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Old 05-09-2013, 01:13 PM   #86 (permalink)
Toaster Oven Driver
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Mother Lode
Posts: 14

Golf Cat - '14 Volkswagen Golf TDI
90 day: 35.62 mpg (US)
Thanks: 4
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I have a Kia Soul, '11, with a manual transmission. I installed a trailer hitch, and bought a little 4x6 trailer from Tractor Supply. I did this mostly because I was tired of cleaning straw out of the vehicle from bringing bales home for the garden. The vehicle/hitch are rated 2000 total/200 tongue.

The best mileage I have ever gotten, bar none, on the trip home from town (which is mostly downhill), was when I put 30 cinder blocks in the trailer (fills the bed near-perfectly) and got 51.5 mpg.

The most I've loaded, and the most I want to load ever, with this rig, is a 1/3 yd supersack of gravel. Exactly 1000 pounds. Only got 48.5 mpg on the trip home with that one, which is comparable to my non-trailering trip economy.

Uphill into town mileage is not as good as no-trailer, but it's not that much worse. I don't have numbers though.

I would not recommend doing this with an automatic version of the Soul. I don't know anything about how robust the automoatic trans. is, but I do know it's a bit of a dog, and certainly not optimized to keep it in the high rpms you'd need to start weight moving, or to keep it from running away with you down hill. But with the manual, and a solid knowledge of the torque curve and how to downshift, it's do-able!

Does anyone know if there's anything I can do to make the trailer itself more aerodynamic? It's expanded mesh for the most part. I've bolted the license plate to the fender instead of the straight-down-from-the-taillight bracket. Does bolting a sheet of ply to the bed make any difference?
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