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Old 12-13-2019, 11:56 AM   #1
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Tow Vehicle

Hello
Iím new here and just purchased a Forest River Rockwood Mini Lite 21í. I tow with a Chevy suburban with a 5.3 4x4. Tow cap is 5000#. I can tow it fine but canít believe the amount of gas Iím going through! Any suggestions with current tow vehicle or a new tow vehicle?
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cvcian
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Old 12-13-2019, 12:23 PM   #2
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I had a 23ft 4000lb tt pulling with 2018 Silverado getting 14 mpg, sold and now a 34ft 7500lb tt and getting 9mpg, expect it to be poor
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Old 12-13-2019, 12:24 PM   #3
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Hello
Iím new here and just purchased a Forest River Rockwood Mini Lite 21í. I tow with a Chevy suburban with a 5.3 4x4. Tow cap is 5000#. I can tow it fine but canít believe the amount of gas Iím going through! Any suggestions with current tow vehicle or a new tow vehicle?
Thanks
cvcian
What is your MPG?
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Old 12-13-2019, 12:26 PM   #4
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What is your MPG?


About 9 mpg. Without towing could only get just under 16 at best
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Old 12-13-2019, 12:39 PM   #5
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Historically the mileage goes down around 50% from the normal towing. We get over 20 normally. 11 towing. Some do better.

The #5000 tow rating was not for a trailer like yours. It was a short flatbed.

So, you are over your trailer weight and payload likely, and the wind resistance from the front is a bunch!

In general SUV type vehicles are not the best for towing. The old Suburban 3/4 ton was real good. But, no longer made. All that glass in the back is heavy.

A trailer this size does better with a 1/2 ton truck.
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Old 12-13-2019, 12:40 PM   #6
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About 9 mpg. Without towing could only get just under 16 at best
With a 4x4 Suburban, w/ 5.3, pulling your 21' TT, that you are doing pretty good. The 5.3 is a little light in the britches for a Suburban. Do you happen to now what your differential ratio is?
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Old 12-13-2019, 12:42 PM   #7
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With a 4x4 Suburban, w/ 5.3, pulling your 21' TT, that you are doing pretty good. The 5.3 is a little light in the britches for a Suburban. Do you happen to now what your differential ratio is?


I donít but my axle is 3.08
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Old 12-13-2019, 12:43 PM   #8
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Historically the mileage goes down around 50% from the normal towing. We get over 20 normally. 11 towing. Some do better.



The #5000 tow rating was not for a trailer like yours. It was a short flatbed.



So, you are over your trailer weight and payload likely, and the wind resistance from the front is a bunch!



In general SUV type vehicles are not the best for towing. The old Suburban 3/4 ton was real good. But, no longer made. All that glass in the back is heavy.



A trailer this size does better with a 1/2 ton truck.


Thanks for your reply... been toying with a newer ford truck. What should I look for in towing cap?
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Old 12-13-2019, 01:04 PM   #9
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I donít but my axle is 3.08
That is your axle ratio. The 3.08 is considered a "tall gear", meaning it gives you speed with lower engine RPM which leads to better fuel economy, however "short gears" such as 3.50, 4.10 and above provide more torque (power) at the rear wheels as the engine is at a higher RPM. Better for towing, but your MPG won't be as good.

I'm guessing that your TT weighs in at least 2 tons (4000 lbs) empty? Your Suburban probably comes in at a little over 5000 lbs? If you're getting 9 MPG I'd say you are doing good with that 5.3 engine and 3.08 gears. Do you have problems maintaining highway speeds or climbing hills?
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Old 12-13-2019, 01:25 PM   #10
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different gears would certainly help your MPG. I have a 2009 F150 King Ranch (its HEAVY) crew cab 6.5ft box. I have 3.73 axles and the 5.4L engine. not towing i can get 20MPG highway, towing is 12-14. our trailer is about 21ft from bumper to tongue. weighs around 3500lbs. you are right in the ballpark for your current tow vehicle.

If you are considering something new, check the payload capacity and also the axle ratio. i dont like towing with "highway gears". something around 3.55 or 3.73 (depends on manufacturer) would suit you well.
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Old 12-13-2019, 02:27 PM   #11
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About 9 mpg. Without towing could only get just under 16 at best
That's pretty normal for a gasser. If you want better, get a diesel.
I tow a 27' TT that weighs around 6000lbs, with a F150 Ecoboost. I average 10-11mpg towing.
The reality is that all gassers average between 9-11mpg.
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Old 12-13-2019, 04:25 PM   #12
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That is your axle ratio. The 3.08 is considered a "tall gear", meaning it gives you speed with lower engine RPM which leads to better fuel economy, however "short gears" such as 3.50, 4.10 and above provide more torque (power) at the rear wheels as the engine is at a higher RPM. Better for towing, but your MPG won't be as good.

I'm guessing that your TT weighs in at least 2 tons (4000 lbs) empty? Your Suburban probably comes in at a little over 5000 lbs? If you're getting 9 MPG I'd say you are doing good with that 5.3 engine and 3.08 gears. Do you have problems maintaining highway speeds or climbing hills?


No troubles other than tranny shifts down a lot but engine doesnít ok as long as I step on it
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Old 12-13-2019, 04:27 PM   #13
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That's pretty normal for a gasser. If you want better, get a diesel.
I tow a 27' TT that weighs around 6000lbs, with a F150 Ecoboost. I average 10-11mpg towing.
The reality is that all gassers average between 9-11mpg.


Thanks for your reply. Iím finding that is the general consensus....
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Old 12-13-2019, 06:22 PM   #14
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No troubles other than tranny shifts down a lot but engine doesnít ok as long as I step on it
That's to be expected. The LS engines are designed to operate at higher RPM's for optimal torque on a hard pull. You didn't specify what transmission you have, or if you have a Towing Package. I would advise you to keep an eye on your transmission temps and don't let the transmission "hunt" gears on a pull. Drop down a gear if necessary and let the engine do it's work at a steady RPM.

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Old 12-13-2019, 06:40 PM   #15
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That's to be expected. The LS engines are designed to operate at higher RPM's for optimal torque on a hard pull. You didn't specify what transmission you have, or if you have a Towing Package. I would advise you to keep an eye on your transmission temps and don't let the transmission "hunt" gears on a pull. Drop down a gear if necessary and let the engine do it's work at a steady RPM.



Thank you much! It does indeed have a tow package. Should I keep it in tow mode while hauling? Does it really make that much difference? I donít know what the transmission is...
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Old 12-13-2019, 06:48 PM   #16
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Thank you much! It does indeed have a tow package. Should I keep it in tow mode while hauling? Does it really make that much difference? I donít know what the transmission is...
If it has the factory tow package, it should have a Tow/Haul button on the shifter.
What year is it and what trim level? Also, what is the payload capacity number from the driver's door yellow sticker. It'll say something like "Occupants and cargo should not exceed xxxxlbs."
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Old 12-13-2019, 07:00 PM   #17
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Thank you much! It does indeed have a tow package. Should I keep it in tow mode while hauling? Does it really make that much difference? I donít know what the transmission is...
Yes! Some people say they never notice any difference when in Tow Mode. It does make a difference. It sends signals to the transmission valve body and solenoid(s) modifying line pressures and creating higher shift points. You may not notice, but your transmission will.
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Old 12-13-2019, 10:57 PM   #18
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If you have to worry about gas milage better sell the trailer....you are doing phenomenal with what you are getting!

I have used 3.55 gears on the 6sp transmission and had no major issues. I tend to be throttle heavy and with the trailer I would get anywhere from 5-10 mpg depending mostly on winds with my F150. average is 8 for my lead foot. I get 14-20 without the trailer.

Newer trucks have 10sp transmissions and you could get away with taller gearing on them as a result I would think if using as a daily driver. The tow/haul on the 2015+ fords helps a lot to slow you down on downhills and keep you in a lower gear longer to keep you in the power band better going up.

Best of luck!
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Old 12-13-2019, 10:58 PM   #19
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Many do not know that the GM Tow/Haul mode also increases the alternator output to keep the RV battery charged.
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Old 12-14-2019, 07:58 AM   #20
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Yes! Some people say they never notice any difference when in Tow Mode. It does make a difference. It sends signals to the transmission valve body and solenoid(s) modifying line pressures and creating higher shift points. You may not notice, but your transmission will.


Thanks for your reply! Very helpful information! From what Iíve read, it seems people have the best luck with a diesel powered tow vehicle. Now to research the best truck and moyor
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