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Towing with new 6.4L

Jeffmc306

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We made the trip from Northern Illinois to Acadia NP in Maine then on to the International Airstream Rally in Fryeburg, ME. Three thousand miles round trip, averaged 11.1 MPG towing our 27’ Airstream Globetrotter (around 7200 lbs.). The 6.4 2500 & 3.73 gears handled it with ease. Was very happy to have gas when diesel was $1.50 more per gallon.
 

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raven_dt

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We made the trip from Northern Illinois to Acadia NP in Maine then on to the International Airstream Rally in Fryeburg, ME. Three thousand miles round trip, averaged 11.1 MPG towing our 27’ Airstream Globetrotter (around 7200 lbs.). The 6.4 2500 & 3.73 gears handled it with ease. Was very happy to have gas when diesel was $1.50 more per gallon.
I'm thinking 11.1 is towing AND driving around unhooked. We towed a 6.5k/26ft TT with our previous 2020 F250 7.3 from Alabama to Cooperstown, NY; White Mountains, Cape Cod and back home. We averaged 8.4mpg, hand calculated towing only. The lie o meter on my Ram is typically 1 mpg optimistic.
 

Jeffmc306

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I'm thinking 11.1 is towing AND driving around unhooked. We towed a 6.5k/26ft TT with our previous 2020 F250 7.3 from Alabama to Cooperstown, NY; White Mountains, Cape Cod and back home. We averaged 8.4mpg, hand calculated towing only. The lie o meter on my Ram is typically 1 mpg optimistic.
Actually we didn’t drive around much unhooked - camped with friends and they drove the few times we went out for groceries. I’d say less than 200 miles were unhooked over the course of the trip. I hand checked mileage periodically and found it was within a half MPG. In flat areas we were getting 12 MPG, found the “sweet spot” was 67 MPH and Tow/Haul “Off”. Only used it in hilly areas. Watched the tach and trans would drop into 8th gear and occasionally the ECO light (4cylinder mode) would activate. Airstream is pretty aerodynamic to tow.
 

snocam

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Actually we didn’t drive around much unhooked - camped with friends and they drove the few times we went out for groceries. I’d say less than 200 miles were unhooked over the course of the trip. I hand checked mileage periodically and found it was within a half MPG. In flat areas we were getting 12 MPG, found the “sweet spot” was 67 MPH and Tow/Haul “Off”. Only used it in hilly areas. Watched the tach and trans would drop into 8th gear and occasionally the ECO light (4cylinder mode) would activate. Airstream is pretty aerodynamic to tow.
This is pretty much the same experience I've had towing my vnose camper conversion trailer. The gear spread on the 8sp is fantastic. Towing on the highway and flat, will see the eco light come on, but I always use tow/ haul once I'm in the hills again.
 

louisiana_dog

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We made the trip from Northern Illinois to Acadia NP in Maine then on to the International Airstream Rally in Fryeburg, ME. Three thousand miles round trip, averaged 11.1 MPG towing our 27’ Airstream Globetrotter (around 7200 lbs.). The 6.4 2500 & 3.73 gears handled it with ease. Was very happy to have gas when diesel was $1.50 more per gallon.
We went there back in July and really enjoyed it.
 

Redcold

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I just have to ask, what I am I doing wrong? I have a "22 2500 Limited 6.4 3.73. Picked up the new TT, a WRC sheep camp, 9300lb 31 ft. Coming across western Utah from Mt Pleasant to Grantsville, mainly on UT 6 and UT 36. Hilly but no real grades. Averaged about 5 mpg at 55-60 mph. Used Tow/Haul mode the whole way. Seems like running about 3500 rpm the whole way.
Honestly, thinking about trading for a Cummins, but am willing to be educated before I throw a bunch more money at the problem (me!!).
 

aaronedmonton

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I just have to ask, what I am I doing wrong? I have a "22 2500 Limited 6.4 3.73. Picked up the new TT, a WRC sheep camp, 9300lb 31 ft. Coming across western Utah from Mt Pleasant to Grantsville, mainly on UT 6 and UT 36. Hilly but no real grades. Averaged about 5 mpg at 55-60 mph. Used Tow/Haul mode the whole way. Seems like running about 3500 rpm the whole way.
Honestly, thinking about trading for a Cummins, but am willing to be educated before I throw a bunch more money at the problem (me!!).
Probably needs to break in still. How many miles on truck?
 

BGaero

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I just have to ask, what I am I doing wrong? I have a "22 2500 Limited 6.4 3.73. Picked up the new TT, a WRC sheep camp, 9300lb 31 ft. Coming across western Utah from Mt Pleasant to Grantsville, mainly on UT 6 and UT 36. Hilly but no real grades. Averaged about 5 mpg at 55-60 mph. Used Tow/Haul mode the whole way. Seems like running about 3500 rpm the whole way.
Honestly, thinking about trading for a Cummins, but am willing to be educated before I throw a bunch more money at the problem (me!!).

Same, 3.73, Indiana to Florida 12,500 lbs, 7.5 average, 60-65 mph, very light winds. I run 87 octane and Lucas fuel additive. The number one mileage killer is the type of trailer and wind. It don’t take much headwind to knock off 1-2 mpg. Travel trailers are worse than fifth wheels and this park model is the absolute worse. I seem to have gotten better mileage after 20k miles. Maybe it’s just me adjusting to the truck, not sure. Empty I drive 65 on the hwy and get 18-22, again depending on wind.
 

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Jeffmc306

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I just have to ask, what I am I doing wrong? I have a "22 2500 Limited 6.4 3.73. Picked up the new TT, a WRC sheep camp, 9300lb 31 ft. Coming across western Utah from Mt Pleasant to Grantsville, mainly on UT 6 and UT 36. Hilly but no real grades. Averaged about 5 mpg at 55-60 mph. Used Tow/Haul mode the whole way. Seems like running about 3500 rpm the whole way.
Honestly, thinking about trading for a Cummins, but am willing to be educated before I throw a bunch more money at the problem (me!!).
Redcold, something doesn’t smell right with your results. Yes, that is a big, heavy trailer but I’d expect better mileage. That said, your observation of 3500 RPM’s is telling - and an indicator the truck is working hard but 5 MPG is really low. I mean that’s TFL Truck IKE world’s toughest towing test numbers.

How about this? Check to ensure you don’t have a trailer brake dragging. Make sure your tires are up to correct pressure. Can you take the trailer out on a flat stretch of road for 20 miles or so (out and back even) to get a baseline? Do you have access to another lighter trailer to run a comparison? Could be the 4.10 ratio would be a better one for your almost 10K lbs. trailer. Another idea would be to find a buddy with a diesel (any brand) and have test tow with your trailer to see what they get. This would at least give you a comparison numher.

My dealer salesperson told me I didn’t need a Cummins unless I was towing over 10K. You could be right on that edge. My experience has been much different but we’re towing an Airstream around 7K lbs. and got 11.1 MPG overall for 3K miles to Maine and back (some hills along the way).

Good luck! Hate to see you have to make a change if you don’t have to.
 

Redcold

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Just over 3k miles on the truck.

Driving from Lake Charles LA to Utah via TX NM got 14 mpg in the hills and 16 mpg on the flat, mostly freeway running with traffic, empty. She seems really happy and efficient at about 1800-2000 rpm. Managed 11 mpg pulling up the Waterpocket Fold on I-70 at 65 mph.

I have access to lighter and heavier trailers, and a couple different diesels....except all those things are at home in Alaska. The truck currently resides in Utah....I know I don't have the chops to bring it home in winter. And gas stations are few and far between on the Alaska Highway this time of year.
 

Redcold

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I should add that I am OCD about tires, so both the truck and TT are right.
I didn't think about the trailer brake setting...I will look at that when I visit the truck next month.
 

copcarguy

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I just have to ask, what I am I doing wrong? I have a "22 2500 Limited 6.4 3.73. Picked up the new TT, a WRC sheep camp, 9300lb 31 ft. Coming across western Utah from Mt Pleasant to Grantsville, mainly on UT 6 and UT 36. Hilly but no real grades. Averaged about 5 mpg at 55-60 mph. Used Tow/Haul mode the whole way. Seems like running about 3500 rpm the whole way.
Honestly, thinking about trading for a Cummins, but am willing to be educated before I throw a bunch more money at the problem (me!!).
Hello! Is this similar to your trailer?


If so, I’ve never heard of them before - looks very nice!

My question is: how do you know the weight of 9,300 lbs? Is that the GVWR or the dry weight? You can be surprised how quickly the weight increases when you put all your stuff in the trailer.

Also that trailer doesn’t look very aerodynamic, that could add to the lower mpg numbers.

My truck is a 6.4 ‘21 3500 CCLB 4x4 with 3.73’s. I have several different trailers and get between 9-12 mpg towing @ 65 mph.
 

Redfour5

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I just have to ask, what I am I doing wrong? I have a "22 2500 Limited 6.4 3.73. Picked up the new TT, a WRC sheep camp, 9300lb 31 ft. Coming across western Utah from Mt Pleasant to Grantsville, mainly on UT 6 and UT 36. Hilly but no real grades. Averaged about 5 mpg at 55-60 mph. Used Tow/Haul mode the whole way. Seems like running about 3500 rpm the whole way.
Honestly, thinking about trading for a Cummins, but am willing to be educated before I throw a bunch more money at the problem (me!!).
Another poster asked how many miles you have on the truck. Good question. Mine with the 3.73 rear end has done nothing but improve. I have noticed a distinct improvement in how the truck "runs" now with 7000 miles about half to a bit more being towing the trailer. AND an improvement on mpg of around 1 mpg. I'm getting between 7 and 8 mpg towing and most of that has been in mountainous areas as I live in MT and pretty much camp in the Rockies. I've hit over 8 mpg close to 9 once on the flats with no wind or a bit of a tailwind. It was lower for the first couple thousand miles. Many say they do not fully break in until about 10K miles. One thing I've noticed is that I used to have this "roar" on steep inclines that I also heard on a TFL video when they ran a 6.4 Hemi 3.73 up the Ike FULLY loaded and NEW low miles. They said and I figured it was the fan but now I am not so sure as it is gone as the truck has broken in. Essentially, I would characterize the truck as very "tight" at first and it gets "looser" as time goes by and miles of towing add up. I broke mine in the first 500 miles pretty much exactly as indicated in the manual changed oil at 2K miles and its time again. The truck just gets better and better in terms of towing in my opinion. I'm pulling a 28 foot bunkhouse one slide at around 6500 to 6700 lbs maybe 900 hitch weight and Fastway E2 hitch (10K). Towing new is not the same as towing after some thousands of miles. Some subjective, but some I'm sure due to the mechanicals getting into a groove.
 
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aaronedmonton

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Just over 3k miles on the truck.

Driving from Lake Charles LA to Utah via TX NM got 14 mpg in the hills and 16 mpg on the flat, mostly freeway running with traffic, empty. She seems really happy and efficient at about 1800-2000 rpm. Managed 11 mpg pulling up the Waterpocket Fold on I-70 at 65 mph.

I have access to lighter and heavier trailers, and a couple different diesels....except all those things are at home in Alaska. The truck currently resides in Utah....I know I don't have the chops to bring it home in winter. And gas stations are few and far between on the Alaska Highway this time of year.
Definitely too early to make judgments about mpg. It will improve.

Also, it doesn’t make sense to move to a Cummins now and pay $10k more plus 50%-75% more for maintenance costs. The newer Cummins seem to be having emissions issues too.
 

Redcold

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Thanks, all. I guess I'm going to have to learn a new virtue...patience!
The trailer weight is absolutely empty and dry, no water, no propane no stuff. I'm thinking 10500 or thereabouts when loaded, so no help there. WRC aren't aerodynamic, especially with a deck on front, but they are built to be hauled on horrible or no roads. I need that going back and forth from Alaska, and in my preferred dispersed camping in the mountain west.
I shall try to go slower and carry extra gas in the bed....no need to panic!
 

Redcold

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Hello! Is this similar to your trailer?


If so, I’ve never heard of them before - looks very nice!

My question is: how do you know the weight of 9,300 lbs? Is that the GVWR or the dry weight? You can be surprised how quickly the weight increases when you put all your stuff in the trailer.

Also that trailer doesn’t look very aerodynamic, that could add to the lower mpg numbers.

My truck is a 6.4 ‘21 3500 CCLB 4x4 with 3.73’s. I have several different trailers and get between 9-12 mpg towing @ 65 mph.
The WRC is great, but it is heavy. I have a customized Heritage XL. The GVWR is 14,000. Dry is 9300. I spent years looking for something I thought would survive my roads without constant rebuilds. So I will take it essy and give the truck a chance to catch up. Come spring I can always drive the 'Cat if I need to go fast!
 

MEGA HO 3500

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Thanks, all. I guess I'm going to have to learn a new virtue...patience!
The trailer weight is absolutely empty and dry, no water, no propane no stuff. I'm thinking 10500 or thereabouts when loaded, so no help there. WRC aren't aerodynamic, especially with a deck on front, but they are built to be hauled on horrible or no roads. I need that going back and forth from Alaska, and in my preferred dispersed camping in the mountain west.
I shall try to go slower and carry extra gas in the bed....no need to panic!
I couldn't find your model (sheep camp 31') on their site to look up the specs but I think you're being very modest with your 10500# estimate. It's not the weight though but the TT profile that affects the gas mileage.
Going slower would definitely help. I used to have a smaller, (17' 4500# wet) TT that I was getting a better mileage than the relatively light Truck Camper that I also used to have. Camper was not even 2000# loaded.

What might help is the type of skirt (or whatever its called) that they have on semis behind the cab.
1668011386542.png
 

Redcold

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I couldn't find your model (sheep camp 31') on their site to look up the specs but I think you're being very modest with your 10500# estimate. It's not the weight though but the TT profile that affects the gas mileage.
Going slower would definitely help. I used to have a smaller, (17' 4500# wet) TT that I was getting a better mileage than the relatively light Truck Camper that I also used to have. Camper was not even 2000# loaded.

What might help is the type of skirt (or whatever its called) that they have on semis behind the cab.
View attachment 47172
Might be cheaper to buy the diesel than custom build one of those. Although I'm sure it would make a difference!
 

Redcold

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Might be cheaper to buy the diesel than custom build one of those. Although I'm sure it would make a difference!
As far as specs, mine is a custom build based on the Heritage XL. 22 ft house, 4 ft front deck. Here's a video of mine..https://youtu.be/kpdSIqAWnxw
 

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