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Old 03-25-2014, 06:44 PM   #1
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Mountain towing

We are planning a trip out west (Colorado, Montana, Wyoming) with our Jayco Skylark pulled by our 2012 Honda Pilot. We are starting at 400 feet altitude. As we climb or descend in altitude, is it necessary or recommended to change octane ratings on the gas we use?
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Old 03-25-2014, 07:39 PM   #2
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High elevation needs lower octane
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Old 03-26-2014, 01:04 AM   #3
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You won't need to change anything. Buy regular/mid/premium as you always do. The octane in each of those is adjusted by the stations/distributors as you move up in elevation.
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Old 03-26-2014, 12:04 PM   #4
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But you will lose power as you go up in the mountains....
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Old 03-28-2014, 10:46 AM   #5
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The beauty of modern engines is the computer control. On flat level surface you will not notice any difference between sea level and 8000' (or more).. Yes the engine works harder going up the grades in the mountains but it does that anywhere there is a similar grade.. There is no need to ever go with higher octane fuel that what the manufacture recommends.
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Old 03-28-2014, 12:00 PM   #6
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We did a similar trip last year, just a few miles shorter. Out west finding ethanol free gas is fairly easy. If the station had it, that is what I filled up with. My truck requires the lowest grade fuel, and that is what I always filled up with. We experienced no issues with lose of performance, and we went up a few fairly long mountain passes.

One tip to remember, when going downhill, down shift, I was as low as 1st gear at times, use the engine to slow your decent and use your brakes as secondary. I saw a few vehicles that had lost their brakes, due to boiling of the brake fluid.

Now that I scared you. Have a great trip, take your time, and most of all have a lot of fun!
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Old 03-28-2014, 05:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seann45 View Post
The beauty of modern engines is the computer control. On flat level surface you will not notice any difference between sea level and 8000' (or more)..
This is simply untrue unless you have forced induction(ala your Duramax). If you are marginal at low elevation, you will really notice it at high elevations.

HP LOSS = ([elevation in feet] x 0.03 x [HP at sea level]) / 1000
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Old 03-28-2014, 09:40 PM   #8
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Also remember that a generator will be less effective at altitude, losing20-30% of its horse power and watts generated.
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Old 03-29-2014, 06:29 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewBlackDak View Post
This is simply untrue unless you have forced induction(ala your Duramax). If you are marginal at low elevation, you will really notice it at high elevations.

HP LOSS = ([elevation in feet] x 0.03 x [HP at sea level]) / 1000
Sorry hate to disagree with you but even with my 2000 6L towing in the mountains I notice no drop in performance.. and I tow through some pretty high steep passes... I had experimented with a tank full of premium and noticed no difference at all.. power or mileage wise.
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Old 03-29-2014, 08:30 AM   #10
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I believe that NewBlackdak is speaking specifically about the impact of altitude on engine performance, and Seann45 is speaking specifically about the impact of changing the fuel octane level at higher altitudes.

It should be noted that the OP is asking about his Honda Pilot gas engine and his Skylark TT.

Please note that our individual towing expectations may very, even under similar TV/TT conditions.

Bob
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