Originally Posted by newroswell
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)
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.
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
, 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?
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.
- 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).