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Best towing mpg

Old 08-23-2020, 12:23 PM
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Default Best towing mpg

Im looking at purchasing a 2019 or 2020 (Honda Pilot, Subaru Outback Touring XT or Toyota Rav4 Adventure) which can all tow 3500 Lbs.
Looking for MPG data on any of the 3 vehicles mentioned when towing around 3000 Lbs @ 70-80 MPH
What I currently own gets about 18 MPG but drops to about 10 MPG when towing, mainly because I have to take it out of overdrive per owners manual. Its not really the load that kills the MPG as much as the higher RPMs when not using O/D. Any real #s would be appreciated!
Old 08-24-2020, 09:48 AM
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Watching
Old 08-24-2020, 09:54 AM
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Most gasoline powered vehicles get 7-12 MPG towing.
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Old 08-24-2020, 10:05 AM
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Something that's not a transverse drivetrain. One of the small diesels in a rear wheel drive configuration will be tops on mileage. Zero chance I would choose any type of crossover if that's a frequent need. Can you describe what type of 3,000 lb load you have you wish to tow that fast? Fuel economy while towing should be a distant consideration, way behind durability of the drivetrain. Who cares what kind of mileage you get if you are killing transmissions and taxing the motor. Get something that can tow it without breaking a sweat.
Old 08-24-2020, 10:25 AM
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autobaun70 makes a good point as well that you shouldn't tow at 80 MPH. That puts a lot of demands on the trailer components, requires everything to be properly loaded and balanced to avoid away, and dramatically increases fuel consumption relative to slower speeds. When not towing I drive 80+ MPH. When towing I keep it to 65 MPH or less.
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Old 08-24-2020, 10:27 AM
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At speed, drag will matter more than weight. I get 18 pulling my empty flatbed without the ramps on it. I get 11-12 pulling my empty enclosed trailer even though the enclosed trailer is lighter.

If you're towing 3k lbs enough the fuel economy is really a concern, you should probably look at something a little bigger. I doubt you would see an astronomical difference between those three when towing.
Old 08-24-2020, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by mr_mbuna View Post
autobaun70 makes a good point as well that you shouldn't tow at 80 MPH. That puts a lot of demands on the trailer components, requires everything to be properly loaded and balanced to avoid away, and dramatically increases fuel consumption relative to slower speeds. When not towing I drive 80+ MPH. When towing I keep it to 65 MPH or less.
I have no beef with towing fast...do it frequently, but truck and trailer need to be set up for such.

Short version is that while lots of mid-size transverse SUV's can tow, none of them are set up such that it should be a frequent thing at highway speeds. For frequent towing at speed, a truck drive train (front engine, rear drive, no sideways mounted car nonsense) is key. Lots of options for that weight range. 2.7EB F150, diesel colorado/canyon, etc. would be good choices if fuel mileage is the primary concern.
Old 08-24-2020, 11:01 AM
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What are you trying to tow at 70-80? The aerodynamics of the load will have the biggest difference.
Old 08-24-2020, 01:07 PM
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If you want better mileage slow down. If you want to tow fast then it's going to burn more fuel.
Old 08-24-2020, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by mr_mbuna View Post
Most gasoline powered vehicles get 7-12 MPG towing.

So do most diesels.

My 2015 2500 4x4 Duramax got about 10-13 MPG towing my Grady White 228 with a hardtop (about 7800# on the trailer). My 2018 3500 4x4 Duramax gets about 10-13 mpg towing my 22' Sea Hunt 22' Bay Boat (never weigh it, but I'm guessing 4500-5000# on the trailer).

I'm convinced if I tow anything at all, whether it weighs 2000# or 15,000#, that my truck will get about 10-13 MPG.

Old 08-24-2020, 02:21 PM
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You're going to want a real truck when your trailer tires blowout because you've been running at 80mph.
Old 08-24-2020, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by holelottawater View Post
You're going to want a real truck when your trailer tires blowout because you've been running at 80mph.
most trailer tires are only rated for 65mph. So good luck at those speeds.
Old 08-25-2020, 07:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Bmach View Post
most trailer tires are only rated for 65mph. So good luck at those speeds.
Or less in some cases, but there are exceptions.

My trailer is a tandem that has Goodyear Endurance tires. These are E load, and speed rated to 87 mph. Tires I had on before were rated a bit less. I think my old ones were rated to 75mph.

However, with a max load of 3000 lbs, I'm thinking those are smaller tires, and likely have a lower load and speed rating. Pretty sure the 70-80 mph would be more than they are rated for.
Old 08-25-2020, 07:40 AM
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Stay away from anything front wheel drive if towing frequently.

If MPG is a concern when towing most of the turbo 4 cyl engines are going to be terrible on fuel under a load because they use more gas than is necessary to make the power in order to cool the combustion chambers... basically using gas as a cooling agent... You are better off finding a larger cubic inch naturally aspirated engine if fuel economy is more important than performance to you. Not towing in over drive is good advice, the higher RPMS and increased mechanical leverage gained by towing in a lower gear is easier on the entire drive train.

Id look at a v6 Tacoma or 4 Runner. Diesel Colorado/ Canyon if you are willing to gamble on the emission system being reliable. Maybe a 5.0 v8 F-150 if you have room for it.
Old 08-25-2020, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Belzelbub View Post
Or less in some cases, but there are exceptions.

My trailer is a tandem that has Goodyear Endurance tires. These are E load, and speed rated to 87 mph. Tires I had on before were rated a bit less. I think my old ones were rated to 75mph.

However, with a max load of 3000 lbs, I'm thinking those are smaller tires, and likely have a lower load and speed rating. Pretty sure the 70-80 mph would be more than they are rated for.
Got 81 MPH rated load range D's on 13" wheels on mine. Not common, but they are out there.
Old 08-25-2020, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by aj06bolt12r View Post
Stay away from anything front wheel drive if towing frequently.

If MPG is a concern when towing most of the turbo 4 cyl engines are going to be terrible on fuel under a load because they use more gas than is necessary to make the power in order to cool the combustion chambers... basically using gas as a cooling agent... You are better off finding a larger cubic inch naturally aspirated engine if fuel economy is more important than performance to you. Not towing in over drive is good advice, the higher RPMS and increased mechanical leverage gained by towing in a lower gear is easier on the entire drive train.

Id look at a v6 Tacoma or 4 Runner. Diesel Colorado/ Canyon if you are willing to gamble on the emission system being reliable. Maybe a 5.0 v8 F-150 if you have room for it.
I have to disagree with your comment.

Before I do comment, the OP doesn't know what he is doing or has a death wish towing with that class of vehicle at 80mph. Tires are a small part of the risk. Faced with the potential of rapid maneuvering to avoid a collision towing at 80mph is a suicide mission. He isnt going to die from a blowout; he is going to die from a rollover or head on collision.

I have two turbo charged vehicles. one a 2.0 4cyl I tested with a 3000 pound boat on a round trip, same day, 50% highway, and the rest low speed continuous up and down grade mountain road. The lie o meter measured 18 mpg. I couldn't hand measure so what would you say? Perhaps 16mpg actual? The key thing is my speed was half @65 to 70, and the other half @35mph. At 80mph maybe single digit mpg? None of those vehicles cited by the OP would beat 10mpg towing at 80 mph.

My other vehicle is a v6EB, same load as OP, I get 15.3 mpg, hand calculated over 10,000 long cross country miles, with back to back fills, at speed under 70mph. There are no NA vehicles that will beat that economy. Except, of course, a turbo diesel which was my prior tow vehicle.

Another example would be to compare a 4 cyl 2.3EB Ranger over either a 4 cyl or 6 cyl Tacoma. I predict that the Ranger would kill the Taco in tow performance, while exceeding mpg performance, too. I have no test data to confirm results of that matchup, but that is why there are debates on internet forums.
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Old 08-25-2020, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Inlander View Post
I have to disagree with your comment.

Before I do comment, the OP doesn't know what he is doing or has a death wish towing with that class of vehicle at 80mph. Tires are a small part of the risk. Faced with the potential of rapid maneuvering to avoid a collision towing at 80mph is a suicide mission. He isnt going to die from a blowout; he is going to die from a rollover or head on collision.

I have two turbo charged vehicles. one a 2.0 4cyl I tested with a 3000 pound boat on a round trip, same day, 50% highway, and the rest low speed continuous up and down grade mountain road. The lie o meter measured 18 mpg. I couldn't hand measure so what would you say? Perhaps 16mpg actual? The key thing is my speed was half @65 to 70, and the other half @35mph. At 80mph maybe single digit mpg? None of those vehicles cited by the OP would beat 10mpg towing at 80 mph.

My other vehicle is a v6EB, same load as OP, I get 15.3 mpg, hand calculated over 10,000 long cross country miles, with back to back fills, at speed under 70mph. There are no NA vehicles that will beat that economy. Except, of course, a turbo diesel which was my prior tow vehicle.

Another example would be to compare a 4 cyl 2.3EB Ranger over either a 4 cyl or 6 cyl Tacoma. I predict that the Ranger would kill the Taco in tow performance, while exceeding mpg performance, too. I have no test data to confirm results of that matchup, but that is why there are debates on internet forums.
Mileage should be a distant consideration behind 1) suitability to safely and comfortably handle the load in question, and 2) drive train durability. No FWD/Transverse drive train on the market will hold up long term while towing compared to a suitable front engine, rear drive configuration.

Transverse vehicles with trailer hitches are purposed for occasional towing at the most...or hauling bicycle/cooler racks. They are perfect for the family that needs a grocery getting/kid hauler with the ability to make home depot runs or drag around a small boat locally. The simply aren't the best tool for the job when it comes to frequet towing at interstate speeds.
Old 08-25-2020, 09:30 AM
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Thinking some one got you all hook, line and sinker
Old 08-25-2020, 10:45 AM
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All I know is the Rav4 is a towing beast, simply legendary!
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Old 08-25-2020, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Inlander View Post
I have to disagree with your comment.

Before I do comment, the OP doesn't know what he is doing or has a death wish towing with that class of vehicle at 80mph. Tires are a small part of the risk. Faced with the potential of rapid maneuvering to avoid a collision towing at 80mph is a suicide mission. He isnt going to die from a blowout; he is going to die from a rollover or head on collision.

I have two turbo charged vehicles. one a 2.0 4cyl I tested with a 3000 pound boat on a round trip, same day, 50% highway, and the rest low speed continuous up and down grade mountain road. The lie o meter measured 18 mpg. I couldn't hand measure so what would you say? Perhaps 16mpg actual? The key thing is my speed was half @65 to 70, and the other half @35mph. At 80mph maybe single digit mpg? None of those vehicles cited by the OP would beat 10mpg towing at 80 mph.

My other vehicle is a v6EB, same load as OP, I get 15.3 mpg, hand calculated over 10,000 long cross country miles, with back to back fills, at speed under 70mph. There are no NA vehicles that will beat that economy. Except, of course, a turbo diesel which was my prior tow vehicle.

Another example would be to compare a 4 cyl 2.3EB Ranger over either a 4 cyl or 6 cyl Tacoma. I predict that the Ranger would kill the Taco in tow performance, while exceeding mpg performance, too. I have no test data to confirm results of that matchup, but that is why there are debates on internet forums.

I think what you said is pretty much correct. I think the main point here is that he.. and you.. were only towing 3000lbs. Depending on wind resistance that may not be enough load to really get the turbocharged/ rich mixture penalty really going. I had a 2015 f-150 with the 3.5 ecoboost. It got good mileage empty and good mileage towing a bass boat... But anything bigger than that, say a 6000lb boat or a truck on a car trailer and the mileage goes to pot in a hurry. I was having to stop every 200 miles towing my bay boat to the Keys with the Ecoboost running about 65-70mph. Had more than enough power, but poor mileage and too small of a gas tank for that kind of load.

I don't know about the Taco vs the Turbo 4 ranger towing MPG. That would be an interesting comparison. I'd like to see it, towing max load up the Ike like TFL does. I agree the Turbo Ranger would probably out perform the Taco, especially at elevation, but we were discussing MPG

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