Monday, March 9, 2009

Fuel Economy?

I recently returned from a ~1400 mile round-trip to Louisiana and have the MPG calculations for the trip down south, pulling a compact pickup truck (Ranger) with a 4-wheeler in the back of the truck, traveling an average speed of 65MPH. Well, I got 6MPG with the 440-3 and the 3-speed 727-3 transmission. I have 16" 6-lug rims with 7.50x16LT load D tires. On the return trip, I aired-up the tires to 65psi, on the pickup truck to 35psi, and tried to drive 60MPH. I have to fill the tank on the beast back-up to get the return trip MPG, but my guess is about 7MPG. I know it gets 8MPG if I am not towing something and driving 55-60MPH.

I lost the cover to the generator on the return trip, so I will need to have a new one manufactured soon... add it to the list. I did get to try-out the new custom mattress, and it was not to bad (not a pillow top for sure!). The custom sheets came in, I need to wash them and put them on for my next trip. I discovered that West Marine has the water heater I would like to replace (or add in series to) my water heater. It is 120VAC with a heat exchanger for the engine coolant. So, as you drive down the road, you heat the water...I also want to connect the generator coolant (through a series of valves) to allow the generator to heat the water as well. I hate to waste "all" that heat! Also, in the process, I can add an air heat-exchanger to allow the rear of the cabin to be heated from the engine or generator heat as well. I have also toyed with the idea of installing an electric fan for the 440's radiator and eliminate the radiator on the generator to reduce weight, but the return would be only in the fun of making the change, not much weight savings there after the piping and such.

I also see that West Marine has some LED dome lights, I have one dome light that needs replacing (cracked lens), so I could use their "economy" LED dome light in place of the drivers dome light, as it has a switch to use white or red LEDs for the light... cool!

On the trip I discovered that the seal on the input of the rear differential is leaking fluid, the transmission is leaking fluid from everywhere (probably the "front seal" ...where the torque converter goes in), the RR brake slave cylinder is leaking brake fluid, the LF brake hose was rubbing a hole in itself against the tire, and there is a water leak in the floor when I take a shower...whew! Hey, at least the roof is not leaking, now THAT would be bad. I will start with the brake items and go from there, hopefully before my next real trip.