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Author Topic: Using Cruise Control  (Read 4232 times)

wow

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Using Cruise Control
« on: July 20, 2012, 04:57:13 PM »
I am curious to know how many out there use cruise control regularly. I find, on my rig, that if I use the cruise, it down-shifts on almost every hill. That seems to be a negative as far as gas mileage goes. However, on my trip last week, I tried to use it only on flat straight-a-ways and did not allow it to down-shift. I still got poor gas mileage. Opinions?

Will Walker

Molaker

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    • WanderLust
Re: Using Cruise Control
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2012, 05:08:17 PM »
Personally, I find that an engine loaded down enough to trigger a downshift is using about the same amount of gas as when downshifted.  It's not so much the RPM as it is the throttle position.  That said, I use my cruise a lot and often force a downshift (kick out the OD) before the system kicks it out automatically.  This keeps the RPM up without forcing so many immediate shifts from OD to OD out to 2nd gear.  That said, if gas mileage were my only consideration, I probably wouldn't use cruise at all.  Trying to maintain a constant speed (as cruise does) uses more gas than paying attention to the road and load and adjusting your throttle accordingly.
Tom & Joyce and Ditto the "don't tell her she's a dog" Westie
U.S. Navy (Ret)
2014 Winnebago ERA 24' class B

Wizard46

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Re: Using Cruise Control
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2012, 06:02:04 PM »
I too use it a lot, especially on the interstates. However if I notice it constantly changing gears a lot, then I disable it. In hilly country I like to get up a little extra speed going down hill to help with the next rise.

Don't see much difference in MPG either way.

Jerry
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BernieD

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Re: Using Cruise Control
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2012, 06:10:12 PM »
Will

We do need a little more information; do you have a gas or diesel engine and how big are they both?

I have driven cross country just using cruise but I have a large, high torque diesel engine. With my car I normally turn it off when there are any hills. With the diesel, turn on economy mode, that will reduce shifting a bit, and you might also need to manually downshift to 5th and leave it there while climbing.
Bernie & Marlene Dobrin
Home is Goodyear, AZ
Missing our Travel Supreme

bobsharon

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Re: Using Cruise Control
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2012, 06:17:04 PM »
What Wizard46 says. Only thing that affects my mileage are terrain, wind, speed that I set and probably altitude but am not sure about the last because I never drive while high  ::)
Bob
I live with cruise control using it for accelerating and slowing.
2004 Winnebago Brave 32V
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ArdraF

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Re: Using Cruise Control
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2012, 09:02:57 PM »
We use cruise control most of the time but often take it off in mountains because it works too hard to keep a higher speed.  If it starts to "hunt" (e.g. shift between two gears frequently) then it's time to turn it off and maybe downshift manually.  Also, if your temperatures start to rise when climbing, back it off maybe 10 miles per hour.  In some states with high speed limits such as 70 mph, we don't go the speed limit, again because it works too hard to keep a high speed and uses more fuel.  Most of us prefer the 55-62 mph range and in some states large vehicles such as motorhomes that tow should abide by the lower truck speed limits.  As Bernie mentioned, use of the Economy feature might help.

Your question reminded me of my dear departed sister who learned to drive when middle aged and really understood nothing about automobile engines and transmissions, especially that part about downshifting on hills.  She refused to use cruise control.  When I drove her car and used cruise control she had fits because that "devil car" just took off and she had no control over it!  We tried to explain downshifting to no avail.  As far as she was concerned the car had a mind of its own.  :o

ArdraF
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bucks2

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  • 2007 Beaver
Re: Using Cruise Control
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2012, 09:18:23 PM »
I like to use the cruise control for increasing mileage and staying at the correct speed. In my coach 70 feels a whole lot like 55 so the seat of the pants speed control doesn't work so well. Unlike Ardra's group, my coach won't shift into 6th gear unless I'm going 63 so I guess I'm not in the majority. 63 or 64 works well for my rig and with the "loose" cruise setting that Cat offers, where it will allow a couple or three miles above or below the set speed before it floors the pedal, or activates the engine brake, I get acceptable mileage from every gallon of fuel.

Ken
Just my opinion, and I've been wrong before.

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mrschwarz

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Re: Using Cruise Control
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2012, 12:34:11 AM »
Unless I am on a road that won't let me maintain a constant speed, I almost always use the cruise control. I remember reading that one way to maximize mileage was to maintain a constant speed. Continually decelerating and accelerating hurt mileage. When the transmission needs to downshift, I let it. I haven't done it in this coach, but in my last one, the best mileage I got was on cruise control.
Michael

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wow

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Re: Using Cruise Control
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2012, 10:20:56 AM »
Thanks for all the replies. I am learning a lot. My rig is a 97 Fleetwood Pace Arrow with a Ford f53 chassis. The engine is a 460. Any other thoughts appreciated.

Will

Molaker

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    • WanderLust
Re: Using Cruise Control
« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2012, 10:35:22 AM »
Thanks for all the replies. I am learning a lot. My rig is a 97 Fleetwood Pace Arrow with a Ford f53 chassis. The engine is a 460. Any other thoughts appreciated.

Will
Since your MH is a gas unit and not diesel, I stand by my original posting.  You can get better gas mileage by not using the cruise if you are aware of road and load conditions and adjust the throttle and OD accordingly.  Cruise is a lazy man's gizzmo, which is okay.  We are all lazy one way or another.  But, on a flatter open stretch of road, cruise is good.  Also, if bucking a stiff headwind, back off and maybe even kick it out of OD.
Tom & Joyce and Ditto the "don't tell her she's a dog" Westie
U.S. Navy (Ret)
2014 Winnebago ERA 24' class B

Steve N Dee

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Re: Using Cruise Control
« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2012, 10:43:33 AM »
Will:
   Like almost everything else in life, there is no one good answer that is right all the time.  Over time, you will gain a sense of when it is a good time to use cruise and when it's not.  I would say that most of us use it when the conditions seem right for using it, and we don't when it's not. As for the mileage thing, motorhomes get poor mileage period. :(

Steve
Steve & Dee - Racing towards retirement
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Icemaker

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Re: Using Cruise Control
« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2012, 12:45:02 PM »
My old Dolphin has the Allison 4sp slush pump. The cruise was broken when I bought it and this trip will be my first trip where it actually works. I'm not expecting any big mileage changes but it will be nice to not have to pay as close attention the the speedometer because I often find I'm either under or over by enough to irritate other drivers or attract attention of a bored cop. I usually run about 60 and just because it will do 75 flat out I don't like to push it. The coach is not young and neither am I. When I get there is always the right time for me. I've been getting around 8 to 8.5 with the old girl towing my CRV. It shouldn't lower my mileage and any increase would be a plus.

George
George


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maverickbbd

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Re: Using Cruise Control
« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2012, 01:54:35 PM »
I use Cruise almost constantly, whenever I can.  I put the tranny in econ. mode with engine brake off.  I find this kitty Cat. can drive itself better then I can. 
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Tin man

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Re: Using Cruise Control
« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2012, 02:41:42 PM »
Steve hit it on the head..I set the cruise 63mpg. Watch my mirrors..come to a hill, give it some gas maybe 68mpg keep speed up hill.. Going down, watch mirrors that 18 wheeler that I passed going up will be coming down.

Truckers I spoke to hate RV 's with cruise because they impare there momentum. 

About fuel economy sort of like a oximoram.

Use a lot if kinetic energy to move the beast.

Jim W
AKA TIN MAN
2007 36G Journey SE
2010 Escape Hybrid Blue Ox Air Force 1 Brake

Paul & Ann

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Re: Using Cruise Control
« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2012, 03:00:29 PM »
Using cruise control is not the best way to get the best mileage from your vehicle, especially is hilly or mountainous country.  Hypermiling is the best way to get maximum mileage, but it not always possible, practical, or safe.

Paul

Odin

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Re: Using Cruise Control
« Reply #15 on: July 23, 2012, 03:01:25 PM »
Using cruise control is not the best way to get the best mileage from your vehicle, especially is hilly or mountainous country.  Hypermiling is the best way to get maximum mileage, but it not always possible, practical, or safe.

Paul

What the heck is hypermilling?
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Paul & Ann

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Re: Using Cruise Control
« Reply #16 on: July 23, 2012, 03:12:40 PM »
You accelerate slowly, slow down without using a lot of brake, accelerate slowly going down hill, and slowly decelerate going up hill, among other things.  do a search, it will give you a better idea.  Back in the 80s alot of cars had vacuum gauges in them, if you could keep the vacuum up as high as possible, you generally got better mileage.

Paul

Tin man

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Re: Using Cruise Control
« Reply #17 on: July 23, 2012, 03:13:30 PM »
It's like oxymoron
Jim W
AKA TIN MAN
2007 36G Journey SE
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Tin man

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Re: Using Cruise Control
« Reply #18 on: July 23, 2012, 03:22:41 PM »
I'm willing to bet that would cause a huge vacuum in the cab of the 18 wheeler pushing down the hill.....
Jim W
AKA TIN MAN
2007 36G Journey SE
2010 Escape Hybrid Blue Ox Air Force 1 Brake

BernieD

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Re: Using Cruise Control
« Reply #19 on: July 23, 2012, 07:04:34 PM »
Using cruise control is not the best way to get the best mileage from your vehicle, especially is hilly or mountainous country.

Can't agree with you Paul. I've been using cruise since my first DP. What really got me hooked was a seminar where the presenter (can't remember if it was CAT or Freightliner) said that no driver can be as accurate as the Allison transmission in minimizing fuel usage. Next time you climb a hill, back off the accelerator a little bit and you won't slow down. The tranny will save you that little bit of fuel. I have a 30,000# coach with 117,000 miles on it and have averaged 8.79mpg (and getting better) since new. I use cruise religiously, I don't think you can do better with your right foot and hypermiling.

What helps the Allison is, if you have the cruise set at 62 like I normally do, and you are climbing, the Allison won't maxi downshift like a gas engine to keep your speed up and will let you slow down even 10-15mph while still feeding just enough fuel to keep you going. And after I crest the hill I'm told I am getting 256 mpg. :)
Bernie & Marlene Dobrin
Home is Goodyear, AZ
Missing our Travel Supreme

Tin man

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Re: Using Cruise Control
« Reply #20 on: July 23, 2012, 08:25:34 PM »
Berni

I'm confused first time with diesel. You say you will not slow down uphill and than you say the trans. Will slow you down 10-15 mpg?

Explain. I always use cruise unless I'm in mountains..

Jim
Jim W
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2007 36G Journey SE
2010 Escape Hybrid Blue Ox Air Force 1 Brake

Paul & Ann

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Re: Using Cruise Control
« Reply #21 on: July 23, 2012, 10:02:20 PM »
Bernie-I have never tried hypermiling with a motorhome, gas or diesel, but I have done it with a car.  Was able to go from an average 33 mpg normal driving  to 45 mpg hypermiling.

Paul

SoEzzy

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Re: Using Cruise Control
« Reply #22 on: July 24, 2012, 12:51:38 AM »
http://ecomodder.com/forum/EM-hypermiling-driving-tips-ecodriving.php

Lots of useful tips, I would love to have a standard gear box on the MH, but the Allison 6 speed with eco mode and cruise control does a pretty good job an anything except the harder hills, and out here in Utah we have a few of those.

Climbing hills I allow the speed to fall away, while keeping the revs inside the power band for the gear I am in, and working down through the gearbox to maintain the best speed possible, it's not the time to worry about the MPG, time enough to worry about that, coasting down the other side just joking!
1993 Gulf Stream Friendship 38' DP, Cummins 8.3 with an Allison 6 spead.

BernieD

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Re: Using Cruise Control
« Reply #23 on: July 24, 2012, 07:35:11 AM »
Jim

Sorry about the confusion. When I was talking about not slowing going uphill, that was just a short demo that using the foot is over kill since the driver tends to over depress the accelerator pedal. Backing off slightly won't slow you down since you are still pushing in enough fuel to maintain your speed. Only works as a demo for a short period of time.

Also, the tranny won't slow you down but will not try very hard to maintain your cruise speed like a gas engine cruise does. When I am climbing the long, steep grades in the west, the tranny is very smart and aims to balance speed and economy. So as I lose speed in the climb, the tranny will downshift but maybe only one gear instead of 2 or 3. This also keeps the engine at lower speed so you get the benefit of the higher torque of the diesel engine. I can afford the couple of extra minutes to climb in lieu of the couple of extra gallons of fuel and cooler engine (when you are feeding too much fuel and have a lot of it unburned, the engine runs hotter).
Bernie & Marlene Dobrin
Home is Goodyear, AZ
Missing our Travel Supreme

jeffbrown

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Re: Using Cruise Control
« Reply #24 on: July 24, 2012, 10:36:43 AM »
I have a workhorse W22 and I drive by Tachometer.  1800-2000 is the goal, personally I'd prefer a tach control to a cruse control.  When I find either flat ground or a down hill I'll use it but that means not very dang often here in California.

Jeff
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billwild

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Re: Using Cruise Control
« Reply #25 on: July 24, 2012, 11:07:57 AM »
One big benefit of the cruise contral is you do not have to sit hours on end with your foot in an odd angle pushing on the gas pedal. I prefer the cruise control by far.
2005 Holiday Rambler Endeavor---2004 Honda CRV

BernieD

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Re: Using Cruise Control
« Reply #26 on: July 24, 2012, 12:56:21 PM »
Using the cruise control, I can drive many, many miles without stepping on any pedals. The cruise speed buttons are right under my thumbs on the "Smart Wheel" with a 1mph+/- change with a tap of the button. The engine brake control is right under the fingers of my left hand so I can control braking from there. Very convenient, but it doesn't work as nicely on a gas vehicle; everything is too abrupt and you can't control the freewheeling and braking as well.
Bernie & Marlene Dobrin
Home is Goodyear, AZ
Missing our Travel Supreme

fredanderson

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Re: Using Cruise Control
« Reply #27 on: August 01, 2012, 03:39:39 AM »
I use cruise control on interstates mostly or straight roads increases mileage. But not on slopes, its better to take control by yourself on slopes.

Campfire RV

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Re: Using Cruise Control
« Reply #28 on: August 01, 2012, 08:31:13 AM »
I use cruise control only when I'm on Interstates or open roads that are somewhat flat, otherwise I will turn it off. I drive a Class "C" Ford 450 engine and when I have used the cruise control in the mountains it does shift quite abruptly so I just turn cruise control off and take over manually. I have noticed when I use cruise control on the open roads I can get about 10 mpg but when I'm in the mountains whether on cruise control or not I tend to only get about 7-8 mpg. Once I move out of California then I can use cruise control more and save on the mpg. 8)
Josh
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Wolf Pack Fan

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Re: Using Cruise Control
« Reply #29 on: August 03, 2012, 07:30:22 AM »
I guess I use ours about the same as many others.  But I'll share.  We live in Norhtern Nevada, at the base of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, so no matter where we go, we're climbing and descending grades.  I use the cruise control when it's flat and on very mild grades that require only turning off the overdrive.  If a hand shift from one gear to another is needed I disengage the cruise control.  On steep grades I don't usually allow the transmission to shift automatically.  I downshift before I reach the steepest part of the grade.  If the climb is preceded by a downhill I'll let gravity help me build up a little more speed before beginning the steep climb.  Our transmission is an Allison 4 speed.  I wish sometimes it had 1 more gear, but it gets the job done nicely.
Proud to have served 1976-1996.  Retired US Army, Airborne.
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