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Discussion Starter #1
I just got back from a six day fishing trip with my fishing partner.
Conditions:
Trailer - 3,500 lb. folding trailer with about 75-100 lb. extra fishing gear with just driver aboard.
Length of trip – 698 miles, of which about 130 miles were two-lane state highways and the rest interstate freeway.
Terrain - starting elevation of less than 100 ft. climbing to over 4,200 ft. and back down to 2,100 ft. and the reverse coming home. Innumerable elevation changes in between.
Starting mileage on RL -4,273
Average fuel consumption – 13.55 mpg
As a comparison, my partner tows with a 2003 GMC Safari van with a 4.3L V6, towing a boat (much less air resistance) weighing about 2,950 lb. He averaged about 1 mpg better gas mileage than I did.
I used regular gas. I might hock an arm or a leg some day and try premium to see if it makes any difference in towing mileage, but for the conditions, I think the RL did well.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Does your camper have trailer brakes?
Yes, it has electric brakes controlled by a Tekonsha Prodigy controller. Braking is excellent with the RL.
 

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Nice write-up.

I think somewhere on this forum someone posted that using premium gas with towing may give you a touch more HP and may give you slightly better mpg.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
think somewhere on this forum someone posted that using premium gas with towing may give you a touch more HP and may give you slightly better mpg.
The owner's manual recommends it for "heavy" towing to gain a little horsepower. I don't remember it saying anything about mpg. How heavy is "heavy"? :)
 

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Interesting. We usually get around 18-19 mpg on the highway with our RL. This last weekend we decided to tow the ATV with the RL instead of the Tahoe. The results really suprised me. The trailer is about 650 lbs and the ATV and accessories weights about 850 lbs. So we're towing about 1500 lbs (no electric brakes...not needed). We ended up getting 12.2 mpg on the highway. Now, our 2000 Tahoe gets about 18 mpg on the highway, and when I tow that same trailer, I get about 16 mpg. Granted, the Tahoe has a 5.3L V8, but I was suprised that it's more economical to tow with the Tahoe than the RL.

One thing that I did notice when towing with the RL is that unless I was driving on a perfectly flat road (or a decline), the RL would be running a much higher RPM. Normally at about 70 mph, we'd be running somewhere around 2200 rpm. Even a slight incline made the RL downshift and bump the rpm up to over 3000. And a slightly steeper grade pushed it up to over 4000 rpm. Guess that's where the gas went!

Other than the gas milage thing, the RL towed very well. Again, it was a fairly small load, but I hardly felt the load on most roads.

Since our RL only has about 3000 miles on it, do you suppose that the mpg will go up when towing as the engine gets more broken in? Is there something else I could have done to increase the mpg?
 

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Webwader - where did you mount the brake controller? thx!

Hotbox - it's tricky driving the RL with trailer to maximize mpg. I recently towed a car from houston to dallas. 300 miles. Total weight including trailer was probably about 4300-4400lbs. I found that 1) if yuo kept it around 70mph, it would be less prone to wanting to down shift(as opposed to 65mph) 2) if you insist on maintaining 70mph up an steeper incling, it will downshift and it won't be shy about using third either. 3) best way to get better mpg would be to lose the speed going up hill and pick it up coming back down.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I mounted it here. Excuse the dirty floor. I haven't cleaned it up from the trip yet.
 

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I tow a 17` fishing boat in the summer, and a 2 sled snowmobile trailer in winter. I have noticed reduced milage, and I completely agree with shingles. If you keep it around 70+ mph, it is less prone to wanting to down shift or hunt for a gear (as opposed to 65mph).

My old V8 Durango would get the same gas milage whether I was driving 60 MPH on dry pavement, or towing 75 MPH in 4 wheel drive through heavy weather. Unfortunatley that gas mileage was about 14 MPG. I guess thats the difference with the six cylinder.

I usually track my gas milage each tank, but if I have been towing I sort of disregard the answer. No use upsetting myself, because I'm going to tow. Its just the cost of moving my other toys.
 

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I think the AIR CONDITION makes a huge difference with these engines. I notice that the A/C likes to kick on and off when it is left on "Auto." (My Acura did this, too). My question for the guy who just made his fishing trip is this: Did you run the A/C? Did your buddy in the Astro run his A/C? I know from reading and watching on TV that at highway speeds, using the A/C is more economical than running with the windows down. But, around town this can kill you.... What is everyone doing? Also, do you have any kind of tonneau cover or cap? This might also have something to do with the added wind resistance.

It is still hot here...80 degrees on October 18-19!!!! HOT!

George
 

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GJRUGBY said:
I think the AIR CONDITION makes a huge difference with these engines. I notice that the A/C likes to kick on and off when it is left on "Auto." (My Acura did this, too). My question for the guy who just made his fishing trip is this: Did you run the A/C? Did your buddy in the Astro run his A/C? I know from reading and watching on TV that at highway speeds, using the A/C is more economical than running with the windows down. But, around town this can kill you.... What is everyone doing? Also, do you have any kind of tonneau cover or cap? This might also have something to do with the added wind resistance.

It is still hot here...80 degrees on October 18-19!!!! HOT!

George
90 here yesterday (19th). I turn the AC off in the morning when cooler and leave on auto during the day when hot. When cooler outside, I'll put windows down in town, but not on the Interstate.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
My question for the guy who just made his fishing trip is this: Did you run the A/C? Did your buddy in the Astro run his A/C?
The weather was cool and we were traveling in the mornings, so neither one of us was running the A/C. Considering the load and the terrain, I think the mpg was what would be expected.
 

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Hotbox,

I also tow my 2 ATV's using a 12' "T" trailer and am currently getting about 14.5 to 15.5 mpg with the A/C on and running around 75 mph over some rather hilly roads. I have just over 9000 miles on my RL and have not seen much change yet in the gas milage, with or without the trailer. Without the trailer I am averaging close to 19 mpg city/highway combined.
A friend who also tows a bass boat with his RL gets around 12 mpg but is known for having a heavy foot.
Besides the ATV's, I have also towed my old Jeep Wrangler with the RL and it has done a great job towing everything I have tried so far so I can live with the gas mpg issue.
I have not tried using premium gas with prices where there at but may give it a try sometime to check the results.
 
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