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Old 12-06-2012, 02:56 PM   #1
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CAFE and the future of tow vehicles

The stricter CAFE regulations may make TTs obsolete for the want of a vehicle that can pull them. SUVs and large, heavy sedans could all but disappear, and pickup trucks may cease to be produced in anything like the volumes they are made in today:

How CAFE Killed Compact Trucks And Station Wagons | The Truth About Cars

The Full-Sized Future: Trucked By The High Cost Of CAFE? | The Truth About Cars

The CAFE Numbers Game: Making Sense of the New Fuel-Economy Regulations - Feature - Car and Driver

How will this affect the future of Airstreaming?
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Old 12-06-2012, 02:59 PM   #2
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Never fear......CAFE doesn't apply to 8600GVW and above....at least not with current legislation.

In addition, I think there will be some creative solutions, like E-assist on bigger vehicles and 1/2 ton trucks. Need much more robust batteries first though.

Also, you may see the "heavy half" come back and no 1500/150 anymore.
Ford has already done it with the E150. GVW is 8601, I believe.
I think you will see all 1/2 tons, vans and trucks at 8601 gvw before long.

SUVs? IDK.
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Old 12-06-2012, 03:00 PM   #3
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So we'll see people buying burbs to pull their Globetrotters, because they'll be the only thing on the market that can?
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Old 12-06-2012, 03:11 PM   #4
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Not necessarily, for the light trailers, I believe you will have some very high tec small v8s and v6s, even som 4 bangers for fery light trailers, with electric assist which will have decent trailer capacity.

But, I'd bet that anything above a modern 22 footer is going to need a truck. Remember an 8600# GVW doesn't necessarily have to have a big engine, for those folks who don't need it. It is a numbers game, barring an unforseen huge powertrain/fuel source break through.

Fuel cells will be out in 2015, but I don't see them being any kind of workhorse or trailer puller for the foreseeable future. They will, however, offset light trucks and lower mileage crossovers in a very meaningful way since they use NO GASOLINE. All electrics, like the Spark, due out this January, likewise.
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Old 12-06-2012, 03:57 PM   #5
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I remember when Subaru Brats had the two jump seats installed in the back bed to allow them avoid light truck import quotas. Then a revision of the Subaru Outback a handful of years back had an unnecessary 1.5" added to the roof to jump it into a different category. That's just the games that can be played. (Disclaimer: not picking on Subaru - good vehicles for snow country and, directly or indirectly, I've been involved in purchase of four -- being a dad y'know... Just wish their head gaskets held up better.)

dznf0g points out the difference between civilian passenger fleet and light truck standards. There always will be such farm, ranch & construction demand that hopefully should put pressure against keeping us paying too high a penalty. The sky is not falling in my crystal ball.
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Old 12-06-2012, 04:15 PM   #6
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CNG conversions
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Old 12-06-2012, 04:22 PM   #7
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CNG conversions
Fueling infrastructure is VERY HIGH. $1 - 2 million each station. We have 140,000 gas stations in the nation. Govt has no money, investors will not touch it for many reasons.
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Old 12-06-2012, 04:35 PM   #8
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The latest diesel standards, with DEF the filters and several catalyst reactions in the exhaust stream, are just about scrubing the air at this point.

The exhaust stream is nearly cleaner than the intake air.

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Old 12-07-2012, 12:26 AM   #9
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there are 59 CNG fueling stations across NYS for state & municipal trucks. There is legislation to open these to the public using a card system that would only require a software update. In PA I think it is Chesapeake is putting in CNG stations at all the Dandi Marts. There is existing infrastructure elsewhere to run buses and other fleets. When other options are no longer viable due to emission standards, CNG just might be the best solution.
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Old 12-07-2012, 03:48 AM   #10
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The CNG station in Toledo blow up about 15 yeas ago. It was at the gas company servics building near the downtown area. The explosian destroied several backhoe tracktors and the heavy trucks and trailers used to haul them. It also damaged numerus other vehicals. Shrapinal went over 1/2 mile from the scene damageing cars in the post office parking lot. After this the city of Toledo said no more CNG pumping stations inside Toledo. You might like to know that the fuel tanks are pressurized to over 2000 pounds when filled. CNG is a very clean burning fuel but at that time gave very poor mileage and power. My opinion, to tow a trailer you may need a 250 gallon or larger tank to get any distance at all and trips would planed around fueling stations. Also the idea of a one ton truck with that big of a fuel tank straped in tha bed is just not my idea of a relaxing trip. Oh yes, I worked for the local gas company for almost 40 years.
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Old 12-07-2012, 06:45 AM   #11
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dznf0z
there are 59 CNG fueling stations across NYS for state & municipal trucks. There is legislation to open these to the public using a card system that would only require a software update. In PA I think it is Chesapeake is putting in CNG stations at all the Dandi Marts. There is existing infrastructure elsewhere to run buses and other fleets. When other options are no longer viable due to emission standards, CNG just might be the best solution.
Think about how you use your TV to travel....searching out the very few nationwide is not feasible for the general public. For captive and central fueled fleets and commuter vehicles...sure.

It IS A VERY VIABLE fuel. No question. It will take a HUGE infrastructure investment to make fueling stations as plentiful as gas and diesel stations. We have learned that the public at large will NOT change their lifestyle, fueling habits, and the time it take to fill. They just won't. We, Ford, and Dodge have been in and out of the CNG business for over 2 decades now. We have a lot of experience. I WANT to see it grow. It is plentiful, cheap, Home Grown American, is clean for the environment and engines, and vehicle performance is good.

Nobody will put the hundreds of billions into infrastructure. Been there done that. The only retailer I know of who is even sticking their toe in the water is Kwik Trip, here in the midwest. They have plans for 12 stations along a couple of interstates in WI and NW Iowa. Maybe that's a start, but I don't see the influx of investment money.

I am certainly not arguing the possibility. Unfortunately, unless gas gets to well over $5, I don't see it happening very quickly, except in urban settings. In Chicago, we now have over a dozen stations, but only about 3 or 4 are open to the public and the closest one is about 20 miles from the house.....really....I and my neighbors are going to drive 20 miles to fill????
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Old 12-07-2012, 06:55 AM   #12
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The CNG station in Toledo blow up about 15 yeas ago. It was at the gas company servics building near the downtown area. The explosian destroied several backhoe tracktors and the heavy trucks and trailers used to haul them. It also damaged numerus other vehicals. Shrapinal went over 1/2 mile from the scene damageing cars in the post office parking lot. After this the city of Toledo said no more CNG pumping stations inside Toledo. You might like to know that the fuel tanks are pressurized to over 2000 pounds when filled. CNG is a very clean burning fuel but at that time gave very poor mileage and power. My opinion, to tow a trailer you may need a 250 gallon or larger tank to get any distance at all and trips would planed around fueling stations. Also the idea of a one ton truck with that big of a fuel tank straped in tha bed is just not my idea of a relaxing trip. Oh yes, I worked for the local gas company for almost 40 years.
Actually, they are now 3200psi. The tank does take up about 25% of the bed. There is a slight power penalty, but acceptable. mileage on a GGE basis is the same as gasoline.
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Old 12-07-2012, 06:58 AM   #13
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Here are all the public stations right now. Don't know about you, but all the places I want to park my AS are not well represented.

CNG Stations

And, as you can see, I and my company are invested and well represented in this market, as well as LPG, but let's be realistic with fuel availability and the costs to provide infrastructure in a time when we extreme economic/political issues.

http://www.cngnow.com/vehicles/consu...formation.aspx

At least with our bi-fuel, with a reasonably sized gasoline tank, you won't get stranded.
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Old 12-07-2012, 07:51 AM   #14
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Here are all the public stations right now. Don't know about you, but all the places I want to park my AS are not well represented.

CNG Stations

And, as you can see, I and my company are invested and well represented in this market, as well as LPG, but let's be realistic with fuel availability and the costs to provide infrastructure in a time when we extreme economic/political issues.

Consumer Vehicles

At least with our bi-fuel, with a reasonably sized gasoline tank, you won't get stranded.
Yep...we're getting there. But it will take some time.

The Natural Gas Highway.

Bob
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