gas mileage on a Dodge tradesmen campervan

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mkc

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Jun 16, 2014
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I was thinking about buying a 1972 Dodge tradesman camper van. Does anyone know about what kind of gas mileage I should expect to get? Thanks
 

tlhickman

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Aug 5, 2014
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hi everyone, im new to this forum and been reading a lot about gas mileage issues.  Heres your answer to poor gas mileage.  Poor gas mileage has nothing to do with weight, maybe a little.  My first camper was a starcraft popup (3200lbs), upgraded to a 21' skyline Koala Superlite Ecocamp (3400lbs.) thinking that weight is the main factor in good gas mileage, WRONG.  Pulling the popup i got 19-20 mpg pulling with a 4runner, now pulling the Koala travel trailer i get 10-11 mpg, had a heart attack.  After several days of research and spending 16 yrs in the Navy (USS MidwayCV41) i relized the problem comes from the back of the trailer (surface area).  As you travel down the highway, the air velocity increases around the back edges of the trailer causing a venturi effect.  The faster you go, the more effect you get.  Basically your creating a low pressure around the back of the camper causing it to pull in the opposite direction which causes poor gas mileage.  Think of it like this, you attach a bottle of weed and feed to your garden hose.  The water passing over the small hole at high velocity creates a low pressure at the hole so that atmospheric pressure pushes the fluid in the water stream.  How to fix the problem, buy a popup.  Air Tabs dont work or you could put a tail fin on the back like a semi trailer (expensive).  Called Skyline in Indiana and they know of this issue, all camper manufactures know of this but they aint going to tell you this or you wouldnt buy the camper.  Air Stream is probably the best camper to pull, because of the rounded corners that reduce the venturi effect, that is if you want to pay 65k for a camper.  So when you travel go slow if you want to save on gas (60 mph).  At 60 mph i get 15mpg.  If you look at a lot of fifth wheels and you notice that the roof slopes down to the back, manufactures are reducing the surface area on the back.  I hope this answers your questions on gas mileage.
 

buchanan

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Jun 8, 2014
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Ok so what mileage can the OP expect on his 1972 dodge van(Op original question)

Edit: Removed excessive quote.
 

Molaker

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Springfield, Mo.
I had a 1970 302 CI Ford van that got about 15 MPG no matter what I did, loaded with "stuff" or empty as a school gymnasium in July.  I know, it's not a Dodge, but I think all vans of the era got roughly that mileage.
 

kccwoodworks

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Jul 11, 2014
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Forget about gas milage and gas prices.  Just enjoy seeing new places, isn't that the whole idea of owning an RV?
 

Molaker

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Springfield, Mo.
kccwoodworks said:
Forget about gas milage and gas prices.  Just enjoy seeing new places, isn't that the whole idea of owning an RV?
That was my philosophy.  Then I bought a rig that more than doubled my mileage.  I now find my fuel budget takes me a lot further.  That is important unless maybe you just plan to go to a nearby campground then back.  I just got back from a 8,000 + mile trip.  Fuel costs were about $2,000.  Had I driven my rusty crusty class C it would have been at least $4,000.  Heck, now I can afford to go again.  Mileage does make a difference.
 

ironrat

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May 11, 2011
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Loma Rica, Ca
No one can say what you could expect for mileage with any accuracy. The best you can do is be sure everything is in good shape and well maintained and the mileage is what it is. But one thing that is very good to know is to pay attention to any changes in mileage as that could tell you something is starting to fail such as but not limited too a dirty air filter and many other possible problems.
 

buchanan

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mkc said:
I was thinking about buying a 1972 Dodge tradesman camper van. Does anyone know about what kind of gas mileage I should expect to get? Thanks
you will see in the 14-16 range depending on load,speed and weight
 

jeepinjeffery

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Mar 10, 2015
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I have a 77 Dodge Class B that I average 10 mpg. That's empty though, just me and no real gear inside except what's already in there
 

Tiace11882

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Apr 21, 2015
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Our tradesman gets 10-12 MPG on average it has a 318/727 auto, our Toyota Dolphin gets 19-23 MPG it has a 22re/4sp manual our Tradesman is our back country rig and our our Dolphin is our KOAmobile!!
 

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Sehc

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I had a 1973 Tradesman 300, with a 318 one barrel. If my memory serves, I averaged 11 or 12 mpg mixed driving.
 

RVer Frank

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May 31, 2015
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Hurricane, Utah
This post brings back memories. I got 12-14 mpg in a new B200 Tradesman cargo van, 360 cid, 4 barrel, no air conditioning that I bought back in 1974.  I converted it for camping (paneled, sink, refer, fold up bed, cabinets) and towed a boat or hauled my dirt bikes or 3 wheeler.  That van had guts. Back then I road out by Red Rock Canyon, Ca.and was late to an enduro out by Red Mountain one time and floored it to 120 mph across the desert to get to the race on time; white knuckler ;D (I was young and stupid).  Loved that van; then went to a Trailduster 360 cid, 4 barrel, no air conditioning, full-time 4x4 in 1978; got 3-4 mpg, :'(no kidding). Always wanted the best of both worlds, a 4x4 van! Well I finally got me a Quadvan: 10-14 mpg and less pulling the TT. 8)
I have wised up and travel the speed limit and no faster than 55 mph towing the TT.
Here is a video on my Quadvan: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pavR2MhNVw

Happy Travels!
 
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