How silly we must look

Submitted: Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 09:06
ThreadID: 56687 Views:3323 Replies:14 FollowUps:15
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An increasing number of threads on here as time goes by relating to the fuel economy options for the vehicles we all enjoy. Reading Jim's recent thread (56649) it made me wonder what an outsider (non-4WD enthusiast) must think. Here are a bunch of people who drive (generally) large vehicles which use (on average) more fuel than 'normal' cars getting very worked up about whose is the cheapest to run.

It strikes me as somewhat ironic, because if any of you haven't worked it out by now, 4WDing is an expensive business.

The best way to save money on your 4WD is to sell it, buy a cheapy 4 cylinder shopping trolley and don't head bush. Other discussions about relative maintenance costs of diesel vs petrol vs LPG are also pretty amusing. How do you save on 4WD maintenance costs? Easy, don't take it off the tar because as soon as you do, maintenance costs sky-rocket.

Roachie touched on it in one of his follow ups to the Jim's thread I think with regards to cost/benefit ratio, it is not just money, but the 'perceived' benefit of these investment decisions. I read with some amusement a couple of threads in recent times asking about cheap tyres or suspension components. If you are seeking to go cheap in critical components such as these, then you have taken up the wrong hobby, trust me.

I drive one of the thirstiest 4WDs around (I think the 4800 Patrol might just beat me), but I really don't care because it is the RIGHT vehicle for me and what I do with it.

4WDing is an expensive game. Sure we all like to keep the costs under control, but if you are getting to the point of obsession with the money you spend on them, time for a new passion methinks.

Cheers,

Matt.

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Reply By: Member - David.M.C - Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 09:14

Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 09:14
beautifully said Matt.
AnswerID: 298828

Reply By: Member - RFLundgren (WA) - Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 09:22

Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 09:22
Very well said. I wonder if people who own boats go through similar discussion about the cost on their forums.

Lets face it, it is an expensive "hobby / lifestyle" but at the end of the day it is us as individuals who have chosen to participate in it. Rather than complaining about that cost we should just get and enjoy it while it is still affordable.

We bought our first 4WD as we had 4 kids so needed a larger vehicle. It has brought as so much enjoyment being able to explore this great country that I wouldn't have it any other way.

Yes it is expensive, yes things do break, but that is the nature of the business. Tell me any other way to get out on the Simpson / CSR or any other remote place without one.

Sure you can take a bus trip to some places with 40 other people, which kinds of defeats the purpose of getting away from everything and everyone.

Once again Matt, well said and regardless of the cost, it is a lifestyle we have chosen and while we are still able to afford it, we will continue to go out and explore this great country.

Cheers

Richard

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AnswerID: 298829

Follow Up By: Oldsquizzy (Kununurra) - Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 22:24

Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 22:24
As the owner of a boat with a thirsty V6 two stroke I dont even look at the bowser when filling the tank.
Money verses fun....no contest....fun wins every time and the same goes for when I fill the 4WD.
I think if you have to look at every tank of juice you use, maybe you should look at doing something else...I'm told watching paint dry is fun....grin.
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FollowupID: 565123

Follow Up By: Member - RFLundgren (WA) - Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 23:29

Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 23:29
Exactly my point Squizzy. If we worried about every tank of diesel we filled then I would have given this up a long time ago.

Fuel prices going up are just another fact of life that we have to live with. Diesel is still cheaper / litre than milk, coke and home brew so cant complain too much.

Just have to grin and bare it, life goes on, and I sure as hell do not plan on missing things that I wish to see on account of the current or future fuel prices.

Cheers

Richard

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FollowupID: 565134

Reply By: Rock Ape - Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 09:25

Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 09:25
Matt,
Just like you to mull over your post a little.

Some of the people out there love being in the bush but don't have a lot of cash, hence the quest to enjoy themselves without breaking the limited budget they are on.

Yes! you choose to have an expensive to run 4b and I would guess top of the range gear. Others have to watch their pennies to achieve the same goal with limited means.

All the best and never forget where you came from or might wind up

The Ape
AnswerID: 298831

Follow Up By: Member - Matt M (ACT) - Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 09:44

Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 09:44
Rock Ape,

You are, of course, spot on and I know that saving a few pennies is important (hey, I drive a 14 year old vehicle AND I'm a cheap skate Waeco owner).

It is more just the forcefulness (obsession, righteousness, arrogance?) with which some people push their own views on these matters. Perhaps the sort of people your talking about just watch from the sidelines in quiet amusement as all the chest beating goes on.

I would like to think so anyhow.

Matt.
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FollowupID: 564981

Follow Up By: Louie the fly - Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 10:30

Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 10:30
Matt wrote "It is more just the forcefulness (obsession, righteousness, arrogance?) with which some people push their own views on these matters."

I think it is often that some people feel the need to justify their purchase or whatever. Coupled with their self opinionation and you've got a mix for aggressive conversation at times.

I have a 92 4Runner that suits me fine coz it's cheap to run. But I also run a V* AWD wagon and a V8 boat and I don't really care about the running costs.

& I'm more of a cheap skate than you, I BORROW a Waeco!
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FollowupID: 564989

Follow Up By: Member - Lance S (VIC) - Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 17:05

Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 17:05
Easy on the Waeco boys!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

i'm quite attached to my 110lt fridge

keeps my beers niccccce and cold, and

OH, plenty of them.
Home Away from Home

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FollowupID: 565041

Follow Up By: Stephen M (NSW) - Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 17:27

Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 17:27
Hay ease up Matt and Louie the fly about the waeco's !!!! I love my waeco and wouldnt go away without it and has given me no trouble "SO FAR", so what your saying the engel is better ??? LOL. Agree with you Matt and Rock Ape, we all know how dear it can be to run a 4wd, but also with interest rates rising, dearer fuel you do have to at some stage to start to watch the $$$ and save where you can. I agree that if you want some thing to last you some times have to spend more to get the quality, but some times not always the case. Have bought many items that were dearer then your no name brand to only have them fail while the ell cheapo brand is still ticking along like a DVD player I bought. the $40 Aldi one still going the $500 (wont mention the brand) always jumping,skipping, and freezing up. But when out in the sticks and far from any towns the last thing you want is some thing shi##ing it's self like el cheapo tyres cause you wanted to save a few $$$. Go the waeco's LOL. Regards Steve M
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FollowupID: 565052

Follow Up By: Louie the fly - Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 19:00

Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 19:00
Nah, what I mean is I'm too tight to buy my own. We borrow the inlaws' fridge. Does a great job and the compact size of the 40L Waeco makes it perfect for the back of our 4Runner.

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FollowupID: 565070

Reply By: Notso - Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 09:32

Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 09:32
Yeah but it's still nice to use a bit less fuel, for the hip pockets sake if not the environment.
AnswerID: 298834

Follow Up By: Scubaroo - Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 09:41

Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 09:41
Exactly - 4WDing isn't exactly the most environmentally friendly activity. Any savings in economy generally reflects a reduction in emissions. I've calculated that for our upcoming trip to NT/WA, we'll be burning about 3000L of fuel for around 7 tonnes of CO2 emissions. Kinda negates out the savings I've gained from using 100% GreenPower electricity at home.

So fuel economy just isn't about saving money.
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FollowupID: 564978

Reply By: Best Off Road - Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 09:57

Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 09:57
Matt,

It need not be expensive.

Suzuki Sierra, tent, two folding chairs, esky, steel plate to cook on, rechgargeable torch, newspaper and a box of matches.

Not my prefered style.

A Porsche Cayenne and a Kimberley Karavan would be lovely, but not within my budget.

I fit somewhere in between and can camp comfortably and afford to do it on a regular basis.

Hence my post on LPG. My Courier is cheaper (purely fuel cost) than the GLW's Hyundai Getz.

Jim.

AnswerID: 298839

Reply By: KSV. - Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 10:23

Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 10:23
Matt, you laid it very well.

But for this merit any decent hobby is about to spend money *IRRATIONALLY*. Just name it, fishing if obsessed can be quite expensive. Boating – even worse then 4WD because those poor fellows cannot use their gears for any practical reason like wood collection at all! Motorbikes also never been cheap. Oh! How about photography? For last 5 years I spend more then 2 decent Warns worth! And list is going on.

Surely you right and I agree with you on 100% if one trying skip on tyres or suspension, then they pick up wrong hobby. Generally we love spend on our gear, but no-one treat fuel as essential spending – it is just unavoidable nuisance and if impossible to rid of it completely would be nice as least do not spend so much and put money into “useful” gear. Irony is – there is no miracles here and it is impossible to cut fuel cost in half, so lets be not so obsessed with such fruitless discussion and spend more time for rig’s preparation for next trip!

Serg
AnswerID: 298842

Reply By: Member No 1- Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 11:01

Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 11:01
i have a lot of expensive hobbies then
4wd, stamps (yes postage Stamps!), antique furniture collection and restoration tools and equipment, Fly fishing, firearms,..??? kids, wife,
AnswerID: 298849

Follow Up By: KSV. - Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 12:24

Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 12:24
As I said above – hobby when you spend money irrationally. Thus your kids are not a hobby – indeed you invest money for your future rather then spend them for your pleasure. Wife is different story, though :-)))))))))))))))))))))))
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FollowupID: 565002

Follow Up By: Member No 1- Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 18:58

Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 18:58
whats ya aswmbo's email address...i'll sned her a copy of what ye just wrote.....you can put all the smilies you like ...swmbo's will just ignore them.....
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FollowupID: 565069

Reply By: Member - kevin Y (SA) - Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 12:40

Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 12:40
personally i find all the questions in this forum interesting , we all do different things in different ways whether it be cheapest or easiest , what the heck
Reminds me of a post in the CMCA forum chap declaring --if you can't afford to stay in a caravan park you shouldn't be on the road
AnswerID: 298857

Follow Up By: Member - Matt M (ACT) - Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 13:53

Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 13:53
Sorry Kevin, not my intention to suggest that anyone should 'get out of the kitchen'. I was just trying to point out the irony of a group of 4WD enthusiasts getting SO worked up about whose solution to fuel economy is the best.

All I am suggesting is that if you are reaching the point of obsession with fuel economy, it may be time to think of another pastime.

Cheers,

Matt.
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FollowupID: 565025

Reply By: Member - Oldbaz. NSW. - Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 12:44

Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 12:44
Good stuff Matt, all the moaning about the cost of fuel pales into
insignificance when compared to the cost of depreciation on a
$60k plus 4WD. I have a standard petrol 4wd & a DIY C/t that set
me back less than $20k & is quite suitable for most outback touring. Not used as a daily driver though, I run two Peugeots
for that. The combined costs of running all three, when you incude capital cost ,is far less than running an expensive 4WD for
all purposes, & I still get to go touring this great country. Fuel is
only a part of the whole deal. Sure, I aint got the latest & greatest,
but I still get there, at a fraction of the cost....oldbaz.
AnswerID: 298858

Follow Up By: patrolmann - Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 15:38

Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 15:38
I have to agree with old baz,

Just because it is the latest or the most expensive doesnt mean it is the best.

I drive a 1996 td patrol 2.8 and a swag and have the time of my life out there. Dont see the sense in laying out 60k for something that you will just bounce around the bush. Unless you have that much spare cash, sorry i dont.
I also needed some new tyres and looked around and was suggested i try Nexon AT. I was worried because i had not heard much about them and they were $100.00 a tyre cheaper. Salesman said they have the same compound as bridgies so i thought ok ill give them a go.
I have just come back from the flinders and we did the Skytreck tour which travels some rough and steep tracks. Had an excellent run out of them. Last trip we blew a $269.00 bridgie so i am happy with these so far. Wear seems to be good so far as well.
Just my opinion
cheers
Patrolman
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FollowupID: 565029

Reply By: Crackles - Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 18:23

Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 18:23
Matt I have to disagree some what with your line of thinking. Sure it's an expensive game but if you have the choice of 2 options, both that will do a similar job, wouldn't it be reasonable to go the cheaper way. Many can only just afford to get into 4x4ing as it is, so if putting their car on gas or picking a cheaper suspension option is what they need to do to be able to get out in the bush then surely that's better than staying at home with their cheapy 4 cylinder shopping trolley.
Grey Nomads in particular living off their super or a pension often have little margin so discussions on using less fuel, free campsites & budget accessories will always be popular.
Cheers Craig.......
AnswerID: 298892

Follow Up By: Member - Matt M (ACT) - Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 19:41

Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 19:41
Fair call Craig, and re-reading my post it does sound a bit like I'm saying don't do it if you can't afford to do it 'properly'. Not really my intent.

It was more to do with the vehemence some of us use to put forward a position, and fuel economy seems to be a popular one at the moment (for obvious reasons).

Yep, it is good to find ways to reduce consumption, but it is a part of 4WDing, so not worth getting TOO worked up over.

Cheers,

Matt.
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FollowupID: 565076

Follow Up By: Crackles - Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 22:04

Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 22:04
Well in that case I whole heartily agree. Could be a few contributing factors to the over exuberance, many no doubt trying to justify an expensive purchase;-) (Hate to be seen buying 2nd best even if they have). Then of course there are the trawlers baiting up which will always lead to a few over the top responses :-) (Guilty)
But really it's all good, a bit of passion towards one's intrest never goes astray.
Cheers Craig.............
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FollowupID: 565118

Reply By: V8Diesel - Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 22:24

Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 22:24
Matt, that has got to be one of the most sensible threads I have ever seen here. What a breath of fresh air!

I don't think I could agree with you more.

This forum seems to attract a disproportionate amount of whining fuel economy zealots who are perpetually going into quivering, hand ringing mental vapour lock over whether driving with their windows up or down is .000002c / km cheaper as if their life depends on it - yet they're driving a +2.5T 4x4 worth over $50K, towing $30K camper trailer for fun.

I say either buy a secondhand Suzuki Sierra on LPG or just stop belly aching and enjoy it.

If we are really honest with ourselves, just the depreciation on a modern 4x4 would pay for most city people's yearly fuel bill on its own.

I like big cars that go well - always have. No apologies either. Fuel is an 'essential' item and I just buy it when I need it. Simple as that. Until I found this site I never gave it a second thought. I live quite frugally (by choice I should add), but enjoy my life as much as possible and don't sweat on the small stuff. Life's simply too short. It really is.

I genuinely pity those folks who let their trips appear to be dominated / ruined(?) by angst over how much or little they spend. What fun is there in that????? Talk about travelling with a wet blanket....

As Matt M said...."4WDing is an expensive game. Sure we all like to keep the costs under control, but if you are getting to the point of obsession with the money you spend on them, time for a new passion methinks."

Remember.....LIFE IS LIKE A ROLL OF DUNNY PAPER. THE CLOSER TO THE END - THE FASTER IT GOES.

Stop worrying, budget for what you need, get over it and then just get out there and enjoy it.

AnswerID: 298945

Reply By: Member - Longtooth (SA) - Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 22:35

Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 22:35
Ever thought that some of the questions are intended to find the best price out there? There are some places who will willing to rip us off in the mistaken belief that we think we must pay what they ask as we have an 'expensive hobby'. Priced tyres recently and two very well known dealers had the same tyre at a $90 differential. That's $540 better in my pocket! Just because we have said 'expensive hobby' we don't need to pay others to eat lobster next Friday night on us.
AnswerID: 298948

Reply By: Member - Duke (TAS) - Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 22:39

Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 22:39
Have to agree Matt, the Missus won,t get out and push so just have to keep fillin her up.( The Bus, Truck. 4By. Wheels) what ever you want to call it.
DUKE
AnswerID: 298950

Follow Up By: Member - Matt M (ACT) - Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 22:51

Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 at 22:51
'the Missus won,t get out and push so just have to keep fillin her up'.

Why bother mate if she won't push?

Sorry Duke, couldn't resist.

Matt.
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FollowupID: 565129

Reply By: Member - Davoe (Yalgoo) - Thursday, Apr 17, 2008 at 07:06

Thursday, Apr 17, 2008 at 07:06
Never truer words spoken.
4 tyres alone for my 4by cost 1/2 what my 2wd bush wagon cost - a 1978 nissan camper. i saved on swags engals etc with it coz it already had everything.
saw more of South australia and western australia in it both on and off road than many have in their 4by

so going by Jimbos logic everyones stupid for wasting money on expensive 4bys when some old POS will do the job for alot cheaper
AnswerID: 298969

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