OK folks - here's the ultimate mileage question:
I want to get 30+ MPG while hauling 2 hard-bodied sea kayaks, 2 not so hard-bodied adults, and our assorted paddling and camping gear. My Outback averages around 24 MPG doing this with boats on the roof.
What's the magic high-mileage vehicle and kayak hauling setup? Anyone hauling boats on a hybrid Camry?
Deck Rigging Gear
Gedi Convertible Helmet
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Posted by: vaughn1946 on May-07-08 9:20 PM (EST)
Stick with the Outback. You might do better than 24mpg but i don't think you will find a more dependable car than the Outback. Good Luck. VF
Vaughn, you can find a more|
Posted by: g2d on May-07-08 11:23 PM (EST)
dependable car than MY Outback. Repeated clutch problems, AC that refuses to stay fixed, a burned valve, a radio/CD that conked out.... all in spite of sticking to all recommended maintenance.
interesting how mileage questions|
Posted by: damiano on May-07-08 10:45 PM (EST)
start to appear recently on discussion boards.
What do you propose as alternative fuels|
Posted by: Yanoer on May-07-08 10:53 PM (EST)
that would actually be better for the environment and wouldn't consume more energy to produce than they would provide and would be available / sustainable for decades to come?
Posted by: damiano on May-08-08 1:34 AM (EST)
somewhere else on p.net somebody recently mentioned cars propelled by air. Funny enough that was not a joke. Those cars exist and were in production. Orders were taken for large scale manufacturing but somehow (yes, interestingly "somehow") the production was stopped. Detroit was certainly not interested in having competition from somebody that could propel the car by air. Admittedly the air had to be compressed but that was possible by a home compressor that yes would still use electric energy to pump but in minute scale compare to fossil fuel used for internal combustion engines.
Economical hydrogen seems a long way off|
Posted by: Yanoer on May-08-08 11:50 AM (EST)
It currently requires a lot of energy to produce hydrogen. Don't fool yourself if you don't think many people are working on developing hydrogen as an econimical fuel source - they are.
You need a lesson in energy equivalence|
Posted by: guideboatguy on May-08-08 12:14 PM (EST)
Posted by: guideboatguy on May-09-08 12:23 AM (EST)
It's called the CAT, made in India, 120|
Posted by: suntan on May-08-08 12:43 PM (EST)
120 mile range, top speed of 70, sells for $7,000 and is licenced to TATA Motors...all according to CNN.
Air Car article from Popular Mechanics|
Posted by: suntan on May-09-08 11:13 AM (EST)
Air-Powered Car Coming to U.S. in 2009 to 2010 at Sub-$18,000, Could Hit 1000-Mile Range
Posted by: Yanoer on May-09-08 1:12 PM (EST)
Include the link|
Posted by: njkayaker on May-09-08 3:19 PM (EST)
Two laws of physics. Perpetual motion|
Posted by: suntan on May-10-08 5:31 PM (EST)
and conservation of matter. It should be interesting to see how a tank of air charged to 4200 psi can propel a car 1,000 miles.
Posted by: njkayaker on May-10-08 5:46 PM (EST)
got a link?|
Posted by: k7baixo on May-10-08 6:30 PM (EST)
"Orders were taken for large scale manufacturing but somehow (yes, interestingly "somehow") the production was stopped. Detroit was certainly not interested in having competition from somebody that could propel the car by air."
Arizona! I love Arizona, can't wait|
Posted by: old_user on May-13-08 4:52 PM (EST)
to move out there. Then we can meet and go out new car shopping, right after we paddle Apache Lake or Roselvelt or Paridise or the Marina or dozens of other places I'd like to come back to... AND STAY THIS TIME!
Posted by: alexmcgruer on May-09-08 10:21 AM (EST)
Most common engine in Europe and Japan.
Posted by: kelvin1 on May-13-08 9:25 PM (EST)
Modern turbo diesels aren't really slow, I bought a Mazda6 diesel wagon last year and have been happy with it as a paddling vehicle. Unfortunately I don't think they are available in the US.
Car-buying is still ...|
Posted by: guideboatguy on May-07-08 11:01 PM (EST)
...the most expensive aspect of driving. At current prices, a vehicle that gets 30 mpg uses about the same cost in fuel over 200,000 miles as the cost of an average car. Yes, that's a lot of money, but have you stopped to think about how much more driving would cost with alternative fuels right now? It's not "Detroit Oppression" that keeps people buying the cars they do as much as their pocketbook. Even now, the extra cost of a hybrid car exceeds the value in fuel savings, as similarly-sized cars with conventional engines are significantly cheaper to operate over the lifetime of the vehicle. Alternative fuels will find their way into the market when the technology becomes cheaper than what is already available. I don't dispute that lots of people are driving "more car" and using more fuel than they need, but to imply that truely environmentally concerned people would spend what's necessary to get into alternative fuels is silly. The bottom line is that people can only be as environmentally friendly as what they can afford.
Posted by: zzz on May-07-08 11:04 PM (EST)
good sized wagon, 50 mpg (should be well above 30 mpg with a full load)
Keep the Outback|
Posted by: old_user on May-07-08 11:07 PM (EST)
Change your driving habits. Start off slowly, keep your speed under 60 mph, plan braking carefully and slow down early, coast downhills as much as possible, use your cruise control except in mountainous or extremely hilly areas. Fill you tank in the early AM, you get a real full tank then.
Coast downhills? Stay under 60?|
Posted by: g2d on May-07-08 11:27 PM (EST)
Coasting downhills is usually dangerous, and saves very little fuel. Most of us have to drive the interstates, and driving 60 when everyone else is doing 70 or over can pose some safety problems. What I do is to set the cruise so that I am doing about 69 in a 70 zone. Almost everyone else is going faster, so I can relax in the right lane, and leave them to make their passing decisions. But 60 in the same conditons? I don't think so.
Posted by: old_user on May-08-08 10:23 AM (EST)
I'm too smart to call that coasting, and|
Posted by: g2d on May-08-08 12:35 PM (EST)
too smart to crawl the interstates with idiots veering off to miss me, or tailgating and flashing lights. YMMV.
Again, bull, slowing down at least to|
Posted by: old_user on May-08-08 9:29 PM (EST)
65 won't be a significant problem. A couple of weeks ago, pulling a 12 foot trailer loaded, I never got over 55 on a interstate section that eqauls any you drive for speed and lousy drivers. No real problem over 140 miles. Its more in your mindset. As for putting the vehicle in neutral to actually coast, that's not much of a problem except in exceptionally hilly or mountainous terrain.
Driving under the speed limit|
Posted by: pikabike on May-08-08 10:49 PM (EST)
Around here, most people act like the speed limit is the speed minimum. And they don't go only 5 mph over the speed limit. 10 mph over is common, and 15 over is not unusual, depending on the road. Enforcement obviously has been too lax for too long.
Posted by: old_user on May-08-08 9:05 AM (EST)
My Audi A4|
Posted by: ByronWalter on May-08-08 10:44 AM (EST)
manages => 35 mpg unloaded and about 30 with a kayak. As for alternatives, there aren't any viable ones at this time. The energy density of gas is very high. The only source for hydrogen that is currently practicle is natural gas and production in North America is in decline... not to mention that the infrastructure for hydrogen just does not cut it. The stuff leaks outta nearly every thing, ya gotta liquidfy it to transport it, you need a high pressure system to load it into your car's storage tank, the range of the vechicles suck... basically you would have to switch your gas tank for your trunk.
Posted by: aamapes on May-09-08 1:40 PM (EST)
Thanks- this looks like a nice setup. What kind of spread do you have between the rack bars? It looks pretty good, compared to most small cars.
48" Bar Spread|
Posted by: old_user on May-09-08 3:43 PM (EST)
This was a DIY installation using Yakima Landing Pads and Tracks. Email me for gory details
Posted by: Jeffrey_Lee on May-08-08 10:44 AM (EST)
I've been very happy with my 2007 Toyota Matrix with 5-spd manual.
Mine gets around 31 while hauling...|
Posted by: rbynum on May-08-08 12:13 PM (EST)
I have a Chevy HHR, and I love it. I get 31mpg average while towing my 8' trailer with 4 boats on board.
BMW with Trailex trailer|
Posted by: tecpartner on May-08-08 12:18 PM (EST)
I recently got 30 mpg in my 3 series BMW (with the 2.5 liter engine) pulling a trailer with one kayak on it over 700 miles. (I averaged 70 MPH.)
Posted by: rusty125 on May-08-08 8:51 PM (EST)
I've been getting 29 MPG in my Nissan Altima. 2 boats on the roof drop it to 25.
Subaru Legacy2.2 , 5spd Honest 31 - 36|
Posted by: onnopaddle on May-09-08 5:48 AM (EST)
Driving with a light foot.
Diesel Jetta Wagon|
Posted by: old_user on May-09-08 12:38 PM (EST)
The old models got great mileage. The brand new models are supposed to get between 50 - 60 mpg.
Posted by: steve on May-09-08 2:28 PM (EST)
Probably blasting up to a symposium with the windows down, no cruise control and speeds up to about 75. There was only one boat, but I averaged just about 45mpg in my diesel Jetta!
Life in the slow lane|
Posted by: old_user on May-09-08 1:00 PM (EST)
I have a GMC Jimmy and routinely drive at 59 on the highway. I get between 75 and 100 miles more per tank than when I drive 65-70.
300 mpg on diesel|
Posted by: salty on May-09-08 3:21 PM (EST)
about half a gallon to get the engine and veg oil hot, then switch to veg and drove a little over 300 miles (40 gallon veggie tank). About another half gallon of disel to purge before shut down...most of which gets returned to the veg tank, so it's not really lost fuel.
40 mpg, fully loaded|
Posted by: old_user on May-09-08 3:41 PM (EST)
Dunno that it's magic but... 1996 Passat TDi wagon (1.9L diesel). With two sea boats on the roof and a full load of camping gear, mix of 80mph highway driving and bunch of very hilly 2 laners yielded 40 mpg on a trip to Canada last Summer. Regularly get a tad better than that with a bit less gear load. Tdi's are currently available only on the used market, at least for a few more months when new versions are supposed to hit the US market.
Posted by: riverstrider on May-09-08 5:25 PM (EST)
2 kayaks on top, week's worth of camping and paddling gear inside, 2 adults, in a Toyota Prius.
Posted by: old_user on May-10-08 10:09 PM (EST)
In my prius, with 2 kayaks, 2 people, and a lot of junk in the back, we get about 45 mpg. Add the dogs and a couple bikes and it drops to 42 mpg. You can stuff a lot of stuff in a prius--our last trip included 2 people, 2 pit bulls, one husky, 2 pairs of skis, and winter gear for a week. No kayaks on top for that trip, however.
If small carbon footprint and les gas ..|
Posted by: old_user on May-10-08 11:02 AM (EST)
is the issue, then I'd recommend doing a "Dubside," i.e Commando kayaking! I'd get a folding boat, check out public transportation options and feel good about yourself.
Thanks for all the info|
Posted by: aamapes on May-13-08 11:04 PM (EST)
The Subie has only 107K on it, so I'll be keeping it for now, but all these comments give me lots to investigate. I used to get in the mid-30's with a VW Rabbit and an 18' canoe on top - we'll see what VW does with the new tdi's.
Diesel or Hybrid|
Posted by: kocho on May-14-08 9:42 AM (EST)
Is the only way you gonna break the 30 mpg barrier at any reasonable speed IMO. May be the smaller cars like Yaris or Fit may do it as weel, but it will be too close to your current to warrant an upgrade.