Chinook RV Forum

"Open Range" is good for gas mileage.
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Author:  Blue~Go [ August 6th, 2015, 12:16 pm ]
Post subject:  "Open Range" is good for gas mileage.

I don't keep super close track of my gas mileage, but I suppose I must average 11-12 or so, and I drive around 65 or thereabouts depending on roadway/traffic. Anyway, last night I was driving through "open range" out west, and so probably averaged 55 mph or less through an entire tank of gas (animals can be on roadway, even more than usual). Lo and behold, I got close to 14 mpg (pencil/paper/gallons method of calculating).

I doubt I'll drive at that speed through very many tanks of gas, but it was kind of fun to get such "good" mileage :D

Author:  Chinookers [ August 9th, 2015, 11:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: "Open Range" is good for gas mileage.

Apart from speed I find altitude makes a considerable difference to gas mileage, and then of course there is city driving versus highway. I've installed an Ultra-Gauge which allows me to monitor real time gas mileage as well as trip / overall averages. Real time gas mileage fluctuates between less than 1 mpg to occasionally around 40 mpg, but almost always the overall average for my rig runs out somewhere between 10 - 11 mpg. You can see from this snapshot at the end of an 8,406 mile journey from CA to NC and back (with minimal use of generator) my trip average was 10.5.


Author:  Blue~Go [ August 9th, 2015, 12:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "Open Range" is good for gas mileage.

I was at around 4,000 - 7,000' on that stretch, so maybe I could have done even a little better on the flats? Maybe even 14 (which makes me laugh, as here I am getting all excited over 14 mpg, ha!) I get MPG and Average MPG from the Scangauge, but I find it is a bit "optimistic" compared to actual gallons/miles/pencil & paper calc. I'm guessing it's the engine computer data that is doing this, as I've seen the same on other people's Scangauges, plus a friend with a 99 F-350/V-10 had a Ford built in calculator/display and it, too, was a bit optimistic.

One thing I like better about the Ultra Gauge (a friend also has one) is that it can keep a running total on a trip. I don't think the SG can do that.

Author:  chin_k [ November 28th, 2017, 9:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "Open Range" is good for gas mileage.

I got an Ultra-gauge, the blue tooth version, and I was hoping to get the transmission fluid temperature off it. I tried to add additional gauges with the cloud download, but it says "VIN not find on WWW" so it does not have the transmission fluid info. Any of you have any luck?

One complaint is that the fuel level warning is way off. When I have like 1/4 tank of gas, the buzzer sounded saying that my tank is empty. I later edit the vehicle info to reflect the larger fuel capacity, and hopefully it is more accurate now.

Author:  Blue~Go [ November 29th, 2017, 11:44 am ]
Post subject:  Re: "Open Range" is good for gas mileage.

On my Scangauge, I had to add some extra codes to get TFT (trans fluid temperature). Five minute easy job (just look up numbers to input, then put them in). All the other features are nice, but transmission fluid temperature was THE reason I wanted the gauge to begin with.

A friend went from a Scangauge to an Ultra Gauge (Ford with V10) and I'm 99.9% sure he was still able to monitor transmission fluid, but I'll ask him and see if he remembers what he had to do.


Edited to add: Just called him to ask. He definitely was reading transmission fluid temperature on the Ultra Gauge. He doesn't have the best memory, and said he thought he found it by scrolling through a menu of gauges on the Ultra Gauge itself, but I have a vague memory of having to call the company (he wasn't going to keep the Ultra Gauge unless it could read TFT, since the Scan Gauge already did that and didn't want to lose that important data point).

BTW, your '99 should have the 4R100 transmission. 1998 was the transition year, in which one might have the previous E4OD or the 4R100, and then starting in 1999 it was the 4R100 (up until 2005 or so). That said, I had a previous camper van with the E4OD and my Scangauge read transmission temp on that too - with the same codes as for the 4R100 on my Chinook.

Author:  chin_k [ November 29th, 2017, 1:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "Open Range" is good for gas mileage.

I send a message to ultra-gauge, and they have some info on how to get to the TFT page. I don't have the Chinook with me at work here, so I will try it out tonight and see if I can get the reading. I have to edit the info that the gauge got off the ODBII (change the engine size, fuel tank size, etc.) send it back to the mothership (ultra-gauge) via the internet, and then download some "manufacturer" gauges. One of the gauges listed is TFT. I'll be happy if it works.

Author:  Colorider [ November 29th, 2017, 4:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "Open Range" is good for gas mileage.

The wide open spaces of the American West don't seem to treat my MPG quite so well. With open space comes high speed limits and with high limits comes LOW mileage. When the speed limit gets to 75 or 80, I'd be thrilled with 10mpg. Especially with dirt bikes in tow. I've had as low as 8.5 at the lowest, average around 9.5 and I'm happy with anything over 10 when speeds slow down or when going downhill. I think I saw 11.25 once. I'm not even going to comment on climbing up and over the continental divide, which 90% of my trips cross. Go west, young man!

Colorado is a great place to live, but not so good for fuel efficiency.

Author:  chin_k [ November 29th, 2017, 8:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "Open Range" is good for gas mileage.

I usually try to stay at 65 MPH even when the speed limit is 75. People like me from LA area often drive 80 MPH when the speed limit is 65, but only in a regular passenger car with sparse traffic, good weather, and relatively good road. It is so much more difficult to drive the Chinook above 65 due to the size and weight. I think I get around 11 mpg to 12 mpg. One good thing about the V10 is that it sips gas when you don't use the gas pedal. When we got stuck in 1 mph traffic for 3 hours during the eclipse, it did not affect the gas mileage much.

I tested the TFT as well as the coolant temperature gauge, and they seem to work fine. I did not move the Chinook, but will do a real test on Friday when I need to dump the tanks :oops:

Author:  Scott [ December 6th, 2017, 6:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: "Open Range" is good for gas mileage.

Re Scangauge ...

My 1994 runs on OBD1, so Scangague (or similar) won't work. To my knowledge there aren't any off-the-shelf products as informative as the Scangague that will work on OBD1, which compared to OBD2 is very vehicle specific. Ho but there are DIY options! From the simple MPGuino up to the complex Megasquirt; the latter will do whatever you can dream of in terms of engine management, monitoring, data logging, etc. I've built, programmed, and dyno-tuned Megasquirts, and they're actually very capable. I would put one in parallel in the Chinook if I can figure out how to adjust the absurd shift pattern of the E4OD; I'll look into that tonight. I think all I really need is the VSS and CAS signals going into an Arduino. Off topic sorry.

Sort of back on topic, for MPG I like the Fuelio app. It's only as accurate as my odometer (error multiplied by the [lack] of accuracy in the "calibrated" flow meters at fuel pumps). There's a bit of labor required to type in miles and gallons, but it's easy and the data is aggregated however you like, and can be forwarded to another device, plus it accounts for moolah in case you're keeping tabs on petrol expenditures.

For trans temp, I run a dedicated gauge. My eyes prefer backlit needles versus LCD/LED numbers, especially for a quick glance. As long as the needle is to the left of 12 o'clock, we're cool, and that's something I can monitor peripherally with little consideration.

Pretty easy to install: ... UTF8&psc=1

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