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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Western/Central Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,703

    Default Two-Week July Trip Costs

    I figured I'd put the costs incurred on our two week trip in early July (to PA and VA)

    Vehicle: 2005 Subaru Forester XT
    Passengers: 2 (and a bunch of camping gear!)
    Length of Trip: 14 days
    States traveled: 8
    Miles covered: 2567.5
    Avg. MPG: 24.07
    Most Expensive Gas: Thomaston, CT $2.66/gal
    Least Expensive Gas: Fredericksburg, VA $2.39/gal
    Lodging: $609.30
    Food: $472.12
    Fuel: $259.81
    Other: $115.51
    Fun: $86.50
    Total Trip Cost: $1603.64
    "Mail Pouch" Tobacco Barns: 4
    "Kentucky Club" Barns: 1
    Roadkill Champ: PA

    "Other" includes vehicle service, personal necessities, etc. My data is more granular than this.

    The breakdown:

    Lodging 37.99%
    Food 30.01%
    Fuel 16.44%
    Other 14.40%
    Fun 5.61% <-- We're either cheap dates, or we're not having enough
    fun!!!!

    Had we taken the TDI, the fuel cost would have been cut in half, though I must say this car is enjoyable to drive (probably could have gotten better mileage if my right foot had stopped itching ;-) ). We were using premium grade. I'd like to cut down our food bill a bit. I'm satisfied with the lodging cost. Unfortunately, we did not include food we had purchased prior to the trip in this cost analysis. I estimate it would add about $100 here.
    Last edited by Mass Tim; 08-03-2005 at 08:36 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default

    What kind of TDI do you drive? I have many friends who drive that engine and love it. They especially enjoy burning bio-diesel in it. Do you do that? I have a friend who just went from northern Idaho to Arizona in his TDI and he was able to fill with bio-diesel the whole way. So, of course, my first thought is....why did you leave the TDI at home?

    Thanks for the interesting info on your expenses. And, ya know, I'm a cheap date, too. And I think I have more fun that way than some folks who spend tons more cash. It's all in the attitude, right?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Western/Central Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,703

    Default

    I have a 2003 Jetta TDI wagon with a manual tranny. I bought it because at the time, I could see that fuel costs were going to soar, I wanted an engine that could last a long time, and a car that could hold all our gear. She had a truck, but I've always been partial to cars. I have also found that I can sleep in it quite comfortably (I'm 6' 3" tall), though that's only on solo trips!

    I've found that VW/Audi still needs to do some work on their body hardware quality and dealer service department people skills(ie - my amplified antenna is positioned in such a way that road salt collects under the base, and thus has corroded all the circuitry - we do use way too much salt here, but still.) But this and a few others are the only places I've had any niggling concerns. None of them have been safety-related, and I'm fairly handy, so at this point I don't bother with the dealership.

    We took her car because

    a) she can't drive a standard well enough to go this far and I did all the driving duties the past 2 years
    b) we both wanted to break-in her new car
    c) turbocharged, all-wheel-drive. I was a car guy long before I was a roadtrip guy! (other rides include a '96 TransAm [hence the handle] and a '71 Camaro big block [ok, so it's my brother's car, but I get to drive it])

    Haven't run bio-d yet. There are only two places in the state that I know of that sell it, and I don't have the facilities to make my own. In fact, you can't even buy this car new in this state anymore (since 2004). But, I can get from White Sulphur Springs, WV to my home in Central MA on a single tank of dino.

    re: costs - I agree it's in the attitude. We have fun just driving. We are constantly asked how we can enjoy that, and we point to the fact that we get to see so much more this way. And, we don't have to break the bank to do it.

    I will be taking a long solo trip soon, using my car. I will report back the costs. I don't expect to see too dramatic a difference in the percentages.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default

    Sorry about your strange antennae problems. Hmmmm, could this be a good excuse to invest in satellite radio? My New Beetle has horrid radio reception. It has something to do with the harness system used for the wiring from antennae to radio. I don't get it but it's typical of these cars. I yearn for satellite radio but keep waiting until the equipment costs come down. I'm a tightwad and it's hard for me to pay for something that has always been free. But on a recent roadtrip with a friend, she let me borrow her Roady (an XM portable system) for part of the trip. Wow! Very cool.

    I think it's a shame that some states aren't allowing sales of TDIs. I truly wish my NB (which is the turbo gas engine) was a TDI. My next one will definitely be a TDI. We just didn't know enough about that type of engine at the time we bought and felt nervous about it. I now know many who have it and they are very satisfied. Great low-end torque and for those who want more top-end boost, they are easily chipped without much of a loss, if any, in MPG.

    A couple of my friends have even hit the goal of the dedicated TDI-ers....700 miles on a gallon of gas.

    {Editor: I think that should have read "tank of gas"}?

    Enjoy your next trip and I'll look forward to your trip report on it when you get back!
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 08-03-2005 at 02:00 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Western/Central Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,703

    Default

    My bro has XM radio, and I found it to be to my liking, but I haven't really looked into it beyond that. I put on my new antenna today, and I can get Cleveland AM radio again (and all the stations I normally listen to). My reception is back to very good. He is also part of the reason I bought a diesel car. He has had two diesel trucks, no engine problems at all, and hey, it was different.

    I don't know how many people have asked me about plugging it in. He never plugs in his truck, and my car doesn't even have a provision for it. It's been well below zero, and I've never had a problem starting. Twenty years ago it was a different story, but seriously, it's about as outdated a question as asking someone when they last set their valve lash or changed their points.

    700 miles on a tank seems to be the standard by which to judge, though there are rumors of far more. These cars have an "appendix" where you can vent the tank and get another gallon or so in there. This is useful when you know you're going to be on the road for a long time. The really cool thing is that they accept those fast-fill pumps that the truckers use, but I wouldn't recommend it.

    It may be in my blood, though. My grandfather was a diesel mechanic.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
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    Default

    I seem to recall that you want to put additives in your diesel, or buy diesel with these cold-weather additives in them, during cold weather. But I'm no expert on this.

    I went with some friends to a TDI get together one day. It was really interesting. Some of these guys are really into getting the best MPG they can. They really go for it. Quite of few cars had the hood liner, the back seats, and other things simply taken out of the car to decrease the weight. A few had taken out the regular seats and put in light-weight racing seats as well. Quite a few of them said that they can get 60 MPG because of these mods.

    I want good gas mileage, but I want comfort too! I wouldn't go so far but it was fun to visit with them.

    Enjoy you TDI! I'm sure I'll be joining you some day.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Western/Central Massachusetts
    Posts
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    Default

    I do put additive (cetane boost + conditioner) in on occasion. It is generally added to the fuel around here in the winter anyway.

    I've taken the rear seats out at times to increase cargo capacity, but never for reasons of mileage. I think that some of the people get way out of hand. But, for more on this, check out www.tdiclub.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
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    Default

    Yeah, LOL....I've visited that site. I think it's cool some folks do this kinda stuff. It's like a hobby. But it's too much for me, too. Happy trails!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Western/Central Massachusetts
    Posts
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    Default

    A note about that most expensive fuel:

    It was a gasoline-ethanol blend (I believe 10%). We did not notice any adverse effects from its use, but I don't have any mileage numbers for the car since this trip.

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