How To Save Gas While Pulling A Trailer (Improve Fuel Economy)

With the recent increase in gas prices, you should try to make the most out of every drop you get. That has made improving fuel economy a major concern nowadays.

Unfortunately, when it comes to pulling a trailer, it’s rather hard to save gas and improve fuel economy, but don’t worry—it’s still possible!

Wondering about how to save gas while pulling a trailer?

You’ve come to the right place. This article provides 12 bulletproof ways to improve your fuel economy while towing a trailer.

1. Reduce Aerodynamic Drag

Aerodynamics is basically the movement of air around solid objects. Reducing aerodynamic drag entails not disturbing the airflow around your moving vehicle.

Simply put, if your trailer is stable enough, the air around it won’t be disturbed, which means less aerodynamic drag. That decreases the power required to pull the trailer, translating into less gas.

Imaginary sports car, modeled and created using CAD software. Conceptual prototype inside aerodynamic tunnel.

2. Decrease the Weight

Weight is another big issue to focus on if you want to improve fuel economy. The principle is simple: 

When you carry a heavy weight, you require more energy. That means more fuel in vehicle terms.

Therefore, try to decrease the weight of your trailer and carry-ons as far as you can. Taking the trip with only your essentials can help you save on gas.

3. Balance Your Load

Now that you got rid of the extra weight, you should balance the load of the vehicle as far as possible. In other words, make sure that the back isn’t much heavier than the front. 

That way, you’ll avoid lifting the front wheels, which means straining them and using extra fuel to power up the pull.

Toy car towing a caravan of generic design on blue background

4. Choose the Right Size for the Trailer

It’s not just about the weight. You can also improve your fuel economy by reducing the frontal size of the vehicle. That has to do with the aerodynamic drag again. 

We know that reducing the size of the trailer or tow vehicle isn’t always applicable. However, you can get rid of the additional poking objects. For example, remove the loaded roof racks or the RV air conditioner.

A smoother simpler vehicle design can make a difference. Avoid the additions no matter how tempting they might be.

large SUV pulling a RV

5. Avoid Traffic

Every time you stop your car and start it again, you consume energy in the form of gas. That’s especially true when carrying a heavy weight, such as a trailer.

To improve your gas mileage, pick flat roads and highways with fewer traffic jams. That way, you won’t have to stop and start your car a lot.

The same works with acceleration. While it’s inevitable, you can still try to limit pressing the gas pedal to the minimum.

6. Don’t Speed

Speed can negatively affect fuel economy. Speeding, especially against the direction of the wind, can affect the aerodynamics of your moving vehicle.

Therefore, when you’re pulling a trailer with such heavy weight, don’t speed. It won’t harm you to go a little below the speed limit. That way, you can use less gas and improve your fuel economy.

speedometer and gas guage

7. Maintain Proper Tire Pressure

The air pressure in your tires also makes a difference in fuel economy, especially on long trips. Keep the right air pressure in your tires for better performance. 

In addition, ensuring that all the tires have the same pressure level increases stability. That, in turn, decreases the dragging force, which means saving more fuel.

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8. Use the Right Type of Tires

There are two different types of tires out there that you can choose from. Opt for radial tires that have lower rolling resistance, which decreases fuel consumption.

This type of tires can also make your trailer more stable. As already mentioned, stability improves the airflow around your car, which decreases fuel consumption.

Fortunately, most modern cars take advantage of such radial tire technology to give you a smoother ride. Thus, this can only be an issue if you drive an older model.

New radial tires pile on a dark background. Copy space.

9. Ensure the Efficiency of Your Brakes

It’s possible for brake drags to affect fuel economy. If your brakes work properly, they won’t have any relation to the amount of gas you use.

However, if the brakes don’t release all the way through, they add resistance. That can increase your gas consumption, negatively affecting your fuel economy.

rusty brakes on wheel

10. Check Your Bearings and Lubricants

Generally, bearings have little rolling resistance. However, there are some common mistakes that can affect your gas intake.

For instance, worn-out, overly preloaded, or heavily greased bearings can lower your fuel economy.

For that matter, you need to check your bearings conditions and lubrication.

11. Perform General Maintenance

If you perform regular maintenance on your vehicle, avoid the little tricks that decrease your fuel economy. 

For example, you might not notice a slight drag in the brakes or the sticky grease in the bearings unless you schedule maintenance checks.

Therefore, we recommend that you perform general maintenance from time to time to make sure that everything is working properly.

12. Switch to Aluminum

It would be a great idea to switch to an all-aluminum trailer if you can. It can be a lot lighter than a steel trailer. That reduced weight can highly enhance your fuel economy.

By decreasing the power required to pull the trailer, you use less fuel and increase your gas mileage. In addition, aluminum trailers are generally low maintenance and a lot easier to tow.

FAQs

Still have concerns? Here are some of our frequently asked questions:

What Is Fuel Economy And Why Does It Matter?

Fuel economy, also known as gas mileage, means getting more mileage for your fuel. After all, isn’t it better to go more miles per one gallon of gas?

That doesn’t only save money but also increases the intervals between visiting gas stations while you’re on the road. That way, you may plan your stops only at major gas stations.

How to Reduce the Weight of Your Trailer?

Fortunately, there are several things you can do to decrease the weight of your trailer, such as:

  • Empty the gray water tanks before hitting the road.
  • Take only the necessary amount of water, and try to fill up your tanks when you reach your destination.
  • Depending on your trip, try to select only the accessories you need and leave the rest behind.
  • Replace your lead acid batteries with lithium batteries as they’re much lighter.

Conclusion

So, how to save gas while pulling a trailer? 

Fortunately, there are about 12 ways to improve fuel economy and save money despite the soaring gas prices nowadays.

For instance, you can make radical changes, like switching to aluminum trailers and radial tires. However, if you can’t make such major modifications, alter your driving habits instead. For example, drive slower and choose flat roads with less traffic.

In addition, regular maintenance is crucial to ensure smooth rides. Check that your brakes don’t drag; your bearings are well lubricated and in good condition; and that all your tires are well and consistently pressured.

Finally, you can also mind the size, weight, and load of your trailer and vehicle. That can improve the aerodynamic drag, which reduces gas consumption.

No matter how long your trip is, try as many of these ways as you can to improve fuel economy. 

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