Colorado to Midwest -- and back

  #1  
Old 06-08-2004, 06:19 AM
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Hi all,

Well, I'm back from spending a week in the Midwest. I have a few tanks to add to the database, and I'll be bringing my average mpg down (and subsequently the HCH average down -- sorry).

Went from Florence, CO, through Nebraska, to Bellevue, Iowa (on the Mississippi River). Took less than two tanks. On our second day in IA, I filled up with 89-octane with 10% ethanol. Evidently, the government's help in Iowa for ethanol resulted in 89-octane/10% ethanol to be cheaper than 87-octane with no ethanol (about 3 to 5 cents per gallon cheaper at most stations) .

After one week in Iowa, went to Hannibal, Missouri, home of Sam Clemens ("Mark Twain") for one day. Then back to Colorado through Missouri and Kansas -- less than two tanks.

Driving through Nebraska, we were in between two thunderstorms. The one "chasing" us was the major one, so I stayed at 75 to 80 mph on I-80 (speed limit 75 mph). Along with the strong winds, my mpgs were really low. Also, tornado warnings/alerts increased as we were driving. In the afternoon, one hour after passing Lexington, NE, a tornado touched down 20 miles south of Lexington. One hour after passing Kearny, another possible tornado was spotted south of Kearny. This kept happening (tornado sightings plus golf-ball to softball-sized hail) in places we had just passed. The storm was following us.

Well, I threw out trying to drive for high mpg, upped my speed to 80mph or higher to try to outrun the storm. In fact, after resetting my trip A meter, for the last 100 miles before Lincoln, NE, my dash reading said 32 mpg. :lol:

So I sacrificed gas mileage to stay away from hail and tornados.

On the return trip, we went through another storm in Kansas, but not as bad.

Anyway, I'll add the data soon. Good to see that more people have joined while I was gone. By the way, I saw no ill-effect with the 10% ethanol fuel in Iowa.

jinno
 
  #2  
Old 06-11-2004, 07:33 PM
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Jinno,
The ethanol mix would effect your gas milage a bit. Ethanol has a lower BTU amount.
Cheers,
Steven
 
  #3  
Old 06-12-2004, 06:39 AM
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Steven,

I was expecting that -- I just couldn't make a good comparison because I couldn't drive the same roads in Iowa with non-ethanol gas. That tank lasted the whole week until I went down to Missouri.

But I did get EPA mileage on that tank without really trying.

jinno
 
  #4  
Old 06-16-2004, 01:14 AM
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Originally posted by jinno@Jun 8th 2004 @ 8:19 AM
Hi all,

Well, I'm back from spending a week in the Midwest. I have a few tanks to add to the database, and I'll be bringing my average mpg down (and subsequently the HCH average down -- sorry).

Went from Florence, CO, through Nebraska, to Bellevue, Iowa (on the Mississippi River). Took less than two tanks. On our second day in IA, I filled up with 89-octane with 10% ethanol. Evidently, the government's help in Iowa for ethanol resulted in 89-octane/10% ethanol to be cheaper than 87-octane with no ethanol (about 3 to 5 cents per gallon cheaper at most stations) .

After one week in Iowa, went to Hannibal, Missouri, home of Sam Clemens ("Mark Twain") for one day. Then back to Colorado through Missouri and Kansas -- less than two tanks.

Driving through Nebraska, we were in between two thunderstorms. The one "chasing" us was the major one, so I stayed at 75 to 80 mph on I-80 (speed limit 75 mph). Along with the strong winds, my mpgs were really low. Also, tornado warnings/alerts increased as we were driving. In the afternoon, one hour after passing Lexington, NE, a tornado touched down 20 miles south of Lexington. One hour after passing Kearny, another possible tornado was spotted south of Kearny. This kept happening (tornado sightings plus golf-ball to softball-sized hail) in places we had just passed. The storm was following us.

Well, I threw out trying to drive for high mpg, upped my speed to 80mph or higher to try to outrun the storm. In fact, after resetting my trip A meter, for the last 100 miles before Lincoln, NE, my dash reading said 32 mpg. :lol:

So I sacrificed gas mileage to stay away from hail and tornados.

On the return trip, we went through another storm in Kansas, but not as bad.

Anyway, I'll add the data soon. Good to see that more people have joined while I was gone. By the way, I saw no ill-effect with the 10% ethanol fuel in Iowa.

jinno
How dare you bring down our MPG!!!! LOL Just glad to hear you made it thought the "softball" sized hail without to much damage! It has been about 100F here in Sacramento, CA the last couple of days, so I know what it is like to sacrafice a few mpg.
 
  #5  
Old 06-16-2004, 05:22 PM
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I remember that storm. It really pelted the dealership's Prius with dents. Even I wouldnt buy it if they decided to sell it
 
  #6  
Old 07-01-2004, 12:25 PM
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Jinno,

I'm a new HCH owner and new member from Des Moines, Iowa. I forget the state government here subsidizes the 10% ethanol 89 octane blend, but get a not so gentle reminder when I travel to other states and pay more than the non-ethanol 89 octance blend. I'll be heading to Denver to visit a friend next week and can't wait to get my new baby on the road for my first extended road trip (i have made 2 eight hour round trip junkets so far). I'll keep you posted on the mpg I get on the trip. Hopefully my trip through Nebraska isn't as nerve racking as yours!

-Dan
 
  #7  
Old 07-01-2004, 07:14 PM
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Hi Drummer Dan:

___89 Octane? You most certainly dont need to use that. If the 87 is just gasoline and the 89 is 10% ethanol, I would purchase the 87 Regular unleaded as you will get better fuel economy.

___Secondly, even Nebraska has hills. Learn to drive with load before you leave. A 5 - 10% increase in fuel economy should result.

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email protected]
 
  #8  
Old 07-02-2004, 05:42 AM
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Drummer Dan,

Looking forward to your results.

Xcel, Iowa subsidizes fuel with ethanol, so the 89 octane w/10% ethanol is cheaper than the regular 87-octane gas.

Dan, you'll notice that some places in Nebraska have ethanol as well, but the trend will be that 87-octane is cheapest in that state. Then, you'll end up here in Colorado where a few places have ethanol, but not many, and the octane ratings go as low as 85 (for regular).

Don't worry about the 85-octane although the HCH manual says to use at least 86. I've been running with 85 with no problem, as other Colorado drivers are doing.

I noticed that Iowa's speed limit on I-80 is 65 mph. It goes up to 75 in Nebraska. That's where I lost all my gas mileage, especially when my legs got tired and I went to cruise control.

But the main thing is to enjoy your trip. You'll still save more gas than most people. And you'll find that you may have to take some bathroom breaks in between fill-ups. It'll be hours before you need gas.

jinno
 
  #9  
Old 07-02-2004, 06:04 AM
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By the way, if you're looking for fuel economy, you can always drive slower in Nebraska. At first, I was going around 60 to 65 mph, getting around 50 mpg. However, when the thunderstorm was catching up with me, I decided to go 75 to 80 mph and I struggled to keep the gas mileage above 40 mpg. Plus, the high winds did not help.

It'll be interesting to see if your mileage improves once you're in Denver with the thinner air. Some in the yahoo group posted messages saying that they saw improvements.

Also, your tire pressure will go up at higher elevation (you may see about a 3 psi increase once you're in Denver), so keep that in mind if you're the type who pumps up the tires to the max.

Have a safe trip!

jinno
 
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