Tow Vehicles

Discussion in 'Towables' started by bude, Nov 7, 2006.

  1. bude

    bude New Member

    I would like to conduct a survey on fuel economy. I am new to the RV world, we just bought a 25' Jayco and I am towing it behind a 2004 Ford F150 with the 5.4 V8. Truck tows it fine on the straightaway but does a lot of down shifting on slight to steep grades, however, my average fuel comsumption went from 18/19 mpg to about 5/9 mpg on a recent trip from Fl to Ohio and back. I don't know if it would be better to keep this vehicle or invest in a Diesel. If anyone would care to give me some feedback, I would certainly appreciate it. What I would like to know is lenght/weight of RV you are towing, and year/make/engine/[gas/diesel}/hp and average mpg you get from tow vehicle, also your average speed. If I can get enough replys will be glad to post results.

    Thanks for your help.

    Bud
     
  2. DL Rupper

    DL Rupper Senior Member

    RE: Tow Vehicles

    Hey bude, welcome to the forum. If you have money to burn you will be better off with the diesel. The "06" models are about $6000 dollars more than the gas models for a 3/4 or 1 ton diesel. I understand the "07" models will jump another $2000 or so for a new EPA mandated clean diesel burning model.

    I think a 25' foot trailer is within the capabilites of your present pick-up; however, if you get in really steep mountains you may have to go slow.

    What you haven't made clear is how often will you be towing and how long you intend to keep a diesel if you buy one? It takes about 200K miles on a diesel to get any payback. Also diesel fuel is running about $.50/gallon more than regular gas.


    Last but not least. I tow a 30' HitchHiker 5th Wheel with a "03" 2500 Dodge Cummins Turbo Diesel, reg cab, long bed, 4x2, 6spd manual. I get 23mpg highway empty, 19mpg town, and 11 to 12mpg towing. My 5'er weighs in at about 12K. :approve:
     
  3. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    Re: Tow Vehicles

    When I had a 25' Terry lite fifth wheel, about 6500 pounds loaded, my GMC 2500HD 6.0L 410 gears got about 13MPG without the trailer, 8.2 MPG towing at the speed limit (65-75 MPH) and 10.2 MPG at 55 MPH. It was a bit of a struggle getting up hills (2001 model truck).
     
  4. bude

    bude New Member

    RE: Tow Vehicles

    DL, thanks for the feedback, really don't know how much we will use it, but we need to,
    went to Ohio for my 50th hi school reunion, thats when I found out that fuel economy was
    more important than the Lone Ranger, live in Florida,so my wife wantsd to go to the keys for Christmas, and then we are planning a trip to San Diego in January, we have two Pomerians and that sort of influenced our purchase of the Jayco. Our Daughter in Ga. was going to watch them, but something came up, and I was checking on Hotels/Motels that allowed pets, most of them had a 100.00 non refundable deposit per pet, we were going to be gone a little over two weeks, so I had to think about that. Anyways, thats how we wound up buying a RV. I do not want to spend the money if its not going to benefit me. Like I said, my Ford pulls it fine, hurts me at the gas pump. Semper Fi back at you, just three years in H&S Co. in the reserves for me, then went 10 years active in the USN, but did go to Lejune three summers and qualified at Camp Gieger?.
     
  5. DL Rupper

    DL Rupper Senior Member

    Re: Tow Vehicles

    Hey bude, 3 years Infantry and 1 year 1st Recon Battalion. Spent too much time on Navy ships floating around the Pacific having fun. Spend all time possible now RV'ing. Take care and have fun with the RV. Doesn't sound like you would have any cost benefit from a diesel. Just take it slow and easy with the F-150 and you should do alright.
     
  6. bude

    bude New Member

    Re: Tow Vehicles

    Hey John, read your e mail anfd thanks for the feedback, thats about my mileage, were you running a diesel, that 6.0 sort of sounds like it.

    Bud
     
  7. bude

    bude New Member

    Re: Tow Vehicles

    Hey DL, did not know any of the marine det, but always felt for them when we were steaming into a R&R port and the announcment came over the 1MC for the marines to lay to on the hanger deck for three or four days in the field. Was on the Coral Sea and Constellation, era 63/66.

    Bud
     
  8. s.harrington

    s.harrington Senior Member

    Re: Tow Vehicles

    I think you would be better off with a larger engine whether it be gas or diesel. 5.8L is what a 342Cu.In.? You probably only have 170-200HP and I'm sure you are overworking it on the flats. You would need 4:11 gears to have any pulling power and that would mean low gas milage all the time. The 460 was a good engine for towing but The V-10 isn't near the workhorse. Maybe a good diesel will be the best.
     
  9. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    Re: Tow Vehicles

    Nope, gas. Now I have diesel in the motorhome, much better up hills. Not much fun at the gas stations though :)
     
  10. Sticktime

    Sticktime New Member

    RE: Tow Vehicles

    Hey DL,

    I'm looking at buying a 2000 Hitchiker that according to nawu weighs 12,400 dry. Someone expressed some concerns that my 03 Ford 250 with a 7.3 PSD is minimal for the job. What are your feelings? Someone else said that it would pull a trailer with quads behind the 5th wheel but would exceed the 20K limit. Scott
     
  11. darwinbene

    darwinbene New Member

    RE: Tow Vehicles

    sticktime
    I am not DL but I had a simular situation. We had a 36' McKenzie Medallion with a dry weight of 12,500. By the time we were loaded up and on the road it was near the 15,000 weight. I have a 2001 F250 7.3 L diesel and now have 107,000 plus miles. The Pickup pulled the 36' 5th wheel o.k. except the fuel usage was about 8/9 mpg. I do have air bags for leveling and cushion. Going over mountain passes was slow but, was not in a hurry.

    Year ago we traded/downsized to a 30' 5th wheel and fuel usage went to 10/12 mpg. and eaiser to handle. The dry weigth of the 30' 5th wheel is about 9800 and when loaded up and on the road is about 11,500. Big difference and more enjoyable driving. :)
     
  12. DL Rupper

    DL Rupper Senior Member

    Re: Tow Vehicles

    Hey Sticktime, I concur with darwinbene. You can get by pulling the Heavier RV, but it will be marginal. My old Dodge CTD (95) could pull my 12K HitchHiker anywhere "slowly". My "03" gets the job done really well, however, my HitchHiker II dry weight is 0nly 9800lbs. I figure it weighs around 12K loaded. Never have weighed it, but we don't carry alot of excess stuff. Just the miniumum required things.

    My main concern with towing overweight RV's is stopping the beast once it gets rolling. My "03" Dodge stops the RV much better than the "95" did, but neither one stopped the 5'er on a dime. You constantly need to plan ahead as to where you want to stop.

    Like darwinbene said, "big difference and more enjoyable driving".

    The problem is unless you stay around 30 foot in length it is hard to find a good top-of-the-line 5'er that doesn't weigh too much. Our "95" HitchHiker is only 11'2'' in height and only has 2 slides which helps keep the weight down. Most of the newer 5th Wheels are 12' + and have more than 2 slides. This all drives the weight up. I believe to adequately tow a 34 foot or bigger RV you really need a newer 1 ton or heavier truck. Just my opinion. Good luck.
     
  13. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    Re: Tow Vehicles

    note that towing a trailer behind a trailer is illegal in some states...
     
  14. Daddyk

    Daddyk New Member

    RE: Tow Vehicles

    I have a 31' Durango by KZ with two slides. Dry weight is around811 and loaded is good for 10500. I pull the 5 ver with a 2006 F250 Turbo Power Stroke 6.0. On the road not pulling I get about 15 / 18 mpg. In town not pulling nothing I get about 14.5/16 mpg. While pulling the 5er at an average of 60 to 65 mph, I get about 13.5 /14 mpg.

    At traveling anything over 65 the mileage per gallon drops to about 12.5 mpg. As a beginner of the RV traveling exactly one year ago today, I have found out anything over 65 mph is totally stupid and not a wise thing to do (unless your getting ready to climb a really big hill then boost it up to 70 and the hill will bring it back down to around 60 by the time you get the top. Not good on the tires though when the roads are hot and black top like in Florida.....seems to what to make the tires come apart, hub caps fly across the roads and cause one to have to stop and change the sucker....hehehehehe Once I learned to keep it at 60 to 65, I have not had a tire problem since.
    Hot tires created higher pressures. Higher pressures create failure of the tires. The hotter the tire the faster a failure will occur.

    I have had the best of luck out of the F250 6.0 and have not been that many places. Hills in Austin Texas the Ford did pretty good but the more hills I climbed the less mph I got. Never got under 1.5 MPH though so I am a happy camper with the F250 amd would recommend it to anyone.

    I was a Dodge owner for many years but a Ford owner before that and now I am back to the Ford because of the 6.0 Tubo Power Stroke. I kept pretty good records of the mileage while pulling and not pulling so I am pretty aware of what the truck will and would do.

    Hope all this helps. :cool:
     
  15. DL Rupper

    DL Rupper Senior Member

    Re: Tow Vehicles

    Sounds good. Totally agree with the 60/65 mph limit. Had tire problems early on also. Travelling on hot days during peak heat hours didn't help. The speed also killed my tires (2 Blowouts). I have switched to Michelin RIB XPS tires that have 4 plys of steel in the treds and 1 ply of steel in the sidewalls and haven't had any trouble since. Still a Dodge man. Goodness that Dodge diesel smoke smells good. :approve:
     
  16. Guest

    RE: Tow Vehicles

    We bought our truck before we found RVing. We own a 04 Silverado, 1/2 ton 4x4. It's rated at 7800 lbs. We own a 30 foot Rockwood Ultralite fifth wheel. Dry weight 6100#. We're pretty carefull about what we bring with. I have made a few mods to make it more drivable. I changed to a flowmaster exhaust, added a K&N series 77 cold air kit, and use a superships programmer. I did add air bags to the rear suspension just to make it ride level. We drive into the mountains in New Mexico and Arizona. We have drug it through the Raton pass with reasonable results. Our fuel economy is 19-20 unloaded and we average 10 dragging the house.

    When we need a new truck, we will probably go deisel!
     
  17. DL Rupper

    DL Rupper Senior Member

    Re: Tow Vehicles

    Wow, 6100# is light for a 30' 5'er. Mine weighs 9800# dry. As long as you can make it up the mountains out west you're doing alright. If you get a diesel you will want a bigger house. Have fun RV'ing. :)
     

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