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Old 02-20-2012, 07:14 PM
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Default trailer pulls hard

Any tips to get my trailer to pull easier? I struggle to get 10mpg in a truck that gets 17-19 unloaded consistantly @70-74 mph flat low wind situations.


My trucks a 2010 6.2l chevy with headers, intake, tune..... about 405hp stock, I'm sure I'm around 450 with the mods. But like I said, it'll push 20 mpg's empty. Last road trip I had a tank go over 400 miles yielded 18.9mpg cruising @ 74mph. 2 guys travel gear, winter fuel, 30 degrees. Just to be clear that I'm not a pie in the sky internet liar about fuel economy, this truck's liftime average is 11.9mpg, (I work construction close to home so lots of short trips and stoplights.) anyhoooo.....

Back to my question, on the trailer I just:

replaced all the bearings, turned the rotors, new pads, cleaned and greased the caliper slides, cleaned and flushed bakes, replaced master cylinder (removed the check valve), Mystic JT6 grease (the green one)...

brake wheels spin about 2 turns when you give them a kick, so I know they're not sticking. Non brake axle's spin very freely (obviously when off the ground). Makes me wonder how much harder all brake axles pull. So I know that the brakes aren't sticking, what else could be anchoring me to the road? is there anything I can do to improve my mpg's with record gas prices on the way? Does a tarp help or hurt?

I have considered removing the brakes because I think they have just a little drag. any opinions on that? Should I ditch the tandom and go single axle?
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  #2  
Old 02-20-2012, 07:26 PM
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What are you running for tire pressures? I run my 215/75 Goodyear Marathons at 60psi.
How tight are the wheel bearings on the brakes axle? If you can't get a LITTLE side to side movement when you try to rock the tire, the brake rotor can't move the pads back enough to move freely. Is the trailer level, or slightly "up" on the ball? I find it easier for the actuator to release if the trailer is slightly uphill, rather than nose-down on the ball.

HRG
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Old 02-20-2012, 09:28 PM
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Thanks for the advice, but I'm not sure I understand. Do you mean the bearings should have some play? They are tapered roller bearings, if there is play then they don't run true and will go out, and chatter. They need to be seated in the races. In fact you should re check them after they've worn in. Not sure what you mean on that one.

The tire pressure is a good tip. I've only been @35, I though about going more. I'll try it

On the Nose down, I have 2 hitches and the lower one seems to be a little better. Not sure if it's having the axles evenly loaded or the fact that the boat catches less air if it's lower behind the truck....
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Old 02-21-2012, 03:08 AM
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Nosebleed Thanks for the advice, but I'm not sure I understand. Do you mean the bearings should have some play? They are tapered roller bearings, if there is play then they don't run true and will go out, and chatter. They need to be seated in the races. In fact you should re check them after they've worn in. Not sure what you mean on that one.

What I mean is that I back-off the nut slightly from tight, about an 1/8 of a turn, to allow a little play. This will allow the rotor to move the pads back slightly, and minimize drag.

The tire pressure is a good tip. I've only been @35, I though about going more. I'll try it

Please check what load range your tire are. If they are "B", you can't go that high. But, per this Goodyear bulletin: http://www.tirerack.com/images/tires...plications.pdf you need to run +10psi if you tow above 65mph.

On the Nose down, I have 2 hitches and the lower one seems to be a little better. Not sure if it's having the axles evenly loaded or the fact that the boat catches less air if it's lower behind the truck....[/QUOTE]

Does the truck have a cap on it, or is the air hitting the boat head-on? My rig sits low enough that the truck pretty much blocks the wind. And, I always tow with a cover on, since the boat is usually full of "stuff"

HRG
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Old 02-21-2012, 04:20 AM
Esoxchaser Esoxchaser is offline
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Whats your rear end ratio? No matter how much torque and HP you are making, your towing mileage will suffer considerably with too high a rear end ratio. Given the numbers you are posting, I would assume you have the 3:23. I have seen 6.2L's with the 6 speed that wouldn't come out of 4th gear towing a 4500# trailer with the 3:23 rear end. You would actually get better towing mileage with a lower rear end that will allow the trans to upshift and your final drive RPM's to drop.
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Old 02-21-2012, 05:06 AM
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I agree with Esox, I dont think its in your trailer setup. Might have something to do with the mods you did. I dont really know, I would try to find comparisons with a stock truck pulling that load and see that thier mileage is.

for your wheel bearings to be so tight to effect your gas mileage like that would be burning them up in no time

Low tire pressure would result in a small decrease in mileage, not like what you are seeing

Try pulling the trailer with something else and see what happens if you think its in your trailer setup.
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Old 02-21-2012, 06:04 AM
Phil T Phil T is offline
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I don't see a trailering cover on the boat. Covering the boat will help your mileage quite a bit. Remove that bubble windshield while trailering and use a flat cover for the best effect.
However, I'm thinking the additional weight is doing the most damage. My 17 1/2' Alumacraft causes 10mpg with whatever tow vehicle I use. I don't own a trailering cover.
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Old 02-21-2012, 06:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil T View Post
I don't see a trailering cover on the boat. Covering the boat will help your mileage quite a bit. Remove that bubble windshield while trailering and use a flat cover for the best effect.
However, I'm thinking the additional weight is doing the most damage. My 17 1/2' Alumacraft causes 10mpg with whatever tow vehicle I use. I don't own a trailering cover.
I agree with Phil and HRG, cover the boat when you trailer. Make sure you keep something in the bow of the boat to prop up the cover. You don't want it pushing down into the windsheild and breaking it.

I get 1-2mpg increase when I tow with the cover on.
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Old 02-21-2012, 07:31 AM
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In regards to hitch height....Very important on a tandem trailer to have the trailer as perfectly level as possible.( Hook it up,check it with a level) Otherwise,with the axles not evenly loaded,one or the other may be taking the majority of the weight resulting in a possible overload condition for those tires, which can result in blowouts.

If the hitch is high,the rear will be taking the load, if low, the front will be.

Also consider what those are saying about your gear ratio and transmission. How your trailer load is effecting what your transmission is doing,what gear it settles in, torque converter lockup , how often it has to downshift to maintain speed on grades, etc ,,is going to affect your mileage more than anything. If you are using overdrive, (If your vehicle even recommends it for towing) Depending on your rear end ratio, load and terrain, some vehicles may actually get better mileage while towing,by not using overdrive.
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Old 02-21-2012, 07:34 AM
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The only thing I can add is check your axle alignments. How are your tires wearing. This is a tandem and you can have a lot of rolling resistance if your axles are not running true.

As for your bearings end play I usually set mine from ~0.003 - 0.007. There is ooodles of how to's for this. I use a dial indicator but not everyone has one, though not that expensive.

Assuming your numbers are correct I would think you have something just not right. To loss 8 to 9 mpg on a boat. My 6.4 averages about 17 to 19 unloaded and pulling my 27' TT it will drop to to 9 to 10 and pulling my 18' boat to 15 and with a head wind 12 to 13. I don't run that fast, I run @70 due to that being where my motor develops its max torque.

Like others suggested, have some try pulling it with another rig just to see if they have similar results.

JK
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