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Old 06-08-2014, 04:20 PM   #1
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Default 189 FDS/FBS owners what do you tow with and what mileage

I have now towed my 189 FDS about 1100 miles. 800 were emtpy driving home from the dealer. I have an 09 Honda Ridgeline which I love, but I have been distressed about the mileage. I was used to 14-15 towing my 2300 lb popup, so I was hoping for 10-11 towing this trailer. I get the part about towing a sail behind me. The Ridgeline has plenty of power and it handles the trailer nice, but it generates its power with RPM which drags down the mileage. It is pretty normal for me to be consistently at 3000 rpm going down the road at 60-62. The bottom line is my range of mileage is 7.9 - 9.5. I have been driving between 60-62. I purchased the smaller trailer to stay far away from the towing limit of 5000 lbs and thought I would be rewarded with slightly better mileage. I may have purchased a 210 if I knew the mileage would be this low as I am convinced it has less to do with weight and almost everything to do with the wall we are pulling. We will be leaving on a a 3 week trip to MT, ID, WA, BC, ALberta, and back home to ND. I am bracing myself for 8 mpg's. If you are willing here is what I would love to know:
1) What vehicle?
2) What engine?
3) How fast do you drive when towing.
4) What mileage are you getting? Range of mpg would be good.

I want to make sure my frustration over mileage is not based on faulty assumptions. If that's just the way it is, then so be it. It's all about the experience!! Thanks for your input.
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Old 06-09-2014, 08:12 AM   #2
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I don't tow that particular trailer... However, you are correct that is less about weight than about frontal area.

You'll hear a lot of tales about how some get miraculous mileage; take with a grain of salt, and if you are one of them, hat is off to you and count your blessings.

I've towed a lot of different trailers with a lot of different vehicles and, using only the one with frontal areas that are equivalent, your mileage is right in running and par for the course. My most recent, a 210WBS at about 6,000 lbs towed with a Hemi Jeep Commander; a low of 8.7 mpg and a high of 11, the average was around 10 mpg and that is what I planned my trips around. I'm now towing an 11,000+ lb 5th wheel with a RAM 2500 with the high output (800 ft lbs) torque Cummins Turbo Diesel. Want to hazard a guess as to mileage? Yep, right around 10. I've had as high as 12, but, the average is 10-10.5 mpg (my averages are from cross country trips...both mountain ranges going and coming back).

Frontal area...you can't get around it. As for weight, if you have a tow vehicle is rated to carry that much weight, the engine is going to be working in that same "sweet spot" to get that wall down the highway. End result, most folks are going to average 9.5-11 mpg (given headwinds/tailwinds, uphill and down) no matter what the tow vehicle / trailer combination is if the frontal area is 8' x 10' or taller. Oh, BTW, I also towed the 210WBS with that same RAM 2500...mileage for a trailer half the weight? The same, not one iota's difference over a long trip. Your popup or a utility trailer is going to get much better mileage based on the frontal area it has (actually; doesn't have). I can tow a utility trailer with 7,000 lbs of flagstone on it with the truck and get about the same mileage as towing empty, virtually no frontal area and 7,000 lbs for that Cummins is insignificant.

I always tow at 58-62 mph...the ST tire is only rated to 65 mph and most of the vehicles I've owned had their "sweet spot" at those speeds.



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Old 06-09-2014, 09:48 AM   #3
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Default Towing 189FBS

I have a 2013 189FBS trailer that I am pulling behind a 2008 Ford Ranger. The truck has a V6 engine and a topper on the back of the pickup part. I haul around 65 MPH most of the time if I am on the interstate. I live in the mountains of Colorado so I am hauling at altitude between 5,000 and 8,000 feet. I usually get 18 - 20 MPG on the Ranger alone for mileage, with the camper I am getting around 13 MPG so far which is not bad for hauling up and down hills at altitude. I had a pop up previously and it has been interesting getting used to hauling something so tall and the winds that it catches.
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Old 06-09-2014, 10:28 AM   #4
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Default You're doing pretty well

I have a 2010 FDS. I have towed it with a 2005 Sienna (2 summers) and with a 2009 F150 (1 summer and just this last weekend). I have averaged the same consumption with both vehicles. This is travel through the rockies in western Canada.

The Sienna obviously spun at a higher average rpm than the truck, but mileage is the same at 12 mpg (19-20l /100kms) with both setups, but can keep a higher average speed with the truck at about 65mph (105km/hr) whereas the van had to be kept around 55 to get that consumption. The aerodynamics of dragging the front end sail is the problem as you suspect. your pop-up had very little drag by comparison, but a hard-wall trailer has its up side as well.
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Old 06-09-2014, 10:53 AM   #5
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Thanks for your responses. If I could get 11 or 12 that would seem like nirvana land for me, but it doesn't seem in the cards at the moment. Wow 13 in the mountains rocks. The difference in 8 -12 over 4000 miles starts to add up. Again, I love the Ridgeline, plenty of power to tow this thing as I can easily accelerate uphill if I wanted to just wish it would do a bit better. I need a good tailwind, it always seems like I am against the wind. When I towed home from Michigan dealer over 800 miles it was the worst of conditions, 20 to 25 mph headwinds all the way home. Averaged 8 over the entire 800 miles.
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Old 06-09-2014, 06:23 PM   #6
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Haven't towed our trailer a lot but in the 1000 kms. we have it seems to be averaging 12 to 13 MPG or 18 to 19 liters per 100 kms. When not towing its around 20 mpg or 11 to 12 liters per 100 kms.
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Old 06-09-2014, 08:13 PM   #7
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I have a 2003 189 fb and was towing with a jeep cherokee (not grand cherokee), it had a 4.0l motor, 5000lb towing capacity, and had to keep it out of over drive so fastest I could go was 60mph. Best I got was 10mpg but was more around 8 or 9mpg. It pull it great on small hills and flat ground but any big hills on the highway I was down to 25mph. Now I got a 2011 chevy silverado with a 5.3l. Haven't tried towing with that yet but I'm sure towing will be better with that.
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Old 06-09-2014, 10:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by looking4fun
I have a 2003 189 fb and was towing with a jeep cherokee (not grand cherokee), it had a 4.0l motor, 5000lb towing capacity, and had to keep it out of over drive so fastest I could go was 60mph. Best I got was 10mpg but was more around 8 or 9mpg. It pull it great on small hills and flat ground but any big hills on the highway I was down to 25mph. Now I got a 2011 chevy silverado with a 5.3l. Haven't tried towing with that yet but I'm sure towing will be better with that.
Please update after you have towed with the Silverado. I doubt you will know its behind you with your new truck. The Ridgeline has a 3.5 liter engine and has no issue with power going up hills. I could accelerate if I had to, but I may be at 5500 rpm.
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Old 06-09-2014, 10:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crlagger
Haven't towed our trailer a lot but in the 1000 kms. we have it seems to be averaging 12 to 13 MPG or 18 to 19 liters per 100 kms. When not towing its around 20 mpg or 11 to 12 liters per 100 kms.
12 or 13 sounds awesome considering you are towing more weight than I am. Dodge seems to have a great towing truck.
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Old 06-10-2014, 06:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bruce3211
Please update after you have towed with the Silverado. I doubt you will know its behind you with your new truck. The Ridgeline has a 3.5 liter engine and has no issue with power going up hills. I could accelerate if I had to, but I may be at 5500 rpm.
Will do! I'm looking forward to trying it out. The camper was probably too much for the jeep but it was the only thing I had at the time and I knew I wanted to get a bigger truck. It was within the weight spec so I decided to get it.
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