#1: THE RIGHT VEHICLE FOR THE JOB –
For us, that vehicle is a 2014 Ram 3500 with a 6.7L Cummins Turbo Diesel. When towing, Diesel engines are about 20% more efficient than their gasoline equivalents. Our truck has had the power to pull our tiny home over the Appalachians and the Rockies as well as across the Great Plains – with varying mileage of course. On flat ground with a good road, we can do upwards of 10 mpg (somedays even 11-12) but with elevation we’ve been as low as 8.5 mpg.
#2: TAKE A LOAD OFF –
Weight is a big part of the equation. Anything you can do to lighten the load – do it. For us, it’s mean downsizing even more that we initially did. A few lucky folks out there have received free stuff (especially our friends over at Goodwill) others have purchased our heavy-treasures on Craigslist. Since we only have one tank on board, a 36 gallon fresh water tank, we make sure to take showers before we leave and only haul the water we absolutely need.
#3: AERODYNAMICS –
These are tips for all tow-ers, and is a touchy subject for us and our home. Our tiny house on wheels is the opposite of aerodynamic. We love it, but if we could have helped designed
#4: STANDARD MAINTENANCE –
Though this may seem like a small thing, it’s big deal when you’re towing something large. A clean air filter is huge. Your engine needs about 12,000 times more air than fuel to run. If your filter is old or clogged, you’re throwing the balance out of proportion. Check your filter, tire PSI, oil level, etc.. before hitching up and hauling.
#5: BE SMOOTH –
This is the one that kills Tim and puts Stephanie over the top when it comes to mileage. Steph says, “Accelerate slowly and stop slowly. Be smooth and light on the pedal. Our truck has a MPG meter, keep an eye on that to find the sweet spot for fuel efficiency.”