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Old 10-01-2015, 01:07 AM   #1
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MPG Degradation Towing my A Frame

I have a T12RB A frame. Works fine for my wife and I. I thought it would be very economical to tow. I have been disappointed with my Dodge Dakota (6 cylinder) on my recent trip I got 10-13 mpg, a drop of about 4 mpg from unloaded. Thought that was pretty bad for a light tow. Since I have been following the forum, I have noted several people happy with a drop of 6-10 mpg while towing albeit bigger rigs. Are my expectations just out of whack?

Karl in Washington

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Old 10-01-2015, 01:56 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by kwjamison View Post
Are my expectations just out of whack?

Karl in Washington

a lot depends on year, rear end ratio and engine size it has and what passengers/cargo are inside the Dodge.
also where you're driving.

is this your first RV?

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Old 10-01-2015, 05:57 AM   #3
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I would say you are in the ball park for towing your trailer. Even when I tow my golf cart on a light trailer with my Dmax 3500, I will get a drop in mileage, and it doesn't even feel like it's back there.
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Old 10-01-2015, 06:06 AM   #4
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be happy with a 4 mpg drop. Most experience much more. Just part of owning a camper.
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Old 10-01-2015, 06:43 AM   #5
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I drop 3-4 mpg towing my 6x10 cargo trailer with my Duramax 2500. I drop 8-12mpg when I pull my 38' fifth wheel.
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Old 10-01-2015, 07:15 AM   #6
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MPG Degradation towing my A-frame

Karl, there's been a lot of comment on this forum about mpg while towing, but I'll add my two cents. I have a Ford F150 with the 3.5 ecoboost 6 cylinder engine. I'm towing an A213HW which is roughly about 250 lbs heavier than your A-frame. The truck normally gets somewhere between 17-21 mpg on the Hwy all by itself. When I add the camper, I've had as low as 14.6 and as high as 18.2. That's considerably better than the 8.1-9.2 I got when I was towing my 7,000 lb. Palomino Puma 230FBS 5th wheel with it. The bottom line(s) seem to me to be these: Apart from truck-related factors, towing mileage depends on these factors:
1. The wind. Is it blowing at you or pushing you from behind?
2. The terrain. Is it relatively flat, or hilly?
3. How do you drive? Pedal to the metal or slower?
4. Your towing mode. Are you using tow-haul mode or standard overdrive?
5. Payload. How much "stuff" are you hauling in the back of the truck?

Age-wise, I am tending toward the geezer end of things. I am most comfortable towing around 60-65 in overdrive, with cruise control if the terrain is flat. If it is not flat, then I'm using tow-haul. If I'm going 60mph, it also makes my wife very happy. Takes a little longer to get there, but I like to think I get there more relaxed! Happy camping!

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Old 10-01-2015, 08:18 AM   #7
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I see a similar drop towing our Mini Lite 2306 with a V6 pickup.
Along with other good questions/points above...those A frame campers seem to present a pretty large flat surface area for wind resistance. That might be the biggest factor.
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Old 10-01-2015, 08:58 AM   #8
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I towed a 16 ft Aluminum boat about 1400# for years and only noticed 1 or maybe 2 MPG difference from 13-14 to 12-13 MPG... then I got a 1100# popup and noticed a 2-3 MPG difference. I then went up to a 19Ft 4500# Shamrock 183 HTT and when I tow I usually get 6.5 to 7.5 MPG.

I attribute the difference to not only weight but wind loading on the flat front of the popup and HTT. My boat is streamlined compared to the flat frontal area of the popup.

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Old 10-01-2015, 09:10 AM   #9
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Depending on the year of your truck it could have 3.92 gear which is fine for towing but will give you lower gas mileage. My Dakota was a 2011 and had the v-6 and 3.92.gears. Even on the road the mileage was not that great when not towing. Sounds like the milage is about right for your truck towing. As mentioned there is quite a bit of wind resistance with the A frame. Later RJD
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Old 10-01-2015, 01:18 PM   #10
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I am towing a 128S which has the large storage ara in front and my TV is a Honda Odyssey. I typically average about 5 MPG less when towing--19 MPG. Considering your TV, I don't think you have any complaints. Hope you enjoy your a frame as much as I do.

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frame, mpg, towing, a-frame

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