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Old 06-26-2016, 02:55 AM   #1
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Why did my buddy's trailer tow so much easier than mine?

Performed a "rescue" tow of my friend's rented TT recently on our trip from Alabama to Yellowstone. His TV had to be towed due to a failed alternator and I towed his trailer from Island Park, Idaho the last stretch into West Yellowstone. It was a 26 footer with a dry weight in the low 6000's and 15 inch wheels. What struck me was how much less my truck seemed to be working to get this trailer rolling and up hills compared to my 25 footer with dry weight in the low 5000's and 14 inch wheels, both with tandem axles. The heavier TT was somewhat more aerodynamic but not radically so and that wouldn't matter with the initial moment of inertia process. Appreciate any feedback on if it's the bigger wheels or what?
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Old 06-26-2016, 04:22 AM   #2
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Air resistance is a much bigger factor than weight.
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Old 06-26-2016, 09:13 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Admiral_Roo2 View Post
Performed a "rescue" tow of my friend's rented TT recently on our trip from Alabama to Yellowstone. His TV had to be towed due to a failed alternator and I towed his trailer from Island Park, Idaho the last stretch into West Yellowstone. It was a 26 footer with a dry weight in the low 6000's and 15 inch wheels. What struck me was how much less my truck seemed to be working to get this trailer rolling and up hills compared to my 25 footer with dry weight in the low 5000's and 14 inch wheels, both with tandem axles. The heavier TT was somewhat more aerodynamic but not radically so and that wouldn't matter with the initial moment of inertia process. Appreciate any feedback on if it's the bigger wheels or what?
Could tire pressure have anything to do with it?
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Old 06-26-2016, 10:49 AM   #4
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Could have had a tailwind towing one and a headwind towing the other.


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Old 06-26-2016, 01:14 PM   #5
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tires

Used to have a single axle 14 foot TT. Bias tires went bad and were replaced with radials. Couldn't believe the difference on such a small trailer.
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Old 06-26-2016, 02:53 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Admiral_Roo2 View Post
Performed a "rescue" tow of my friend's rented TT recently on our trip from Alabama to Yellowstone. His TV had to be towed due to a failed alternator and I towed his trailer from Island Park, Idaho the last stretch into West Yellowstone. It was a 26 footer with a dry weight in the low 6000's and 15 inch wheels. What struck me was how much less my truck seemed to be working to get this trailer rolling and up hills compared to my 25 footer with dry weight in the low 5000's and 14 inch wheels, both with tandem axles. The heavier TT was somewhat more aerodynamic but not radically so and that wouldn't matter with the initial moment of inertia process. Appreciate any feedback on if it's the bigger wheels or what?
just wandering......did your MPG'S reflect an easier pull ?
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Old 06-26-2016, 04:21 PM   #7
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Didn't pull it long enough to notice MPG

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just wandering......did your MPG'S reflect an easier pull ?
I only had to tow it about 25 miles, most of that 2 lane hiway until I got into W. Yellowstone. To the other posts my tires are brand new GoodYear Marathons and the pressure was fine on all four. It just simply got up to speed easier and climbed with less effort from the truck. I can understand the aerodynamics making somewhat of a difference at speed but the only thing that makes any sense for getting it going easier would seem to be the bigger wheels. Really wondering why FR put 14 inchers on mine. It was noticeable enough to make me much less nervous about a 7k lb trailer in the future if they tow more like this one than my current one.
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Old 06-26-2016, 06:23 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by bikendan View Post
Air resistance is a much bigger factor than weight.
I wonder about the wind resistance also. We pull a heavy (8000LB dry weight )28RKS Wildcat. It is a 2011(pre rounded front cap). The identical new trailer is about 700lbs lighter but has the rounded front cap. Unfortunately, looks like they took the weight out of the good stuff ( lighter capacity axles, 15 in stead of 16 inch wheels and my eye( without a tape measure a lighter frame). My question to self is always , " would the new slightly lighter rounded cap version with smaller wheels, brake drums etc pull easier than ours". We love the way our's is built. Lots of tough gravel road travel and zero issues with structure or suspension. Just that it's a little soggy.
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Old 06-26-2016, 07:06 PM   #9
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I am just guessing that yours may weigh more loaded since you own it and probably like most of us have lots in it, where his was rented and probably had very little but personal items and clothes.
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Old 06-26-2016, 07:14 PM   #10
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It's funny how trailers react differently. I've pulled my 38' fifth wheel making 9-12 mpg and then I made a 2,200 mile trip with a 6x10 cargo trailer only to make 13.5 mpg. The cargo trailer was 1/3 the weight and expected 15/16 mpg but the square front held it back. So wind has an effect on trailers.
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Old 06-26-2016, 08:34 PM   #11
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My current TT is 9' longer and about 1000lbs heavier than my previous one, but it's easier to tow and I get slightly better gas mileage. The front is shaped differently, so wind drag might make more of a difference than one would think.


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Old 06-27-2016, 07:41 AM   #12
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Brakes?

Could your trailer brakes be dragging? This is the first time I've ever had trailer brakes, so I'm just guessing.
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Old 06-27-2016, 08:16 AM   #13
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The larger wheels do help some, and the tires can make a difference. I used to have Goodyear Marathons until all 4 developed tread separation. I replaced them with Maxxis M8008s. They cost more but I now enjoy less sway and better gas mileage.
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Old 06-27-2016, 07:30 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovecamping View Post
I am just guessing that yours may weigh more loaded since you own it and probably like most of us have lots in it, where his was rented and probably had very little but personal items and clothes.
X2. Just realizing how much crap we carry this morning while loading the stuff from the old TH in to the new. Must be carrying a ton of stuff. Laterally .
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Old 06-28-2016, 02:28 PM   #15
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Shape does matter, tire size and spacing also

[QUOTE=KDHfan;1240169]My current TT is 9' longer and about 1000lbs heavier than my previous one, but it's easier to tow and I get slightly better gas mileage. The front is shaped differently, so wind drag might make more of a difference than one would think.

Here are pics of both units. I agree that the shape matters a lot once you are up to speed.

They had moved all their gear, clothing, food etc. (which was considerable) to the trailer prior to his failed truck being towed. Plus the dry weight is 1000lbs different regardless of personal contents so if I loaded mine to death it would still probably weigh less or equal to the Jayco dry weight.

Based on discussion with other folks and some of the other responses to my post I think other contributing factors are not just wheel size but the fact that a bigger wheel would hold a bigger tire and therefore a larger volume of air to support the weight with less friction. The Jayco has 15s while mine are 14s. This combined with the larger space between the Jayco axles which distributes the weight differently per tire / axle vs. mine which are very close together. So my next one will definitely have a different axle / wheel / tire setup regardless of layout and size etc. and either a V front or a better slope on the nose. Thanks to everybody for feedback!!
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Old 06-28-2016, 05:34 PM   #16
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Aerodynamics are the biggest factor on the highway. Not just the shape but the size combine to figure overall drag. The rolling resistance is tiny in comparison at 65 mph, and once up to speed it could weigh double and it doesn't effect mpg. The front of the camper is less then 1/2 the battle, technically the tow vehicle shields a bunch of the front anyway. I don't understand why trailer makers pay zero attention to the back where 1/2 the drag is coming from. A simple foldable trailer tail like you see now on semis would go a long way. The A/C units should be shorter and have a hollowed tapered fairing behind them that would also protect the cooling fins when backing up from tree branches. little things like the bubble above the shower on my new Palamino is actually designed well but installed backward. It should begin steep and taper slowly to the rear. Instead it starts slow and then rounds off steep, same as the vent covers on top, they are backwards aerodynamically wise. Also my new Palamino is built floor over tire with no relief for the wheel wells. Nice for the inside space but makes the whole camper sit up 8-10" higher in the wind then it needs to be. The air could go under I suppose if I were to also jack up my tow vehicle the same, but as it is a normal height truck is already cutting the wind in front at a lower level then the camper is.
The best info I have seen on this is over at ecomodder.com. What works on a Prius also works on a semi. Here is an online tool where you can see the difference between rolling resistance and drag at different speeds. Aerodynamic & rolling resistance, power & MPG calculator - EcoModder.com
It shows where your horsepower is going and what effect reduced frontal aera or better aerodynamics would have and how much is going to rolling resistance.

Oh and longer is better for aerodynamics as well, the air has a better chance to reattach after being disturbed by the poor front cap design.
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Old 07-14-2016, 01:52 AM   #17
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Hitch weight have anything to do with it? Was the TV carrying a lot more weight with one than the other?
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