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Old 10-11-2021, 02:49 PM   #1
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Angry Does this seem reasonable?

I am towing a 6,000 lb double axle Jayco travel trailer (28BHS) with a 2017 Ford F-150 Supercrew, equipped with a tow pkg (up to 10,700 lbs), and a 3.5L V-6 turbo. The tires on the travel trailer were recently replaced, and slightly over-inflated, and my truck tires are slightly over-inflated. I have a weight-distribution hitch and the trailer tows well. The load in the truck bed was minimal. While the terrain/highways in WI aren't flat, I wouldn't consider them all that hilly compared to what you might see out West. i (mostly) use cruise control on the freeway set at 70, and with the transmission set in Tow/Haul mode. Doing so, I am getting about 7.2 miles per gallon over a 240 mile trip. While I expected a significant drop-off from the 22 hwy mpg I get when not towing, I figured I would get somewhere north of 10 mpg, but not so. Am I doing something wrong, or is this about what I should expect? If I get a lighter trailer, say around 5,000 lbs., is that likely to help much, or only inconsequentially? Would an F-150 with a V-8 show less of a mileage drop-off based on what I'm towing?

Thanks in advance for the feedback.
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Old 10-11-2021, 03:40 PM   #2
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I tow a 30 foot trailer that scales out at 6900 with a Toyota Tundra TV. I never use cruise control, never exceed 65 mph and have max psi in the tires according to the Goodyear inflation chart. I plan my trips using 10 mpg as a reference for fuel stops. My lowest calculated mpg was 9.4 mpg with hills and headwinds; my highest was from Gallup, NM to Shiprock, NM, mostly level ground with no wind calculated at 13.6 mpg. That's with 65 gallons of water, 2 cats and a 30 pound dog. I found that any speed above 65 kills my fuel economy instantly

Scale weight of my truck and trailer together was 13,640.
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Old 10-11-2021, 04:09 PM   #3
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Probably the thing that will help most is... slow down! I got about 5 mpg more going 55 vs 70.
I never liked using cruise control on my gas trucks when towing, any incline and it's RPM time as the truck tries to maintain set speed and has no way of knowing you're just going to crest that hill in 100 yards.....
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Old 10-11-2021, 04:10 PM   #4
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Speed while towing will make a significant difference in MPG. You are pulling a big flat nose "parachute" through the air. I mostly tow at the 62-64 mph range on the highway. With my 5500# 22bhm with the cruise set at 64 mph (that's where the 10-speed/3.55 gear ratio, 3.5L Ecoboost will shift to 9th), I routinely see 10.5-11.5 mpg on the highway. Now your trailer has a larger profile and slightly heavier than mine, so I would expect the mileage to be less. But, I would recommend slowing down your travel speeds to see if that helps.
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Old 10-11-2021, 04:40 PM   #5
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First off, one doesn't buy a truck and trailer for fuel mileage .
That said, here's my experience, not apples to apples but....
2001 Ford diesel(7.3) Excursion, 3.73 rear
Not towing highway - 18 to 22 mpg
11,000 lb tt - 10 +- mpg
7,500 lb tt - 10 +- mpg
5,000 lb tt - 10 +- mpg
Current tt - 10 +- mpg
Around town no tt - 12 to 16 mpg
Now mind you my Ex is shaped like a brick towing an even larger brick. I'm happy with my results.
So, don't feel bad it happens to us all.
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Old 10-11-2021, 04:47 PM   #6
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Probably the thing that will help most is... slow down! I got about 5 mpg more going 55 vs 70.
I never liked using cruise control on my gas trucks when towing, any incline and it's RPM time as the truck tries to maintain set speed and has no way of knowing you're just going to crest that hill in 100 yards.....
Agree with this^^^^!

An aside, what brand of tires are you using? Most trailer tires are rated for only 65 MPH. Goodyear Endurance rated for 87 MPH.

But speed will kill your mileage as will a strong wind or driving across Nebraska.

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Old 10-11-2021, 05:56 PM   #7
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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.
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Old 10-11-2021, 06:43 PM   #8
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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.
Modern cruise controls are meant for towing. Semis even come with them. The new system in the Freightliners are pretty impressive. Of course weather, traffic, and other environmental conditions come into play.
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Old 10-11-2021, 06:46 PM   #9
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I am towing a 6,000 lb double axle Jayco travel trailer (28BHS) with a 2017 Ford F-150 Supercrew, equipped with a tow pkg (up to 10,700 lbs), and a 3.5L V-6 turbo. The tires on the travel trailer were recently replaced, and slightly over-inflated, and my truck tires are slightly over-inflated. I have a weight-distribution hitch and the trailer tows well. The load in the truck bed was minimal. While the terrain/highways in WI aren't flat, I wouldn't consider them all that hilly compared to what you might see out West. i (mostly) use cruise control on the freeway set at 70, and with the transmission set in Tow/Haul mode. Doing so, I am getting about 7.2 miles per gallon over a 240 mile trip. While I expected a significant drop-off from the 22 hwy mpg I get when not towing, I figured I would get somewhere north of 10 mpg, but not so. Am I doing something wrong, or is this about what I should expect? If I get a lighter trailer, say around 5,000 lbs., is that likely to help much, or only inconsequentially? Would an F-150 with a V-8 show less of a mileage drop-off based on what I'm towing?

Thanks in advance for the feedback.
Had the same truck (before upgrading to f250) with the same engine/tranny/camper towing mostly flat with some mountains in WV at no higher than 55mph (I take back roads) and best I got was 10.2mpg.

Lighter trailer would help, slowing down would help too.
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Old 10-11-2021, 06:58 PM   #10
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I agree with everything above, and have a similar set up as Midnightmoon, with the exception of the 10 speed tranny. Our F150 SC 3.5 turbo has a 6 speed, it's 2 years older.

Both TT and TV tires are inflated to the recommended cold pressures, never tow with the cruise control, do use the tow/haul mode, and speeds at 62 to 64 mph. We get between 10.5 to 12 mpg, depending on the hills, and headwinds.

Your tires are engineered for the increase in pressure from the recommended cold PSI, as they heat up from driving. Artificially inflating them higher will result in higher hot pressures, and may be putting them at risk to catastrophic failure. You mentioned new tires on your TT, and am curious what brand and load range they are, and how much over you have them inflated to?
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Old 10-11-2021, 10:52 PM   #11
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Does this seem reasonable?

I have a 2014 3.5 Ecoboost and tow my X213(5500 gvwr) at 70 mph any time i am on the open freeways around here(Utah, Wyoming and Idaho mostly.)

I have seen 10 mpg a handful of times. Maybe 3 trips. The rest of the time i am usually in the low 9s if its good conditions. Start throwing in a headwind and it drops quick. Ive seen 6.7 mpg towing in a stout headwind before

One issue with the Ecoboosts is that they will richen the air fuel ratio to keep the exhaust gas temps in check. If you let the truck shift on its own, it will hold higher gears and climb hills at low rpm/high boost and it will cause the air/fuel ratio to tank and run rich. If you manually lock out gears and spin the engine faster you can keep the AFR at 14.7:1 for all but the biggest hills.

This last tow I was running in 4th at 70 mph, which was around 3000 rpm, because with the headwind the truck was dropping the AFR in 5th. On hills i was preemptively dropping to 3rd at 4k. The truck could pull the hills in 4th but it was tanking the AFR and running in 3rd kept the afr around 14.7 for the most part

The other big help will be premium gas while towing. If you can run 93, do it, because the truck will add a significant amount of ignition timing. More advanced timing means more power from the same amount of fuel. At least in my truck, i will gain about 3-4 degrees of global timing added going from 87 to 91. Ive even started adding Boostane to bump the 91 to 94 and am picking up about 6+ degrees of timing over 87
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Old 10-12-2021, 06:56 AM   #12
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Two comments. One, slow down. Why are you in a hurry? The faster you go, the more your mileage drops. And the difference in time is minimal. I run 62/63 and get about 12 mpg. Granted I'm toing a smaller trailer, but even with my old '08 Sierra with 4 speed I was getting 10 consistently towing.

Second, that 6000# weight you quote is dry weight weight. Dry weight is a mythical number. The GVWR of that trailer is 8800#, loaded for camping you;re a lot closer to that number than the dry weight. Take it to a scale and find out what it really weighs loaded up.



Quote:
Originally Posted by 16WhiteColly View Post
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.
I've been using cruise while towing for many years. My experience is that yes, sometimes it has to downshift. That was a minor problem with my old 4 speed, not at all with my 8 speed. But one thing for sure is mileage is better using it and it's more consistent. The only time I won't use it is in rain and really heavy traffic.

That said, you are absolutely correct about the towing gear. I tow in 6 with my 8 speed. Wonderful towing experience. Rarely has to downshift.
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Old 10-12-2021, 08:58 AM   #13
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As mentioned power requirements with additional speed are not linear. Slowing down will give you significant fuel savings and probably won't make any appreciable difference in distance traveled per day due to extended range. Cruise control in moderate or hilly terrain will negatively affect fuel mileage vs. Knowledgeable driver who anticipates grades and takes appropriate action.
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Old 10-12-2021, 09:41 AM   #14
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Two comments. One, slow down. Why are you in a hurry? The faster you go, the more your mileage drops. And the difference in time is minimal. I run 62/63 and get about 12 mpg. Granted I'm toing a smaller trailer, but even with my old '08 Sierra with 4 speed I was getting 10 consistently towing.

Second, that 6000# weight you quote is dry weight weight. Dry weight is a mythical number. The GVWR of that trailer is 8800#, loaded for camping you;re a lot closer to that number than the dry weight. Take it to a scale and find out what it really weighs loaded up.





I've been using cruise while towing for many years. My experience is that yes, sometimes it has to downshift. That was a minor problem with my old 4 speed, not at all with my 8 speed. But one thing for sure is mileage is better using it and it's more consistent. The only time I won't use it is in rain and really heavy traffic.

That said, you are absolutely correct about the towing gear. I tow in 6 with my 8 speed. Wonderful towing experience. Rarely has to downshift.
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.
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Old 10-12-2021, 12:28 PM   #15
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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.
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Old 10-12-2021, 01:45 PM   #16
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For Hills only

Don't use your tow/haul mode unless you are on hills.
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Old 10-12-2021, 08:26 PM   #17
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Don't use your tow/haul mode unless you are on hills.

This is not good advice for an ecoboost. You dont want it lugging in a higher gear or it will get dog crap economy. You want to spin it a little higher rpm to keep boost down.
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Old 10-13-2021, 07:52 AM   #18
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1.) Slow down
2.) Lock out gears that cause RPMs less than 1700-1800
3.) Run premium high octane fuel
4.) Use tow/haul
5.) Cruise control is your friend
6.) Slow down

*Profile drag is exponentially more detrimental to fuel mileage than added weight is. You could shed 1,000lbs and you would still see similar mileage at speed given same conditions. Slowing down reduces profile drag. If you double your speed, you quadruple your drag.

*I personally get 9-9.5mpg on a consistent basis towing with 91 octane given light to no wind conditions.
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Old 10-13-2021, 11:11 AM   #19
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Thanks for the feedback!

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!
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Old 10-13-2021, 03:26 PM   #20
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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!
-Yes I think your 7.2 mpg could be considered reasonable if you are facing a headwind or similar, I would expect 8's or low 9's in ideal conditions at 70mph.

-There is no reason not to use cruise control. It's very good on the F150's and keeps the truck right at the set speed. It will not hurt your mpg's.

-Lock out 10th and 9th gears at a minimum on your truck and try to run in 8th and possibly 7th depending on the conditions and your rear axle gear ratio. My ecoboost seems to be most happy at ~2200 rpm on the flats. The Ecoboost is a monster and will pull along happily at 1800 rpm but then you are needing a lot of boost to make the torque required to do so and that causes it to run rich.

-The only half ton V8's that might offer an advantage are the GM 5.3 and 6.2L. I have not seen any evidence to suggest V8's from Toyota, Ram, or Ford will do much better towing than the Ecoboost.

-A diesel should give you a good bump in MPG's, probably 30-40%, but how much more does the fuel cost and how much are you going to spend buying the new truck? Probably not worth it in the long run.
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