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Open Roads Forum  >  Towing

 > Gas mileage vs. TT size w/ my Tundra

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CHD Dad

Upstate, SC

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Posted: 07/24/12 09:38am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hey everyone. I was just curious on others experience with this. I have a 2010 Toyota Tundra with the 5.7 motor. Plenty of power and torque for what I tow and have towed. What I have noticed is that it really doesnt seem to matter what I am towing. My mileage is the same once I get into a TT.

Quick history. For reference I normally average around 17-21mpg depending on where I am driving. I tow around 60-65mph max. I use the Tow/Haul mode unless in big hills and then use "S" mode. My tires are Michelin MS/2 non E rated aired up to 44psi. My trailer tires are at 50psi.

Started out towing a Rockwood PUP. Weight around 3500# loaded up. I was getting around 14-15mpg towing it on longer trips with a mix of rolling hills and flats. I was fine with that and my truck really didnt know it was back there.

Upgraded to a Salem 26TBUD. Just your basic, corrugated aluminum sided, box on wheels. Weight was around 6100# on the yellow shipping sticker if I remember right. Nothing fancy, no enclosed belly, big flat nose, etc. I could really feel it back there when towing. Mileage was around 8-10mpg at best. Wasnt thrilled with that, but it was our first TT.

Upgraded this year to our Surveyor Sport 295. Fiberglass, low to the ground, enclosed underbelly, sloped nose, etc. It also weighs 1000# LESS than the Salem even though it is longer. It tows much nicer than the Salem did. I can barely tell its back there unless we get some cross winds or a steep hill. BUT - mileage is exactly the same! 8-10mpg if I am lucky. We just got back from a 120 mile trip and avg'd a whopping 8.7mpg going down and 9.3 on the way home.

This is averaged out over long and short trips. We took both campers to the same spots so the routes are identical. Weather was about identical. I had really hoped to gain even a little bit when we upgraded to the SP295. Running at 9mpg with a 20some gallon tank and I just cant get very far! With little kids it is nice to stop anyway, but still.

So is this what others see? We purposely picked the SP295 since it was lighter, lower, etc over some others. Had I known that the mileage just is what it is when towing a TT regardless of shape or weight I would have probably picked a different model! What I dont understand is that the SP295 tows much nicer than the 26TBUD ever did. The truck can easily hold any speed up hills or in head winds. That is quite nice, I just expected it to also show up at the pump which it doesnt.


2012 FR Surveyor Sport 295
2010 Toyota Tundra Crewmax TRD 5.7L
Tekonsha P3 / "New" Blue Ox Sway Pro

bikendan

Napa, Cal.

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Posted: 07/24/12 09:43am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

pulling any full height TT will always be about the same mpg, no matter the brand, except something like an Airstream.

some TTs have a more angled front end or lower profile but it will only make a fraction of a difference in your mpg.

it's still a brick getting pulled through the air.


Dan- Firefighter, Shawn- Musician/Entrepreneur, Zoe- Faithful Golden Retriever(RIP), 2007 Chevrolet Avalanche LS, 2007 Rockwood Roo 23SS w/Equalizer and Prodigy, and 5 Mtn. bikes and 2 Road bikes


BarneyS

S.E. Lower Michigan

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Posted: 07/24/12 09:43am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Your mileage sounds typical of a gas engine when towing or possibly a bit low. Many people report getting around 8-10mpg and that is what I used to get with my Dodge 2500 with a 5.9L gas engine. I don't think you are going to get much better no matter what trailer you tow unless it is a very small, light one. Frontal area is the killer.
Barney


2004 Sunnybrook Titan 30FKS TT
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mastercraft1995

Salem, Or

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Posted: 07/24/12 09:46am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Mileage sounds about right to me.


2012 Tundra, Super White, Double Cab, 4x4, TRD, 5.7L
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Dksd392

Florida

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Posted: 07/24/12 09:48am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

yep..that sounds about right lol. I have an 07 Tundra 5.7 4x4 with 3" lift and Mickey Thompson ATZ 305/55r20 tires. Just got home from a 2k+ mile 3 weeks trip and averaged 9.5 pulling my 8k# Outback TT. My truck has 113k miles. I will say you get WAY better mileage when not towing...I only get 12.5 without the trailer.

ktmrfs

Portland, Oregon

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Posted: 07/24/12 09:50am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

yup, similar experience to us. once you are up to speed and on level ground weight has no direct effect on fuel economy. What has an affect is wind resistance, rolling resistance etc. Most trailers have about the same frontal area, which is the dominant contributor to wind resistance. Most trailers have two axles, so rolling resistance is about the same. Where you will notice a difference is with lots of stop and go and/or hill climbing. Then weight starts to play. But it's that massive frontal area that by far dominates and sucks down the fuel economy.

I tow a 14' dual axle cargo trailer set up as a toyhauler, I also tow my outback, 35', dual axle almost double the weight. On the same route the typical difference in overall MPG is about 1MPG sometimes 1.5MPG max. The cargo trailer has somewhat less frontal area, it is not as tall, nor as wide.

Now if you compare a normal TT to a hybrid or pop up, then as you've seen there is a difference, not so much from weight but again from the much lower wind resistance.


2011 Keystone Outback 295RE
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CHD Dad

Upstate, SC

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Posted: 07/24/12 09:54am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I wasnt hoping for much better mileage, but every little bit would help on long trips. Oh well, at least I know it is normal and the next time we upgrade I wont care about size as long as I can safely handle the weight and length! We really did try and stay as light as possible while still getting all the features we wanted.

Dksd392 - your lift, 4x4 and ATZ tires are killing you! I also admit I drive pretty easy most of the time. My weekly average is right around 18mpg with mixed driving. It is mostly 55mph back roads on my commute so that helps, I just dont have much city driving to deal with. Maybe a few miles daily. 9.5mpg towing a 8K# Outback is great.

Markiemark32

Atlanta

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Posted: 07/24/12 09:59am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

2012 Tundra 5.7
Koidak 24ft trailer, approx 5,000 lbs loaded

MPG towing -Averages 9.5 to 10.8

Differences depending on speed & amount of hills I have to conquer.

Did recently pull off the 10.8 average, from a trip Asheville, NC to Atlanta! Speeds had to be kept lower 55-60.

Markiemark

mkirsch

Rochester, NY

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Posted: 07/24/12 11:03am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

While your front end is sloped now, your back end is probably still flat and vertical, right?

A lot of your aerodynamic drag comes from the vortex that forms at the rear of your rig as you go down the road. You would probably see a noticeable improvement in MPG if you added an aerodynamic tail cone to your TT.


2002 Chevy 3500 DRW/8.1/Allison & 2000 Palomino B1500 popup TC

-Yes, I haul a popup with a dually. No, I don't think I need a dually to haul a popup.

BenK

SF BayArea

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Posted: 07/24/12 11:54am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sail area (windage) and weight requires XXX HP to move at YY MPH (energy required)

Some ICE's use higher density fuel, like Diesel has more per volume of measure
than gasoline

Then the ICE type, architecture, drive train, tires, etc, etc contribute to that
foodchain both providing power and losses

My push rod, single CAM, 7.4L, big block 8.6K GVWR Suburban with 4.1's towing
a boat/trailer around +8.5K lbs gets 8-9MPG and when towing buddies trailers
that are in the 8K-10K range, get 7-8MPG...some times down to 5-6MPG when really
on the throttle

My TV is the next higher class, weighs more towing a bigger (both height/width
and weight) trailer and get similar to a bit less MPG than your next small class
TV towing a smaller trailer

It boils down to lots and lots of things. Most of all the drivers foot and
the ambient terrain (incline, altitude, wind, etc, etc)

10MPG pure city, 12MPG mixed city/highway, 15MPG pure highway is my average


-Ben Picture of my rig
1996 GMC SLT Suburban 3/4 ton K3500/7.4L/4:1/+150Kmiles orig owner...
1980 Chevy Silverado C10/long bed/"BUILT" 5.7L/3:73/1 ton helper springs/+329Kmiles, bought it from dad...
1998 Mazda B2500 (1/2 ton) pickup, 2nd owner...
Praise Dyno Brake equiped and all have "nose bleed" braking!
Previous trucks/offroaders: 40's Jeep restored in mid 60's / 69 DuneBuggy (approx +1K lb: VW pan/200hpCorvair: eng, cam, dual carb'w velocity stacks'n 18" runners, 4spd transaxle) made myself from ground up / 1970 Toyota FJ40 / 1973 K5 Blazer (2dr Tahoe, 1 ton axles front/rear, +255K miles when sold it)...
Sold the boat (looking for another): Trophy with twin 150's...
51 cylinders in household, what's yours?...

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