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Last Post 05 Mar 2010 09:54 AM by  01 FS Z28
Diesel Truck
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47CP
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15 Jan 2010 06:36 PM
[quote]

Dave,

What kind of fuel mileage can I expect with a V-10 Ford on average?

Clemens

Empty - 16-18hwy. City: 10-12.

Towing open trailer - 12mpg

Towing 24' x 8.5' trailer - 6-8mpg.

We generally run about 70-73 mph. My van has 4.11 gears. The motor would be happy with 4:30 (or more) but that is not an option on the van, but is on the trucks.

FWIW, we (used to) make a lot of trips with the van towing one 24' trailer and my old 2006 Dodge MegaCab w/ Cummins and Auto towing the race car 24' trailer. Mileage is almost always 2mpg less in the van versus the truck.

DaveW

jzr
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15 Jan 2010 10:01 PM

My 2005 Dodge Ram 3500 was the best vehicle I've ever owned, cars included.

Mileage was not so good with 4.10 and 4x4. Best was a little over 18 towing a Corvette on an open trailer, but that was with speeds of 55-60mph. 12-something was more normal at 70-ish speeds.

When out on the open road I'd always wished the truck was a manual. While creeping along in traffic, was thankful for the automatic, particularly when hands were full of burgers and soda. Even though the majority of the miles put on the truck were towing, the majority of time spent was in city traffic since it was also a daily driver. I wouldn't get a manual unless the truck's only purpose was towing. Right around 2006 was when they started making the automatic Dodges compatible with an engine brake, something to consider maybe.

Had to downsize to a Tundra with new home purchase, and its capabilities clearly trail that of the Dodge, while not really providing much more comfort, just easier parking. Wish I'd been a little smarter in 2005 and gotten the SRW 2500, that way it'd fit in my driveway and I'd still have the great diesel.

The Tundra V8 has plenty of power and brakes to tow a 24' enclosed, but there's something about the diesel Cummins that just ate up the miles it made every long drive so effortless. If you tow a lot, the extra serenity out on the open road is well worth the premium for the turbodiesel IMO, and any improved mileage is just a bonus.

Dave Hardy
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16 Jan 2010 08:39 AM
Windscreen wrote:

I couldn't imagine wanting to tow with anything but a diesel and a manual (excepting the fact that the newest trucks get derated engines if you order a manual). It's nice being able to floor it going up a hill and not have the wear and tear of a downshift.

My combination (8.1 and Allison) is pretty impressive in that regard. The Allison locks up the converter in tow mode, and it also holds a gear very well. Rolling into the throttle just nets more go. It isn't unless you punch it that you force a downshift. Given the 450 ft-lbs, there just isn't much need to punch it. Also, the way it will engine brake going down hill is awesome. I'd say it is a good 90%+ the control of a manual, just by putting it in tow mode. I had heard good things about this combination, and now that I have it I love it. I pretty much bought the transmission, and a GM truck is what came with it, but I've also been pleased with the rest of the truck.

Steve Hoelscher
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16 Jan 2010 06:38 PM

Windscreen wrote:
I'll let Steve H. comment, but I believe the NV5600 has been a very reliable trans in the Dodges (6 speed, 2001? - 2004). I don't know much about the Mercedes G56 in the newest trucks. The 5 speed NV4500 did have a well known problem with the 5th gear nut coming loose. Not sure what years, or if a factory fix was ever issued: http://www.transonline.com/transDig...index.html

We used to do this update to NVs all the time at my shop. Very common failure in Dodges but seldom a problem in any other NV app. My guess is the 6 cylinder Dodge has fewer crank pluses per revolution and therefore works the splines harder. ??? But then at the time Cummins Dodges were common and Diesel GMs were not. We only saw the NV in the Fleet GMs with 6.0s.

The other problem with the NVs was bearings. Even in the 5600 (6 speed). We did regular business upgrading 4500s to 5600s as the travel trailer guys would typically do the upgrade after their second 4500 rebuild. And my shop was just off I-65 so all of the Gulf Coast bound rigs from the mid west went right by my shop. I kept a 5600 in stock and had a deal with the local driveline shop to do the drive shafts for me same day. We could typically have a customer in/out in a day where an overhaul would be at least three.

I don't have much experience with the G56 as they hadn't been out that long when I sold my business. We did a very few in the Sprinter vans but I don't remember much about them.

Clemens
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17 Jan 2010 07:12 AM

Steve Hoelscher wrote:

Clemens, have you considered a van?

One of the things I like about towing with my SUV is that I can throw stuff in the back, lock it up, and have it out of the elements. There is certainly a convenience aspect to it. I needed, I can also seat five people fairly comfortably. A van would be comparable in these respects. However, I had never really looked into vans since I had heard horror stories about fuel economy. I head numbers for vans alone that I would find barely acceptable for fuel mileage when towing. Dave's numbers confirmed that. If I get <10 mpg once, I get mad. I couldn't stand it getting that kind of fuel mileage on a regular basis.

I bought my Trailblazer for two main reasons. It was cheap, and I expected better fuel mileage out of a six cylinder than a larger eight cylinder engine. I guess I was wrong about the fuel mileage. At the same time, I am pulling an enclosed trailer, and the laws of physics dictate that a certain amount of energy is required to push that big brick through the air. I am not sure what the best fuel mileage could be with my size trailer, but I am still hoping that it can be improved.

At the same time, I am also looking at trading trailers. I was looking into something smaller, a more narrow and lower trailer to decrease the frontal area, maybe also a V-nose, all for less drag. A smaller trailer would also mean less weight. A 3,500 lbs trailer (empty) for a 900 lbs race car may be a little overkill. More recently, I have been looking at a trailer that could possibly hold two cars, and now I am back into regular car haulers. I found a trailer I can get a good deal on, which I may choose over having one custom-built that is lower in height.

In summary, I am looking for a solid trailer/tow vehicle set-up with decent quality that gives me decent fuel mileage. If I can get 13 mpg going 65 mph, I'd be happy. I figure I get the truck first, and I can decide on the trailer later. It'll handle my current trailer and will handle anything going forward, no matter if I go up in size or down.

I admit that I have never driven a full size truck with a stick. I had a smaller truck with a manual transmissions for several years, and the transmission was nothing like that of Civic or an S2000. It was definitely more truck-like, but I didn't mind. I am sure the Dodge/Cummins/manual combo is quite different from what I am used to. I need to find one and drive it, like you suggested, Steve, just to make sure I like it. I am thinking I may be more like Steve W. in this respect. I only need the vehicle for towing. My Trailblazer only gets unhooked from the Trailer when I need to drive to the hotel during an event. Other than that, the trailer is hooked up all summer long.

Clemens

47CP
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17 Jan 2010 07:57 AM
Clemens wrote:

Steve Hoelscher wrote:

Clemens, have you considered a van?

One of the things I like about towing with my SUV is that I can throw stuff in the back, lock it up, and have it out of the elements. There is certainly a convenience aspect to it. I needed, I can also seat five people fairly comfortably. A van would be comparable in these respects. However, I had never really looked into vans since I had heard horror stories about fuel economy. I head numbers for vans alone that I would find barely acceptable for fuel mileage when towing. Dave's numbers confirmed that. If I get <10 mpg once, I get mad. I couldn't stand it getting that kind of fuel mileage on a regular basis.

I bought my Trailblazer for two main reasons. It was cheap, and I expected better fuel mileage out of a six cylinder than a larger eight cylinder engine. I guess I was wrong about the fuel mileage. At the same time, I am pulling an enclosed trailer, and the laws of physics dictate that a certain amount of energy is required to push that big brick through the air. I am not sure what the best fuel mileage could be with my size trailer, but I am still hoping that it can be improved.

At the same time, I am also looking at trading trailers. I was looking into something smaller, a more narrow and lower trailer to decrease the frontal area, maybe also a V-nose, all for less drag. A smaller trailer would also mean less weight. A 3,500 lbs trailer (empty) for a 900 lbs race car may be a little overkill. More recently, I have been looking at a trailer that could possibly hold two cars, and now I am back into regular car haulers. I found a trailer I can get a good deal on, which I may choose over having one custom-built that is lower in height.

In summary, I am looking for a solid trailer/tow vehicle set-up with decent quality that gives me decent fuel mileage. If I can get 13 mpg going 65 mph, I'd be happy. I figure I get the truck first, and I can decide on the trailer later. It'll handle my current trailer and will handle anything going forward, no matter if I go up in size or down.

I admit that I have never driven a full size truck with a stick. I had a smaller truck with a manual transmissions for several years, and the transmission was nothing like that of Civic or an S2000. It was definitely more truck-like, but I didn't mind. I am sure the Dodge/Cummins/manual combo is quite different from what I am used to. I need to find one and drive it, like you suggested, Steve, just to make sure I like it. I am thinking I may be more like Steve W. in this respect. I only need the vehicle for towing. My Trailblazer only gets unhooked from the Trailer when I need to drive to the hotel during an event. Other than that, the trailer is hooked up all summer long.

Clemens

Its not the van that causes the mileage, it is the engine. :) Also, FWIW and like you mentioned, it is almost entirely drag that causes the mileage drop with an enclosed trailer. I get the same mileage towing the 24' trailer empty or with a 3000#+ car in it.

To me, it sound like you would be perfect for a Dodge w/ Cummins (and either transmission) and you should be able to get your goal of 12-13mpg.

DaveW

Dave Hardy
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17 Jan 2010 08:27 AM
Around town and unloaded, the big motors are definitely thirstier than the small ones. On the open road, with a load, there's not much difference. I know that guys with a Silverado 1500 with the 6.0 are getting the same mileage that I am with the 2500HD and the 8.1. The difference is that they are really working theirs, while mine still has ample headroom in the power, handling, and braking departments.
pru
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17 Jan 2010 08:41 AM

Clemens wrote:
At the same time, I am also looking at trading trailers. I was looking into something smaller, a more narrow and lower trailer to decrease the frontal area, maybe also a V-nose, all for less drag. A smaller trailer would also mean less weight. A 3,500 lbs trailer (empty) for a 900 lbs race car may be a little overkill. More recently, I have been looking at a trailer that could possibly hold two cars, and now I am back into regular car haulers. I found a trailer I can get a good deal on, which I may choose over having one custom-built that is lower in height.

Clemens,

Speaking of a low height/drag trailer, have you seen the BRE Aerovault:

Towing behind your current TrailBrazer, I would be curious if using a trailer similar to this would meet your mileage goals.

Clemens
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17 Jan 2010 09:22 AM

Chris, I had seen pictures of this trailer before and Fred Zust had one in Lincoln. I was going to walk over and talk to him about it, but never got around to it. Before I knew it, the event was over. It looks like I got his opinion now anyway through the brochure behind your link.

That is certainly an interesting and attractive trailer, but $18k is pretty steep.

Clemens

Dave Hardy
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17 Jan 2010 09:33 AM
It's a nice trailer, but you can buy a LOT of gas for $18K.
pru
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17 Jan 2010 09:35 AM
Clemens wrote:

Chris, I had seen pictures of this trailer before and Fred Zust had one in Lincoln. I was going to walk over and talk to him about it, but never got around to it. Before I knew it, the event was over. It looks like I got his opinion now anyway through the brochure behind your link.

That is certainly an interesting and attractive trailer, but $18k is pretty steep.

Clemens

Agree that $18,000 is a bit excessive! Based on the quality of the LeGrand tub rebuild, I figured that you could have Mark Lamm build you something similar for roughly half that amount [:P][;)]...

anon
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17 Jan 2010 11:47 AM

I just made a Waukegan, IL -> Atlanta, GA -> Columbus, OH -> back to Indy trip with my open 18ft trailer & 2001 Dodge/Cummins 2wd, auto trans, 4:10 rear gears. Had +400 lbs in the bed, and towed first an e36 BMW, then a Mini, then a Miata. In this freezing-to-MUCH below freezing air which costs a little more fuel. Got 16 mpg over the whole trip.

I'd love to swap in 3:55 rear gears, because I'd probably get 18-20 mpg.

Had zero problems with the hills in Tennessee. Always had more go available.

edit: speeds were 70-75 the whole trip. Trailer is a 1800 lbs steel lump. There are some factory 3:55 auto 2wd trucks out there, but they're pretty rare.

dasto
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17 Jan 2010 12:05 PM
Co-driver votes for the Dodge/Cummins 2wd set-up.
Phillip S. Osborne
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19 Jan 2010 07:24 AM
Clemons, I never tried to pull an enclosed trailer with my 05 Hemi Durango I picked up after selling my 24' enclosed, and 04 Duramax. I have had the Durango three years, picked it up with 26K miles, and have towed over 25K miles with it, and driven it to it's current odo reading of 68K. I have owned a Suburban, a Ford conversion van, the aformentioned Duramax, among others, but this SUV has been the biggest surprise of any of them. It pulls my CRX and Corvette with ease, getting as much as 18mpg towing, and 21 plus regular driving...My last trip with the Corvette loaded on the trailer to and from Putnam Park netted 17.8 mpg overall... Granted, I have an 18' aluminum open trailer, but the grunt, the ride, and overall reliability of this truck has been impressive. Sadly, I just sold the Durango and my trailer last night. I bought a heavy duty 18' steel trailer with open center to help out a friend, and want to buy an extended Chevy Van for both a tow vehicle and my work as a private contract expediter. Nothing will beat the comfort of the Durango though...
Clemens
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22 Jan 2010 03:14 PM

Phil,

That is surprising. I never thought of any gasoline Dodge/Chrysler SUV or truck as anything other than a gas guzzler. My Trailblazer doesn't even get 21 mpg on the highway.

Clemens

47CP
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22 Jan 2010 03:53 PM

I can only squeeze about 19 MPG out of my Hemi Durango (2005) on the highway empty, but I only got it in August and have not tuned it up, etc.

DaveW

anon
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22 Jan 2010 05:47 PM

The hemi in the 2005+ Durangos have the MDS - multiple deactivation system - that turns off some injectors and cylinders under low load conditions.

The 2004 and earlier doesn't have that. I only know this because my parents bought a 2004, and I started paying attention to Durango news.

The MDS Hemi MUST use 5w-20 oil for the switching cams/rockers/solenoids to work properly. 5w-30 is too thick.

BMoore
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27 Jan 2010 09:37 PM

I'll pipe in here, mainly because I can and because I haven't seen much on the NEW fords, only the 7.3's.

We're coming from an 09 Silverado 2500 with the 383 and the Allison tranny. while it was a good truck and was pretty well loaded for a complete and total base model, it wasn't really up to the task of towing a 9K+ pound 26 foot enclosed trailer. While headed to Lincoln from Wisconsin, my pops averaged 7 MPG at about 75-80 mph. I averaged 26 in the Z06....

Anywho, he stated that it was screaming up hills (4000 - 5000 rpm for a few minutes going up hill, losing speed) and ended up taking a longer way home fore the sole reason that it was more level ground.

Recently, we stepped up to a 2010 Ford F250 with the twin turbo deisel, and so far it's been pretty good. I've towed the car trailer with the old truck, but we have yet to hook it up with this behemoth. It's the Lariat edition, so it's significantly nicer than the base model Chevy, but it still has a few quirks that make me wonder what Ford is thinking (stereo that is beyond basic, hasn't changed much since my 2000 F150, solid front axel, and a few other odd items). Overall though, the interior is pretty well put together and the truck is an absolute tank.

I hooked a 6000 lb loaded trailer up to it (open with a tractor on it) and it towed it like nothing was behind it. The Ford has the best power numbers at 650 ft. pounds of torque, which was definitely noticed when I hammered the gas. it's also got a 5 speed torqueshift transmission, which appears to be strong and shifts well. No complaints with the engine or transmission, but the truck also has a grand total of 1600 miles on it...

As far as the gas mileage.... Once the EPA came out with the new emissions standards for diesels, the trucks have gotten hammered for mileage. I saw a high of 18mpg, towing the empty trailer up to Door County I got 16, towing back I got 12-13 (200 miles each way). The fords have this goofy ass exhaust filter that periodically needs "cleaning" if you let it idle too long. Ford accomplishes this by dumping raw fuel into the exhaust to burn the filter clean. This seems to happen semi-frequently and really kills the milage. Periodically it happens while driving too, and then you can watch the mileage drop to about 9. I fear that the days of the super fuel efficient diesel are gone, or at least it'll take a while before they come back.

One more thing... When driving, it's important to keep the truck out of boost. I've noticed that when the boost gauge goes about 10 psi (I've seen 38 psi max) the milage goes down pretty quickly.

jdchristianson
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28 Jan 2010 04:28 PM

Ford is not the only one with the "afterburner" All of them have something similar after2007 to meet emissions. The Duramax on in the chevys have the same thing. Cleaning the particulate filter is why they have the funky tail pipes to cool the exit temp. Didn't want farmers setting the field on fire with the truck.

There is a new system coming for 2011. Ford is going to a new diesel, this time a ford design and built motor not International. It is a 6.7l turbo. It will have a 3 step exhaust treatment system 1st is a hydrocarbon catalyst then selctive catalyst where they inject a urea solution to reduce NOx emissions and then a particulate filter. Fuel milage will be better but you have to refill the 5 gallon urea (diesel exhaust fluid) tank every oil change. Something tells me you don't want to knock the exhaust off these things hauling wood out of the timber. $$$$$$

I have not seen the Chevy stystem yet but I believe its going to be similar.

Happy towing

Jeff Christianson

Stan Whitney
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29 Jan 2010 08:47 AM
The most recent leak/rumor on the 2011 Ford 6.7 is 400hp and 750ft/lb. That should put it in the ballpark with most tuned pre-dpf diesels from the factory.
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