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Old 07-07-2014, 07:24 PM   #1
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First Camper, First Tow

I picked up my first ever camper last week, a Jayco X23B! I drove from Ohio into Indiana on the morning of July 1st to some serious storm damage. I went straight to the dealership, and other than the fact that the they put the wrong hitch on my truck (Equalizer 6K instead of the 10K that I requested), it went fairly smoothly. I drove down the street and spent the night at the local KOA before heading back the next morning. There were trees down and debris everywhere from the storm. One guy even had a limb go through his fifth wheel the night before. I'm really glad I left a day later than I originally had planned on!
Setting up the camper for the first time went smoothly as well. The Anderson levelers made leveling a snap. I would recommend them to anybody considering a new toy. The trailer was spacious and comfortable, but I was surprised at how quickly the gray water filled up. It seemed like one shower, and it was halfway full! The shower itself wasn't quite as bad as I anticipated. It was tight, but as long as I was careful, I managed to keep just about all the water inside the curtain. The actual showerhead itself was horrible. The flow was pitiful and I have no Idea why Jayco would not include a quick shut off as part of the design. The first thing I did when I got home was order an Oxygenics body spa head!
My first trailering experience went pretty well also. It was basically a straight shot across the Ohio-Indiana turnpike to get home. I will not, however, be one of those people that say "I didn't even know it was back there". I most definitely knew it was back there. My truck (2013 Ford F150 ecoboost) seemed to have a much more rigid, stiff feel to it with the trailer attached. And, I only got about 10MPG on my return trip. Although, in all fairness, I set the truck's cruise control, turned on the tow haul mode and ran 70MPH all the way back.
I have no basis for comparison so my question is, does this sound normal? I was hoping to get about 12-12.5MPG. Do you think that the 70MPH was the cause? Also, how do you guys use your factory Tow Haul mode? Is 'set and forget' the way to go, or should I have turned it off when I was running on mostly flat roadway?
I would appreciate any help,
Thanks
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Old 07-07-2014, 07:49 PM   #2
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Congrats on the new trailer! Most likely your trailer tires are only rated for 65 mph and personally I won't tow over 60 mph. I have a 2011 F150 EB and at 60 mph I get between 9 and 12 mpg depending on the wind.

Typically when towing I will use the cruise control and depending on the terrain I will lock out 6th gear if I experience frequent downshifting.

I run Tow/Haul mode anytime I tow anything larger than my 12 foot fishing boat. It changes the transmission shift points for optimum acceleration and it also causes the transmission to downshift differently for maximizing engine braking. I will say that the EcoBoost engine is not the best powerplant for engine braking, but for screaming away from a stop sign it rocks!!!
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Old 07-07-2014, 08:22 PM   #3
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Congrats, glad you got your camper!
Speed kills is the truth with mpg, like mcfarmall said, the tires are also not made to go that fast. Put on tow/haul, find your TV's "sweet spot", set the cruse control and enjoy!
"Real" showers fill up the gray tank pretty quickly regardless of the TT unfortunately, get use to "camp showers".
I totally agree, a simple on/off on the shower head would make a world of a difference in water conservation!
Take a look at some of the mods others have posted on the 23B, you can lose the useless (in my opinion) drawer under the dinette pretty easily and make your storage a true pass-through.

Enjoy!
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Old 07-07-2014, 08:26 PM   #4
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Welcome to JOF and thanks for sharing your story. I also have a 2013 F150 EB, towing a x20e, I get 10-12mph depending on head wind. I usually tow right between 60-65. I use the tow/haul, set and forget.
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Old 07-07-2014, 09:28 PM   #5
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Thank guys. I'm glad you spoke up about the speed. I had no idea that the tires were only rated at 65mph. I'll watch it from now on.
I found another thread discussing that the equalizer 10k hitch might be too much hitch for the X23B and that the 6k is the better choice. I made my decision to go with the 10k based on the hitch matrix on the Equalizer website. When you put in the requested weights, any weight behind the rear axle of the TV causes the matrix to bump you from the 6k to the 10k hitch. I'm wondering if this is what's causing my truck to ride so roughly??? I'd hate to think I got the wrong setup!
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Old 07-08-2014, 02:08 PM   #6
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Talked to a guy at Equalizer today. He said that the difference in the load bars between the 6k and 10k hitch is only 1/8". It could possibly make it a slightly more rigid ride, but not that much. It seems that the X23B is right at the tipping point between the two hitches and depending on how I load the truck the larger hitch will be needed. I guess I feel a little better about it now.
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Old 07-08-2014, 02:21 PM   #7
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I'm running a 10k round bar hitch with my 23B and it works fine!
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Old 07-08-2014, 02:34 PM   #8
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Hey 12V!
Our first TT was also the X23B which we pulled with our 02 Expedition 5.4L. I always kept the speed below 65 and used the cruise most of the time. Best MPG was in the high 9's, so 10's running 70mph sounds pretty good. I'll bet the 150 ecoboost and the 23B are well matched.
I pull the 5th under 65, use the cruise and am getting in the 13's - that's the difference between gas and diesel.
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Old 07-08-2014, 03:03 PM   #9
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2005 V6 Pathfinder with 125K miles towing a 23B, just finished a 2000-mile trip...I get 7-10 mpg depending on wind and terrain. Here in Illinois, it stays closer to 10mpg. From reading the forums, it seems most people with Gas engines get around 10mpg anyway, so you're in the same ballpark. I think your F150 is perfectly matched for the 23B...

As for the hitch, the 10K is the way to go. As you mention, any weight in the truck behind the rear axle adds to the weight, so when you consider the tongue weight of the 23B plus all your stuff, the 600/6000 hitch might not be enough. FWIW, the dealer installed a 14K Equal-I-zer on our rig, and it tows perfectly fine. No rough ride, no sway, no issues...
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Old 07-08-2014, 03:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 12VOLTMAN View Post
Talked to a guy at Equalizer today. He said that the difference in the load bars between the 6k and 10k hitch is only 1/8". It could possibly make it a slightly more rigid ride, but not that much. It seems that the X23B is right at the tipping point between the two hitches and depending on how I load the truck the larger hitch will be needed. I guess I feel a little better about it now.
That was the reason I went with the 10K. Just thought it was a better investment and have the room for when we upgrade in the future. Mostly it's because I have a buddy on disability that I take out camping. He is confined to a scooter which when loaded essentially sits right at the back of my bed and instantly adds to the hitch weight.
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