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Old 02-27-2012, 04:15 PM   #99
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My current screen saver: a KC-130J with Harvest Hawk


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All these posts about getting the maximum efficiency, reliability and lowest costs and you don't have your screen saver set to put the monitor in power saving mode when inactive?

Just kidding Red...
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Old 02-27-2012, 04:23 PM   #100
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"No point in trying to defend this position because you won't buy into anyway. But you ought to turn off political media and research economies, markets, and the future of world oil production."

Doug,

Check your reading comprehension skills as my tongue was deeply in my cheek. Reread my post, I never blamed the government. However, Obama blamed Bush for high gas prices in 2008. Southwest Colorado has one of the largest natural gas deposits in the world. Switch coal fired power plants to natural gas and the environment will improve over night. Yet, environmentalists have put up drilling road blocks at every turn. I had a dual fuel gas/LP Bobcat that was great until the EPA made a ruling that wet feed hoses on home propane tanks were banned. Ford is making an F150 with gas/LP capabilities that I would buy in a heart beat. Except for the fact that thanks to the eco-lobby, I can't refill LP at home. I've yet to meet an environmentalist that understands the word COMPROMISE. Your first sentence in the above quote makes my point.
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Old 02-27-2012, 04:29 PM   #101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denis4x4
"No point in trying to defend this position because you won't buy into anyway. But you ought to turn off political media and research economies, markets, and the future of world oil production."

Doug,

Check your reading comprehension skills as my tongue was deeply in my cheek. Reread my post, I never blamed the government. However, Obama blamed Bush for high gas prices in 2008. Southwest Colorado has one of the largest natural gas deposits in the world. Switch coal fired power plants to natural gas and the environment will improve over night. Yet, environmentalists have put up drilling road blocks at every turn. I had a dual fuel gas/LP Bobcat that was great until the EPA made a ruling that wet feed hoses on home propane tanks were banned. Ford is making an F150 with gas/LP capabilities that I would buy in a heart beat. Except for the fact that thanks to the eco-lobby, I can't refill LP at home. I've yet to meet an environmentalist that understands the word COMPROMISE. Your first sentence in the above quote makes my point.
Wot, that we should drill HALF a well?
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Old 02-27-2012, 05:09 PM   #102
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Denis

My reading comprehension skills are not bad, perhaps I was attempting to read between the lines.

doug k
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Old 02-27-2012, 05:34 PM   #103
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Please stay on topic, this thread is how high gas prices will affect your travel. Please leave politics out of the discussion and remain civil. Posts that do not conform to the Community Rules will be deleted.

Thank you...
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Old 02-27-2012, 06:39 PM   #104
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Originally Posted by Denis4x4 View Post
On Friday AM, I fueled up at $4.19.9 in Pacific Beach. In Yuma it was $3.59.9 and when we got back to Durango it was $3.23.9. On 2/1/12, I got a 160 gallon delivery at the house priced at $3.11.9. I'm not sold on the fact that speculators are driving prices.
What I know about CA and AZ

Prices in CA are high because that state taxes it higher than almost any other state. That state produces oil and refines it and then distributes it to much of the West and South West.

Drive into AZ and there is an immediate price drop because this state does not have as much tax on the stuff. However AZ fuel woes are in the area of refining and distribution. AZ produces zero oil and is one of the few states in the union that has zero refineries. AZ needs to get it's oil from outside of AZ. And does this with a sources from Texas and California. There have been times when one of these distribution chains breaks (pipe break) and the supply is interupted. Locally we have had a spike in prices just because distribution is interupted.

Nationwide the system of fuel is a hodgepodge of different systems. Each state requires a different mix of additives to meet EPA regs and the blend is different in the winter than it is in the summer. Imagine being a refiner and having one states mix on hand and not being able to deliver to another state just because the blend is different.

If the actual fuel mix, refining and delivery were uniform across the states only the state taxes would be different. And we don't have that so the pricing varies dramatically in different areas.

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Old 02-27-2012, 07:41 PM   #105
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Our gas is being sold overseas to the highest bidder and you and I get stuck with higher priced gas as a result.

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Old 02-27-2012, 08:31 PM   #106
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Originally Posted by newroswell View Post
All these posts about getting the maximum efficiency, reliability and lowest costs and you don't have your screen saver set to put the monitor in power saving mode when inactive?

Just kidding Red...
Naw, I "listen" to those 4,000-HP Rolls-Royce turboshaft motors come to life wtih that picture. Wondering what the Afghan winter is like, altitude and visibility. Load & assignment. Fuel burn. Crew interactions. Air traffic. And on.

As for the stuff about "why" fuel prices are rising, nothing will change that.

One's own response is what matters: better discipline in all matters concerning the TV will underwrite the cost of fuel for many, if not most A/S owners. The future will not be like the past. Change of attitude needed, not the childish blame game (not if one wants to keep traveling this way).

The rise in fuel price is a few pennies per mile, at best. Cutting the number of miles to achieve the same ends is where the action is.

The increased cost at 12-mpg to cover 100-miles is $16, from $4 to $6 per gallon. ($34 to $50) a one-third rise. So, for a 2,000-mile vacation, fuel prices (at this fixed mpg) will be 167-gls/fuel. $668 at $4/gl, and $1000 at $6/gl fuel.

The solution is not in "cutting back travel", but in making better use of all fuel burned in a calendar year.


Thus, what is the role of fuel (all types) in my life at present?

So let's stick with gasoline (or diesel) as a way of getting at specifics:

A married couple retired on fixed income needs to dump the second car. It has no use beyond foolish "convenience". That alone would pay quite a bit of travel, based on sale price and reduced overhead. Or, use that to source a better TV. One that is genuinely fuel thrifty. CAN AM RV and Andy Thomson's many posts & articles are the lead in to that. If one is 66-yrs old, then a fairly new, fuel-saving TV -- the single family vehicle -- will last out the years of travel even at higher fuel prices.

Same for vehicle use while solo: The DHS -- in it's "mandate" to track all Americans as security risks -- issued a report last year that said (essentially) that 90% of us travel 90% of the time to 90% of the same places. But how many of us have figured out how to cut that cost? Combining all trips. No idling in drive-thru's. Alternate transportation.

So, let's take a wide swing outwards a moment. Doesn't matter what any one individual around here does, but here's a picture worth your consideration (offered as example, not as digression). This is only about the role of gasoline:

Homeowners more than two-miles (walking distance) from a grocery store, post office, library, church, etc, ought to consider the advantage of selling now and being closer to those (and other important places for them to be; what one depends upon). That house value won't increase unless one is in a top 5% income neighborhood, so those waiting now for the market to come back might re-think it. Young people are saddled with debt, are not enamored of cars anymore, and with family obligations are making closer-in neighborhoods more valuable. In the meantime the Boomers will be selling out for over the next 20-years, adding the biggest number of houses to ever hit the market.

With a national backlog of several million homes already on the market, (as well as those deliberately held off the market through bank foreclosures) this deserves consideration. No family wage jobs have been created in this country since 1999. So who will buy in a future of greater individual debt and lower lifetime income? Thus, who wants a house with expensive transportation costs associated? This is the biggest piece of the puzzle.

Synthetic thinking, please. This fuel problem is not in isolation from other fuel problems, nor is vehicle mpg the greatest of the problems. Those days are over. Only when the major overhead is adjusted properly for fuel (whatever ones decision, not as part of this thread), does vehicle fuel economy become relevant.

And the RV boards are full of the same old whining about fuel prices, just as they have been since the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the increases commensurate. Nothing new, in other words. Same threads, different year. A different approach is needed:

So how do I do what I would like in re travel?

Make some easy trade-offs, which could be some buying & selling. And look at the whole, not just the parts, to see where it actually is easy.

Dumping a car, as suggested, is easy. So is car-pooling to the grocery store or church, etc (especially when retired). Same for working families not taking advantage of the daily commute to do the shopping or other small errands on the way home from work. No single trips.

And for days with a full round of errands, use MAPQUEST to arrange the routing to drive to the farthest point first, and work back towards home (see suggested routing). Etc.

I'm getting 23-mpg in town in my 7,400-lb pickup truck doing things like this. My average mpg the past three years is at 22-mpg. As the average annual mpg for trucks like mine (but 4WD with auto trans) is only around 14-15 mpg, you can see that in a 10,000-mile year that my "savings" via truck spec (and advantageous climate & terrain, but driver discipline also high) is on the order of:

435/gls @ $4/gl = $1,740 (@ $6/gl = $2,610)

versus

690/gls @ $4/gl = $2,760 (@ $6/gl = $4,140)

The penalty for 4WD is high. So is it for choosing a pickup truck when an SUV with higher EPA numbers would have sufficed.

But if I drive 2-3X as much as this, it won't help to have a Prius (and a poptop camper). I'll just be sinking more slowly is all. The advantage will always be to those least dependent on cars. Or, personally, to lowest annual miles driven for mundane ends.

Do any of you have "car free days"? Works for me. I have to get things done at other times in order to have a weekend day with no driving allowed. What will be your pleasure, or your spur?

So,

How far can I travel on $1,000 of "free" fuel with my 3/4T truck and 32' TT? At a low average of 14-mpg, that's 3,500-miles. That's with only one year savings over an equivalent 4WD/Auto truck otherwise identical but driven in a typically sloppy manner with no planning given same annual miles.

Thus,

- First, cut the amount of fuel purchased annually.

- Second, use the vehicle in such a manner as to maximize utility.

- Third, plan the vacations to also make the most of the fuel.

Let's look at the third. It is so idiosyncratic, so dependent on personal choices as to almost not make sense for comparisons. Yet,

* Travel at a lower speed
* Travel with planned stops
* Travel with a well-sorted rig

All add up to greater mpg while on vacation. And increase the life of the vehicles as well as their components.

My future towing goal is to hit 17-mpg on a regular basis with this truck and a future trailer otherwise similar. It's barely above what others with this same truck and highly similar (and heavier) aero aluminum trailers are already doing.

At 24-cpm that's only pennies per mile better than the 33-cpm of a 12-mpg rig. (This is the level of things that counts). MPG is just pennies on the dollars of what vehicles actually cost us. The inflation-adjusted cost of personal transportation is now higher than at any time since WWII. And will only go higher.

Put things in perspective -- starting where fuel makes one vulnerable to rising costs -- make adjustments as reasonable (non-emotional; leave out the justifications), and then maximize pleasure by having been disciplined about the ordinary.

That which is ordinary isn't obvious. That's the tough part. But has the greatest payback. And leaves one with choices around independence. Cut dependence (fixed miles) = increased independence (optional miles).

.
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Old 02-27-2012, 10:43 PM   #107
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Red

You have provided a lot of fuel for thought. Has anybody ever told you that you over analyse stuff just a bit. And if I don't concentrate, my head just starts spinning. Everybody wants to do it their way- they want the TV they want, the trailer they want, and they want to go where they want to go. They do all this and make the buying decisions based on how much they can spend. I could not possibly travel the way you do in a diesel truck all the time. I put about 12k miles per year on my Tundra @ 16 mpg average, about 15k miles per year on my BMW 3 series @ 26 mpg and about 5k miles per year on my motorcycle @ 50 mpg. This is me, this is how I like to travel. Now the cost of these three vehicles was about $45,000 cuz I bought the truck new, the BMW used and the Ducati used. That may not be a whole lot more than you paid for your truck. My cpm is probably close to yours also, but that does not really matter. I am doing it my way and doing it as cost effectively as I can. My experience is that if you buy a well designed vehicle and maintain it properly that it will serve you well for a long long time.

Now regarding the TT, we are riding the same horse. I believe if you buy a good solid vintage Airstream and rebuild it, so it is like new that it will serve you just like a new Airstream will. In terms of reliability, safety and function, I don't see a hill of beans difference between a rebuilt 60's Airstream and a new one. The new ones may be larger (heavier), more modern looking ($$$) and may not have as many beauty marks as a vintage trailer, but they are not any better.

Each to his own. I am sure glad a lot of Airstream owners do not think the same way I do, cuz that would be boring and then I could not copy their ideas when I see something neat that they have done.

Thanks for your point of view as always.

Dan
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Old 02-28-2012, 06:01 AM   #108
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"You have provided a lot of fuel for thought.".....fuel Dan really, fuel?
Isn't that what the thread is all about.
It's food for consumption chew on it.

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Old 02-28-2012, 07:34 AM   #109
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about $45,000 . . That may not be a whole lot more than you paid for your truck.

Truck & trailer was under $30k. Even after maint, renovations, etc, was still well under $40k for both (with a bargain priced truck being the majority of that, and the undervalued SS the other).

Back to fuel:

Assuming I now own a TV better suited to it's primary role as grocery-getter/commuter, and, that permanent housing is cheaper to own and operate with a much lower fixed gasoline penalty, then,

If I want to underwrite my travel costs, then, again, the easy way to do so is to record all fuel and all miles to come up with an average mpg. And make percentage increases to it mandatory. Incumbent.

On this truck I started (close enough) at 12k annual miles at 18-mpg average for the first calendar year (non-vacation miles). Let's use $4/gl as the constant.

12,000 miles @ 18-mpg, annually
667/gls @$4/gl = $2,670

I then cut miles by combining all errands, etc. This was roughly 40-miles of driving per week. Seems too minor to note. But it's worth about $450 worth of fuel over a year. And, through learning some FE techniques, etc, I improved my annual mpg to 23 over a couple of years. Thus, as "learning = ease of altered habits" I not only have reduced my overall annual miles by 20%, but my fuel use has declined by 30% on it's own.

10,000-miles @ 23-mpg, annually
435-gls @ $4/gl = $1,740

All this with no decline in quality of life. Just fewer trips more skilfully driven.

I now have $930 towards fuel for travel. 230-gls = 3,220-miles. All on the same budget for fuel as the first year. But I no longer need a separate entry, no addition needed, for pleasure travel. Even at $6/gl, I still retain 155/gls, or 2,170-miles.

This is the low-hanging fruit.

And, if you think my numbers for a truck like this are pie-in-the-sky, realize that I am only riding the coat-tails of other guys doing far better than me in colder climates in more difficult terrain with heavier trucks. I'd have to increase my fuel mileage another 25% to match the best of them. You want over-analysis, try the guys who are serious about mpg!

But without the big picture of running a household, the vehicle fuel expense will not be enough as a matter of savings. Any savings will be absorbed by overhead as fuel prices rise. Fixed costs, first, variable costs, second.

The reaction of many RV'ers will be to sell that vehicle, buy a used Prius (or a pair of them) and never look seriously at changing addresses and address type. Trapped by familiar habit. Overhead, overhead. On their deathbed still worrying over brands of exterior paint.

The future will not be like the past.

And I'd rather do some traveling.

.
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Old 02-28-2012, 05:31 PM   #110
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No offense to anyone, but.....

Hi, I'm getting a head ache trying to read all of this math. I tow when I feel like it and drive whatever vehicle that I own, whenever I feel like it. I fill my tanks when needed, at the price, for name brand fuels. [no off brands or Joe's Dairy gas] We even drive about 50 miles [round trip] to, take a walk, in a great Mall, and we buy our lunch there too. The mileage my vehicles get, the way I drive, is what it is and not going to change. I'm trying to enjoy whatever years that I have left in this world and the only pennies that I count, get wrapped and taken to the bank for paper money. I'm a few pounds over weight, but if I want a Donut, I'm driving to the best Donut shop in town to get one, or two. Whatever is left, when I pass on, my kids can have.
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Old 02-28-2012, 06:03 PM   #111
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Me also too Bob...

5.2mpg...but I DGAS..


Bob
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Old 02-28-2012, 07:14 PM   #112
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So back to the original 2004 question, we have decided to do something a little different with this years camping budget. We're making sure we're going to different places. We're hitting more of the events we want to be a part of and less of the random travel to places of less interest. So in addition to the South-CA rallies we're going to, we've booked two North-CA rallies. Casini (April) & Jackson (October), which amount to more than 1100 miles for 6 nights of rally fun. That really looks bad on the spreadsheet, but loads of fun. Can't wait to see some North-CA friends we haven't seen in a while, and meet lots of new ones.

I would love to pay the $2 to $3 per gallon mentioned in post #1.
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