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Old 07-13-2013, 08:18 AM   #1
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Towing a car/jeep with a van

Has anyone done this? I've currently got a 5.4 EB which is heavy enough, but I have a small older car that I might like to flat tow someday. My plan is to find a V10 van sooner or later. I know the diesels or v10s are up to the task, but I'm wondering how it might go. I do realize braking would be diminished, but that can be fixed. I live in relatively flat country anyway. I'm mostly curious how much fuel mileage would drop towing a car (or equivalent trailer) with a v10. I used to flat tow a Jeep/Toyota truck with a class C motorhome but fuel mileage here was all over the map. The 460 in that beast usually just got about 1 mpg less while towing, but with a class C your MPG is mostly determined by headwind and not weight.

Thoughts?

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Old 07-13-2013, 04:48 PM   #2
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Re: Towing a car/jeep with a van

We've got a F350 dually with a flatbed on it at work that has the 5.4L. That truck weighs in around 8k if I remember correctly and we often tow at least 10k worth of trailer and mini excavator with it and it does just fine. If you aren't afraid to let the 5.4 work in the upper RPM's, it seems to do pretty decently. The downside is fuel economy is probably the same or less than a V10 while towing.
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Old 07-14-2013, 06:14 PM   #3
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Re: Towing a car/jeep with a van

Quote:
Originally Posted by rockbender
We've got a F350 dually with a flatbed on it at work that has the 5.4L. That truck weighs in around 8k if I remember correctly and we often tow at least 10k worth of trailer and mini excavator with it and it does just fine. If you aren't afraid to let the 5.4 work in the upper RPM's, it seems to do pretty decently. The downside is fuel economy is probably the same or less than a V10 while towing.
Thx Rockbender! I know the modulars rev and I use a Scanguage digital tach but I wonder what redline is on the 5.4? I have seen 3k or so a time or two I think, but that sure seems to be singing pretty high. When it jumps in to passing gear it seems like it's usually about 27-2800 or so.

I'm still hoping to hear from some V10 owners or those who have flat towed.

Thanks

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Old 07-14-2013, 06:23 PM   #4
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Re: Towing a car/jeep with a van

Quote:
Originally Posted by 86Scotty
I know the modulars rev and I use a Scanguage digital tach but I wonder what redline is on the 5.4? I have seen 3k or so a time or two I think, but that sure seems to be singing pretty high. When it jumps in to passing gear it seems like it's usually about 27-2800 or so.
I would expect the 5.4 to rev past 5k. It doesn't make max horsepower until 4500. 3k is just past max torque and nowhere near the max for the engine.

Even the 6.0 diesel will rev well past 4K.

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Old 07-14-2013, 07:02 PM   #5
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Re: Towing a car/jeep with a van

I towed my track car plus its trailer with my 5.4 that weighs in at 8700; didn't even affect mileage that much on the flats, but was a bit slower up hills. No biggie though.

I also flat towed a Chevy Tracker; it weight a bit over 3k and again no issues.

I didn't have trailer brakes on either (yeah, scold me) so it required paying attention. Very doable though; I even towed that Tracker on considerable stretches of dirt.

I've never seen 4k on my tach either...it would scare me even it it made it that far, although I expect it could.

It was interesting to see that my fuel mileage didn't change at all. But here in CA we have to go 55 with a trailer; not that I did, but I did drive slower. And these beasts are more sensitive to air than weight, so it evened out.
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Old 07-14-2013, 09:05 PM   #6
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Re: Towing a car/jeep with a van

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Originally Posted by rob_gendreau
I didn't have trailer brakes on either (yeah, scold me) so it required paying attention. Very doable though; I even towed that Tracker on considerable stretches of dirt.

I've never seen 4k on my tach either...it would scare me even it it made it that far, although I expect it could.
Lol Rob, I'm with you. I've seen these big 'brake buddy' type deals that people shell out well over a grand for and I think All that behind a big heavy motorhome? What's the point, you've got plenty of stopping power? Anyway, having to do that would ruin it for me. Our vans generally need bigger brakes as heavy as we make them (before towing) but a little patience and attention goes a long way.

I always doggedly try to keep my van from kicking up in to passing gear. I may have to run a tank on a trip and just let it rev when it wants to just to see if the mileage will change much over a tank of gas. Still though, 4k sounds high.
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Old 07-14-2013, 10:18 PM   #7
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Re: Towing a car/jeep with a van

I flat-towed a midsize school bus from Utah to Portland once. I got about 8 MPG. Which was about the same the bus got before it threw a rod.

I just picked up a SideKick, so I'll by bed-lining it, building a full length rack, and that will be my self-propelled-raft-trailer.

Pulling most cars the V10 will probably do 10-12 MPG. But once you tow anything full profile, both the V8 and V10 are in the single digits.

The Triton motors can probably do 7,000 RPM with the right breathing and tuning. Above 5200 RPM I'm leaning out slightly, but I'm not sure if my injectors are maxed out, or my fuel pump can't keep up. I need to do some more diagnostics. Even at 5400 RPM there is no valve float. That's where I have the fuel cut set. Unless I can get more fuel and air in the motor, I have no reason to turn it up beyond that. 5200 is about where I peak out on power but sometimes I stretch to keep the RPMs up when it drops into 2nd.
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Old 07-15-2013, 12:34 AM   #8
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Re: Towing a car/jeep with a van

When we bought our 2WD E350 V10 EB SMB, we drove our Jeep Cherokee to San Jose from San Diego to check it out, bought it, and towed the the Jeep home - got 13 Mpg.

Have since converted to 4X4, 35" tires and 4.10 gears and we still tow the Jeep from time to time depending where we are going.

It pulls the Jeep just fine and brakes are OK - just have to remember the weight is back there and drive accordingly.
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Old 07-18-2013, 09:47 PM   #9
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Re: Towing a car/jeep with a van

Admittedly a 6.0L, when I went to 35s on my Jeep I really started to feel it in flat towing- it wasn't bad or anything, but I knew it was back there- I also actually considered a brake buddy for the first time, but I don't consider the vans to have bigger brakes, more like just in the range of adequate brakes.

Same Jeep, on a trailer is nothing, just like before putting the bigger tires into play- I literally couldn't tell it was back there.
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Old 07-19-2013, 01:06 AM   #10
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Re: Towing a car/jeep with a van

FWIW

Tow vehicle: 2009 Ford E350 cutaway, 6.0 diesel, 10,000 lbs, 4.10 gears with 3" larger than stock tire diameter.

Towed: 2010 Jeep JKU, 5,000 lbs

Fuel Mileage while towing - Interstate Hwy across North Dakota:
9mpg @ 80+mph
11.5mpg @ 65 mph
13mpg @ 55mph

Fuel Mileage not towing - Interstate Hwy - add about 2 mpg to above mph speeds.
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