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Thread: Pop-up camper and fuel mileage

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    25

    Default Pop-up camper and fuel mileage

    With the price of fuel I thought it would be interesting to see what other people are getting with their truck and camper combinations.

    I have a 2009 Dodge 2500 4 door 4x4 short bed with a Cummins 6.7 liter diesel, 34” Toyo Open Country tires and a Carli starter kit suspension with their long travel air bags. For my camper I have a loaded Hallmark UTE . Total weight of the pair is about 11,400 pounds (yes I know I am over the truck’s GVW). I run the tires at 46 in the front and 64 in the rear based on the Toyo load chart (wear is even after 20K miles). On my recent 1,600 mile trip to the Overland Expo from the Bay Area I averaged a disappointing 11.8 MPG going the speed limit which was generally 65 to 70 mph.

    Obviously shedding weight and driving slower would help. Does anyone have any experience running the tires higher or using the economy setting on a programmer?



    Art

    2009 Dodge 2500/Buckstop baja bumper and Warn winch, Hallmark UTE/Highly modified 2006 Jeep Rubicon LJ
    Last edited by art@lanlogic.com; 05-12-2011 at 03:38 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    987
    I just returned from a 2000K run through northern AZ and southern Utah. I've got 285-75-17 Toyo MT's. I keep the tires @ 65 psi and lower them to 35 psi in the dirt. My Viair pump can refill all four in 15 minutes. Lots of freeway,hills and about 100 miles of dirt. Speed was 70-75 mph on the highway. My G-56 w/0.79 final drive mimics 4.10's. Northstar weighs 1800# wet. Total vehicle weight w/two occupants is about 9000#. We averaged just over 12.5 mpg. The MT's killed a full mpg over my former AT's of the same size. We had ton's of head/crosswinds. I run my Smarty on sw # 3. Vehicle sits 3" higher than stock.

    I'm dreading the fuel bill total,but accommodations were minimal.

    Beautiful trip w/19* night@ Grand Canyon and 85* days@ Escalante.

    I wish the tire guys would release an E rated 275-80-17 for this beast.
    2007 Dodge 2500 Regcab 4wd 5.9 CTD. G-56 , TC800 Northstar popup 24/7.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    WA
    Posts
    157
    Mine is not a pop-up camper, but a regular cabover camper ('03 Alpenlite 850) on an '01 Ford Superduty crewcab. Loaded weight is probably 11-12K. Without the camper, I get 17mpg no matter what I do; towing a (6-7K) loaded car trailer it drops to 14-15mpg, with the camper it drops to 13mpg, and with camper and trailer it drops to 11-12mpg. However, a few years ago we took the truck and camper to Vancouver Island, and never drove it above 55mph, usually around 45-50; we averaged 15.5mpg for that trip.

    I expect most modern diesels will be the same, and gassers may be too: the weight of the camper has a relatively small impact on gas mileage, compared to the wind resistance of the camper. After that trip I have slowed down on the freeway; I usually keep it at or below 65, regardless of the speed limit (traffic permitting of course)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Currently: Hernando Beach, FL
    Posts
    484
    Not a diesel but here is my numbers and set-up:

    Set-up:
    Truck: Tundra Crewmax Limited 4x4
    WEIGHT AND CAPACITIES Per Toyota
    Curb weight (lb.) 5645
    Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) (lb.) 7200
    Maximum payload [2] (lb.) 1555


    Camper: Northstar TC650
    Estimated weight loaded with supplies
    Camper 1400 lbs
    30 gal H2O 250 lbs
    cloths and gear 100 lbs
    ARB fridge and all food total 150 lbs
    misc 75 lbs
    10 gal extra fuel 65 lbs
    Total= 2050 lbs

    I know that I'm over weight by 500 lbs or 33%. I have added E-Rated tires and Airbags to assist in properly balancing the weight.

    I average around 10-11 mpg or so on the hwy with headwinds and hills/mountains driving 65 mph.
    "I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them." Thomas Jefferson

    2007 Tundra Crewmax 5.7L 4x4 (with a lot of miles)
    Northstar TC650 slide-in

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Denver, Co
    Posts
    160
    I don't have exact figures, but I thought I'd chime in...

    2005 Ram 2500 5.9L
    2010 Custom Phoenix Popup

    Truck is totally stock suspension wise and engine wise.
    Haven't had the camper weighed, but we estimate its about 1300-1600 lbs loaded.

    On our last trips last summer driving the interstates, state highways, and a little off road through the Rocky mountains to get to hiking trail heads, we averaged 19MPG loaded.

    I keep a very light foot, and on the freeways cruise at 55, sometimes 60, but its rare.

    I think the biggest help is the slower speeds, stock tires, and the aerodynamic nose of our Phoenix.
    My feet are my search engine, helping me to explore the real world.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    oregon
    Posts
    189
    I've got the '08' Sterling Bullet 5500 4x4 with the Cummins 6.7 myself, probably the exact same motor, I don't know about your electronics, mine are Chrysler, absolutely not the same frame & suspension, & 35" tires. I think I weighed 8900 lbs fresh from the dealer, so far I'm up to 13,240 lbs with the camper, & get 11 mpg or so around town.
    It looks like we have about the same cabover height, similar widths, & although I can't give an accurate highway mpg yet, (I only have 1900 miles on mine so far-just a baby) I will be keeping track memorial day weekend for its first out of town trip (its first sleepover!) -which should be 700 miles or so. As far as I've been watching, highway is somewhere around 14 mpg. I'd really like to squeeze another 4 mpg or so out of it, by programmer, but I know I should still get better mileage as it breaks in.
    I will get you a more accurate number in a couple weeks.

    so, just for comparison, my 2001 Toyota 4x4, with a 3.4 liter gas engine, & a four wheel camper loaded at around 5400 lbs total, gets about 16 mpg
    even if I can equal that with this 14,000 lb beast, i'll be happy

    www.bulletxv.wordpress.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Currently: Hernando Beach, FL
    Posts
    484
    Quote Originally Posted by OTR View Post
    Not a diesel but here is my numbers and set-up:

    Set-up:
    Truck: Tundra Crewmax Limited 4x4
    WEIGHT AND CAPACITIES Per Toyota
    Curb weight (lb.) 5645
    Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) (lb.) 7200
    Maximum payload [2] (lb.) 1555


    Camper: Northstar TC650
    Estimated weight loaded with supplies
    Camper 1400 lbs
    30 gal H2O 250 lbs
    cloths and gear 100 lbs
    ARB fridge and all food total 150 lbs
    misc 75 lbs
    10 gal extra fuel 65 lbs
    Total= 2050 lbs

    I know that I'm over weight by 500 lbs or 33%. I have added E-Rated tires and Airbags to assist in properly balancing the weight.

    I average around 10-11 mpg or so on the hwy with headwinds and hills/mountains driving 65 mph.
    I forgot to add that these figures are with a 3" lift, 33.5" Goodyear MT/R Kevlars, Road Armor bumper and a 12,000lb winch. This by all account does not help with the overall mileage.
    "I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them." Thomas Jefferson

    2007 Tundra Crewmax 5.7L 4x4 (with a lot of miles)
    Northstar TC650 slide-in

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Newberg, OR
    Posts
    48
    In my old 1995 Dodge CTD 2wd low rider I got about 17-18 on the highway with my FWC. The camper fully loaded weighed about 1500 pounds. I think the keys were - low, 2wd (lighter truck to start with), AT tires and being able to hit the sweet RPM range at highway cruising speeds.

    I am not looking forward to the mileage with my new-to-me 2002 Duramax - it weighs an easy 1000 pounds more than my old truck and is taller, 4wd, larger tires, longer, etc, etc, etc....
    2002 Chevy Crew Cab, 4x4, Duramax
    Four Wheel Popup Camper
    All the rest of the required junk.

    My Dana 44 Front axle tech page

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Santee, CA
    Posts
    2,078
    With my '06 Dmax, 315/75/16 tires (35's) and a Sun Lite pop up camper (approx 1200 lbs) I get 11.5MPG overall, can get it up close to 14MPG freeway driving.
    Crew dog, Dust Junkies Racing, Three time Baja 1000 Champions, Class 1700 (Jeepspeed)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    987
    I recently checked out a 97 Dodge CTD extracab w/an ATC shell. He had radiused the front corners of the camper to streamline it enormously. I'd love the manufacturers to follow this owner's lead and also that of Phoenix's nosecone feature.
    2007 Dodge 2500 Regcab 4wd 5.9 CTD. G-56 , TC800 Northstar popup 24/7.

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