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 > Fuel mileage 5th wheel vs travel trailer

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MICHIGAN

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Posted: 09/26/20 05:55pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We just sold our 2011 Crossroad Cruiser Patriot 5th wheel for a 2020 Winnebago Voyage travel trailer. The 5th wheel was 34 foot and weighted 9700 pounds. The new Winnebago is 36 foot and is 1500 pounds less at 8200 pounds. The question is the t re mailer gets less gas mileage by about 3 mpg that the taller heavier 5th wheel. Both pulled by same truck .My thought is the weight distribution and pulling of hitches? Any thoughts?

Lwiddis

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Posted: 09/26/20 06:21pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

“My thought is the weight distribution and pulling of hitches?”

IMO neither is a factor worthy of mention regarding MPG.


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rhagfo

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Posted: 09/26/20 06:28pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The total package is less aerodynamic, the 5er has smoother air flow than a PU and TT.


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dieseltruckdriver

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Posted: 09/26/20 07:19pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yep. Mileage is more about wind than weight.


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Posted: 09/26/20 09:19pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

rhagfo wrote:

The total package is less aerodynamic, the 5er has smoother air flow than a PU and TT.


This ^^. There is much less of a gap between the cab and the front cap of a fifth wheel than between the cab and the front of a travel trailer. The longer distance with the TT setup allows turbulence to set up in the bed of the truck (coming over the cab) and air to slam into the front of the TT. On the fiver setup, the air flows more smoothly from the top of the cab up and over the front cap of the fiver.

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memtb

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Posted: 09/27/20 07:41am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would consider that quite an anomaly! Generally the higher frontal area above the tow vehicle is responsible for fuel mileage differences!

My opinion may be skewed by the tow vehicle (pick up truck) having a topper, which may have positively affected the air flow across the tow behind camper.

On a slightly different issue, unless extreme, weights are not a significant issue pertaining to mpg. If the same unit is used in a comparison, wind resistance due to increased speed is much more of a factor in mpg than is a few hundred to a thousand pounds of carry weight. Many folks will not fill their fresh tanks prior to travel. I would dare to suggest that under identical situations, the difference in fuel mileage is near immeasurable!

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hornet28

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Posted: 09/27/20 09:17am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A brother delivered trailers around the country and told me he got better mpg with a 5er than a TT. Same truck with many different trailers and destinations





TomG2

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Posted: 09/27/20 09:28am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Totally different results than OP. My mileage went up when I switched back to a travel trailer of nearly the same size. Maybe I "wanted" it to be that way and drove a little more conservatively? Maybe the OP's TT had a dragging brake or some other mechanical problem? Maybe the OP's tow vehicle developed a problem after the switch? On the other hand, if 5ers now get 30-40% better fuel mileage, I may purchase another.

Grit dog

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Posted: 09/27/20 10:46am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

rhagfo wrote:

The total package is less aerodynamic, the 5er has smoother air flow than a PU and TT.


True story, can't fool physics.
And there could be other more subtle differences that contribute to fuel mileage as well.
However I seriously doubt 3mpg difference simply due to the trailer.

I don't get 3 mpg different or anywhere near that much between hauling the TC. TC & 6klb boat. Boat by itself, or 32' v nose enclosed trailer.

What can and sometimes does make that magnitude of difference though is ground speed, terrain, altitude, fuel type and wind speed/direction.

Caveat, I'm not an obsessive fuel mileage checker. Generally I may flip to the mileage screen during a trip, say, "Yup getting bad mileage..." and flip it back to the compass/temperature screen.






(Watch your language please.)

* This post was edited 09/28/20 12:48pm by an administrator/moderator *


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Posted: 09/27/20 10:53am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

3 mpg seems a bit much to lose. From 12 down to 9 mpg is 25%. I think speed, wind, terrain might also be an issue. See how next trip goes.


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