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Old 06-08-14, 05:53 PM   #1
looknow12
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Exclamation Towing Performance

I started towing a Stealth Lite 8x14 enclosed trailer. The curb weight of this trailer is roughly 1800lbs. I've loaded it with two 4 wheelers and two kids 4 wheelers. All together it weighs about 3800lbs with fuel, tools, etc.

The weight is not as critical IMO as the wind load. On the highway the wind resistance, due to how much taller the trailer is then the vehicle, I believe is significant.

Typically I can get 20-21 mpg on the highway. With this trailer I'm getting 7.5mpg. I mostly drive in 4th gear at around 2800-3100 RPMS. This is quite a load on the engine I believe based on the efficiency difference.

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Old 06-10-14, 05:52 PM   #2
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No comments thus far.... I guess no one here currently tows with the GX, including myself. I do wonder why are you in 4th gear and at what speed on the highway? I would think I may get similar gas mileage with out towing in that gear at 65+ MPH. Wind resistance in relation to speed and RPM is obviously a factor and if you are dealing with hills that would explain 4th gear and poor gas mileage with the additional weight.

7.5 MPG with premium
At least when the kids say they have to pee you can reply, no problem I have to refuel anyway.
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Old 06-10-14, 06:01 PM   #3
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No comments thus far.... I guess no one here currently tows with the GX, including myself. I do wonder why are you in 4th gear and at what speed on the highway? I would think I may get similar gas mileage with out towing in that gear at 65+ MPH. Wind resistance in relation to speed and RPM is obviously a factor and if you are dealing with hills that would explain 4th gear and poor gas mileage with the additional weight.

7.5 MPG with premium
At least when the kids say they have to pee you can reply, no problem I have to refuel anyway.
Towing in 4th gear not because of hills but because even on the flat the GX does not have enough torque to maintain 65 miles an hour. At slower speeds it can pull hills with low rpms. That's why it probably is the wind resistance.
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Old 06-11-14, 08:35 AM   #4
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I'll chime in, I've towed my 16 foot hybrid travel trailer with the '14 GX. The trailer has a GVWR of 3500. I haven't weighed it, but unloaded it is 2317lbs per the sticker on it. I would say loaded I am around 3000 or so. it's a full height trailer too, so it sticks up above the GX. I've only had it out once, as I just got the GX last month, but I didn't feel I needed to move the tranny to 5th, let alone 4th when cruising at 65. I'll be headed to Myrtle Beach with it this summer, so I'll get a better feel for it then, but at this point I think it is a superior tow vehicle than my Sienna was. I didn't calculate the exact fuel economy, but I reset the trip computer before I left and when I returned home it was 10.1 mpg.
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Old 06-12-14, 10:44 AM   #5
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I tow a 3000 pound boat and leave it in fifth except for certain hills. Your 4th gear RPMs seem to explain the 7.5 mpg.
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Old 06-17-14, 09:28 AM   #6
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I tow a 3100 car with a ~700 pound trailer with electric brakes just fine. Braking distance does go up and mileage goes down the tubes, but that's all to be expected.
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Old 06-17-14, 10:13 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjs2000 View Post
I'll chime in, I've towed my 16 foot hybrid travel trailer with the '14 GX. The trailer has a GVWR of 3500. I haven't weighed it, but unloaded it is 2317lbs per the sticker on it. I would say loaded I am around 3000 or so. it's a full height trailer too, so it sticks up above the GX. I've only had it out once, as I just got the GX last month, but I didn't feel I needed to move the tranny to 5th, let alone 4th when cruising at 65. I'll be headed to Myrtle Beach with it this summer, so I'll get a better feel for it then, but at this point I think it is a superior tow vehicle than my Sienna was. I didn't calculate the exact fuel economy, but I reset the trip computer before I left and when I returned home it was 10.1 mpg.
Maybe the 800lbs makes the difference. I didn't account for liquids and supplies. We might be a bit closer to 4k in weight.

Extra thousand pounds for 2.5mpg probably sounds right. If I start to cruise at 60 the mileage begins to go up quickly. I could get to 10 if I wasn't so impatient.
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Old 07-02-14, 11:31 AM   #8
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13.5MPG on the highway with a 20ft Carolina Skiff(boat), wife, kid, and car loaded to nose with gear. Easily +3000lbs with full tank of gas in the boat. No issues with towing.
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Old 07-03-14, 09:20 PM   #9
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Using my 2011 GX 460, just completed 3200 miles of towing a 3200# horse trailer, first 1600 miles empty, then with about 1800# of horses. Overall trip computer showed 10.6 mpg, but only 9 mpg during headwinds, yet interestingly it pulled over the continental divide (no wind) and got 12 mpg. Kept transmission in 5th gear mostly, and speed at/below 70 mph. My old 2001 Sequoia averaged 12 mpg pulling the same trailer (regular gas!). Sure wish they had a diesel engine for this rig, as it is quite nice towing with the air suspension.
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Old 07-03-14, 09:57 PM   #10
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hows the new trailer sway control? curious if anyone here has towed with their 2014 yet
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Old 07-08-14, 10:20 AM   #11
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We have a 6x12 dual axle dump trailer rated for 6000lb gross. I believe empty is about 2000lbs or so, but it has very tall sides. The wind resistance is bad but we don't take it on the highway much, I try to drive local back roads with it. The one time we hauled 3 cubic yards of mulch I think we got low teens for MPG, but this is not highway. On a recent trip w/o a trailer, but a full car (4 people and luggage) we got close to 22mpg over 800 miles.

I also find when towing that using 3rd or 4th gear is easier, and I also just put in in Sport mode, as this keeps the revs higher and in the torque band and won't try to up-shift as easily.
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Old 07-08-14, 05:00 PM   #12
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I am fairly sure Sport mode only changes the suspension settings and would do nothing to the revs or torque band but I could be wrong.

From Toyota:

Advanced Suspension Systems
The advanced Active Power Stabilizer system offered in the GS 450h, GS 460 and LS 600h L models reduces body roll and enhances vehicle control during cornering. This fast-acting system uses electric actuators. An Electronic Control Unit (ECU) calculates the force needed to counter excess body sway, which is then applied to the stabilizer bars by the front and rear actuators.

The Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) system is standard on the LS 600h L, GS 460 and GS 450h sedans and the GX 460 Premium and LX 570 luxury utility vehicles. Responding to road conditions, driver input and vehicle speed, AVS continuously adjusts the shock absorber damping force to help provide the best balance of ride comfort and handling response. The driver can select from normal, comfort and sport settings.

The LS 460 offers an optional air suspension system designed to enhance handling, driving comfort and versatility. Automatic load leveling helps to ensure generous suspension travel and preserve ride comfort.

Adjustable SUV Suspension
The GX 460 features Adaptive Variable-air Suspension (AVS) with three settings (comfort, normal and sport) for increased ride comfort over various road surfaces. In addition, the Rear Adjustable Height Control (RAHC) is included to lower the rear by 0.8 inches or raise it by 1.6 inches for easier loading and unloading.

The LX 570’s standard hydraulic four-wheel Active Height Control (X-AHC) and Adaptive Variable-air Suspension (AVS) allow the driver to raise the vehicle by up to about three inches to help clear rough off-road terrain and to lower it for easy entry and exit. A height-control switch and light indicate current suspension height, and the light flashes when height changes occur. For off-road travel, switching to High increases the angles of approach and departure by several degrees to help the vehicle negotiate obstacles. The LX 570 will go into Extra High mode if it is in low range and traveling over rough terrain, with the height rising automatically by 1.2 inches at the front and approximately 1.8 inches in the rear. If set in High mode, the suspension will automatically lower when the LX 570 exceeds 18.6 mph, which is a more than adequate speed for rigorous off-road conditions.

(Reference: From 2011 but nothing has changed in this regard: http://pressroom.toyota.com/article_print.cfm?)article_id=2031

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Old 07-08-14, 05:21 PM   #13
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I was thinking the same, I have not read anything here about sport or any other mode altering the drivetrain.
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Old 07-09-14, 12:24 PM   #14
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Here's an update to my post #8. Drove same route today with just boat - no vacation gear or extra passengers - and got 1MPG better = 14.5mpg.
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Old 07-28-14, 06:36 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradtopp View Post
I am fairly sure Sport mode only changes the suspension settings and would do nothing to the revs or torque band but I could be wrong.
Quote:
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I was thinking the same, I have not read anything here about sport or any other mode altering the drivetrain.
Sport mode on the transmission - NOT suspension. I have a base GX so don't even have the leveling suspension. Maybe it's a new feature on the 2014 - but if you slap the gearshift over to "S" mode - this changes throttle mapping and also tells the transmission to hold gears. It will keep you in the 3000-4000rpm range. I have used this towing around town, but not sure if this would work on the highway well or not.
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