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Old 08-07-2012, 09:08 PM   #1
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Default Towing with a VW Touareg 3.0L TDI and a 189 FDS X package

Kind of wondering what I can expect for MPG if my rig weighs 3800 lbs ready to tow, dry, and it's on flat ground. Vehicle has 7700 pound capacity and 1/10th that for tongue weight.

How much difference in a 21 XDS at 4300 pounds?
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Old 08-08-2012, 06:35 PM   #2
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For the most part... You will probably find that the "average" mpg for towing any "full faced" trailer, will most likely be in the 9.5 to 11.5 range with the most common being 10-11 mpg. I got the 10-11 mpg towing a 6,000 (heavy load) FunFinder 210WBS with a Hemi Jeep Commander and I get 10-11.8 mpg towing a 12,000+ lb 5th wheel with a Cummins powered RAM 2500 HD pickup. Twice the weight, twice the length, same speed, same mpg.

Once you put a "full face" into the wind and try to pull it at around 60 mph, most engines (if they are rated to tow the weight) will consume about the same amount of fuel. Has to do more with surface area and aerodynamics as opposed to weight. You will probably find you'll get the same (or so close as to be statistically insignificant) no matter what the weight, whether it is 3800 lbs or right up to your 7700 lb limit (which you can't tow anyway...that's another subject ).



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Old 08-08-2012, 08:01 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by webslave
For the most part... You will probably find that the "average" mpg for towing any "full faced" trailer, will most likely be in the 9.5 to 11.5 range with the most common being 10-11 mpg. I got the 10-11 mpg towing a 6,000 (heavy load) FunFinder 210WBS with a Hemi Jeep Commander and I get 10-11.8 mpg towing a 12,000+ lb 5th wheel with a Cummins powered RAM 2500 HD pickup. Twice the weight, twice the length, same speed, same mpg.

Once you put a "full face" into the wind and try to pull it at around 60 mph, most engines (if they are rated to tow the weight) will consume about the same amount of fuel. Has to do more with surface area and aerodynamics as opposed to weight. You will probably find you'll get the same (or so close as to be statistically insignificant) no matter what the weight, whether it is 3800 lbs or right up to your 7700 lb limit (which you can't tow anyway...that's another subject ).
Diesel fuel has 20% more energy in it, per gallon, and the motor, with the higher compression ratio, adds anoth 15 to 20% more efficiency. Guess I'll find out soon enough, after I tackle a 55 mph run with whatever I end up with, a 189FDS or a 210 UDS.

10 mpg in a 3 liter turbo diesel sounds downright depressing....
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Old 08-09-2012, 05:03 PM   #4
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You are correct in the advantages of diesel over gas, as far as you go. Yes diesel has 20% more "go" per gallon and diesel engines are famous for squeezing that "go" out of each gallon, but... Manufacturers also take that into consideration and scale down the size of the engine (diesel) such that the net result in fuel usage, particularly in towing, is about the same. While your 3.0L diesel is more efficient than a 3.0L gasser, it isn't any better at towing than the ever popular 5.xL V8 gas engines. You can expect roughly the same mileage in your 3.0L diesel that others get in their 5.xL V8 gassers. My 6.7L turbocharged Cummins does no better than the Ford V10 (~8.5L) gasser. Yes the Cummins uses "higher kick per gallon" diesel and yes, my Cummins is more efficient at getting those working BTUs out of the diesel, but, it is only 2/3 the size of the V10. You would not even consider towing a full bodied travel trailer with a 3.0L gasser, you'd need approximately 1/3 more "ponies" in a gas engine, however, with the diesel, you get more "tow capacity" in a smaller package, but, you still have to burn the BTUs to tow...the 3.0L diesel will consume about the same "fuel" to tow as a 5.xL gas and will get about the same distance (towing) as that 5.xL gas engine. Rule of thumb...figure slightly less than half of what you get without towing, on the flat and no tail wind. If your Tuareg is getting 20-25 on the highway, lightly loaded and on the level, figure on the 9-11 towing a full sized travel trailer. Just the way the manufacturers build the beasts. You may be able to, on occasion get 12 or 13, but, those will be exceptions (I have gotten as high as 12.8 towing my 12,000 lb 5er with my Cummins, but, those tank fulls are the exception as opposed to the rule).

RVing and high fuel mileage do not go together in the same sentence or thought process.



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Old 08-09-2012, 08:10 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by webslave
You are correct in the advantages of diesel over gas, as far as you go. Yes diesel has 20% more "go" per gallon and diesel engines are famous for squeezing that "go" out of each gallon, but... Manufacturers also take that into consideration and scale down the size of the engine (diesel) such that the net result in fuel usage, particularly in towing, is about the same. While your 3.0L diesel is more efficient than a 3.0L gasser, it isn't any better at towing than the ever popular 5.xL V8 gas engines. You can expect roughly the same mileage in your 3.0L diesel that others get in their 5.xL V8 gassers. My 6.7L turbocharged Cummins does no better than the Ford V10 (~8.5L) gasser. Yes the Cummins uses "higher kick per gallon" diesel and yes, my Cummins is more efficient at getting those working BTUs out of the diesel, but, it is only 2/3 the size of the V10. You would not even consider towing a full bodied travel trailer with a 3.0L gasser, you'd need approximately 1/3 more "ponies" in a gas engine, however, with the diesel, you get more "tow capacity" in a smaller package, but, you still have to burn the BTUs to tow...the 3.0L diesel will consume about the same "fuel" to tow as a 5.xL gas and will get about the same distance (towing) as that 5.xL gas engine. Rule of thumb...figure slightly less than half of what you get without towing, on the flat and no tail wind. If your Tuareg is getting 20-25 on the highway, lightly loaded and on the level, figure on the 9-11 towing a full sized travel trailer. Just the way the manufacturers build the beasts. You may be able to, on occasion get 12 or 13, but, those will be exceptions (I have gotten as high as 12.8 towing my 12,000 lb 5er with my Cummins, but, those tank fulls are the exception as opposed to the rule).

RVing and high fuel mileage do not go together in the same sentence or thought process.
The 3l 2011 on Touareg TDI is rated 28 MPG, most people, doing 65, extended highway driving, get 30 to 32 mpg actual. 1/2 of that, then is 14 to 16 MPG... I will be towing a 7 foot wide Fun Finder X 189 FDS, not the widest or tallest ultra light travel trailer out there. I think I should be able to keep tow weight under 4000 pounds in it.
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Old 08-21-2012, 09:01 AM   #6
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I tow a 2010 FDS with our 2005 sienna and it has about 60% of the torque available to your TDI (406ft/lbs!!!!) and we can get anywhere in western Canada. I think your greater issue will be the shorter wheelbase on the Toureg causing some towing instability. I would suggest a good weight distributing hitch and possibly sway control. The tongue weight can get quite high quickly with the battery and propane tanks on the front and the rear suspension on the toureg is not really meant for huge weights to the rear of it.
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Old 08-29-2012, 09:39 PM   #7
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Burning all that fuel trailering sounds depressing, maybe I better just scale it down and get a teardrop camper.
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Old 08-30-2012, 10:35 AM   #8
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While a teardrop style trailer will get you better mileage, like everything else in life there are trade offs... You can't stand up in a teardrop, they have very little storage for anything, the kitchen is outside under the rear hatch (not real conducive to late night refrigerator raids or cooking breakfast in a cold morning rain), you still have to "hike" to the bathroom, etc., and you are still going to suffer in the mileage department. Some people do just fine in them, I've seen a few around, but, by and large, most people that leave the "car camping tent" scene want something more than a hard "tent", that's why they don't have a large market share and why a lot of the more fuel friendly towables haven't caught on. While they may get you a couple of miles per gallon more, the cons of actually using them for any length time gradually outweighs the benefits in mileage...it is hard to enjoy the "savings of a few mpg" when you are sitting hunched over inside one during a pouring rain, trying to figure out what you are going to do about eating

Now, they do make bigger "tear drop" or "sleek retro" style trailers, but, then you are right back where you started...it costs fuel to haul bigger. I know, we went through all of that when we moved from car tent camping to hard sided trailering. We looked at all of them and since we were, at that time, still car-tenting, we could easily draw the parallels and it didn't take us long at all to figure out that the only thing we would gain by going that route was a hard shell instead of our big Sierra Octadome's soft shell. We would still wind up cooking outside, tracking mud into the bed, being cramped in a pouring rain and not have our own bathroom; basically we'd gain nothing except the bother of towing our tent behind us. Go look at them, they are "neat" little exercises in packaging, but, think long and hard about how and where and what you expect from your "RV"...those things are oft times hard to sell when disappointment sets in.

Early in our lives we backpacked...our feet provided the propulsion and if we didn't have it on our backs, we didn't have it. Then we went to car tent camping and we scoffed at the "RVers" and particularly the big motorhomes... Now look at us and I gladly pay the money at the pump so that I sleep in my own true queen sized bed, have a full bath, huge kitchen, an office where I am typing this while the DW sits over at her loom weaving with the two A/C units keeping us nice and cool. Yes, I can eat crow, and it isn't a motorhome, but, it has more room than most motor homes, and we call it "our condo on wheels". We can have a vacation home wherever we decide to park it. Only you can decide how "far to go" with RVing; don't let cost (unless it is a deciding factor on whether to do it all) determine how you do it; if you skimp trying to "justify" it, it will only bring disappointment. It is not a cheap hobby, but, can be well worth the investment in time and money in the joy of seeing what this great country has to offer and you're comfort level has a lot to do with that enjoyment. We have, indeed, as the DW calls it, "gone over to the dark side", but, it is easily worth the fuel to have a "home" when we park for the night.



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Old 08-30-2012, 12:21 PM   #9
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Default Reduction in travel speed.

If I still get the 189 FDS and lower my travel speed to the legal limit, 55 MPH, where might my fuel milelage end up then? How much better over 60 MPH? You make it sound like speed with that big frontal area is your enemy.
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Old 08-30-2012, 01:29 PM   #10
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My experience was very much like Don's. From backpacking to tent camping out of the car. Then one night when the temperature never dropped below 100 enough was enough. I first started looking at the teardrops because I thought all we really needed was an air conditioned place to sleep. But after pricing a T@B and Rpod I found they cost as much as the Funfinder! So the full kitchen, queen bed and full bath won out easily.
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Old 08-30-2012, 05:24 PM   #11
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For the most part, I've found that with the vehicles I've towed with that it will cost you 10% in mpg for each 5 mph over the 55 bench mark. Get 12 at 55? You'll probably see just under 11 at 60. Get 11 at 60? You'll probably see around 9.5 at 65. Of course there is a lot more to it than that...uphill, downhill, tailwind, headwind, sweet spot in the tow vehicle's drivetrain, etc., but, "most vehicles" seem to have a "sweet spot" between 57 and 62 mph. That's usually when the top end of the highest gear is running the most efficiently. I tend to aim at 58-62 mph; best blend of "not being a road hog", covering distance and not wasting money out the tail pipe. I get passed a lot, but, the driving is more relaxing, I see more scenery, the tow vehicle and trailer holds up better (ST tires are only rated to 65 mph - anything faster than that and you are asking for trouble) and I'll get 10.8 to 11.5 mpg towing this 12,000 lb 5er with my CTD (which, BTW, is virtually the same as I got towing my 6,000 210WBS with a Hemi gasser and I got the same with the CTD towing the 210WBS; just shows weight isn't the main issue). If I do 65 mph, I see 8.5 to 9.5 mpg. You are going to pay...speed will cost you more. Covering 300 miles at 65 miles / hour will take you about 4 hrs. and 36 minutes. Covering that same 300 miles at 58 mph will take you 5 hrs and 6 minutes, 30 minutes longer, but, you'll get ~12% better mileage and your trailer's tires will last a lot longer, you'll be more relaxed (no stress in trying to pass someone, less control issues, less brake required).

As an aside...from an RVing standpoint (mine), I wouldn't object in the slightest to re-instatement of the 55 mph national limit. I do feel a bit bad out here in the western states where the speed limit is 75 or better and I'm still poking along at 58-62 mph. But...it is a "speed limit" (upper), not a speed mandate. I stay in the far right, use the truck lanes on hills and use the pull outs to let people pass (I only wish some of the locals knew what they were for... )



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Old 08-30-2012, 07:35 PM   #12
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Well I took a look at a Cruiser Viewfinder X-19FK today... and it looks a lot nicer inside, but it's about 1000 pounds heavier too. Like 4100 pounds and 500 at the tongue?

Wonder what that's gonna do to the rear end of my touareg TDI? Load leveler and sway bar time?
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Old 09-02-2012, 09:23 PM   #13
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Default Mileage Pulling 210WBS

I have a 210WBS that I pulled with a Trailerblazer 4.2L and the mileage was right on Don's at the various speeds. The only problem I encountered was it would run hot on uphill pulls in the summer in Arkansas. I have replaced the TB with a F150 but have not had the opportunity to pull the TT yet.
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Old 09-03-2012, 06:19 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Niner
Well I took a look at a Cruiser Viewfinder X-19FK today... and it looks a lot nicer inside, but it's about 1000 pounds heavier too. Like 4100 pounds and 500 at the tongue?

Wonder what that's gonna do to the rear end of my touareg TDI? Load leveler and sway bar time?
A good weight distribution hitch, either an Equal-i-zer (my favorite) or a Reese dual cam, will fix the problem and IMHO, anyone towing anything larger than a pop-up (and depending on the size of the pop up, them, too) should be using a weight distribution hitch with built in anti-sway. It will transfer some of that rear end weight back to the steering wheels for better handling (steering response), save the rear springs from overload, keep the headlights aligned and prevent sway. Even you "lighter than air" 189 and smaller folks could benefit from the use of one...you (the light weights) may not need one all of the time, but, the one time you may, you'll be thankful you had it.



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Old 09-04-2012, 10:28 AM   #15
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I have a Toyota Tundra with a 5.7 liter. Rated @ 380 horses. My wife & I also have a chevy HHR. If fuel mileage is your highest concern...you should look into other hobbies. We bought the Tundra for the power of the 5.7 and the Toyota reliability. I do not know reliability on the VW but I am guessing it should be above anything Goverment Motors puts out. Towing & gas mileage just = low numbers. The power is the trade off and it is a good one.
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Old 10-09-2012, 10:24 PM   #16
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Quote:
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I have a Toyota Tundra with a 5.7 liter. Rated @ 380 horses. My wife & I also have a chevy HHR. If fuel mileage is your highest concern...you should look into other hobbies. We bought the Tundra for the power of the 5.7 and the Toyota reliability. I do not know reliability on the VW but I am guessing it should be above anything Goverment Motors puts out. Towing & gas mileage just = low numbers. The power is the trade off and it is a good one.
I don't consider 225 HP a lot of power... but I do consider 406 ft lbs of torque to be the saving grace on the diesel Touareg.
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Old 10-10-2012, 07:46 AM   #17
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Overall, my average has been 10-12 mpg pulling the XT276 loaded w/full dress Harley and personal items behind a 04 Dodge Ram 1500 w/the 5.7 liter Hemi engine (345 hp and 375 ft lbs torque) and automatic trans with the overdrive locked out.
Wind conditions and speeds over 60 -65 mph will take a toll on mileage, however the Dodge performs very well & never at a lost for power.
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Old 10-10-2012, 09:01 AM   #18
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This is my guess....but I would imagine that once you go over the 300 HP mark you are going to be in good shape for the smaller towing that the fun finders are.

Diesels are a breed all to themselves. It is my belief that those are the true work horses of the towing world.
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Old 12-03-2012, 09:03 PM   #19
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I did go with another brand, and 2200 miles of towing, much of it into 20 mph headwinds and damn cold temps like 11 F in Davenport kicked my 2012 Touareg TDI Sport's MPG down to 13 MPG with a 15 to 20 MPH headwind while doing 58 MPH. I ran the car in 7th, not 8th gear.

Further driving through KS, OK and TX with headwinds at 54 MPH yielded 14 to 14.5 MPG. Towing a 3800 pound 21 foot trailer from IL to CA via IA, MO, KS, OK, TX, NM, AZ to the West Coast, I did about 2200 miles of towing and averaged 15.35 MPG, pen and paper, much of that trailering into a stiff westerly head wind daily over 4 days of driving.
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