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Thirsty Belle

November 5, 2009

Straight and flat, I-40 has been a breeze and welcomed break for Belle in comparison to the roads we traveled this summer. With all the ups and downs and winding roads of the Cascade and Rocky Mountains it seemed we never had a constant speed. Cruise control has been a real pleasure since leaving New Mexico.

The cool thing is, we haven’t seen a drastic change in our gas mileage, which is what we thought the diesel engine would do for us. Seeing as we’d be fully loaded 24/7  i.e. we live in it , we’d be in mostly mountainous terrain, and the diesel would pull loads with less strain, we liked the idea that payload wouldn’t hurt our mileage too drastically, not to mention the ability to run biofuels, which don’t seem to be as common in ethanol engines. A better fit for us for sure. We had been averaging 10mpg most all summer, in mostly mountainous terrain, and since we’ve hit the flat land we’ve been consistently closer to 13mpg, especially with wind slapping Belle’s big back side out of the west. Might not sound great but, pretty awesome compared to where we would be with a gas engine:  maybe 8-10mpg on the flats, at best, with wind, and a nasty 6-8mpg in the hills. Small numbers, but thats nearly a 50% difference! Diesel and Bio have been a bit more expensive than regular unleaded but not so much that I don’t think we’ve certainly come out ahead.  In fact, with the higher percentages of biodiesel, we get a mile or so better MPG.  We do love the engine and unit.  Especially now that we’re driving more and sitting still less than we were – we need every MPG that can be squeezed out.

Next highly awaited stop. The Mississippi Hickmans, Friday evening. Can’t wait to see them and get the cousins together.


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