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let me know what you think. You've all seen the red 7 x 12 (approx) single-axle trailer (We usually have 4 bikes and gear in it). What's the best-rated MPG vehicle to tow this thing with? Or is it stupid with anything less than the F150 (with big triton engineV8)?
 

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I think the fuel is one price you pay to be in the game...I tow an open trailer 1 or 2 bikes with a full size ford conversion van, I get 16-18 mpg

d.

I love the smell of castor oil in the morning, but I have a Honda....
 

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Another option is to rig a wing or deflector to shoot the air over the enclosed trailer. Pulling that thing is like pulling a parachute behind your truck. Sreamlining can save on gas.

Yeller'
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Ask not what the wanker can do for you, but what you can do for your wanker!
 

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if you go with the f150, you can sell the trailer and buy something tha will only haul 2 bikes. then fit 2 in the truck. i never think about gas when im hauling to the track.....or anywhere else for that matter. my gas gauge doesnt even work. but ive gotten or 16 with a full load in my truck. 10psi extra in the tires, and keep it around 55-60. makes a huge difference.

jc
 

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Evil,
I tow my setup, around 6,000 lbs loaded, using the 4.8L V8 in my GMC. I get about 14mpg towing, about 21mpg not towing. It will go 90+ mph on the level, down to 45mph on some of the mountains on the way through vermont.
You gotta be looking at close to 4,000 lbs with your trailer fully loaded. Kinda heavy for anything short of a full size truck. Yeah, smaller trucks or a heavy duty van would haul it short distances on the level, but any long trips or mountains would take their toll on a smaller vehicle.
I've seen enclosed traliers that size eat van transmission again and again. And empty heavy duty van is ok. But a conversion van that already weighs 1500 lbs more than a basic van and you'll eventually have problems. I know Turk burned out two transmissions towing his enclosed trailer behind his conversion van.
The thing with a full size truck, even with a smaller V8 is the drive train, much stronger than all cars and most vans, and with rear end ratios made for towing.
I've thought about going to the 5.3L V8, but I only tow at most 7 times a year. I can live with ten minutes of 45mph over the mountains. I'm waiting for the small diesel 1/2 tons to come out in 09, or 2010. 4.5L diesels that get close to 30mpg empty, and probably 20mpg towing...and will still tow more than my V8.
JohnnyB
 

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forget conventional gas, go diesel. We towed a full car trailer and 1967 buick with my buddy's f350 diesel with an allison 6 speed tranny. On the highway the rig was showing 20 mpg the entire way.

I realize diesel may be out of budget but you just asked about the best mpg.

Personally I would not buy a ford powered diesel. They seem to be having problems. I would go for a Chevy first and a dodge second, and would try to get a stick shift if I could.
 

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The big diesels are total overkill for most bike towing jobs. With 12-14,000 lb towing capacity you are just dragging around lots of HD truck that you won't need.
Marty has a 6.6L GMC diesel, gets about the same mileage towing as my little gas V8. It does get about 21mpg empty. The advantage to a diesel is that while towing you will get say 14mpg towing 6,000 lbs, and still get 14mpg towing 10,000 lbs. They aren't much of an advantage unless you use them for what they were meant for...towing heavy loads, the heavier the load the more advantage you will see over gas engines. Towing 4,000 lbs is a waste of big diesel. Figure a 60's muscle car at about 3600 lbs, 1200 lbs of trailer, and another 1000 lbs of gear and passengers...yeah you'd be getting close big diesel territory. But a total load of 4,000 lbs and a gas V8 will do the job fine.

Hence the huge call for 1/2 ton trucks with small diesels. 30mpg empty, 18-20 towing, and they will still haul 9,000 lbs easy.

Diesel is definately the way to go...when they start selling the 1/2 tons. Otherwise you'll pay a $6-7,000 premium for a big diesel...you'd have to do a whole lot of towing to get that back in fuel costs.
I'd stick out with the F150 until a small diesel comes out.
JohnnyB

PS. Evil, you know my rig. It tows perfectly acceptable with the small V8, 3:73 Posi, manual gearbox. It's got to weigh 2,000 lbs more than your trailer. Course the truck is light, regular cab, regular box, no luxury options, no AC, HD rear end etc. I get at worst 14mpg, close to 16 if I go the speed limit.




Edited by - jbranson on Oct 24 2007 2:02:38 PM

Edited by - jbranson on Oct 24 2007 2:06:34 PM
 

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I have a 2004 2wd f-250 crew cab, 5.3 gas v-8, 6spd manual. Two yrs ago I towed/hauled approx 4000lbs (my father in law is a retired engineer & figured the weight of my payload, so I'm pretty sure it was accurate) of building materials from ME to MI & got just under 17mpg. I don't tow very often & not for long distances. When I bought it, the diesel was an extra $4700!

Get a stick shift; You can't drive an automatic, you can only aim it.
 

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Six speed...nice.
I don't even know if you can get a manual in some of the new diesels...I know you can't in the large gas V8's.
JohnnyB
 

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It's really a 5spd with a creeper first.
 

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Around here all the farmers have diesel trucks. What I know about them is that A: You will never make up the extra cost of a diesel in fuel savings and B: They all have their problems. My nephew bought a new Chevy a year ago, it's been towed home more than once. A guy that comes in the store just spent 2 grand on an injector pump for his Cummins. A buddy was looking at a used Ford to tow his race car. It was cheap because it needed a head gasket, until he found out the cab had to come loose and be jacked up to get the heads off.

For that size a trailer a 1/2 ton would be fine. Wheelbase is important to ride quality, get an extended cab or four door. Get either a torsion bar load leveler hitch assembly or air bag the rear if it squats the truck. If your trailer's got brakes hook 'em up. Put a topper on it to get the air over the trailer. I don't like to shift, so I'd get an automatic, but they make me nervous. I've driven my buddy's 05 Chevy that he ordered specifically to tow his race car alot. With the tow button pressed that thing still shifts up and down all the time.
 

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all this talk about towing makes me glad I have an extended van. F350 with some huge 8L engine. I wish the engine was smaller, as it only gets 14mpg no matter how I drive it. But it'll hold three bikes inside plus all my gear. It could easily tow a trailer, and I have with it. Huge 2 axle car hauler with a Alfa Romeo I picked up in Boston a few years back. 70 up Rt93 no problem. Still got 13mpg.

Cost me around 3500 a few years back, I just put a PS pump in it, but no other repairs has been necessary.

I don't drive it often, only when making a run to the dump or heading up to the track. Otherwise it just sits in the driveway. We have two cars for normal driving.

So yes, if you don't normally need a truck and can spend $4K on a van, I'd go that route. The money saved on the vehicle will cover the fuel costs. I have some friends that have huge trucks they use to tow boats . They tow boats maybe 3-4 times a year, but they have to drive that pig of a truck year round as a daily driver because they spent $30K on it. Silly.
 

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quote:
You can't drive an automatic, you can only aim it.
I'm stealing that.

quote:
all this talk about towing makes me glad I have an extended van. F350 with some huge 8L engine.
I was thinking of something along these lines. I only really need a truck every once in a blue moon. An enclosed van that would fit a bike or two would be pretty convenient for me.

I don't want to hear any bitching about mpg. My '92 stang daily driver average's 16 mpg on a good day without towing squat. It pretty much sucks . . . but the torque is fun.

****************************************
The best kind of justice is angry mob justice.
 

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If I traveled to the races alone, or with maybe one person (no dogs) and a couple of bikes, the extended HD van is a great way to go. Empty out the bikes, sleep in it. Big enough to arrange some kind of heat if needed, maybe even mini-fridge etc.
As a dedicated race vehicle, short of a custome RV it would be the way to go.
JohnnyB
 

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quote:
If I traveled to the races alone, or with maybe one person (no dogs) and a couple of bikes, the extended HD van is a great way to go. Empty out the bikes, sleep in it. Big enough to arrange some kind of heat if needed, maybe even mini-fridge etc.
As a dedicated race vehicle, short of a custome RV it would be the way to go.
JohnnyB
Yeah, like "On Any Sunday" sleeping in the van while on the road between races. However, my legs would have to stick out the window..not a smart thing to do on the interstate... Don't ask me how I know that...no, just don't.

Yeller'
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Ask not what the wanker can do for you, but what you can do for your wanker!
 
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