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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)

On August 20, 2020 we pulled our trailer to Manistee, MI for our vacation and to visit with family. There are just two of us, my wife and myself.

The car is a 2019 Ascent Premium 8 passenger.


The statistics for the Coachmen Apex Nano 187RB.

Total weight with all supplies onboard: 3722 lb.
No water, except in the water heater and water lines and 5 gallons in the black tank.
Tongue Weight: 406 lb.

The temperature was in the mid-80’s on both the trip ‘up’ (we call going north ‘up’ here in Michigan) and back. There was also a 20 plus mile per hour head and front quartering wind on the way ‘up’ and also on the way back on August 26, 2020. Figures!

Travel was on paved, two lane roads, divided highways (not limited access Interstates - parts of US127 and M59) and Interstates I-96 and US127 (not technically an Interstate).

All towing was at 57 mph (cruise control), when permissible.

The terrain between Farwell, MI and Manistee, via M115 and M55, is EXTREMELY hilly and rolling, much like a rollercoaster. The grades are steep, but not real long, but still very significant.


The photo was taken in Arcadia, MI and shows the typical terrain. Note the very tall hills in the background. Roads go up and over that type of terrain.

Here’s the miles per gallon data for the trip.

The trip ‘up’

Commerce Twp., MI to Farwell (at a gas station), MI: 152 miles, 10.51 gallons, 14.5 mpg
Farwell to Manistee, MI: 93 miles, 7.35 gallons, 12.7 mpg

The trip home
Manistee to Farwell: 89 miles (different gas station), 6.98 gallons, 12.8 mpg
Farwell to home: 156 miles, 11.57gallons, 13.5 mpg

MPG summary
‘Up’ to Manistee: 245 total miles, 17.86 gallons for an average mpg of 13.7 mpg.
Home from Manistee: 245 total miles, 18.55 gallons for an average of 13.2 mpg.
Total Round Trip: 490 miles, 36.4 gallons for an average of 13.5 mpg.

While in the Manistee and the Leelanau Peninsula area, we traveled 399 miles without the trailer.

The fill-up before hooking up the trailer and coming back home took 12.97 gallons for an average of 30.8 mpg without the trailer attached.

10 Posts
Ken, sounds like y’all had a great trip. What are your subjective thoughts about the Ascent’s tow-quality? I’ve found the forum’s comments helpful; however, they skew toward the academic/theoretical. My sense is that many people would like less judgment and more firsthand accounts. I’m working on a write-up for my recent trailer purchase. Spoiler alert: the Ascent isn’t a delicate flower. I’d like to hear about your set-up, firsthand experience, and planned changes.

296 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
MJF and Jtlapp,

With a properly sized travel trailer, the Ascent tows very well. As I previously mentioned, my Coachmen Apex Nano weighed 3,722 lb. when we left for our trip, with all of the supplies onboard. The tongue weight was 406 lb. The 2019 Ascent premium 8 passenger had no problem pulling the trailer along at the speed I wanted to go, and there were really no sway issues at all. The Ascent handles the trailer very well!

You can see my review of our 2020 Coachmen Apex Nano 187RB on YouTube.

There are also links to more information regarding our setup on that YouTube video page.

We are a couple, but have taken our granddaughters with us, one at a time.

We are old, and I am cautious, so I keep my speed at a maximum of 57 mph or so, when permissible.

We are never in a hurry to get there, as we just want to get there safely.

The only real drawback to using the Ascent with a properly sized trailer is the relatively small gas tank of 19 gallons. I did have to make a gas stop going up to Manistee and on the way back, as it was 245 miles each way.

I did some calculations this morning that showed that if I’d tried to make it on one tank, I would have most likely been “running on fumes” when we arrived at the campsite or back home from the campsite.

On the trip from home to the Little River Casino RV Park in Manistee, I used 17.875 gallons of gas and the RV Park was 245 miles away from home for an average of 13.7 mpg. On the way home I used 18.545 gallons of gas and it was the same 245 miles for an average of 13.2 mpg. Both days of towing were windy with winds exceeding 20 mph, and on both days the winds were headwinds or front quartering winds.

My “best” mpg tow, so far, was for 197 miles using 11.819 gallons of gas for a 16.7 average mpg.
Pretty much with a tailwind on the Interstate, I-96.

My “worst” mpg tow, so far, was for 93 miles using 7.346 gallons of gas for a 12.7 average mpg.
Head wind and very steep and rolling hills.
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