Best mileage hauling kayaks

I’ve been getting 29 MPG in my Nissan Altima. 2 boats on the roof drop it to 25.

My Yukon (V-8)gets 16 with boats on the roof and 19 pulling 2 kayaks on a 100 lb trailer.

Looked at Subaru until I realized I would only save 4-5 MPG. As it is I don’t have a car payment or any need to carry full coverage insurance, both of which I’d have with a new hybrid.

Both of my vehicles will see 300K miles or better. I doubt many of todays electric/gasoline hybrids will see that without major repair costs.

Again, bull, slowing down at least to
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
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.

Still, I sometimes can drive, say, 60 mph in a 65-mph zone without trouble. I don’t do it in the left lane, of course. And if it’s bumper-to-bumper speeding traffic, that is a dangerous time to go under the speed limit. Sad to say, when it comes to highway safety, sometimes you have to give in a little to peer pressure. But not always!

One good thing I’ve noticed is that since gas prices shot up in late 2005, more people are in fact going slower than the speed limit on the faster roads. Especially on those 75-mph roads, mine is not the only personal vehicle driving at 65 to 70 mph.

If you always give in to “everybody else does it,” you are definitely part of the problem.

Air-Powered Vehicles

– Last Updated: May-09-08 12:24 AM EST –

I must say that the concept of an engine that runs on compressed air is an interesting idea, though I guess in this case it should be called a motor, not an engine. I wouldn't be surprised if this turns out to be a viable idea for commuter use and other places where, so far, the all-electric car has seemed to be promising.

I wonder how compressed air compares to batteries for storing energy? If it is even remotely comparable to batteries, the advantage of decreasing fuel weight with miles driven (a battery's weight remains the same even when discharged) and no dangerous chemicals to recyle or dispose of would make compressed air a neat option. As pointed out above, it currently takes all night to compress enough air to fully fuel one of these little air-powered cars, but the same is already true for the recharge time of electric cars, so that part is probably a toss-up.

Subaru Legacy2.2 , 5spd Honest 31 - 36
Driving with a light foot.

Never drove it on a long trip w/ kayaks but checked on a recent 120 mile / 65 mph trip with two skis on top and still got 31 !

Most common engine in Europe and Japan.

Slow, lots of torque, can gett o and hold highway speeds but not in an exciting fassion.

The Diesel is reliable and can be repaired by the regular mechanic that works on your what ever gas engine.

Just over 600 KM with a 1983 TD Golf with three large guys (Shirt size) 3 boats NDK, Valey and Eastern Island. all the gear. $64.00 in fuel I have not done the math but the Diesel Fuel here was $1.48 per litre.

The US suppliers and manufacturers may have missed the boat.

The Japanese have it as do VW, Mercedies, and most other people that have dealt with very high fuel prices… We are just now getting there.

Air Car article from Popular Mechanics
Air-Powered Car Coming to U.S. in 2009 to 2010 at Sub-$18,000, Could Hit 1000-Mile Range

The CityCAT, already being developed in India (bottom left), will be available for U.S. production in three different four-door styles. But it’s the radical dual-energy engine, with a possible 1000-mile range at 96 mph, that could move the Air Car beyond Auto X Prize dreams and into American garages.

By Matt Sullivan

Published on: February 22, 2008

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Automotive X Prize

The Air Car caused a huge stir when we reported last year that Tata Motors would begin producing it in India. Now the little gas-free ride that could is headed Stateside in a big-time way.

Zero Pollution Motors (ZPM) confirmed to on Thursday that it expects to produce the world’s first air-powered car for the United States by late 2009 or early 2010. As the U.S. licensee for Luxembourg-based MDI, which developed the Air Car as a compression-based alternative to the internal combustion engine, ZPM has attained rights to build the first of several modular plants, which are likely to begin manufacturing in the Northeast and grow for regional production around the country, at a clip of up to 10,000 Air Cars per year.

And while ZPM is also licensed to build MDI’s two-seater OneCAT economy model (the one headed for India) and three-seat MiniCAT (like a SmartForTwo without the gas), the New Paltz, N.Y., startup is aiming bigger: Company officials want to make the first air-powered car to hit U.S. roads a $17,800, 75-hp equivalent, six-seat modified version of MDI’s CityCAT (pictured above) that, thanks to an even more radical engine, is said to travel as far as 1000 miles at up to 96 mph with each tiny fill-up.

We’ll believe that when we drive it, but MDI’s new dual-energy engine—currently being installed in models at MDI facilities overseas—is still pretty damn cool in concept. After using compressed air fed from the same Airbus-built tanks in earlier models to run its pistons, the next-gen Air Car has a supplemental energy source to kick in north of 35 mph, ZPM says. A custom heating chamber heats the air in a process officials refused to elaborate upon, though they insisted it would increase volume and thus the car’s range and speed.

“I want to stress that these are estimates, and that we’ll know soon more precisely from our engineers,” ZPM spokesman Kevin Haydon told PM, “but a vehicle with one tank of air and, say, 8 gal. of either conventional petrol, ethanol or biofuel could hit between 800 and 1000 miles.”

Those figures would make the Air Car, along with Aptera’s Typ-1 and Tesla’s Roadster, a favorite among early entrants for the Automotive X Prize, for which MDI and ZPM have already signed up. But with the family-size, four-door CityCAT undergoing standard safety tests in Europe, then side-impact tests once it arrives in the States, could it be the first 100-mpg, nonelectric car you can actually buy?


• FIRST LOOK: Air Car Coming to India for Summer 2009

• UPDATE: New Blog From Cornell Auto X Prize Team

• DRIVE GREEN: Test Drives, News and Video on Alt-Fuel Rides

Diesel Jetta Wagon
The old models got great mileage. The brand new models are supposed to get between 50 - 60 mpg.

Life in the slow lane
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.

I find driving in the right lane relaxing. It frees me from the road games, jockeying for position, etc. I very seldom if ever have someone roar up behind me, and this is in SE Mass and Rhode Island, which have some of the most aggressive drivers of anywhere I’ve driven.

Of course, if there are only two lanes of heavy traffic, I’ll go with the flow and increase my speed. Same thing when passing a busy entrance ramp; I’ll get in the middle or left lane but increase my speed. It’s the self-righteous idiots who go the same speed in any lane that have people riding up their tailpipes (including me!) (grrrrrr).

One my favorite quotes of all time is George Carlin: “Anyone that drives faster than you is a maniac, and anyone that drives slower than you is a moron.” It’s all relative :slight_smile:


Bar Spread
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.


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!

It’s an '03 and if VW’s latest gas models are any indication I won’t be trading it in anytime soon. Mileage of even the Rabbit is deplorable. 22/29? We’ll see what happens when the new TDI (diesel) comes out later this year.

Include the link

Here’s the link:

“8 gal. of either conventional petrol, ethanol or biofuel could hit between 800 and 1000 miles”

This works out to 125mpg. Keep in mind these are very small cars.

300 mpg on diesel
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.

Depending on driving habits mileage varies between 40 mpg on the low end to 300 ish mpg on the high end.

40 mpg, fully loaded
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.

48" Bar Spread
This was a DIY installation using Yakima Landing Pads and Tracks. Email me for gory details

40-45 mpg
2 kayaks on top, week’s worth of camping and paddling gear inside, 2 adults, in a Toyota Prius.


If small carbon footprint and les gas …
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.

So, far I have the folding boat, but haven’t been able to grow the cool beard yet.


Two laws of physics. Perpetual motion
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.

Small compressor

– Last Updated: May-10-08 5:52 PM EST –

"It should be interesting to see how a tank of air charged to 4200 psi can propel a car 1,000 miles."

There are two versions of these "CAT" cars.

One of them just has the air tank (-that- version would not have great range).

The other (the "dual" mode one) also has a gas-powered compressor. No "perpetual motion" needed.

People have gotten 80mpg (or so) out of Honda Insights. So, 125mpg isn't too far-fetched. Still, it's only an stimate. And, it's not clear if this is the only way to get 125mpg out of a vehicle.