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Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers

 > Trailers with less wind resistance?

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sky_free

Fremont, CA

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Posted: 07/16/12 11:31pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

After renting a trailer and towing about 650 miles, I have been looking into purchasing one. Most (like the Milan we rented) are super flat on the front and just slightly angled back on the upper 2/3 . Some are sort of rounded on the front like the RPod, MPG and last year's Rockwood Mini Lite ETC. Airstreams are of course rounded on the sides as well and have an overall more aerodynamic shape.

I understand that wind resistance has a huge effect on MPG's because I used to tow boats a lot and that doesn't degrade MPG's that much. We have a 2012 Touareg TDI Diesel that we can normally get 28MPG with cruising at 75-80MPH. Pulling the Milan we got an average of 14MPG at 60MPH.

I'm interested in the effect on MPG of going from an 8-foot wide trailer to a 7-foot wide and also the effect of going from a normal flat-front to a sloped one. Do any of you have any first-hand experience with different shapes and widths of trailer with the same tow vehicle that you would care to share? If there was a significant difference in MPG I would definitely look into a 7-foot wide trailer with slide and/or sloped front. I understand that weight doesn't have that much of an effect -- especially with a diesel that has over 400 ft-lb of torque at hand, so I'm not concerned about that as much.


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emaav

Oregon

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Posted: 07/17/12 01:10am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

In my experience you will only get maybe 1 mpg better at most with the 7ft vs 8ft wide trailers, have you thought about a hi-lo?


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JesLookin

Appleton,WI

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Posted: 07/17/12 05:23am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Moving from a 7' to 8' means about 14% increase in square footage on front of camper. This will not relate to a 14% increase in gas mileage. If gas mileage is the only factor in selecting the 7 footer, I'd go for the 8 footer for the increased living area. We've had a 7 footer in the past and it gets old fast bumping into someone every time you turn around.


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jf504mp

Indiana

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Posted: 07/17/12 04:55am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A fellow told me that the drag at the back of the camper is where you loose out on milage. Since I have seen several semi trailers now with a set up mounted to the back of the trailer,to reduce drag, I am inclined to belive it.

Mr.Beebo

Illinois

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Posted: 07/17/12 04:36am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We started out with a 7' trailer, averaged 11 mpg. Moved on to an 8' trailer, averaged 11 mpg. My wife says I drive like I'm in a parade so that's about as good as I'm going to get.
Your better off factoring in your fuel expenses per trip, rather than per mile. Once you realize your weekend trip is going to cost $135 in fuel, you can relax and stop fretting during the drive over whether you can save $8 there and back.


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NJRVer

NJ

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Posted: 07/17/12 05:44am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I tow a 6x12 cargo trailer for work that is about 9'6" tall and weighs probably less than half what my 28' camper weighs and my mileage difference between the two is only about 2 mpg.

Star Gazer

Nicholasville, Kentucky

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Posted: 07/17/12 06:02am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have a full profile Four Winds and get around 11 mpg pulling it. I also have a Casita and get about 14+ mpg pulling it, although I probably drive a bit fast with it.

Not as much of an increase as I expected, however the Casita pulls so much easier that after a days driving I am not nearly as tried since it tucks right in behind me.

Dean


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eddie3260

Florence, al

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Posted: 07/17/12 06:10am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

As previously stated, the low pressure area behind the camper creates a lot of drag. Until they create a camper with a rear end that tapers to a point, gas mileage won't be good.

At 14 mpg's you are doing better than 95% of us. I would have a toothy grin at 10 mpg's.

HappyTrails2U2

Tennessee is home but being held hostage in GA.

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Posted: 07/17/12 06:20am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Star Gazer wrote:

...the Casita pulls so much easier that after a days driving I am not nearly as tried since it tucks right in behind me.


You really ought to hook that thing up to a tow vehicle and then you won't get nearly as tired.


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APT

SE Michigan

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Posted: 07/17/12 06:53am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

eddie3260 wrote:

At 14 mpg's you are doing better than 95% of us. I would have a toothy grin at 10 mpg's.


95%? More like 99.99%. Can't say I ever read about anyone getting 14mpg towing an full walled RV.

OP, how many towing miles do you expect per year? 14mpg vs. 17mpg and 2000 miles per year is $100 at $4/gallon. Even if you could get 17mpg towing (which I doubt), it is not worth the smaller RV.

When shopping, keep the TT under $5000 pounds dry. You have a major payload limitation with the Touareg and I believe 7xx pound recevier TW limit. There was also some issue with using WD (like VW says not to use it). Do some research on WD with the Touareg. Stick to under 5000 pounds dry, and under 26', use a WD hitch with integrated sway control. and I think you'll really enjoy the Touareg TDI for towing.

What model RV did you rent?

Enjoy your TDI. I do mine.


A & A parents of DD 2005, DS1 2007, DS2 2009
2011 Suburban 2500 6.0L 3.73 pulling 2011 Heartland North Trail 28BRS
2012 VW Passat TDI

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