I really like tracking data and doing statistics. I’m
a nerd an engineer. So on our trip, every time we filled up the gas tank, we recorded our odometer reading and how many gallons we put in. Some Excel slicing and dicing and we get some cool insights.
First off if you’re just joining us, we drive a 1989 Winnebago Minnie Winnie Class C motorhome. It’s 26 feet long and weighs about 11,000 pounds. It’s based off of the chassis of a Ford E350 van with a 7.5 liter 460 big block V8 engine that provides 230 hp. It’s a glutton. To make things worse, we tow a 2000 pound Pontiac Vibe behind it loaded down with a couple hundred pounds of kayaks and gear. So prepare yourself because the mileage numbers aren’t pretty.
Over the course of six months of summer driving towing a car behind the RV we burned just over 500 gallons of gasoline and averaged just under 7 miles per gallon overall. Eww. Sorry planet. At the same time, how many miles per gallon does your house get? We also drove the car about 6000 miles at about 30 mpg for 200 more gallons of gas.
Two bits of good news though. First, about halfway through the trip we needed to replace the catalytic converter. We knew something was wrong when we started losing power and lo and behold our stats show that just before it died, we were only getting 4.8 MPG. After we replaced it though, our average fuel economy went from 6.85MPG to 7.5 MPG. Assuming gas stays about the same price, it will take about 22,000 miles of driving to pay for itself completely.
Second, my parents are awesome and for our anniversary last year offset our carbon usage for the year. Thank you!!! Fifth anniversary is wood and carbon offsets are usually planting trees, get it? They do something super cute for our anniversary every year and keep with each of the traditional anniversary gifts (did I mention they were awesome?)
So, math and analysis hat back on for a second, 700 gallons of gas * ~20 pounds of CO2/gallon = 14,000 pounds. 10 Tonnes = ~22,500 pounds. Add in 3 tanks of propane for cooking and some natural gas for heating the apartment we’re living in for the winter and I think it worked out just about perfectly. I think we’ll plan on trying to offset our RV fuel usage every year since it will only cost us about $100. If you want to to, please check out https://carbonfund.org/individuals/ and please let us know if you have another favorite offset provider and why you like them.