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Old 06-05-2017, 10:35 PM   #1
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Towing with 5000 lb rated vehicle

Do any of you with SUVs rated at 5000 lb towing capacity have an accurate figure of your gas mileage when towing a 19' Escape and a 21' Escape? (We have a 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe.) Thanks!
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Old 06-05-2017, 10:45 PM   #2
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Thought the Santa Fe only has a 3,500 lb. tow rating. My buddy towed his 19' with one, but moved up to a Highlander with 5,000 lb. rating.
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Old 06-05-2017, 11:14 PM   #3
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So far climbing the mountains around Banff, fighting headwinds and today tailwind, it has averaged 15 mpg towing our 21 with our Highlander


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Old 06-06-2017, 12:31 AM   #4
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we have been towing our 21 with a 2014 highlander for about 30-35,000 miles now. up hill and down hill, with the wind and against the wind. Mostly we average about 14.5 mpg over a long trip, but it varies mostly with the wind. On our current trip (left 5/19, went to Osoyoos and then Chilliwack) the car says we are averaging 14.3. We did a long day into a big headwind coming across Montana on the way out. There were times when we were only getting 10 or 11 mpg between fills and the average dropped to 13.? The mileage started improving when we hit the mountains, and we did really well today when we had a big tail wind, averaging over 16 mpg between fills.

i have been driving somewhere between 55 and 65 most of the time.
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Old 06-06-2017, 07:12 AM   #5
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During our first 20,000 miles we towed with our V-6 4Runner and got numbers very much like Eric and Leon. The mpg difference between 55 mph and 65 mph is significant---I'd say 16 mph drops to 13 mpg., based on my experience. Secondly, the vehicle's indicated mpg and the actual calculated number can vary by a couple of miles per gallon.
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Old 06-06-2017, 08:03 AM   #6
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We tow with a 2013 Pathfinder. Non-towing mileage is around 25 mpg, and we are getting right at 16 when towing.
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Old 06-06-2017, 10:11 AM   #7
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Our Ford Explorer gets 21.5 MPG all-around non-towing. Last year we towed our 21 across country, round trip to New Hampshire and back; over the Sierras and Rockies. We got 15.5 east bound and 14.5 west bound. A little more headwind w/b.
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Old 06-07-2017, 04:35 PM   #8
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Question re. towing mileage

Thanks for all your replies. This has been very helpful. When we were towing our 15' Escape with 3500 lb rating Hyundai, we were getting average of 16l/100 km; when we changed to to 5000lb rated Hyundai, the mileage changed to 14l/100 km. So looks like the 19' Escape is very feasible. We agree about the speed as well- we tend to travel at just under 60 mph for optimal mileage.
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Old 06-07-2017, 04:52 PM   #9
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It's important to hand-calculate your mileage. The mileage displayed on the dash is sometimes off by quite a bit depending on the vehicle. On our first trip with our 2017 Pilot it reported 16.2 but the actual hand-calculated number was right at 15 for our 17B. I do drive over 60 though -- usually 65 if conditions allow, and our 17B has all the heavy options.
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Old 06-07-2017, 05:15 PM   #10
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Re: hand calculating mileage

We agree, although, as pointed out elsewhere, the "instant" mileage is useful in modifying driving habits. Cummins Diesel has an excellent document about mileage that points out that roughly 30% of a semi-trailer truck mileage variation is determined by driver habits. We found by trial-and-error that if we travelled over 60 mph our gas mileage deteriorated dramatically so we stick to 59 or less. Yep, we are more patient than some! At any rate, we calculate mileage by hand over a long (more than 500 km) trip by averaging the gas volumes and mileage and doing the math in our trip log.
Once again, thanks to all of you and happy motoring.
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Old 06-25-2017, 08:56 AM   #11
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4 runner mileage, speed is key

I have noticed with our 2012 4 runner that at 55-60, about 20mpg. 65-70, drops to 17-18. That is without trailer. With a 2000 lb utility trailer, takes about 2mpg off that.
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Old 06-25-2017, 09:15 AM   #12
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I seldom if ever calculate my mileage when towing.
Why ? Cause I don't care!. I do occasionally check my mpg electronically via the vehicle's computer but just out of curiosity.
If we plan a trip to point B , then we are going to point B whether it takes 100 gallons of gas or 200 gallons of gas. We are not going to turn around and head back home half way to point B because we went over some calculated fuel allotment.
If I can afford a tow vehicle and a trailer and not the necessary fuel to travel , it kind of defeats the purpose of owning a truck and trailer.
The obsession with MPG's when towing has always amazed me !
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Old 06-25-2017, 10:07 AM   #13
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I guess I always worry when I see people say they never drive over 60 MPH or even less, especially where the speed limit is 75 or 80 MPH. I see too many people texting, reading, or a sundry of other things while they're driving at that 75-80MPH. I understand wanting to get better mileage when you're towing and keeping the tire speed rating in mind but also keep in mind how quickly someone running 75-80MPH and texting can run up on your rear before they see you. The results are not pretty and can be painful in more ways than one.
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Old 06-25-2017, 10:23 AM   #14
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I guess I always worry when I see people say they never drive over 60 MPH or even less, especially where the speed limit is 75 or 80 MPH. I see too many people texting, reading, or a sundry of other things while they're driving at that 75-80MPH. I understand wanting to get better mileage when you're towing and keeping the tire speed rating in mind but also keep in mind how quickly someone running 75-80MPH and texting can run up on your rear before they see you. The results are not pretty and can be painful in more ways than one.
In most states I have driven in the trailer towing speed is at least 10 mph below the posted highway speed.
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Old 06-25-2017, 10:34 AM   #15
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In most states I have driven in the trailer towing speed is at least 10 mph below the posted highway speed.
I've seen that, but even where it's not "the law", it's still good practice. You're less maneuverable with a trailer, and your stopping distances are increased. You're longer, and so forth.

My mentality seems to change when I'm towing, and in a good way. I'm in less of a hurry, and I have to be a little more aware.

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Old 06-25-2017, 02:38 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
I seldom if ever calculate my mileage when towing.
Why ? Cause I don't care!. I do occasionally check my mpg electronically via the vehicle's computer but just out of curiosity.
If we plan a trip to point B , then we are going to point B whether it takes 100 gallons of gas or 200 gallons of gas. We are not going to turn around and head back home half way to point B because we went over some calculated fuel allotment.
If I can afford a tow vehicle and a trailer and not the necessary fuel to travel , it kind of defeats the purpose of owning a truck and trailer.
The obsession with MPG's when towing has always amazed me !
Couldn't agree more Steve. "It is what it is" But good to check once in a while to monitor overall tow vehicle mechanical health.
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Old 06-25-2017, 03:41 PM   #17
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At least on Interstates and major highways, we follow what the truckers are doing, and are generally in their lane(s). Speeds are about 5-10 mph lower than the automobile speed limit.
When we're on secondary highways, or major ones where a paralleling Interstate has has taken most of the traffic, we'll do the auto speed limit, up to 65, but with the thought always in mind that we're towing 1˝ tons ±, so we need a cushion for emergency responses.

miles/gallon: I agree with Steve: It's nice to save on fuel costs, but the bottom line is, it costs whatever it takes to get there. "There" is the goal.
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Old 06-25-2017, 04:15 PM   #18
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To further complicate matters, here are few other ons observations. All of these are my experiences.
1. Theres a lot of variation in gasoline even of the same octane.
2 10 percent ethanol while cheaper does
Not perform as well as 87 octane unleaded. Doesn't have the pop.
3. I did not take enough math in the junior high to calculate the better deal between straight unleaded and ethanol.
4. Wind drag from the side and the front can really knock your mileage down
5. A 25 mile an hour tailwind will make you money..
6 it the tranny is hunting for gears all the time because you are determined to maintain a specific speed, it ain't good.
7 Slow down below 62 and watch your tach to save some money and if the tranny wants to buzz the engine to about 2200 to maintain that speed you can either slow down to about 59 and just below 2 grand or pay the piper as the old man would say.
8 The auxiliary load on the engine including AC and the big alternator out put don't cost you like it it used to but you can't spin them things for nothing.
All that said, Highlander averages about 13.5 day in and day out pulling 3700 lbs at 62 mph with forays up to about 70 mph when I'm not paying attention or feeling flush.
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Old 06-25-2017, 08:31 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by dfandrews View Post
miles/gallon: I agree with Steve: It's nice to save on fuel costs, but the bottom line is, it costs whatever it takes to get there. "There" is the goal.
I care about fuel costs.
I am not rich and strive for efficiency to get to "there" at the lowest operational cost.
If money was not a concern, I would be RVing in something a lot more elaborate.

Isn't that what the transportation industry does ? operate at lowest cost within reason and in a safe manner.
A transportation industry CEO that said he does not care about the bottom line would be fired.
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Old 06-25-2017, 09:00 PM   #20
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I think the comment about lack of interest in fuel costs refers to the buyer already factoring in the cost of fuel when deciding which RV, if any, to purchase. Once the decision is made to purchase a particular RV, with its concomitant operating expenses, towing at 55 mph versus 60 mph may be infinitesimally small in the grand scheme of things.

But...been wrong before.
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