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Old 07-10-2015, 08:10 AM   #41 (permalink)
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The real change needed is not just some aero for FE, but in handling crosswinds. That is the source of most loss of control accidents at speed. The second is in replacing leaf sprung suspensions (of the worst design of that type) with torsion axles. The additional cost would be $1000 dollars down the assembly line, but the benefits in safety and reduced fuel burn would more than cancel that out.

On top of this would be the larger range of suitable vehicles for towing. Vehicles better suited to solo duties the rest of the year. FWIW, a modern minivan should be considered the default tow vehicle, not a pickup.

As most RVers trade every six years or so, and likely the tow vehicle as well (say an overlap of three-four years), a family would see genuine savings over one dozen to twenty years (the average RVer is 48 years old and might be expected to travel in such a way to age 75).

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Old 07-10-2015, 10:47 AM   #42 (permalink)
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I was driving my minivan yesterday for 60 miles at 65mph just after filling up and resetting the economy gauge and got 29.5mpg average with a couple stoplights and a lunch break thrown in the middle. That made me want to at least try the minivan towing. It's rated at 3500 with 450 on the tounge. The identical cargo version is rated 4350#.
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Old 07-10-2015, 04:38 PM   #43 (permalink)
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minivan

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I was driving my minivan yesterday for 60 miles at 65mph just after filling up and resetting the economy gauge and got 29.5mpg average with a couple stoplights and a lunch break thrown in the middle. That made me want to at least try the minivan towing. It's rated at 3500 with 450 on the tounge. The identical cargo version is rated 4350#.
Online,RV Lifestyles was using their Chrysler Town and Country minivan for ferrying trailers and road tests.I think they got 13.6 mpg pulling a 32-ft Bullet T.T..
They also mention up to 32-mpg pulling Sport Airstreams with VW Jetta TDI's.
Another fellas' website mentioned tow ratings for cars in Europe,where in the USA had 'none',or much lower.He felt like it was a conspiracy to convince USA consumers that you couldn't use anything but a 3/4-ton pickup as a tow vehicle.
Congratulations on 29.5 mpg.That makes me feel good.
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Old 07-10-2015, 05:05 PM   #44 (permalink)
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NASA RV Motorhome

I've played around with NASA's 1977 aero-modded Ford Econoline.
Adding :
*upper edge radii
*roof camber
*side body camber
*four-wheel wheel skirts
*MOON-esque wheel covers
*Wheel fairings
the drag falls from Cd 0.238,to Cd 0.13 and change.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
With the vintage 300 CID inline-6-cylinder,M-4 with OD,steel radials,highway mileage would go from 17.6 mpg (I had an Econoline and this is what I got) @ 55-mph,to 24.0 mpg.
With a modern TDI powerplant,more than 31.2 mpg.
NASA's wheelbase could be stretched,and much weight added without significantly impacting HWY mpg.
The BMW diesel-powered Vixen motorhome could do up to 28-mpg if I remember correctly.
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Old 07-10-2015, 05:53 PM   #45 (permalink)
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Ours is a 2011 with that new 3.6. Seems like a good motor, I can't wait to see what direct injection might add along with a 9 speed. The new Cherokee might be worth a try with it's smaller v6 and a 9 speed except it's probably always 4wd unless custom ordered.
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Old 07-10-2015, 06:03 PM   #46 (permalink)
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Ours is a 2011 with that new 3.6. Seems like a good motor, I can't wait to see what direct injection might add along with a 9 speed. The new Cherokee might be worth a try with it's smaller v6 and a 9 speed except it's probably always 4wd unless custom ordered.
Yeah,what a transmission! Talk about keeping the engine in the sweet-spot.
GM and Ford are teaming together to develop a 10-speed to compete with the Italians.
3-more gears and they'll have the equivalency of a CVT which can handle enormous torque.Something truckers have enjoyed for decades.
And there are GDI engines which have been developed which have no throttle,picking up 15% efficiency over recent engines.
Between now and 2025 we're gonna see some serious hardware under the hood.
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Old 07-10-2015, 06:26 PM   #47 (permalink)
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I just looked at the Cherokee and it's rated 4500# and the 2wd EPA rating is 4 mpg higher then the van across the board. I may watch for a used one of those in a few years.
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Old 07-11-2015, 11:04 AM   #48 (permalink)
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Some decent threads on Airstream Trailer & Motorhome Owners Community in re the Jeep GC.
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Old 07-11-2015, 11:41 AM   #49 (permalink)
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The diesel Grand Cherokee is great but you are talking a $50k rig. A basic V6 Cherokee is about 1/2 that price, has as many seatbelts, and has an even higher EPA rating. Unless you need towing above 4500# or just can't stomach the Cherokee's look, the new Cherokee seems to be a good economy tow vehicle.
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Old 07-13-2015, 11:17 AM   #50 (permalink)
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I just got back from running our pop up with our 2011 Grand Caravan (3.6l 6 speed). The uncalibrated (I don't drive it enough to get that done) UltraGauge showed me getting under 20 in the real hilly areas with some maneuvering and 21-22 in the (relatively) smoother areas. The car's computer kept reporting 2-3 mpg higher, but even the UG's lower numbers are satisfying. You've got to love a TV that can have the second row seats up and still fit two full size bikes, two kids bikes, everything the four of us need for a nine day trip and everything else that my wife convinced herself that we'll need- and still see out the rear window (somewhat).

On a related note, just as back in the days of the old XJ Cherokee it is once again important to make sure you differentiate between the Cherokee and the Grand Cherokee. The Grand Cherokee (2nd Gen WK body) is a "real" SUV that pretends it doesn't share a platform with the Dodge Durango (WD platform because we're all like snowflakes!) The current Cherokee is the KL body, which is a Jeep Dart and has its own body code because you can't sell a Dart to people who are manly enough to buy Jeeps.

I wouldn't tow anything more with a Dart than I would with my Fit, even if you drop in a V6, lift it and call it a Jeep.

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Transmission type Efficiency
Manual neutral engine off.100% @MPG <----- Fun Fact.
Manual 1:1 gear ratio .......98%
CVT belt ............................88%
Automatic .........................86%

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