minded about aerodynamics and what's on the market to help. The nose cone just happens to be one option with proven results.
Nuff said about the nose cone.
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Old 04-04-2014, 06:04 AM   #15
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We can only hope
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Old 04-17-2014, 09:16 PM   #16
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I have a jayco swift 154bh. I pull it with an F150 ecoboost truck......I get an average of 13 1/2 mpg.
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Old 05-06-2014, 08:41 PM   #17
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I feel so much better now after read this thread, thanks for starting it! I thought there was something wrong because I was only getting ~12 MPG, but that seems to be the norm.

I am pulling a 184BH with a 2011 Kia Sorrento v6.
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Old 05-06-2014, 11:09 PM   #18
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I get 12 mpg pulling a 294bhs with a chevy express 3500 van 6.0 engine.
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Old 05-07-2014, 07:39 AM   #19
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Pulling a 24FBS with an F150 tow, I get 12.5 in hilly terrain and 13.5 on the flat. Now if I'm bucking a 40mph headwind I get about 8 going uphill. Try to keep my speed around 61-62 mph.
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Old 05-07-2014, 09:07 AM   #20
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Your driving habits have as much to do with mileage as what you tow, and what your TV is.

I have towed a couple of HTTs with different tow vehicles. The Kiwi 17a was a 7' wide, 17ft, 3500# GVWR trailer. The X20E is an 8' wide, 4750# GVWR trailer. As smacdonald, the sweet spot is about 60 mph.

'03 Kiwi 17a with '00 Pontiac Montana, 10MPG at 60MPH no matter what conditions (never towed this combo in mountains)
'03 Kiwi 17a with '95 Suburban, 10MPG at 60MPH no matter what conditions, mountains, hills, wind, etc.
'03 Kiwi 17a with '03 Chevy Trailblazer, 12/13MPG flat, no wind; 9/10MPG in mountains; 10/11 hilly and/or windy
'13 X20E with '03 Chevy Trailblazer, 10MPG flat, no wind; 8MPG hills and/or wind
'13 X20E with '08 GMC Sierra, no data yet. first trip with this truck is next week. Yea!

BTW, keeping track of mileage is not something I do just to see how good I can get. I keep track of mileage because a drop in mileage is an indicator that something is wrong with the tow vehicle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smacdonald View Post
When was the last time you saw a commercial truck/trailer combo without some additions to direct the wind over their trailers? It's not just a theory. Poke that hole as big as you can.
Sure I'll poke a hole it. Its all about practicality. Over the road trucks travel 100k miles a year. The ROI is real and tangible and is realized over a short period of time. How long will it take you or I to make up the money spent on mods to save fuel? 5 years? 10?

I'm a practical man and a realist. I have been towing camping trailers of some kind or other for over 20 years. I've read everything I can on this subject and have tried many different things that were reasonable to try. Mods will work, but will almost always yield marginal results. Yes, even at $5 a gallon. Maybe I can save $100 bucks a year in towing costs, but I'd rather spend the $500 intended for mods on fun things during a camping trip.

If the nose cap works for you, I'm not knocking that. Good for you. But you can't convince me that the marginal gains are worth it in the long run.

The best things you can do to save fuel is keep your tow vehicle properly maintained, change fluids regular, keep the PSI to the right levels in your tires, and maintain moderate speeds.
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