Towing MPG- Gas Trucks

UHAULER

Explorer
Interested in what people age getting towing various trailers. I know everybody has a cousin with a cummins getting 25mpg towing a 15,000# backhoe but i'm more interested in real world gas trucks.
My current truck is an 03 f150 4wd supercrew 5.4, 3.73 gears. I bought it 4 years ago with 244k miles and had 285/75/16 at tires and was getting about 14 mpg empty. A couple of years ago I put on some Yokahama 285/75/16 winter tires and the mileage dropped to about 12-13. Recently bought a small camp trailer, a Nash 16 that weighs about 3,500# loaded. We went on a 1,100 mile road trip through Northern California and Oregon and averaged about 9.5 mpg and was disappointed in the mileage and lack of power.
I know regearing would help but My truck now has 274,000 miles( I think the engine was replaced at some point, it has the tell tale yellow wrecking yard paint on the valve cover) so I don't want to put any money in it, it's time to think about something different.
Replacement trucks I'm thinking about are an 05-10 f250 v10 , auto or would like a manual trans. possibly similar mileage but more power ?, an f150 with a 5.0 and 6 speed auto 2010-2014 ? or a 2002-2007 chevy/gmc 2500 with a 6.0
Is there anything out there of that era 2000-2014 that will get 14-15 mpg empty and 10-12 towing my small trailer without struggling ?
 

shortbus4x4

Expedition Leader
My former 06 Tundra doublecab 4x4 would fit what your looking for to a T. Backseat isn't for grownups or big kids though. I really like the 14 and newer F150 crew cabs with the V8, lots of interior room and power with decent mileage and a big fuel tank.
 

UHAULER

Explorer
My former 06 Tundra doublecab 4x4 would fit what your looking for to a T. Backseat isn't for grownups or big kids though. I really like the 14 and newer F150 crew cabs with the V8, lots of interior room and power with decent mileage and a big fuel tank.
2010-2014 f150 supercab with a 5.0 is on my short list, just not sure how it compares to my 5.4
I think one of my issues is i'm not a revver, Don't want to listen to the drone of a motor turning 4,000 rpm all the time. With my current truck it was getting old going up a hill in third, then the converter unlocking, then the shift to second .
Had an 02 f350 7.3 that was great but Just don't think I need a diesel and would rather get a nicer lower mile gas truck than an old high mileage diesel.
 

billiebob

Well-known member
I just changed from 33/10.50R15s to 7.50R16s... my mileage went from 17mpg to 22mpg. Towing I went from 14mpg to 18mpg. No doubt tires are the number one consideration for mileage, ride, braking.

Regearing is a myth. If you downshift 2 gears and drive 500 miles and get better mileage, yes, regear. But the only reason to regear is to get started from a stop easier, otherwise drop 2 gears for 500 miles before you spend a grand regearing.
DSC_0014.jpg
 

billiebob

Well-known member
Had an 02 f350 7.3 that was great but Just don't think I need a diesel and would rather get a nicer lower mile gas truck than an old high mileage diesel.
wow !! so look for an old low mile 7.3. Nothing gets better than 14mpg towing.
I almost bought a new eco Ford F150 til I discovered it gets 14mpg towing.
Same as my TJ got with 33s.
 

UHAULER

Explorer
wow !! so look for an old low mile 7.3. Nothing gets better than 14mpg towing.
I almost bought a new eco Ford F150 til I discovered it gets 14mpg towing.
Same as my TJ got with 33s.
My f350 was nice but never did like the 7.3 with the 4r100 trans. sold mine 2 years ago with 160k mile for $16,500, people think they are gold, you see old ones with 250k miles and they are asking more than that. I guess if you put an expo sticker on it a snorkel and some bolt on goodies the price goes up 10k. They are still old trucks with normal issues, leaks and quirks.
 

shortbus4x4

Expedition Leader
2010-2014 f150 supercab with a 5.0 is on my short list, just not sure how it compares to my 5.4
I think one of my issues is i'm not a revver, Don't want to listen to the drone of a motor turning 4,000 rpm all the time. With my current truck it was getting old going up a hill in third, then the converter unlocking, then the shift to second .
Had an 02 f350 7.3 that was great but Just don't think I need a diesel and would rather get a nicer lower mile gas truck than an old high mileage diesel.
Worked on a few 5.4s, really no 5.0s. Driven both and the 5.0 is way better in my opinion.
 

Grassland

Active member
Go narrower tires, and newer gassers have 2+ more gears. Though when towing, unless it's flat and not windy, you won't be in 6th much.

I know you aren't interested in a V6, but my 3.7l 14 F150 SCAB on "34s" (33s) 3.73 gears with 1000# in truck towing a 2500# pop up camper gets 17-19 l/100 or 12.4-13.8 US MPG.
That's in gentle rolling hills and a constant cross or headwind going east to west from Manitoba to Alberta. 110kph or 68mph.

Once into western Alberta and BC towing fuel economy went to 15-16 l/100 or 14.7-15.6 US MPG.
My stock tires were P235/75R17 and I have KO2 in LT34/10.5R17 now, so a fair amount taller and heavier. They do run small so they are literally like a 33". These are larger than a KO2 in 285/70R17 bit narrower.
Next time I'd do 255/80R17.
In town, our city is brutal with stop lights everywhere, it's about 15-16 l/100 so sub 16 US MPG
I'm on Fuelly and actually write notes on what I was doing with truck, and mark down highway vs city unlike many people.
I'd seriously take a look at a 5.0 with a 6 speed if in your shoes.
 

04Ram2500Hemi

Observer
Well if you’re interested in fuel economy stay the hell away from the Ram Power Wagon. I love my truck (5.7L Hemi, 4.56 gears, 285/75/17 tires) but it’s not built for economy. Empty in town I see around 11.5 - 12mpg. When we brought the 21 foot pontoon boat home (not heavy but it’s like towing a parachute) I got around 9mpg. The truck has plenty of power, but it’s thirsty!
 

britome

New member
Well if you’re interested in fuel economy stay the hell away from the Ram Power Wagon. I love my truck (5.7L Hemi, 4.56 gears, 285/75/17 tires) but it’s not built for economy. Empty in town I see around 11.5 - 12mpg. When we brought the 21 foot pontoon boat home (not heavy but it’s like towing a parachute) I got around 9mpg. The truck has plenty of power, but it’s thirsty!
Makes me feel better. 2011 2500 Silverado with the 6.0 gas. 12 if I’m lucky around town and 8 when I’m towing my boat or a trailer full of bikes. Both about 9k lbs.

If there was a mod I could do that would make a difference (already did cold air intake with negligible results) I would do it.


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Grassland

Active member
Makes me feel better. 2011 2500 Silverado with the 6.0 gas. 12 if I’m lucky around town and 8 when I’m towing my boat or a trailer full of bikes. Both about 9k lbs.

If there was a mod I could do that would make a difference (already did cold air intake with negligible results) I would do it.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Try tuning it?

6.0 is notoriously thirsty, but they are also a solid, reliable engine, or so guys running them in fleet tell me.
 

deserteagle56

Adventurer
I have an E350 with the V10. Never got better than 12 mpg - and that's not towing anything. Good solid trouble free engine though - but to make any power it has to be turning at least 3000 rpm. And if you are considering anything in the 2013 - 2014 range in an F150 - go with the 3.5 Ecoboost. Do your research - that little engine will put the 5.0 to shame as far as towing. Maximum torque on that 3.5 comes at a much lower rpm than on the 5.0.
 

Buddha.

Lurker
My 2011 6.0 2500 gets 13-14 mpg empty. Towing my 30’ 10k pound travel trailer it gets about half that. Always 3-4,000+ rpm. It’s the headwind that sucks. I drove across Wyoming one day with a 25mph headwind that never let up. 55mph at 4,000rpm sucks if you have to do it all dam day. Trans temp never went over 180 though.

If you don’t want to rev the engine get something with a turbo, gas or diesel.
 

Jnich77

Director of Adventure Management Operations
The Ford V10 has been called a lot of things, but fuel efficient isn't one of them.

The 6.0 is a great motor, tows great and loves to drink cheap fuel like it's going to be outlawed, even if it's empty. It's cheap to repair and cheap to replace.

The 1st gen 5.0 is light years better than the 5.4. It makes more power on less fuel. It also can get 20mpg when empty.

The 3.5 ecoboost gets about 1mpg less than the 5.0 while towing, but for that 1mpg you get a drastic difference in pulling power. It also gets 2-3 mpg better when empty. Plus, a tune nets ~80hp/tq on premium fuel. It has quite a bit of low end grunt and doesn't have to rev to make power.

Also, unless you actually need a 3/4 ton, don't get one, unless you like to needlessly burn more fuel.
 
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