I had a few things on my mind driving back to Sac from Redding Sunday night. My truck get much better gas mileage without the camper shell on it. I'm pretty sure I was pushing 35mpg driving back. I did 55mph the whole way though. I'll see where I'm at later this week after I empty the tank and will post up my city driving/ fwy avg. I've been at around 26mpg with the shell but saw 28 a couple times before I put it on. I've gotten quite a bit better at coasting, slowing down overall, and conserving gas since I put the shell on.
I'm excited about a couple things right now. First thing is motorcycling. I'm dieing to ride a bike again. Aria let me make a run over to the dam on his two fifty last weekend and it was wonderful. It was... just like riding a bike... go figure. It's still pretty second nature. The suzuki shop in Redding has a couple used KTM LC4s in stock. One of them, a 2001, only has 1k miles on it. They're asking $3k for it, but it's been wrecked. There may be better deals to be had. The Suzuki DRZ 400 may still be the way to go. It's a really low maintenance bike. The LC4 needs to have the valves checked with every oil change, whereas the DRZ can go 10k to 15k miles between checks once it's broken in. I do like that the LC4 has the tappet style valves, as they're super easy to adjust compared to the shims on the DRZ. There are a couple quirks with the LC4 motors to be dealt with, as well, but they make 50HP stock, compared to 35 for the DRZ. :-) Ultimately, the DRZ is cheaper, more bullet proof, lighter, almost as powerful w/ a couple mods, and probably the way to go.
Back to gas mileage... After I finish the yurt, I want to buy either one of the three cylinder geo metros or an old vw rabbit (diesel) with not too many miles. I'll weld up a light tube frame for it and make a custom fiberglass body for it. It'll be super ultra aero dynamic and get me 100mpg+. The best car ever. It'll prolly even have a radio.
It'll look kinda like the solar car in the picture above, except not quite as flat and it'll fit two. Think half a slightly smooshed ice cream cone with a perfectly smooth shell and undercarriage and fairings over the wheels with a small luggage compartment in the back. It'llbe round at the front and pointy at the back. I've already got all the construction details worked out for the shell. :-) Fsck paying for gas.
Check out this ghetto honda civic, here. This one doesn't look super nice, but it's a proof of concept. This could be imporved upon, alot.
I've been driving 500+ miles per week for the last month and a half. At this rate, I buy about 19 gallons of gas per week. That's $55 per week, at $3 per gallon. That's over $200 per month. If I got 100mpg, I could cut this down to 5 gallons of gas per week, for a grand total of $60 per month on gas. This is realistic. lol.
I'll post an update after I've read a ton of books on aerodynamics.