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Old 03-24-2014, 05:36 PM   #1
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Fuel Economy/MPG Towing

I was wondering what everyone does to improve their fuel economy? Do you use the "Tow" button on or leave the vehicle in overdrive? Do you use the cruise control always or during certain times? Any upgrades that helped such as performance exhaust or air filter?

I especially would like to hear from Rockwood UL owners with 1/2 tons.

Thanks,
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Old 03-24-2014, 06:01 PM   #2
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I do not use the "Tow" option. (when on flat ground) but then my trailer is only 7400lb dry. Also this is my third trailer, the first one was shaped like a brick - a huge wind drag at anything over 65mph. With a 7.3 the best it got was 10mpg and it only weighed 5500 dry. The next time I tried a "V-Nosed" trailer (Keystone VR1 at 7600lb dry) that helped the milage with same 7.3 went up to avg of 12mpg in spite of it being heaver than the first one. Then I got a Cummins 5.9 and the "V-Nose VR1" milage went up again to around 13.5 avg. So on trailer no 3 - with the lessons I learned - I went with a lower profile and aerodynamic shaped 5th wheel. Now with the 5.9 pulling a 7400lb dry 5-er I can get 16mpg if I keep it around 60mph. (15mpg at 70 or less).
My lessons were (on flat ground at least) weigh was less of a factor than wind resistance for me. But now when I get in the hills I have to admit that I do put her in "Tow Haul" just to keep the shifting down to a minimum.
I use cruse on flat ground (not in the hills).

My current rig - You can see the aerodynamic front nose on the 5-er
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Old 03-24-2014, 06:08 PM   #3
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the "tow" button varies I'm sure as to exactly what it does in different vehicles. It always changes your shift points and cuts down on constant shifting. On some vehicles it raises trans. pressure too. That is a big plus to minimize slippage.
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Old 03-24-2014, 06:30 PM   #4
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EnduroRdr, thanks for the information, that is a good looking rig.
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Old 03-24-2014, 06:33 PM   #5
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David & Lynn, What about down hill? I still use the "tow" button always but may change that now, it seems it would be just as important downhill as up to keep the speed down and the brakes cool.
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Old 03-24-2014, 06:34 PM   #6
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If your towing heavy I would suggest you utilize the tow/haul setting. I've heard you can tear up the tranny if you don't. Me personally when towing I always use it. Works good for me.
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Old 03-24-2014, 06:36 PM   #7
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the 09 GMC gas engine truck I had, when in tow mode, there was engine braking by means of downshifting which was helpful and on long down grades didn't need as much braking to maintain lower speeds. Now I have a diesel with exhaust brake and its amazing how well that works
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Old 03-24-2014, 06:37 PM   #8
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your owners manual should describe exactly what it does and when to use it. If in doubt, use it.
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Old 03-24-2014, 10:49 PM   #9
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Why would anyone purposely not use the tow/haul setting on their truck when they're towing something?

It doesn't lock out overdrive on my 2011 F150 but it does change the shift points so it's not searching for a gear as often. It also uses the engine to brake when it's on.

If you really want to improve your mileage, the only solution is to leave your trailer at home.
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Old 03-24-2014, 11:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pappcam View Post
Why would anyone purposely not use the tow/haul setting on their truck when they're towing something?

It doesn't lock out overdrive on my 2011 F150 but it does change the shift points so it's not searching for a gear as often. It also uses the engine to brake when it's on.

If you really want to improve your mileage, the only solution is to leave your trailer at home.
I love the challenge trying to improve my mileage. Definately not worried about the cost; look what I'm towing and towing with.

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Forest River Forums mobile app
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