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View Full Version : Trailers and Gas Mileage


Arvydas
02-05-2013, 11:08 AM
Hi everyone,

I'm looking to get my first trailer, and I'd prefer an enclosed. Right now I'm looking at either a single axle 6x10, 6x12 or a tandem axle (w/ brakes) 7x14. I do a lot of landscape maintenance and pruning, but mot mowing, so I don't need a huge trailer.

The issue is that I have a 2002 Chevy 1500 (5.3 engine). Being a half ton, I'm concerned about lowered fuel economy and engine/trans wear and tear if I got the bigger trailer. Right now I get about 14/mpg unloaded.

In all your experienced opinions, do you know what the difference in MPG would be between the 6x12 and the 7x14? The latter weighs about 1100 more pounds.

Thanks everyone!

HPI_Savage25
02-05-2013, 11:29 AM
You probably won't notice a huge difference between the 2 but that's just me. I have a 1500HD with the 6.0 and I get about 9 in town with the trailer. Without a trailer I get 13 on the highway so my gas mileage isn't the greatest even without a trailer. I know we have a Tahoe with the 5.7 and we pull an airstream camper that's probably around 7k pounds and it gets around 13mpg pulling that but where we go also has a good bit of hills along the route.
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LandFakers
02-05-2013, 12:11 PM
I don't have your truck but I know I drop 2mpg loaded, and that only with an 6x14 open trailer. So my guess would be you would be down to 10 or 11mpg. Your 1/2 will pull it fine though.

jones68
02-05-2013, 01:36 PM
someone gave the advice on here to figure out what size you need now and then buy the next size up. I wouldnt want a trailer without brakes myself. the weight of tools adds up and it puts a lot of stress on the truck breaks to stop all the time. If your just around town you probably wont notice a difference in mpg

Arvydas
02-05-2013, 10:03 PM
Jones: that's what I was thinking. So maybe I should go with the 7x14. My concern is the extra wear on the engine and transmission because of the added weight, but maybe that's not as big of an issue as I think.

Does anyone else think a 6x12 with no brakes would cause problems with my trucks brakes?

Forgive the questions, I've never towed anything before.
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sjessen
02-05-2013, 10:12 PM
In some states brakes are required on tandem axle trailers. For safety's sake it would be good to have brakes on a single axle, especially if you are on the interstate a good bit. From what others have said the mileage drops a fair amount when going from a single to a double axle. Probably a function of weight but also rolling resistance.

precision8m
02-06-2013, 08:43 AM
IMO, definitely get the largest trailer you are looking at it and definitely get it with brakes. I bought one without brakes thinking I wouldnt need it since I wont tow heavy, but then i started pulling a little more weight, and then a little more weight, etc. I ended up paying someone to install trailer brake - money well spent.

Of course your truck is going to notice the giant wall you are now pulling behind you. If what you say is true and you will only be pulling really light, then your truck will be fine and your mpg decrease will be minimal. If you start towing heavy, your truck will not like it much.

tinkerlawn
02-06-2013, 03:02 PM
Yeah we too had a 6x12 open without brakes for sometime and ended up putting brakes and a brake away system on it. It's kinda like cheap insurance on your end if you think about it. If your doing a lot of landscape pruning and maintenance I would probably recommend an open trailer with sides? Unless you plan on putting all of the yard waste/mulch in the bed of your truck.
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action1
02-07-2013, 12:43 AM
Get brakes. 1/2 GM trucks can't stop on their own unloaded going up hill. I have had 2 of them with 5.7 and GM s version of hd towing package. 9k miles
Of towing a 16 foot with light loads and they would need new brakes. My toyota truck had much larger diameter brakes. If you are going to tow on a regular basis, upgrade to 3/4 ton or larger.
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JPsDuramax
02-12-2013, 01:10 PM
I used to own a 2000 Chevy 1500 with the 5.3, and I seem to remember getting around 12mpg hauling a 4000lb lawn trailer. It had brakes, which I would highly recommend, and tandem axels. I never noticed any problems while towing it. I used the tow/haul mode and everything drove fine. The truck had close to 150K miles on it and never had one transmission issue. I'm sure it would of gone farther but someone ran a light and totaled it :cry:.

precision8m
02-12-2013, 01:15 PM
You all must live on some flat ground or be looking at your lie-o-meter. I couldn't get better than 10 pulling 4000 around town in my 1500.
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Landrus2
02-12-2013, 01:33 PM
I would highly recommend you install brakes::hammerhead:
Your mileage is going to drop between 2 to 3 miles per galon. :waving:

Kelly's Landscaping
02-12-2013, 01:53 PM
My biggest trailer weighs in around 6000 loaded its rated for 9900 I tow her with my 2011 ram 4500 and get 9.5-12 mpg towing.

My second biggest trailer weighs in around 5000 loaded and is towed with a 2012 ram 4500 and only gets 7-10 mpg towing. The difference is this one has 4wd and man does it kill your mileage.

rbljack
02-16-2013, 11:40 PM
im in the same boat as the original poster. I have an avalanche (1/2 ton) with the 5.3. I also have been debating the single axle 6x12's to the dual 7x14. Also considering a 7x12 dual axles also. I'd be carrying a 21 inch mower, and my Gravely 34" ZTR which isnt too big at all. (along with all the other gear such as trimmers, blowers, gas cans...etc).

Keep the info coming yall...we appreciate the input. descisons, decisions...sigh.

cps
02-19-2013, 09:11 PM
im in the same boat as the original poster. I have an avalanche (1/2 ton) with the 5.3. I also have been debating the single axle 6x12's to the dual 7x14. Also considering a 7x12 dual axles also. I'd be carrying a 21 inch mower, and my Gravely 34" ZTR which isnt too big at all. (along with all the other gear such as trimmers, blowers, gas cans...etc).

Keep the info coming yall...we appreciate the input. descisons, decisions...sigh.

Single axle trailers bounce around like crazy, dual axle trailers contour the ground much better. I have an Avalanche and have used it to pull a 14' open trailer with a ztr ferris, 44" wb, 3 trimmers, blowers, gas... back to our yard when the starter died on a 3500 dump. It will do the job :nono: but I just use it to do bids or run parts.

If you dont mind me asking, why are you running a 21" and a 34" ztr? You might want to loointo a 30" toro timesaver might be just what you need! We just picked one up ($1000) last fall to replace a an older 21" toro and the guys LOVE IT!

rbljack
02-23-2013, 02:10 AM
Single axle trailers bounce around like crazy, dual axle trailers contour the ground much better. I have an Avalanche and have used it to pull a 14' open trailer with a ztr ferris, 44" wb, 3 trimmers, blowers, gas... back to our yard when the starter died on a 3500 dump. It will do the job :nono: but I just use it to do bids or run parts.

If you dont mind me asking, why are you running a 21" and a 34" ztr? You might want to loointo a 30" toro timesaver might be just what you need! We just picked one up ($1000) last fall to replace a an older 21" toro and the guys LOVE IT!

I dont mind you asking a bit. The Ztr is a gravely zt-1534 (its a residential model, but close to commercial quality) and I only paid 200 bucks for it. he sold it cheap because it needs about 400 bucks in parts. So Im hoping to fix it and use it for the few larger yards we mow. I was going to fix it up last season, but had to replace my 21 inch mower and spent the money on a Honda HRC instead. Although not listed in my equipment list, I also have a husky 42 inch lawn tractor thats currently used on those larger properties.

Regarding the timemaster, funny you should mention that. ive been SERIOUSLY eyeing up that Exmark 30 for about 3 months now because I agree that it fit my needs very well. its a commercial version made by exmark that is very similar to the Toro Turfmaster.