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Old 06-28-2015, 11:00 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve R View Post
I assumed one would tow a trailer with an automatic transmission. Is a manual transmission a viable alternative?
Yes... or it was, when vehicles were available with manual transmissions that were properly prepared for heavy-duty use.

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Originally Posted by maurerl View Post
... the "weak link" isn't the manual transmission itself, it's the clutch.
I believe that's true. The weakness in automatics is overheating, which is not much of an issue with a manual.

Also, the assumption is that some drivers are incompetent and will excessively slip the clutch, destroying it. With an automatic, the driver has less opportunity to mess up, so the manufacturer can better predict what it will withstand.

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Originally Posted by maurerl View Post
Begs the question -- why wouldn't manufacturers just use or make available beefier clutches, if that's the case? That's a rhetorical question -- there's not enough demand for manuals anymore so manufacturer's don't make them available any more.
I agree that's the situation. "One ton" pickups were commonly manuals, but now you can't buy one from Ford or GM - Ram still offers a 6-speed manual as an option.

In case the obvious hasn't occurred to someone, the really big rigs (class 8 trucks, tractor-trailer combinations, or "18-wheelers") are mostly still equipped with manual transmissions. Even that is changing, but yes you can tow 40 tons of trailer with a manual transmission and manually-operated clutch.

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Originally Posted by maurerl View Post
Anyway, apparently manual transmission is NOT a feasible alternative, at least for trailers bigger/heavier than Bolers.
As Donna pointed out, not all Bolers were less-than-one-ton 13-footers. Mine is double the weight of a typical 13-foot.

It is only viable for most travel trailers if you disregard the manufacturer's rating, and drive competently enough to justify that decision.
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Old 06-28-2015, 11:10 PM   #22
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Owned a Subaru with a manual for 13 years, so I have experience towing with a manual trans.
You can creep with an automatic. One foot on the brake and the other on the gas. Easier than one foot on the brake and gas and the other on the clutch.
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Old 06-28-2015, 11:20 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
2014 Ford F150 4x4 Crewcab, 2.7L Ecoboost V6, Escape 5.0TA, 11 MPG uphill, 20+MPG downhill Averages 16mpg towing (21.2 non-towing) And, I typically drive around 57mph towing.
Check your displacement Donna. I believe yours is a 3.5L Ecoboost. The 2.7L was introduced with the all Aluminum body in 2015, and is designed for the lighter truck.

Still, pretty impressive towing mileage for a 4x4 and 3.5L. I think the reduced frontal area (and therefore reduced wind resistance) of the 5.0TA is really helping your mileage.
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Old 06-28-2015, 11:33 PM   #24
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I think the reduced frontal area (and therefore reduced wind resistance) of the 5.0TA is really helping your mileage.
The 5.0TA is the width of the 21' and taller than any other Escape, so it has the most frontal area of them all. It might have an aerodynamic advantage anyway, because it is tucked up to the truck (although there are still significant gap between tailgate and lower trailer body and between cab and upper trailer body) compared to a conventional trailer.
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Old 06-28-2015, 11:40 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
The 5.0TA is the width of the 21' and taller than any other Escape, so it has the most frontal area of them all. It might have an aerodynamic advantage anyway, because it is tucked up to the truck (although there are still significant gap between tailgate and lower trailer body and between cab and upper trailer body) compared to a conventional trailer.
Well yes, it is taller, but the effective frontal area is reduced by the fact that its "tucked up" to the truck as you say. Towing my 19, all that air that goes over the cab spills down and hits the blunt face of the trailer almost directly. In the 5.0TA, the air doesn't have as much chance to hit the face of the trailer, but instead hits the loft and continues upward. I'll bet if we could see both in a wind tunnel we'd see quite a difference.
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Old 06-28-2015, 11:55 PM   #26
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Which one of you is bringing a wind-tunnel to the next Escape Rally?
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Old 06-28-2015, 11:56 PM   #27
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Based on the above posts, it looks like the best mpg I can expect when pulling my 17b, is around 15-16 mpg, perhaps with a RAV 4 or Ford Ranger. When thinking about mpg, I'm curious if anyone would recommend any other tow vehicles I should consider, besides those mentioned above.

I might note I bought a new Prius last year, and would like to buy a used tow vehicle. Thanks.
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Old 06-29-2015, 12:03 AM   #28
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Judging by the admittedly imperfect splattered bug pattern. The 5.0TA loft area and about about a foot on either side of the lower recessed front was subject to the wrath of the Midwest grasshopper season. About 25% is spared.

Is west coast gas the same as east coast gas? I get 13 mph towing with my 2012 4x4 3.5 EB, 17 not. Seems to be even worse in the winter. Still, these numbers are about 25% better then my GMC 5.3 got.
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Old 06-29-2015, 12:16 AM   #29
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Earlier versions of the 5.3 may not have had the "engine management" that MyronL & I have. Under light load conditions it runs on 4 cylinders- even while towing. The other especially beneficial aspect is the significant engine braking(something you wont get with an aspirated...aka turbo engine). Brakes on large vehicle are expensive to replace. Factor that when you consider mpg, especially with a heavier trailer.
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Old 06-29-2015, 01:00 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
The 5.0TA is the width of the 21' ...........
This isn't true.

The width of my 5.0 Classic is only 72" at the front loft yet the back of the trailer is 78" (same as the 17' it's based on). The front of the Classic 5.0's are tapered in at the front loft area and the same applies to the 5.0 TA as the front part of the trailer is based on the original 5.0 but has been widened and heightened to match the proportions of the TA.

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