Titan towing adventure and fuel comparison - Nissan Titan Forum
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-13-2018, 09:15 AM Thread Starter
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Titan towing adventure and fuel comparison

This weekend I'm using my '08 Titan KC LWB to tow my race rig across five states to race at Sonoma Raceway. My 24' enclosed race trailer is about 9K fully loaded, but it's the front and side aspects that also impact fuel mileage. Yesterday, we had 40-50 MPH headwinds as I headed west on I-80. Mileage went from 7.5 MPG down to less than 5 MPG at its worst. Wondering if anyone with a 2017 on up second-gen Titan with the VK56VE knows what their MPG is towing into a headwind? Does it impact fuel mileage as much as on my older VK56DE?
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-15-2018, 11:52 AM
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Re: Titan towing adventure and fuel comparison

I have a '17 Pro4x CC and I would expect mine to get that MPG pulling a 9000 lb enclosed trailer with 40-50 MPH headwinds at highway speeds. There aren't many trucks that would do better then that. I get around 12-13 mpg when pulling a 4500lb Travel Trailer with a 40 MPH headwind.
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-16-2018, 08:13 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Titan towing adventure and fuel comparison

Thanks for the reply. I was hoping the new Titan would do better, but looking at the specs, I suspected not. Do you use premium unleaded in your Pro4X CC?
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-17-2018, 09:58 AM
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Re: Titan towing adventure and fuel comparison

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Thanks for the reply. I was hoping the new Titan would do better, but looking at the specs, I suspected not. Do you use premium unleaded in your Pro4X CC?
No, I just use the regular, which is 87 octane in my area. I tried non-oxy 93 octane in it once just to feel how it is supposed to perform and it loved that. Had better MPG and ran better in general... not worth the price difference though.

If you are looking for anything better then that for towing you will have to go with a full size diesel. I have towed that much (very large fish house 9500 lbs) with an Ecoboost F-150 in the conditions that you describe and it was getting about 7 MPG at best. My brother in law has towed the same trailer with an F-350 powerstroke and gotten 18-20 MPG going 70-80 MPH. He says it is about the same with his current 3500 Silverado Duramax.

I have always found that if you are towing close to the limit of your truck a lot of the time it is probably time for a bigger truck.
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-21-2018, 09:31 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Titan towing adventure and fuel comparison

Surprisingly, I switched from a Chevy C3500 CC dually with a 454 and 4.11 rear. Mileage was consistently around 5-5-5 MPG, and it was always in need of repair. The Titan usually gets better mileage and has more modern features, so I'm happy with it.
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-24-2018, 01:27 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Titan towing adventure and fuel comparison

Just returned from the return trip to Denver from Sonoma and have a few more details to add. Going through California, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming and Colorado on I-80 saw a average of 6.5 MPG towing my 9,000 # enclosed trailer. From near sea level to climbing over 7,000 ft. over the Continental Divide, I was hoping for more, but the hilly terrain through mountains and deserts made it difficult. Glad I added the PML deep tranny pan to keep temps down and shifts crisp. The Titan continues to pull strongly and smoothly, but using the older VK56DE and five speed tranny, I wonder how the VK56VE and 7-speed tranny would do.

My Titan also uses Bilstein HD shocks, Firestone RR airbags, and E-Q-izer antisway hitch, which kept things riding well under some pretty windy conditions across the western U.S. Again, I wonder if the Titan HD chassis might be a help with the type of load I'm carrying. The answer to all these questions is probably 'yes' to all, but the cost of a new truck makes it unlikely.
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-24-2018, 02:00 PM
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Re: Titan towing adventure and fuel comparison

Pulling 6k pounds with maybe 10 mph winds, rolling hills, and going 65-70 I averaged 10 mpg a couple weeks ago. This was an open car hauler with an SUV on the back.

I towed an enclosed U-Haul one time that may have weighed 3000 pounds fully loaded on a flat 200 mile trip. Probably averaged 50 mph with some highway stop lights and such. Think I got 7 mpg.

The enclosed trailer is a HUGE parachute on the back of your truck.


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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-25-2018, 01:28 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Titan towing adventure and fuel comparison

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Originally Posted by LaxDfns15 View Post
Pulling 6k pounds with maybe 10 mph winds, rolling hills, and going 65-70 I averaged 10 mpg a couple weeks ago. This was an open car hauler with an SUV on the back.

I towed an enclosed U-Haul one time that may have weighed 3000 pounds fully loaded on a flat 200 mile trip. Probably averaged 50 mph with some highway stop lights and such. Think I got 7 mpg.

The enclosed trailer is a HUGE parachute on the back of your truck.
Thanks for your feedback and yes, that enclosed trailer is a HUGE parachute on my Titan! But it really helps on those hot days at the racetrack when you need some shade. There's also the cold, rainy days when a sturdy shelter in the paddock makes a HUGE difference. Besides that, parts and tire storage plus having tools and items SECURE going cross-country is priceless. Some would say I should look for a more lightweight or aerodynamic trailer, but the cost of those would be $10-20K more than what I currently have.

I keep hoping that superb Nissan engineering will come up with a gas=powered powertrain that might get quantum mileage figures better than my '08 Titan. But as Doug G has pointed out, the only real solution is probably to go with a turbo diesel rig. But I love my first-gen Titan enough that probably isn't going to happen anytime soon. Any other second gen Titan owners out there towing an enclosed trailer on a regular basis? How about those 5.0 Cummings HD Titans? What kind of mileage are they getting while towing?
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-28-2018, 12:55 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Titan towing adventure and fuel comparison

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No, I just use the regular, which is 87 octane in my area. I tried non-oxy 93 octane in it once just to feel how it is supposed to perform and it loved that. Had better MPG and ran better in general... not worth the price difference though.

If you are looking for anything better then that for towing you will have to go with a full size diesel. I have towed that much (very large fish house 9500 lbs) with an Ecoboost F-150 in the conditions that you describe and it was getting about 7 MPG at best. My brother in law has towed the same trailer with an F-350 powerstroke and gotten 18-20 MPG going 70-80 MPH. He says it is about the same with his current 3500 Silverado Duramax.

I have always found that if you are towing close to the limit of your truck a lot of the time it is probably time for a bigger truck.
Hey DougG- how much better fuel mileage did you measure with premium unleaded? Any thoughts on whether towing on premium fuel would have made a significant difference?
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-29-2018, 07:47 AM
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Re: Titan towing adventure and fuel comparison

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Hey DougG- how much better fuel mileage did you measure with premium unleaded? Any thoughts on whether towing on premium fuel would have made a significant difference?
I saw a few MPG better when using premium non-oxy and not towing (best went from 21.2 to 24.5 MPG). The engine loved it so no surprise on the better mileage. Ethanol is definitely a party killer when it comes to engine efficiency. I would expect maybe 1-2 MPG better while towing considering how much my engine liked it, so this may equal 5-20% improvement in mileage depending upon the weight being towed.

I remember the owners manual from my previous Nissan truck saying that I should never use more then 10% ethanol blended fuel in it, then it did a parenthetical... (the less ethanol the better). Made my wife and I laugh quite a bit, since we both believe that ethanol is a scam that depletes aquifers (four gallons of water to make one gallon of ethanol) and would cost more then non-oxy gas without the subsidies the government gives it.

I had a GMC truck back in 2003 and it was having shifting issues, so I went in to the dealership and the head service tech asked me where I was buying fuel. I told him Holiday, because that is where the dealership gave me a card for 30 cents off a gallon. He said that I should never buy fuel from holiday, because they put more ethanol in it than any other gas station and since it makes the engine fire poorly, it in turn makes the transmission shift poorly. So I stopped buying fuel at Holiday and the transmission issues stopped. Proof enough to me that ethanol doesn't belong in motor fuel.
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-29-2018, 07:55 AM
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Re: Titan towing adventure and fuel comparison

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Thanks for your feedback and yes, that enclosed trailer is a HUGE parachute on my Titan! But it really helps on those hot days at the racetrack when you need some shade. There's also the cold, rainy days when a sturdy shelter in the paddock makes a HUGE difference. Besides that, parts and tire storage plus having tools and items SECURE going cross-country is priceless. Some would say I should look for a more lightweight or aerodynamic trailer, but the cost of those would be $10-20K more than what I currently have.

I keep hoping that superb Nissan engineering will come up with a gas=powered powertrain that might get quantum mileage figures better than my '08 Titan. But as Doug G has pointed out, the only real solution is probably to go with a turbo diesel rig. But I love my first-gen Titan enough that probably isn't going to happen anytime soon. Any other second gen Titan owners out there towing an enclosed trailer on a regular basis? How about those 5.0 Cummings HD Titans? What kind of mileage are they getting while towing?

From the few people I know that have the Titan XD with a Cummins. They basically say that they get 16 MPG doing everything... it doesn't wander. Loaded or unloaded... highway or city. I have also heard or people that I don't know getting better and worse. I have heard as low as 10 and as high as 25. I was thinking of the diesel when I bought my truck, but being in Minnesota and probably not needing it to tow that much as well as diesel being 70 cents more a gallon here at the time, I went with the gas engine.
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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-30-2018, 08:20 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Titan towing adventure and fuel comparison

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From the few people I know that have the Titan XD with a Cummins. They basically say that they get 16 MPG doing everything... it doesn't wander. Loaded or unloaded... highway or city. I have also heard or people that I don't know getting better and worse. I have heard as low as 10 and as high as 25. I was thinking of the diesel when I bought my truck, but being in Minnesota and probably not needing it to tow that much as well as diesel being 70 cents more a gallon here at the time, I went with the gas engine.
Thanks again for the replies and feedback. One concern with the Titan XD with the Cummins is the increased maintenance (filters and urea) that is required for the turbo diesel to function. Apparently, these parts are pricey and only available through the dealer at this point. Perhaps in the future, if I'm still looking to purchase a used truck, would I consider a diesel. But here in Colorado, the price of diesel is about 30-50 cents a gallon more, so it's still hard to save much, if any money, on a diesel.

In the meantime, I'll try topping off a tankful with non-oxy regular unleaded. I don't expect a whole bunch from my VK56DE, but it's in good tune and running well after the long tow.
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-30-2018, 06:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkmura View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by DougG View Post
From the few people I know that have the Titan XD with a Cummins. They basically say that they get 16 MPG doing everything... it doesn't wander. Loaded or unloaded... highway or city. I have also heard or people that I don't know getting better and worse. I have heard as low as 10 and as high as 25. I was thinking of the diesel when I bought my truck, but being in Minnesota and probably not needing it to tow that much as well as diesel being 70 cents more a gallon here at the time, I went with the gas engine.
Thanks again for the replies and feedback. One concern with the Titan XD with the Cummins is the increased maintenance (filters and urea) that is required for the turbo diesel to function. Apparently, these parts are pricey and only available through the dealer at this point. Perhaps in the future, if I'm still looking to purchase a used truck, would I consider a diesel. But here in Colorado, the price of diesel is about 30-50 cents a gallon more, so it's still hard to save much, if any money, on a diesel.

In the meantime, I'll try topping off a tankful with non-oxy regular unleaded. I don't expect a whole bunch from my VK56DE, but it's in good tune and running well after the long tow.
Filters & such are all available aftermarket.

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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-30-2018, 08:05 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Titan towing adventure and fuel comparison

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Filters & such are all available aftermarket.
Any idea about aftermarket pricing of the filters and the particular urea supply?
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-30-2018, 09:30 PM
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Filters & such are all available aftermarket.
Any idea about aftermarket pricing of the filters and the particular urea supply?
Amazon seems to be the cheapest, they have FleetGuard.
Walmart labeled Urea is almost as cheap as what you can get at a truck stop pump .

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