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Fuel Efficient Chase Vehicle

Now that gas prices are rising rapidly to $3.00 per gallon and perhaps beyond, what are you considering for a new chase vehicle?

From my perspective, a chase vehicle must accommodate cameras (videof and/or still), a laptop, a ham radio, and people, etc., comfortably. And, the vehicle must be heavy enough to avoid being blown off the road by RFD, the inflow jet, or just plain high straight line winds.

What do you consider to be reasonable fuel efficiency in MPG?

Any suggestions???
 
I will still be driving what I chased in last year, a 1995 Chrysler New Yorker/LHS. It still gets 26+ mpg, plenty powerful and is comfortable enough to go on long chases .
Unless you are driving a real gas hog then I don't see many people buying something new to chase in.
Then again, I live in SW OK so there is no fear of ANY storms busting out down here worth chasing anytime soon :blink: .
Other than that my wife is wanting to get the new Dodge Caliber. Gotta see how Aaron likes his though.
 
considering a PRIUS with off road tires and a AAA towing card - lol

actually 50mpg would sound sweet right now as I just paid $3.00 a gallon for REGULAR

....as we are on the CA yuppie fuel out here right now


want 4wd? yes
need 4wd? no

want better mpg? yes
need better mpg? only if we want to become independant from foreign oil

go figure...
 
I would suggest an Escape hybrid. 29 mpg and all the room you could ever need, plus you can get it with 4 wheel drive. I also believe that it comes with a nav system.
 
I'm starting to look at a possible replacement for my 97' AWD CRV, posssibly next spring. I love the all-weather capabilities of this vehicle, but at 21-22 mpg city, 26 hwy, I may opt for a front-driver with much better EPA figures. A couple of new and soon to be released models are very intriguing to me: Aforementioned (in another thread)Dodge Caliber, the Honda Fit, to be on sale later this month (31 cty/38hwy), and the Nissan Versa, supposed to go on sale this summer, with 38 mpg combined city/hwy with the cvt trans.
 
The Titan is running 11mpg city and 14 hwy so I am looking to buy another vehicle just for driving when I don't need to tow, haul or play. I figure if I drive a new vehicle (good gas mileage) just 50% of the time it will pay for itself. I have an extra GPS unit that I can install on it and can just add a power invertor and be ready to roll. I wont have all the extras that I have in the titan like a playstation or TV but I wont be looking at $1k just to go on one 3 day chase to the plains.
 
Im gonna get a horse
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If you get a horse, make sure you pull it completely off the road when you shoot video because I don't want to drive through a mess when I pass by you! :lol:
 
The simplest way to improve mileage is to slow down a bit. Dropping from 75MPH to 65 will improve your MPG by 15~20%. That's 45~60 cents per gallon at $3 each. Slow from 65 to 55 (yea, right..) for another 10~15%. In general, the bigger the vehicle, the greater the efficiency gain.

Clearly, no one is willing putt-putt along during a final intercept, but we can try to throttle back early in the chase. If you're planning to drive somewhere and wait for things to develop, take your time and put a few $$ inyour wallet.

I suspect that a lot of long time 'lone wolf' chasers will be considering the unthinkable: bringing along friends and fellow chasers to split the gas expenses. :eek:
<POOF!> $3 gas becomes $ 1.50. How much is your sanity worth? :blink:

-Greg
 
The simplest way to improve mileage is to slow down a bit. Dropping from 75MPH to 65 will improve your MPG by 15~20%. That's 45~60 cents per gallon at $3 each. Slow from 65 to 55 (yea, right..) for another 10~15%. In general, the bigger the vehicle, the greater the efficiency gain.

Clearly, no one is willing putt-putt along during a final intercept, but we can try to throttle back early in the chase. If you're planning to drive somewhere and wait for things to develop, take your time and put a few $$ inyour wallet.

I suspect that a lot of long time 'lone wolf' chasers will be considering the unthinkable: bringing along friends and fellow chasers to split the gas expenses. :eek:
<POOF!> $3 gas becomes $ 1.50. How much is your sanity worth? :blink:

-Greg
[/b]

It is true that automobiles have their best fuel efficiency at a certain speed usually between 50 and 70mph. However, I think it depends on each individual car where the max fuel efficiency for speed is. The only real way to find out is to keep a record of your miles per tank of gas and remember (or write down) the driving conditions at the time. I've found out that my car does excellent around 70mph.
 
It will probably be a while before I can afford one, but I'd take a look at the Subaru Baja (4 door AWD pickup). First year produced was 2003, so used ones are hard to find and thus pricey but they look like a pretty practical chase vehicle. Have seen a comment about "blind spots" which would definitely be a "con", but I'd like to drive one and see what they are like.

Darren Addy
Keanrey, NE
 
I love my 1990 Mercedes Benz 300TE 4MATIC. Perhaps the most comfortable car I have ever driven, lots of goodies (the heated seats and steel sunroof are especially nice) BUT it is a gas hog. It is powered by the thirstiest six cylinder I have ever seen. The best mileage it has gotten thus far was from the initial trip home from the dealer in Franktown; it got just under 20 mpg over 150 + mile trip which included about twenty miles of interstate, five miles of city and the rest open highway. It went downhill from there. It averages 16-18, dropping to around 15 if you're driving into a strong headwind. It was built during an era when gas was $1.10 a gallon and gas mileage was the farthest thing from pretty much everyone's mind (especially the people who bought cars like mine, whose original retail was over $52,000 new! :blink: ) And we also are going to the state dealer licsencing board about their illegal practices (turns out they gave us a false VIN for the Carfax we ran before we left to pick it up; when we put in the actual VIN, we discovered that last June it had an odometer rollback from 129,935 miles to 63,430 miles and they lied about it and told us the miles were original :angry: ; they're not cooperating and it's probably going to drag on for a month or two before we can get anything done on it.) Once I've dumped it I'm going find something that gets better mileage. I'm thinking along the lines of a newer (read: newer than 1996) Outback or A6 Avant wagon. I saw a 1999 A6 Avant Quattro with a touch over 94,000 miles and all the option boxes checked for $8,000 at a dealer in Denver and it gets 20 mpg city/26 mpg highway. Should be all right for what I need.
 
If things get any worse, this will be my new chase vehicle setup.

ncv.jpg
 
I bought a used 1999 Subaru Outback and am leaving my Ford Expedition at home this year. It gets up to 32 mpg highway, is AWD and is roomy enough for 4 people plus their gear in the back. I have done some radical things to reduce my costs even further such as leaving the spare tire at home and taking along a can of fix-a-flat and my AAA card. Also if you don’t need the third row seat, take it out. That can save gas costs. I also keep my antennas and outside gadgets off the car until I am actually on the chase, not the drive to and from the target area.

Oh I also keep a pair of running shoes in the car in case I have to get to the nearest town! :)
 
Verne, obviously I can't tell you what to do and I'm not trying, but please consider putting your spare tire back in your vehicle. What if your driving down the highway at night and run over something in the road and your tire gets a big cut in it? Fix-a-flat will be about as useless as a screen door on a submarine! There may be a time when you need to get that spare tire put back on ASAP to get out of a hairy situation and you may not have time for the roadside service to find you. Basically what I'm saying is, don't let a little bit of money saving get you in a situation that you may regret later. Just trying to look out for a fellow stormtracker, that's all.

Oh, and how much gas will you save by taking out the spare tire? <_<
 
Verne, obviously I can't tell you what to do and I'm not trying, but please consider putting your spare tire back in your vehicle. What if your driving down the highway at night and run over something in the road and your tire gets a big cut in it? Fix-a-flat will be about as useless as a screen door on a submarine! There may be a time when you need to get that spare tire put back on ASAP to get out of a hairy situation and you may not have time for the roadside service to find you. Basically what I'm saying is, don't let a little bit of money saving get you in a situation that you may regret later. Just trying to look out for a fellow stormtracker, that's all.

Oh, and how much gas will you save by taking out the spare tire? <_<
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Agreed. IMHO, it is rather foolish to leave the spare tire at home esp. considered chasing is one of the few activities where not having a spare could turn harmful to your health. The vehicle was designed to have it, and the gas mileage will not increase appreciably (sp?) by not having it onboard. Besides that, I don't think AAA response times will be much to your liking out in the middle of nowhere...if they even have a local towing contract in the area.

Same goes for antenne...unless you are toting a couple Texas bug catchers for HF.
 
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