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Old 12-04-2007, 06:50 PM   #29
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What I personally feel this means is an abrupt end to the horsepower race. Nobody needs 300 hp & 600lb ft to pull a 5-8000 lb travel trailer. If you were doing it for money, you'd think that 200hp is enough for something like 50,000 lbs. You won't win races granted, for that you'd need a Tesla. :-)

I really think Airstream is ahead of the game. Presumably the continued presence Basecamp in the '08 line on their website is partially with CAFE and $5- $6 fuel in mind. Also stopping production of the large MH's seemed strange at the time, but now seems farsighted.

Mrs R & I have wondered if they might restart classic MH production with either a diesel or hybrid power... The classic MH ought to have huge aero advantages over the competitor's bricks. Maybe not Sprinter like MPG, but better than a 7-8 liter gasser or an 8-9 liter diesel pusher.

I'd bet the mood is less blue in Jackson Center than Waukarusa [sp?].
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Old 12-04-2007, 07:13 PM   #30
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It is all about mass

GM built a 2-seat car, that actually looked like a car, in the early 1980s that got over 100mpg. It used a small gasoline engine. The car was very light. Being so lightly constructed, it would not pass the safety standards that get progressively higher each year. As such, the car was scrapped.

Why does a new Chrysler 300 weigh over 4000lbs? It is smaller than my 94 Crown Vic. The Crown weighs about 3700lbs. It is heavier primarily because safety standards have risen since 94. And, that takes more steel.

You cannot have it both ways. You either give up mass or you pay the fuel bill. You cannot cheat physics. Aerodynamics do play a part, but in reality, at highway speeds they are not that big a deal if the car is even remotely shaped like 50% of the cars on the road. most modern cars have decent drag valuves. It is the mass that gets you. Sure, Audi makes some cars that are all aluminum and weigh less....and they cost six figures. The average Joe cannot afford one.

You do not get much lighter than an aluminum semi monocoque structure. That is what Boeing builds. If there were something lighter, that is what airplanes would be made from. Composites are often heavier. Airstream needs to eliminate the corian and put in something lighter. Good grief my 34 foot triple axle Avion only weighs 6500lbs. So why do 27 foot trailers weigh more than that now?

Anyway, not to rant, but my education and training was in aerospace and mechanical engineering. I "m a pretty good mechanic, and I consider myself part of the "they" that come up with new designs for stuff. Just because some politician mandates something does not mean it can actually be done. You cannot cheat Newton. Right now, cars are too heavy to meet this reg for a total fleet average. GM already did it in 1983...imagine what they could do right now with modern fuel injection and a small 1 litre diesel. It just has to be made much lighter. I would love to build a nice looking sedan that had 400hp, was fun to drive, and got 150mpg. But it simply cannot be done. Electric motors are pretty good, but the battery technology is not there yet. Guys are working on it, but you cannot find an all electric car that can go 250 miles on a charge. And batteries deteriorate as they age, so the car that can go 200 miles on a charge on day one may only go 75 miles on a charge when it is six months old. the high powered fuel cells that NASA use are not safe to be around.

I have had this idea for a few years now to build a three wheeled car. It would use a small motorcycle engine driving a single back wheel, a tear drop shaped fuselage with super low drag, and two steering wheels up front. I was going to do a 4130 tube frame with fiberglass shell. I figure I could get 100mpg easily enough with it. But it would probably need to be licensed as a motorcycle. And again, you would not survive a crash against an F 350 with it like you would in a car.....

By the by, all diesel engines will run on vegetable oil. The exhaust smells like McDonalds. For real! You want to filter out the french fry particulates first though....injector pump does not like them!

And if I could afford a Prevost, I would not complain about the gas!

Cheers,
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Old 12-04-2007, 08:07 PM   #31
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Prediction: About the time BioDiesel price comes down to about the same as regular diesel, it will become over regulated to the point that it will be again 20 or 30% more than regular diesel. Also, McDonalds will charge more for their used fry oil.
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Old 12-04-2007, 08:32 PM   #32
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What happened to the hype about a full size p/u with a smaller diesel. I don't need the torque of a Cummins or a Duramax to pull by 4000# AS. South of the border it seems there have been more small diesels than gas engines for years.

I hope TVs follow suit in the hybrid trend. I don't see any reason why they just can't upsize the combo to tow a reasonable weight. It seems to me hybrids loose their advantage on a typical AS tow. You will notice hybrids are something of a paradox. They get better city than highway mileage. The reason why braking energy is stored in the battery. More city= more braking= more mpg. If you get a hybrid you too can rationalize all the towing fuel you burn with the gallons you save with your little putt, putt, humm humm.

Last week out of the blue Honda had a fuel cell vehicle commercial. Only saw it once. No price. No information on when it is on the market. What's up with that?

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Old 12-05-2007, 09:07 AM   #33
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I read somewhere that GM is bringing out a diesel half ton truck next year. I think the engine is in the 175-200hp range but torque is around 350-400. Should be fine.
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Old 12-05-2007, 09:20 AM   #34
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Do any of you follow formula one racing - if not take a cursory look at engine development over the past 15 years. If you can assimilate the trends in this one sport you'll leave many parochial ideas of displacement, etc. . . no, it's not coming tomorrow, but engineering and creative intelligence are powerful and no one intends to give up power. We have not yet begun to explore significant aerodynamic benefits, gearing options, more advanced engine management. The prediction of doom in this post is not well informed - please I'm not looking to be incendiary, but lift your eyeline above what you know and are comfortable with and take a look at advancing technology and creativity. None of you know me - but I am not a cheery "everything wil be OK" type of guy, but this is one thing you don't have to worry about.
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Old 12-05-2007, 09:35 AM   #35
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I read that Range Rover (owned by Ford) has developed a small V-8 diesel for its SUV's and Ford is planning on installing it in the F-150. Looks like Ford and GM are planning on going head to head on this one.

The thing though is that you don't need a diesel in a half ton truck to pull a medium weight trailer. Going diesel doesn't increase your tow rating. It will increase fuel economy, but that is now off-set by the difference in the higher price of diesel vs. gasoline cost. What you get may be increased torque and low end pulling power and hopefully increased service life. But most folks trade trucks every 3-5 years so for most buyers, longevity isn't the issue.

I'm not convinced a 1/2 ton diesel is going to do much for the towing community. I think what the RV industry will have to do is get the auto makers to make a towing class vehicle. This may be a 3/4 ton SUV such as a Suburban or the like and maybe there will ultimately be only one brand of such and there may not be any competition or there may not be anything larger than the Explorer on the market from any other maker.

I think only time will tell. But I do think that if the RV industry is to survive, there will be tow vehicles on the market and the RV industry has survived energy crises and CAFE regulations in the past so I think it will continue to survive as long as there are people who want the lifestyle so we will have options in the future.
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Old 12-05-2007, 11:09 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedSHED
Big Box feels otherwise:
Walmart orders diesel electric hybrid trucks


Class 8 trucks usually go to 80,000 lbs, FWIW.

A more recent link:

Peterbuilt & Walmart
Interesting, but a specialty situation. Whether the hybrid technology can be efficiently designed for a typical PU truck remains to be seen...

Gary
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Old 12-05-2007, 05:42 PM   #37
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Thumbs down The Worst Of Both Worlds

SO YA WANT TA GO CAMP'N...........
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Old 12-06-2007, 12:21 PM   #38
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Quote:
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SO YA WANT TA GO CAMP'N...........
OK, so would that be a Class "C" or "M"?

I wonder if he can still do wheelies goin down the road.

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Old 12-06-2007, 12:43 PM   #39
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Diesel is the future.

In Europe there are lots of little cars wth little diesel engines returning 50mpg's.

Diesel gives great torque for its size so a 200hp diesel provides all the torque you need to take you camping.

The true benefit of diesel is that it can be vegtable oil instead of dino. So the farmer can grow Soy and it can be turned into fuel. That allows the current fuel distribution system to remain saving billions in infrastructure costs. The infrastructure costs of a new distribution system will be what keeps Hydrogen from being plausible. It will also keep more of our cash in the country which will lesses our trade imbalance.
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Old 12-06-2007, 01:54 PM   #40
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I totally agree with Goin Camping: diesel is long overdue in this country as far as smaller vehicles are concerned. I am definitely interested in checking out the new proposed F-150 class diesel trucks because I AM interested in the longevity of my tow vehicle, and its ability to pull our A/S over the Rockies and any other challenging mountain grade. I sure don't have the money to keep buying new tow vehicles every few years!
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Old 12-06-2007, 06:14 PM   #41
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I'm not going to be appreciated for this next thought but when we had a 55 MPH federal law our nation used huge amounts less of fuel. This (reasonably) is magnified big time with RVs. If we have cafe standards, lower highways speeds and the enginuity (sp.?) that our nation has always had, and been proud of, I think we'll survive this just like we did everything before this. Keep the faith.

At 65 I get just under 12 mpg ... at 55 just under 15 mpg
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Old 12-06-2007, 06:23 PM   #42
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Just another off the wall idea

Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn G
I'm not going to be appreciated for this next thought but when we had a 55 MPH federal law our nation used huge amounts less of fuel. This (reasonably) is magnified big time with RVs. If we have cafe standards, lower highways speeds and the enginuity (sp.?) that our nation has always had, and been proud of, I think we'll survive this just like we did everything before this. Keep the faith.

At 65 I get just under 12 mpg ... at 55 just under 15 mpg
How about graduated gasoline taxes. Higher mpg vehicles get gas at a cheaper price. I would be glad to pay higher bucks when using my TV if I could get cheaper gas the rest of the year on a high mpg vehicle.
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