Sunday, August 26, 2012

The 5 Year Plan - Frugal Transportation AK Style

By far our biggest expense is fuel.  Alaska fuel prices are typically one of the highest in the nation.  Unleaded gas at the pump almost reached $5/gallon this summer and is sitting at $4.67 right now.  Heating fuel is cheaper but still very considerable when the cold winter sets in.  Our goal is to cut those expenses by at least 80% in the next 5 years and this is how we are going to do it.

Meet Micky and MInnie.  


The look pretty rough 'huh?  No worries, my husband it a brilliant mechanic and isn't afraid of body work.  Micky is an extended Ford Econoline Van.  We so named it Micky because it reminds me of an activity van I used to drive for my son's hockey team.  That van had two spot lights on it that looked like mouse ears so hence it was dubbed Micky Mouse.  Micky will be converted into a 4WD camper.  We will replace the engine to run off diesel and veggie fuel making our mpg pretty much free.  It will be the vehicle we use not only for camping trips but supply runs.  Because of the freezing weather we will not be plumbing in a water tank.  That's just asking for future problems and continued maintenance.  Instead we will come up with some alternate facilities.  We like the way our current camper is designed and will steal some ideas from it. 

current camper Dodge Xplorer

picture of our last trip,inside view
Although we like the Dodge, gas mileage is horrible and it does not have 4 wheel drive.

Minnie is a Datsun Z car.  (Sorry, I am a girl and don't remember the specs on either of these cars).  We are still debating about having a gas or diesel engine for her.  Diesel,of course, would yield the best mpg but has its challenges starting in the cold temperatures.  It will become our main commuter car and it would be nice knowing it will dependably start.  Even if we kept it as a gas engine, with some modifications, we think it could still get over 30 mpg.  As a diesel, maybe even close to 40 mpg.  

We will still have other cars that we will use with a more traditional set up.  The plow truck is a gas hog, but pays for itself.  Nick, the husband, has various work trucks but again they pay for themselves or give us a tax write off.  Still the bottom line is a huge savings that will fall into our retirement budget.

Lovin' life...even at the gas pump! 

Don't forget that if you want some road trip music or a camera for your next vacation, shop in our store for the best prices!

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