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Fuel mileage question

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brokenboot
Posted 2017-05-08 11:24 AM (#169859)
Subject: Fuel mileage question


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Posts: 78
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Location: Minnesota
 I recently upgraded to a 2014 F350 6.7, auto tran 4x4 dually.  I am impressed with the increase in power over my old truck, but am disappointed with the 9-11 mpg I'm getting when pulling our 28' living quarters trailer.  It hasn't mattered whether I have horses loaded or not ... the mileage is the same.  The trailer weighs in at about 10,000 lbs.  Has anyone gotten mileage much different?  Any suggestions on how to improve it?  ( I know ... trade it for a Ram! )  I really like the truck in all other respects, but I miss the better mileage that my '04 6.0 gave me.

Edited by brokenboot 2017-05-08 11:25 AM
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Spin Doctor
Posted 2017-05-08 2:13 PM (#169861 - in reply to #169859)
Subject: RE: Fuel mileage question


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Location: Valentine, NE
We have a '16 F450 and would be very happy to get 9-11 pulling our 19k LQ. Right now, in the last 2k miles, ave is 8.7. Once we get it broke in, I am hoping for 10. It does do 18 by itself and 13-14 pulling our stock trailer with 5 horses in it.  We have a SRW 3500 '12 Ram and it only gets 14 by itself and 10 pulling the stock trailer. Don't use it on the LQ as it saggs way to much. as the LQ trailer is just to much for it. 

F450 has way more go than the Ram.

Are you sure on your LQ weight? Ours is 30'6" long, 4 horse and weighs right at 19,700 when fully loaded with all our crap.

Never had a 6.0.



 
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brokenboot
Posted 2017-05-08 5:16 PM (#169863 - in reply to #169859)
Subject: RE: Fuel mileage question


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Location: Minnesota
Doc, I went back and double checked my trailer's weight.  It's a Trails West aluminum 3 horse with side tack and slide out.  The brochure has the weight at 9,900.  It also has an onboard generator and I know that adds a little weight.  I meant the weight as empty, but I really do need to weigh it when we're loaded with horses, tack and 2 weeks of supplies.  We usually haul two horses.
I would have liked to have gotten a year newer F350 because in 2014 they made some improvements that made my 400 hp into a 440 hp.  I do have the 3.73 rear end and was hoping that would give me a little better fuel mileage.  I could get 19-20 empty with my 6.0 and 14-15 loaded.  But I wouldn't trade the increased horse power and torque for the mpg that I lost.
The other difference I noticed from the '04 dually to the '14 dually is how much more the rear of the new truck sagged when hitched to a load.  I never had an issue with the '04, but I've put Timbrens on the new one to keep it level.
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Cutter1999
Posted 2017-05-08 7:56 PM (#169864 - in reply to #169859)
Subject: RE: Fuel mileage question


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Posts: 42
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Location: Waaaaay back Slaughter Hollow
Have you actually weighed your trailer? Most companies do not include a weight of the trailer with the living quarters finished out. The only way to truly know is to weigh it.

I pull a 2003 Featherlite 8587 three horse with a 13' short wall that is 8' wide, and 28' on the floor. The trailer with my camping gear, hay, feed and tack with NO water and NO horses weighs 11,700 lbs. My trailer does have a hay rack, that I do not use, and does not have a slide.

I tow with a 2016 RAM 3500 4 X 4 crew cab aluminum flatbed with a 6.7 Cummins, automatic transmission, and a 3.73 rear. With the trailer loaded with one horse, my truck averages 11 mpg. When not towing, it averages 17 mpg, running the same roads.

My guess would be your trailer weighs more than you think it does.

Edited by Cutter1999 2017-05-08 7:58 PM
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PaulChristenson
Posted 2017-05-08 9:30 PM (#169865 - in reply to #169859)
Subject: RE: Fuel mileage question


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brokenboot - 2017-05-08 2:24 PM  I recently upgraded to a 2014 F350 6.7, auto tran 4x4 dually.  I am impressed with the increase in power over my old truck, but am disappointed with the 9-11 mpg I'm getting when pulling our 28' living quarters trailer.  It hasn't mattered whether I have horses loaded or not ... the mileage is the same.  The trailer weighs in at about 10,000 lbs.  Has anyone gotten mileage much different?  Any suggestions on how to improve it?  ( I know ... trade it for a Ram! )  I really like the truck in all other respects, but I miss the better mileage that my '04 6.0 gave me.

One...you can chip the truck to improve mpg
Two...weight your trailer like Cutter said...I think you'll be surprised how heavy it really is...
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Jeepplr
Posted 2017-05-09 5:44 AM (#169866 - in reply to #169859)
Subject: RE: Fuel mileage question


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The only thing that comes to mind for me is drag.
My LS (gas) powered Chevy pulls my Jeep on a flat bed trailer total weight 4800lbs. I also have a Lakota 10'SW 4 horse that can fit 1 Jeep, empty weight 8420, battle ready 10,500-11,000lbs. I get nearly the same mileage pulling lighter trailer across the country.
With my Jeep I have a brick, flat windshield, sitting up about as high as my horse trailer. My horse trailer has a v nose. I use more fuel powering up hills with the Lakota but cruse speed 72 mph my mpg is within 0.2 mpg and that can also be caused by excessive alcohol in the fuel.
My truck is a 2002 Chevy 2500HD 6.0 GAS. I have a supercharger, big fuel injectors, intercooled, Black Bear tune and water methanol injection under boost. I make 550-600 HP depending on fuel quality.
In short, big power still gets bad mpg pulling 4800lbs or 11,000lbs with comparable serface area in the wind. Drag is the enemy.
I would look to a wind deflector.
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brokenboot
Posted 2017-05-09 7:24 AM (#169867 - in reply to #169859)
Subject: RE: Fuel mileage question


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Posts: 78
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Location: Minnesota
Some helpful thoughts ... thank you.  I really do need to get my trailer weighed.  By information I got on manufacturer websites, our new trailer should only weigh about 500 pounds more than our old one, but I've wondered how that can be.  I should have mentioned that we got a new trailer last year and it is an 8' wide, compared with our old 7' wide ... has a more level roof line on the nose compared with the sloped nose on the old trailer ... and is 6" taller than the old trailer ... the floor lengths are identical.  That all adds up to more drag, as was mentioned.  But the new one is aluminum skinned, while the old one was steel.
An area that has been a gauge of pulling power to me is Hwy 16, west out of Buffalo, WY.  That 7% incline goes on for miles and while my old truck pulled our 7' wide trailer up there without too much trouble, it struggled to maintain 25 mph when we pulled our new trailer out there.  I am anxious, with crossed fingers, to see how the 6.7 handles that climb.  
I've heard that chipping a diesel will add more power, but reduces engine life because it will run hotter.  Is that true if you're chipping to get improved mpg?  I assume that a chip for greater mpg will reduce the power?  That would be the same as if I'd kept my old truck.  Or is this one of the times when you can't have it all?  More power equals less mpg.  If I have to pay for more fuel in order to take our horse camping trips, I guess it's worth it.  We love the new trailer and the new truck and I wouldn't trade it all back to save a few bucks.
Thanks again for your input.  I really do appreciate how much information I get from people on this website who've got the knowledge, experience and opinions and are willing to share with others.


Edited by brokenboot 2017-05-09 7:29 AM
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Cutter1999
Posted 2017-05-09 9:04 AM (#169868 - in reply to #169859)
Subject: RE: Fuel mileage question


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Posts: 42
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Location: Waaaaay back Slaughter Hollow
Never trust the estimated weights you are getting from the manufacturer. They do not include the living quarters. Plus, every living quarters is going to weigh differently, with many variables.

The only way to know with 100% certainly what your trailer weighs is to take it to a scale. The CAT scale at a truck stop near me only costs $10. To me, that $10 is well worth knowing what the trailer weighs, plus lets me know I am within my legal weights going down the road.

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ckkoch09
Posted 2017-05-10 5:36 PM (#169875 - in reply to #169859)
Subject: RE: Fuel mileage question


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Posts: 13

Location: Prineville
I am towing my 2005 Featherlight 8587 4h 13ft shortwall living quarters with a 2014 ram 3500 Cummins cab and chassis flat bed with 4:10 gears. My truck gets 14-16 empty down the hwy at 55. The last time I towed the trailer I scaled at just over 14k and the truck averaged 9mpg. I owned Fords before this truck and they only averaged 9mpg towing. The 9 mpg doesn't really bother me with these kind of loads. 
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retento
Posted 2017-05-10 7:11 PM (#169876 - in reply to #169875)
Subject: RE: Fuel mileage question


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 2016 F-350 crew cab, 6.7 diesel, automatic, 4x4 with 4.30 gears.....  8.9 mpg last trip to TN. And back pulling around 17K 8' tall inside height trailer with hay pod and genset up top at 65 to 70 mph.  Seems to do pretty good on fuel until it regens then it really SUCKS....!   We got a 2016 F-350 SRW diesel auto with 3.55's as a daily driver. Lifetime average is 13.4 mpg. Some light towing, around town, interstate, etc.  Takes alot of fuel to make that big horsepower.
  My old gasoline hog GM 8.1/Allison with 4.10's would get 9 mpg pulling 15K... Go figure.

 
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RTSmith
Posted 2017-05-11 9:14 AM (#169879 - in reply to #169859)
Subject: RE: Fuel mileage question


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I personally think weight is an overrated portion of the factor about pulling. Importamt to stopping, but not pulling at least in the basically flatlands that we are in (steep mountain grades very different of course). By that, I've two examples that lead me to that. First- have a little 14'Lx7'W lawnmower trailer with a big rear ramp made of mesh. Pulls like a brick, and will pull a 1 ton down to the 10-11 MPG range. Trailer weighs under 2,000#. Same truck with a 3H GN at 6,000# with a tapered nose is at 15mpg.

Even more telling scenario- had the occasion once to run up and down the interstate several times with 2 similar but different trailers. First was a 2H straight load gooseneck. Basic 14'6"L x 7'6" t x 7'W. Cruised for 500 miles. Made the same route, same truck, same driver, with the same trailer , but in a bumper pull configuration. The GNs 13 MPG dropped to 11 with the bumper pull. With the BP being 750# lighter!. In talking to some race car customers, they all tell me it is airflow- you'll notice they pull large car haulers that are BP, behind a 1 ton with a camper. The camper improves MPG by several percentage points they say.

Final point- Ford's old towing manuals for the smaller vehicles had a rating for the maximum frontal area of a trailer. Airflow is the issue to MPG. As I recall I believe the physicists will verify that air drag increases exponentially with speed. In our own fleet hauling, we can often increase fuel economy by over 10% just by doing 65 MPH instead of 70. 
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brokenboot
Posted 2017-05-11 11:36 AM (#169881 - in reply to #169879)
Subject: RE: Fuel mileage question


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Posts: 78
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Location: Minnesota
RT, that's a pretty good point and I think I've experienced the increased drag.  Going to a wider and taller trailer with a more blunt nose ... both goose necks ... has made a big difference.  And I do believe the new trailer is much heavier than our old one because when I was struggling up the 7% grade at 25 mph, the wind resistance couldn't have been much of a factor.   Pulling across the flat land of ND, it's increased wind resistance.   Pulling up the steep grades, it's the additional weight.  And after reading from all of you experienced haulers, I'm going to be satisfied that my new truck can pull and safely stop the load regardless where we're going, even if my mileage is down to 8 or 9. I'll pay the extra fuel bill.  I didn't pick this hobby or lifestyle because it was the least expensive one I could find.

Edited by brokenboot 2017-05-11 11:37 AM
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huntseat
Posted 2017-06-05 9:03 AM (#169994 - in reply to #169859)
Subject: RE: Fuel mileage question


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My 2015 F350 4x4 auto tranny gets about 9-14 MPG depending on load and it's never empty.  I agree about the amount of sqaure footage you are draggin into the wind.  You may try and look into a nose dome to ease the wind resistance of your wider trailer nose.
Love the power this trusk has and it's a welcomed relief after being stuck in an F150 for a few years.  (No I didn't haul the big trailers or big loads in the F150 but even a tiny tag-a-long two horse left me white knuckled! 
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Geunther
Posted 2017-10-01 9:45 PM (#170721 - in reply to #169859)
Subject: RE: Fuel mileage question


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Posts: 7

A major factor in fuel mileage is speed. Watch your tachometer, it will tell the story. I always go with the old saying, 'a candle that burns twice a bright, burns half as long' I have never chipped a vehicle, and average 350,000 on my towing vehicles. Leave an hour earlier and slow down, your vehicle will last longer, and you will save money on diesel.
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rhooton
Posted 2017-10-23 7:16 PM (#170762 - in reply to #169859)
Subject: RE: Fuel mileage question



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I have a 2012 F350 6.7 with 3:73.....11 mpg pulling a 30 foot, 4 horse living quarter...14 mpg no trailer. 
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