Monday, September 24, 2012

September Trek Trip Summary

Days on the road - 25


Distance traveled - 9,411 Kms (5,848 miles)
Fuel fill ups - 22
US Gallons consumed - 522.24
MP(US)G - 11.20
Mileage at end of trip - 74,730 Kms (46,437 miles)


Distance traveled - 1,668 Kms (1,036 miles)
Fuel fill ups - 7
US Gallons consumed - 27.21
MP(US)G - 38.07
Mileage at end of trip - 240,552 Kms (149,479 miles)

This was a good trip. The Avalanche was again a comfortable way to travel and the trailer tracked and towed well (when loaded properly). Two issues with the larger trailer became evident. The fuel mileage looks like it is about 2 MP(US)G worse than with the smaller 5 x 10 single and parking can be an issue in some locations.

Now that we have the bigger trailer, I considered the option of getting another small trailer for long runs. A new one would run us about $6,000 total. Using worst case numbers, if we were to tow 15,000 miles in a season, we would burn 1,500 gallons. At $4.00 per USG, that would put our fuel cost at $6,000. If we achieved a 20% reduction in fuel with a smaller trailer, that would save us $1,200 over the season. Based on this, the payback for a second unit is too long.

We want to keep the current trailer to sleep in for camping rallies, so our best option appears to be to keep towing it for all our trips. One enhancement will be to add a second transmission cooler to the truck since, on long grades on warm days, the transmission temperature can get above 200 F. One way to keep the costs down, looking at the most recent trip, will be to be a bit more discriminating in picking where we will show up. The side trip to Maine added almost 2,000 towing miles to the trip, an expensive proposition. We could have either gone on to Arkansas from Frankenmuth, stopping to explore areas along the way, or left the trailer in Michigan and just taken the truck to Maine to visit our New England friends. At 20 MP(US)G, would have resulted in significant savings.

We are still happy with our decision to trailer and are very happy with the truck. Trailer questions settled, we can now get down to work planning our tours for next season (and maybe even a trip south this fall).

Approximate trip route:

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