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I have a Silvarado 4X4 1/2 ton Z71 with the small v8 engine and get just under 20 mpg empty. The only modifications are a tonneau cover and a K&N filter in the factory housing.

I tow both open and enclosed trailers with the cars listed below and get about 12 mpg when towning either trailer. Note that I use the open trailer to haul the heavier truck & sedan.....

The biggest variable is starts & stops. More stops = lower mileage. I just takes lots more fuel to get the weight moving and much less to keep it rolling. Hills almost cancel out since you use more going up and less going down, but you will get overall lower mileage than on the flat.

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I have an '01 Chevy 2500HD with the 6.0L gas engine. I average 9.7 MPG with my open car hauler with a full size Buick on it. Running empty I get 10 city/15 highway. It's not bad running with a light load, but the 6.0L is definitely working if I'm pulling a loaded trailer up a decent grade.

I would consider an 8.1L gas chevy, if you can find one. I've driven a friend's '01 3500HD dually with the 8.1L gas motor on several occasions, one time pulling an enclosed 8.5'x22' trailer full of construction equipment (read : severely overloaded), and another time pulling a 7x20' dump trailer with a CAT skidsteer, welding generator rig and other equipment on it.

NEVER did it feel like the 8.1 was even working. Everything this truck does is effortless. It averaged between 9-10 MPG loaded.

I've heard some people have issues with the 8.1L motor, but the 3500 I referenced above has 125k loaded miles on the clock now and has had nothing but regular maintenance.

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