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Old 01-14-2008, 07:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Need advice....In-Laws got a guzzler...

So, my In-laws just got themselves a new "car"
Looks kinda like this:


I'm going back home in Feburary and the wife and I are going to try to convince them to make some more environmentally-friendly decisions.
(I.E.-using reusable coffee cups instead of disposable.)
It occurs to me that they have a new huge "opportunity" sitting in their driveway now.

So, I'm trying to come up with ideas to green up their transport situation.
First the basic facts.

They commute 30 miles/day (roundtrip) and have two cars, one is an Olds Alero, the other is the F350 dually diesel.

Once every 2 weeks they have to haul 2 pallets of magazines a few hundred miles. They would prefer to be able to load these magazines with a forklift, so they don't have to stack and unstack them when loading and unloading.

They need to have one vehicle that can haul their current horse trailer (1-2 horses) or a similarly sized camper or trailer.

They pretty much only buy American cars, they may be convinced to buy an import, but it would take some doing.


So far I've been thinking of recommending a Dodge sprinter van, it's diesel and has a cavernous amount of space (it'll fit 3 4'x4' pallets or 3000lbs) but is still EPA rated for 26/30mpg.
I assume from it's size that it'll have at least a class II receiver hitch, so that would do fine from a trailer perspective.

The other thing that I've considered recommending is a WVO/SVO conversion.
dinofuelalternatives.com sells the "vegistroke" conversion kit. I just don't know if WVO is going to be user friendly enough for them. Running the truck on WVO isn't the problem, it's the collecting and filtering. That might sink it.
Plus the startup cost, but I'm sure that argument will get easier with summer gas prices

Anyone else have any ideas?

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Old 01-14-2008, 08:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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And I predict more restriction on WVO in the near future... At least, the closer we get to alternatives - the faster those doors will shut on everyone that's not on an alternative getting WVO from mr taco hut

Those sprinters are awesome when you need to move stuff frequently - and how many mpg does the f350 get? I imagine the 350 is around 17 combined (if that)? They also work well hauling too (the place I worked over the summer had two of them for hauling large equipment trailers)

----
If they're going to keep the 350... I recommend that they look into a third car. If the insurance increase versus fuel savings makes in economical - find a used daily driver with at least 30mpg and bring out the 350 every other week This is a case where renting isn't a good option and a third car might be pushing it...

If a third car is too expensive - look into an aero truck cap maybe...

All that aside - given the rhetoric about Iran... I predict things are going to hit the fan soon despite the Saudi bribe, expect fuel to hit an even bigger fan...
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Old 01-14-2008, 08:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trebuchet03 View Post
All that aside - given the rhetoric about Iran... I predict things are going to hit the fan soon despite the Saudi bribe, expect fuel to hit an even bigger fan...
JJ anyone?

I think a third car may become an option eventually, as soon as the "things" actually have been hitting the fan for a while. They're not real umm.... forward-looking when it comes to these things. (that almost goes without saying with the new "car")
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Old 01-14-2008, 09:52 PM   #4 (permalink)
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well.. if they keep it we can at least look on the bright side.. at least it's a diesel.
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Old 01-14-2008, 10:00 PM   #5 (permalink)
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If they haven't asked for a "greening up", don't expect them to be receptive.
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Old 01-15-2008, 01:32 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Lee View Post
If they haven't asked for a "greening up", don't expect them to be receptive.
Well, I'm not expecting a warm reception on the basis of being "green" but if it can come in a form that can save them some green, that's much more likely to succeed.

I'm not sure what a 1 ton dually gets as far as gas mileage, but I know it can't be good. A sprinter would probably double the MPG, halving the fuel costs, and the WVO could make free fuel a possibility...

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