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Old 09-04-2016, 07:35 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seifrob View Post
So,
How did it go?
The built wooden canopy didn't happen as the wood was too old and unsuitable to use. A fiberglass or aluminum canopy could not be found close enough to make the fuel used getting it worthwhile; however, we did come up with an alternative.

Since we passed through Denver we stopped in Longmont and picked up a 'sleeper' canopy which gained us a 1/2 mpg improvement despite hilly/mountainous terrain after picking it up.

Verdict: box trailers murder mileage- Before the sleeper canopy with the 6x12 trailer [Dallas-Amarillo-Denver leg] we got an abysmal 8.8 mpg when sticking as close to 62-65 as possible in order not to obstruct traffic and to be somewhat time expedient. After the sleeper we went up to 9.3 [Denver-Laramie-SLC-Boise-Central OR leg]. Mileage calculated over all fill ups without and all fill ups with sleeper. Still spent $500 in fuel [ranged from $1.89/g to $2.65/g] during the 2.25 day drive. Should have I gone with a full 7.5' canopy? Yeah, I probably should have.



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Old 09-05-2016, 02:19 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Despite of bad mileage, its good to hear you made it without accident.

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Old 09-05-2016, 04:43 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Did you do a control run (of any sort)?. That is, an approximation of conditions, but solo. Preferably, loaded sans trailer.


The following is said "in general" (not meant to be critical of an individual, overall):

The usual penalty on a travel trailer is a 40% in mpg (where all else is the same). 50% means there is room for improvement.

As in an adjustable hitch to level that trailer (as I advised). One axle loaded more heavily "digs". Same for engine tune, alignment perfection, tire pressures, and brake drag. Constant use of cruise control, planned stops, zero lane changes, etc. FE is cumulative. Small things really add up.

To dive deeper is to monitor average speed. Engine run time versus miles. This s revealing. My cruise is set for 67-mph on the Kenworth. But in the past eight days I've had three days of running 400-miles at an average of only 56-mph. And this on IH20. Traffic, construction and cities. It adds up. No hills of note. No major accidents. Etc.

Right off the top I'd say that while the chosen travel speed was "rational", there is still a considerable penalty in running above 60-mph. As a truck driver I can say that the "average speed" won't differ much between 58 and 63 (the range of a pickup towing -- best travel speed given stopping distance and steering needs -- but 63 will have acceleration penalty. It's too fast). 58 won't change the behavior of today's idiots. (One can add a magnetic yellow battery powered LED flasher to trailer rear for concern about other drivers). IOW, your time of travel won't change as significantly as your mpg I using 58 versus 63. And you'll damned sure never have to change lanes or slow for the majority of construction. This is vital. Leave it on cruise.

Monitoring acceleration and deceleration events is crucial. The number thereof. Then their duration and the amount of throttle or brake pressure. Etc. More is horrible. Same for number of steering corrections per 100 miles. It's measurable on mpg.

Departure and arrival times to avoid traffic. In general, off the road by about 1500. Depart early. I don't advise predawn to amateurs, but I usually cover 200-miles without traffic by 0800 leaving the truck stop by 0430. Up at 0300.

In metro areas 75-miles out from city, the distribution guys are heading back by 1500 and the earliest rush hour traffic is brewing. Traffic peaks. (Importantly, unlike yesteryear, the roads are full of idiots until past midnight. I quit by 17-1800 and my 10-hr mandatory break is then over by 0300-0400). It doesn't die off anymore. Thus, start early and quit early.

Everyone hits a wall at 300-miles. Attention wanders. The rig wanders. Things start happening a little too fast. Best to be getting ready to get off of road before traffic pressures start to spike. 300 miles or three o'clock WORKS.

I used the same trailer twice to move back and forth up the length of the Texas Gulf coast (Corpus Christi to Beaumont; and back). Made the same trip -- crossing nations fourth largest city each time) solo. Loaded (9k) and empty (7.2k). In which -- whether day or night, rain or sunshine, traffic or none -- I didn't fall below 24-mpg at 58-mph (1,725-rpm). Highs of 27 on several occasions. Planned stops, etc.

Search for best routing. Biggest road is best EVEN IF YOU TRAVEL 30-MILES FARTHER!!!! Short cuts a mistake. Know about construction. Etc. Do it ahead of time. Use truck travel plazas for fuel. On same side of road as travel. Etc.

With the same 6x6x12 trailer shown above, I saw 19-mpg empty and 18-mpg loaded. At 13k loaded. (Truck has cab high topper). Cruise on before end of accel ramp.

I had to tighten lug nuts on UHaul trailer each time, bring tire pressure up to spec (sidewall max) and explain to tech how ensure surge brake worked properly (to the point of using pump to drain and refill fluid chamber). Don't expect them to get it right.

My one ton Dodge has rack & pinion steering as well as four wheel disc brakes. Perfect alignment and no rear disc drag. No leaks in CAC system (turbocharged). Towing mirrors and seat adjusted for best driver posture. Tires to spec, not to max (braking trumps mpg). Perfectly clean glass inside and out. Etc. (Truck had about 150k on it at time). All maintenance ahead of schedule. Again, etc.

I knew my rig well enough that I was able to make a deal at the CC end of the journey on price. Thus towed that trailer two full round trips of 700-miles in a savings to rent or relinquish at other end. Fuel was near $4/gl at the time.

25% penalty even at 5k higher than normal. Pays to maintain your rig, know your stops in advance, and be disciplined. (With mountain grades it would be lower, but the principle applies).

As I need to fire up this much bigger Cummins and get on the road this morning, I'll end by saying that there is plenty of depth beyond aero help in cutting the fuel price per mile (which means cutting wear per mile) in planning a family move.

Congratulations on a successful trip. The best ones are uneventful.
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Last edited by slowmover; 09-05-2016 at 09:18 AM.. Reason: Corrections for clarity.
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Old 09-05-2016, 09:58 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Slowmover, this is excellent advice. Is there a thread for cross-country driving? Mods should sticky as most posts are geared for shorter distances.

We did attempt on several occasions to tail rigs to stay in their wind break without being too close to make the truckers nervous; I know that doing so is not particularly appreciated, but may have also contributed to the improved mileage on the 2nd half of the trip.
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Old 09-05-2016, 11:08 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oceanic815 View Post
Slowmover, this is excellent advice. Is there a thread for cross-country driving? Mods should sticky as most posts are geared for shorter distances.

We did attempt on several occasions to tail rigs to stay in their wind break without being too close to make the truckers nervous; I know that doing so is not particularly appreciated, but may have also contributed to the improved mileage on the 2nd half of the trip.
Second part first. I've posted the before. One is as close as one can be to a big truck when BOTH truck mirrors are visible to you. Too close is when I cannot see what is behind me from the Kenworth. Frankly, I think drafting a bad idea. Came upon a four truck wreck near Carrollton GA this past week. Pickup drafting first truck had both occupants killed. And fourth big truck driver was airlifted out.

Just don't. In all cases one wants MAXIMUM separation distance from others. If they're piling up around you, cancel cruise and let 'em run. Today's idiots all run up to the next guys bumper. Packs. Just learn to better read mirrors.

"Upright, and lane-centered" is rule One. Two, is separation distance. One car length per 10-miles/hr is a minmum. More than that should always be the rule.

As to big trucks. Many are governed at 65. But. For various reasons will have speed discrepancies. This they gather in packs at times. At 58 I don't have to worry about it EXCEPT when, say exiting a long 45/mph construction zone. Then I may want to run around them. If there is an ascent grade ahead, or I my exit is coming up, etc. I override 58 so as to avoid having to accelerate AGAIN leaving that zone.

That they all have to pass me again is not my concern. I save plenty of room (350/ft) ahead of first truck.

As to thread on this type of driving. I'd agree. Separates men from boys. The boys have a four passenger vehicle they be stripped to soapbox derby spec. The fathers need to load to max capacity and learn what real economy is about. In that case, FE is just one measure. Tires, brakes, suspension and drivetrain life are where it's at. The total cost of ownership per mile expressed in cents.

Get out of Dodge City, and do it well. Last minute is too late. Plan for worst and hope for best. FE is a huge part of that. And with trailers, pickups, etc, aero help is an excellent idea of it also covers load from weather and prying eyes.
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Old 09-07-2016, 10:31 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slowmover View Post
...I used the same trailer twice ...Loaded (9k) and empty (7.2k)...
With the same 6x6x12 trailer shown above, I saw 19-mpg empty and 18-mpg loaded. At 13k loaded...
Did you really cross the scales every trip? That seems unlikely. Also curious as to how you determined the position of your seat and mirrors to be "perfect." Not trying to be overly critical but c'mon
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Old 09-08-2016, 09:34 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Moved the same stuff twice.

Crossed scale on another move. Moved entire household five times in five years, and I've been across a scale more than once.

"Perfect" may be conjecture by some as to seat and mirrors, but I'm far past one million miles the past forty plus years. I "know" what works, in that sense. I drive for a living, if that wasn't clear.

40% drop from solo is a benchmark for towing a travel trailer. 1966 or 2016, doesn't matter. 50% means improvement is possible. 30% and lower means good aero PLUS driver experience and route familiarity. So, 25% is definitely bragging rights. Another load and another road, it'd be different. That I did it twice is what made it worth telling. It's valid. Therefore, in the range of possibility for others.

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11-cpm solo & 19-cpm towing; 21-mpg average past 54k-miles
Sold: 1983 Silver Streak 3411
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