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Old 06-16-2014, 06:04 PM   #11
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I have a buddy who is a BIG car/truck/performance geek and he says it will be fine to run while towing as it burns cooler than regular gasoline and produces more HP. I don't have much to lose...
It's easy for your buddy to say use it...he isn't footing the engine rebuild costs. If the owners manual says it's not to be used, why take that chance?

I am pretty sure it will cost you more to run it anyway. If the best you got towing was 9 mpg and say you lost 3 mpg towing. That's a 33% loss. Is the E85 33% cheaper? Not unless it is over $1.30 a gallon cheaper. Even at a 2mpg loss. E85 would need to be 18% cheaper, so about $0.72/gallon cheaper.
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Old 06-16-2014, 11:29 PM   #12
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Alcohol has a lot less BTU's than gasoline. Race engines that run on alcohol go through a LOT of alcohol to make the extra power. It does burn cooler, the result of fewer BTU"s.
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Old 06-17-2014, 07:36 AM   #13
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It's easy for your buddy to say use it...he isn't footing the engine rebuild costs. If the owners manual says it's not to be used, why take that chance?
I'm not convinced its an issue of rebuild. I think its performance. As I said earlier, my Sierra is a Flex Fuel engine and it says nothing in the manual about avoiding towing with E85. Personally I wouldn't do it so I guess I'll never know!
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Old 06-17-2014, 08:44 AM   #14
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It's easy for your buddy to say use it...he isn't footing the engine rebuild costs. If the owners manual says it's not to be used, why take that chance?
I trust him when it comes to stuff like this. This is the same guy putting blowers on stock 5.3s and water meth to them too with no issues. He is plenty experianced when it comes to aftermarket stuff and way up on his knowledge of fuels. When I say I don't have much to lose, the Tahoe has 217000 miles on it, I figure I'm driving on borrowed time anyway, even though it is in mechanicly sound condition. If I have to put an engine in it at some point, it wouldn't be the end of the world to me, maybe a reason to upgrade to a 6.0
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Old 06-17-2014, 09:39 AM   #15
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Alcohol has a lot less BTU's than gasoline. Race engines that run on alcohol go through a LOT of alcohol to make the extra power. It does burn cooler, the result of fewer BTU"s.
That is what I understand also, that E85 has less thermal energy than regular gas. Something to the tune of 10% less. That being said, E85 cannot provide better power or mileage than regular gasoline. Less of either will be a detriment when it comes to towing.

I won't use E85 in the wife's car. The cheaper price of of E85 never offsets the decreased MPG. So in effect it costs to use more than plain ol' gasoline.
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Old 06-17-2014, 03:29 PM   #16
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I am the courier for a local university. I drive a flex fuel minivan around 1350 miles per week. I have driven it with both regular gas and e85. Fuel use goes up with e85, and if I have any load at it struggles uphill and into the wind. there is no money saving with e85, it was designed to make us use less domestic oil and to help with corn sales. Some also say it burns cleaner than regular gas. So, IMO it's about the environment not saving money.
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Old 06-17-2014, 05:30 PM   #17
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So, IMO it's about the environment not saving money.
I don't believe it is an environmental issue at all. The amount of energy / oil that is expended to cultivate, harvest, transport, distill, and finally distribute ethenol to the consumer far outweighs any savings in oil at the pump. Ethenol or E85 doesn't flow out of the ground. The plants that produce it are nothing more than giant distilleries. The cost is subsidized like someone said to make it appear cheaper, but that doesn't take consideration of the increased cost we all pay in many of the consumer products and food items we purchase every day. You'd be surprised how many things are made with corn.

Sorry but this is a sore subject with me. Burn what you like in your vehicle, but don't do it based on some bogus belief that it is saving the planet.
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Old 06-27-2014, 02:10 PM   #18
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Well, I wasn't daring enough to try it... Now that we wont be camping until mid August, I think I will try a tank full. I will have to pull the camper about 20 miles one day, so if their is still some E85 in the tank, I will let you know my thoughts. Thanks for all the input!! Dave
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Old 06-29-2014, 08:31 AM   #19
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I can tell you first hand that running E85 while towing is a waste. I have a F150 with the 5.0 and while on vacation we pulled into a gas station that was out of gas except E85. I filled my tank (40 Gal) with E85 then started out on my way. I only got 275 Miles to the tank, that is right I said 275 to the tank. Sure the truck had more power, pulled the trailer better and idled smoother.

I personally burn E85 when I do the daily commute to work, but I will NEVER again use it while towing.
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Old 06-29-2014, 12:36 PM   #20
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Surprised E85 is so widely available. I have never seen a station that sells it.
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