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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's not like I didn't expect to get bad gas mileage when towing, but I thought what I got yesterday was particularly bad, and I was hoping to hear from others what they get.

When pulling the empty trailer around, I got about 13mpg, maybe a bit more. Yesterday when hauling the horses I got 11.5. Most (90%?) of the driving was on highways, going about 60-65 mph. I didn't think adding the horses would make that much difference, as the trailer empty is about 4k pounds empty and with them is 6k.

When I haul them to our new place, I'm going to be going through mountains, and I was planning on taking maybe 500 pounds of hay also. I'm now scared of what THAT mileage is going to look like, and how often I will have to stop for gas. I wish my truck had the auxillary gas tank.

Truck is a 2017 F-250 and I had filled it up with medium octane gas, as the manual said that it would get better gas mileage towing if I put a better quality of gas in it.

For those who trailer: what do you guys drive and pull, and what kind of mileage do you get?
 

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With my 2010 Tundra (5.7L RWD crew-cab flatbed), pulling an ~3000lb 2-place BP with two critters loaded, I generally average about 14 MPG. This for local towing; flat to moderately hilly. In the mountains mileage drops a bit; it uses considerably more going up, but recovers some coming back down.
I drive with a very light foot on the gas pedal when transporting The Kids.
I doubt the weight of ten bales of hay will make very much difference. If you're putting it on top of the trailer, try to fix things up to minimize the wind resistance as much as possible. Put as much as you can in the trailer, or in the bed of your truck.
And just FWIW, when I first got the Tundra, I ran a couple of tanks of the recommended "Premium" fuel thru it. Yes, it did get a little bit better mileage, but nowhere near enough to offset the cost. I just run Regular gas from the pumps at Safeway (often a 10 - 20 cent/gallon discount). I see a much bigger hit when we switch to "Oxygenated" gasoline during the winter months; pretty close to 10% on all of my vehicles :p
This really makes me question the reasoning behind adding Ethanol, but we won't go there . . .
Oh, yeah: If you are worried about range, toss a full 5-gallon gas can in with the load. Probably you will never need it, but its presence will assuredly reduce your stress level when the gauge gets near "E".
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
@george the mule no, I was planning on putting the hay in the bed of the truck, or maybe a bale or two inside the trailer. I got some extra length in the trailer and hooks in the front, to where you can attach something like a bale of hale to the bulkhead wall. I might also be able to put a bale in the dressing room.

I like the idea of the can of gas, I may well do that.

Also I'm glad you ran the numbers on the gas mileage. I'll skip the premium from now on.
 

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When hauling 2 horses with my sons F250 (gas as fuel) truck I got about 10-11 miles per gallon on flat to moderately hilly ground. I tow a 3 horse slant trailer (bumper pull) mileage in my diesel F250 is moderately better (12-14) with 2 horses and this truck gets up to 20mpg with no trailer
 

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When we had our Gas 2500 (2004 Ram) we would get about 13-15 without the trailer and 8 with our 4h weekender trailer. Down to as low as 6 if we went to the southern very hilly part of the state. Stopping for gas all of the time and trying to find a station where we could fit into the pumps was the reason we bought a diesel. We kept the gas truck around for the next 2 years until last month when we bought our 1 ton so we kept both diesels and sold the gas truck. The last 2 years I used the gas truck to take our stock trailer or 2h weekender to rides if we were using the diesel to tow the horse trailer. DH always put a gas can in the back for me in case I couldn't find a place to fit in or ended up in a pinch.
 

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Our truck when hauling on major interstate I95 and I75 averaged 12 - 14 miles towing..
The heavier the trailer and load, the faster you drive the worse your mileage shall be.
I was towing a 30 something foot enclosed car hauler loaded at about 10,000 pounds..
Just the truck cruising we averaged near 20 miles with a 2500 Dodge 4x4, 4-door cab, Hemi engine.

As for hay in your truck bed...traveling.. :cautious:
I would not...
What are you going to do if you drive through a rain squall unexpected?
You do realize that at the speeds you write of needing to travel and how long your will be traveling you will also rip the bales of a noticeable amount of product
Put the bales inside your tack room if you must behind where you keep your emergency equipment and tire needs...
Place tarps on the floor and cover them if you are worried about some hay pieces on the floor.
If they must be in the truck then you need special hay bags that seal and are waterproof like we used on the goosenecks with roof racks...Do not risk your hay to weather conditions though or risk near total loss...
🐴... jmo...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
You don't think I could just cover it with a tarp or something?
 

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Tell you what I would do..put some garbage bags filled in the bed and cover them with a tarp.
Now go for a drive at the speeds you will be towing at...and remember the turbulents towing a trailer change in your truck bed...Remember you will be driving for hours at a time at high speeds not a 20 minute jaunt...
No, I think to tarp you will have a billowing mess obstructing your view, distracting your attention and possibly ruining your trucks paint job.
I would not.
You also go back to the equation of load balance and that special hitch and ride heights cause the trailer on the truck and now add the pounds in front of the rear truck axle as you will do...nope.
You just changed the geometry.
Your trailer is made to carry large horses, far bigger than your ponies and then you custom sized everything to warmblood...the trailer is made and balanced better than your truck bed with the trailer tongue weight hanging off the bumper and hitch.
🐴... jmo...
 

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AC, if you're concerned, put down a plastic tarp, set the bales on it, and wrap it back across them. Bungie it good so it don't flap in the breeze. Even if the hay gets wet, so what; you will be feeding it out when you get where you're going anyway. I'd be disinclined to worry about it; check the forecast, and don't set out if storms are in the forecast. Especially driving in the mountains this time of year.
I've stacked 24 bales on my flatbed, uncovered, and hauled it 50 or 60 miles at highway speeds. A few strands blew away when I first got up to speed, but overall loss was negligible. Maybe if the bales were very loose you might lose more?
Edit to add: If you get some of those huge "Contractor" trash bags, I'd bet you could get a standard two-string bale in one, and tie it closed. But again, I just can't imagine it being a problem, and it's only 10 bales worst case. Toss the tarp and some bungies behind the seat, and worry about it if and when the need arises.
 

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I drive a 2016 Super Duty F-250. So that's diesel. My open stock trailer is 20' long. Probably weighs about 6k lbs. Hauling two horses and travelling on the interstate at 70 mph, I get 14 mpg. My old LQ trailer is 24' long and with the two horses inside it weighs around 11k lbs. At 70 mph, I get 10 mpg.
 

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i have a 2006 f250 diesel. I think i get upper 14 mph without a trailer and lower 14 with a trailer. ~5000 pounds. Doesn't make much difference, not sure if the kind of driving i do is different with/without trailer.
 

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You don't think I could just cover it with a tarp or something?
All my hay is what gets put in the back of my pickup (10+ years) or flat trailer (since spring) and brought home at 65-80 mph. Bermuda hay, at least, does NOT fly around when baled. Once a bale was opened, putting it in a big garden garbage bag would do it. There isn't much wind in the back of a pickup, particularly as it goes fast. You might use a ratchet to keep it up against the cab. Or against the tail gate.

FWIW, just finished a trip to Utah. On I-17 from Phoenix to Flagstaff, average traffic speed was 80-85 mph. We'll probably suck up the high prices and get either a Tundra or Ram 1500 sometime soon. Don't see myself TRYING to keep up 85 mph on I-17 with horses! There is a reason for a "slow lane". I'm very interested in the subject of this thread.

On one long downhill stretch southbound of Flagstaff, I was just trying to stay in the traffic flow. Looked down at the speedometer near the bottom...105 mph! In Arizona, at least, those signs beside the road are treated as advisory signs, not limits. In Utah, on 89, I mostly obeyed the speed limits. But at 70 mph, someone with a 4-horse trailer blew past me like I was standing still. Might have been empty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Maybe this is the next thing for me to experiment with on the truck -- load it up with hay bales and see what happens. It would be Bermuda and Alfalfa.

BTW I see I neglected to note that my truck is gas, not diesel. Seems like people are right that diesels get better mileage. I'm still happy I got the gas, I think it suits my needs better. But interesting to note that there really does seem to be a difference.
 
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I have a 2005 Toyota Tundra and get about 14 mpg without the trailer and about 12 with 2 horses in a gooseneck 4 horse trailer. I do a lot of camping with horses and put the hay in the back of the pick-up. I don't notice losing much hay as I haul to the camp site. I drive from 1 hr. to 2 1/2 hours to different places to camp.
. A few strands blew away when I first got up to speed, but overall loss was negligible.
If I am planning to camp for 4 or 5 days and rain is predicted, I put the bales in those construction trash bags. It keeps it dry until the trip is over.
 

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We had a 1992 one ton crew cab dually Ford 7.3 engine, but it was an International engine, not the Powerstroke. That truck got the best mileage of any rig on the place. We routinely got 25 not pulling the trailer, and around 20 pulling it. The trailer we had was a 6 horse reverse slant. Loved that rig. Anyway, both were destroyed in a wreck.
 

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Maybe this is the next thing for me to experiment with on the truck -- load it up with hay bales and see what happens. It would be Bermuda and Alfalfa.
Hi again, AC.
Alfalfa bales are typically looser than grass hay. I can picture a bale of nice leafy Alfalfa eroding away under the continuous 70MPH wind of the freeway. Put your Alfalfa either in the trailer, or in the bed up against the cab.
 

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5.4 would be around 10mpg and the V10 about 6mpg with that load. Don't remember the engine you have. From what you've said I'd say that's better than expected.
 

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Our main pickup is a GMC with a Duramax (diesel 6.6L) Not towing, seems to average about 19 mpg on the highway.
Our trailer is a heavy gooseneck stock trailer weighs 6300 lbs empty. Loaded with all the horses probably closer to 11K-12K. I know I've loaded it heavier with cows. Pickup averages between 11-14 mpg depending on the speed, terrain and amount of start/stops.

If you are hauling some hay I'd haul it in the bed of the pickup. The majority of hay is hauled untarped on semis and trailers. The only hay we tarped when we owned hay trucks was the horse hay headed to So Cal. It was under contract to be hauled tarped regardless of the weather just to say it's always been covered so they could charge for it accordingly. The bales don't get beat up if baled correctly. The high dollar, high test dairy hay we hauled out of Nevada and Utah to California didn't get tarped either.
If you are worried about rain on your hay in the bed of your pickup, you can buy a tarp. A heavier truck tarp with D rings sewn in the edge. Tarp it tight with bungees as mentioned previously. Billowing tarps is tacky and it will beat your tarp up. It'll completely shred the cheap blue or even silver tarps in a matter of minutes at highway/freeway speed leaving annoying blue tinsel stuck to your bales.

I imagine you'll be overnighting at least once on your trip. Avoid cutting open the bales in the back of your pickup if you can. Depending on how your trailer is configured, I put the bale(s) I'm feeding as I'm traveling in the back of the trailer, drivers side corner next to the back door. That's my dead space in my trailer by how my horses ride(slanted). After I feed I tie the bale back together as tight as I can with the original twine so it doesn't get knocked loose or blow around.

I don't like to put hay in my tack room(when I had a trailer with one) as it makes a mess, especially if you have carpet. Also it was lockable and while moving it made for a space to haul items I might need to get to right away or put overnight bags to free up space in the pickup.
 

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Since my husband was in a roll over accident with the diesel Denali, totalled, I have been using an older 3/4 ton gas Chev to haul. My trailer is a 3 horse steel slant with a fiberglass roof. With one horse, I would be lucky to get 10 mpg, probably less. With 2 horses, I am gonna kill that truck!
 
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