fuel economy

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richsaenz

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Sep 21, 2005
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I tow an 8000# camper with a Ford E350 7.3L diesel van in the Midwest and get about 10 mpg. Is this average for this rig? I've heard of Dodge 6 cyl. diesels pulling bigger campers and getting 20 mpg.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Feb 2, 2005
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The Dodge/Cummins combo gives outstanding fuel mileage but no Dodge diesel is getting 20 mpg AND pulling heavy loads.  Maybe they are pulling 3-4000 and getting 20, but certainly no more than that. I would guess they get about 13-15 with your size of load.

On the other hand, 10 mpg sounds a little light for your configuration.  I pulled 11,000 lbs with a 99 F250 7.3 Powerstroke and usually got in the 11-13 mpg range.  But maybe you have a heavy foot. It does't take much to drive the numbers down.

Another thing: what is the total weight of the van + trailer when loaded for the road?  You can put a lot of gear in a van!
 

nohemihere

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Sep 25, 2005
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I have a cummins. I routinely pull a skid loader with it. And it wieghs almost 10,000lbs with the trailer. I get on average about 14mpg. If i slow down to 65 I can get that up to about 15.5. So it depends on how much your time is worth. But shaving a few mph off can save you some green at the pumps. BTW my truck gets on average about 18mpg empty. And once I had one tank get 22.3 on the highway. But like I said that was once.
 

joelmyer

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Mar 5, 2005
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Georgia
nohemihere said:
I have a cummins. I routinely pull a skid loader with it. And it wieghs almost 10,000lbs with the trailer. I get on average about 14mpg. If i slow down to 65 I can get that up to about 15.5. So it depends on how much your time is worth. But shaving a few mph off can save you some green at the pumps. BTW my truck gets on average about 18mpg empty. And once I had one tank get 22.3 on the highway. But like I said that was once.

Interesting.  I have the cummins also.  I weight about 17,280 going down the road. (Truck, 5th Wheel, cat and all).  I averaged 12.7 mpg for a 9,500 mile trip GA to MT.  About 6,000 of that was towing.  Tank milage ranged from 9.2 to 19.9. Towing is 10-13 @ about 65 mph, empty is 16-18.  I also got 22 mpg empty on one 250 mile stretch of interstate (TN - GA) by very carefully staying under 2000 rpm (~62 mph).  And one pull from NM-AZ I got 14.7 mpg, again at about 62 mph.  I was excited, but it hasn't happened again.  Some days I'm lucky to get over 10.

Your skid loader is heavier than my 5er.  But I probably have more frontal area.  And I have 4x4 which also hurts.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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It just occurred to me to ask what rear axle in in your E350. If it's the 4.10, then 10-12 is probably about right.  The 3.73 axle was available in some Powerstroke configurations and that gives better mileage,  closer to 13, as long as the loads are reasonable (and yours is fairly light).

There are lots of variables and speed is one of the big ones. So are your driving habits when accelerating and braking.  The frontal area of the trailer can also have a major impact.
 

nohemihere

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Sep 25, 2005
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Mine is also a 4x4. We could have different gear ratios too. Mine is a quad cab too.
 

Len and Jo

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Apr 25, 2005
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1,332
Fuel economy is very sensitive to driving speed, driving style and enviroment/road conditions.  I always look at mine in terms of 8-10 tank full averages (2000-3000 miles).  We have three vehicles:

Chevrolet Prizm:  25-28mpg city to 75 x-way
                        30-34mpg city to 65 x-way

Chevrolet Express Van (aka RV):  14-16mpg city to 75 x-way
                                              15-17mpg city to 65 x-way

Toyota RAV4    18-21mpg city to 75x-way
                        20-24mpg city to 65 x-way

Also break-in miles can effect mileage (we also drive slower most of our trips now....smell the roses. We used to drive 75-80mph:

Our Chevy Express:

15.8 mpg 3rd 20k miles----17k to date
15.2 mpg 2nd 20k miles
14.6 mpg 1st 20k miles
13.9 mpg 1st 5k miles


So many things impact fuel economy.  I try not to look at individual tank fill-ups.
 
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