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Old 09-12-2012, 02:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
tru
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towing, and distance of load from vehicle

ive got a gas thirsty truck that gets poor mileage without towing

~14-15mpg avg on the highway, when towing my dads small boat this drops to around 12-13mpgs

i recently purchased a boat of my own that is larger by a fair margin than my dads and find the mileage a bit more depressing ~10mpgs. losing 2 or 3mpgs isnt a big deal when talking a 20mpg vehicle but this is a big percentage loss to me. I recently weighed the rig on a truck scale and the trailer / boat combo was about 4,000 lbs. for a truck rated to tow 10.3K i didnt expect mileage to take such a hit, im scared to know how low it would be towing my "next" boat.

being an ecomodder of sorts i thought changing the aero a bit might help with the number. i pumped up the tires and noticed a little relief, but not nearly enough. from my observations i believe the boat is too far from the truck. the trailer was modified by the previous owner to fit this much smaller boat. The pic below shows how much extra tongue there is between the truck and boat. the trailer also over hangs the rear of the boat by about 6".

i will also note that there are currently no fenders on the dual axle trailer, i see some potential here as well.

help me out ecomodders, give me your best suggestions.

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Old 09-12-2012, 03:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Sorry...couldn't resist.

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Old 09-12-2012, 08:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Beat me to it.




But seriously, your problems start at the back of the cab. I suspect shortening the tongue will make it harder to back the trailer up (truck axle to hitch/trailer hitch to axle ratio), maybe a cowcatcher shaped thingie on the tongue?
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Old 09-13-2012, 12:08 AM   #4 (permalink)
ron
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looks to me that the back of your rig is sagging 3-5inches. Get some helwig overload springs they are cheep and easy to install ., that will level things out to start with. I would also go for the finders on the trailer thats makes since, then how about a fitted boat cover and kick the air out of the tub. helwig 200./fenders ?/ boat cover 600. all estimates, the cost = a-lot-a gas. do them one at a time and see.
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Old 09-13-2012, 02:18 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Yup, it could be a lot closer, chopping off the front and re-attatching the hitch would be really easy. Heck even a firefighter could do it.

I would aim to be able to just open the tail gate without hitting the upright bit with the winch on a flat surface.

With the boat being 6" past the end of the trailer... I wonder if it is a bit too far forward? The truck does look a bit saggy for the 400-600lbs that should be on the hitch with the 4000 lb boat/trailer. If the boat is properly balanced on the trailer you could shorten the back as well.

I would be putting some fenders on, not for aero, but so you aren't always flinging road gunk/debris at your nice boat (and for anyone following you)
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Old 09-13-2012, 09:10 AM   #6 (permalink)
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If you have to pay to store the boat some place then find a place that is much closer to where you use it so you are not towing it.
Also how often do you plan to tow it and how far? you shouldn't drive as if you are commuting to work while towing a boat behind you, so slow down! you are going to want a boat cover any way for storage so it's not really an added expense from the fuel economy budget but it's an expense from the boat ownership budget, but I think a boat cover is going to do a great deal, the top of that boat has more weird shapes and holes then the underside of your pickup truck and the underside of a truck is a prime example of non aerodynamics.
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Old 09-13-2012, 11:16 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I came back to the thread to mention a boat cover, but I see it's been 'covered'.

You could use the clingy plastic they use to wrap shipping pallets as a test for a dollar three-fifty, but unless it's stored indoors you probably need one anyway.
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Old 09-13-2012, 12:00 PM   #8 (permalink)
tru
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i dont use the boat too frequently, its stored at my home.

most trips to the water are a minimum 15miles one way, upwards of 45miles one way for where i like to go fishing, and 130miles one way to where i like to vacation.

none of the locations are in the same direction, so offsite storage doesnt make much sense.

im definitely going to shorten the trailer about 3' and will be replacing the axles bearings and hubs... i will re-evaluate everything after that. we had a bearing failure on the trip and have wear issues on several tires that appear to be from a bent axle.

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