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Get Better Gas Mileage When Towing

Gas MileageGoing to the pump has become increasingly painful with the current price of fuel. Every dollar that ticks by, you’re wondering how you can maximize your gas mileage so that you can continue running your business or enjoying your motorized recreation around Michigan. Consider how you can maximize your rig’s MPG so that you can lower the shock when you fuel up while hauling.


Effectively Manage Your Weight

Weight is one of the most important aspects of controlling not only your gas mileage but also the wear on your trailer and tow vehicle. First, make sure to keep an eye on your gross vehicular weight rating and how much you’re towing. You can find the rating on your trailer’s tongue. Many repair facilities and truck stops offer scales so that you can weigh your trailer. Be sure your cargo weight is also properly distributed over the trailer.

Next, think about how much you’re towing at a time. The larger your load, the more power it takes to tow it, and the more fuel you’ll consume. If you use your trailer for storage, consider whether you need everything you normally keep in it for each particular trip. Remove any extra weight you’re hauling to reduce the fuel consumed.


Match Your Tow Vehicle and Trailer

Next, pay particular attention to matching your tow vehicle and trailer to your towing needs. First, you’ll probably recognize that when you near or exceed your tow vehicle’s capacity, you’re killing your MPG. However, improving your gas mileage doesn’t stop there.

Rather, there’s the consideration of how you drive all the time, and the mileage you’re going to get. For instance, if you’re running a rig with a heavy load, there’s no doubt that diesel is going to serve you best in terms of both towing capacity and mileage. However, lighten that load to a small trailer and you’ll exponentially increase your fuel consumption.

If at all possible, match the tow vehicle and trailer to the job you have. Use a full setup that’ll meet the needs of the job, but not be overkill or push the capacity limits. When considering what trailer and tow vehicle to purchase, think about what you’ll be towing and how often so that you don’t end up with astronomical fuel bills when you aren’t hauling the heavier stuff.


Consider a Lighter Trailer

When you are shopping for a trailer, be careful of its construction so that you aren’t eating fuel towing the trailer itself. Depending on your cargo, you may want to consider an aluminum trailer over an all-steel construction. Aluminum is far and above the lightest weight construction currently available. However, the tradeoff is going to be less towing capacity without the risk of damaging your trailer’s frame. You’ll also need to use caution on the roads you travel being aluminum is not as rugged as steel.


Watch Your Driving Habits

Next, if you really want to improve your towing gas mileage, be cautious of your driving habits. Most people are aware that the faster you try to accelerate, the more fuel you’ll burn, especially if you're towing a heavy load. Add to that, you put more wear on your tow vehicle’s engine when accelerating quickly, increasing your maintenance needs and reducing your wear-related mileage.

However, there’s more to your driving habits than simply how quickly you accelerate. Another key factor is your travel speed. Whenever possible, maintain a consistent speed for longer distances so that there’s less time spent accelerating. Also, try keeping your cruising speed between 50 and 60 mph. This is typically where most vehicles reach their maximum efficiency, including while towing. Be careful using your cruise control, especially on declines. Allowing your vehicle to coast down declines helps give you a fuel efficiency boost, but you lose that when your cruise control limits your speed.


Keep Your Maintenance Current

Finally, when considering how to boost your MPG while towing, make sure you stay current on your routine maintenance, both for your tow vehicle and your trailer. Some of the biggest factors to pay attention to are your tires’ air pressure, oil changes, lubrication, joint lubrication, and fuel system cleaning. All of these start hitting your fuel efficiency when neglected, and ultimately end up causing preventable repairs. On your trailer, pay particular attention to the tire pressures and joint lubrication. Both of these increase rolling resistance, causing your vehicle’s engine to work harder to keep it moving.

Whether you need a simple open trailer to haul your recreational equipment, or a full gooseneck to haul heavier loads, USA Trailer has a trailer to meet your needs. Stop by one of the seven locations we have throughout Michigan to find the right rig to maximize your gas mileage while hauling your cargo.