Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
John E Davies

Full sized diesel pickup towing mpg?

Recommended Posts

Those of you with the big diesel trucks, please post your fuel economy figures and a brief description (towing speed, elevation, terrain).

 

I have a 2006 Ram 3500 5.9 Cummins and am wondering what I would see towing an Elite II. I regularly get 18-20 mpg running empty on the freeway, and up to 22 on 60 mph flat back roads.... I am hoping for 16 pulling the trailer.

 

Thanks,

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA


"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

 

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a 2014 Ram 3500 Cummins SRW, standard cab, and I average about 12 MPG towing my Elite ll.  I like to tow at 65 mph where legal and 58-60 in California.  Mostly in the eastern Sierras and at elevations from 4-9,000 feet.  I'm talking average per tank and not instantaneous mileage.

 

Interesting that my old toy hauler, same weight and size, with tandem axles, averaged closer to 9 mpg.

  • Thanks 1

John


"I only exaggerate enough to compensate for being taken with a grain of salt."


LE2 #92 (sold),   Black Series HQ19   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

New to the forum and have never towed a Ollie, but have a Legacy II on order due to take possession in April of 2017. Will still comment on your question of MPG with diesels.

 

I have been towing a Airstream 30' Classic (just sold) with our 2016 Ram 2500HD Cummins. This being a Classic is the heaviest Airstream made coming in at 10,000 lbs plus we load the Ram with lots of equipment for travel. This payload gets up to 800 lbs. from time to time. With this newer model Ram cruise control on 65-70 mph, we get 12-13 mpg consistently in our home state of Colorado. On flat interstate in southern US the mpg will stay at about 14-15. This all being read out by the on board computer, which I trust to be accurate. Love the technology of today!

 

Might add that owning a diesel TV and towing RVs for 15 plus years, this amount of payload and towing the above stated weight of our former Airstream is zero strain on these late model diesel HD pickups. Ownership of past diesels i.e. Ram 2005 and 2012, towing heavy Airstreams as well, were not able to get this higher mpg. The 2005 would come in at about 10 mpg and the 2012 at 11-12 mpg. Its obvious the newer models and technology in these engines are able to crank out better fuel economy and increased towing capacity.

 

Looking forward to owning a Ollie and am confident that our mpg will be around 13-15 (mountains or flat land) towing 7,000 lbs and the payload in the TV.

 

Hope this helps you!

  • Thanks 1

Malcolm and Ursula M.


2017 Legacy Elite II Hull # 204 "Olivia"


2016 Ram 2500HD Diesel 4x4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's interesting to note the evolution of the Cummins engines in Ram trucks with respect to mileage.

 

I had a 1993 that would tow until it burned up the transmission.

 

Then I had an early 2004 model (305/555).  That model is known as the best for mileage of the newer electronic models.  In 2004.5 they dropped about 1-1.5 MPG in all around normal use which seems to be as a result of combustion chamber design that attempted to cause some EGR affect for emissions, as far as I can tell.  These engines benefit from advancing the timing through programming.  This design carried on until the 2007 model and the 6.7 engine.  This generation gets somewhat worse mileage again, I think because of the EGR system and timing for emissions.  Many guys report a big increase in mileage by deleting the emissions stuff and tuning them.  Then in 2013 Cummins added the diesel exhaust fluid and was able to return to the combustion chamber design from 2004 and got the mileage mostly back, but it seems like (no proof here) that they loose more mileage when towing than the 2004 did.

 

So comparing mileages with a given trailer will never be an exact science with different year trucks and different drivers, but it can get you in the ballpark.  Of course also, full tank averages mean a lot more than instantaneous readouts on flat ground.  And the beauty of the Cummins is that it never seems to be working hard.  Always relaxed as you roll along and pull grades.

 

 

  • Thanks 2

John


"I only exaggerate enough to compensate for being taken with a grain of salt."


LE2 #92 (sold),   Black Series HQ19   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FWIW, I don't have a heavy duty diesel truck, I have the light duty Ram 1500 diesel. My one trip towing my elite 2 so far has been round trip from Pensacola FL to Hohenwald. Not flat by any means, but not the Rockies either. On that 900 mile trip I averaged 17.5 mpg driving at the speed limit, with plenty of power going up all sf the Tennessee hills.

  • Thanks 1

GrayGhost


2015 Legacy Elite II Hull # 98


2016 Dodge Ram Laramie EcoDiesel


 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Should have included above, but it has 3.55 rear end; non-towing highway mpg has been at the manufacturer specs of 29mpg, combined hwy/city is 26.5. Around town I do drive a bit for improved mileage, meaning no jack rabbit starts and drive the speed limit.


GrayGhost


2015 Legacy Elite II Hull # 98


2016 Dodge Ram Laramie EcoDiesel


 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello I have a 2016 Chevy Duramax and have pulled the Oliver on several trips including to Alaska this year. We pulled the Ollie in 2015 with a Ford 5.0 for the first year to me it was ok on the flat but long climbs like out west or short and close climbs this was underpowered to me, at times I could not maintain speed or would drop 10 to 20 mph on long hard climb in the western passes. We traveled a lot with a friend who now also has the diesel but he had the Tundra 5.7 and pulled the Ollie just fine but small gas tank like I saw someone else post have to stop every 200 miles.

 

Ok the diesel what do I get not pulling I will get 20 to 21 MPG with just the truck loaded just drove today from Florida to cabin in North Carolina, pulling the Ollie the RPM's do not change flat, hill runs at about 1700 rpm's and gas average 14.5 to 15 mpg. I am not going to say anything and not going to say this is the way to go but I truly love my truck and the ease that it does this weather at sea level or 14,000 foot pass it does anything I need and the Jake break makes it even easier coming back down. Thanks Gary

  • Thanks 1

Gary & Jona

2016 Silverado 2500 Diesel

Legacy Elite II Hull 81 

 

ALAKAZARCACOCTFLGAIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMAMNMSMOMTNENVNHNMNYNCNDOHOKORPASCSDTNTXUTVTVAWAWVWIWYmed.jpgABBCMBNBNLNTNSPEQCSKYTsm.jpg.ba4d4f701cd53ebbd7ccf276c46a23eb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just saw this stream.  I run a F250 4x4 crew cab, short bed with a 7.3L Diesel with about 195,000 miles on it.  My mileage with the trailer is about the same as without, ranges from 12-16 and I watch it very closely.  I used to pay attention to my mpg meter in the truck which predictably displayed 20-25 MPG and for many years I accepted this number and blissfully believed that the mpg displayed was accurate, enjoying the "amazing" mileage I was getting on my truck and finding all opportunities to show others just how efficient my truck was, even when compared to other much smaller "economy" cars.  However, I began reading a lot of blogs over the last year to see what I might be able to do to make it even better.  I was confronted by a lot of disbelievers in my current MPG results.  They asked over and over whether I'd actually put pencil to paper and calculated my mpg.  Well, why would I, I thought, it's so awesome, what do I care if it's off by a percent or two.  To prove them wrong, I ran 5 fill ups and monitored mileage and fuel usage very closely.  To my surprise and disappointment, it turns out "they" were right, when calculated, the mpg worked out to around 14 on average, SUCH A DISAPPOINTMENT!!  Now, that I'm informed on what my actual fuel consumption is, I don't live in blissful ignorance and am daily disappointed in my trucks mileage, EXCEPT that I still love my truck and will likely never get rid of it.  The moral of this story is, don't put a pencil to any mpg as I'm CERTAIN everyone else's mpg indicator are accurate and am quite confident that mine was the only one that was off.

  • Thanks 2

John Marilyn and Gracie


2017 Legacy Elite II Hull 172


TV 2017 F250 Diesel 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I assume your 7.3 liter is a Ford F-250 but would like to know what year it is?  I will soon be towing with a 1995 Ford F-250 and if I get 14.5 mpg I will be dancing in the streets.  I think that's pretty good and reasonable.  I'm sure it helps to have a aerodynamic and lightweight trailer and that is one of the reasons I chose Oliver.  And it's much easier to fuel up with a 23'-6" trailer than one of those big 'uns.  I have my eye on the new Nissan Cummins XD diesel at 310hp/555 ft. lbs and I'm sure there is one Ollie owner and probably more I'd like to hear from on mileage.  This is supposed to be a medium sized pickup but I'm sure it would really walk the dog with my new Ollie.  The dealer guy says it gets 2o-22 mpg with no load on Illinois roads but I bet he sells used cars too!

 

 


J-Rhett


Oliver Legacy Elite II (Irog)


1995 Ford F-250 x4 Turbo Diesel


Trek Bikes, Hobie Cat Kayak

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gray Ghost:  I have never owned a Dodge or Chrysler product, BUT getting mileage like you stated is above the norm I believe and you for sure have piqued my interest on a lightweight Ram.  I'm not at all familiar with these trucks.  Picking up 3-4 miles per gallon of a long haul adds up to lots of $$$.  Let's see my truck holds 38 gals. x 3.5mpg more equals 133 more miles per tank with fuel at $2.15 per gallon... 1000 mile run for me would be to about San Marcos, TX if I got 14 mpg that would be 71.4 gals X $2.15=$153.51 and 17.5 mpg equal 57.1 gals x $2.15=$122.76 per 1000 miles. So, getting 3.5 mpg more on a 1000 mile trek would be less cost of $30.75.  WowZER, very nice lunch for two people and if you're driving 1000's of miles per year pulling your Ollie that adds up fast!  Can anyone beat that 17.5 mpg pulling an Ollie?


J-Rhett


Oliver Legacy Elite II (Irog)


1995 Ford F-250 x4 Turbo Diesel


Trek Bikes, Hobie Cat Kayak

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tow with a 2015 VW Touareg TDI (you probably will never be able to purchase a new one because of the VW diesel scandal and VW's decision to exit the diesel market in the US). When I drove from Iowa City to the Oliver factory to look at Olivers, I averaged 29.5 mpg on the way down and 30.5 mpg on the way back. I drove around 75-80 mph on the interstates. My everyday mileage that includes city driving is usually between 26 and 27 mpg.

 

I towed my Elite II between 7,500 and 8,000 miles this year. I towed in the mountains of Colorado, Wyoming and Utah. No issues towing up mountain passes. The Touareg will tow faster uphill than is safe for me. My mileage varies with terrain. I've experienced 19 mpg towing in Iowa with rolling hills. On longer trips, I average 16.5 to 18 mpg. I tested the Dodge Ram with the small diesel. I liked the pickup, but I decided to buy the Touareg because it fit in my garage and was a better choice for me when not towing the Ollie. The Touareg is very comfortable for 4 people. The main drawback is the lack of cargo space.

DSC04000.thumb.jpg.0e70ac2efa0a46cbc09ae47c8a330ce7.jpg

  • Thanks 2

Don

 

2020 Conqueror UEV 490 Extreme Platinum

 

 

2019 Ram Rebel

 

 

States I visited with my Ollie (Sold October, 2019)

 

 

States Visited Map

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

J-Rhett, you are correct my truck is a Ford F250 model year 1999.  It has a 7.3L Diesel (from what I've read and have been told, some refer to this engine as the Million Mile motor).  So far it's been trouble free for 195, 000 miles.  Like I said I average between 12-16 mpg pretty much towing or not, but I very seldom "get into" the throttle.  I've only spewed the black exhaust smoke once or twice and that was recently, I was surprised it actually did that. I've found if I'm gentle on the throttle I don't exhaust that black smoke.  With the Oliver in tow, I really don't even notice that it is there.

  • Thanks 2

John Marilyn and Gracie


2017 Legacy Elite II Hull 172


TV 2017 F250 Diesel 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm impatiently waiting on Vector's mpg on his new diesel Nissan XD!!!  Of course, pulling his Ollie for a 1000 miles at 60 mph.  I think I would so love that truck with all the goodies.  I looked at a 2016 here locally priced at $58K and when the 2017s came out they dropped it about 10K and then another 1000 if you had a college degree.  It was $46+!   Guess I'll stick  with the old Ford for awhile longer!!  lol


J-Rhett


Oliver Legacy Elite II (Irog)


1995 Ford F-250 x4 Turbo Diesel


Trek Bikes, Hobie Cat Kayak

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I found some info on mpg for the Nissan XD Diesel. Sorry, but it's not good if talking milage. That Nissan diesel I looked at is still sitting there on the lot in my home town and the dealer has it reduced by about $11K so you know they are not jumping off the lot even though they look good. Edmunds tested this diesel for 5700 miles and it averaged a 14.7 mpg all around and they haven't even towed anything with it. I noticed that the rear gears are 3.96 if I'm not mistaken and that is pretty low. So, of course gearing has a lot to do with mileage. I don't know if this is standard and unchangeable or not. The article I read also gave mileage for the top 3 trucks too, but the Ford was a F-450 so that is not comparable to a Chevy or Dodge 3/4 ton. Why did they do that? An F-450 is 1.50 ton truck or therebouts and is built heavier and lower gearing than the other 2. I would think this new Nissan XD with Cummins 5.0 would pull right up there with the top 3 brand name trucks. I still like grayghosts 17.5 mpg on his Dodge 1500. BTW, IMHO means by the way in my humble opinion I think mileage on here should be accurate and to get that should be measured by pencil and paper and fillups. I don't trust anyone's electronic measuring devices unless you have calibrated your electronic and made sure it's right on with you pencil and paper! Here is the article: https://www.edmunds.com/nissan/titan-xd/2016/long-term-road-test/2016-nissan-titan-xd-the-diesel-v8s-fuel-economy-so-far.html


J-Rhett


Oliver Legacy Elite II (Irog)


1995 Ford F-250 x4 Turbo Diesel


Trek Bikes, Hobie Cat Kayak

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have a 2004 Ford F250 with the 6.0L diesel.  Without trailer we average 20 - 22 mpg.  Towing the Argosy has consistently reduced milage by 4 mpg.  I suspect towing an Elite II should be about the same considering weight, tandems axles, and aerodynamics.   Sadly it will never come close as my VW golf TDI getting 46 mpg at 280k miles.


ALTNsm.jpg


Mitch & Debbie Brockman


"Dickens" 2018 Oliver LE II, Hull # 397


2004 Ford F250 Super Duty Diesel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just wanted to share new information. F150 PowerStroke

That's great info. We almost walked out with a new Ram this year but at the last minute decided that it wan't comfortable enough for the passenger with the uneven floor they designed with the transfer case sticking up in most of it... You're right foot sits flat but your fighting the hill with the left... Really poor design for the passenger. So our next purchase will probably be the Ford. I really like the eco-diesel motors and have one in our Mercedes ML tv. Plenty of power and great mileage. We're getting 22mpg normally and 19.5mpg towing and there's no loss of power anytime no matter how steep the hills. But... I need a new snow plow because my old 76 crew cab chevy/ snow plow just sits there these days because it's feeling the years...


Happy Camping,


null


Reed & Karen Lukens with Riffles our Miniature Poodle


2017 Oliver Legacy Elite II  Standard, Hull #200 / 2017 Silverado High Country 1500 Short Bed 4x4


Past TV - 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML350 4Matic BlueTEC Diesel


Click on our avatar pic above to find the videos on our Oliver Legacy Elite II


 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I personally would be really reluctant to invest in a new diesel. VW's scandal has soured it for me, though I no longer have a VW or Audi car. (Nor will I ever.)

 

Now the EPA is saying that the Ram and Grand Cherokee 3.0 EcoDiesels are not legal:

 

http://jalopnik.com/everything-we-know-so-far-about-jeep-and-ram-s-alleged-1791118844

 

Modern diesel emissions systems are generally a very expensive long term heartache... Don't keep the truck past warranty.

 

John Davies

Spokane WA


"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

 

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I personally would be really reluctant to invest in a new diesel. VW’s scandal has soured it for me, though I no longer have a VW or Audi car. (Nor will I ever.) Now the EPA is saying that the Ram and Grand Cherokee 3.0 EcoDiesels are not legal: http://jalopnik.com/everything-we-know-so-far-about-jeep-and-ram-s-alleged-1791118844 Modern diesel emissions systems are generally a very expensive long term heartache… Don’t keep the truck past warranty. John Davies Spokane WA

Unfortunately the EPA itself is on the take... They've done their best to ruin the lives of many people especially in the coal industry of late. Then there's the spill that they caused and tried to pass the blame off on others. The EPA simply follows the money these days, not the law.

 

http://www.redstate.com/mickeywhite2/2017/01/07/epa-investigates-epa-finds-fault-colorado-mine-spill/?utm_source=rsmorningbriefing&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=nl


Happy Camping,


null


Reed & Karen Lukens with Riffles our Miniature Poodle


2017 Oliver Legacy Elite II  Standard, Hull #200 / 2017 Silverado High Country 1500 Short Bed 4x4


Past TV - 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML350 4Matic BlueTEC Diesel


Click on our avatar pic above to find the videos on our Oliver Legacy Elite II


 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I tow with a 2015 VW Touareg TDI (you probably will never be able to purchase a new one because of the VW diesel scandal and VW’s decision to exit the diesel market in the US). When I drove from Iowa City to the Oliver factory to look at Olivers, I averaged 29.5 mpg on the way down and 30.5 mpg on the way back. I drove around 75-80 mph on the interstates. My everyday mileage that includes city driving is usually between 26 and 27 mpg. I towed my Elite II between 7,500 and 8,000 miles this year. I towed in the mountains of Colorado, Wyoming and Utah. No issues towing up mountain passes. The Touareg will tow faster uphill than is safe for me. My mileage varies with terrain. I’ve experienced 19 mpg towing in Iowa with rolling hills. On longer trips, I average 16.5 to 18 mpg. I tested the Dodge Ram with the small diesel. I liked the pickup, but I decided to buy the Touareg because it fit in my garage and was a better choice for me when not towing the Ollie. The Touareg is very comfortable for 4 people. The main drawback is the lack of cargo space.

 

 

 

Are you using a WD hitch?  I've got a 2014 Touareg and the Oliver seems to be a good match.  Just don't like that mention in the manual about WD hitches.  Would be interested to hear what tongue weight you are seeing and if you have the front basket with anything in it.  The basket seems ideal for a generator, but that just gets added to the tongue weight.  So I agree with you on cargo space.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, We finally picked up our ollie on February 9th and I'm not adding much writing just the milage we got with the 22 year old (1995) F-250 Ford Turbo Diesel Power Stroke 4-wheel drive. This is a regular cab with an 8' bed. On the way down with about 400 pounds in the bed we got 17.18 mpg. It was cold and slick for the first few miles then the roads were fine all the way to Hohenwald, TN. After staying all night in Fall Hollow Campground and getting our TV antenna installed the next day we left Hohenwald about 3:40PM. Pulling some curvy and hilly roads of Tennessee and then getting out on the interstate we averaged 15.25 mpg on the whole 385 mile trip. I was actually fine with that mileage as I though I might get less. I think the Ollie being pretty light and aerodynamic had something to do with it too. The Oliver pulled like a dream with nothing but the regular hitch and we had no problems whatsoever. Take into consideration this was an old Navistar engine. The new diesels have quite a lot more horsepower and torque and technical refinements such as 4 valves per cylindar. On some hills the truck did shift down to a lower gear. But that is just one trip but I tried to make the mpg as accurate as possible. Ford is coming out with an F-150 diesel in 2018 so I might be buying one of those, but I like the heavier F-

250s too.


J-Rhett


Oliver Legacy Elite II (Irog)


1995 Ford F-250 x4 Turbo Diesel


Trek Bikes, Hobie Cat Kayak

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Recently got back from 1100 mile trip and pulling my Oliver with a 2006 F250 6.0 PSD with fresh water tank full and averaged 13.6mpg. Most of the towing was in TN and AL.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ollie folks

 

this discussion about diesel vs gas...has been my nemesis.!  one lasts longer...the other maybe less expensive.?

 

a diesel tow vechicle gets...maybe 12-16mpg...a gas tow vehicle gets 10-14mpg.  seems like a wash to me.!! w/ fuel costs.

 

what we all are looking for...is a vehicle...that will tow a 5000lb "aerodynamic lump"...and regularly get 16+ mpg.  if not more.!?

 

I'm sorry to say...they don't sell that kinda vehicle..in this country.!

 

just hoping...bye 2022....it wont be an issue.?

 

be well and have fun in your travels...

 

10-q

 

dan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that the smaller eco diesels will get that mileage towing, especially if it's in something that's lighter and more aerodynamic than a truck.  I have no problem believing that Reed and Karen get 18+ with their Merc and the Disco I was looking at promised to be the same.  And I wouldn't be surprised if a Ram ecodiesel or the new Ford diesel would get 16-18 towing.  The problem is initial cost - and maintenance, which, from what I've read is a big issue with the modern clean diesels.

 

What I want to know is why no truck manufacturer makes a hybrid.  Plenty of room for batteries and the extra torque would be perfect for towing.

  • Thanks 1

Snowball • LE2 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tesla will make an ev pickup one day. No ice/hybrid, for them, though...

GM has built one for over a decade, but not available here in Florida. Contractors loved the idea for the big battery for tools... Just never happened here... That I know of.

Ford's talking about one in the next few years. Maybe...

And, yes, it would be perfect for towing. And backup battery capacity, as well.

Trucks sell so well as just trucks, that we can't even get a decent small and powerful diesels pickup in North America, unlike the rest of the world.

Times are (slowly) changing. Eventually, we'll have all three. In the meantime, we'll maintain our 2005 and 2008 ICE tugs. They've served us well. At an event price.

California was the only marketplace I saw for hybrid pickups.

Sherry


2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...