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Old 11-30-2013, 03:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
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New from SF Bay Area - 2011 Ford Ranger

New member here, from the East Bay part of the San Francisco Bay Area. I just bought my first truck, a 2011 Ford Ranger, 2.3L 5-speed manual transmission. This truck is a lifestyle choice and is used mainly for road trips/adventuring, camping, diving, hauling motorcycles, hauling materials, sleeping inside of etc.

I did get the highest MPG truck I could find as I've recently (in the last 5 years) started paying attention and giving serious consideration to fuel efficiency in all my vehicle choices. I daily commute on a motorcycle and mainly drive the truck for the reasons described above.

EPA rating of this truck is 24/27 mpg. My first tank of gas I got 24.5mpg in mixed use driving, although more on the freeway than not. It is currently a bone stock XLT model (meaning it has power windows and locks etc.) with an uncovered truck bed. I just ordered a ScanGauge II and decided to track and monitor the efficiency changes as I change the truck, and will hold off on making any modifications until the ScanGauge is installed.

First plans are to put on a camper shell (lifestyle choice and the reason I bought the truck), and build a bed and set of drawers in the bed of the truck. Keeping weight down with these additions is a priority but functionality is a higher priority for me. I'm going to focus easiest up-front eco-mods for me which might be:
aero grille
front air dam
front bumper hole filling / sealed panel gaps
covering fog light holes in bumper
belly pan / under tray
wheel well / fender modifications

My background:
I am currently a Construction Manager for a large engineering firm managing day-to-day operations on large-scale energy-retrofit construction projects for state and federal facilities. I also manage high-pressure natural gas industrial construction projects in the Oil and Gas sector such as storage facility retrofits, compressor stations, pipelines, etc. I'm also involved in the planning/analysis/R&D and constructing of of pyrolitic oil manufacturing plants, solar thermal plants, and PV systems. My main career interests are process piping systems, power generation, welding, instrumentation, energy efficient HVAC systems and the like. My first career was in network engineering/computer security, then I aborted a career as an engineer in the merchant marines to join the construction world.
In my personal life I ride and build custom motorcycles, make furniture and other random practical stuff, do night photography and explore abandoned buildings, camp/explore/swim/dive and love camping road trips to hot springs. In the next 5-7 years I plan on retiring early and building my own low-impact, recycled materials, energy efficient rammed-earth home in California
my photostream:
motorcycle build blog:

I'm eager to apply my fabrication skills and general engineering background to increasing the efficiency of my new truck, and look forward to contributing to the forums.

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Old 11-30-2013, 06:05 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Welcome, from a South-bayer!

Sounds like your lifestyle is a pretty fun one! Road trips, camping, water sports, sounds like fun!

Do a search here for Ford Ranger, you'll find a ton of people who them and it might inspire you to do some of the things you want and more. I know bam zip pow has a t100 that he is building an aerocap for. Check out his thread, you could build one for your truck for better aero, but you could also build it in such a way, that both ends are up, so if you need to haul/sleep, you have the flexibility to do so.

Have you seen these?:

You build your house on a trailer and then you can move it wherever you want to be 'living' at that point. I don't know if your truck is big enough to handle it, but still an interesting idea. My step-dad built one, it was actually really cool.

Have fun and good luck!
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Last edited by jeff88; 11-30-2013 at 06:14 PM..
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Old 12-04-2013, 05:50 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Decent list of mods to start. Getting the 5-speed was your best move!

A cap (if conventional style) is likely going to hurt your fuel economy. But if you're willing to put some time into it, you can make a "convertible" aero style cap that will both improve your efficiency and offer you storage/sleeping space.


Welcome to the forum!

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