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PostPosted: March 18th, 2022, 4:47 pm 
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I travelled 211 km to pick up my new canoe at Swift in Muskoka Ontario. Without a canoe on the roof my fuel mileage was 4.8L/100km using a diesel Equinox. I used cruise control and stuck close to the speed limit on a mix of 2 lane and 400 series highways. On the way home I had a 16 Prospector on roof rails on a reverse route under the same driving conditions. The return fuel use was 6.1 L/100km or a 27% increase. I was pretty surprised. I was wondering if anyone else had similar stats.

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PostPosted: March 18th, 2022, 4:50 pm 
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East or west travel, Ambient wind direction and speed may have an impact. Not a scientific study result unless you can factor that in on each leg.


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PostPosted: March 18th, 2022, 5:58 pm 
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For comparative purposes I recorded MPG with various vehicles in the past, on the same long flat coastal plains inter-State trips, oft-visited Maryland to North Carolina, cruise control at the speed limit (65-70 mph) in various boat toting vehicles.

With two canoes on the cap of the 4 cylinder Tacoma we lost maybe 2 MPG. With the old boxy styled 4-banger CR-V had about the same MPG difference.

The least MPG loss was with the big 5.4L V-8 in our Ford van; we got almost the same MPG with four canoes on the racks as when unracked & boatless, carrying the same four people and gear load. When we put a single canoe on my wife’s Prius it killed the mileage.

I have no experience with diesels, but my suspicion is that more aerodynamically styled vehicles suffer more MPG loss than already boxy pushers. Same for the difference between canoe hauling with a small 4 cylinder and an already gas guzzling V-8.

And yes, headwinds hurt. We drove across I-70 through Kansas and eastern Colorado in a fierce headwind, so strong we had a hard time getting the doors open when we stopped. That day’s MPG was terrible. I have the Tacoma mileage from that 7000 mile cross country trip recorded in an old trip journal, I’ll see if I can find it.


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PostPosted: March 18th, 2022, 6:26 pm 
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Location: Ottawa
Mike McCrea wrote:
I have no experience with diesels, but my suspicion is that more aerodynamically styled vehicles suffer more MPG loss than already boxy pushers. Same for the difference between canoe hauling with a small 4 cylinder and an already gas guzzling V-8.


Yeah, thinking this is why the mileage in our Toyota Corolla suffers badly w/ canoe loaded. Maybe worse than 27% increase.


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PostPosted: March 18th, 2022, 6:32 pm 
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Either way, that's still some killer mileage. I get 7L/100km on a really good day with a 2.5L 2012 Outback, driving under the same conditions - highway, cruise control, close to the limit, etc. Cartopping a canoe or pulling a boat will typically push it past 9L/100km.

I track my mileage pretty diligently, and as someone here stated, yes, the wind has a much greater impact than people think.

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PostPosted: March 18th, 2022, 9:59 pm 
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Mike McCrea wrote:
I have no experience with diesels, but my suspicion is that more aerodynamically styled vehicles suffer more MPG loss than already boxy pushers. Same for the difference between canoe hauling with a small 4 cylinder and an already gas guzzling V-8.

And yes, headwinds hurt.


I think your suspicion is correct. The diesel is a 1.6L turbo charged engine on a 6 speed auto transmission in a 2018 Equinox. It gets better mileage than my old 2004 VW TDI. It is an Italian designed engine without the VW "dieselgate" stigma. Max tow load is 1500 lbs which ties back to your thoughts on boxy pushers vrs small 4 cylinders where the later can't handle incremental loads as well.

I agree the headwinds do affect mileage. However, there was no wind the entire day I picked up the canoe. Elevation change is only about 70 metres over 211 kms which is negligible.

Thanks for the feedback.
Richard


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PostPosted: March 19th, 2022, 11:00 am 
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My experience has been the same. When hauling two canoes on a six cylinder Subaru Outback the gas consumption rose by 40%. My big hemi 5.7 v8 would consume 15% more.

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PostPosted: March 19th, 2022, 11:54 am 
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I did not find the MPG log from that 7000 mile trip, but did find a record of some earlier trips with boat toting and travel condition remarks. All Tacoma trips starting and ending from home in Maryland. I am gentle with the accelerator, and tend to hang in the Granny lane at posted speed, although I do speed up/slow down a bit to stay in the void between vehicle clusters when highway driving.

Make of this what you will, some lessons seem obvious; two boats vs one boat, highway cruising vs secondary roads, stop-and-go traffic, etc. Looking at the differences one big MPG killer is headwinds.

August 2013. NY, VT, NH, ME. One boat (Monarch).
25.36 mpg (inter-States north and secondary roads into the Adirondacks)
25.53 mpg (secondary roads and inter-States from the Adirondacks to northern Vermont)
26.10 mpg (mostly inter-State highways to central NH)
24.06 mpg – Secondary roads and some dirt road into the Rangeleys in western Maine.
23.95 mpg – Back out of the Rangeleys and across NH and VT, all secondary mountain roads.
24.55 mpg – More mountain secondary’s and inter-State

October 2013 – Raystown Lake. One boat, Penobscot
22.46 mpg (NW Pennsylvania, up mountain highways and secondaries)
24.17 mpg (NW Pennsylvania, down mountain highways and secondaries)

October 2013 – Eastern North Carolina. Two boats, Penobscot and Synergy
21.04 mpg (coastal plain interstates)
20.73 mpg (inter-States and local secondaries)
19.78 mpg (all local secondaries, stop and go)
22.10 mpg (Inter-States and secondaries, Penobscot only, left the Synergy behind)

February 2014 – Florida. One boat, Monarch
18.09 MPG (mixed highway and traffic jam stop & go, headwinds, awful drive)
19.44 MPG (70mph in the flat coastal plain into 30 MPH headwind)
24.21 MPG (70mph in the flat coastal plain, no headwind)
22.50 MPG (mix of Inter-State and secondaries in Florida)
21.77 MPG – (same as above with more back roads)
21.23 MPG – (freaking headwinds on the inner-State)
18.84 MPG – (headwinds and stop and go and inter-State idling in place traffic jams)

March 2014 – Assateague Island. One boat, Monarch
23.91 MPG – Some traffic and secondary roads.

March 2014 – Janes Island, Two decked canoes
22.59 MPG - 50/50 highway and secondary roads.


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PostPosted: March 22nd, 2022, 9:49 am 
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Hmm-interesting. I guess everybody approaches this differently. I rarely check my mileage since it doesn't affect my decisions very much at all. I do a comparison when looking for a new(to me) vehicle but once I have bought it I tend to run it into the ground and not trade it for a better mileage vehicle. I haven't done any math on that but it's hard to see saving $$ by doing that.

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PostPosted: March 22nd, 2022, 10:34 am 
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I tend to do the same as Wotty. Buy it and run it to the ground. Also buy for everyday use.

That means we are in the midsize truck family.. Big truck won't fit in garage. Garaging is a must for snowplowing season.

Truck 4wd is a must for that relatively short but unpleasant season called mud season.. We have some neighbors with low cars that get much better mileage but one broke an axle yesterday getting into icy ruts and also another tore out a gas tank. That the truck is not as much bothered by boats on it as our smaller once owned cars did( our Forester went from 28 mpg to 21 mpg with canoe) is a plus but not a chief consideration.


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PostPosted: March 22nd, 2022, 11:48 am 
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Mike McCrea wrote:
I did not find the MPG log from that 7000 mile trip, but did find a record of some earlier trips with boat toting and travel condition remarks. All Tacoma trips starting and ending from home in Maryland. I am gentle with the accelerator, and tend to hang in the Granny lane at posted speed, although I do speed up/slow down a bit to stay in the void between vehicle clusters when highway driving.

Make of this what you will, some lessons seem obvious; two boats vs one boat, highway cruising vs secondary roads, stop-and-go traffic, etc. Looking at the differences one big MPG killer is headwinds.

August 2013. NY, VT, NH, ME. One boat (Monarch).
25.36 mpg (inter-States north and secondary roads into the Adirondacks)
25.53 mpg (secondary roads and inter-States from the Adirondacks to northern Vermont)
26.10 mpg (mostly inter-State highways to central NH)
24.06 mpg – Secondary roads and some dirt road into the Rangeleys in western Maine.
23.95 mpg – Back out of the Rangeleys and across NH and VT, all secondary mountain roads.
24.55 mpg – More mountain secondary’s and inter-State

October 2013 – Raystown Lake. One boat, Penobscot
22.46 mpg (NW Pennsylvania, up mountain highways and secondaries)
24.17 mpg (NW Pennsylvania, down mountain highways and secondaries)

October 2013 – Eastern North Carolina. Two boats, Penobscot and Synergy
21.04 mpg (coastal plain interstates)
20.73 mpg (inter-States and local secondaries)
19.78 mpg (all local secondaries, stop and go)
22.10 mpg (Inter-States and secondaries, Penobscot only, left the Synergy behind)

February 2014 – Florida. One boat, Monarch
18.09 MPG (mixed highway and traffic jam stop & go, headwinds, awful drive)
19.44 MPG (70mph in the flat coastal plain into 30 MPH headwind)
24.21 MPG (70mph in the flat coastal plain, no headwind)
22.50 MPG (mix of Inter-State and secondaries in Florida)
21.77 MPG – (same as above with more back roads)
21.23 MPG – (freaking headwinds on the inner-State)
18.84 MPG – (headwinds and stop and go and inter-State idling in place traffic jams)

March 2014 – Assateague Island. One boat, Monarch
23.91 MPG – Some traffic and secondary roads.

March 2014 – Janes Island, Two decked canoes
22.59 MPG - 50/50 highway and secondary roads.


Oh my!


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PostPosted: March 22nd, 2022, 1:32 pm 
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Joined: June 28th, 2001, 7:00 pm
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Location: Freeland, Maryland USA
wotrock wrote:
Hmm-interesting. I guess everybody approaches this differently. I rarely check my mileage since it doesn't affect my decisions very much at all. I do a comparison when looking for a new(to me) vehicle but once I have bought it I tend to run it into the ground and not trade it for a better mileage vehicle. I haven't done any math on that but it's hard to see saving $$ by doing that.


That was the first year with the new, retirement reward Tacoma, so I was interested in boat toting trip mileage. I no longer check the MPG every time I fill up, but do still calculate it on long trips, which always involves a canoe or two, if only to verify that I have not had some inexplicable loss in miles per gallon.

The 7000 mile cross country trip was just after that mileage log, in April and May of 2014. I was travelling with a shift driving partner who, like me, was not averse to driving gently in the granny lane. Rather than run a cash kitty for gas expenses we just alternated fill-ups on our credit cards, noting the miles traveled and cost at each gas stop, then settled the difference when we returned home.

We were sort of vying for who got the best mileage per fillup. After seven weeks and 7000 miles the difference was less than $20 total.

I was tempted to buy a 4WD Toyota, we have a long, very steep un-plowable dirt driveway, but the Taco is also my daily driver. So I just park it at the top of the hill before it snows. Well, I usually remember to park the truck at the top of the hill.

ImageP2131653 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

I guess I’ll be working at home in the shop for a spell.


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PostPosted: March 23rd, 2022, 4:31 pm 
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Posts: 100
Location: Omemee
Really who cares and don’t think about it.
You gotta get there some how to do the sport you love.
I know a guy who refuses to carry 2 canoes on his roof.
I guess relay down stream river trips are out of the question for him?
If ya tie them down right and drive at a reasonable speed doesn’t matter to me.
Keep calm and Paddle On.


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PostPosted: March 24th, 2022, 10:51 am 
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Wonder what impact putting some sort of spray cover on the canoes would have?
How does relative position front to back on the vehicle affect things?
It would be useful to have some way to reduce fuel use- more money to spend on gear and booze after all!

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PostPosted: March 24th, 2022, 12:24 pm 
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Location: Freeland, Maryland USA
Donomemee wrote:
Really who cares and don’t think about it.


Paddling locally I don’t give the MPG much thought. When planning or deciding on longer trips the cost of gas does become a factor when working with a somewhat limited budget.

I have a standing invite to join a friend off-season in the Everglades, but that is a 2400 mile round trip. Without bringing a travelling companion and splitting gas expenses that is a little rich for my solo retiree fixed income right now. Eh, it was 90f there yesterday, so too late, screw that.

I probably will make a solo trip to eastern North Carolina in April or May; 900 miles roundtrip, but that is an easier drive down and back to spend time paddling in an area I know and love; NC does paddlers right, from padding specific State Parks to “Wildlife Boating access” launches spaced along many NC rivers.

Donomemee wrote:
I know a guy who refuses to carry 2 canoes on his roof.
I guess relay down stream river trips are out of the question for him?


Refusing to carry two boats would complicate any self-shuttle plans. Maybe his rack will only accommodate one canoe securely gunwales down? Unless always canoe tripping alone the ability to securely roof rack two (or more) boats is important.

Not just for setting self shuttles with two one-at-each-end vehicles, where more accommodating racks are paramount. Travelling with multiple boats and companion(s), especially on long distance trips, makes financial sense. Before I bought my new tripping truck some cross country trips to paddle out west were done three companions and multiple boats on our big Ford van.

ImageDSCF1621 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Four Quick & Easy crossbars, each (street legal?) as wide as the side view mirrors. Nestled hulls off-set resting on crossbars 1 & 3 or 2 & 4. Belly, bow and stern lines, gunwale stops for all four boats so they can’t touch or rub together.

That big boxy V-8 doesn’t get great gas mileage to start with, but I can comfortably carry four paddlers, their gear and four boats, all gunwales down side-by-side. And share expenses and drive time between multiple drivers, so it is less expensive than taking multiple vehicles. Sometimes in less than ideal conditions; we had to lay over a day and wait for the mountain passes to reopen.

ImageP5010955 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

That rig has been everywhere from Maine to Florida to the Rockies. And points in between; Kansas straight and flat and we don’t need no stinkin’ rest stops, even the van gets decent mileage in those conditions. Eastbound with a tailwind helps.

ImageP5131083 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Totally off-topic, but who else enjoys seeing the sun shadow of their roof racked canoes? Especially when the sun is dusk or dawn low on the horizon, and the shadow alongside switches close up then instantly far away on a hillside.


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