Are we really doomed or is our passion sustainable?

Submitted: Friday, Mar 14, 2008 at 17:43
ThreadID: 55540 Views:3426 Replies:14 FollowUps:11
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I really want to buy a camper trailer this year as this is our prefered way to holiday (dad, mum 2 kids so far). With all this fuel crisis and oil hitting $110 US a barrel is there really a future driveing a 4.2L TD 3 tonne wagon around the country towing a trailer?? Will biofuel kick in when crude oil is too expensive?? Should I not buy a camper trailer this year or are they going to become white elephants when we cant affford the fuel to tow them around?.
I mean, well, camping uses much less energy than staying in a 5 star hotel, which makes me feel like a greenie (sort of) but will I be able to afford the fuel to get out and about and tow a camper trailer around the country with the family for the next 10 years??
I guess whatever the cost of fuel is camping will be cheaper than flying and staying in hotels - right?

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Reply By: blue one - Friday, Mar 14, 2008 at 18:07

Friday, Mar 14, 2008 at 18:07
Live your life, buy the camper and have a great time with the family. These are the best times!!

We did it through all the roller coaster times of the 80s and it just doesn't matter in the end.

AnswerID: 292695

Reply By: Member - Norm C (QLD) - Friday, Mar 14, 2008 at 18:11

Friday, Mar 14, 2008 at 18:11
Dave, you ask a reasonable question.
But I'd say there is no time like the present. If it is going to get really bad, get out there now while you can.

More realistically though, at some time in the future you might change over to a more fuel efficient vehicle. The newer diesels are much more fuel efficient than the old ones. But that does not effect the CT, and that time is probably a while away anyway.

Also, you can change your travel habits if you need to. We used to cover masses of miles on our trips and rarely stayed more than a few days in one spot.

These days we take our time a lot more. When towing we cruise at about 90KPH (saves a lot of fuel) and we stay in one place (when we like it) for much longer periods. We didn't make this change to save fuel, just because it now suits our lifestyles better. A flow on effect is that for any given duration of a trip, we spend heaps less on fuel these days.

Go for it. The kids will love it, and learn so much about life and their country.

Norm C
AnswerID: 292697

Follow Up By: Brew69(SA) - Friday, Mar 14, 2008 at 19:46

Friday, Mar 14, 2008 at 19:46
"The newer diesels are much more fuel efficient than the old ones."

How much more?? Interested in the comparison. My 1989 GQ 4.2 NA does 12/100 not towing and 13/100 towing.
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Follow Up By: pathfinder - Monday, Mar 17, 2008 at 13:27

Monday, Mar 17, 2008 at 13:27
probably more accurate to say that modern TDs have a much better power/economy combination than old offence to the old GQ non-turbo plugger, but not the most powerful bit of kit on the planet! These days a 2.5-3.0TD will produce a heap more power for less fuel. E.g. a S3 Disco has 140kw/440Nm and can get as low as 8l/100km on highway...not bad for a 2.7 tonne vehicle...

The GQ motor of course will probably last longer than a modern TD, but it will be interesting to see whether these relatively highly stressed small TDs are good for 500K k...
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Reply By: JAS095 - Friday, Mar 14, 2008 at 18:12

Friday, Mar 14, 2008 at 18:12
I saw the end of a program on ABC2 the other night that was looking at the yanks addiction to their SUVs. this is something that I feel that I also have as now I am on my 3rd 4x4, a hilux, 8o series and now a 3lt Patrol. any way they where talking about the cost of fuel and the fuel ecomony that is gaained from these type of cars.
One thing that I was a bit supprised at was that Ford had a hybrid Escape in the US that was geting some thing like 50 miles to the gallon , this got me thinking would I buy a hybrid 4x4?

As the coggs crunched and the wirred I relised trips such as the big lap or that more remote trip would become more achiveable as if we where able to get 50km to the litre by generation power for batteries for an electric moter just think how offen we would be off on a trip.

I suppose then we would not be looking at putting in a larger sub tank but accually removing the main tank to use the space for some type of power cell, battery thingy and the my 35lt sub tank could take me 1750km, thats almost from Perth to Adilade or Broome on $53 worth of fuel

Also relised that if we did have batteries for this we could get rid of the need for duel batteries and be able to run fridges ect just from the reserves in the cars batteries and there would be no more warm beer.

well after some contempaltion the answer is yes, I would buy a hybrid 4x4 if it was able to delver the same performace.

How about You?
AnswerID: 292698

Reply By: nowimnumberone - Friday, Mar 14, 2008 at 18:22

Friday, Mar 14, 2008 at 18:22
you might be right.
with fuel going to be $2 at the end of the year i wouldnt be wasting money on a c/t that you wont be able to afford to tow anywhere.
why not buy a tent and just pitch it in the back yard and camp.
no fuel cost there all your food will be cold in the house so will be cheaper that way as well.
or if your still keen wait til early next year when no one else can afford to go camping so the market will be flooded with really cheap campers fridges ect.
AnswerID: 292699

Reply By: Member - Oldplodder (QLD) - Friday, Mar 14, 2008 at 18:24

Friday, Mar 14, 2008 at 18:24
All is not yet lost.

Just heard from two sources that the oil sands in Canada are having pilot plants being built, now that the $100/barrel has been crossed. It is now economically feasible to possibly do. There is reportably more oil in these oil sands than there is under Saudi Arabia.

More marginal oil fields will now be 'discovered'.

I don't see Shell and BP etc suddenly going under in a couple of years because crude oil runs out. And if it is too expensive, no one will buy it, but go to alternatives for power.

There is a pilot plant being looked at near Chinchilla for turning coal seem gas into diesel.

The worm hasn't finished turning yet!

I might just get another 10 years, enough to do the travelling I want. Not sure about cost yet. :o0

Just enough scare tactics that we will accept whatever price they post at the bowser.
AnswerID: 292700

Reply By: Saharaman (aka Geepeem) - Friday, Mar 14, 2008 at 18:34

Friday, Mar 14, 2008 at 18:34
HI Aeiou,

Enjoy while you can. This is a topic I read about at every opportunity (refer to Thread 54513). I think we still have a few years of "relatively cheap" fuel before the big crunch comes.

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Somewhere between 2011 and 2015 experts are saying world oil production will start to decline. With demand rising fueled by emerging mammoth economies of China and India prices can only go one way. Some demographers are saying this will significantly change the structure of our economies - where we live, travel, vehicle ownership etc. Most western Governments are developing strategic plans to deal with high oil prices for when the time comes.
Its an interesting question you raise and I guess no onw knows the exact ramifications of future oil prices and supply. But on all accounts the prices we are paying now will probably appear very cheap in just a few years time.
AnswerID: 292703

Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Monday, Mar 17, 2008 at 16:09

Monday, Mar 17, 2008 at 16:09
>Most western Governments are developing strategic plans
>to deal with high oil prices for when the time comes.

Thanks for posting that it is, without question, the best laugh I've had in a long time.

Mike Harding
FollowupID: 558759

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Monday, Mar 17, 2008 at 16:48

Monday, Mar 17, 2008 at 16:48
Mike, Im wondering when "the time comes" will be? I thought it was last year..
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Follow Up By: Member - Davoe (Yalgoo) - Monday, Mar 17, 2008 at 17:02

Monday, Mar 17, 2008 at 17:02
Its all about economics - there are plenty of ways to power a motor vehicle and until such time comes that petrol isnt the cheapest way development (from the private sector) wont happen to any large extent thats exactly what well get
neccessity is the mother of all inventions
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Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Monday, Mar 17, 2008 at 17:14

Monday, Mar 17, 2008 at 17:14
It was 1972 (I think it was?) Truckster - Arab Oil Crisis. I well remember petrol went up by 30% or something.

Spot on Davoe.

I should have qualified my post by saying... Western Governments could not strategically plan their way out of a paper bag - far, far too short term in their outlooks.

Mike Harding
FollowupID: 558784

Follow Up By: Saharaman (aka Geepeem) - Monday, Mar 17, 2008 at 17:33

Monday, Mar 17, 2008 at 17:33

Anyone can do a search on the internet on the topic of peak oil and there is plenty of info available on what the so called experts are suggesting might happen to oil prices.
here's one quote from IEA (International Energy Agency) - an independent body of oil analysts based in France:

Here's what the IEA said:
"An abrupt escalation of oil prices after 2015 as a result of a global supply crisis cannot be ruled out.

. . . it is very uncertain whether new oil production in the period to 2015 will be enough to compensate for the natural falloff in output from existing oil fields and keep pace with the projected increase in demand.

The consequences of unfettered growth in world energy demand are alarming."

You can find volumes of similar comments to that one. These are not my words but the words of the so called experts in the field.
I have never said there would be a problem last year - I don't know where that comment came from. My words 2011 to 2015 are from various sources - IEA believes the crisis will come 2015 - others say as early as 2011. But these dates are all estimates anyway. But the common fact in all these reports is that the world will face oil prices rising at a faster rate than ever before once this "peak oil" issue occurs.
And yes Governments are developing strategies to deal with such developments. I have seen first hand refernces to reports prepared for US Government and more recently Queensland Government. I agree though with your qualification posted - Governments don't have a good track record in planning long term - just look at the mess Queensland roads are in dealing with the growth in population here. But the point of my comment was that at least many Governments are at least recogizing that there is a potential problem in the future.
Thanks for your comments,
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Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Monday, Mar 17, 2008 at 17:41

Monday, Mar 17, 2008 at 17:41
Hi Glen

I'm not having a go at you - just that your comment made me
laugh :)

I have watched too many Western Governments over too many countries over too many years _totally_ fail to do _any_ long term planning and given that is the major (only?) reason we seek to be "governed" I have to question what the bloody hell use they are to anyone?

Far and away their major long term plan is to be re-elected - without exception. One possible ray of light is Yulia Tymoshenko the current Ukrainian prime minster but I'm not holding my breath.

Mike Harding

FollowupID: 558796

Reply By: mfewster - Friday, Mar 14, 2008 at 19:00

Friday, Mar 14, 2008 at 19:00
We have been down this bushtrack before. About three years ago several of us were much chortled at in this forum for suggesting that this time fuel prices wouldn't be coming down again, it was all just a greenie plot (remember 1974 etc. etc )
I suggest the following strategy. Fuel is increasing about 30% a year and will continue to do so. For the next few years, depreciation costs will still outweigh fuel costs for 4WDrivers. Therefore get a good old 60 series diesel. They cost next to nothing but should be running for many years yet. This cuts out the depreciation factor. Now you have the $ to spend on fuel for a few years, so get out there now and enjoy it until fuel costs make this undoable as well.
In the mean time, check out the technology that enables natural gas to be turned into diesel by using cobalt. We have some of the biggest sources of both, but why aren't we building these plants?
AnswerID: 292704

Follow Up By: Wazza - (Vic) - Saturday, Mar 15, 2008 at 20:41

Saturday, Mar 15, 2008 at 20:41
And the fact that you have a 60 series and not a flashy new car means you will go places (get scratches and dents that you won't care about) that you would not have gone otherwise...
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Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Monday, Mar 17, 2008 at 16:13

Monday, Mar 17, 2008 at 16:13
Good strategy I reckon. It's, pretty much, what I'm doing.
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Reply By: Member - Davoe (Yalgoo) - Friday, Mar 14, 2008 at 20:07

Friday, Mar 14, 2008 at 20:07
I think theres no doubt as fuel prices rise well above inflation over the next 10-20 years shifts in the way we do things will change.
I will save it for another thread but i believe one thing that will happen is rather than "the big trips" more shorter ones will become popular as will the "stop and prop" where people set up for a week or so rather than a driving type track holiday.
- this bodes well for a well set up camper.
as for the do it or not well fuel aint getting any cheaper so nows the time
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Reply By: blue one - Friday, Mar 14, 2008 at 20:12

Friday, Mar 14, 2008 at 20:12
Make the most of what you have and damn the torpedoes.

AnswerID: 292716

Reply By: stefan P (Penrith NSW) - Friday, Mar 14, 2008 at 22:09

Friday, Mar 14, 2008 at 22:09
Just use the car smarter....walk when possible, park the forbie and buy a 'cheap little car for commuting'

the difference between diesel at $1.10per/lt and now at $1.50per/lt in my car means a return trip form sydney to brisbane now costs about $80 more. Not a huge amount in the total cost of a holiday.

Cheers Stefan
AnswerID: 292746

Reply By: Member - Barnesy - Saturday, Mar 15, 2008 at 12:01

Saturday, Mar 15, 2008 at 12:01
Yeh fuel may cost more but it's just one of those things you have to live with. When you look at it it's not that much extra. The post above says it, an extra $80 to to a return trip from Brissy to Sydney. Those costs add up but not really that much extra. How much would a holiday to the Gold Coast cost?

Factor in the cost to yourself and fun lost to you kids if you decide not to travel because of a few hundred bucks, and the costs are much, much higher.

Think of the extra internet hours you will have to pay for when your kids want to find out more about Australia. You could show them first-hand! You also don't have to travel huge distances to make a holiday.

AnswerID: 292800

Reply By: Crackles - Saturday, Mar 15, 2008 at 17:52

Saturday, Mar 15, 2008 at 17:52
You bring up a good point Dave with so many cashed up people buying campers, caravans and fith wheelers at the moment barely taking the time to consider the cost of fuel & if they will be able to afford it in the future let alone the possible lack of resale. I think you are safe for this decade but the next one IMHO will see a major change with affordability, many downsizing or getting back to 2wd cars.
Camping for 2 weeks in central Oz is already far dearer than staying at a 4 star resort. It's almost at the point where we'll have to look at buying a TD5 Landrover Defender or a CRD Jeep to get better fuel ecomemy ;-)
Cheers Craig.............
AnswerID: 292832

Reply By: AdlelaideGeorge - Monday, Mar 17, 2008 at 12:58

Monday, Mar 17, 2008 at 12:58
I heard an OPEC country official interviewed the other day said: "Yes - but the stone age didn't end because we ran out of stones did it!"

Brilliant eh! He meant that technology/other advances will 'end' the oil age long before we run out of oil.

Buy the camper and enjoy I reckon.

Happy days


AnswerID: 293099

Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Monday, Mar 17, 2008 at 14:51

Monday, Mar 17, 2008 at 14:51
I know several people who have changed or cancelled remote trips, where fuel si over $2bux ltr in remote commuinties etc. Yes, it does make a BIG difference.

Some say it makes no difference, but it does.

I don't think some people realise how close to the breadline some families are with interest rates, and fuel prices.

"Buy a little car"... if you cant afford to run what you have now, how can you afford to buy a second car, insurance, rego, tires etc?

Walk or run to work, well its hour 20 for me to drive to work, public transport is a farce, and would take twice as long, and walkin or pushy aint an option either.

Some of these strugglers they would LOVE to see some of this country, but unless they get a $20k loan, they wont ever get out of the city anymore.

Be nice if the Gov stopped raping us savagely and smiling at us, saying 'its for your own good'...
AnswerID: 293115

Follow Up By: Member - Davoe (Yalgoo) - Monday, Mar 17, 2008 at 17:05

Monday, Mar 17, 2008 at 17:05
Yep while i havnt done the sums i reckon having the one dog slow crap handling diesal 80 series is chaper than an extra huyundai for the city. Buying a car is actually the cheap part
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