Fuel Consumption Towing ??? (Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot) - 2014+ Jeep Cherokee Forums
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post #1 of 217 (permalink) Old 05-22-2017, 07:41 AM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Fuel Consumption Towing ??? (Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot)

Morning everyone...

I'm curious what you see fuel consumption wise when towing. I'm mostly interested in insight from the 3.2L TH owners, but feel free to comment for others that may search out or be interested.

I have never been satisfied with our KLs economic performance, but this weekend was our first time out with it while pulling our ~1600lb overland trailer. I averaged 10.1 MPG on a largely interstate trip where my speed was kept between 70-72 MPH. It seemed our little KL just didn't have enough grunt and spent large amounts of time in 4th and 5th gear (3000-4000 RPM). I know our trailer is by no means aerodynamic, but this is absolutely absurd. We purchased our KL TH to be a forestry road light overlanding rig, but with a 200 mile range there is no way I can use it for this.

On the way home I did everything I could get the best fuel economy; no cruise control, easy on hills, lots of coasting... Still I only improved the return trip's economy to 12.8 MPG.

If this is what I can expect on fuel usage I fear both Jeep and we made an EPIC mistake on vehicle selection.

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post #2 of 217 (permalink) Old 05-22-2017, 08:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SS_Syndicate View Post
Morning everyone...

I'm curious what you see fuel consumption wise when towing. I'm mostly interested in insight from the 3.2L TH owners, but feel free to comment for others that may search out or be interested.

I have never been satisfied with our KLs economic performance, but this weekend was our first time out with it while pulling our ~1600lb overland trailer. I averaged 10.1 MPG on a largely interstate trip where my speed was kept between 70-72 MPH. It seemed our little KL just didn't have enough grunt and spent large amounts of time in 4th and 5th gear (3000-4000 RPM). I know our trailer is by no means aerodynamic, but this is absolutely absurd. We purchased our KL TH to be a forestry road light overlanding rig, but with a 200 mile range there is no way I can use it for this.

On the way home I did everything I could get the best fuel economy; no cruise control, easy on hills, lots of coasting... Still I only improved the return trip's economy to 12.8 MPG.

If this is what I can expect on fuel usage I fear both Jeep and we made an EPIC mistake on vehicle selection.
Speed will kill fuel economy when towing. I personally wouldn't tow faster than 60-65Mph on a KL. It's too light and small to control a trailer at that speed.

1600lb should hardly be noticeable to the KL; potentially need bearing lube and axle adjustment. The brakes or axle could be dragging.

If your trailer is "by no means aerodynamic" it sounds like you may have a large frontal area. Wind-resistance is going to contribute significantly to fuel economy and perceived power, especially as your speed increases. It's not a linear change. There is a bigger impact going from 60-65 than there is from 55-60.

Don't be in a rush when towing. Don't let other drivers "push" you into going faster. That's what pullouts and passing lanes are for. Take it easy on hills. Speed limits aren't a goal. You don't have to, and generally shouldn't, be traveling the same speed while towing as when not.

EDIT: One of the formulas I found on horsepower vs towing has a 3rd-power exponent for speed which equates to a 36% increase in power needed from 65 to 72Mph, or a 73% increase from 60Mph to 72Mph.
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Last edited by Rojhan; 05-22-2017 at 08:45 AM.
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post #3 of 217 (permalink) Old 05-22-2017, 08:58 AM
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HP=6.7x10^-6 * Cd * A * Mph^3

Cd=coefficient of drag
A=frontal area in square feet
Note the 3rd power exponent to speed.

EDIT: On-line calculator - http://www.wallaceracing.com/Calcula...or%20Speed.php

'15 Deep Cherry Red TH w/Brown Interior. 3.2L V-6
Safety-Tec, Cold Weather, Technology, Comfort, Tow, Leather.
Gobi Stealth roof rack with ladder. Mopar rock sliders. BFG KO2 245/70R17.
My testing platform for electronics/telemetry experimenting.

Last edited by Rojhan; 05-22-2017 at 09:10 AM.
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post #4 of 217 (permalink) Old 05-22-2017, 09:10 AM
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Personally, I average between 6-10mpg at 65mph tops. I can go faster but why? It's just easier to let everyone go around.




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post #5 of 217 (permalink) Old 05-22-2017, 09:11 AM Thread Starter
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@Rojhan

I am not new to towing... I disagree on the speed. 70-75 should be no issue and the trailer is plenty stable. IMO slower and you are a nuisance and dangerous on the interstate. The trailer has no brakes and the bearings are new (I just built it). I am guessing at the pull weight a bit, but if anything the 1600# is heavy. The trailer is ~750# empty. I just built this trailer. I have used it twice with our JKU and only saw a 1 MPG hit driving the same speeds.

The only area that is outside the vehicle is the tent... and there isn't much I can do about it. (It stands a but higher then the top of the JKU as well.)


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post #6 of 217 (permalink) Old 05-22-2017, 09:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SS_Syndicate View Post
Morning everyone...

I'm curious what you see fuel consumption wise when towing. I'm mostly interested in insight from the 3.2L TH owners, but feel free to comment for others that may search out or be interested.

I have never been satisfied with our KLs economic performance, but this weekend was our first time out with it while pulling our ~1600lb overland trailer. I averaged 10.1 MPG on a largely interstate trip where my speed was kept between 70-72 MPH. It seemed our little KL just didn't have enough grunt and spent large amounts of time in 4th and 5th gear (3000-4000 RPM). I know our trailer is by no means aerodynamic, but this is absolutely absurd. We purchased our KL TH to be a forestry road light overlanding rig, but with a 200 mile range there is no way I can use it for this.

On the way home I did everything I could get the best fuel economy; no cruise control, easy on hills, lots of coasting... Still I only improved the return trip's economy to 12.8 MPG.

If this is what I can expect on fuel usage I fear both Jeep and we made an EPIC mistake on vehicle selection.
My experience for towing and fuel economy is not KL related, my 5.4l v8 f150 would regularly see 21mpg hwy 18 city, towing would be 13hwy, 16 city. Speed obviously being the driving force here. The reason I bring this up is you may actually see a mileage improvement once you hit the forest service roads that may increase your range a bit, unless of course you've already factored that into your range. Why oh why didn't Jeep see fit to give the V6 Trailhawks the 4:10 final drive the 2.4 gets?....
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post #7 of 217 (permalink) Old 05-22-2017, 09:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SS_Syndicate View Post
Morning everyone...

I'm curious what you see fuel consumption wise when towing. I'm mostly interested in insight from the 3.2L TH owners, but feel free to comment for others that may search out or be interested.

I have never been satisfied with our KLs economic performance, but this weekend was our first time out with it while pulling our ~1600lb overland trailer. I averaged 10.1 MPG on a largely interstate trip where my speed was kept between 70-72 MPH. It seemed our little KL just didn't have enough grunt and spent large amounts of time in 4th and 5th gear (3000-4000 RPM). I know our trailer is by no means aerodynamic, but this is absolutely absurd. We purchased our KL TH to be a forestry road light overlanding rig, but with a 200 mile range there is no way I can use it for this.

On the way home I did everything I could get the best fuel economy; no cruise control, easy on hills, lots of coasting... Still I only improved the return trip's economy to 12.8 MPG.

If this is what I can expect on fuel usage I fear both Jeep and we made an EPIC mistake on vehicle selection.
My boat and trailer weigh in at about the same as your trailer. With 20 gallons of gas a bit more.
I will average about 19 mpg keeping it at or under 65 mph. Anything over that the mpg crashes. That is normal even without towing.
I will average consistently 29-32 highway without towing. So you can see that is still a 10-13 mpg drop.
Now the over 65, actually 62 mph the mpg will drop regardless.
Now I am in 8th without towing on the highway. That is 8th from 57mph and up.Towing I am in 7th and 6th depending on conditions.
I know just being in 7th even without towing will cost you mpg.
The RPM at 3-4000 seems high but at 70mph in 4th or 5th that seems correct. I would question the gearing working correctly.
Mine seems to adjust the gears in order to keep the rpm at around 2500. Thats the sweet spot. The 3.2 has more than enough power to handle that under 2000lb tow.
That 3.2 is no wimp in towing. I came from a V8 Grand Cherokee tow and there is not much difference being under 2,000lbs.

Improve mpg while towing. (1) Tire pressure should be adjusted to towing weight. If you hook up to your normal psi then you might actually be under inflated. I usually run mine at 36-37psi.
Your tires will run cooler under load and offer less resistance to the road. The faster you go the hotter those tires will get, especially the trailer tires if they are underinflated.
(2) Use the speed control it does help in my opinion. That is all I use on the highway. I have ACC cruise.
(3) The big one: Speed. Try it at or under 65. That is the biggest improvement you can make.
My State limits trailers to 55 mph. The next state over its the speed limit, generally 65 which is generally 2/3 of my trip to go fishing. I still keep it under 65 as possible.
Also you may want to reconsider your actual total weight. That is cargo in the trailer + anything loaded in the vehicle. It adds up fast and impacts mpg.
One of the reasons I gas up by the lakes so as not to haul an extra 10-15 gallons of gas along in a 21 gallon tank.
Also if you are dealing with mountains/lots of hills thats a mpg hit.

My Cherokee is a 3.2 Limited with AD2.

Good luck

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post #8 of 217 (permalink) Old 05-22-2017, 09:16 AM
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I should add, here in Texas I can tow faster. But at 75mph towing my trailer the bearings get too warm for comfort and I get below 6mpg and frankly, stoping every 60 miles for gas is crazy. Also, at that speed the Cherokee is in fourth gear and gets very hot very fast. So I cruise at 65 where I can get about 10mpg and between 100-120 miles per tank. And the jeep will be in 5th or 6th gear.


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post #9 of 217 (permalink) Old 05-22-2017, 09:16 AM Thread Starter
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Personally, I average between 6-10mpg at 65mph tops. I can go faster but why? It's just easier to let everyone go around.
That is crazy... 6-10 along with the small gas tanks and I can't get between some fuel spots in my area... As to why go faster, well... Our interstate speed limits are 70, but since there are no points on a ticket for 10 over everyone (including trucks) goes between 75-80. At 70-75, the world is already going around me. Lower and I nearly cause accidents.

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post #10 of 217 (permalink) Old 05-22-2017, 09:17 AM
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@Rojhan

I am not new to towing... I disagree on the speed. 70-75 should be no issue and the trailer is plenty stable. IMO slower and you are a nuisance and dangerous on the interstate. The trailer has no brakes and the bearings are new (I just built it). I am guessing at the pull weight a bit, but if anything the 1600# is heavy. The trailer is ~750# empty. I just built this trailer. I have used it twice with our JKU and only saw a 1 MPG hit driving the same speeds.

The only area that is outside the vehicle is the tent... and there isn't much I can do about it. (It stands a but higher then the top of the JKU as well.)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rojhan
I personally wouldn't tow faster than 60-65Mph on a KL
Nice trailer/setup, BTW. However, consider that the height of the trailer with the exposed tent is also adding probably somewhere around 40% to your frontal area.

YMMV, and it does. Math doesn't lie on energy needed to tow vs speed. If you want better than 10-12Mph, change your speed.
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'15 Deep Cherry Red TH w/Brown Interior. 3.2L V-6
Safety-Tec, Cold Weather, Technology, Comfort, Tow, Leather.
Gobi Stealth roof rack with ladder. Mopar rock sliders. BFG KO2 245/70R17.
My testing platform for electronics/telemetry experimenting.
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