Does towing consume more fuel?

Of course, you probably have a lot of your own things to haul or tow from time to time. When you’re driving around with these big loads power to move the trailer results in a number of challen­ges.

That power is supplied by your engine, the more gas it’s going to consume. In the completely unique set of driving skills, there are logistics like tongue weight, gross trailer weight, and hitch strength to consider.

Towing is one cost that can get high quickly depending on how much weight you’re intending to tow. In this article, we’ll discuss how much towing decreases your gas mileage as well as the elements that affect MPG and practices you can tow better ways. 

Factors That Affect Gas Mileage

  • The weight of the trailer: This is directly related to the weight you’re carrying the more weight you’re hauling, it doesn’t matter what mileage your car is ranked to get; you’ll surely see it lower. If you’re pulling a heavy trailer, you’ll see that you’re yielding a lot of mileage relying on three things the speed while driving, the weight of the vehicle, and the weight of the trailer.
  • The aerodynamics of the trailer: Aerodynamics plays a huge part in your vehicle and your trailer is more aerodynamic, they’re allowing the wind to pass with minimum drag. Drag is basically the effect of wind drawing on the vehicle and on the vehicle’s towing. More drag is experienced when towing a trailer because having a trailer behind the car adds more surface area, which is affected by the wind.
  • The size of the tow car: The vehicle size is going to affect your gas mileage as the car is smaller than the trailer you’re towing, and more drag is going to accumulate. If your vehicle is bigger, less drag is going to affect the trailer which is a remarkable thing. However, driving a van or a truck for a towing purpose vehicle is not going to impact fuel economy.

Calculate Gas Mileage when towing a Trailer.

The added collective weight of the trailer and cargo reduces gas mileage when towing a trailer. The driving speed, road conditions, and trailer design also determine the distance range per gallon. Regardless, it can be estimated in advance with mileage and fuel consumption records help to figure out the actual gas mileage later with a precise calculation for coming voyages.

Check the vehicle’s gas mileage without the trailer by recording the odometer reading. Fill the tank full of the vehicle then drive until the gas tank is near empty record the ending odometer reading. Deduct the starting from the ending odometer reading to find the miles driven to calculate your vehicle’s normal gas mileage.

The trailer weight will be listed in the trailer’s owner manual Estimate the weight of your trailer including cargo. For smaller loads under 2,500 lbs deduct 10 to 15 percent from the average gas mileage. For medium loads between 2,500 lbs to 5,000 lbs remove 15 to 25 percent; and for heavy trailer loads of 5,000 lbs above, deduct 25 to 35 percent. Calculate the actual gas mileage when towing the mileage by comparing the refill records either trailer hooked or without the load for an accurate measure of fuel consumption in the future.

Does pulling a trailer affect gas mileage?

Towing incredibly impacts the gas mileage of the car, and that mileage lowers in direct proportion to how much weight is carried. In a vehicle with more weight to carry, the additional energy which is fuel is required to move it. The heavier load means getting a higher fuel consumption so towing a large trailer will create a vastly immense reduction in fuel economy. The wind resistance and drag are other major reasons that impact gas mileage while towing. Drag is the effect of wind pulling forces which makes the engine function even tougher when the cargo is overweight.

Is gas or diesel better for towing?

The larger engines practically continuously suffer from lacking gas mileage, and the increased weight from towing doesn’t affect as much bigger may also be better when it comes to towing. The diesel-powered engine instead of regular gasoline can make a difference when both gas and diesel-powered pickup trucks are capable of towing, a diesel does it satisfactorily. With the high torque, a diesel can normally pull more weight than a gas towing. Additionally, diesel engines have more pulling power than gas engines, making the view of diesel engines even more conceivable.  

How do you get better gas mileage?

Driving plays an important role in towing more efficiently, going easy on the pedal, speeding, braking, and rapid acceleration waste gas. Avoiding the traffic by towing power will be much more effective using cruise control set at the speed limit is an easy way to tow. Diesel engines are less affected by this drop-off because they are already generating a lot of power and don’t need extra power to tow. Check Tire Pressure and alignment to stay in balanced motion, frequent starts and stopping repeatedly will empty the vehicle fuel tank quickly.

Explore more: 
How to increase the towing capacity of a vehicle?
What exactly does Towing Capacity mean? 


If you’re going on an extended trip these trailers are incredible as you can just haul them behind your vehicle and have a home that’s following you everywhere you go. Finally, we came to conclude that no matter what you do, it will be hard to increase fuel efficiency if you’re going to be towing. If you’re going to travel, choose to tow wisely and use these tips to improve fuel efficiency by paying attention to driving habits and following a vehicle’s maintenance schedule. Improved gas mileage is good for you, exemplary for your car, without spending as much money, and pleasing for the environment.

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Aaron Bennett is an accomplished author and a true aficionado when it comes to pickup trucks. With an unwavering passion for all things automotive, Aaron has dedicated his life to exploring the world of pickups and sharing his expertise with others. As the proud owner of several powerful machines, he has spent countless hours behind the wheel, navigating rugged terrains and conquering highways with unrivaled enthusiasm.

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