Gas Mileage

Mark Z.

LOVES Wooden Canoes
There was a post some time ago inquiring about what happens to gas mileage when transporting a canoe.
I recently drove about 1900 miles. Half of it without a canoe and the other half with a Yakima rack and a 17 1/2 canoe on top. Mileage went from 33.3 to 26.7 mpg, a loss of about 6.8 mpg or 20.3%. The car was a Toyota Camry. Your experience may vary.
I normally carry two canoes up. My experience with two canoes on a Volvo wagon results in a nearly 30% decrease in gas mileage.

My Subaru gets ~22mpg with an empty roofrack on it, and ~18mpg when I'm towing the trailer with 4 canoes.
Ya, I would expect the larger decrease (like you guys are reporting) with little cars like that, as it doesn't take much to move them down the road and even a little increase in drag will be a larger percentage.

While I don't have documented numbers, on our old mini-van, even with 2 canoes up top, I dought the MPG dropped by more then 1 or 2, and with the full size van, (E150) I hardly knew they were up there.

I'll be interested to see that happens now that I got a truck,
2004 1/2 ton Chev 4x4.


Now that I think about it, my old Honda Civic got ~37mpg empty, and ~30mpg with the canoe on top, with a stiff headwind. Wind direction made a huge difference with that car, further supporting Dan's hypothesis...
For what it's worth

My F150 1/2 ton pickups' 17 mpg average always drops to 12 mpg with a canoe on board.
Ya, but Dave,

Is that because of the canoe on top or because you are driving faster due to the anticipation of a paddle or new project? :)