(hotshotting) best mods for rigs used to tow?
Hey guys, i have recently purchased my first dually,13 silverado, and pretty much took it cross country and back the day following purchase. I pulled a 24ft bumper pull enclosed "LOOK" car trailer. I went from l.a., ca. to philly, PA picked up the car, then turned her round and headed to monterey, ca. I came down the coast empty to home base... Time on this project was of the escence, so i am sure i could have made small adjustments when i wasnt in cruise control. I have towed 1 car trailers for 10 years, this was my first trip cross country and back. When the car show is completed, I am going to pull the car back to philly, pa, however i will be doing it in "MY TRAILER" which will be a 24ft gooseneck enclosed trailer, and i believe it is actually lighter overall than the bumper pull. My overall main concern is improving fuel effeciency/ fuel mileage, and my question is what are the most important mods that i should look into, and if i had to put them in an order if i say couldnt just order everything all at once. I have been looking into :
-rear air bags
-mud flaps just so i dont ruin the trailer
I have used dmax dually's in the past as i worked on chevy manufacturere car commercials/media/printwork, i worked with the vehicles, and our workhorses were cclb drw 4x4's, anyhow, this is the first time i have had the pleasure of owning one, and its been over a decade since the first dually i was in, so driving this new one is quite the learning curve, at least lil stuff like the def, and having to make sure i always have at least 5 gallons onboard, at least imo. Time to do first fluid change and chassis lube, basically the 7500mile service. Also, im up for any suggestions from any of you guys who may do alot of long distance, cross country towing, on ways to help save money, like i was planning on sleeping on the upper deck of the gn trailer, we even have a aerobed i was thinkin of trying out. I stayed in hotels on the first leg of the trip just cuz the bumper pull wasnt setup to sleep in.... nor was i prepared to sleep in the trailer. I had to basically jump in the truck and go, so i didnt really have time to prepare so to speak, so i realize a lil common sense can be used for things like drinks and food, basically not buying it from restaurants/rest stop/gas stations, wondering if anyone brings a grill and cooks, with pre- prepared food. wouldnt be hard, to eat good for cheap? what about keeping a firearm in the trailer when you sleep?
thx guys so sorry for the long *** post! I LOVE MY NEW TRUCK SO [email protected]#$! cant wait to use it to pick up my brand new car trailer in a couple days too! ok ok im done.
I would think that fuel cost would be one of your major cost areas to attempt to control. In pulling my 5th wheel trailer, which is pretty tall and fairly flat on its front face, fuel mileage can vary a great deal depending on the wind and it's direction relative to my travel. I've gotten as high as 12 and as low as 6, with the 6 being directly into a 30 MPH headwind, even though I was only going 55. That's still 85 combined and you know what your mileage is like going 85.
I think you need to look carefully at your setup and see if you can't reduce the wind resistance of your trailer. All big-rig trucks use deflectors, and you could maybe do some streamlining of your trailer to help the air flow over the front. And I'm aware that there are some 'tabs' (don't know exactly what they're called) that can be attached to the rear of the trailer's sidewalls that stop the air from causing so much turbulence behind the trailer.
Another thing I would do RIGHT NOW is to check the level of the gear lube in the rear axle. GM is known for under-filling these, mine was about 1 qt low. You don't want your diff to have too little lube, so check it. Only takes a few minutes.
#1 carry more fuel - large tank. Doesnt make sense having to stop multiple times in a day to fuel up. Gives you the avantage of picking and choosing buy fuel where its cheaper.
Since 2007, I have made an average of 4 round trips a year between Chicago & Southern California. Each trip I have
pulled a 24' enclosed tag trailer with a vehicle inside. I never bother to fuel up before leaving as the price per gallon is
usually incentive to fuel in the Davenport, IA area. After that I buy fuel in Central Colorado, and Las Vegas, NV. When
fueled up there is 85 gallon on board. I usually set the cruise on 70-72 MPH and let it run. I do slow down to what ever
the traffic flow is in California. The CHP will usually allow you to cheat the %%MPH as long as you do not cause problems
with the traffic. Except for Illinois, the rest of the states will let you run 70-75. Illinois gas a 55 limit, that will go to 70
as soon as our governor figures out how to use a ball point pen to sign the law.
The last trip was only to Phoenix, AZ.
Average speed: 62.3,
Driving time: 29 Hrs.
Usually it is a solo trip. I pack sandwiches, and cold beverages in a cooler between the seats. I have a bunk in the trailer
and plan to spend every other night in a motel. There were 2 drivers, and we alternated 3 hour shifts. We always got
out of the truck for lunch and usually went for a brief walk to stretch our legs. We drove 900+ miles a day.
The only problem was the weigh stations in Nebraska. They want all pickups pulling trailers to stop & weigh. They will
enforce this. We found out for sure. Next time the trailer will be labeled with "PRIVATE TRAILER" & GVW <10000 signs.
The officer was nice & did nit make us go back to be weighed of issue a ticket. The second scale we stopped for. we were
there maybe 5 minutes, and were on our way.
Efi live is what you need to tune it and have a good tuner make u a few maps. Idaho rob, nick at duramax tuner (who is bata testing efi live for the 13s) just to name a couple.
Usually I'd say ditch all the emissions but on a brand new truck with a warranty I don't know if you want to do that.
Keep the tire pressures up and as others have said, check the fluid levels.
I'd add gauges (edge insight) just because the oem aren't exactly accurate.
For me potty stops were more frequent than fuel stops. I always plan out my routes, so I have and idea when and where I'll be stopping. Make sure you get a good breakfast in some snacks and drinks for rest of the day, and a sit down meal in the evening. This also helped the wife have an idea where and when I would be. Solo driving, no help or teammate any cases.
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I was able to do roughtly 700 miles going to the philly from l.a., and did 800 a day on my way from philly to monterey, ca. Fuel consumption is/was my main concern however deadlines were of the esence as well so im sure i burned more fuel than i should have, but the money is good so its ok this time. I am trying to correct my mistakes best i can for the drive back to drop off the car.
just a update, thanks for all your feedback, fuel economy is my main goal, using gas buddy as an application, and even more helpful is on the actual website they have a trip calculator feature, which can help you plan out your route in terms of fueling, and it allows you to input the fuel economics of your truck, and based on mileage per tank it picks out fueling locations. This site was very helpful, i did this cross country trip 2 times, and on my second cross country trip i was able to greatly reduce the amount of money i spent on fuel. I am wondering is a cold air intake, exhaust, really going to increase fuel economy...? How bout a tuner? I mainly try to really accelerate slowly, try to keep the rpm's down under 2k...? I know my driving habits can greatly have an impact on the fuel mileage. While i have not had time to sit down and actually do a avg mpg based on receipts, the DIC truck life avg shows 11.7mpg, and basically after the 500 break in, this thing has had all of its 13k+miles hwy/towing, in its short 1 month life on the road.
the tuning will help the mileage more than an intake or an exhaust. but combining the 3 will net you the best mileage. banks ram air (if they make it for the 2013s), turbo back (ditch all that emissions junk) and efi live.
on my 05 i've picked up ~3 mpg with a custom cold air and a downpipe back straight pipe and a ppe tune (will change to efi live soon).
IMHO the CAI isn't worth it. A tune would be biggest gain, and as long as your exhaust isn't restricted no real need to change that until needed. Keep tires at optimal pressure and drive as you already do (no jackrabbit starts/stops). I would rank exhaust behind tune but ahead of cai for improvements.
Glad to hear the gas buddy app helped out.
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