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Old 06-22-2022, 01:46 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Goodafternoon,

We are a family of 8, so we own a 12 passenger van . I'm wondering if anyone has attempted anything to try and improve fuel economy in a vehicle this large. I've set the tires to 70psi (max would be 80) anything higher makes for a very harsh ride . We've been diligent on maintaining it but I'm always open to different ideas to get some savings at the pump.

I'm fairly certain the writing is on the wall with this particular vehicle but I wanted to ask.

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Old 06-22-2022, 02:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm fairly certain the writing is on the wall with this particular vehicle but I wanted to ask.
What does it say on the wall?

The answer you request is yes. but to be specific would require a specific vehicle and a use case.

Could you tolerate a three foot bustle on the back? Could you tolerate a single-wheel trailer on long road trips?
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Old 06-22-2022, 02:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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It would help if you told us the year and maker of your van
which engine and transmission you have. Is this carbureted or fuel injected? Does it have an overdrive?

When was your last tune up (plugs? cap & rotor? spark plug wires? Air filter?)

And yes, people try to improve their fuel economy on motor homes all the time. Yes, there is always some improvement to be had. The fuel $ savings on big rigs is substantial, since they consume so much fuel.

Going from 10 mpg to 12 mpg is a 20% improvement and will save you 20% on fuel, which would be significant if you drive a lot.

The biggest improvement you will see in a driving a big giant brick is to reduce speed. There is probably a 20% increase in mpg in slowing down to 55 mph from 65 mph.

If your car is newer than 1996, get yourself a Scan Gauge II or other real time mpg monitoring device. Changing your driving habits by watching the gauge can save you another 20%.
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Old 06-22-2022, 03:31 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Old 06-22-2022, 04:04 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Old 06-22-2022, 05:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I like where freebeard is going with a single wheel trailer. I'm envisioning a cargo box mounted to a hitch that also improves aero by filling some of that void space in the rear.

I'm guessing someone with a family of 8 isn't willing to custom fab a hitch mounted cargo box, so something off the shelf is likely preferable.



Regarding driving slower, there's no chance I'd consider that with a family of 8. You've got 8 lit fuses there, time is of the essence. Every 1 minute longer it takes to reach a destination is 8 minutes of life consumed.
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Old 06-22-2022, 05:30 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tmugz88 View Post
I'm wondering if anyone has attempted anything to try and improve fuel economy in a vehicle this large.
Last week I saw a Ford Econoline from the '80s, and it sounded clearly to have been retrofitted with an "agricultural" Diesel engine, most likely also backed by a manual transmission. Too bad I wasn't quick enough to pull the phone from my pocket and snap at least one picture... On a sidenote, full-size American vans are quite oversized anyway compared to other vans that I used to see as some sort of benchmark for 12-seater vans.
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Old 06-22-2022, 11:21 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redpoint5 View Post
I like where freebeard is going with a single wheel trailer. I'm envisioning a cargo box mounted to a hitch that also improves aero by filling some of that void space in the rear.

I'm guessing someone with a family of 8 isn't willing to custom fab a hitch mounted cargo box, so something off the shelf is likely preferable.



Regarding driving slower, there's no chance I'd consider that with a family of 8. You've got 8 lit fuses there, time is of the essence. Every 1 minute longer it takes to reach a destination is 8 minutes of life consumed.
We own a cargo carrier we've pondered selling, but I may have to read up on it's usage for these improvements.
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Old 06-22-2022, 11:27 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caddylackn View Post
It would help if you told us the year and maker of your van
which engine and transmission you have. Is this carbureted or fuel injected? Does it have an overdrive?

When was your last tune up (plugs? cap & rotor? spark plug wires? Air filter?)

And yes, people try to improve their fuel economy on motor homes all the time. Yes, there is always some improvement to be had. The fuel $ savings on big rigs is substantial, since they consume so much fuel.

Going from 10 mpg to 12 mpg is a 20% improvement and will save you 20% on fuel, which would be significant if you drive a lot.

The biggest improvement you will see in a driving a big giant brick is to reduce speed. There is probably a 20% increase in mpg in slowing down to 55 mph from 65 mph.

If your car is newer than 1996, get yourself a Scan Gauge II or other real time mpg monitoring device. Changing your driving habits by watching the gauge can save you another 20%.
Sorry I thought I had included those specifics.

We own a 2007 E350 Superduty , 12 passenger auto 2wd with the 5.4L with OD.

We had the plugs all replaced, within the last 10k. Coils were tested individually and all are working as they should be ( per Ford ). Air filter was replaced just 6 months ago ( approx 5k ago ).

Going to change the oil in the next few days.

I'm just now starting to track my mileage after joining this site , so I can obtain some idea of where we are at .
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Old 06-22-2022, 11:28 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freebeard View Post
What does it say on the wall?

The answer you request is yes. but to be specific would require a specific vehicle and a use case.

Could you tolerate a three foot bustle on the back? Could you tolerate a single-wheel trailer on long road trips?
The wall reads "you are driving a brick with seating for 12... quit complaining " lol

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