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Old 05-10-2016, 11:28 PM   #1
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I am a happy camper!

For all of you towing a 5.0TA with Ford's new 2.7L EcoBoost, allow me to share the following. I had a 2012 F150 with the 3.5L EcoBoost. I traded it in at the end if last year to get a 2015 for several reasons. First, it was silver and I wanted white. When I bought the 2012, they could not find what I wanted in white. Second, the 2012 had a 26 gallon fuel tank and I wanted the 35 gallon tank now available for a greater cruising range. Third, because of its weight, the 2012 was considered a commercial vehicle in Florida which meant it had to be registered in December rather than my birth month which meant two trips to the DMV rather than one. The 2015 being aluminum and weighing 700 lbs less is not categorized as commercial. And fourth, I was hoping to improve gas mileage when towing. The best I ever did with the 3.5L was 14 mpg. My first trip with the 2.7L was to Scamp Camp in Sebring, FL, in February. On that trip, I got a disappointing 13.9 mpg, worse than what I got with the heavier 2012 3.5L EcoBoost. I began to wonder if I had made a mistake going to the smaller displacement engine. Today I towed the 5.0TA from the Tampa Bay area to Atlanta up I-75. Some of the trip to Sebring was stop and go driving. But on the interstate, with the cruise control set at 59/60, the little 2.7 averaged 16.8 mpg. And it has plenty of pep. I couldn't be happier!
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Old 05-10-2016, 11:44 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by C&G in FL View Post
But on the interstate, with the cruise control set at 59/60, the little 2.7 averaged 16.8 mpg.
I thought you experts all said that one should NOT tow with cruise control (or overdrive)? And here I depend on you...
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Old 05-10-2016, 11:49 PM   #3
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Hi: C&G in FL... Sounds good to me. So the big tow has begun!!! Alf
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Old 05-11-2016, 12:08 AM   #4
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Glad you're enjoying the truck Carl. We had a similar experience. The mileage at first seemed low, but it crept up and settled in at about 16 mpg towing the 19. The power of this little engine is impressive too.
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Old 05-11-2016, 12:38 AM   #5
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I thought you experts all said that one should NOT tow with cruise control (or overdrive)? And here I depend on you...
If on the open road I almost always use cruise control. I see no reason at all not to. When on curvy, busy, real hilly, residential, etc roads I don't use it.
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Old 05-11-2016, 12:42 AM   #6
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Our manual says not to use cruise. I once saw a reason that it does damage to the TV but no idea what that was.
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Old 05-11-2016, 12:49 AM   #7
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If on the open road I almost always use cruise control. I see no reason at all not to. When on curvy, busy, real hilly, residential, etc roads I don't use it.
Yea, maybe when you drive from Calgary heading East over the Prairies
Cruise doesn't seem like such a good idea for BC.
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Old 05-11-2016, 12:52 AM   #8
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I thought you experts all said that one should NOT tow with cruise control (or overdrive)? And here I depend on you...
Cruise is likely fine on flat ground (meaning the entire state of Florida ) With even moderate hills, cruise can lead to excessive transmission shifting as the vehicle thrashes to unnecessarily maintain the set speed.

As far as I'm concerned, directions from the manufacturer of the specific vehicle take precedence over any general guidance, and well-informed common sense trumps both.
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Old 05-11-2016, 01:00 AM   #9
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Since the subject of towing with EcoBoost engines has come up again...
By coincidence I saw an article today in a truck magazine (sorry, can't remember which one) intended to compare turbocharged and non-turbocharged engines for towing. They used two current F-150 trucks, with the same cab, same box, and same equipment other than the engine. The two engines were the 3.5 L EcoBoost and the 5.0 L V8. Although the larger non-turbo engine has a bit more peak power, the smaller turbo (EcoBoost) engine has a broader powerband, and the EcoBoost had superior performance both empty and towing a 6000-pound trailer... but especially when towing. By coincidence the test trailer weight roughly matches the combination of a fully-loaded (to its GVWR) Escape 21' plus passengers and cargo to max out the truck's payload. Their fuel economy was much worse than Robert's, especially when towing, but conditions and driving style would have been different from his.
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Old 05-11-2016, 01:05 AM   #10
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I've engaged 'cruise' a couple of times for a couple of minutes to relieve a cramp in my foot. Other than those occasions, I prefer to drive my vehicle.
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Old 05-11-2016, 06:17 AM   #11
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Cruise is likely fine on flat ground (meaning the entire state of Florida ) With even moderate hills, cruise can lead to excessive transmission shifting as the vehicle thrashes to unnecessarily maintain the set speed.

As far as I'm concerned, directions from the manufacturer of the specific vehicle take precedence over any general guidance, and well-informed common sense trumps both.
I only use cruise control on the flats, never in the mountains, real curvy roads, in heavy traffic, and never on wet roads. Interestingly enough, Ford says to use the Tow/Haul transmission setting when in hilly terrain, but on flat ground it could lead to lower gas mileage. I have found that using Tow/Haul leads to excessive downshifting on downgrades presumably to slow the vehicle down, even when it is not necessary. I think Brian has hit the nail squarely on the head when he mentioned common sense.
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Old 05-11-2016, 06:28 AM   #12
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I also use cruise when in the flats, when it down shifts I turn it off. Last I knew NOT using cruise was to save the tranny from searching to much as it tries to maintain speed.

FWIW, my 3.5L gets about the same as Carl's did, but then I drive it a bit faster. It'll do better if I stay off the interstate. Having a 6600 lb 4x4, doesn't help mpg either. While I've never driven a 2.7, the 3.5 sure is nice in the mts.
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Old 05-11-2016, 08:28 AM   #13
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With the heavier Ram and 8 speed auto I towed 3000 miles west without tow mode and 3000 returning east in tow mode. My gas was about 1 mpg better in the tow mode. Cruise is not recommended while towing in my manual. Interesting on flat roads the v-8 cut back to 4 cyl in the "eco" mode, even in the tow setting.
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Old 05-11-2016, 04:24 PM   #14
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I also use cruise when in the flats, when it down shifts I turn it off. Last I knew NOT using cruise was to save the tranny from searching to much as it tries to maintain speed.

FWIW, my 3.5L gets about the same as Carl's did, but then I drive it a bit faster. It'll do better if I stay off the interstate. Having a 6600 lb 4x4, doesn't help mpg either. While I've never driven a 2.7, the 3.5 sure is nice in the mts.
I typically towed at 62 mph with the 3.5.
Today, coming over rolling hills from Atlanta to Huntsville, AL, I averaged 16.5 mpg. The 2.7 seems to have more than adequate power. With the 3.5, if I punched it at 62 it would pin me back in the seat and be up to 80 mph in s heartbeat. Spending 6 days at our sons house and then heading for Osoyoos. That means I will be crossing mountsins and I will keep posting on the 2.7's performance. I haven't really "punched" the 2.7 hard yet, but it will accelerate going uphill, which was one of the things that make the 3.5 so impressive. I had driven a lot of trucks over my working years, but nothing with the zip of the 3.5.
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Old 05-11-2016, 10:10 PM   #15
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I've engaged 'cruise' a couple of times for a couple of minutes to relieve a cramp in my foot. Other than those occasions, I prefer to drive my vehicle.
I'm with you on this Glenn. I don't usually use cruise in hilly country even when not towing. I don't like to hear that tranny hunting and if I lose a little speed going up a hill, I'll get it back going down. Common sense and staying well behind whoever is in front of you for a cushion is a good way to save the brakes too. I tow at about 62 mph. As my Dad used to say, "Don't stop too long for a cup of coffee, I'll be along directly."
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Old 05-11-2016, 10:21 PM   #16
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I'm with you on the coffee. I don't do convoys. We'll meet you there is my plan. No need to do stupid things trying to keep up with the group.
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Old 05-12-2016, 12:53 AM   #17
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I've engaged 'cruise' a couple of times for a couple of minutes to relieve a cramp in my foot. Other than those occasions, I prefer to drive my vehicle.
I appreciate the desire to be in control of the vehicle - one of my requirements the last time I bought a car was a manual transmission. On the other hand, isn't that an automatic transmission in the RAV4? Do you shift it manually?

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Old 05-12-2016, 01:18 AM   #18
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You haven't lived ( or died ) until you've driven a VW Microbus with manual transmission in Vancouver rush hour traffic.
The clutch pedal had to be approached vertically, so you hovered that foot above the pedal for up to thirty minutes at a time.
Now, I only cross the bridge into Vancouver maybe three times a year, and I don't leave my house after 3pm.
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Old 05-12-2016, 03:09 PM   #19
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You haven't lived ( or died ) until you've driven a VW Microbus with manual transmission in Vancouver rush hour traffic.
The clutch pedal had to be approached vertically, so you hovered that foot above the pedal for up to thirty minutes at a time.
I've only driven a "real" Volkswagen once, and that was a Beetle rather than a Bus, so I don't have much experience with those floor-hinged pedals, and none sitting upright above them. We certainly have it soft now, in comparison.

I just had a look, and there are raging debates about the merits of top-hinged (hanging) versus bottom-hinged (floor-mounted) accelerator pedals, but little discussion of the bottom-hinged clutch pedal... in part because clutch pedals are an endangered species.
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Old 05-12-2016, 03:26 PM   #20
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Top hinged pedals are called "Swing Pedals"
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