High gas prices, what is the 'new' best fly fishing/recreating vehicle?

#46
i think a subaru wagon is a good alternative. i have a 2005 wagon with the base engine (gutless) and i was averaging 24-27 (city and highway combined) mpg with normal driving. lately i've changed my driving habits (a little slower, less fast accelerating) and i can get over 30 mpg highway driving and get 26-27 city.... heck i was able to get 33 mpg with a 1500-2000 ft elevation gain on my last trip. the wagon holds plenty of gear.

the drawbacks.... remember the gutless comment, it's true with the base engine and getting a more powerful engine kind of defeats the point of looking for a car that gets good mileage. another drawback is the front seats are imo the most uncomfortable seats i've ever had. they don't stop me from making long road trips, but my back really gets stiff driving more than a couple hours.

of course, any vehicle can show dramatic increases in fuel economy if you change your driving habits to reduce fuel consumption. honestly, i sometimes think it would be nice to have a hybrid, but i get approx the same mileage in the subaru as the hybrid suv's without paying the hybrid premium.

of course, if towing is important you are probably gonna want something more powerful and built for towing. i think many of us don't use the 4wd, awd or clearance for the majority of our fishing trips and could probably get by with a smaller non-awd/4wd sedan for most of our fishing trips.
In addition to the above I have to second the Subaru...I toe my neighbors 18 feet aluminum with it 40hp engine and my Subaru handles great. I also two my Willie with is even easier then the other.
 
#47
i got rid of my 2000 jeep cherokee xj, it was very modified and heavy and got around 12 mpg. i picked up a 2005 tacoma 4 cylinder 4wd,5 speed, access cab and it gets about 24 hwy and 21 city. not bad for a truck, i love it. definately leaving this one bone stock.
 

Roper

Idiot Savant
#48
I'm surprised no one has taken this route yet.



It gets about 70 miles to the gallon. It's also my daily driver, so there lies the savings. Not just when the sun shines, but every day since I bought it two months ago. It's also going to make a great forest service road runner this fall for getting to the coverts (grouse). I could easily take a rod, vest, etc and hit the river, if I wanted. I only parted with 3400 portraits of George to get on the road. I still use my F-150 to run to the property and have a hitch mounted carrier for the bike, it's light enough that I don't even notice it back there.

Not for everyone, but it works for me.
 

Ed Call

Well-Known Member
#49
I'm surprised no one has taken this route yet.



It gets about 70 miles to the gallon. It's also my daily driver, so there lies the savings. Not just when the sun shines, but every day since I bought it two months ago. It's also going to make a great forest service road runner this fall for getting to the coverts (grouse). I could easily take a rod, vest, etc and hit the river, if I wanted. I only parted with 3400 portraits of George to get on the road. I still use my F-150 to run to the property and have a hitch mounted carrier for the bike, it's light enough that I don't even notice it back there.

Not for everyone, but it works for me.
Roper, great post! I just drove from W-WA to MT in my pathfinder...painful. I did enjoy bombing the FS roads in my pathfinder once I arrived, but I bet your bike would have been much more fun. A pack, pack rod and you are set. I bet if I suggest I get one of those my wife puts and for me in the classifieds...FREE: Husband with yet another toy for his ever growing list of recreational passtimes. All this good advice will be the end of me yet.
 

Panhandle

Active Member
#54
Richard, I have v8 2002 Escape. It's not A hybrid, but it gets 21/22 MPG. It has no problem hauling a 14 ft boat or a pop-up trailer. Great clearance and I've never had to do anything but change the oil and get an annual tune up. 170,000 and drives the same as when I baught it. Great car!
 
#55
I am retiring the 95 Jeep Cherokee and putting our 2004 Honda CR-V into service as my fishing rig. Bought the wife a Honda Fit to replace the CR-V.

I get 25 - 28 MPG on the CR-V. It can pull my pontoon boat trailer as well as my aluminum boat. With the seats down I can fit my Outcast float tube in the back (inflated) with all my gear. And in a pinch I can even sleep in the back. So I guess it passes the test as alround fly fishing vehicle.

Mike
 
#56
I bought a 2000 Subaru Outback. It makes the best of the compromises important to me. It's got enough luxury, comfortable ride, seat heaters, outside mirror defrosters, 6 disc CD player, etc. and economy. I have the 4 cyl. engine and get consistently 26 mpg, a little less in town driving in the winter. I have bike racks on the roof and a hitch to tow my 16' Lund with 50 hp jet drive outboard. I can be found a bit too often in the freeway fast lane going the speed limit or a scoosh more. It has 112k miles, and when it gives up the ghost I'll probably buy another unless I learn of some all-in-one-vehicle that does it better.
About a year ago I was looking and ended up getting a pretty good deal on a 99 Outback Wagon 4-Cyl. which means I have no car payment, which is nice. Regarding Subaru's, I would concur with just about everything said so far -- mine has 128k miles on it and it's my everyday car as well as my fishing rig. I check my mileage religiously and I get 22 in mixed California (read: leadfoot) driving and up to 30 MPG (consistently 28 MPG) on the highway. With the cartop cargo box on top and the driftboat behind me and my wife and dog in the car, I get about 25 on the highway and 16 around town.

Things I love about my Suby as a fishing rig:
1. Gas mileage is relatively good for what I need to tow.
2. I can fit my 10' pontoon frame in the back without breaking it down.
3. I can fit any single handed rod in the car (slung over my custom bungie-cord rod holder) without breaking it down.
4. I can throw the cargo box on top, put the boat on the hitch and carry 4 people and my dog for a 2-week fishing extravaganza and still have room left over.
5. I can take it *most* places with the full-time 4wd (some gravel bar launches still scare me, but the Suby could probably do it).
6. It has no extra power, so even if I wanted to race someone, it wouldn't let me, therefore saving me a ticket and even more money.
7. It has a couple extra utility hatches in back where I've placed some extra 'bug patches' loaded with flies -- I'm never without the old standbys.
8. It's paid off.
9. I've slept in it overnight and it's a serviceable replacement for a tent, although not as comfortable as a full-sized truck bed would be.
10. It's better in the snow than any vehicle I've ever driven, 4WD or otherwise. I now know why all those ski resort people drive Subaru's.
11. It has AC so when it's 165 degrees in Redding in August I can still feel okay until I get out at the launch, where I promptly swear loudly about the oppressive heat.
 

Rob Ast

Active Member
#57
I have 2 VWs, but my wife's is usually the fishing car. 2003 passat wagon with the 1.8T engine. Plenty of pickup, much more interior space than a subaru, and get 32-33 mpg highway. No 4WD, but how often do most of us really need it? I've taken it up plenty of forest service roads without a problem (but then I've also driven my GTI up to the road end on the middle fork of the snoq, so I don't lose much sleep about dirt roads).
 
#58
I wish I could drive a more fuel efficient vehicle but with would it just isnt fessible. It is hard to carry many tools and material in a car. I find myself only driving 60 on the freeway and never really getting on the gas now. I have managed to increase my mileage from low/mid teens to high teens/almost twenty. It just sucks that this area isnt set up for more friendly public transportation, what option do we have?
 
#59
Which engine do you have? What year Outback? A few months ago there was a similar thread, and I think it was Chris Puma who said his Subaru gets 17 mpg . . . I've heard they are in the low 20's, but that's just what I've heard. I presume your 26-32 is on the highway . . . ?
Mine is a 2005 with the four cylinder. I get 26-28 in town and 28-31 on the hwy although I have gotten up to 33 on the interstate. Just took a trip up into the cascased with a pontoon boat on my roof rack and still got 25 doing alot of climbing and with all that wind resistance.

It has been my experience that this car does much better than the estimates posted at the dealer and also much better than the Consumer Report estimate. I am a rep for a publishing co. and I drive all over the state of Oregon (about 35K per year) so these numbers are pretty accurate as I pay close attention to mileage.
 
#60
BTW...my in town driving is in Portland. I have never ever gotten in the teens in my Outback even carrying several hundred pounds of books in back. I haven't ever even averaged in the low 20's. In traffic I still get 25-26 on the low end. The XT model and 6 cylinders will get 5-7 mpg. less than the standard 4 cylinder though and a roof box will deduct 2-4 mpg.