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Old 09-09-2009, 01:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Highest MPG 4x4 RV Ever

Anyone know what it is?

Was looking for an RV to be my home on wheels, must have 4x4, be reliable and get maximum possible MPG. In the past Iíve been pulled to the Dodge Ram 3500 with a 12 valve Cummins Turbo Diesel and a Truck Camper on it. The Cummins engine is just about the greatest diesel engine I know of and it gets about 20 mpg stock. There is also I lot of mods that can be done to increase the mpg, as well as being able to run it on veggie oil or biodiesel. The only thing I donít like about it, is that itís in a Dodge. From what I understand Dodge is the least reliable of the American trucks, which American made automobiles last about half as long as Japanese made automobiles. This is why I was wondering if there may be a better candidate out there for my ultimate mpg 4x4 RV, with better reliability, like a Toyota. I did have an í85 Toyota pickup with a 22R, 4 cylinder engine, one time and put a small Truck Camper on it, though it was seriously lacking power and would only go up hills at like 20 mph. When I found out I could get the same mpg and much more power with the Cummins is why I switched to Dodge. Thatís the other feature Iíd really like to have if possible, the ability to travel the speed limit if I want to.

Oh course running on veggie oil would drastically reduce the cost of driving I believe, which is ultimately what Iím after. Although I still have concerns that have held me back so far from installing a conversion kit, such as availability of usable used veggie oil while travelling to new places, cost of conversion, possibility of early failure of engine / fuel injection pump, etc, time involved in collecting, filtering and testing used oil. My primary motivation for switch the SVO would be saving money. Any idea if itís worth it to do the conversion? Would you end up saving money in the long run or would the previously mentioned concerns end up costing more than what Iím saving? If you would end up saving money, how much would you save?

Also was looking at Ford diesels as I believe Ford is a more reliable truck than Dodge, although the engine is probably less reliable.

Also Iíve heard there was some Toyota diesels out there, but are quite rare. Anyone have any experience with those?

Thanks for listening.

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Old 09-09-2009, 02:22 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Got ya covered:
http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...5mpg-4836.html

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Old 09-09-2009, 02:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Wow, that Vixen is awesome. Probably wouldn't do so good off-road, though.

I have a '94 Geo Metro XFi now, but it's full of stuff and not very comfortable to sleep in.
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Old 09-09-2009, 03:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I'd look at Sprinters for a DIY conversion.
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Old 09-09-2009, 03:18 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Cummins is #1 in my book, but not necessarily Dodge

I have owned fords and my dad has a dodge and a friend of mine has two dodge trucks and all i hear from them is how they have to fix this or fix that......
I have never heard anything about having to fix a Cummins.....THEY ARE TOUGH!
I also think dodge might use pretty good drive shafts because i have seen(not participated) dodge trucks pull against ford and chevy and the ford and chevy always break a driveshaft (usually the front one). And yes I know pulling like that is abuse beyond reason but it is a REALLY fast way to find out what you want to know.(and expensive when a front drive shaft decides to swing up into your engine compartment) I think if you are going to put any angine in any vehicle, the parts in that vehicle had better be able to take more than that engine could ever be capable of putting out. I would use a cummins, but i am not sure what i would put it in.....maybe a homemade BOX TUBE chassis with an aerodynamic body custom made for it.
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Old 09-09-2009, 03:18 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tasdrouille View Post
I'd look at Sprinters for a DIY conversion.
You mean to convert it to 4x4 or into an RV?
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Old 09-09-2009, 03:29 PM   #7 (permalink)
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With your requirements, and if you must have 4 wheel drive, the 12 valve dodge/cummins is going to be your best bet. I have/drive a 96 dodge in 2wd. Love the engine, put up with the body.

I prefer biodiesel to burning the straight veggie oil for two reasons. First, here in Michigan, it gets cold for a big part of the year. Running an SVO conversion in cold weather is like pushing string up hill. Second, I'm not totally convinced SVO is going to give me the spectacular engine life these engines are capable of.

Now, if you could give up 4x4 and just have a winch for the really sticky spots, we could have a whole other conversation about suitable power plants/drive trains.

The newer cummins engines really upped the horsepower, but at the expense of fuel economy and simplicity.

HTH,

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Old 09-09-2009, 04:30 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flying Tortoise View Post
Anyone know what it is?

Was looking for an RV to be my home on wheels, must have 4x4, be reliable and get maximum possible MPG.
i THINK he means home on wheels....maybe
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Old 09-10-2009, 12:02 PM   #9 (permalink)
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You sir want a UNICAT.


Unicat - Go Anywhere Off-Road RV - Vehicles for Rescue, Escape, Survival, or Pleasure
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Old 09-10-2009, 01:06 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
American made automobiles last about half as long as Japanese made automobiles.
I would just like to state for the record that it has NOT been my experience that "Japanese vehicles outlast American vehicles", and I strongly believe that to be an obsolete and ignorant story that people repeat to each other and only believe because they hear it from each other all the time.

It has no bearing on reality, not in my household anyway. Any arguments can be directed at my girlfriend's on-its-third-transmission-in-110k-miles Acura TL and my 414,000 miles and still running on original drivetrain 81 escort (now fully retired) and 141k mile on original everything Tempo and practically brand new lookin' 2001 Blazer that I beat on in the desert every chance I get.

That said, it's going to be hard to combine "home on wheels" with "4x4" with "high MPG".... maybe a Steyr Pinzgauer radio truck? They're slow... but have portal axles and smal engines, should be easy to aeromod without big axles hanging under the box.

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Last edited by shovel; 09-10-2009 at 01:15 PM.. Reason: quote added for context.
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