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Old 10-13-2012, 06:18 PM   #1
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squeezing out more mpg when towing

I know that that towing a small camper that taller than the truck its going to cause severe wind resistance, but I want to know. My fourth time towing the camper to a camp ground yesterday and so far this trip was the worse for my mpg. Lol of course the wind and hills in Pa don't help. I can't really complain it about but I would like see if anybody found a way that squeeze more mpg out of theirs. Maybe by adding somekind of engine mod or cold air intake or something.

Maybe you guys can give me a couple of tips to do it.
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Old 10-13-2012, 07:07 PM   #2
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The way I get the better fuel economy is slowing down. Tested my 4 cylinder Tacoma towing a travel trailer in the NC foothills @ 55MPH and got 17MPG. At speeds from 60 to 65MPH on the interstate I get 15MPG. Next test will be on the interstates @ 55MPH with the travel trailer. Tow a 2000lb boat @ 65MPH and get 20MPG on the interstate. This Tacoma gets 29MPG @ 65MPH unloaded/not towing on the interstate.
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Old 10-13-2012, 07:24 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dogfish View Post
I know that that towing a small camper that taller than the truck its going to cause severe wind resistance, but I want to know. My fourth time towing the camper to a camp ground yesterday and so far this trip was the worse for my mpg. Lol of course the wind and hills in Pa don't help. I can't really complain it about but I would like see if anybody found a way that squeeze more mpg out of theirs. Maybe by adding somekind of engine mod or cold air intake or something.

Maybe you guys can give me a couple of tips to do it.
The best way to improve mpg when towing is slowing down. Maybe aerodynamics not sure on that
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Old 10-14-2012, 06:59 AM   #4
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I know that pulling my travel trailer is like pulling a big brick through the air. lol
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Old 10-14-2012, 07:18 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by exploringcarolina View Post
The way I get the better fuel economy is slowing down. Tested my 4 cylinder Tacoma towing a travel trailer in the NC foothills @ 55MPH and got 17MPG. At speeds from 60 to 65MPH on the interstate I get 15MPG. Next test will be on the interstates @ 55MPH with the travel trailer. Tow a 2000lb boat @ 65MPH and get 20MPG on the interstate. This Tacoma gets 29MPG @ 65MPH unloaded/not towing on the interstate.
I'm calling BS
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Old 10-14-2012, 06:14 PM   #6
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I'm calling BS
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Old 10-14-2012, 06:18 PM   #7
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I used to tow far more than that with my 94 Toy Pickup, R22RE motor and a five speed.

30 mpg empty, down to 15 while towing.

Howard
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Old 10-14-2012, 06:35 PM   #8
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Had a 87 Pickup with the 22R. One "great" Truck. Used to tow a 1000lb pop-up with it plus camping gear, truck in Avatar. The additional wind resistance of the taller travel trailer reduces fuel economy of the 4 cylinder Tacoma. It surprised me how well my Tacoma does with the 2000lb boat compared to the reduced fuel economy with the taller TT. The TT combined with camping gear in the back of the truck is about 2000lbs total. Next economy test will be towing the TT @ 55MPH on the interstate. Hope to do better than 17MPG.
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Old 10-15-2012, 04:05 AM   #9
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Okay, okay did some testing on the way home yesterday and i found out some things.
I will slow down to 55-65 (going down hill) mph from now on and coast down the hills to pick up some momentum for the climb back up from now on. I also put premium gas in to see what would happen. That also seemed to help some. Got a a lot better this trip on the way back.
Thanks Guys for your help.
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Old 10-15-2012, 04:11 AM   #10
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If your mechanically inclined, Lightweight engine pullies will net you a bigger MPG increase then the Cold Air Intake would.
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Old 10-15-2012, 04:31 AM   #11
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Speed is the killer the best mod is back roads at 50MPH.
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Old 10-15-2012, 05:37 AM   #12
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Will test fuel economy with the TT @ 50MPH on back roads too. With the 4 cylinder & 5 speed manual, don't need to shift to 5th under 60MPH. No tach, but revs sound low under 60MPH in 4th. This 03 2WD Tacoma 2.4L pickup has 3.58 ratio differential gears as per the following site:

http://www.new-cars.com/2003/toyota/...oma-specs.html
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Old 10-15-2012, 01:41 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by exploringcarolina View Post
The way I get the better fuel economy is slowing down. Tested my 4 cylinder Tacoma towing a travel trailer in the NC foothills @ 55MPH and got 17MPG. At speeds from 60 to 65MPH on the interstate I get 15MPG. Next test will be on the interstates @ 55MPH with the travel trailer. Tow a 2000lb boat @ 65MPH and get 20MPG on the interstate. This Tacoma gets 29MPG @ 65MPH unloaded/not towing on the interstate.
This, I've squeezed 17 out of my 4 banger too, taking it easy is key. I've always wondered about guys in diesels that blast by me on the freeway doing 80 pulling 5th wheels or other large trailers, what kind of mileage do they get? Bet it's hardly any better than a tractor-trailer loaded down with rip rap haha.
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Old 10-15-2012, 01:46 PM   #14
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Has anyone messed with short tube headers for towing? I know it'd give you better low end power but it might help save some MPG's when towing also. Not sure on the mileage part, I haven't seen any results.
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Old 10-15-2012, 02:20 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2011TacomaSR5 View Post
I've always wondered about guys in diesels that blast by me on the freeway doing 80 pulling 5th wheels or other large trailers, what kind of mileage do they get?
Have a friend with a F-350 dual wheel diesel that pulls a 35' camper/5th wheel. Think he said about 9 or 10MPG, if I remember correctly. Don't remember the 5th wheel weight.
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Old 10-15-2012, 02:56 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2011TacomaSR5 View Post
This, I've squeezed 17 out of my 4 banger too, taking it easy is key. I've always wondered about guys in diesels that blast by me on the freeway doing 80 pulling 5th wheels or other large trailers, what kind of mileage do they get? Bet it's hardly any better than a tractor-trailer loaded down with rip rap haha.
My dad gets about 15mpg pulling his 28' TT with his 5.9 24v Cummins. If he triple tows his TT and boat he gets about 9mpg.
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Old 10-15-2012, 05:25 PM   #17
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I towed a car hauler with a mini cooper s on it, and got 17mpg. I went 55-65 the whole time.
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Old 10-16-2012, 04:05 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maineah View Post
Speed is the killer the best mod is back roads at 50MPH.
I think that you and everyone else in this thread is right about speed. From now on I will stay under 60 mph. Except for going down hill where I would need momentum for the climb back up. Its just going to be a learning curve for me with the new camper. Not to mention the other drivers around me think I can stop on a dime here in NJ. Gotta love somebody suddenly pulling out in front of you.

As for mod like exhaust and air intake. I would think that would help at least a little. Hmmm .....looks like a experiment is order.
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:28 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dogfish View Post
I think that you and everyone else in this thread is right about speed. From now on I will stay under 60 mph. Except for going down hill where I would need momentum for the climb back up. Its just going to be a learning curve for me with the new camper. Not to mention the other drivers around me think I can stop on a dime here in NJ. Gotta love somebody suddenly pulling out in front of you.

As for mod like exhaust and air intake. I would think that would help at least a little. Hmmm .....looks like a experiment is order.
Keep in mind cold air intakes can actually make you LOSE low end power and give you gains up top. If I were you, I'd just get a high quality filter and call it a day...
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Old 10-16-2012, 11:06 AM   #20
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We are going on another camping trip with the TT to the SC coast, will check fuel economy @ 55MPH on the interstate.

Also like maineah's idea! Will plan a camping trip taking back roads @ 50MPH.

Thinking about buying a 4.6L Tundra for towing the TT too, but in the end, I need to slow down with the Tacoma, burn less fuel, and not be in such a hurry. That's the most economic way for me to go.
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