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Towing with 4.7 engine

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Finally got to tow our camper after getting everything fixed on the 2004 Ram 1500 I just picked up. Trailer only weighs 2600 loaded, but the 4.7 has no pop pulling. Bang on the pedal and it's not very quick to downshift even in the tow/haul mode. Only got about 9.5 mpg on mostly highway. Still, its a more stable platform and feel much better pulling with the truck than our 2011 Subaru Outback 2.5 L. Curious that the Suby gets about 13.5 pulling while the Ram gets 9.5. Thought I might save a little gas, but only saving wear and tear on the Suby. Oh well. The life of trailer camping, I guess.
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That's not too bad, my trailer weighs roughly about the same as yours and with the Hemi I'm only averaging 11 mpg. So that 4.7 isn't doing to bad.
 

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Have you looked into getting a programmer for your truck? I can say that I dont do much towing but I added a programmer to my truck and and exhaust and new intake and I am getting 20 MPG now driving down the road at 60 on my way to work. I was previousally getting 13.5 MPG, the trade off is that I am running a superchips 91 octane tune so I have to put premium in it but I dont mind for an extra 6.5 MPG.
 

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I just did a 1200 + mile trip towing about 2,600 lbs also and averaged about 13 mpg. I used a weight distributing hitch and it was like driving a freight train. No sway, no wiggles, and when you have it set up properly the rear end was the stock height with no sag, amazing. It puts the weight of the trailer tounge between the trailer and rear wheels of the truck, not on the ball hitch, great set up!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Towing MPG still too low

Only got 8.5 towing into wind on hiway! Ack! Got about 10mph slowing down a bit with no headwind on the way back. Not sure what is going on. Just had plugs changed, but maybe need a tuneup? K&N drop-in does seem to do better than the paper and also filled up with 93 octane on the way home.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Towing mods

What are you towing? Do you have tonneau cover or cap?

I just did a 1200 + mile trip towing about 2,600 lbs also and averaged about 13 mpg. I used a weight distributing hitch and it was like driving a freight train. No sway, no wiggles, and when you have it set up properly the rear end was the stock height with no sag, amazing. It puts the weight of the trailer tounge between the trailer and rear wheels of the truck, not on the ball hitch, great set up!
 

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When i tow my boat that is about 6000lb i get around 12MPG on the turnpike.
 

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Towing a 6 x 11 x6H trailer, truck has a leer shell on it. Check to see what rear end gear ratio you have, might explain the lower mpg.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Gearing/towing

Got the build sheet. I have a 3.92 in the back. I just ordered a tonneau cover and Superchips flashpaq tuner. Also raising the trailer 3.5 inches so it should sit nose down more when towed. Hopefully this will all helpe my towing mileage.

Towing a 6 x 11 x6H trailer, truck has a leer shell on it. Check to see what rear end gear ratio you have, might explain the lower mpg.
 

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12mpg isn't too bad for a 6000lb trailer and a small displacement v8 full size truck. How fast are you cruising?

I know my father in law's F150 with 5.3L get's sub 10mpg at 65-70mph with his 8,000 lb trailer.
 

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I think the 3.92 rear end is the issue, someone else chime in here. The standard rear end is about a 3.55, I get 20 mpg on the highway no trailer, 13.5 mpg with a 2,600 lb trailer and just got 15.5 with a 1,500 trailer. That's up and down hills. The heavier trailer required the use of the tow haul mode but the lighter trailer did not.
Before any mod's to the truck suspension for towing I'd recommend the weight distributing hitch, when installed correctly, the tongue weight is distributed over all four truck tires as well as the trailer tires, instead of just on the ball hitch.
Pretty sure the 3.92 is a dedicated rear end ratio for heavy trailer hauling. If I remember correctly: the 3.21 great highway mileage, quick offf the line, the 3.92 great low end torque and pull muscle, lousy mpg, the 3.55: middle of the road, good tow and decent mpg's.
 

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OK, I stand corrected, the 3.21 will be slow off the line but have the lowest rpm for a given speed on the highway so it will have the best gas mileage. The 3.92 will be quick but have the highest rpm for a given speed and gas mileage will suffer. The 3.55 rear end is the best combination for towing and mpg. If I remember right the 3.21 really isn't recommended for towing. Most trucks came with the 3.55 for this reason. My tow speeds were 70-80 mph.
 

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^that's generally true, but something to keep in mind is that with higher numerical gearing, even though you are spinning a higher rpm, you MIGHT get better mpg because you have to give it less pedal to hold the same speed. There are really too many variables to figure it out easily, but typically that's true yes. 3.92 or 4.10's though shouldn't hurt mpg very much if at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
We'll see

Got my Superchips 3865 today and uploaded the tow mode tuning. We'll see how it does. Seems to be better so far, but I only ran it a couple miles to get a fill up this evening. I also ordered a tonneau cover, so both additions should help the gas mileage. Also putting axle risers on the camper to raise it about 3.5 inches so it should nose down better when towed and hopefully be more aerodynamic. We'll see.
 

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I had a buddie who had his and hers Jeep waggoneers, one had a 3.55 or so rear end and the other was a 3.92 or what ever comes on those vehicles. Their mpg's were way different, the 3.92 really suffered.
 
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