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Old 08-15-2008, 10:55 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Which would be more fuel efficient?

Background: I am driving an 05 Mitsu Lancer ES with a 2.0L and manual transmission. When I haul our whitewater kayaks on the Yakima roof rack, I lose 5 - 10 mpg. We go on about 15 - 20 kayaking trips per year and the number of trips is rising. I found some lightweight kayak trailers.

Cabela's -- Rack and Roll Kayak Trailer and Kayak Carrier
SportsRig MicroTrailers - an excellent way to transport bikes, kayaks, tandems, camping gear and more.

Question: Which way is more fuel efficient? Roof rack or the sportsrig trailer?

My thoughts: My current thought is that the lightweight trailer with small tires would be more fuel efficient. With the roof rack, I can really feel the drag of the kayaks and the rack, especially in the wind.

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Old 08-15-2008, 11:08 AM   #2 (permalink)
igo
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I would say the trailer is better. The drag from the kayaks on the roof is huge.
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Old 08-15-2008, 11:39 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I second the trailer being more efficient. However, those trailers aren't cheap. How many trips would you have to make at half your current mileage loss (guesstimate for the trailer's penalty) to pay off the trailer?
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Old 08-15-2008, 12:11 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Definitely trailer. Wow, those fancy coil over shocks sure raise the price! National Tool has a basic utility trailer with leaf springs for $199. Mount the Yakima to it and go!
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Old 08-15-2008, 03:20 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The trailer will have minimal impact on your frontal area, which is giving you the drag. On the other hand, a trailer will increase overall weight versus roof mount, and give you some added rolling resistance. WAG, go with the trailer - the kayaks' aero drag is more than the added weight and rolling resistance from the trailer.
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Old 08-15-2008, 06:03 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MechEngVT View Post
However, those trailers aren't cheap. How many trips would you have to make at half your current mileage loss (guesstimate for the trailer's penalty) to pay off the trailer?
It's not like by buying the trailer you are losing that amount of money. Sooner or later when he no longer has use for it he could still sell it and get some of the money back.
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Old 08-16-2008, 09:43 AM   #7 (permalink)
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The other alternative you have is to build a mount and shift the kayaks more towards the rear of the vehicle.

They'll block your rear window and hang off the back of your car -- but will reduce the drag -- and you won't have to deal with the trailer.
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Old 08-16-2008, 01:52 PM   #8 (permalink)
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which?

Trailer!

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