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Old 11-30-2015, 09:08 PM   #1
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Sunseeker 3170DS Mileage Performance

Just came back from our maiden voyage in our 2013 3170DS, averaged about 8 MPG, 3 adults, 1 child, no tow or water on board, minimal supplies for three day RV ring out. Usually traveled 60-65 MPH, rarely faster, felt comfortable about 62-63 MPH. Tried to get into higher gears quickly, cruise control used when possible.

This is a Ford F-450 V10, with about 18,000 miles, is there a speed sweet spot for the best MPG? Should I expect better then 8 MPG?

Thanks for the help and insight.
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Old 12-01-2015, 06:08 AM   #2
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LTR, if your averaging around 8 mpg, well, that is about average. Our Lexi "averages" around 7-9 mpg, towing a Subaru, but if I'm going down a mountain it jumps to 10-11, going up a mountain it drops to 3-5.
There are others who will jump in with claims of 12-14 mpg "average" for a Ford V-10, but it will depend on driving style and speed. Yeah, at 45-50 you may get higher mpg, but if speed limit is 70, you'll be a hazard to yourself, family , and others.
On our Lexi, the "sweet spot" is right around 63-65, and I'll generally keep it there (on an xway).
Low mpg is just a fact of life with an rv and there are no majic solutions that will make it any better. Just learn to live with it, don't be obsesed with mileage, and just enjoy it for the reason you got your rig.
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Old 12-01-2015, 07:11 AM   #3
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You are at the high point of "average MPG" at 8. If it is a head wind you will get less, tail wind more, side wind less... We pull a small Colorado and get 7.5 - 8 average. Our best MPG seems to be in the 55-60 mph range and on cruise on flat land in Florida. Anything over that and you can watch your gas gage move... worst was at 65 mph on flat Florida highways and got 6.3 mpg. Anyone telling you that they get 12 - 15 are "parked" on the highway. IF you plan a long trip figure fuel mileage cost at $0.30 a mile.
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Old 12-01-2015, 07:19 AM   #4
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Thanks for the replies, good to know that it's operating in the normal zone. Certainly understood the mileage realities of RVing. If anyone said I "should" be getting 12 MPG, I'd need to investigate the issue. Another concern I can put to bed.
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Old 12-01-2015, 10:07 AM   #5
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The 3170DS is one of the larger Sunseeker/Forester E450 chassis models. Don't be surprised that when you read that someone with a 8 foot shorter model, without a cabover bunk, on a smaller chassis, gets better MPG.

I have tracked my fuel mileage every tank since buying a new 3170DS in April. Over 5000 miles in 7 months I have seen one tankful that with measurably better fuel mileage. It was when ran the tank to near empty and filled up with Ethanol free fuel.
A friend of mine travelled from Illinois to Alaska this summer and was amazed by his fuel mileage in Canada where they only sell ethanol free fuel. Finding ethanol free fuel is challenging where I live and frequently travel, but if its available to you I suggest trying a few tanks and seeing what you think.
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Old 12-01-2015, 10:15 AM   #6
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Thanks, we have a number of Ethanol Free stations, I'll give it a try.
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Old 12-01-2015, 10:20 AM   #7
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Finding ethanol free fuel is challenging where I live ..........

The station at the corner by my house has it but I will tell you... you need to get about 19 mpg to make it worth the price. A gallon of it here is $3.85. I run in the mower sometimes just to clean out the junk gas.
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Old 12-01-2015, 01:19 PM   #8
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We run a 2013 Sunseeker 2300 on a Chevy G4500 chassis 6L engine. Smaller, lighter and we do get a consistent 12 mpg loaded, on flat terrain at 55 to 60 mph. Others report same with similar vehicles. At freeway speeds, 65 mph, figure drops to 10.5 average, 10.0 if pulling toad. Ford E450 chassis has a little higher front axle capacity, and greater GCWR, so larger "C's" favor the Fords at the expense of less mpg than their Chevy counterparts. Anything over 9 mpg is generally a Chevy, and a smaller, lighter unit.
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Old 12-01-2015, 05:25 PM   #9
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We have a 2013 3170DS, with 5000miles on the clock. We attempt to use no ethanol always and it is readily available here in oil country Oklahoma. Current price for 87 octane is around $ 2.30 a gallon. I don't really track our mpg but I believe we average around 9 running 60 mph. My last rv was a 35 foot 5th wheel, pulled by a Dodge dually, diesel, 6.7 engine, 4x4 with 410 gears. I near fainted when in LA and fuel was $ 5.00 gallon. Enjoy the journey!
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Old 12-01-2015, 07:30 PM   #10
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We also have a 2013 3170DS. I logged our fuel usage on a vacation earlier this year from CT to Orlando and back. With 4 adults and 4 grandkids, on and off traffic jams, 1/4 full water tank, lots of luggage, and some generator use when traveling through Georgia and Florida (in order to use the AC), I recorded mileage at 11 stops for gas between 7.3 to 8.5 mpg, averaging 7.9 mpg for the whole trip. I drove mostly around 65 mph.

Did the same trip in 2013 and 2014 and although I don't have the records anymore, we averaged around 8 mpg then too.

I don't know what the optimum mph is to get the best mpg, but I do know that when I travel at 65-70 mph (where allowed), it seems to make getting up highway inclines a lot smoother/easier (the transmission is a lot less likely to need to downshift) than if I start up the same incline at 55 mph.
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