With the mileage that most of your vehicles get, I feel a little out of place saying I tow a travel trailer, but it is cheaper than staying in motels and eating out (besides staying in it is quite fun!) But, as you can imagine, the truck, she does burn some gas. I have modified my intake and exhaust on my F150, went to LT tires (65psi), installed a custom programmed chip, and removed the clutch fan and installed a electric fan. On a recent 1900 mile pull, I averaged 10.2 mpg, pulling a 27 ft travel trailer that weighs aprox. 5500 pounds loaded. I run about 60-62 mph most of the time. Where do you think I can gain some more MPG? Is there something worthwhile to do to the truck? Or has anyone tried any aero mods to trailers? My overall economy is quite good, I ride my bicycle to work, ride good mpg motorcycles when possible and my other car is a Focus wagon,that I have lightly modified to increase MPG. But though I don't use the truck often, boy! we burn some gas when we do....any ideas?
the biggest air drage is between the truck and the trailer, so like was said a toper might help, it's a simler idea as wheel skirts, you are closeing up that gap, with a semi the closer you can get the cap of the tractor to the trailer the better your milage is, so thinking about what you can do to close that gap should help, can you get a goose neck to get that trailer closer to the truck? add some sort of smooth front on the hitch between the truck and the trailer? a streching skirt that connects the two would be ideal.
also, I hate to say this, but maybe getting a truck with a bigger engine? or a diesel? towing a trailer like that is putting alot of load on your engine, at some point you pass where the peek efficentcy and peek power output curves cross.
also make sure that the under side of that trailer is flat and smooth, as that is alot of area to cause truble, I would also make sure that the back end of the trailer is slightly higher then the front, as you don't want to compress air under the trailer, you want it to easly leave.
A topper would be great. Get it to go back as far as possible while still allowing the trailer to turn, and get it high enough to match the height of the trailer. Fairings on top of the trailer to cover the AC unit and other things that may be up there will also help tremendously, and I imagine that there is alot on the bottom that can be covered with a belly pan. Also, a boat-tail on the back will make a huge difference.
Everyone is suggesting aerodynamic improvements. I agree completely.
I'd suggest diesel for hauling, but working with what you have is kinda what this site is about.
I'd knock the truck tire psi down to around 55 for the rear tires. Hauling requires your torque be put to the ground as much as possible. The front tires and trailer tires can be over-inflated to whatever you feel is safe. I wouldn't go any higher than 65, though.
Welcome to the site. It's nice to see interest from other truck guys.
I see no reason why fuel economy and power cannot coexist.
Areo mods are good... but 10mpg is about the best you can do. Stay in overdrive as much as possible. 55mph might even be a bit too slow. 55 is what 1500rpm? At 65-70 your pullin 1900k or so which makes it MUCH easier to stay in overdrive. (more power)
It looks liek you already have stablizer bars, what about a sway bar?
on the topic of topers, you might think about one of those that bumps up in the back an extra foot or so, giving you more room in the truck, and coming closer to matching the hight of the trailer you are towing, it's a simaler idea as to the air deflector that semi cabs have on top of them to make the tractor closer to the hight of the trailer, another idea stolen from semi airodinamics is extending some sort of fiber glass, or wood sheating back from the truck twards the trailer, with something like stiff rubber sheating in areas that might hit the trailer while making the sharpest of turns, as I said befor, that gap between the truck and trailer is most likely your biggest mileage killer, so the closer you can come to filling that gap the better your mileage will get.