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I have had a Cub Cadet ZRT50 for sale since last summer and my sister and brother-in-law saw it while they were here for Thanksgiving. Last week they asked me to take it to them during our Christmast visit - which I was more than happy to do since it got it empitied my garage and filled my wallet.
I called U-Haul and rented a 5x9 tailer (one way) and loaded the lawn mower, securing it with ratchet straps and headed towards Tennessee.
Although my gas mileage has not been the most stellar (I have had the HyHi into the dealer to have them check it with No result) the mileage drop while pulling this trailer was ... astounding.
The weight of the trailer *empty* is 1,050 lbs and the mower is 560 lbs - so we'll call it 1,600. The rated towing capacity of the HyHi is 3,500 lbs.
I started the hourney with a full tank of 87 octane gas. Temps were in the 60's - a very warm December in Kentucky.
Tank one was filled after only driving 199.1 miles with 12.728 gals = 15.61
Tank two was filled after only driving 208.1 miles with 14.010 gals = 14.93
I've been averaging a dismal ~20 mpg anyway but a drop of 25% seems to be on the high side of abnormal to me.
Has anyone else had any experience with MPG drop while trailer towing?
regarding "performance" vs "FE"....I disagree - at least compared to the non-hybrid version of the Highlander. It also seems to me that there are "people" that are getting 30+ mpg in their HyHi - which further exacerbates my consternation in only being able to achieve ~20 mpg ..... (even looking at the DB on this website you can see that there are many drivers that are getting better mpg).
The HyHi that I am driving is a 2009 4WD.
The trailer did not have its own brakes, but it was loaded properly with the CG at the "arrows" on the trailer and the toungue weight checked for proper balance (slightly forward) prior to it being attached to the 2" ball. I did not lift and rotate each wheel to confirm that the wheel bearings were "OK", but the service tag showed that it had been inspected in November/2008.
One interesting note is that I have heard that the HyHi is set (CPU) to run "rich" during the first 5000 miles and that it changes following the passage of that mile marker. I do not know if this is "electronically" changed via the CPU or at the dealer when they perform the 5000 mile "first oil change" - but I did notice an improvement in my highway mileage (MFD showes 26.4 mpg at 1/2 tank ... the most I've ever seen is ~22) for the first time after passing the 5000 mile marker while on this trip (or just the higher ambient temperatures...) but this will be easy to confirm.
On the hwy traveling at hwy speeds your HH has NO advantage over my '01 AWD RX300.
Keep in mind that the ICE in your HH is pretty severely DERATED and therefore REQUIRES the use of the electrics for acceleration and possibly in your case for pulling that extra load and in your example most likely with family and luggage on board. Since there is little or no opportunity for FREE recharging of the hybrid battey the ICE, DERATED ICE, must be used for that too. Pretty LOSSY path, that.
Oh, EPA estimates for the '09 4WD HH are 27/25...
So I would view those 30 MPG posts with a grain of salt.
Maybe I'm expecting too much from a Hybrid SUV. I think it's the "promise" of FE that has me disappointed. Reality is, well, real.
I wouldn't feel so bad if I were getting 25mpg and it dropped to ~20 with the mower in tow, but to not even get close to the perported 27/25 under "normal" driving conditions makes the towed mpg difficult to see.
As you stated, the HH ICE is derated (3.3) compared to the standard Highlander (3.6) as is the towing capacity (3500 vs 5000). I wonder how much the standard Highlander's FE would drop towing the same package and am "guessing" that my ~15 mpg is still better than what they could achieve.
Anyway - it was a good experience and I learned that the HH with it's CVT can pull that trailer configuration without feeling like I was towing a trailer.
This combo is 4000 lbs. Vehicle + 3200 lbs Trailer.
Prior to purchasing that big white trailer, I towed 2600 lbs. with a U-Haul and the set-up looked like this:
Basically, I put the same stuff, into an enclosed trailer so it wouldn't get wet.
I'm getting about 19 MPG Highway, and more like 26 MPG city pulling all that with a 2.3L Ford Hybrid. I do notice the battery pack gets a lot more usage, but that's what it's there for. BTW... I've gone up and down the Rocky Mountains of Colorado towing the 2600 lb. package. It bogs down on the 7% slopes but made it at 45 MPH.
We tow a 2007 Casita 17' trailer with our 2006 HiHy. Very pleased with the performance of the HiHy while towing! We average around 16-19 MPG towing at 60-65 MPH.
We average 26-30 MPG with regular driving at posted speed limits.
I was just thinking about this topic because of some recent towing.
2006 HiHy, AWD, towing a 19' motorboat. Boat and trailer come right in at the max 3500lb rating for the vehicle. Usually the trailering is just a few miles between cabin / gas station / boat ramp. However, I recently did a Mississippi River trip (put in in North Minneapolis, through five locks and dams, turned around at Wabasha MN) that required me to trailer the boat 150 miles each direction.
Normal Mileage - 23mpg mixed
First 150 miles with boat, tailwind, 65mph - 17.5mpg
Second 150 miles with boat, headwind, 65mph - 12.1mpg
It's the wind that gets you.
Thinking about starting a topic asking folks what their worst mileage experience is, wondering if anyone can "beat" my 12.1.