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Author Topic: Should I eliminate one of my fuel tanks?? I appreciate input from this board.  (Read 2868 times)
Gary LaBombard
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« on: July 29, 2006, 03:44:52 PM »

Well I finally worked on my Eagle today all day for the first time since I bought our S&S to go camping in. Now as I was working in my right side bogie wheel area, cutting out the old crap that the RUST termites ate I got this idea and here is my thinking. Forgive me if this turns into a long post, you know me by now!!

I had two fuel tanks, (70 Gal. Each), When I removed them for the frame restoration / repairs I had to drain them completely. Both tanks had a very funny sludge in the bottom of them about 1 Inch deep with a gel like substance that was nearly impossible to remove. So I believe these to be the original rusted tanks when she was born in 1973. Well today I got to thinking about why in the dickens do I need 140 gals of fuel. I am not going non stop across country like they used to do with passengers. When I drive 200 miles I am ready for a break with my cars let alone how I will be with this big beast of a bus. My new S&S has a bad fuel gage in the dash as they all get it seems, so I have filled it to the top, and without having to record what the miles was that I filled up I decided to be sure I filled it at say (65,200) miles, so now every 200 miles on the even number I will fill it up again, that was no remembering, especially at 61 years old. Too darn old to remember everything. The next fill up will be around 65,400 etc.

Now that the oil companies have nearly ruined everyones dreams of doing this hobby and got lots of people laid off from the Automotive industry and business forced to go bankrupt and the crap goes on and on with our (Ball less) politician leaders that are probably getting a kick back from the oil companies and who know who else, I too will have to pull in about what traveling I will probably do. So I figured if I have a smaller amount of fuel on my bus, I will be changing the amount of fuel more quickly with my shorter trips now camping etc. and the build up of sludge in my one tank will be much less for sure. I might get gas in one area cheaper than an other but these ball less politicians will allow the fuel companies to rape us through out the US no matter where we are now. So having 140 gallons of fuel on at one time is just a dream now for me anyhow. I can better afford to put smaller amounts, 40-50 gallons, at 5-7 miles per gallon and still have a small reserve between fuel ups.

I know I will get a lot of flack over this and I am seriously going to consider what some of you say before I decide but as I see it right now I do not need 140 gallons of fuel on board now and cannot ever think of affording a full fuel up right now even if the "Rustless Money Pit" was road worthy.

What I have thought of doing with the area that one of my fuel tanks was housed in is have a (Professional fresh water tank) built to be housed in the same area as the fuel tank was. This will equal about the same weight as the full tank of fuel so that should not be any problem if the fuel wasn't. We never, never drink any water from any campsite, just a rule because of bacteria for drinking in tanks etc. so our water tank will only be used to take showers, clean dishes and the toilet. We always bring bottle water for cooking and drinking. No problems with sickness that way that we have to worry about, I think!!

By utilizing one of my fuel tank storage compartments for a fresh water tank, that will free up one of my bays for other things you know we want to bring with us or build an entertainment center in a bay etc. and not have to sacrifice this bay for Waste / fresh water tanks. Remember, I have already made out of Carbon Steel my waste tank and Radiator Misting tank and installed them also in a wasted space contained between the bogie wheels that used to house something to do with the original air conditioning equipment on Eagles. Now I will have no tanks of water or waste storage taking up valuable cargo space I would rather utalize for my toys etc.

Now don't go off the deep end here trying to educate me the design of the Eagle was for 140 gals of fuel or what ever, but constructive considerations I should do will certainly be appreciate from more experienced Busnuts. One more question for those that have traveled cross country, what is the longest distance between fuel stations for diesel is it that you can remember so that my 200 mile theory between fuel ups will work for me.

Sorry to bore you to death with this long post, I still think it is good food for thought for me personally.

Thanks ahead of time,
Gary

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Gary
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« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2006, 04:27:33 PM »

I'll avoid the political side and speak to the issue of fuel tanks. We had 240 gallons in our first coach and we have 298 on this one. We have often run with other coaches and until we saw it first hand we did not appreciate the meaning of flexibility.

When coaches with low fuel holding capacity travel they are screwed. They have to pay the price. More than once we waited while our friends payed as much as $.25 more per gallon than we did because they had to top off where it was most expensive. If you want to stick it to the man then carry as much fuel as possible and stop rewarding the politicians in states like NY and CA where they rob you blind with high fuel prices.

Our current range is about 2000 miles and a search of the Flying J's along our route allows me to average much lower fuel prices than guys with less range.
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Jon Wehrenberg
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« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2006, 04:36:16 PM »

Gary, I'm thankful for the fact that I have 146 gallons of fuel and will continue to use the tank, keep it clean and do what I can to preserve it and it's integrity.

Now, as to my reasons, and they are personal...mostly. I have a 12.5 KW Kohler generator on board.  I have two daughters who live in south FL. Only one has a backup (standby) generator and it's too small at best.  We plan in wintering in FL and should one or both of the girls be subjected to the punishment Mother Nature dished out the last couple of years I feel confident that either one, or both, would love to see Mom and Pop pull into the driveway with enough reserve power to keep their lives comfortable.

I don't know if you've ever experienced the inability of cooking a meal, taking a shower like normal folks or even going to sleep in the humidity of the south without some A/C for over a week. How long might I expect to maintain this 'portable power house' scenario, you might ask...only long enough to head for the Turnpike (where they have backup power for their fuel pumps) and re-fill and return to try to make my girls lives a bit more comfortable.

If that doesn't come to pass and we have a 'brown-out' in the campground where we're planning to stay...I'l have enough power and endurance to make at least a couple of neighbors comfortable for a while.

I know you to be a gentleman of both good heart and nature.  Take a moment and consider what might be down the road, not only for you but for those you love and prepare for it.

Just my thoughts.......

Bob
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« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2006, 04:42:27 PM »

Gary, I have to agree with Rauchy.  Our Eagle 10 has one 150 gallon tank.  As we travel, I check the various websites that have fuel costs listed (one of the best is:  http://www.dieselboss.com/fuel.htm).  You would be amazed at the cost difference between states and even within states. 

We have also been able to pass truck stops that are crowded or too busy.

My electronic "dash" (Silverleaf VMSpc on my laptop) is accurate to within two gallons in 100 (mostly filling variation).  I use this to plan my stops and with the 150 gallon capacity, I have a lot of flexibility.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2006, 04:44:25 PM by rv_safetyman » Logged

Jim Shepherd
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« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2006, 04:50:41 PM »

Gary,

Make that 4 votes for keepng it.

My travels have shown me that having the extra fuel to get a better deal have paid off many times.

Like was said above by Rauchy.

Also you could not even travel 8 hours total if you were getting 7mpg on that tank.

And like Bob, this is my hurricane escape/survival vehicle or could be any catastrophe anywhere.

It gives you options, even if you never need them.

Cliff
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Gary LaBombard
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« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2006, 05:45:16 PM »

Looks like my idea stinks on my fuel tank / fresh water tank arrgement., I'll consider all you have stated. Sorry for the political blast, it just kills me to see us all have to change our whole lives when reaching our retirement years that we plan for all our life and now we are restricted to nearly staying home because of fuel cost. I believe not one politician, not even on should be able to serve more than one term. Second term is when they get the power. There I go again. Sorry.
Thanks again for the comments.
Gary
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Gary
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« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2006, 06:32:48 PM »

It's your bus, do it your way if you want. We're just here to offer advice.

Another option is to keep both tanks, but remove any connection between them. You could use one for road-taxed fuel, and the other for cheaper generator fuel. Then if you later decide you need the original tank capacity back for road use, you only have to fix the plumbling.
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H3Jim
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« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2006, 06:43:19 PM »

I have 235 gallon capacity and I really like it.  It gives me much more flexibility of where I fill and how much I pay when I do.  i also like not having to stop very often.
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Jim Stewart
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« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2006, 07:06:02 PM »

Gary,

As you know I only have experince with charter coaches, but I love being ble to fuel our coaches before we get to the tourist raping grounds, and then tour and drive back out to where fuel is cheaper and refuel on the way back home instead of being forced to fuel wen ya can't avoid it with our MCI we only have a 140 gallon tank & I personaly hate not having an auxillary tank on it ! Another reason I love my Setra built by the same company that built the original Eagles ! My Setra has 242 gallon capacity ! Just my opinion! BK Grin
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« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2006, 08:40:53 PM »

The fuel supply should keep you going for at least 8 hours of hard running under a full load.

I use about 70 gallons or so when running the Generator part time for a couple of days and in transit to our local rallies
and back. ( estimated ) My generator uses 1/2 gallon an hour by itself. I try to keep the transit time to about 4 hours
each way and having that reserve of fuel on board makes me very happy as I know I won't run out unless I do
something dumb.

Not that the bladder or other essential systems will hold that long. Roll Eyes

When I drove for disney we filled the RTS's every 12 hours on average. Some were refuled at 8 hours but only
if the runs were longer for extended night runs. I know that doesn't equate to Highway miles or hours but when the
engine is running for a/c all the time it does use a lot of fuel and we had 140 gallon tanks.

Keep the 140 or increase it, You will be a little more shocked at the pump, But rest eaier knowing there is a safety
buffer if you need it.
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« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2006, 10:22:10 PM »

And my take is: we save about 10% on our fuel bill by being aboe to run over 1000 miles between fuelings. You can, too!

What about using your second tank for a WVO conversion? You sound like you've got the right motivation to get it set up right. Run diesel in one and WVO in the other. Then, you're halfway to your WVO conversion. Some plumbing and you can get it working and still be able to afford to take a trip.

If you do well enough at it, you'll wind up with WVO in both tanks and a separate smaller tank for your diesel that you will need for warming it up and shutting it down.

What do you think?

Tom Caffrey
Suncatcher
Ketchikan, Alaska
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Tom Caffrey PD4106-2576
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« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2006, 11:30:08 PM »

Gary, given your strong skills with engineering and "hands on" work, Tom's idea of a WVO system should be right up your alley. Plus, nothing quite sticks it to the oil companies and politicians quite like tax-free, profit-free fuel!

And, yes, I vote for more tankage not less. Even if you do choose to stop every 200 miles... you can find a nice park or roadside attraction to stretch your legs... instead of a Flying J or some Mom-and-Pop's Jack Up the Price for the Tourists trap.

I love being able to go 900 miles without worrying about fuel. Our last trip to the Black Hills was out and back with plenty of reserve left without stopping for fuel. Although, I was able to stop in Cheyenne and save about 20 cents per gallon... and even then, I didn't have to stop. My dad-in-law was driving a Tahoe pulling his TT and had to stop every 180 miles for refuels (same 7mpg that my bus gets, but only a 26gal. tank), and even more often on the scarcely fuel-populated plains of WY. Think he had any choice to "pay what they were asking"? Ugh. We even drove slower than him and still beat him to camp by over an hour.

Ya got the room and ya got the ability to lug it... I say, take on lots of fuel (dino OR grease), sir.

Brian
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Brian Brown
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« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2006, 04:45:56 AM »

 My MCI5C has a 144 gal. tank. I do not like to drive long distances non stop so I many times stop and put in 50 gal. Right now I am in Cornelius NC at camp Wally. last nite in SC I filled the tank to capacity at $1.77 a gal thats 22 cents cheaper than FL. I put in 80 gal thats a $16.16 cent saving. How many times will you do that over the life of the bus? Is it worth it?
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« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2006, 04:55:51 AM »

Tom, he already has a separate smaller tank that he installed for a mister water tank. LOL
Richard



If you do well enough at it, you'll wind up with WVO in both tanks and a separate smaller tank for your diesel that you will need for warming it up and shutting it down.

What do you think?

Tom Caffrey
Suncatcher
Ketchikan, Alaska
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« Reply #14 on: July 30, 2006, 06:49:19 AM »

Like others -- keep the fuel.  Can't have enough fuel.  And as others said, gives you the ability to pass the high $$$ stations and find a better source.
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