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Old 07-26-2011, 06:39 PM   #1
jamescorey [OP] jamescorey is offline
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Tell me what you think...advice, ridicule, and support welcome!

My wife and I love to camp! For the last two and a half years, we have camped in an older, heavy pop-up camper. We tow with my 2003 Toyota Tacoma Pre-Runner, V6. The pop-up, as previously stated, is a little on the heavy side, weighing in at about 3350 - 3650lbs. My Tacoma, which has no "towing pkg" pulled it with no problems, only losing a couple of mpg.
We recently purchased a new to us Hybrid TT. The UVW for the unit is around 3300lbs, and the GVWR is 4400. I added a brake control, 7way plug, transmission cooler, and the "towing pkg" fan clutch to my truck. I also use a weight distributing hitch with sway control. We pulled the unit home from NE Alabama to Central Georgia (about 200miles), and I am proud to report no problems other than performance. I ran with OD off, and got a whopping 9.6mpg!! Can anyone offer any advice on some items that could be added to my truck to help off set some of the mpg issues. I am entertaining a K&N Filter, but have not at this point.
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Old 07-26-2011, 06:42 PM   #2
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I know my mpg's suck when hauling anything larger than an ATV. In 4 or OD. Seems smoother in 4 and since that's what Toyota suggests then I do it.
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Old 07-26-2011, 06:48 PM   #3
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just driving slow and accelarating gently....probably won't see much mpg improvement with K&N.....my auto trans started to slip in my 96 3.4L, synthetic ATF cured the problem and bumped up mpgs slightly, of course this was along with synth gear lube in diffs and transfer case as well.
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Old 07-26-2011, 06:56 PM   #4
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so originally when towing you only lost a few MPGs and now after all of the stuff you added on your making 9?
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Old 07-27-2011, 05:08 AM   #5
jamescorey [OP] jamescorey is offline
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When you factor in the size of what I am now towing vs. towing the pop-up, yep I lost that much. The hybrid is way higher profile than the pop-up. In essence, I am pulling a parachute! Towing my pop-up, I was getting 16mpg consistently, travelling in excess of 60-65 mph on highway with OD. It just didn't have the profile this unit has, plus it wasn't as heavy.
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Old 07-27-2011, 05:14 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamescorey View Post
When you factor in the size of what I am now towing vs. towing the pop-up, yep I lost that much. The hybrid is way higher profile than the pop-up. In essence, I am pulling a parachute! Towing my pop-up, I was getting 16mpg consistently, travelling in excess of 60-65 mph on highway with OD. It just didn't have the profile this unit has, plus it wasn't as heavy.
That's the problem, there's not a whole lot you can do about it. MPG's suck when you tow something like that vs. the pop-up. You can mess with air filters but I doubt you'll help the cause enough to say so.
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Old 07-27-2011, 11:06 AM   #8
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Not that I am really interested in the added expense, but do you think a supercharger would help any. My truck is an '03 with about 60,000 miles. I have read that a supercharger can give you up to 15-20% more HP and torque, and also better fuel economy. Anybody have any experience with this?
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Old 07-27-2011, 11:17 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamescorey View Post
Not that I am really interested in the added expense, but do you think a supercharger would help any. My truck is an '03 with about 60,000 miles. I have read that a supercharger can give you up to 15-20% more HP and torque, and also better fuel economy. Anybody have any experience with this?
Personally no, but a friend had one and it would get better mileage unloaded and if you babied it. If you were in boost (which face it, if you're going to buy a supercharger, you're going to want to hear that sexy whistling noise) the MPG's went downhill in a hurry. So yes, it will make more power and, when towing, most likely suck your tank down quicker but you'll have an ear to ear grin on your face everytime you drive
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Old 07-27-2011, 11:26 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamescorey View Post
Not that I am really interested in the added expense, but do you think a supercharger would help any. My truck is an '03 with about 60,000 miles. I have read that a supercharger can give you up to 15-20% more HP and torque, and also better fuel economy. Anybody have any experience with this?
I work with a fellow who has a gen1 w/a supercharger, and from his experience he says you should definitely see fuel economy gains with it when towing as it greatly improves your power to weight ratio. How much will you get... I cannot say. Also, he says you have to be mindful to still drive normally. As Pugga mentioned, you risk going DOWN on MPG the rest of the time because it'll be super fun to drive with a SC, so you have to be careful.
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Old 07-27-2011, 11:35 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redlight View Post
I work with a fellow who has a gen1 w/a supercharger, and from his experience he says you should definitely see fuel economy gains with it when towing as it greatly improves your power to weight ratio. How much will you get... I cannot say. Also, he says you have to be mindful to still drive normally. As Pugga mentioned, you risk going DOWN on MPG the rest of the time because it'll be super fun to drive with a SC, so you have to be careful.
Power to weight ratio has nothing to do with fuel economy. For example, super cars have a very favorable power to weight ratio but get horrible mileage.
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Old 07-27-2011, 12:08 PM   #12
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Well covered all ready by others. I agree the TT is a brick wall compared to the pop up. Both near the same weight BUT the wall you are now pulling will eat fuel. I have a 2nd gen and I do believe the K/N cold air has an improvement and I believe in good synthetic oil. Drive like an old guy and keep the lubrication the best you can, remember heat kills. You have to pay to play.
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Old 07-27-2011, 12:12 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elwood View Post
Well covered all ready by others. I agree the TT is a brick wall compared to the pop up. Both near the same weight BUT the wall you are now pulling will eat fuel. I have a 2nd gen and I do believe the K/N cold air has an improvement and I believe in good synthetic oil. Drive like an old guy and keep the lubrication the best you can, remember heat kills. You have to pay to play.
Just curious, how much benefit does the cold air give. I realize it will be different from one vehicle to another, but it is a more viable option that adding a supercharger. I can get a K&N cold air kit for about $200 as opposed to $2000 for a SC!
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Old 07-27-2011, 12:20 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pugga View Post
Power to weight ratio has nothing to do with fuel economy. For example, super cars have a very favorable power to weight ratio but get horrible mileage.
Power and weight are certainly both factors which impact fuel economy. If you increase the power of a car without increasing weight, you can get better MPG... if you can decrease the weight of a car without impacting power you can get better MPG... right?

In this situation, other factors such as the increased coefficient of friction (drag caused by the taller trailer) could also be addressed, etc. But increasing power by adding a SC could have positive impacts at least twofold: 1. by increasing the power of the engine, and 2. decreasing gross vehicle weight by making his wallet WAY lighter - which I shall assume to be part of the entire rig.

I'm sure you could also drive a super car and get better fuel economy if you're not racing it. But, would you drive a super car and not race it? The question of adding a supercharger therefore becomes as much as a philosophical question as it is a scientific question.
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Old 07-27-2011, 12:24 PM   #15
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I get between 1 and 2 more MPG's. Anything that helps the engine breath better has to help. I have heard from a guy that has a 1st gen and he said it isn't as helpful because of some pollution control or ??? or the location and was has to remain on the truck???. My 2nd gen you remove everything up to the throttle body and replace with new tube. Has mass air sensor and vacuum line for emmisions. Our gallons are larger than yours as well so unsure what factor that has for you.
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Old 07-27-2011, 12:27 PM   #16
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thats a heavy load for your truck!
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Old 07-27-2011, 12:29 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redlight View Post
Power and weight are certainly both factors which impact fuel economy. If you increase the power of a car without increasing weight, you can get better MPG... if you can decrease the weight of a car without impacting power you can get better MPG... right?

In this situation, other factors such as the increased coefficient of friction (drag caused by the taller trailer) could also be addressed, etc. But increasing power by adding a SC could have positive impacts at least twofold: 1. by increasing the power of the engine, and 2. decreasing gross vehicle weight by making his wallet WAY lighter - which I shall assume to be part of the entire rig.

I'm sure you could also drive a super car and get better fuel economy if you're not racing it. But, would you drive a super car and not race it? The question of adding a supercharger therefore becomes as much as a philosophical question as it is a scientific question.
I agree with what you were getting at, more so disagreed with how you stated it. The way you stated it was "from his experience he says you should definitely see fuel economy gains with it when towing as it greatly improves your power to weight ratio." Weight affects MPG's and it depends on how you're producing your power. Naturally aspirated vs turbo vs supercharged vs diesel makes a big difference therefore you can not tie a power to weight ratio to fuel economy.
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Old 07-27-2011, 12:42 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 97yota4wd View Post
thats a heavy load for your truck!
It is a heavy load, but it is manageable (at least physically), not so much financially!!

To be honest, I thought the truck performed VERY WELL with the load. I have towed trailers, boats, campers, virtually all of my adult life, and was surprised at how well the truck performed! In fact, and I know you aren't supposed to do this, the truck performed just as well with the OD on as it did off. It did very little hunting in the gears on flatter stretches, but of course geared down on climbs. The next time I pull the camper any great length, I am going to experiment with pulling in OD vs with the OD off between fill ups and see how it does.
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