Quantcast
  1. LAST DAY FOR SECRET SANTA ENTRIES! Get your entries in today!
    Go here for details and to learn how to participate.

Toshi's ride pics thread

Discussion in 'Northeast' started by Toshi, Apr 20, 2002.

  1. DaveW Space Monkey

    Rep  |  Likes:
    20   |   20
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2001
    Messages:
    7,892
    Location:
    Karori, Poneke, Te Ika-a-Maui
    You can't start on CNG??

    Odd the LGP was fine for starting on for me.
    I kinda miss that van, by the time I sold it I'd clocked up over 380,000km and it had a total of 520,000 on the clock, still ran perfectly!
  2. DaveW Space Monkey

    Rep  |  Likes:
    20   |   20
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2001
    Messages:
    7,892
    Location:
    Karori, Poneke, Te Ika-a-Maui
    Oh Happy Birthday Toshi, hope you have a good one! :D
  3. Toshi Harbinger of Doom

    Rep  |  Likes:
    31   |   33
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2001
    Messages:
    17,362
    Thanks. It's not Nov 5th yet for me :D

    Apparently cng cold starting is suboptimal so it waits a bit, checks the temp then switches.

    Ed: from article 2 posts back:

    Last edited: Nov 4, 2012
  4. DaveW Space Monkey

    Rep  |  Likes:
    20   |   20
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2001
    Messages:
    7,892
    Location:
    Karori, Poneke, Te Ika-a-Maui
    lol bloody Yanks.... Your always behind the times! ;)
  5. Toshi Harbinger of Doom

    Rep  |  Likes:
    31   |   33
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2001
    Messages:
    17,362
    I've turned my obsessive Eye of Sauron healthy desire to learn about new things to the home over the past day or two.

    The chain of thought that led to this was the post-Sandy gas shortages (still ongoing a week after the storm!) and the resultant double whammy of both loss of transportation ability and power for many people. This in turn led to mulling over generator choices, which led to the whole CNG vehicle idea after I re-learned about the existence of home vehicle refueling applianaces. When I added said NG generator plans to my "house stuff" spreadsheet (of course I had one already! heh), I realized I had little true comprehension of all that I'd previously sketched out there. I'd basically copied home technology Wikipedia category headings and passivhaus templates without me truly parsing them.

    Well, my brain has been expanded with yet more information of possibly limited utility, and I now have some thoughts to disgorge before I can fall asleep:

    - The house enclosure itself that we envision would be straightforward and certainly well insulated, but not quite up to passivhaus levels of craziness. I'm thinking large south facing windows with an overhang, at least argon filled double pane windows if triple pane isn't readily available, R40 wall and R60 roof insulation with minimized heat coupling (maybe via structural insulated panels as in this WA state example), but no obsessive air tightness checks with blower doors or the like.

    - Natural gas will get the nod for HVAC and hot water generation, winning out over more exotic technologies after I did some reading (ground source heat pumps, solar hot water, and tankless NG water heaters, in particular). In particular, I think the Hydronic freewatt system with radiant floor heating sounds absolutely amazing (co-generation at the house scale!), and with the optional indirect water tank it'd serve for the house's water heating needs as well. Since hydronic heating doesn't allow for AC functionality by design, I think adding in strategic ductless mini-split-system heat pumps here and there would be the cleanest, most efficient system. No ducts, please!

    - Non-HVAC uses of NG would also abound: NG clothes dryer (dries quicker, cheaper to run), NG stovetop (quicker response and more heat/since when did they start making weird shaped 5 burner 36" width stovetops?!), the VRA for the hypothetical CNG-capable vehicle (Fuelmaker FMQ-2-36, probably), and the NG-swilling standby generator, too (Kohler or Cummins Onan? must size when house size mapped out but probably in the neighborhood of 30-40 kW?).

    - Probably no exotic alternative energy (PV, wind, small scale hydro) unless we end up in Oregon due to their tax incentives. In Seattle I'd just check the box for the Green Up! program and live another day.

    The other bits and pieces that I figured out are even less interesting than the above, if that's possible, and involved less thought. The HVAC + water heating bit was the trickiest. I went back and forth a million times between air source heat pumps (medium cost, inefficient at low ambient temps), ground source/"geothermal" heat pumps (expensive, especially when the drilling is accounted for, with long payback times), NG furnaces with forced air (cheap cost but inefficient due to air/air transfer + ducting losses + needs finicky ducts in the first place), NG boilers with hydronic radiant or baseboard heating (cheap cost, pretty good overall efficiency, needs supplemental AC added on), and hybrid dual fuel systems that combine a NG furnace/forced air with an air source heat pump (good for redundancy and actual heat quality but kind of "worst of both worlds" otherwise) before stumbling on the freewatt system.

    Overall this would be a pretty NG dependent setup. I'm ok with that, especially since some of the NG used to generate heat with the freewatt system would in turn co-generate electricity for the house's own use. Given all the talk of US NG reserves and the likelihood that Tuesday's election winner (either one) will just continue to relax fracking and general drilling regulations, I think it's a safe bet as well that NG will remain cheap.
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2012
  6. Toshi Harbinger of Doom

    Rep  |  Likes:
    31   |   33
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2001
    Messages:
    17,362
    How the freewatt system works:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=-HWskiVkcf8

    What's not shown is what happens in the summer, when you don't need heat at all. In that circumstance it simply doesn't do anything unless hot water is requested--it serves as the hot water heater, too. Electricity is drawn off the grid.
  7. Toshi Harbinger of Doom

    Rep  |  Likes:
    31   |   33
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2001
    Messages:
    17,362
    So I followed up with World CNG, the Seattle distributor for IMPCO, and got the scoop:

    - yes, they do offer Tahoe/Yukon conversions even though they're not listed on the World CNG website (the EPA does list certified conversions for the same by IMPCO, which is how I knew to ask)
    - customer choice of Type 1 (steel) or Type 4 (plastic liner/composite shell) CNG tanks
    - 9.2 gge total capacity
    - mounted underneath the vehicle with shielding, displacing the spare tire to oblivion or inside the vehicle

    Somehow I'm not nearly as psyched about this option as the Ram 2500 CNG: Probably the same price for the conversion part itself, half the CNG capacity as the Ram, and, most importantly, no clearance lights on the cab. Plus the under-vehicle location of the tank would preclude any off-road use for fear of damaging them. If no off-road use is possible, why spring for 4x4 and this type of vehicle at all? For a purely on-road vehicle I think an EV would meet my hypothetical needs better.
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2012
  8. Toshi Harbinger of Doom

    Rep  |  Likes:
    31   |   33
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2001
    Messages:
    17,362
    Updated thoughts on hot water and HVAC after more reading and figuring out that my wife likes ducted AC :rofl: :

    Overall goal is lowest 10 year total cost, inclusive of initial price + installation, tax credits if applicable, and running costs assuming current fuel price (which, in Seattle, is that NG is about half the price of electricity for equal measures of energy). This would be comparing like to like, so option 1 vs. 2 vs. 3, really. The ones without radiant everywhere will be cheaper, I assume, but less "nice," so we'd need to price them out and see how much the luxury of radiant heat everywhere would be worth to us.

    Several possibilities exist as I, as an uneducated but curious outsider, see it. I'll go over each with the HVAC contractor when that time comes down the road after they figure out a Manual J heat load estimate and in turn size the system appropriately:

    Option 1: Full boat geothermal

    I think the above option would be fantastic in terms of comfort (radiant floors everywhere!) and electricity use (ground source/geothermal heat pumps!) but probably will also be a fantastically expensive installation for these very same reasons. Even horizontal ground loops aren't cheap to dig and install.

    NB: If you're having cognitive discordance about NG being half the cost of electricity and my claims that this all-electric setup would be cheaper to run, recall that heat pumps, especially geothermal/ground source ones, can move much more heat than that inherent in the electricity they consume. Coefficient of performance can range up to 5.2 for that 50YEW water to water unit in an open loop (well or pool pump 'n dump, if I parse what open loop means correctly) setup and 4.2 in a closed loop (more typical setup, like those horizontal ground loops) setup.

    4.2 COP * 0.5 energy price difference > 0.95, where 0.95 is the efficiency of a good NG boiler. The catch is that in reality due to temperature differentials, etc. COP is more likely to be on the order of 3. 3 * 0.5 isn't that much greater than 0.95, which would probably mean a very, very long time to cost parity with option 3 below.

    NB 2: It's legit to run water to water and water to air ground source heat pumps together. Carrier recommends this configuration, in fact. See page 34 here. As for sharing the ground loop between the two heat pumps, page 3 of that same document says:

    Option 2: Radiant for all via co-generation

    This would also be very comfortable, but radiant floors upstairs are supposed to be expensive and that part's unchanged. At least there's no ground loop to deal with. With the freewatt price premium it may never pay off relative to the next option.

    Option 3: Radiant for all via standard NG boiler

    The question would be whether the reduced electricity usage afforded by the freewatt's co-generation would pay off its increased initial costs with respect to the otherwise identical Combi setup above. We'll run the numbers in reality, but my gut feeling is that Option 3 would be cheaper than Option 2 over 10 years of operation. Still overall expensive due to hydronics on all 3 levels.

    Option 4: Paring down radiant heat for fun and profit

    This would be cheaper yet. The radiant bit would be much cheaper being one zone, single basement level. The ASHP would be cheaper because it could be sized for just the top 2/3rds of the house. What would be given up is the luxury of radiant heat everywhere.

    Option 5: No radiant, yes HVAC ducts

    Could be a wash with option 4 (no hydronics/radiant but larger ASHP needed) or could be cheaper yet.

    Option 6: No radiant and no HVAC ducts, either

    Could possibly be cheaper than option 5, possibly be more expensive. Jessica likes the idea of HVAC ducts vs. mini-splits, and if a separate unit (not a separate zone!) is required for each bedroom then this probably wouldn't make sense. If we could get by with just 3 units, 1 per floor, each its own zone with heat equalization via the ERV's circulation + open doors then it'd probably be the cheapest option overall.
  9. Toshi Harbinger of Doom

    Rep  |  Likes:
    31   |   33
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2001
    Messages:
    17,362
    So even for a given layout and assumed R-40 walls/R-60 roof insulation level there are many options, as I see it. My thoughts on the above options:

    If and only if we chose option 1 then it'd make sense to look into solar hot water heating as well, since to add DHW heating to the water to water GSHP that I speced out you need a buffer tank. Once you have a buffer tank then it should be straightforward to plumb solar hot water heating into said tank. All of the other options don't involve a buffer tank.

    My gut feeling is that when radiant floors throughout are held constant, options 1 (geothermal) and 2 (co-generation) are probably too expensive/wouldn't pay off in 10 years as compared to option 3 (Combi boiler).

    Realistically I think options 3 (Combi boiler, radiant throughout, ducted ASHP mainly for AC) or 4 (radiant in basement alone, ducted ASHP for both primary heat and AC outside of basement) would be the frontrunners. If option 3 is even close in price to 4 I think I'd spring for #3 for the luxury aspect of radiant floors everywhere.
  10. Toshi Harbinger of Doom

    Rep  |  Likes:
    31   |   33
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2001
    Messages:
    17,362
    More on this single thought:

    Energy prices via http://www.bls.gov/ro9/cpiseat_energy.htm: $1.264/therm of NG, $0.093/kWh of electricity. Conversion factor: 1 kWh = 0.0341 therms.

    ==> 1 "kWh" of NG in Seattle at current prices costs $0.043. Call it half.

    Does this mean that a Civic Natural Gas has half the running costs of a Nissan Leaf, battery/tank replacement left alone? Well, no. The combined mile per GGE rating for the Civic NG is 31, while the Leaf sports a MPGe of 99 (which equates to 340 Wh/mi).



    $0.093/kWh * 0.340 kWh/mi / 85% charger inefficiency ~= 3.7 cents per mile to home charge a Leaf.

    $1.264/therm / 1.25 therms/GGE / 31 MPGGE + $0.093/kWh * ~2 kWh for a home VRA to compress 1 GGE of CNG / 31 MPGGE = 3.9 cents per mile to home fuel a Civic NG. (If one only considered the cost of the NG alone it'd only be 3.3 cents per mile.)

    ---------------

    Public fueling of a Civic NG at a $1.89/GGE pump would cost 6.1 cents/mile. So how many miles must one drive to break even on a $9k home VRA vs publicly refueling, assuming 0 maintenance costs (blatantly untrue)? 409k. :rofl:

    Clearly home refueling a Civic for CNG would be for convenience and zombie apocalypse prepping, not for the cost benefit. With VRA maintenance taken into account then there's probably no incremental running cost savings whatsoever.

    ---------------

    So what about the Ram 2500 CNG? How would its home fueling costs stack up?

    $1.264/therm / 1.25 therms/GGE / 14 MPGGE + $0.093/kWh * ~2 kWh for a home VRA to compress 1 GGE of CNG / 14 MPGGE = 8.6 cents/mile. That's roughly what we pay per mile in regular unleaded to drive our Prius.

    Time to break even on that same $9k VRA for a Ram 2500 CNG would "only" be 182,000 miles vs. the 409,000 for the Civic.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2012
  11. Toshi Harbinger of Doom

    Rep  |  Likes:
    31   |   33
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2001
    Messages:
    17,362
    I must be a hillbilly underneath my coastal liberal veneer. I am psyched about getting some land, building a house, and playing doing some work on said land with big, metal tools. If we end up in snow country (Idaho? Montana? Rockies?), and by some chance I do end up with something 3/4 ton size or bigger then I'm totally snow plowing (and 2-stage snowblowering and lawn tractoring) it up.

    [snow plow and axle weight rating junk edited out]
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2012
  12. Toshi Harbinger of Doom

    Rep  |  Likes:
    31   |   33
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2001
    Messages:
    17,362
    So I rode the e-bike in today. Still alive. No one turned in front of me, although I am a bit more jumpy than even before when they feint that way before realizing I'm moving along at 20 mph.

    To cure my cold ear problem I used my skiing helmet instead of my crash replacement Giro. Much better. Still has some wind noise but my head and ears were a good temperature.

    :thumb:

    For whatever reason I ended up using more electricity than normal on the way in. Around 2.6 Ah of 10 theoretical.
  13. Toshi Harbinger of Doom

    Rep  |  Likes:
    31   |   33
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2001
    Messages:
    17,362
    Still alive after the return journey, too. It's growing dark at my commuting hours, which is not cool, and it's growing chilly as well, which is, well, cold.

    I continued my trend of using more electricity than normal, clocking up 6.88 Ah/333 Wh/20.x Wh per mile, or about 7 cents of electricity for just over 13 miles. Perhaps I'm lazier than normal today? Or perhaps it's the cold.

    In any case, it was an uneventful but not pleasant journey. I am not a fan of Long Island drivers even when in the car, and they continue to drive poorly when I'm on the bike, hi-viz, lights and all. Compound that with the deteriorating weather and I may end up being driven around by Jessica more often than not.
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2012
  14. Westy the teste

    Rep  |  Likes:
    47   |   94
    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2002
    Messages:
    25,097
    It might be safe to assume you are continuing the trend of increasing mass.
  15. Toshi Harbinger of Doom

    Rep  |  Likes:
    31   |   33
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2001
    Messages:
    17,362
    That could be true! It's winter. Time to hibernate, eh?
  16. Toshi Harbinger of Doom

    Rep  |  Likes:
    31   |   33
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2001
    Messages:
    17,362
    Possible future Jessica-vehicle, the 2014 Transit Connect Wagon: http://www.popularmechanics.com/car...true-minivan-returns-14725992?click=pm_latest





    It looks just the right size: 1.6L Ecoboost 4 banger with a promised 30 mpg freeway rating, 3 rows of seating with decent legroom in the first two (with 3 in the second row, unlike the Mazda5), 168.5 cu ft passenger volume akin with non-mini minivans, dual sliding doors and a low floor for easy access.

    From sitting in its last version at car shows I can attest that front row headroom is incredible and sightlines are excellent. Only downsides are that it's a Ford with a characteristically busy modern Ford interior and it'd be new, with all the depreciation implications associated with that.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2012
  17. Toshi Harbinger of Doom

    Rep  |  Likes:
    31   |   33
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2001
    Messages:
    17,362
    Under 6 Ah, 19.5 Wh/mi, and more like 250 Wh used today, so perhaps my laziness has dissipated a bit. Or perhaps I took an extra large dump and lost some mass that way. Who knows.

    I was bundled up like a champ: ski helmet (with ear covers that don't quite block out the wind noise like I'd want, harkening back to Westy's suggestion of ear muffs), hi-viz shell over a medium weight fleece over a thin merino full sleeved jersey over a textile short sleeve jersey, and Gore-Tex pants over regular pants.

    I was a veritable hi-viz Bibendum out on the roads today, in other words.

    Said bulky clothing kept me warm enough on average but it still wasn't very pleasant, what with individually cold and hot this and that. Oh, and the drivers, as always. And the road debris still not cleaned up from the weather double whammy the last few weeks. And the darkness: I didn't leave the hospital until around 4:45, and dusk today was at 5:06.

    There may be a solution in the works, though. My parents recently moved back to Oregon (where they'd maintained a house) from Wyoming. In doing so they obviated the need for at least one of their cars: They'd been keeping the winter-special XTerra, my dad's Corvette, and my mom's Prius in Wyoming and their old 2001 Acura 3.2 CL Type S in Oregon.

    My mom has been campaigning for one car to go, and my dad understandably doesn't want to give up the Corvette that he only recently bought (a year or two ago now, used/C5). Therefore the Acura is next up on the cutting block… and it looks like it'll pass into my hands. I just need to arrange for shipping, which they'll pay for! and then register and insure it to my name.

    :banana:
  18. Toshi Harbinger of Doom

    Rep  |  Likes:
    31   |   33
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2001
    Messages:
    17,362
    So it's now arranged: My parents paid for shipping via Dependable Auto Shippers, which generally seemed to get the least-scummy reviews in a field filled with all manner of scumminess. (I'm aware of this first hand, having shipped the Expedition I was borrowing from my parents for a while in 2005/2006 back to them. This was in between the WRX and RX-8. /#whitepeopleproblems)

    Anyway, they'll drop the car off in Medford, 168 miles from them but more or less on the way from their place on the coast to Denver, where they're headed to hang out with my sister, her family, Jessica, and me over Thanksgiving break. DAS claims they'll be able to get the car out here on Long Island by Dec 1... so I hope to see it before Jessica and I fly to Seattle for Christmas break on Dec 20.

    Now we'll have the added, small expense of insuring it and fueling it, and the bigger expense of getting it back across the country in June. (I don't think it'd be kosher to sell it so soon, and having an extra car would be handy, even in bike-commuting-friendly Seattle. It would be kosher to use it as a trade-in in, say, 2014, though.)

    Overall this looks like it'll work out well. I have rental cars lined up for my away rotations during the first two weeks of December, and after that things will ease up both in my working hours (already easy, getting easier), Jessica's teaching schedule (she'll start to teach at home instead of traveling to her kids' houses and teaching them there), and in having two cars.

    I think my life is in danger of becoming... normal.

    Gah.

    :D
  19. berkshire_rider Growler

    Rep  |  Likes:
    0   |   0
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2003
    Messages:
    2,520
    Location:
    The Blackstone Valley
    Old TL's hold their value. A quick check on KBB shows it's still worth $5-6k as a trade-in. :thumb:
  20. Toshi Harbinger of Doom

    Rep  |  Likes:
    31   |   33
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2001
    Messages:
    17,362
  21. HAB Chelsea from Seattle

    Rep  |  Likes:
    5   |   34
    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2007
    Messages:
    7,921
    Location:
    Seattle
  22. ALEXIS_DH Tirelessly Awesome

    Rep  |  Likes:
    0   |   0
    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2003
    Messages:
    4,951
    Location:
    Lima, Peru, Peru
  23. Toshi Harbinger of Doom

    Rep  |  Likes:
    31   |   33
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2001
    Messages:
    17,362
  24. Toshi Harbinger of Doom

    Rep  |  Likes:
    31   |   33
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2001
    Messages:
    17,362








    Imagine the above in white with a slushbox instead of the 6-speed manual and you get the idea of what's coming to me, in theory. It's a slushbox since that's the only way it was offered in its debut year, 2001, and that's when my father bought it. Yes, it's a coupe (CL vs. TL), albeit a long one with a long wheelbase. It's a sedan in all but door count and rear seat dimensions.

    Why the "in theory" above? The auto shipping company hasn't assigned a truck or driver to the car. It's sitting in Medford today, 9 days after my parents dropped it off. The shipping company claims that it'll be on my doorstep on December 1, next Saturday, but I don't see how that's possible at this point.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2012
  25. Toshi Harbinger of Doom

    Rep  |  Likes:
    31   |   33
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2001
    Messages:
    17,362
    Relevant to this Acura, the resounding normalcy of my life hit me over Thanksgiving break: Conventional straight marriage, pregnant white-as-white-bread wife, car commute/scrounging with the rest of the world for parking at my workplace, an essentially white collar job with no dirt under my nails or baked into my skin. I would be kicked out of Fight Club without a question. :rofl:

    More seriously, though, it really is a bit of a letdown for me when I realize that my grand plans won't come to fruition. There will be no off-the-wall EV or CNG vehicle in my life in the mid-term future. There will be no zombie apocalypse prepping or house-building for many a moon yet.

    There will instead just be years and years of paying for kid #1's various and sundry expenses (and then #2 and #3?), dutifully paying down student loans, and continuing to live much as we've lived thus far...

    I'm thankful for what I have, on the one hand, but on the other can definitely see my freedom (of choice and activity alike) is diminishing rapidly.
  26. ALEXIS_DH Tirelessly Awesome

    Rep  |  Likes:
    0   |   0
    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2003
    Messages:
    4,951
    Location:
    Lima, Peru, Peru
    yaaaay! thats the spirit!!!!!!

    but cheer up, you can always resort to middle-age man-toys.....
  27. Toshi Harbinger of Doom

    Rep  |  Likes:
    31   |   33
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2001
    Messages:
    17,362
    My uncle has really gotten into adventure touring a la that KTM, in true middle aged spirit. New wife a few years ago with a new Audi A3 at that time, and first a KLR a year or two and then this year a R 1200 GS Adventure to drive from Seattle to Alaska and back. Repeatedly. He likes it, I think, and likes sending the family Spot GPS tracker updates on his journeys.

    As for myself, with the perspective gained from living with a scooter then a motorcycle for 4 years I can pretty confidently say that won't be me. I love how cheap motorcycles are, and their power to weight ratios really are quite something... but I'm too picky for them, honestly. Cars/trucks and me are better suited, if for no other reason besides wind noise. :D The only bike I really liked in that regard was the BMW K 1600 GT non-L, and unless I end up lane-splitting my commute away in California due to some unforeseen future set of events there's no role for a pricey beast like that in my life.

    This Acura might be not such a bad car to keep me entertained for the next few years, though, assuming we continue on our austerity + paying for kid-stuff kick. It has seat heaters, which I will readily admit I miss in the Prius. It has 260 hp from a V6 that, at least in my memory, sounds much better than the agricultural thrum from the Prius's and Fit's inline 4s. It has a marginally useful rear seat that'll accept a rear facing car seat in a pinch, which is all I need it for. It has side airbags, stability control, and a built in GPS. In other words, it's much better than any beater I could have reasonably acquired around here and indeed has much of what I want from a day to day car besides the intangible weirdness/uniqueness of my CNG/EV/etc. fantasies.
  28. ALEXIS_DH Tirelessly Awesome

    Rep  |  Likes:
    0   |   0
    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2003
    Messages:
    4,951
    Location:
    Lima, Peru, Peru
    i was having this very same thoughts (thankfully am no dad, yet) about like yesterday, as i drove up the andes, to race an urban downhill, 200 miles and 2 miles up away. i missed not buying the car i really wanted to have.

    i now drive a bland v6 2007 hyundai santa fe (which, according to my friends, i tend to drive like a dakar racer, probably true, as i go thru brake pads every 8000 miles), which was a middle-ground compromise with my wife. I wanted the ultimate shuttle rig a 3in lift, bull bumpers, roll caged, variable geometry turbo diesel (altitude is a bitch on n/a cars), horn button at the co-driver feet pick up, she wanted something more urban to ride along. so i ended up getting a similarly priced, used 3-rows hyundai santa fe, which is true south american yuppie form.

    now, that i´m in the market for an overpriced apartment, just in the middle of a housing boom (pre-crash south beach, fl prices at calcutta dwelling quality), and have virtually no discretionary income.... i regret not getting the car/toy i wanted when i could, if only for the kicks for a few months.

    a single co-worker of mine, roughly the same age and tastes as me, has gone thru a ford raptor, a 400hp sti, a daily driven twin carburated 70 firebird over the same 2 years i´ve had my santa fe. he is a happier man, and has only paid like $1500/year more in car-depreciation than me, roughly the depreciation of a good bicycle.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2012
  29. Westy the teste

    Rep  |  Likes:
    47   |   94
    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2002
    Messages:
    25,097
    I am anxiously awaiting the super long posts espousing the advantages and disadvantages of 3 wheeled vs 4 wheeled strollers.
  30. Toshi Harbinger of Doom

    Rep  |  Likes:
    31   |   33
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2001
    Messages:
    17,362
    That's the thing, though. Over the years I've been able to waste countless hours thinking about this or that car. I'm psyched that Thing 1 seems to have all the proper anatomic pieces as best can be told from ultrasound and bloodwork, but beyond that don't care a whit about swaddling blankets, strollers, or baby room color choices.

    Jessica is going to town in nesting mode trying to get things ready, on the other hand, showing me all manner of quilt fabric swatches, etc. I guess it's payback for all the car talk I've subjected her to in the past. :rofl:
  31. Toshi Harbinger of Doom

    Rep  |  Likes:
    31   |   33
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2001
    Messages:
    17,362
    At least this part has been invalidated: I now have free parking at the otherwise paid visitor's lot. This is prime, the closest lot to the main entrance. Score. Apparently this perk was awarded unannounced to all chief residents in each specialty.
  32. Toshi Harbinger of Doom

    Rep  |  Likes:
    31   |   33
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2001
    Messages:
    17,362
    I spent all day reading radiology journal articles, so it's time to waste some brain cells with another hare-brained bi-fuel CNG plan.

    Goals:

    - GVWR > 8,500 so as to be CARB exempt in WA, thus allowing one to pick a vehicle with a merely-EPA certified conversion
    - 4x4 for zombie running-over ability
    - available EPA certified bi-fuel CNG conversion
    - usable and accessible rear seat
    - high towing ability at a minimum, with high, usable payload an extra plus: think 5th wheel camper trailer or slide-in camper, either of which I could totally justify for family-camping use in the future

    Ford has pulled all this info together already so let's limit our scope to them: page 4 here is camper-specific, and page 2 has towing info. Mix everything together, simmer for an hour, and one ends up with the F-350 4x4 DRW Crew Cab with the 6.2L gas engine and 4.30 gears:

    - 14,000 lb GVWR and 22,500 lb GCWR
    - 5,969 lbs of realistic payload exclusive of passengers (! gotta love the dualies for this)
    - 15,000 lbs towing capacity with either a weight-distributing or a 5th wheel hitch

    Note that the payload and towing capacity figures are mutually exclusive, if you do the arithmetic. Also note that real-world power is down about 15% when running on CNG. Whatever. There are several EPA certified bi-fuel conversions for it, Westport and BAF being the most interesting.



    The Westport system is interesting because it's Ford's pseudo-OEM choice, plus it only adds 248 lbs with the optional larger 24 GGE Type 4 (carbon fiber! big!) tank. The downside is that the tanks are in the bed a la Ram (see above photo) and would therefore preclude the use of any slide-in camper. 5th wheel towing would be the only game in town, assuming said 5th wheel setup would work with the CNG tanks. (I wonder if any camper would actually be family-of-4-or-5 compatible, anyway. Look for that in the next post...)

    :rofl:

    If a slide-in camper was a necessity then BAF Technologies could save the day, as they have an under-bed CNG tank mounting system for the Super Duty. Boom. The only real limitation--and a big one it is--is that their bi-fuel option only comes with a meager 10 GGE under-bed. For trips of any real length it'd be running on gasoline, and its around town range would be roughly on par with an EV.

    Update: I emailed BAF, and they not only confirmed that a F-350 DRW crew cab would be amenable to bi-fuel conversion but also said that one can spec both the 10 GGE under-bed and the 20 GGE in-bed tank options. Score. What's more, the in-bed tanks appear to be under the bedrail, so there shouldn't be fifth wheel trailer clearance issues.



    The net result is that either the BAF or the Westport would allow for towing of a very healthily sized trailer via a weight-distributing hitch, the Westport could possibly and the BAF could definitely allow for 5th wheel towing, and the BAF setup alone would allow for slide-in campers, too. Time to look at what might be possible in those realms, with an eye on family-friendliness/justifiability: trailers and campers alike.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2012
  33. Toshi Harbinger of Doom

    Rep  |  Likes:
    31   |   33
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2001
    Messages:
    17,362
    I had no idea where to start looking for slide-in campers, but a quick google for "largest slide-in camper" yielded this thread. In said thread from 2008 the posters made the salient point that the original poster's 2008 diesel DRW F-350 wouldn't be able to handle the biggest ones out there, as that vehicle had a GVWR of 11,500 and a curb weight of about 8,000.

    The good news is that the gas 2013 DRW F-350 should weigh about 7,500 yet it has a much higher GVWR of 14,000 these days, leading to Ford's published maximum cargo weight rating of 5,969. Keep this figure in mind when looking over the suggested slide-in camper, the Lance 1191: [camper stuff edited out]

    A single rear wheel pickup would be completely overwhelmed with something of this size per Ford's published specs, which is not to say that you won't see many SRW 3/4 or even 1/2 ton pickups waddling down the road overladen as such.
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2012
  34. HAB Chelsea from Seattle

    Rep  |  Likes:
    5   |   34
    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2007
    Messages:
    7,921
    Location:
    Seattle
    I'm waiting for your amphibious vehicle musings next. Seems like about the only thing you haven't covered ;)
  35. Toshi Harbinger of Doom

    Rep  |  Likes:
    31   |   33
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2001
    Messages:
    17,362
    I could have sworn I posted about the Gama Goat before, but apparently it wasn't in this thread.



    6x6. 2-stroke supercharged diesel (WTF). Incredibly loud. Unreliable. Amphibious. Straight up bizarre 70s military tech, in other words.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012
  36. HAB Chelsea from Seattle

    Rep  |  Likes:
    5   |   34
    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2007
    Messages:
    7,921
    Location:
    Seattle
    :shocked: :rofl:
  37. Toshi Harbinger of Doom

    Rep  |  Likes:
    31   |   33
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2001
    Messages:
    17,362
    So the last thing I was going to look into was 5th wheel trailers, but I find their websites totally incomprehensible. Hell, most of them don't list how many people they sleep, which is kind of an important detail, in my opinion. The situation isn't aided by the amazing number of brands out there.

    This thread purports to separate out fifth wheel campers by quality/intended use: http://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fuseaction/thread/tid/26549439/srt/pa/pging/1/page/2.cfm . I guess it'd be a good place to start.

    Looking at those first three names on the list, they're all gaudy, heavy, expensive, and generally gross.

    This, on the other hand, could work: http://www.jayco.com/products/fifth-wheels/eagle-/floorplans-specs . More later.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2012
  38. Toshi Harbinger of Doom

    Rep  |  Likes:
    31   |   33
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2001
    Messages:
    17,362
    This Airstream looks much more my style. Oontzy and sleek. Under 10k GVWR, too.

    http://www.airstream.com/travel-trailers/international-signature/













    I do think that amount of sleeping area depicted would be sufficient, yes. Downside: said retro-oontz is overpriced compared to the FEMA-style trailers as in the post above, and it's not a fifth wheel. Time to learn about weight distributing hitches, I suppose...
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2012
  39. Toshi Harbinger of Doom

    Rep  |  Likes:
    31   |   33
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2001
    Messages:
    17,362
    It's a slow day at work and I don't feel like reading journal articles today, so back to Googling madly.

    Contestant #1: Pullrite Travel Trailer Hitch





    The vehicle I penciled out a few posts above is rated up to 1.5/15k tongue/trailer weight with a weight distributing receiver hitch (page 3), so it would be the limiting factor rather than the available 2/20k Pullrite setup.

    As one can infer from the crappy photo above the Pullrite is a weird design. It pivots at the top of the image, and turns a receiver-hitch travel trailer into a pseudo-5th wheel by physically locating the pivot point at or at least very close to the rear axle. No sway control or weight distribution, properly speaking, but if the "pin"/tongue weight was close to the rear axle of a dualie it'd be well within limits.

    Downsides: Limits clearance underneath the vehicle. Might require exhaust modification. No weight distribution, per se, although by physically being akin to a fifth wheel setup (only underneath the bed) it should raise limits up to those that Ford prescribes for 5th wheel towing (15k).

    Contestant #2: Hensley Arrow hitch



    The hitch bar is the only part that stays with the vehicle. All that other crap in the diagram above stays with the trailer when it's not being towed. Hensley claims that their setup moves the virtual pivot point 52" forward of the receiver, thereby mimicking 5th wheel geometry as the Pullrite does. I find this hard to picture, but apparently there's magic parallelogram action going on inside the red thing to which the strut bars attach. By virtue of the spring bar + jack setup it's also weight distributing.

    Downsides: Older design. Expensive. Heavy. Requires adjustment: they play it off as a plus in their FAQ, saying that a husband and a wife might adjust jack tension (and therefore weight distribution) between driving shifts to accommodate their preferences. Sometimes finicky with regard to getting the trailer in the slot, reportedly.

    Contestant #3: Propride 3P hitch





    Similar parallelogram virtual pivot magic geometry going on in this one, which isn't surprising as its designer is Mr. Hensley. As a newer design it's supposed to require less adjustment and offer easier trailer mounting.

    Downsides: Newer design, for what that's worth. Even more expensive. Not adjustable: you pick the strength of the spring bars when you order the thing, and it's unclear to me how exactly you pick the weight (600-1400#). The only downside of too stiff spring bars seems to be a rougher ride, and that's a horse that'll have been long out of the barn with a camper package (read: stiffer springs) 1-ton dualie.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2012
  40. dump Active Member

    Rep  |  Likes:
    1   |   1
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2001
    Messages:
    4,617
    This thread is taking a strange turn. Never thought I'd see campers in here! :)