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Last Post 03 Sep 2005 10:49 AM by  que45
Towing a Breadbox WITH a Breadbox?
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Garfield
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27 Aug 2005 06:29 PM

    Wouldn't it be beneficial to tow an enclosed trailer with a truck with a cap or, even better, a van. If an enclosed trailer (for karts) is no taller than a van, then a van would get much better gas mileage than a truck, would it not?

    I'm debating giving up my V10 truck to get a 5.4V8 Van. I'll be pulling about 1000 lbs less weight than the car/open trailer and the enclosed trailer should not drag nearly as bad with a van in front of it.

    The theory is this: I get 13.4 highway with nothing behind the V10 truck, 10-11 towing highway. I'm thinking I should be able to get about 15mpg highway, 13 plus with the enclosed trailer (assuming the advantage of low drag). The guy with the van (a good friend) is checking his mileage loaded (2000lbs) and unloaded for me.

    Thanks,

    Brian

    JSirota
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    27 Aug 2005 11:00 PM
    I used to tow my Formula Ford in a small enclosed trailer that was only as tall as the SUV that pulled it. The trailer had a V-shaped nose also, so no vertical "wall" for the wind to hit.

    However, it was MUCH harder to pull than the open trailer before it. I'm pretty sure that was because of the vacuum -- i.e., the problem with enclosed trailers isn't necessarily the front of the trailer, it's the back. So I doubt that a van will really be all that much better.

    Of course, YMMV.
    Foglght
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    28 Aug 2005 09:46 AM
    I get 11.5-12mpg in my 3500 ram dually with deisel, towing a 28' enclosed with car, tools, golf car, etc.
    AutoJim
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    31 Aug 2005 03:25 PM
    My previous tow vehicle got 13 mpg empty. City, highway, didn't matter. 13. It was an E-350 Club Wagon, V8 gasser. With the trailer (26' enclosed, 9500 lbs all-up weight for the trailer & contents), the best tank ever was 7.5 mpg, which was achieved through Illinois and Indiana during a period of heavy enforcement of the 65 mph speed limit and a 30mph tailwind.

    The nose of the fan is blunter and less areo-friendly than the pickup truck. Your main benefit will likely be from the smaller engine, really. A pickup with a cap that matches the height of the trailer box (or nearly so) is probably the best setup aero-wise.
    Garfield
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    31 Aug 2005 06:51 PM
    Jim, what year was your van?
    The buddy of mine just drove to New York from Maryland in this van, getting 16mpg with 2500lbs of gear in the back.
    I'm assuming your van was older and didn't get as good gas mileage, because I've personally been in his van when it's acheived 15mpg loaded. Also, that year of van, I just found on the internet, was rated for 15mpg city/19mpg highway.

    I agree, the front end of the van isn't helping. But I don't want to keep my truck, it's only an extra-cab for the family of four. If I do 1mpg better, it's still a win-win situation because of the space. As long as I can get better than 11/13mpg, I'll be happy...especially with gas prices NOW!

    Brian
    G1
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    01 Sep 2005 03:55 PM
    I've always wondered why you don't see a air deflector on the top rear of trailers like were used years ago to keep the rear window on station wagons from getting dirty. The problem then was similar in that the squared off rear of the SW would create a vaccuum sucking in all the road dirt. A concave deflector, often built into the rear end of a roof rack, would send air into that low pressure area. Even my 94 Taurus wagon had that feature from the factory.
    BMW uses a 1/2 barrel shaped cap on the rear of the trailers they ship the Mini's in. Wether a van would help break the wind for an enclosed trailer would depend on how fast you were going, but even if it didn't direct the air over the trailer the low pressure area behind the van would pull the trailer along, just like drafting at Daytona. That's the effect I was looking for in choosing a panel truck rather than a pickup for our tow vehicle. I expect it will get good milege due to the fact it has a 6 speed double OD transmission.
    AutoJim
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    02 Sep 2005 08:22 AM
    Brian, it was a '95 E350 with the 351 (yeah, the old pushrod motor), and 4.10 rear gears, which were undoubtably part of the problem.

    Drop me a line off the board. I *might* have a line on a E350 diesel with an autocross (tow vehicle) history. It's got lotsa miles, but it's been very well maintained. I'm just not sure if it's been sold yet.
    que45
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    03 Sep 2005 10:49 AM
    Shoot for the van more room. Nothing like putting the kids in the back with a DVD
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