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Old 07-08-2013, 11:56 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Route 16
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Al the Third, year four - '13 Honda Fit Base
Team Honda
90 day: 42.9 mpg (US)
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My mpg challenge: Grand Caravan, loaded to the roof + camper on the back!

Take a 2011 Grand Caravan, load it to the roof. Slap a camper on the back.

The challenge: a 450 mile trip, half driven by a hypermiler who knows there's a challenge, the other half driven by his wife who doesn't.

Leg 1: From the Thousand Islands to Albany via NY Route 12 and I-90 (the Thruway) in beautiful weather and light traffic. Never over the PSL except on big downhills, almost entirely on cruise with the eco button on to reduce shifting, but I'd kill the eco when I knew the car would want to shift. Almost entirely DWB, gliding to speed limit reductions and only having to stop at maybe 3 lights. The AC was on the whole time.

Our one real stop was halfway, at a rest area just short of Albany for the bathroom, lunch, gas and a driver change.

Leg 2: Leaving the New York Thruway and continuing on I-90 to the Mass Pike through horrible backups at every tollbooth and backups caused by some really intense thunderstorms- eventually diverting onto I-290 to reach I-495 north because of the traffic on the Pike. Speeds were up to 70mph when possible and the eco button was on the whole time, but cruise was never a realistic choice. Traffic was too heavy and chaotic for planning ahead and driving smoothly. the AC was on the whole time.

The results:
A hypermiler in quite hilly but otherwise great conditions: 19.1mpg.
A non-hypermiler on good terrain in bad weather and worse traffic concerned more with getting home quickly and keeping the peace between a 4 year old and a 7 year old in the back than mpg: 17.5mpg.

Yep- in better conditions and focusing on mileage, I beat her by 1.6mpg. Calling it 9% better might make it sound more impressive, but that's just putting lipstick on a pig. I know the extreme weight and aero penalties gave me very little to work with, but it still stinks!

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Originally Posted by sheepdog44 View Post
Transmission type Efficiency
Manual neutral engine off.100% @MPG <----- Fun Fact.
Manual 1:1 gear ratio .......98%
CVT belt ............................88%
Automatic .........................86%

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Old 07-08-2013, 03:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Oregon
Posts: 7,587

Acura TSX - '06 Acura TSX
90 day: 28.07 mpg (US)

Lafawnda - '01 Honda CBR600 F4i
90 day: 47.32 mpg (US)

Big Yeller - '98 Dodge Ram 2500 base
90 day: 21.82 mpg (US)

Prius Plug-in - '12 Toyota Prius Plug-in
90 day: 57.64 mpg (US)

Mazda CX-5 - '17 Mazda CX-5 Touring
90 day: 23.74 mpg (US)
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It's difficult to achieve better economy through smarter driving on the interstate where speeds are constant. Additionally, there are too many variables in driving conditions to accurately assess who was the more efficient driver. I recently went on an 1800 mile round-trip on I-90, and I had a strong tailwind going east, giving me 36mpg. My fiance drove for 2hrs and achieved close to the average for the entire trip. There isn't much room for improvement when using the cruise control.

Variables on my trip:

Wind speed and direction
Lower grill block installed/removed
Fuel octane
Hills
Traffic
Temperature
Elevation
Road condition
Speed

To really get an accurate picture of the differences between you and your wife, you would need to track multiple trips and multiple tanks of gas. Urban driving would highlight these differences even more.
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Old 07-09-2013, 10:07 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Route 16
Posts: 3,616

Al the Third, year four - '13 Honda Fit Base
Team Honda
90 day: 42.9 mpg (US)
Thanks: 1,434
Thanked 1,575 Times in 1,004 Posts
I was just trying to use her as a baseline mileage in a situation that was set up to fail. Trying to see if throwing technique at a brick wall would get better results than simply banging your head against it.


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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheepdog44 View Post
Transmission type Efficiency
Manual neutral engine off.100% @MPG <----- Fun Fact.
Manual 1:1 gear ratio .......98%
CVT belt ............................88%
Automatic .........................86%

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