Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Friendship Tour

My lovely wife and I just came back from four days and three nights on the road. We went downstate to take care of some business, but mostly we reconnected with friends. If you don't take the time to connect with old friends, eventually you have none.

It was also a pretty good test of the veggie van. The van burned almost 30 gallons of free waste fryer oil. That's 30 gallons of diesel that I did not have to buy. It appears that finally my assorted fuel problems have been solved -at least for now.

The new tires really improved handling. I'd purchased a set of no name tires while on the road a few years ago. They never performed as well as my Coopers, but that brand was unavailable when I needed to replace the tires. We were heading back into snow country and the van's back tires were very worn. Even no name tires with thick threads are better than name tires with no threads.

The only disappointment was that I'd hoped my mechanic could fix the van's air conditioning before the trip. While he was able to fix the broken AC hose that initially caused the problem, a second issue cropped up while he was pressure testing the system. Nobody in town had the part. It was ordered and I've an appointment to get it installed today.

The lack of AC wasn't a problem until Monday. Temperatures rose to the high eighties and the humidity was even higher. The huge 7.3 turbo diesel engine radiates heat through the doghouse and into the van's cab. My lovely wife and I drank a lot of water on the way home.

All in all, it was a good trip. My wife and I even got our salt water fix by going to a southern Maine beach. There are a few little improvements the van could use before the fall, but they aren't anything major. However, when you expect to spend months living in a van while traveling, even little things make a difference.



  1. Sixbear I am looking at 2003 ford f 350 with the 7.3 for a tow vehicle. What is your opinion of the power and torque ? I have heard a wide range on mpg what do you get ?

    1. No complaints about power and torque. Accelerates Okay, but not great.

      I count on 12 mpg. I've gotten better, but not often. 12 is honest. One of the reason I burn waste vegetable oil.

    2. Not bad considering the weight of the ambulance compartment. My old truck only got 10 towing and 14 other wise.