Petrol cars tend to suffer more than diesels. Mine can average around 35mpg solo on a motorway but towing on motorway anywhere between 19-22 mpg.It is obvious that towing a caravan can affect your miles per gallon by quite a bit, but I'm just wondering to what extent it is affected. Does the type of going vehicle you have also have a role to play in this, or is it simply down to the weight of your caravan?
Yes, buy a diesel. Seriously though there will be differences between makes. My XC70 D5 auto only managed 40 mpg going to Krakow solo whereas a Superb 4wd estate auto would do 50-55 mpg solo. This difference was reflected in their towing figures. Most peoples towing mileage is far less than solo particularly if they use the car every day. So considerations need to be given to car mpg, weight of car, body shape of car (estate, SUV,) and intended caravan weightDo you have any tips on what to look for in a towing vehicle that might help with the mpg?
Hi SMD and welcome to the forums.
Unfortunately, towing has a massive detrimental effect on MPG, there is no escaping this simple fact.
A caravan isn't the most aerodynamic of beasts and even the lightest caravan will reduce MPG due to wind resistance. The heavier the caravan the harder the towing vehicle has to work to maintain a reasonable road speed during the journey.
There are also variables to take into consideration such as:
This is by no means an exhaustive list but I hope it helps answer your question.
- the time of year, petrol and diesel vehicles are more economical in warm weather.
- the weather, high winds can be good or bad depending if you are driving into the wind or it's pushing you along. Heavy rain, fog and snow will all affect your driving style and therefore mpg
- the terain, hills are a killer because you have to put your foot down more to sustain speed
- stop start traffic where you are using the lower gears. Motorways and dual carriageways are by far the best bet for higher mpg because speed can be maintained over greater distances, in theory.
- the performance of your vehicle, a more powerful vehicle is going to be more economical than one where lower gears have to be used to maintain progress
- type of fuel, quite subjective but before Mr Putin went berserk I was using Shell V-Power diesel and I found I was getting much better MPG that it justified the extra cost at the pump. However, I think I might be returning to supermarket jungle juice now though, thank you Vladimir...not!!
- the speed you choose to travel at. When I first started caravanning, I wanted to hit the speed limit every time. I didn't want to be the shed dragger holding everyone up but it comes at a cost. I've realised something as I enter my 63rd year, "the older I get, the faster I was". I'm now happy to follow the heavies who are on their limiter at 56mph on the motorway. Remarkably, this simple trick has increased my MPG on the motorway from around 24mpg @ 60mph to around 30mpg @ 56mph. On one occasion through a quiet section of roadworks on the M1 with a limit of 40mph my MPG climbed to 38. So, the need for speed while towing is going to cost you dearly.
Do you have any tips on what to look for in a towing vehicle that might help with the mpg?
A gentle right foot.
My tow car for the past 15 years has been a 2 ltr diesel estate car. On a motorway run it can give 60mpg with a daily average of around 50mpg. With the caravan, it varies between 28mpg and 32mpg, depending on speed and how the van is loaded. UK touring is quite light whilst going abroad there's rather more gear.
The best towing fuel consumption I've ever had was when I had to do 120 motorway miles in Spain, but limited to 45mph in fifth gear because of snow-covered roads. My average was around 36mpg.
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I have VW Tiguan TDI 4motion Dsg towing 1366kg 40 around town and so far on motorway 46mpg Towing 29-31mpgVW Tiguan TD 4Motion towing a 1400kg Bailey 40 mpg round town, 50 mpg on a long run 33 mpg towing
Hyundai Santa Fe 2.2 AWD towing a 1700kg Bailey T/A 33 mpg around town 38 mpg on a long run 24 mpg towing
Also need to take into consideration the type of gearbox fitted into the car i.e. CVT, torque convertor etc.Drag coefficient of the towing vehicle is insignificant when towing because that of the caravan behind is so abysmal that it overshadows everything that the car can testify.