Author Topic: fuel consumption, small TD towing Tvan  (Read 4958 times)

Offline Jeremy Harris

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fuel consumption, small TD towing Tvan
« on: December 10, 2016, 11:28:12 AM »
Hi guys,
New here and new Tvan owner - an 06 Canning.
I love it!  BUT,
I'm freaking out a bit.
Doing the Big Lap, clockwise.  Recently left Melbourne after the Tvan purchase, and am in Radelaide.
I have a 2010 Isuzu Dmax with the 4JJ1 motor.
The motor has a good rep, and has reasonable figures for 2010 technology, but nothing outstanding.

The ute, being about 2.5T loaded, with canopy, roof racks etc etc, gives me 11l/100 which is high compared to nothing bolted on, but has an extra ton.
I have heard some guys say they don't feel their camper trailer when towing.  I certainly feel mine.
In good conditions with the tvan (early days), I'll get 14s, in strong winds, 17s, and hilly terrain, 20l/100.
As per the scan gauge readout.  The pyro gauge sits under 300 (normally about 250) which is somewhat comforting.

I'm concerned because these figures are for relatively mild conditions, not on sand, corrugations etc which I intend travelling.
I'm worried that I'll flog my little ute to death with the van on the back, and with considerable fuel cost.
The tank on the dmax is small and the light normally comes on at about 400kms.

So:
Are those figures ridiculous and should I book in for a scan at a diesel specialist in Adelaide, or
Are these smaller 4 cylinder diesels a bit underpowered for such a trip, towing the canning?
I have been tent camping til now, love not towing, and am feeling like this purchase may have been a mistake.
Previous owner, lovely guy, has a Cruiser 4.5 TT V8 and naturally has no trouble.

Any help would be appreciated!

Thanks,
Jeremy.
0428324836.

Offline Eelezy

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Re: fuel consumption, small TD towing Tvan
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2016, 02:16:21 PM »
Hi mate...yeah I also have the v8 turbo 76 (single turbo) series so towing is no biggy for us, however to answer your main concern re sand etc your fuel consumption may actually improve as your speed will be lower and you will tend to be tottling along rather than highway speeds. People who say they can't feel their trailer are living a fantasy as even though our toyota v8 can certainly pull the tvan easily, you DO know it's there and it definitely does affect the economy...but not so much as your smaller engine does. Don't stress the economy though as in the grand scheme of your trip, the bad economy might end up costing a few hundred bucks (ie a couple of nights out at a restaurant) and the ease of use of your tvan will the worth the extra fuel cost. :)
Chris
In short chuck some duct tape over the scan gauge and just enjoy the trip...lol
« Last Edit: December 10, 2016, 02:20:42 PM by Eelezy »
2014 Mark Three Canning with extras, 76 series V8 Landcruiser...(you know you want one!)

Offline Rob M

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Re: fuel consumption, small TD towing Tvan
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2016, 02:48:40 PM »
Hi,
Further to your questions my experience was similar. I am sure your confidence in the decision will grow the more you tow and you experience success. Self doubt will also be reduced.
You will work out what fuel you need  etc the more you travel.
The Tvan is a great camper. Enjoy.
Cheers
Rob
Previously 2009 Tvan Canning and now Topaz Series2 towed by Landcruier 200 series

Offline Jeremy Harris

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Re: fuel consumption, small TD towing Tvan
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2016, 03:18:56 PM »
Thanks guys
I am frugal I will confess and concerned about overloading my little 4-pot! haha
Appreciate your wisdom.

Offline tastrax

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Re: fuel consumption, small TD towing Tvan
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2016, 03:46:45 PM »
I tow with the same vehicle but I get much better figures than that - seldom over 12/13's. I do however make sure that I keep the weight down on both the car and van. I regularly get (over a long period) 10/11's travelling at highway speeds. We are only a couple, fridge, spares and recovery gear in back of ute and just clothes, food etc in van. Keep it simple is my philosophy. If you are doing the big lap then do a few trials runs and keep chucking out the things that you seldom use.
Cheers - Phil

2006 Tvan Tanami (with a few extras)
2010 Isuzu Dmax LS-U

Offline 2C-OZ

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Re: fuel consumption, small TD towing Tvan
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2016, 07:31:39 PM »
Jeremy your figures seem a bit high but as time goes on you will probably find a better picture. Weight is obviously a factor but it would also be worthwhile to check that the wheels are running freely. Any rise in temperature due to brakes rubbing or bearings adjusted too tight? You said you just picked the van up so worth checking if you have not done so already. Experiment with tyre pressure as well. I love my van behind my BT50 and could also quote those figures but not over a long time. Touring around 13 is common but I also like sitting around 90km/h. The TVan tracks well behind and is comfortable to tow but you have to remember it is a 1000kg+ drag. Enjoy the lap and the van!
John

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John and Mary-Ann
2010 TVan Murranji MkII and 2012 BT50

Offline Young Nomads

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Re: fuel consumption, small TD towing Tvan
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2016, 10:40:19 PM »
Hi mate...yeah I also have the v8 turbo 76 (single turbo) series so towing is no biggy for us, however to answer your main concern re sand etc your fuel consumption may actually improve as your speed will be lower and you will tend to be tottling along rather than highway speeds. People who say they can't feel their trailer are living a fantasy as even though our toyota v8 can certainly pull the tvan easily, you DO know it's there and it definitely does affect the economy...but not so much as your smaller engine does. Don't stress the economy though as in the grand scheme of your trip, the bad economy might end up costing a few hundred bucks (ie a couple of nights out at a restaurant) and the ease of use of your tvan will the worth the extra fuel cost. :)
Chris
In short chuck some duct tape over the scan gauge and just enjoy the trip...lol

Just an example....Fuel economy for us.. Toyota 100 series TDA  towing TVan over the Madigan (lots of dunes and sand)..mostly 40kms/hr at tops..That trip was very different to any other ..more demanding terrain750kms..Mt Dare to Birdsville via The Madigan Line...21l /100kms..rough terrain..10 day trip...slow doesn't necessarily mean low fuel consumption. Your vehicle may be trying a bit harder than quite a few other vehicles...Our TVan only makes it's presence felt when the car is  speeding up or slowing down...(weight only).

As mentioned previously...don't get blinded by the gauges and numbers...put your sunnies on and just drive..LOL

Cheers
Robyn
John & Robyn.
Doing life in our healthy years.
Not waiting for the wealthy years. :D
Your coffin is the only place you can't take your TVan and the hearse doesn't have a towbar!
06 LC 100 TD Auto. & 2012 Canning Tvan with all the fruit.

Offline Phil G

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Re: fuel consumption, small TD towing Tvan
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2016, 10:49:26 PM »
Sounds like you had a headwind - often the case going from Melbourne to Radelaide.
Phil
2003 Tvan behind a 2012 200series Landcruiser

Offline Cuppa

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Re: fuel consumption, small TD towing Tvan
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2016, 10:11:52 AM »
Our tow vehicle is an 'old school' diesel, a Patrol with a 4.2TDi. It is also an ex telstra cab chassis with a canopy which extends above & to the sides of the cab. On top of the canopy & cab are solar panels. The canopy is set up as a camper & carries a fair bit of weight. Fully travel ready around 3700kg (has an increased GVM).  The result of all this is an average of 16.3 litres per 100kms fuel consumption - without the Tvan in tow. To date we haven't towed the Tvan enough to determine how much more it increases the fuel consumption but my gut feeling is that it makes less difference than expected, probably because the top of the Tvan is no higher than the top of the vehicle. We plan long term extended travel, & past travel experience suggests 'sweating it' about fuel consumption is 'overrated'!

We spent 18 months covering around 45,000kms in a bus, & for the first month or two I worried every time I had to put diesel in the tanks. (Fuel was more expensive then, & rising). Eventually I realised the worry was going to wear me down if I didn't do something about it. We sat down & estimated what we thought our total travel distance might be (generously), having established our fuel consumption figures, & allocated funds - estimated again based on then current fuel prices +25% to be sure. This amount then got loaded onto a card used only for fuel. That way whenever we filled up I no longer worried about not having enough as it was a 'fixed expense'. Might not suit everyone but It worked for me. :)

In regard to 'noticing the Tvan, or not' when towing. I am aware of using a few extra revs when towing, & being a bit slower up hills. I tend to use 4th gear more in situations where 5th would be fine without the Tvan. Going slower up hills is more about keeping the EGT's below my self imposed alarm level of 525 deg.C. (mostly below 450).  A solo 100kph hill would be more like an 80kph with the Tvan. Slowing down the brakes on the Tvan make a difference & I find I can actually stop quicker with the Tvan in tow than I can solo!

Another thought which may or may not be relevant is about 'driving style'. I don't know how long you've had a diesel vehicle for, but my experience with our first diesel vehicle was that it took me a couple of months touring to learn to drive it properly. Initially I was driving it like a petrol vehicle, taking a run up at hills & followed by a flurry of changing down gears as as revs died away. Once I learned to 'read' hills, & to select the right gear at the bottom & just let the motor do it's thing remaining in it's torque band, rather than trying to keep to any particular speed, it became more enjoyable (albeit slower) to drive & fuel consumption noticeably improved. (I also went from worrying whether we would make it to the top to having total confidence that it would climb anything I pointed it at). How much this applies to modern common rail diesels I can't say though, never having owned one. 
Big Trip Blog

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2006 Ex Telstra 4.2TDi Patrol based camper & 2010 Tvan Tanami

Offline Doji desi

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Re: fuel consumption, small TD towing Tvan
« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2016, 11:43:47 AM »
Possibly your inlet manifold is gummed up. Probably not an option if you are travelling but our RC Colorado (same same) started using more fuel and after a full clean back to where it should be.

Offline Jeremy Harris

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Re: fuel consumption, small TD towing Tvan
« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2016, 12:36:29 PM »
Thanks for all the replies.
Doji, noted re manifold.  I had a look down the throttle body, it seemed quite good.  My mech said that viewpoint is a good indicator of manifold condition.  Do you agree?

Offline Doji desi

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Re: fuel consumption, small TD towing Tvan
« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2016, 01:16:01 PM »
Yes however while out TB was dirty the inlet was filthy. How is the EGR. The 4JJ is a good engine and that's about all that can be affecting consumption.

Offline Jeremy Harris

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Re: fuel consumption, small TD towing Tvan
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2016, 03:28:03 PM »
Egr was replaced due to a stuff up on my part I'm embarrassed to say. I'll look into it on scan thanks!


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Offline bobbo

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Re: fuel consumption, small TD towing Tvan
« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2016, 11:26:12 AM »
Have you measured actual fuel consumption, i.e. number of litres put into the tank over X kilometres travelled as opposed to just relying on the scan gauge?  My Prado has a fuel consumption gauge on the dash which gives both instantaneous and average consumption and it's really not very accurate.  Actual measured fuel consumption can be 1-2 litres/hundred km different to what the dash shows, and the difference is not consistent - it could be over or under.

You might find your consumption is different (hopefully better) than what you think it is.

Offline Jim and Lyn

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Re: fuel consumption, small TD towing Tvan
« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2016, 08:21:36 PM »
Gday Jeremy,
My last tug was a TD5 Discovery which turned similar figures to yours. I busted a tooth on fifth just before a big trip out Birdsville way for a few months and after advice did the trip only using fourth. While she sounded a bit revvy I got better economy. Can't remember the figures but I posted something about it. It's pretty hard not to slip it into top but, particularly at speeds under 85-90, it is possible to resist!!! Having learnt my lesson I only use fifth over 75 kph as a general diesel rule. They like being in the right rev/torque zone
You have to consider this in light of the sort of mods you may have done, particularly tyre sizes which effect gearing.
Cheers
Jim
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