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Old 10-13-2021, 05:31 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Route 66 Traveler View Post
Just so your ST tires are rated for the speed. Many are only rated for 65 max. I travel usually at 62-65 on Arizona freeways posted for 75...for cars and trucks. Never a problem and I don't care what everyone else is doing.
X2. I could care less what everyone else is doing. I stay in the far right lane, they can go around. 65 max.
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Old 10-13-2021, 10:44 PM   #22
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X2. I could care less what everyone else is doing. I stay in the far right lane, they can go around. 65 max.

How much less could you care?
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Old 10-14-2021, 07:06 AM   #23
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We are towing a Pinnacle with a F450 super duty (diesel) with a 4:30 rear end. Even at 65 MPG, we average 7.9 to 9.0. Why such a range? Wind and hills impact. DW uses cruise control & tow haul until she is going up a steep hill or when she "hears" the engine change, she kicks off cruise. The tow haul definitely assists. In fact DW forgot to turn off tow haul after dropping off the 5ver - she didn't turn off the truck because it was too hot & the animals were in the truck. As we were leaving the storage lot to get fuel, she noticed the truck wasn't shifting correctly but she didn't say anything. Yep, the tow haul was on. She is learning.

Of course, we didn't buy the truck for the best of fuel mileage but to tow the larger trailer.
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Old 10-14-2021, 09:26 AM   #24
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How much less could you care?

I'm retired, don't have to be anywhere that I need to haul a** when towing my trailer.


After reading your many posts on how you drive and your terrible mpg readings I am glad I have a Tundra and consistently experience much better results. Some of your expert advice, in my opinion, is dead wrong. I have never had readings in the 7mpg range ever. I only use 87 Octane gas as well, anything higher is a waste of money.
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Old 10-14-2021, 10:28 AM   #25
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I'm retired, don't have to be anywhere that I need to haul a** when towing my trailer.


After reading your many posts on how you drive and your terrible mpg readings I am glad I have a Tundra and consistently experience much better results. Some of your expert advice, in my opinion, is dead wrong. I have never had readings in the 7mpg range ever. I only use 87 Octane gas as well, anything higher is a waste of money.
Good for you. I'm 33 and have 4.5 yo and 6 month old kids that have to pee and eat and get diapers changed every couple of hours, and not always on the same schedule. I have to take vacation time off of work. 5 mph might not seem like much, but it could make a 1-1.5 hour difference in my travel time on a 6 hour trip if the timing works out poorly with kids stops. It could be the difference between me setting up in the day light or setting up after dark. So it's really great that you have nowhere to be, but I do.

Did i claim to be an expert? No. But I do have a Ford F150 Ecoboost and I have datalogged countless hours towing using fairly advanced datalogging software. I know for a fact that the truck runs 4 degree more ignition timing on 91 than 87 and picks up some mpg's. I did tow for a couple years on 87 octane and my truck was totally fine, but 91 is only 15 cents more than 87 octane here so it actually is not a waste of money for me and possibly for others. Do your own math and see if it works for you. Don't make blanket statements.


Your tundra is also not a turbocharged, direct injected engine with a 10.5:1 compression ratio, so it probably doesn't take advantage of higher octane fuel. I have the 1UR-FE in my Lexus GX(which calls for 91 even though its the same engine as the Tundra) and it doesn't benefit from 91 in the same way as my F150. Comparing an old school, port injected V8 to a DI turbo'd V6 is ridiculous.

If you do tow at 70mph into a 20mph headwind, let me know what MPG's you get though. I bet it won't be great.

But yeah, tell me all about how i have not clue what I am talking about
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Old 10-14-2021, 10:32 AM   #26
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I respectfully disagree on using cruise control for best mpg. Until cruise can see approaching inclines. C.C. at present bleeds a couple of mph at base of incline then aggressively downshifts, 1 to 3 gear ratios and goes at or close to wot, depending on transmission and incline, in an attempt to maintain set speed. An experienced driver would moderately accelerate , possibly prompting downshift- or manually downshift, and ascend grade possibly bleeding off a bit of speed on the ascent, this minimizing high rpm pulling. Idealing pulling in the the midpoint of h.p. and torque curve sweet spot. Until cruise can read terrain an experienced right foot will always provide better mpg. The only instance that would not be true would be on the very rare flat terrain trip.
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Old 10-14-2021, 12:56 PM   #27
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Sometimes it's better to bite your tongue and move on to the next post that interests you.
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Old 10-14-2021, 01:00 PM   #28
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Old 10-14-2021, 03:10 PM   #29
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Thanks to all who have provided feedback. My key takeaways are:

- yes, the mpg's are probably reasonable based on what I described
- to get better fuel economy my choices are to slow down, don't drive the freeway (speed limit and most traffic traveling at or above 70 mph), and/or avoid using cruise control

To answer some of the questions posed:
- the "over-inflation" i referred to was minimal (like 1 or 2 lbs), hoping it would net some fuel consumption benefit. I doubt it had much impact especially on the Travel trailer, so I will return to the posted recommended inflation.
- like some have posted, 70 is the posted speed limit; I could try 65 without worrying about causing issues, or I could try other roads. In this case, I was traveling home from a very familiar destination, wanted to make good time and have seen the "sights" multiple times; I just wanted to get home on a Sunday afternoon into evening trip.
- the travel trailer is big (30' long) and whatever the standard height is so I get the "drag" issue. I did drain the water tank so the 6,000 lbs I mentioned should be right on, if not a little high
- the fuel mileage I get when not towing is indeed good, so I just to need to go into the towing expectation looking at about 8 mpg's, and plan accordingly (wondering if trucks with diesel engines are about the same, or significantly better regarding fuel economy?)
- I'm not obsessive about fuel economy; just wanted confirmation of what I was experiencing as "expected" or "reasonable". Sounds like it is both.
- Sounds like a V-8 might offer some towing advantage (fuel economy wise) while towing, but would be offset by the much bigger percentage of time I don't tow.

Again, thanks for the feedback!
I used to live in Waukesha and regularly camp in Wisconsin, so I know the terrain and probably travel many of the same roads as you do. I towed through your country three times each way in the last month.

You hit the nail on the head with slowing down. My trailer is 6250 lbs loaded so I'm a little lighter than you, but the profile is similar. I regularly get 9.5-10.5 towing on the interstate with my cruise on at 65mph. I get 10.5-11.5 at 55 on country highways. There is no reason to avoid the freeway if you are traveling a little slower than the speed limit. In fact, it's easier because you don't have to change lanes to pass to many drivers slower than you!
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Old 10-14-2021, 07:08 PM   #30
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Don't use your tow/haul mode unless you are on hills.
I am curious why you say this. Does your Ram manual say this? I have always understood to use it while towing or under a load regardless the terrain. Just curious. Thank you!
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Old 10-14-2021, 08:24 PM   #31
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On flat terrain tow/haul will generally holds gear lower than optimal for mpg-not always-data log to verify.
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Old 10-15-2021, 05:27 AM   #32
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I always tow in Tow mode, no side effects so far. I think there are times it should be used, but also when it isn't necessary. If you tow on flatter terrain, I think you can take it off. It works best for hills, both up and down.
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Old 10-15-2021, 06:43 AM   #33
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You guys are way overthinking this.
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Old 10-15-2021, 06:55 AM   #34
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I always tow in Tow mode, no side effects so far. I think there are times it should be used, but also when it isn't necessary. If you tow on flatter terrain, I think you can take it off. It works best for hills, both up and down.
My 2021 Ram 3500 manual says to use tow haul to keep the tranny happy.
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Old 10-16-2021, 06:22 AM   #35
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My F350 DRW got 8.9mpg towing from Gainesville GA. to St. Petersburg FL. a couple months back. It's a 2017 with the 6.7l PSD, 4.10 rear, stock tires. My 06 F250 with 6.0 PSD, 3.73s and 35 in tires, got 11-13 same trip, same trailer. (40ft fiver around 13k). New truck definitely does it better, but is also not tuned or deleted. Weird thing is new truck also gets substantially better city mileage. I haven't been able to get an empty highway trip yet. The diesels definitely net better mileage, but again with almost 50% or more upfront cost. I probably won't delete this truck, as I love how quiet it is, and plan to travel more of the country, but I do plan on intact tunes. It will be interesting to see the difference. As for the octane comments, a lot of people may not really understand the mechanics when comparing their standard naturally asparated V8s to your forced induction. I still have really good friends who say V8 or nothing in a truck, it is what it is till they drive or tow with an ecoboost.
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Old 10-16-2021, 06:26 AM   #36
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Oh and I also tow between 70-75 mph in right lane, most traffic is 75 plus (yes my trailer tires are rated for the speed). And I also have youngens, a 15 month old, and an almostb3 year old. Time is of essence with them lol.
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Old 10-16-2021, 12:23 PM   #37
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Cruise control was not meant for towing and can create an unsafe condition. When towing, your mileage will suffer. Eliminate as much up/down shifting of the transmission by setting the highest gear which is not an Overdrive gear. It helps alot.
Where did you come up with this? Been in fleet business for 20+ years and trailer/5th wheel towing for, 10. Have always used cruise control, that's what it's made for.

Speed is definitely the mpg killer.
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Old 10-16-2021, 01:00 PM   #38
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A little experience here.

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For me, traveling at 70mph is the most comfortable speed on the freeway in terms of keeping with the flow of traffic. In Utah and Wyoming, there are no truck speed limits and Idaho has a 70mph truck speed limit. The 18 wheelers are pretty much all doing at least 70 mph on the flats and faster on the downhills. Most of the other campers are doing at least 70 mph. I've had guys pass me tandem towing big 5th wheels with a second trailer loaded down with Rzr's doing 80mph.

So when I tow at 70, I am keeping with the flow of most of the 18 wheelers and am generally on the lower end of the speed for the camper trailers. Regular cars are generally doing 80mph+. Going slower than 70 mph becomes more of a hassle for me and the drivers around me, especially if the traffic is heavy. People do dumb things when you inconvenience them like that.
Way back in 2014 before upgrading, towed a Jayflight SLX 185RB up US87. I had previously towed this rig with a 2007 F150 (8-9 mpg) and was towing with a 2009 Ford Flex with a 3.5v6. That combo reliably got 12 mpg unless the wind was blowing, or other circumstances intervened. I NEVER exceeded 70 mph and tried to keep it as close to 65 as I could. This particular trip was noteworthy because just north of Big Spring as I tooled along, a Ram 3500 pulling at least a 40ft 5er blew past me doing at least 75 maybe 80 mph. I glanced at my wife and said, "We'll see him off the side of the road with a blowout before we get to Lubbock." She smiled, I smiled...and just on the outskirts of Tahoka (30 miles south of Lubbock) there he was...nose down the embankment, trailer leaning hard to the right balanced by the lack of any tires under the left side. All three tires disintegrated and took out half the slide, and about 3 feet of sidewall. There was a trail of debris half mile long leading up to the scene of the 'crime'. Just slow down...
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Old 10-16-2021, 01:23 PM   #39
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I saw the same mileage on my 2016 half ton Silverado towing our 7800 pound Jayco. I tried an experiment and set cruise to 60 instead of 70. And pulled up hills at 2,000 RPM. My experiment netted interesting results. I went from 8.5 - 9.5 MPG to 12.4 - 13.0 MPG.
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Old 10-16-2021, 01:45 PM   #40
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Where did you come up with this? Been in fleet business for 20+ years and trailer/5th wheel towing for, 10. Have always used cruise control, that's what it's made for.

Speed is definitely the mpg killer.
Fact: Some owner manuals for trucks with 5 and 6 speed say to not use the overdrive and cruise when towing because the torque converter doesn't lock in overdrive, which can cause heat build up in the tranny real quick. If you watch your temps you can pretty much do what you want. If you don't watch them, you may have to pay extra.
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