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Old 06-03-2014, 08:16 PM   #1
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big TT with a 1500

Just wondering what I can do to increase my MPG.. I am thinking of a chip or computer. I already put bags on the rear. Its a 2012 ram crew 4x4 with 5.7 hemi. I get around 7 MPG now. I am making the trip from NC to Disney in 2 weeks. Thanks
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Old 06-03-2014, 08:46 PM   #2
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A chip or computer tune won't do much with mileage. Maybe gain a little power.
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Old 06-03-2014, 08:51 PM   #3
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I have the Banks Automind and am very happy with it. Banks is known for diesel performance but also have products for gas. You can call them direct and their technical support is awesome.

http://bankspower.com/products/show/395/20
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Old 06-03-2014, 08:55 PM   #4
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The only thing that with improve mpg in current gas engines is to just drive slower. Anything else is snake oil for mpg's
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Old 06-03-2014, 09:01 PM   #5
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I'm wondering how heavy your trailer is. I just spent the past 4 months researching the 2014 33BH and made the determination that my '12 Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn Edition 4x2, with the Hemi 5.7 didn't have enough towing capacity to pull it dry, never mind loaded. Tow weight capacity is 8300 lbs.

But, to answer your question, upgrade to a 2500 or 3500 diesel.
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Old 06-03-2014, 09:03 PM   #6
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Thought about installing a cold air intake/less restrictive exhaust? It won't break any records with MPG but it will increase your MPG's slightly which I'm sure is what your after. http://www.mechanicadvisor.com/nc/wi...custom-exhaust

They redid the exhaust on my F150 for a fraction of the price of one of those box flowmaster kits. Well worth checking out.
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Old 06-03-2014, 09:23 PM   #7
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I did a complete air flow upgrade (cold air intake, less restrictive exhaust) and installed a tuner on my 6.4 power stroke diesel. I went from 15 MPG unloaded highway to 19.5 MPG unloaded highway. It's a 4X4 so the results would have been better with a 4x2 I suspect. Throttle response and torque were also noticeably better. I had similar results doing the same work on my previous truck that had a 5.4 l gas engine. I used the Banks products on the diesel and Hypertech products on the gas engine.

The tuners only maximize the parameters in the computer software but stay with in safe limits as not to damage the engine. Changing physical chips in the power control module (computer) can be tricky and can cause damage if not done correctly.

So with all due respect to the skeptics, my experience is that the tuners and bolt on performance upgrades do work.
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Old 06-03-2014, 09:27 PM   #8
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I did a complete air flow upgrade (cold air intake, less restrictive exhaust) and installed a tuner on my 6.4 power stroke diesel. I went from 15 MPG unloaded highway to 19.5 MPG unloaded highway. It's a 4X4 so the results would have been better with a 4x2 I suspect. Throttle response and torque were also noticeably better. I had similar results doing the same work on my previous truck that had a 5.4 l gas engine. I used the Banks products on the diesel and Hypertech products on the gas engine.

The tuners only maximize the parameters in the computer software but stay with in safe limits as not to damage the engine. Changing physical chips in the power control module (computer) can be tricky and can cause damage if not done correctly.

So with all due respect to the skeptics, my experience is that the tuners and bolt on performance upgrades do work.
Yup all that works great on Diesel engines but for gassers it will not help with mpg (been there, done that)
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Old 06-03-2014, 09:55 PM   #9
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I'd try the cold air intake and cat back exhaust first. Plus, what type of tires do you have?? The chunkier the tire; the less mpg. I usually buy Highway Tread tires when the stock tires wear out.
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Old 06-03-2014, 11:26 PM   #10
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I'd try the cold air intake and cat back exhaust first. Plus, what type of tires do you have?? The chunkier the tire; the less mpg. I usually buy Highway Tread tires when the stock tires wear out.
X2

In addition, the only way to improve your mileage while increasing torque and horsepower over the above advice is with a really good programmer/tuner on a gas engine and actually tune it for premium and then only use premium gasoline - the higher cost of premium pretty much negates the benefits of the slightly better fuel mileage but they are a wash and you will end up with more torque and horsepower. You will feel like you have more power for towing and you will, but you won't really see any savings from the increased economy by putting in more expensive fuel.

There's really only one way to significantly improve your mileage when pulling the trailer with your RAM - upgrade to a 2500/3500 with a 6.7 Cummins - could be a great retrofit project for a 1500!! Only downside - probably an extra $20,000 in cost and that probably isn't an option.

Tuner options - DiabloSport Predator, BullyDog GT, SuperChips.
Best bang for your buck is DiabloSport.

Just do some research and realize that by the time you throw $1,000 to $1,500 at the truck in upgrades, you could have traveled an extra 300 or 400 milles towing your trailer. Return on investment for 1 or 2mpg could take you 3 or more years to recoup.
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Old 06-04-2014, 05:02 AM   #11
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That's actually what I have..the towing on mine is 10400..the camper empy is 8604. I've toweed it twice and it tows great, no joke, just MPG sucks. We pack very light and with the new hitch and airbags it sits level.
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Old 06-04-2014, 07:45 AM   #12
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I had another camper tell me he added 2 mpg when he put a shell topper on his truck. I had a Silverado with one that got better than my current one but it was also 2 wheel drive. My current truck only gets 15, maybe 17 on the interstate, and about 10 towing.
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Old 06-04-2014, 10:23 AM   #13
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7 MPG is pretty low...even for towing. You are likely pushing 9500# loaded, which is alot for your truck. These Zinger's are also pretty tall, so the brick-like aerodynamics come into play.

What speed do you average? We towed at 60-65MPH with our 28' / 5200# Zinger and a 6 cyl. Trailblazer EXT. Average MPG was about 9.5. If you are barreling along at 70MPH or so, you will feel it in the tank.
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Old 06-04-2014, 12:04 PM   #14
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It has been inferred but I will say it again, if you stay between 55-60 it will raise your mileage a lot and not cost anything.
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Old 06-05-2014, 11:03 AM   #15
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I told my wife that I plan on going no more then 60. When I pulled it home I tried to stay at 65. We will see how much this helps. It should and I will let u all know
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Old 06-05-2014, 11:20 AM   #16
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You may be surprised. I can see a difference in my 4cyl. Hyundai Sonata going 60-65 instead of 70.
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Old 06-05-2014, 11:56 AM   #17
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Speed makes a difference no matter what size engine. Just the loss of mpg in a smaller engine is maybe a bit more tolerable.
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Old 06-06-2014, 04:04 AM   #18
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Clayracr44,
I pull with a '14 Ram 1500 and I'm getting about 11 mpg while towing (+/-.5 mpg depending on terrain). BUT, I'm pulling a ST270BH, only 30' overall and 5600# dry. Big difference. The flat nose of your Zinger and the weight are what is killing you in gas consumption and there's not much you can do to change that. That said, I think you are really at the limits of this particular truck and can't expect much more from it. You may get some benefit from a cold air intake, I didn't go that route, just used a drop in K&N air filter.

With a trailer that long, that heavy, I would agree with some others here and go to a 2500 and a diesel engine. And for record, I usually keep it at around 60-62 mph on the highway.
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Old 06-10-2014, 05:15 PM   #19
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There is some great info here. Let me summarize. Gas enegines were never designed to haul heavy loads - look to the hauling industry - diesel is king - full stop. Cat back exhaust does absolutely nothing - it is bling - the restrictions are forward of the CAT. Speed and weight will affect any engine's MPG performance - however, gallon for gallon - a diesel is better. Adding aftermarket gadgets to a "gasser" for towing will be disappointing, and expensive. In my opinion you only really have to options: 1) Grin a bear it (gas engine limitations); OR - 2) buy a diesel.
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