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Which 4x4 truck/hauling vehicle gets the best/worst mpg?

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  • Which 4x4 truck/hauling vehicle gets the best/worst mpg?

    I'm curious what people get in the real world. I tried googling this and couldn't find a clear answer or comparison.

    What make and model do you have?
    Automatic or manual?
    Diesel or gas and which engine?
    What year?
    MPG highway and in town?
    MPG highway towing?
    What are you towing?
    DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/

  • #2
    Well, I currently have a 06 Ford F350 V10. I get about 10 mpg, loaded or empty.

    Hubby had a 04 Ford F350 6.0L Diesel. That got about 17 mpg loaded or empty.

    Both were automatics. We pulled a 4 horse goose, 2 horse bumper and 3 horse bumper with all.


    • #3
      You left out the most critical question: what speed do you drive?

      All else being equal, speed (and acceleration) is (are) the most critical element in the equation.

      Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


      • #4
        When it was newer, my 1998 F-250 got 13-14 mpg, when pulling a 2 horse bumper pull, with two horses in it, at highway speeds (out here, that's 75 mph mostly) and including Rocky Mountain climbs and descents.

        These days, that truck has 170,000 miles plus and under same scenario as above, is getting about 10 mpg. Not towing, average about 45 mpg between 'around town' and highway, is about 13 mpg.

        Edited to add...it's an automatic. I much prefer a manual but hey, got a good deal on it. In comparison, my previous truck, a 1985 F-150, was a manual, got 12-13 NOT pulling when new and about 10 when hauling. But, after Jiffy Lube had to buy me a 'new' (rebuilt) engine, well, gas mileage went down. And in its advancing age after we moved out west, one did have to pedal hard going up the 'hills.'
        Last edited by Beverley; Aug. 5, 2010, 11:37 PM.


        • #5
          Oh my oh my. I vote mine for WORST!!!

          What make and model do you have? 2001 Chevy 2500 HD, 8.1 liter 4x4 (there's the problem!)
          Automatic or manual? Auto...good luck finding a stick
          Diesel or gas and which engine? Gas, 8.1 liter
          What year? 2001
          MPG highway and in town? 8.9 in town, somewhere around 11 highway
          MPG highway towing? Unknown, haven't towed on the highway
          What are you towing? 2H BP, dunno the weight offhand.

          That being said, it's an awesome truck. It'll pull a house down if necessary, AND I can out accelerate anything but a sports car. A true sports car, riced-up Hondas need not apply.

          My BF's truck is a newer (2007? 2008?) F350 with a 450 rear end, dually, and it gets about 14 mpg regardless. Also a nice truck...but I like mine better.

          ETA: I get that 8.9 mpg and I drive like a granny most of the time.
          COTH's official mini-donk enabler

          "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl


          • #6
            2002 Ford F-250, gas, V8, 4x4... I get 15 MPG consistently in everyday freeway/around town driving. I was getting 13-14 until my husband bought me some fancy new air filter (K&N?). I commute 30+ miles each way to work and drive about 70 MPH most of the way. I think 15 MPG is pretty good for a big ol' gasser truck. Who knows what might happen to my mileage if I drove slower?

            I have a 2H steel horse trailer with a dressing room. I almost exclusively trailer very, very locally (only a couple miles round-trip once a week most of the time) or around town and maybe on 50 MPH roads, but not the freeway, so I can't tell you what kind of MPG I really get when towing, just less than 15 MPG! I haven't trailered a long distance in a long time.
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            • Original Poster

              Guilherme....good addition, but what are you driving?
              DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/


              • #8
                Originally posted by TrotTrotPumpkn View Post
                Guilherme....good addition, but what are you driving?
                2008 Chevy 3500HD Duramax (4WD, dually, crew cab, long bed) Land Yacht. Or maybe Land Tug.

                I get around 15 mpg bob-tail and 10-12 mpg towing. Both with speeds about 65 mph. If I go faster milage falls off pretty quickly. If I go slower I do better.

                Trucks that weigh in at 7100 lbs. or so are not going to be Economy Champs.


                P.S. Weight will also make a real difference in numbers.
                Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


                • #9
                  '98 F250 diesel (powerstroke 7.3) 4x4 extended cab, long bed, automatic. If I keep it at about 65 mph, it gets close to 16-17 mpg on long trips since we installed an air intake kit, which added a couple of mpg. If I'm going 70+ it easily drops to 13-14 mpg. That's pulling a full 3H gooseneck slant. I've never kept track of unloaded mpg because I drive my car (also diesel-44mpg!) most of the time.

                  Now my old Chevy dually with a 454, that was a gas hog- 8mpg, loaded or empty!

                  Friend's newish ('05 maybe) Dodge diesel, 4x4, manual transmission, pulling my trailer loaded gets almost 20 mpg according to his onboard fuel dohickey, and I'm pretty sure he's traveling at 70+ mph.


                  • #10
                    2009 GMC Sierra, 4x4 1500 Series with the 5.4L flexfuel engine. I get 15.6 consistently - there is a function on my dash that tells me. That WAS a good amount of highway (30 mins to from barn) mixed with local, and towing 4x a month, 20 miles each way. I tow a 2H slant/stock combo with one horse (steel).

                    We moved last week and I will do much less highway (now 5 mins. from barn ) so we'll see, but I LOVE this truck. Tows great for my needs.


                    • #11
                      Be very wary of factory installed "milage computers." Their accuracy ranges from spot-on to wildly innacurate. The only way to get a true milage calculation is to keep track over a half dozen tanks or so.

                      Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


                      • #12
                        What make and model do you have? GMC 2005 Duramax 3500 single back wheels, king cab, long bed, 4 x 4
                        Automatic or manual? auto
                        Diesel or gas and which engine? diesel
                        What year? 2005
                        MPG highway and in town? i get about 18 mpg
                        MPG highway towing? i would guess about 15 mpg
                        What are you towing? a 2-horse straight load gooseneck with tack

                        love love my truck, i'm happy with the mileage i get. my last one, a 2002 Duramax 2500, was even better on fuel! (less heavy i guess). did have to change the injectors under warranty, but that's all.


                        • #13
                          To answer Guliherme's question - I drive like a bat out of hell when not hooked to the trailer. 70-75mph. If I do, say, 60mph, I get around upper 11s in the mpg.


                          • #14
                            2001 F250 7.3L Turbo diesel automatic 2WD. Unloaded 18-20 mpg. Towing around 15-16 mpg w/ 15' 2H BP. And I drive nice -- keep the RPM's at 1800 and under at all times.
                            Life doesn't have perfect footing.

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                            • #15
                              OH! mines almost the same to wildlifer

                              2002 Ford F250 7.3L turbo diesel. Automatic. 4WD. I also have a towing chip and a cold air intake. I get about 20-24 not towing, 15-19 towing a 3H aluminum slant (I get around 15 w/ 3 horses, 17 with 2 horse ect)
                              I drive nice also low rpms (except in the mountains) and i always go the speed limit if not slower.

                              RIP Beaming Sportsfield (1998-2012)


                              • #16
                                Depends so much on engine size, gearing, driving style, weight of towed vehicle, etc.

                                My 2005 F350 4WD set up for towing 6L diesel gets 15-18 mpg pulling a 6500# trailer at around 55 mph.
                                But go a little faster than 65 mph and the fuel gage starts to drop due to the gearing being set up to tow rather than race. However, we rarely tow over 55 mph.

                                And HOTDAMM! the towing gearing makes it hot off the line. think skeeert rabbit.
                                "The Threat of Internet Ignorance: ... we are witnessing the rise of an age of equestrian disinformation, one where a trusting public can graze on nonsense packaged to look like fact."-LRG-AF


                                • #17
                                  hijack for stupid truck question #85

                                  What do I lose if I buy a 1 ton rather than a 3/4 ton?

                                  You can speak to diesel or gas. I assume I just lose a tad of good mileage, hence the question being posted here. Stiffer suspension might get annoying when empty. Any other disadvantages?

                                  I don't need a 1 ton for what I do, but I see more of decent used ones of those than the 3/4ers.
                                  The armchair saddler
                                  Politically Pro-Cat


                                  • #18
                                    Our automatic, gasoline 2007 F150 4x4 crew cab, 6 1/2 bed, did go 19.5 empty, average over about 8 tanks, by hand measure and it is what the counter in the dashboard tells me, so it is rather accurate.
                                    I drive consistently 69 m/h on the expressway, 55 on side roads and not over the speed limit anywhere, sorry, tailgaters.
                                    You can't push me, but you may pass me, I will make room for you.

                                    Then that dropped these past two months to 17.5 and I asked our mechanic, that told me all vehicles dropped up to 2-3% efficiency since they started to sell the new gasoline formulations with more ethanol.
                                    He ought to know, he has some gas stations also.

                                    Pulling our 16' steel gooseneck with two horses these last 800+ miles, we averaged 13.5, half of the trip was kind of downhill, half uphill, but no serious mountains.

                                    Remember also that comparing older models of any brand to the newer ones is like comparing apples to oranges, close, both are kind of round, but different in important ways.


                                    • #19
                                      2008 Dodge Ram 2500 Diesel automatic

                                      Unloaded the best has been 24 mph (level driving, no trailer at 65, drops off quickly at higher speeds)

                                      just hauled into the Mts with a large 2+1 gooseneck (GVWR 10,400) and got 14. (slow driving lots of turns and hills)

                                      Got 16 hauling from CA to Wa loaded (mostly I5 at 55-65)

                                      18 in town
                                      Turn off the computer and go ride!


                                      • #20
                                        What make and model do you have? Ford F-350 Dually
                                        Automatic or manual? Automatic
                                        Diesel or gas and which engine? 7.3L Turbo-Diesel
                                        What year? 2003
                                        MPG highway and in town? Best hwy was 20mpg - North Atlanta to St. Augustine, FL and around town for the week before filling up. Varies between 17 and 20 usually depending on terrain. Normal in town is about 15 to 16 mpg.
                                        MPG highway towing? Last weekend we averaged 10 to 13 mpg going to pick up a horse in FL. Once we hit the highway I typically keep it between 60 and 75 mph, depending on the local speed limits, flow of traffic and construction zones. Construction zones sometimes slow us down to 45 to 50 mph. Safety first.
                                        What are you towing? 4 horse head to head Sundowner (7500 lbs empty) Sunlite 740

                                        We love our truck. I'm looking for another one to trade our Excursion in on that also has the 7.3.
                                        David A. Staples
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