Trailers and Gas Mileage

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by Arvydas, Feb 5, 2013.

  1. Arvydas

    Arvydas LawnSite Member
    Posts: 55

    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!
  2. HPI_Savage25

    HPI_Savage25 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 192

    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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  3. LandFakers

    LandFakers LawnSite Fanatic
    from CT
    Posts: 6,229

    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.
  4. jones68

    jones68 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 453

    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
  5. Arvydas

    Arvydas LawnSite Member
    Posts: 55

    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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  6. sjessen

    sjessen LawnSite Gold Member
    Male, from Knoxville, Tn
    Posts: 3,334

    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.
  7. precision8m

    precision8m LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 349

    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.
  8. tinkerlawn

    tinkerlawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 111

    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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  9. action1

    action1 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 34

    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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  10. JPsDuramax

    JPsDuramax LawnSite Senior Member
    from Georgia
    Posts: 346

    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:.

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