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Old 01-20-2015, 03:39 PM   #1
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Default Towing with a 2010 Santa Fe.

Have a 2009 FWB16 Fun Finder and am finding that the Santa Fe is under powered. With no wind and on flat ground it can do 100 KM no problem in 5th, with a head or side wind Iím down to 4th gear doing 85 KM. Because of this and the fact we are planning a trip through the mountains this year we are looking for a bigger SUV any suggestions?
We are also considering upgrading the trailer in a couple of years to something bigger around 4,000 lbs and would like this new vehicle to pull it as well.
Thanks
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Old 01-20-2015, 06:46 PM   #2
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This is a very open ended dialog and prone to a plethora of responses based on a variety of personal preferences.

In general, I would get the most powerful vehicle with the largest towing capacity and storage volume I could get for the amount of money you can afford. I would also factor in the best option for fuel economy. It's also smart to look to the future as needs will evolve.

For example ..... we moved up to a larger trailer and purchased a new 2014 Ram truck with a very fuel efficient V-6 engine. It was perfect. Then we decided to get a larger Fun Finder 214WSD and discovered that the 2WD wouldn't get enough traction on our steep driveway when it is wet to pull the heavier trailer so we had to reinvest in a 2015 4WD model. Things like this happen .... we should have bought the 4WD option to begin with.

The new Ram has the Eco Diesel engine and has been getting around 30 mpg down here in Florida when not towing so it's a good all around vehicle.



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Old 01-21-2015, 12:27 PM   #3
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As Neil said there are as many opinions out there as there are people. My recommendation would be to pick out a trailer that you would like to have, determine it's specs, and then size your tow vehicle on that. Even if you don't buy that particular one whatever you get will probably be similar. Keep in mind that you will have to add a significant amount of weight to the manufacturers weight data to include all the of the gear you will be adding on as well as the fact the manufacturers weight doesn't include the add-ons such as batteries, propane, the awning and other 'options'. This website has a pretty good calculator for helping determine how much truck you need to pull a given trailer. It also defines the towing terms like GVWR if you don't already know what they mean.
http://changingears.com/index.shtml
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Old 01-21-2015, 06:12 PM   #4
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I'm a firm believer that over kill is better then just enough. I also agree with the other post I would get a vehicle with the highest tow rating that you can afford. I have a 189fb and I now have a chevy silverado to pull it. The truck IMO is over kill for that trailer but 1. I bearly even know it's behind me while towing and 2. If I ever decide I want a bigger trailer I don't need to buy a different truck. When you add all your camping equipment you could easily go over the CVWR if you purchased a TV that has a towing capacity that is just enough for you trailer. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 01-22-2015, 07:50 PM   #5
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Here's a shot of the EVIC from our Eco Diesel today. Try to remember this is a 6,600 lb truck as it sits.





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Old 01-28-2015, 09:43 PM   #6
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Neil-
Been following your progress in Florida by reading your wonderful blog. Great pictures and nice descriptions. Looks like you two are having a great time!
I am also, as you know, very interested in how your diesel Ram does when pulling your FF. You have clearly established that the truck gets great mileage when you leave the FF at the campground and are cruising around. However, I am also interested in what the mileage is while towing. I may have missed it, but I have not yet seen a post on that. Also, while it is great to see your photos of the truck's electronics showing average mpg readout, I would be even more interested in what the mileage is when you do the math at the gas station. I own three vehicles, all of which have average mpg gauges, but none is accurate within three mpg when I actually calculate my usage. And, all three always overstate average mpg. Perhaps Ram's electronics are more accurate?
Jamie
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Old 01-29-2015, 08:32 AM   #7
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Hey Jaime,

The truth is that I've only towed the Fun Finder down here (about 375 miles) and then parked it so I don't have much distance to gauge it's true towing performanc yet. This was the first time towing on a truck with only 800 miles on it. Also, I don't know what you know about diesels but there is a cycle that the emissions system goes through periodically where it burns off all the soot collected on the diesel particulate filter inside the catalytic converter and while this "regeneration" cycle is occuring, the truck's fuel consumption goes up disproportionally. The truck has so many electronic systems and some of them actually "learn" your driving habits and then adjust parameters after collecting data to maximise efficiency. For instance, the transmission shifts at different points based on how you drive (measures amount of and rate of throttle application).

What I'm saying basically is that because of this new duty cycle, the truck went through a regen (as it's called) and I got about 12.8 mpg initially. However, by the time we got here it had risen to 13.6 so I am thinking that this particular set of data is not a true representation of the normal mileage due to the regen. Regens normally take place about every 2,000 to 3,000 miles of normal highway driving (more for short stop and go driving). Based on the numbers I saw, I'm thinking that the normal mileage would have to be over 14 mpg in order for the 12.8 number to rise up to the 13.6.

Also, a small factor in mileage is ambient temperature. Diesels don't make a lot of heat (compared to gassers) and everyone in northern climates are reporting 2 to 3 mpg less than their summer mileage numbers. (winter grade diesel fuel also has a lower cetane number so there's less btu's). It was below freezing when we left and quite cold so this also may have influenced the numbers.

So, the bottom line here is that I was waiting to gather more relevant data before reporting towing mileage publically. Also, my previous hand calcs comparing mileage to the EVIC as well as dozens of reported data on the Eco Diesel forum seems to indicate that the computer averages are very close to the hand calculated numers (1 or 2 tenths off at most).



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Old 01-29-2015, 10:38 AM   #8
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Hi Neil-
Thanks for the thorough reply. Being a gasoline guy (hopefully, future diesel guy) you showed me there is a lot to learn about how diesels work. I am looking forward to reading your future posts as you travel along.
By the way, I do get what I believe is the most important point here. That is, even when we tow trailers hundreds or maybe thousands of miles in a given year, many of us still use our tow vehicle as our regular mode of transport too. So great non-tow mpg is a big deal.
Happy travels!
Jamie
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Old 02-01-2015, 04:13 PM   #9
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Thanks for all of the info, the changing gears web site was very informative.
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