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Miles per gallon towing

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Printed Date: 21 Nov 2018 at 6:00am
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Topic: Miles per gallon towing
Posted By: thrasharound
Subject: Miles per gallon towing
Date Posted: 13 Aug 2011 at 1:01am
I would like to know what kind of mileage people are getting towing, conditions etc.  We just got back from a 3300 mile trip towing a 172 across the rockies, Sierras  thru the desert, etc.  Our TV is a 2006 Tundra V8.  We got 10 MPG no matter what we did.  Didn't cruise control.

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Bob & Maureen
172
2006 Tundra




Replies:
Posted By: Ratdog
Date Posted: 13 Aug 2011 at 7:44am
Originally posted by thrasharound thrasharound wrote:

I would like to know what kind of mileage people are getting towing, conditions etc.  We just got back from a 3300 mile trip towing a 172 across the rockies, Sierras  thru the desert, etc.  Our TV is a 2006 Tundra V8.  We got 10 MPG no matter what we did.  Didn't cruise control.
 
We've driven in Yellowstone, the Ozarks, and the flats. We can get 11-13 mpg towing a 177 with a 2008 Lexus hybrid SUV *IF* we keep the speed down to 55. Faster than that, and the wind drag takes its toll.  
 
On our trip to Yellowstone, we ran out of gas in the middle of nowhere in Wyoming because we only have a 17 gallon gas tank, we were driving at 65-70 mph (getting 8 mpg on very flat terrain), and the signs had promised a gas station up ahead which never materialized.
 
Keep the speed down and you should see a bit of an improvement.
 
BTW, our TV recommends premium fuel for better performance but can run on regular. When towing, I use 91 Octane (93 Octane when I can find it) and gas mileage improves a couple of miles/gallon. When we get down to FL next month, we have a service station near us that sells 93 Octane non-oxygenated gas (no ethynol). I'm looking forward to testing out a tank of that while towing the pod to see if it makes any difference. I've never done a cost comparison to determine if using the premium to get better gas mileage is cost-effective but since we have such a small gas tank, I'm willing to pay more to get a little more range out of a tank. It wasn't fun running out of gas out where there was nothing around except prairie dogs and tumbleweeds. We were lucky to have cell phone service and that AAA was able to come to our rescue very quickly.
 
-- Steve
 


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Steve, Anne, and Paige the Rat Terrier
2013 Lexus RX 450h Hybrid AWD
2011 RP-177 (aka: The Circus Wagon)


Posted By: turncoat3
Date Posted: 13 Aug 2011 at 8:11am
I tow a 177 with an Explorer Sport Trac 4.0L V6. This our second year with the Pod and we always tow with the OD off.  Always manage to get about 11-12 MPG asl low as we stay below 60 MPH.  I am not comfortable above 60 so we stay off the Interstates as much as possible.  We get to see more scenery and can pick the stops we want.  Just my thoughts


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Ben & Lorrie
2010 RP177


Posted By: alli-gator
Date Posted: 13 Aug 2011 at 1:35pm

I just switched TVs to a Jeep Grand Cherokee with the 5.7 V8. Towing at interstate speeds (60-75) I average right at 12mpg. I leave the OD on unless I get to a really big hill. I used to tow the Pod with a Jeep Liberty with a 3.7 V6 that I wasn't comfortable on the interstates with, and if I kept it below 60 and it was a flat tow, I could get 14mpg. At highway speeds, the Liberty would only get 7 to 10 mpg.



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Bruce and Ramsey
2011 RPod 177 "Alli-Gator Pod"
2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee 5.7L


Posted By: Tom and Carol
Date Posted: 13 Aug 2011 at 5:41pm
We traveled from Florida to Mass, pulling our 177 with our f150, 5.4, and got 12.4 mpg.  Our return trip was via I-81, lots of mountains, od off, and got just about 12.0.  Our last leg from GA to Orlando area got less than 12 with OD on and flat terrain.  I'm always confused about the effect OD has on mpg's, since I would have expected the mpg to increase on that last leg with the lower rpm's using OD.Confused

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Tom and Carol
R-Pod 177
2006 F-150


Posted By: jato
Date Posted: 13 Aug 2011 at 8:33pm
We have taken 5 trips thus far with our 2011 pod model 177 w/spoiler.  Plan on heading out to Glacier National Park next month.  Have only been travelling in northern and Upper Peninsula of Michigan so far and have been averaging 12-13 mpg with our '08 Ford Explorer with a 4.0 v-6 with o.d. on unless we are climbing large hills.  We were told the spoiler would improve our mileage by 1-2 mpg.  Am not sure how accurate or trustworthy that statement is as the only way to actually know would be to remove the spoiler, take a trip and then repeat it with the spoiler re-installed and by having the same weather conditions, wind, temp. 
 
I like the idea of trying a higher octane fuel to see if that will improve mileage.  Next trip is scheduled in a couple weeks, will try that and report if we see an improvement.
 
2011 model 177
2008 Ford Explorer 4.0


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God's Pod

'11 model 177

'13 Ford Explorer

Jim & Diane by beautiful Torch Lake


Posted By: tedbear
Date Posted: 13 Aug 2011 at 10:02pm
The first time I tried to tow my 171 with my 6-cyl Saturn VUE on the interstate, it was all it could do to get up to speed, and I could literally (no joke) watch the needle on the gas guage going down as cars and semis rode my butt and went around me.
 
Ever since then, I stay on the highways and keep it at 60 MPH, and even then I need to stop for gas every few hours.  It's not exactly aerodynamic, and while some vehicles can pull an r-pod at 70-75 I have to think that their MPG must really suck.  I'd rather take an extra few days to get there and back and enjoy the slower, more interesting journey on the old highways, which are more scenic and have plenty of places to stop along the way for gas, food, or whatever.
 
I do use 91-octane and get better power and mileage as a result.


Posted By: Larry
Date Posted: 13 Aug 2011 at 11:44pm

I am towing a 171 with a 6-cylinder Ford Edge and I get 10 to 14 miles per gallon. It depends on whether I load up my pod and TV with a lot of stuff or not. I get less gas mileage when I use the cargo carrier on top of my TV; it really causes drag, carry my bicycles, or my generator, which I don’t on long trips. I have also found that I get better gas mileage when I put a bottle of STP gas treatment in my tank on every other fill up. I usually buy a couple of 3-packs to carry with me on a long trip. My TV does well towing on the interstate or over mountain passes; the Ford Edge has a 3.8L engine and it tows my 171 very well.

 



Posted By: Kenn
Date Posted: 14 Aug 2011 at 10:25am
Originally posted by tedbear tedbear wrote:

Ever since then, I stay on the highways and keep it at 60 MPH, and even then I need to stop for gas every few hours.  It's not exactly aerodynamic, and while some vehicles can pull an r-pod at 70-75 I have to think that their MPG must really suck.  I'd rather take an extra few days to get there and back and enjoy the slower, more interesting journey on the old highways, which are more scenic and have plenty of places to stop along the way for gas, food, or whatever.
 
I do use 91-octane and get better power and mileage as a result.
I agree with you that slower is better and much more relaxing and enjoyable. Towing faster does make it unsafe and use more gas.
 
When we use higher octane gas, we get about 1-2 MPG more. So, depending on the cheap to expensive spread, is how we choose the gas octane. Also, using E-85 (although cheaper) really decreases the towing mileage.
 
 


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2010 RPOD 176 (Silly-POD), 2011 Forest River Stealth 2612, and 2014 Forest River XLR 380AMP


Posted By: R&T's Pod
Date Posted: 14 Aug 2011 at 12:27pm
Kenn,  While no E85 is available in our area, we will be travelling out to WA next summer to visit family.  I didn't have to use E85 on the last trip, but I was wondering if you notice "performance" decrease in addition to a gas mileage decrease?  Rob

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2010 R-Pod 175 2007 F-150 Super Cab http://www.rtspod.blogspot.com" rel="nofollow - R&T's Podding Blog



Posted By: Pawpod
Date Posted: 14 Aug 2011 at 3:56pm
We got 14+mpg on praire, about 12 in easy hills. Killer was on the mountains, 8mpg. We have a Montana sv6, and we pull in 3rd. Usually we go about 100 km per hour but depending on the terrain we do anywhere from 95 to 105. In the mountain we were down to 75 on one part.

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Ready to pod around.


Posted By: furpod
Date Posted: 14 Aug 2011 at 5:19pm
We JUST got back from a quick trip up to a park in Indiana, kind of windy, but averaged just under 13mpg. '04 Expedition 5.4 V-8. No bikes on the roof rack. I set the cruise at 60 or so, OD on, interstate or otherwise (unless of course the speed limit is lower..)


Posted By: Kenn
Date Posted: 14 Aug 2011 at 5:28pm
Rob - E-85 for towing is terrible! It is well worth using it though when you guys arrive and un-hitch. It's not bad for cruising around town. The cost to benefit ratio is definitely there when you're not towing and demanding from your vehicle.

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2010 RPOD 176 (Silly-POD), 2011 Forest River Stealth 2612, and 2014 Forest River XLR 380AMP


Posted By: psaman
Date Posted: 14 Aug 2011 at 8:24pm
Originally posted by R&T's Pod R&T's Pod wrote:

Kenn,  While no E85 is available in our area, we will be travelling out to WA next summer to visit family.  I didn't have to use E85 on the last trip, but I was wondering if you notice "performance" decrease in addition to a gas mileage decrease?  Rob
A couple of months ago we tried a tank of E85, mostly because it was about 35 cents per gallon cheaper. I can't really say I could feel a performance difference, but pulling our 177, the mpg dropped from 12 to 8; really not what I was expecting. After doing some internet research, found articles like this.   http://www.edmunds.com/fuel-economy/e85-vs-gasoline-comparison-test.html - http://www.edmunds.com/fuel-economy/e85-vs-gasoline-comparison-test.html


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2011 RP177 "Sponge Pod"
2011 F-150 XLT "Texas Edition"
P2 Brake Controller


Posted By: Larry
Date Posted: 15 Aug 2011 at 7:31pm

Should you use over-drive when towing? I had a mechanic tell me once that you should not use OD when towing; I’ve got to research this, and how does OD effect gas mileage? I guess cruise control might also effect gas mileage?



Posted By: thrasharound
Date Posted: 15 Aug 2011 at 8:04pm
I personally think cruise control uses more fuel because it can not look ahead to see an upcoming gradual incline so it just mashes the pedal to maintain a constant speed. Without it on you see the hill and just settle in for maybe a little slower climb.  I don't know if it is right or not but I tend to watch the rpm's, a lot of the time by dropping 2 miles an hour you can settle in to 2300 rpm vs 3000.  Just a thought.

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Bob & Maureen
172
2006 Tundra



Posted By: Ratdog
Date Posted: 15 Aug 2011 at 8:07pm
Originally posted by Larry Larry wrote:

Should you use over-drive when towing? I had a mechanic tell me once that you should not use OD when towing; I’ve got to research this, and how does OD effect gas mileage? I guess cruise control might also effect gas mileage?

 
Larry - When your transmission starts to "hunt" for gears, shifting in and out of OD, turn it off. That usually happens in hilly terrain. On the flats, I believe it's OK to leave OD on. That's what I used to do when we owned a big TT. The TV we use with the rpod has a transmission that doesn't shift gears so it's not an issue.
 
With cruise control, I think you will get better gas mileage with it off unless, again, you're on the flats where your TV isn't doing a bunch of speeding up and slowing down. We just leave ours on pretty much all of the time except in the mountains.
 
-- Steve


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Steve, Anne, and Paige the Rat Terrier
2013 Lexus RX 450h Hybrid AWD
2011 RP-177 (aka: The Circus Wagon)


Posted By: podsible dream
Date Posted: 15 Aug 2011 at 8:58pm
We just got back from long weekend in Maine. 330 miles one way from central NJ, Hills, no mountains, lots of long gentle grades. Did 60-62 mph at 2500-2600 rpm with the OD off, got 10 mpg. If the OD was on, the slightest grade would slow us down and the transmission would down shift to keep the rpm's up. It would shift down to the next lower gear, but never dropped below third at 4000 rpm or 48 to 50 mph.

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Chris and Walt
'10 RP 171 'Free Spirit'
'13 Durango Crew 5.7l Hemi


Posted By: gmandual
Date Posted: 15 Aug 2011 at 10:34pm


Posted By: unlblkrubi
Date Posted: 16 Aug 2011 at 8:16am
9.5 to 14 MPG duing a 4500 mile trip out west and back. OD sucks in a Jeep JK.

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2011 171
2005 Ford F250 Super Duty diesel
2005 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited (trail rig)


Posted By: HuronSailor
Date Posted: 16 Aug 2011 at 8:58am
Originally posted by thrasharound thrasharound wrote:

I personally think cruise control uses more fuel

I seem to be seeing the same thing. I never used cruise in hilly terrain, but now I hardly ever use it at all when towing the pod.


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.: Mark & Beth :: Silverado 5.3L :: "arrrr"Pod 172 :: http://picasaweb.google.com/mark.a.mowery - My Albums :: http://ourrpod.blogspot.com/ - OurPod Blog ::


Posted By: HuronSailor
Date Posted: 16 Aug 2011 at 9:05am
Originally posted by Larry Larry wrote:

Should you use over-drive when towing? 


In our case, since we're all pulling the same trailer, I think it depends very much on your tow vehicle. I have a "tow mode" button that I use when the OD starts to kick out a lot. According to the owner's manual the pod doesn't weigh enough for me to use tow mode, but I do anyway. 




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.: Mark & Beth :: Silverado 5.3L :: "arrrr"Pod 172 :: http://picasaweb.google.com/mark.a.mowery - My Albums :: http://ourrpod.blogspot.com/ - OurPod Blog ::


Posted By: tpierce220
Date Posted: 16 Aug 2011 at 11:09am
With my Outlander the lowest I got was about 10 mpg when driving in a headwind.  Normally, though, I've been seeing anywhere from 12-14 mpg.  Thankfully most of the driving is pretty flat, so it does fine.  It can struggle going up some steep hills--there are a few in northern Illinois--so I just keep it as steady as possible to keep the strain off the transmission.




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Adventures with ¡Podtástic!--Life in a Forest River RPod 182G with Tim and Louis and our two cats, Desi and Lucy. Check our website at http://podtastic.info for information on our journeys.


Posted By: HerbL
Date Posted: 16 Aug 2011 at 12:49pm
We just finished a 600 mile trip from Connecticut to Maine and back. We averaged about 11.8 mpg (this includes some driving around without the Pod). I am beginning to think that the newer Pods with the spoiler do get higher mpg. I hope some of those in Canada, who have had the spoiler added through the recall will report on any mpg increases they experience.
We generally drive at about 60 mph and leave the transmission in 6th gear, unless we run into steep hills/mountains.
We have been very pleased with our new Silverado for towing. If needed, we can accelerate up hills or keep up with fast moving traffic in congested areas.


Posted By: tsunami
Date Posted: 16 Aug 2011 at 2:35pm
I just returned from a 1,000 mile trip towing with a full sized Chevy pickup with 6 speed auto trans and 'tow haul' option.  I wasn't convinced about using the tow-haul until this trip.  There were a lot of small hills and valleys to cross.  The tow-haul cut shifting up & down considerably and when using cruise control, the TV would downshift automatically to keep downhill speed constant.  I never had to worry about using the brakes to keep from over-speeding down the hills. Even on the flats...if I came to a sudden slow speed limit sign...a quick tap on the brakes downshifted to slow the vehicle without over-revving the engine.  The engine/transmission is large enough that it never felt like it was over-working will in tow-haul.
At one point I forgot to set the tow-haul and my mpg went down by about 1/2 mpg from 12 to 11 1/2 mpg.
I would like to mention that I encountered 'real-non-ethanol'/10% ethanol/85% ethanol fuel on the trip (my Chevy has a 'flex-fuel' engine).  My mileage jumped up about 1.5 to 2 mpg using the non-ethanol and dropped to about 10 mpg using the 85%.  The prices were so varied from state to state...that there was no real savings at the 85% pump. My Chevy booklet and dealer convinced me not to waste money using higher octane fuel...with a new vehicle, knocking is a thing of the past.  The real difference in mileage is the amount of available energy per gallon and 85% ethanol is really low compared to 10% or non-ethanol!


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tsunami



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