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

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Denny, Jul 14, 2008.

  1. With gas prices at an all-time high (likely to go higher, and who know how high they'll go), is this causing you to look at your fly fishing vehicle differently? If so, why and how? And, if you replaced your vehicle, with what you would you replace it and why? If gas prices aren't making you think of purchasing another vehicle or, if you are already in the market for another vehicle and gas prices and gas mileage aren't a decision factor, why?

    I'll use myself as an example. A 4x4 extra cab pickup or even a Suburban has always been a dream rig for me. However, I live in Seattle, and parking garages are part of life. So, larger 4x4's and vehicles have always caused parking challenges. I wouldn't use the truck as a 'truck' that often and I have a 4 year old, so an SUV made sense. I drive a Grand Cherokee with a small V8. It's my everyday vehicle, and is my recreating vehicle, as well. It is easy to park, it's tough, has OK room, maneuvers well in the boonies, great in the snow, and it has good power to pull a reasonably sized boat. However, it's gas mileage isn't the best.

    I've been considering replacing it with a quieter rig (it's a little noisy) that gets better gas mileage. Hybrids are an attractive option, but everyone is on that bandwagon now, driving up the prices of the better vehicles (say, a Highlander). And, although they are rated for X towing capacity, that's with the gas and electric motor both in use; the towing numbers don't consider how effectively the electric motor works (which is the power plant in use at low speeds) when pulling a boat/trailer up the loading dock.

    So, one of my more viable options might be to maybe 'downsize' to one of the smaller 4x4 SUV's; maybe a Honda CRV, RAV4? Subaru has always seemed a practical alternative, but it seems like folks fall in to two camps, love 'em or just think they're OK. I've been told by some that they average low 20 mpg in their Subaru, while others with the same model say they averaga high teens. Anyone else have comments?

    Maybe other options, such as the sport wagons? Like the Volvo XC70? Other car based wagons?

    Or, if I want to stay with a SUV that is similar in size to the Jeep but gets a little better gas mileage, maybe a Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander, or even their luxury cousins (MDX, etc.)? Jeep offers the Grand Cherkoee in a diesel that gets reasonable gas mileage (I think 20/23 mpg), but they're relatively new and pricey, and the decent mpg is offset by the higher (relatiely) costs of diesel. VW offers an awesome V10 diesel option that offers huge torque and decent gas mileage and the luxury amenities of a Porsche Cayenne, but I'd need to win the lottery to afford one.

    A buddy of mine advocates the two rig setup. One rig that is comfortable and gets great mpg for everyday driving, and a beater 4x4 as the recreating vehicle. Of course, that means he's incurring twice the costs for licensing/tabs and insurance as if he just had one vehicle. And, he has to find room to park two rigs at his house.

    So, what's a person to do? What are you doing, if anything, and how are the high gas prices affecting your evaluation of a daily use or recreation vehicle?
  2. Interesting subject, and one that I have been considering for some time. I drive a 99 Nissan Pathfinder. I get about 17 city 19 highway. I have considered that I sold my old saturn sl2 long ago and it got at least 33mpg. I opted to sell the saturn when I got the nissan to keep from having two vehicles plus my wife's. I have strongly considered the station wagon platform for the space I want/need but the better gas mileage. I do have a boat, but don't tow it that much so two vehicle setup appeals more now than it did a few years ago when I sold the saturn. My suv is paid off and gas prices suck but I don't think getting a new vehicle is in my best interest financially. It would take a used cheap wagon's improved gas mileage 15 to 22 months to break even at my current driving schedule. What I have chosen to do is minimize my driving whenever possible, work from home a day or two a week if at all possible, recreate with my family closer to home and of course fish locally. That may be the best I can do for my wallet, and in review it is actually a bit better environmentally too as I'm driving less. I look forward to hearing what everyone else thinks or has done to improve their lot in life due to the gas price increases which are predicted to keep going upward.
  3. I'm all for a boycott from buying any new vehicles until the auto industry give us a real alternative. The hydrogen vehicles are there. The auto makers say they can't put them out there in mass numbers because the infrastructure isn't there. If they build them (hydrogen vehicles) the infrastructure will come. We won't see any relief from this until we have a viable competing fuel.
  4. Where will we get the electricity to make hydrogen fuel?
  5. 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.
  6. I bought a 2008 Toyota Rav 4 the first of February. Epa rates the MPG for the 4 cyl and the 6 cyl the same. Some of the websites I checked say that the 6 gets better milage than the 4I got the v-6 and the automatic 5 speed. I am getting in the mid 20's not great but it is what I was hoping for. the car has over 200 horsepower and is rated for towing at around 2500#. I have a trailer and raft that I plan on towing occasionally. I have not towed yet but I am sure that the milage will suffer some. My other vehicle is a chev 1500 with a 4.8 liter engine. I get 15-18 even when towing the small trailer. We have been limiting the usage of the pickup and driving smarter so our gas expense has not risen at the same rate as the cost per gallaon.
    It is something that will impact our recreation choices in the future that is for sure.
    jesse clark
  7. Bought a Rav4 in October and other than wincing about now having a car payment, can’t say enough good things about this small SUV. MPG is around 24-27, four cylinder. Seems to have the same cargo size as my old Pathfinder. Want more info check out Consumer Reports; rated this one editors choice in both new and used, plus has the lowest maintenance cost in its class.
  8. I had an older Subaru wagon(92) and it got very good gas mileage 33 plus. So driving that around didn't break me. And it had lots of room and I could even sleep in it stretched out. But I needed a newer vehicle because the older one was nickle and dimeing me to death. So I opted for a 2000 Ford Ranger pick me up. It gets 21 MPG and thats on a good day. But I like it so I'm going to stick with it.

    To hell with the cost of gas. Here in Montana the price of Regular is $4.06 and $4.17 for mid grade.

  9. Strap your fly rod to a motorcycle, thats what I'm going to end up doing :thumb:
  10. How about a Ford Escape Hybrid? 4WD and good on gas. Look decent too. Going to be the wifes next car.
  11. escape hybrid gets 30mpg pretty consistently. if you drive at 55, it will do 32mpg. thats the highest we have ever gotten. comfy vehicle, good visability, great pickup which was hard for me to believe at first. many good smaller choices out there, detroit and asian. find one that fits your needs and do the purchase.

    in the olden days when i could barely afford a single vehicle, my '64 bug did everything for me including camping with 2 kids, a wife and a dog + all of the gear. if you have the desire, you will find a way to make the vehicle work for you.

    hydrogen??? give me a break! another crappy idea along with ethanol. you do realize it takes more energy to make these products then they return don't you????? focusing in on cellulose, algae and nuclear are going to have to happen and pretty soon.
  12. the new best is the old best. A 10 year old subaru... If you want to burn a little more gas a 10 year old 4 runner. combine purchase price with gas mileage and you have to drive a whole heck of a lot to come close to the cost per mile of a new "highly efficient" vehicle.
  13. The greenest car is a good oldie.
    At least thats my mantra until the wheels fall off my 92 Toyota PU.
    Would like to upgrade but there aren't good enough choices. Hoping a small to mid size TD PU with decent mileage comes out in the next couple years.
  14. I was driving a 97 conversion van that was almost the perfect fly fishing rig (only thing I want different would be for it to have 4wd). But it was running really hot and when I took it in to the dealer on Friday, the estimate for repairs was more than the van was worth. So time to trade up. I was really surprised to see how much the prices of used SUV's have dropped. So I ended up purchasing an '06 Tahoe that was totally loaded, only option it didn't have was satellite navigation. I got it for $10,000 less than the NADA value for the truck. It'll be tough to look at the fuel bill, but after saving that much on the truck I think it's worth it.
  15. I am looking at selling my f150 and getting something with better fuel mileage also. My wife has had two outbacks and we have had good luck with them. I am looking at the new forester. Nice vehicle and much more room,esp. for rear pass. Great ground clearance. There is a review of all the smaller suv's on Catalina Island, the forester did much better in off road tests. If you are towing a boat the 4cyl may be an issue, though they are rated to tow 2400#. There are good reports of fuel milage on them as well. My wife gets 22 city and 26-27 hiway with her outback.
  16. Right now is the time to pick up two cars for cheap. One should consider picking up a good, non-hybrid, used civic or corolla, for cheap. Or even a luxury SUV for cheap. You can buy a Land Cruiser used with decent miles for about 15-17k (65k new), or a corolla with decent miles for about 7-9k. On those two examples you'd still not have to lay down 40k for a new highlander hybrid. Which I think is a great car, I'm sure, but 40k? come on!!
  17. Suburu's are great cars, I had a 92 outback wagon in high school that would go anywhere, and I mean anywhere. A buddy of mine uses his '06 outback to guide out of. He gets around 20 mpg towing his skiff, and around 28 without it. It has plenty of room for three people and gear so it would be a great family car, and maneuverable enough in the city, put a ski rack on it and you'll be at the hill in the winter in no time. I traded in my dodge dakota because the 16-20 mpg I thought I would get quickly turned in 12 with my drift boat behind it. I got a 2002 lexus RX 300 that is very roomy, and when I'm not out getting it as dirty as possible, has a very quiet, luxurious ride in the city. With the cruise control set at 75 I get 24.6 mpg, did I mention on board computer, in town I get around 18-20. It's got a 3.2 litre v6 so it tows my 16 ft RO drift just fine, but I think towing a larger power boat or a camp trailer could start to get difficult. Did I mention the ladies love it. I guess since you have a new kid you probably don't really care what the girls think. Tight lines.:thumb:
  18. I generally own a car as a daily driver and a truck for when I need a truck. Truck has been my fishing vehicle too.

    On Memorial Day I traded in my car (4.0L V8) for a 2.5L H4 Subaru Outback. I don't really keep track of mileage, but it seems like a tank of gas gets me the same number of miles in the Subaru as it did with the V8. Difference is the old car had a 21 gal tank, the new one is 15. (I tend to fill the tank and run it to near empty.)

    The gutless thing worried me some. I was warned about it before buying. I live in North Bend and spend a lot of time going 70+ uphill. But still, I figured that if I was going to compromise on power anyway, I might as well do a real compromise and get a 4 banger. It hasn't been a problem. Obviously the Subaru doesn't have the passing power of my old car, but I've moved right one lane and pull the hills just fine.

    Also, the Subaru has done double duty as my fishing vehicle. I've only driven the truck a couple of times since buying the new car. Maybe that's just the novelty of the new car and I'll go back to using the truck more when that wears off. We'll see. But, I can also imagine that I'd only use the truck as a fishing vehicle when I need to haul the pontoon or sleep in the back.
  19. I really, really want to like this car; I want to support Ford, the prices are right (relative to other hybrids), it seems like a decent vehicle. However, it has no towing capacity. Like, none. I don't even believe Ford even gives it a rating. :confused:
  20. At least my son and I live near some good water here in Yakima. My wife and I returned from the East side of the state after attending a 40 year class reunion and spoke with a couple at a gas station along the way fueling up his motorcycle. He said they just drove 150 miles on one gal.of gas. I said yeah me to in my Mercury SUV, yeah sure. I was not 59 years young I sure would consider a m/cycle, but then I can fall out of a lawn chair and I doubt that my wife would want to ride sitting behind me, but I sure would like to get 150 miles on a gal. of gas.

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