Fuel Consumption

Submitted: Saturday, Feb 05, 2005 at 22:08
ThreadID: 121771 Views:9419 Replies:7 FollowUps:11
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We are currently going through the preparations for retirement and plan to get a BT and something to tow it with. I have been partial to Landcruisers for years and currently tow a 4X4 camper trailer.

We currently contemplate about a 18ft BT and thought a intercooled turbo LC would pull it along. From the forum I notice the popularity of F250s.

Particularly those who have had a LC and swapped to F250, what is the change in fuel consumption, towing and not towing?

Thanking you in anticipation
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Reply By: Paul and Barb - Sunday, Feb 06, 2005 at 06:16

Sunday, Feb 06, 2005 at 06:16
I initally had an intercooled turbo Landcruiser to tow my our 18' BT, fuel consumption when not towing was 12 - 13 L per 100K, when towing it went up to 22 - 24 L per 100K. I currently have an F250 and fuel consumption when not towing is around 17L per 100K, when towing it is consistently 19 - 20 L per 100K.

The difference in power between the two vehicles is huge, towing with the F250 is so much better, the Ford is a much better proportioned vehicle to tow the BT with, and very comfortable to drive in.

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Follow Up By: Noosa Fox - Sunday, Feb 06, 2005 at 20:37

Sunday, Feb 06, 2005 at 20:37
Our 2001 Model Landcruiser T/D towing 21 ft BT was using 25lt/100 when towing between Sunshine Coast & Melbourne. With the F250 on our trip last year over to WA through Kimberley and Pilbara areas, we had an overall average of 22.5lts/100.

Otherwise the our comments about the vehicles are the same as Paul & Barb.
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Follow Up By: Andy1 - Monday, Feb 14, 2005 at 16:36

Monday, Feb 14, 2005 at 16:36

I just noticed - you have purchased an F250!!!!

When do George & Helga get theirs?

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Reply By: Cobradave - Monday, Feb 07, 2005 at 01:16

Monday, Feb 07, 2005 at 01:16
The older 4 speed Landcruiser TD were a lot thirstier than the current model. I have the 2003 5 speed model with 25% more torque than the stock model using 10.5 L/100 km around town and 16L./100 km on the highway @ 100 kph towing the 3.5 ton BT . The worst consumption I have seen on a difficult desert track was 21 L/100km over a couple of hundred kms.
IMO , if you want pure pulling power and storage, choose an F truck, if you want comfort and sufficient power to pull an 18' BT, choose a Landcruiser.

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Follow Up By: Noosa Fox - Monday, Feb 07, 2005 at 04:59

Monday, Feb 07, 2005 at 04:59
I would dispute the "Comfort" comment. We honestly have found the F250 a much more comfortable vehicle to ride and drive in that the Toyota was. Most people say that the Ford doesn't have the finish levels that the Jap vehicles do, can't comment on that because we haven't found any faults with ours, but comfort, is better in the F250.
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Follow Up By: Freewheelers - Monday, Feb 07, 2005 at 22:20

Monday, Feb 07, 2005 at 22:20
dave 25 % more torque !!! do you run a d tronic chip or such ???
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Follow Up By: Cobradave - Monday, Feb 07, 2005 at 22:59

Monday, Feb 07, 2005 at 22:59
Yes I've installed a Dtronic computer, makes a huge difference. I keep an eye on the turbo temp. with a EGT pyrometer on the dash. Soley on a power to weight ratio calculation, my LC pulls as well as a 7.3L TD F250.

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Reply By: Cobradave - Monday, Feb 07, 2005 at 05:03

Monday, Feb 07, 2005 at 05:03
Hey Brian,
Of course comfort is a subjective term and can't be discussed, however there is a good reason for referring to the F series as trucks, that is precisely how they feel !
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Reply By: Motherhen & Rooster - Monday, Feb 07, 2005 at 06:54

Monday, Feb 07, 2005 at 06:54
I asked a similar question a while back, and got a number of replies - i don't know if it will come up if you do a search. This question also comes up on Exploroz.com.au and on the caravanners forum at http://groups.msn.com/Caravanersforum/messageboard.msnw. You can do a topic/content search on Exploroz.
We're just back from 4 weeks touring, so will add my average fuel consumption when i have calculated it (i get into trouble for talking kms per litre instead of litres per 100 kms on the fourms!). My figures from last year are somewhere on the forum as well as on the other two sites. We are towing a 18' BT with a Nissan Patrol 3 litre TD Auto. Would get something a bit more powerful if we could for the difficult bits we may encounter. Tows like a dream most of the time, but eats the diesel fast - but towing that weight will increase fuel consumption with whatever.

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Follow Up By: Motherhen & Rooster - Monday, Feb 14, 2005 at 05:24

Monday, Feb 14, 2005 at 05:24
I still haven't worked out the fuel consumption from the latest trip - but post 888 in achives is where i posted my last time's figures, and others replied with theres.

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Reply By: Deleted User - Monday, Feb 07, 2005 at 07:38

Monday, Feb 07, 2005 at 07:38
I suppose it depends what you asses your requirements to be, a tow-only vehicle or an all purpose vehicle. Yes the F truck makes a good tow vehicle but so will any other truck. Factor in the servicing costs with the fuel usage. Ask what an injector costs and you will be horrified I am told. Check out the availability of tyres because a legal tyre was not available in Aus some time ago. This was discussed at length on the old forum. I use a Patrol and there is no way in the world I would swap it for a truck. The F series seems too low to the ground for the wheel base and I would say are not meant to be a serious off-roader. I would also say an 18/20 ft BT would have more off-road capability than the F truck. If you only want to stick to the good roads then why get an expensive BT where a cheeper van like Kedron would do the job. Remember the bigger your rig the fewer places you can go. I have been into places where a long draw bar and an F truck would have had no chance. As for the comfort factor, Macks and Kenworths are quite comfortable, some people even thought the old Land Rovers were also.

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Follow Up By:- Monday, Feb 07, 2005 at 10:13

Monday, Feb 07, 2005 at 10:13
Interesting comment. I must admit the F250 sales manager sincerely thought that an F250 wit its long wheel base was a more capable off-road vehicle than a patrol or landcruiser, I did not want to embarass him! However, what is being left-out of this debate is the safety factor, i.e. F250 with its 3.98m wheel base is a much more capable tow vehicle than anything else on the road within cooee of its price? Also, since when are kedron vans cheap?
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Follow Up By:- Monday, Feb 07, 2005 at 19:02

Monday, Feb 07, 2005 at 19:02
Like you I gave up taking advice from salespeople a long time ago and that includes caravan manufacturers.........caveat emptor for me As for the safety factor I hope you are not implying that towing with anything other than an F truck is unsafe as you appear to do. I would say the most unsafe part of the whole rig would be the experience and capability of the driver which is often overlooked. I used the Kedron to illustrate a point not to imply they are cheap. No point in buying a 747 when a Lear-Jet will do the job.

An F truck is a tow-only vehicle and that is beyond dispute. An F truck owner said to me "everying is big on an F truck including the turning circle"

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Follow Up By: Dusky - Monday, Feb 07, 2005 at 22:51

Monday, Feb 07, 2005 at 22:51
There is one other point that should be consideradion when purchasing a tow vehicle to tow a BT! That is the tow vehicles carring capacity. My understanding is that carrying capacity includes the occupants, fuel, tow and bull bars, tow ball down weight and anything else carried in/on the vehicle like tools, extra fridges, boat and boat motors etc.

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Reply By: SuziTracker - Tuesday, Feb 08, 2005 at 00:03

Tuesday, Feb 08, 2005 at 00:03
Has anybody thought of a Isuzu NPS 250 4X4 as a tow vekicle. Its at least $20,000 cheaper and it will carry 3 ton if necessary and has a 14m turning circle.
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Follow Up By: Motherhen & Rooster - Monday, Feb 14, 2005 at 06:24

Monday, Feb 14, 2005 at 06:24
What's the ride like with the Isuzu (comfort)? I imagine "like a truck". This is critical for my husband with his back problems.

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Reply By: Bushtracker - Tuesday, Feb 08, 2005 at 22:24

Tuesday, Feb 08, 2005 at 22:24
Now this is personal, from me, Steven T. Gibbs, and I have no axe to grind on this controversy.... But.....Having owned an F-350 for three years, I find I must disagree with some of the concepts that are talked about in various forums and clubs, particularly those introduced by Japanese tow vehicle owners.... Sour grapes from "Essop's Fables" for the most part... Now for your own particular needs Toyota probably fits the bill perfectly in 18', but here are a few points for the record:

For instance "Comfort", I offer this proof.... I have owned at least 6 Cruisers from stock to custom with various suspension upgrades, and there is just no way that the short wheelbase of the Cruiser compares with the longer wheelbase of the Ford for Comfort... The Cruiser hits the rut, and with any speed the front suspension has not recovered when the rear suspension hits the rut and that is where you get the famous "Buck"... The longer suspension for instance in the Ford, is a longer interval, and this is a well known fact that it is just more comfortable... Hands down, I have owned both for a long time, and Chevy trucks and a Dodge, and there is no comparison, having owned a half dozen of each over the last 35 years, longer wheelbase is pretty well accepted as being more comfortable by almost anyone that has owned both.

Another thing I think should be emphasized is the Driver Fatigue... The little 4 litre engine is struggling to get out of the way on the highway, unless you really supe it up... Most people are tensing up trying to urge it along up the hills and such... Where the big Ford is comfortably running along passing them.. Also, with the Ford and it's increased leverage on the caravan, it is also indisputable, the fact that it has more control on the van... Less tension and stress on the Driver, means you are happier and rested on arrival... Not D.O.A. (Dead on Arrival)...

And finish? I am not one to care much... I am not into city refinements, more interested in the job it will do. If it saves my life in a real pinch on the highway with more control over a large van (and I am going up from 21' to 22') I could care less about minor cosmetics on the inside. The same goes for comfort... If it is more comfortable and I am fresher after a long day, I could care less about examining the tiny bits of refinement in interior finish... I would suggest that this comes from having spent more time in the Bush than worrying about city refinements and minor cosmetics..

And off-road? Not only my Ford for 3 years here, but Elk, Deer, and Bear hunting (game patrol over population hunting for any Greenies reading this, Ha! Same in Africa,) in GMC (last one sold on my last visit to American in 1993) and Dodge Dual Cab trucks as well that have the same high centre potential of the Ford...(Owned recently) I built a dual leaf spring bolt on cage between the chassis rails for my Ford here to protect the transfer case, and did a minor lift in the suspension and added air bags in the front to carry the winch and add lift and suspension travel.... I took it to places that were worse than most people with LC and Nissan would want to go.... This is a 1% issue, in comparo with the Comfort, Driver Fatigue, and Safety issues at hand... They are fine Off-road... And turning circle, sure, pain in the ###, but after owning one for a year and getting use to doing 3 point turns in town and out bush, you forget about it...

Look, I find the negative views coming from people that do not own them, for the most part... Fine, some might even be trying to convince themselves.. But the view I try and give is balanced, and I think both types of vehicles have their place. Anyone that is shopping for a tow vehicle should not listen to views of those that do not own them, but instead go look at them for themselves.. At 18', do what ever suits you, and sure the parking and driving in the city is far better with a LC or Nissan type. But from 20' and up, one needs to approach this with an open mind... And I never found my Ford to be a disadvantage off road, quite the opposite and people were surprised where it did go. And incidently, the overwhelming reports are of better fuel economy with the Fords... 75 or 80 have switched over from Japanese to Ford, none to my knowledge have switched back...

Now I once in a while get "knocked" for giving the best guidance I can... From the rare one in fifty or a 100... But it is usually by people that have their own problems or their own agenda, and sometimes they are just defending their own decision or trying to convince themselves...... I will take a stand that my views are broad in perspective and quite balanced and factual, and fair.. And I have an indisputable "voice of experience"... I am not trying to be selling anything, not even Bushtrackers anymore, our Customers are doing that job for us. And I am ready to retire with my horses given a half a chance... So take my advice as having no agenda but spending my time here trying to be a help, so you can share in the great adventure..... So go see and drive for yourself, once you get used to it, the Ford is not so big... In the city yes, but walk out two hundred metres in the desert and turn around to look at the Ford or Cruiser and size does not matter, only performance.. And for towing after ten hours drive with each one, there is an amazing difference... And for Lifestyle, jamb your outboard, your genset, two bicycles, a fridge, toolkit, fishing gear, and room to spare in the Ford. Heck we can hardly get groceries in the back of our 100 Series... We have been spoiled.

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Follow Up By: Noosa Fox - Thursday, Feb 10, 2005 at 02:42

Thursday, Feb 10, 2005 at 02:42
I agree that most negative comments about the F250's ability comes from those who do not own one, or who have not driven them for long hours towing. I had owned Landcruisers for 20 years before buying the F250, and for city driving the Landcruiser wins hands down, but on country roads and heavy towing the F250 wins hands down.

99% of 4WD owners never use their vehicles anywhere near the capablities of the vehicle in an off road situation, and on most occassions I have found that size matters little, The ramp over angle of the F250 will loose out every time to the shorter Patrols and Toyotas, but I found that even the old Army 4x4 Acco trucks and the Victorian CFA International, Isuzu and Hino fire tankers were able to get into places that many of the support Patrols and Toyotas couldn't get to. I recall one fire near Mallacouta where my crew got out and walked because they thought it was too dangerous and we couldn't take the tanker there, but the C line Inter 4x4 negotiated the track without a problem.

If you have the experience and driving ability there is very little difference in the off road ability of most 4x4 with low range gearing.
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