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Old 02-03-2013
1derer 1derer is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: tucson
Posts: 377
Default Propulsion on the cheap -

More MPG. That’s what we’d all like, right? Make that more MP$.
So, put on your thinking caps, gents. There’s new stuff in the wind. Let’s plug what we can into the Birds.
1 We’ve heard about member stevels use of wvo, which with his on-board processing, allows him to travel for pennies from and to anywhere there are restaurants.
2 Just like there’s varying percentages of veggie based ethanol in gasoline, giving us products in the U.S. up to E85, or even more if you’re in Venezuela for example, there’s also B% for our diesels, on up to B100, as at http://web.cvscruisevictoria.com/default.aspx?Tag=bio-diesel%20bus Since processing the wvo into B100 is a little more complicated than using straight wvo as stevels does, it seems you can’t just process it on board as he does; you have to stop for awhile and carry a bit more equipment as noted in http://journeytoforever.org/biodiesel_make.html
3 Now that there’s a network (kind of sparse, admittedly, but enough) of CNG station outlets nationwide, maybe this approx $2 per equivalent gallon is appealing, though the scuttlebutt I’ve heard so far suggests retrofit meets with less success than OEM. Though used CNG buses can be had as cheap as other buses, no Birds were made that way at the factory so far as I've heard. I haven’t heard of any other RVs that were either, though I haven’t looked hard.
4 We all have air brakes, and coming soon are cars that run on compressed air , alone or in hybrid with a conventional motor as at http://gas2.org/2012/05/13/tata-india-were-building-compressed-air-cars-this-year/ Apparently cars can be retrofitted to run on compressed air as claimed at http://gas2.org/2013/01/25/the-peugeot-air-powered-hybrid-car-could-hit-streets-by-2016/ , so why not the Birds, which I would think would be one step ahead of the pack in already having compressed air tanks for the brakes. Since the air can be had using an electric pump, people with a solar roof ought to be sitting pretty.
While I would think diesel prices ought to come down as alternately fueled vehicles become more numerous, it hasn’t happened so far, with petroleum based fuels prices in Feb. 2013 reportedly the highest they’ve ever been for this season of the year. Blame it on developing countries’ demand for cars? I don’t know. But even if they stay the same, it’s a lock that anybody who comes up with a cheaper way to move behemoths like we like to drive will be able to charge a premium price for the merchandise. Plus, it’ll be new. Which puts it into a whole other galaxy of price points that I suspect most of us would just as soon skip.
So there may be some actual value to be gained from putting some effort into this matter.
'75 FC Cummins 8.3
Tucson, AZ

Last edited by 1derer; 02-04-2013 at 01:03 AM.
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Old 02-03-2013
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irmagoo irmagoo is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: washington
Posts: 2,569

i'm think i'll just win the lotto...i'm guessing that would be easier than coming up with cheap way to move 40ft. pt down the road
mike mcgraugh
2003 LXI
"Blacktop Gyspy"
even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in awhile
washington Il.
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Old 02-03-2013
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Rick Rick is offline
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Bellefonte
Posts: 13,226

Fuel is the cheapest expense of owning one of these as you know. I can put a lot fuel in the tank for what anyone of those conversions would cost.
Rick Shawver
1SG Ret
2000 LX
Vise Grips
Bellefonte, AR
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Old 02-03-2013
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Ernest Ekberg Ernest Ekberg is offline
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Weatherford, Tx
Posts: 5,937

I'm not messing with my engine
Ernie Ekberg
Prevost Liberty 45 XL
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Old 02-05-2013
ejallison1 ejallison1 is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Kansas
Posts: 667

Do a little farming on the side and have been researching growing pennycress as a feedstock for making biodiesel since it supposedly doesn't interfere with cash crop rotation and can be used as a cover crop and harvested prior to planting beans. Can't get restaurants to donate used vegetable oil anymore-to many willing buyers now-virgin oil is suppose to be better anyway. Western Illinois University has been doing research-mainly developing a seed line. Trying to find a used screw type oil press that would fit my scale of operation-any suggestions on leads? Ebay seems to have a plethora of new chinese units. I think a 2-6 ton per day capacity would work for me-could be more but not less. It might just be a viable option for me and if feasable would certainly keep the bird less grounded! One of the VW diesels will have to be the guinea pig - or in this case rabbit! Sorry John Finn-couldn't resist
Ed Allison
1986 PT 40
"Gypsy Rose"
Kansas, Il
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Old 02-05-2013
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Randy Dupree Randy Dupree is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Port St Joe,Fl
Posts: 35,884

Interesting stuff Ed.
How much pressure with a screw press need to press oil?
email me at randy@randydupree.com only.

Randy Dupree
2000 LXI 43
Port St Joe Fl.

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Old 02-05-2013
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BikeRider BikeRider is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Ann arbor
Posts: 69

I have several friends in the music industry that travel across the country on primarily SVO (straight veggie oil). Last year alone they estimated they saved 50K on fuel. They also travel a lot and have become very good at acquiring and filtering SVO on the road. It's not for everyone thats for sure. In fact, I think it would be pretty difficult to source SVO in a 35-40 ft Wanderlodge. Imagine pulling into the back of a restaurant and running a hose up to 50 feet or more to pump dirty oil into your tank. Clean up and move on. You might only get 50gallons per stop. For a thirsty bird, you might be stopping a lot. Figure about an hour per stop if everything goes smooth.

I've had full circle fuels http://www.fullcirclefuels.com/ quote a system for our BB. It would consist of two tanks. A dirty tank that then pumps into a clean tank and then into the bus. They heat the tanks and filter between each step in the process. You also need to travel with an external pump if you want to fill on the road. On our FC35, there isnt a ton of external storage for a pump like this. Then, there is the problem of where to locate the SVO tanks. The only good location we've found is under the couches in the front of the bus. We could easily fit 2 45 gallon tanks without too much re route of existing stuff. The rough cost is around 6K (maybe cheaper if you did some work on your own). And you still need to source SVO after you've done the work.

All that said; it really does not make sense for our family. We mostly travel on long weekends and within the state. We knew we would pay for fuel as a part of our lifestyle.

If it were in the 2/3K range, we might consider it.

Maybe fuel prices will drop this year :-)
Ben Lorenz
Ann Arbor, Mi
81 fc35
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