MPG, 4x4 and torque

Homesteading & Country Living Forum

Help Support Homesteading & Country Living Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.

pengyou

Awesome Friend
Neighbor
Joined
Nov 1, 2013
Messages
177
Location
Beijing
I have "processed" 6 vehicles in the past decade looking for the "perfect" vehicle to do cross country traveling in - would also be my BOV, if needs be. I am looking for something that has 10-12' long of livable space in it, in addition to the driving space, a club cab that seats 4, has 4x4 and....here is the killer....gets at least 20 mph at 60-65 mph (I need to be able to go at least 700 miles and still have reserve. I am working on a design for a pop-up type camper or trailer, but if mounted on a pickup bed would still be about 6' tall by itself + plus the height of the bed, or 7' on a trailer. Idealistic :( I think there were some f250 diesels with manual transmissions that got 17mpg or so on the highway with the 7.3l turbo. My friend has a 95 dodge4x4 with 5 speed that he gets 20 mpg hauling 2,500 pounds, but he does not have a club cab. Something has to go...but don't know what. First on the list to go would be the club cab. Though i have seen some Toyota Pups overseas with 4x4 and 4 cylinder diesel that got 27 mpg on the freeway.....hoping to tap into both the creativity and realism of this group. I would be willing to toss in an overdrive between the tranny and the transfer case to get 3+ more mpg. or swap an engine into a different vehicle. Be creative...any vehicle that you think might pass mustard?
 
First I'd calculate the added of cost of installing any after market components just to achieve an extra couple miles per gallon. For the cost of some after market components you'd have to drive many thousands of miles before you come close to breaking even on the fuel savings cost. Many add-ons will never pencil out financially. Just do your research and do a cost benefit analysis before throwing out a lot of $$$.
 
First I'd calculate the added of cost of installing any after market components just to achieve an extra couple miles per gallon. For the cost of some after market components you'd have to drive many thousands of miles before you come close to breaking even on the fuel savings cost. Many add-ons will never pencil out financially. Just do your research and do a cost benefit analysis before throwing out a lot of $$$.
True, but the main objective is to be able to travel 700+miles in a crisis situation without filling up... the mpg is not so essential for typical camping trips. There is no way to put a price on being able to get somewhere safely, and not get robbed or murdered because you ran out of gas 85% of the way there.
 
True, but the main objective is to be able to travel 700+miles in a crisis situation without filling up... the mpg is not so essential for typical camping trips. There is no way to put a price on being able to get somewhere safely, and not get robbed or murdered because you ran out of gas 85% of the way there.
True. You can add an extra fuel tank between the frame rails. Or you could install an in bed transfer tank. On my F250 I have 2 under bed tanks and a 60 gallon transfer tank. I can carry about 100 gallons of fuel. Even at 12 mpg I have a 1200 mile range.
 
Thanks! Yes, that is certainly an option, and a very viable one. I have seen some older F150's 4x4 that advertise 22...The new F150 advertises about 30+mpg on the freeway, but I don't have $30K x2 to buy one :) I also don't like all of the plastics and electronics on those things. i have read stories of people loosing the keys to their car and then calling some service that would open the door and start the engine for halfway across the country, without getting near the vehicle. I think that just spells trouble. I would like to stick to 98-2000 because of the simpler engines, but they also had dual air bags up front by that time. the Scout II came (yes, ended in 83) with a Nissan turbo I4 on a limited basis that got more than 20 mpg. The TLC with an I6 turbo got more than 20 - my friend claimed even when he was pulling a 2,000 pound trailer at 55 mph....but don't dare try to go much faster with the stock rear end! Some of the older Vanagons did well with a subaru heart in them - some even put the diesel boxer in them and got >20...but they have limited space for expansion and cargo.
 
I think you're approaching this the wrong way. In several senses.

First, who cares about fuel economy. You need it to carry fuel to go 700 miles. Fine. My RV gets 9-10 mpg. 100 gallon fuel capacity. Done. Not enough? Store a barrel or two of fuel in back in the RV with a transfer hose/pump. Done twice. And a big 30 or 40 ft RV has room for: guns/ammo/beans/bandaids/seeds/books/solar. And it has it's own toilet/shower/sink/fridge for both traveling and once you arrive. Done three times.

Second, if things are so bad that you have to go 700 miles without refueling. Bad news: you're not going 700 miles. And you're not going 60 mph. The roads will be closed/blocked/sniper. I would plan to leave early or plan to not make it there.
 
I've put some thought into this type of scenario a bit though nowhere I really want to bug out to. Unless its a daily driver, forget about mileage. That metric only matters for about 700 miles, then none at all. Can't think of anything that beats old diesel technology in a BOV. You may be legally limited to the quantity of gasoline you can carry at one time in your region...if you're into caring about such things. Diesel is much safer for transport, should store longer, better MPG and the engines tend to be more durable, though I've never had a gasoline V8 fail catastrophically on me. My dream BOV is a square body chevy 4-door 4x4 dually with a Cummins 4BT or 6BT mated to whatever Dodge trans that comes from the donor vehicle as long as its all mechanical because:
1. No fan of Dodge, but the trans was designed for the power and torque characteristics of the engine. I like manuals but probably prefer auto here because I've only got 2 arms and who knows what will need my attention during a bugout...working comms, a clutch, accelerator, AR15, stick, brakes and steering with my knees...
2. All mechanical diesel for obvious reasons but a Cummins 12V is about the most reliable and simple as they come. I'd take a fuel guzzling, reliable and cheap engine in a BOV over a fuel sipping, reliable, electronic and expensive engine everyday. Its not bad on fuel either.
3. Dually because spare tires are great but spare tires already mounted and on the road are better.
4. Eight foot bed with vented camper shell for extra diesel, propane, generators, stove, tents, guns, fishing gear, clothes, boots, tire or two, water, tools, tools, tools...etc.
5. Bumper pull RV...living space makes you slow and lumbering...you can cut the house loose if you have to.
6. 4x4, not that I think the roads will suddenly turn to mud in the SHTF, but twist a drive line in two, you can limp along with front wheel drive. Spare U-joints don't take up much room though.
 
True, but the main objective is to be able to travel 700+miles in a crisis situation without filling up... the mpg is not so essential for typical camping trips. There is no way to put a price on being able to get somewhere safely, and not get robbed or murdered because you ran out of gas 85% of the way there.
that is why they make gas cans,,,,or just install a larger fuel tank,,,,,at one time I had a ford F150 with a 50 gal fuel tank on it plus the original tank,,,,we went a long ways between fill ups
 
M31,
I'd definitely avoid the bumper pull trailer. I was talking about a full RV. Get a diesel front end, something like a F-750 and put a 40 ft box in back. Lots of those exist as an RV, fully configured. Many are 'toy haulers' with tailgate lifts, so you can put a golf cart or motorcycle in the back 'garage' area. Or use it for storage, the lift will make loading a breeze. You won't find them for $2k, but they will be worth it if needing to make a big trip like described.
 
I think cutting the house loose and having an unload 4x4 could be pretty useful at the BOL for things like gathering firewood and scouting around a bit. Much lighter than an RV and can get into tighter places than an RV...as long as the fuel holds out. Life goes on once at the BOL.
 
Back
Top