View Full Version : Improve Towing Gas Mileage?
06-14-2005, 04:29 PM
I recently returned to VA from a two-week vacation in Pensacola, FL. Great trip. Great fishing. This was my first long trip towing my 20.5' Triton purchased last fall with my Ford Ranger ('97 w/ 4.0 L V6 auto 4WD). I got between 10-11 mpg. I do not use overdrive and I ran 60-65 mph for most of 950 miles each way.
I was expecting at least slightly better gas mileage. Any ideas on how to improve the gas mileage? Does this seem low for a compact truck? I was expecting to be closer to 15 mpg. I have considered adding an after-market throttle body and/or mass air flow sensor. Is this worth the expense?
I would appreciate any suggestions. Thanks!
06-14-2005, 07:04 PM
Too much boat for a 4L. The engine's working too hard and it's worse if you can't run in OD. A lot of people can't tow in OD but when you can it's nice bonus. Mods to 4L engine won't do much if anything for fuel consumption. More HP and torque will help its road manners some but you'll never re-coup the investment through fuel savings. Sometimes there's no substitute for cubic inches. For the best driveability I prefer to keep the load not much more than 1/2 of what the tow vehicle is rated.
06-14-2005, 07:07 PM
sounds like O.K. mileage to me.
06-14-2005, 09:10 PM
I have an Explorer with a 4.0L engine and wouldn't expect any more than you got; at tleast not with a 20 foot boat.
You didn't say whether or not you use a towing cover on the boat. If you don't a good custom fit towing cover (not just any cover will work) will certainly help your fuel mileage as it will reduce drag on the boat.
06-15-2005, 08:52 PM
When I tow my 18' cuddy cabin with my 3.8 liter Dodge Caravan mileage is inversely proportional to the square to the speed. Or something like that. In any case, I get much better mileage at 55 than I do at 65 or 70. Slowing down would be the most cost efficient method (you don't have to buy anything!), but it sure is boring!
Consider also: pumping vehicle and trailer tires to max on sidewall and using low viscosity synthetic oil.
06-17-2005, 07:59 AM
I also try not to fill the boat with gas, ice, etc. until I get near to where I'm going. less weight=less work for the truck[grin]
06-21-2005, 06:46 PM
I just towed over 300 miles round trip, 3300# boat and a full load of camping gear in the truck. I got 12mpg. The mpg isn't as a big a problem as the fuel prices you encounter on the road. I tow with a '95 5.2L Dakota and was running 65-75mph.