Econoline Mileage

This morning we fill up our second tank of gas on the 1996 Ford Econoline van. Using the gallons between the two gasoline fills and the mileage I now have an measure of the miles per gallon we’re getting on the new van:14.5 mpg. That’s excellent for a large vehicle like this which can carry almost three tons.

Brand new the Ford Econoline E-250 is rated for 13 mpg city, 17 mpg highway so at 14.5 mpg and 11 years old it’s doing well. Our driving is a little bit of two lane interstate highway like I-91 and I-89 with lots of country roads and mostly small winding state highways like Rt-302, Rt-10, Rt-5, etc as we deliver pigs to the butchers, pickup loads of cheese trim and such.

There are of course far more fuel efficient road machines. A motor cycle might give us 100 mpg. My parent’s small car gets something like 40 mpg. The Mustang I borrowed last week when our Caravan died probably gets great mileage too. Yet I wouldn’t want to try to deliver pigs to market in on of those vehicles’ trunks.

On the one hand 14.5 mpg might not seem good but it depends on what is being hauled. Our recently deceased 1993 Dodge Caravan got about 15 mpg towards the end but the new to us Econoline easily carries three times cargo weight while getting almost the same mileage. This means we are able to save gasoline by making fewer trips. It is almost like getting 45 mpg in the Caravan. Miles per gallon per ton are important and it’s looking like the Econoline will actually save fuel with our increased hauling. It’s the right time for us to be moving up to a larger vehicle for farm hauling – things worked out.

The really good news is we don’t have to add oil every time we go some where. The mechanic says we should now get several thousand miles to a gallon of oil instead of the 100 miles per gallon we were getting with the Caravan. That is much better mileage!

Outdoors: 55°F/48°F Light rain 1″
Farm House: 65°F/59°F Econoline work
Tiny Cottage: 71°F/68°F sink arch cures continue

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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4 Responses to Econoline Mileage

  1. pablo says:

    It really comes down to how many times you have to fill up the tank in the end. Sounds like your extra capacity more than makes up for the “apparent” reduced mileage.

    I count no dogs in today’s picture.

  2. HomemakerAng says:

    Walter, I found this in our local paper and though you might want to add it to your NAIS site… Interesting… close to home for me…;=6

    cut and paste if it doesnt link here. worth READING!!!

  3. Farmerbob1 says:


    Over the last couple months, I have been learning a new trade – Class A CDL driver. It’s a job that can’t be shipped to Serbia like my old tech support job was.

    Your next vehicle, if you still need a larger vehicle, should probably be a diesel if you can manage it. Diesel engines are simply incredible now. Fully loaded at 80,000 pounds, a modern semi can get 7 miles per gallon fairly easily if the driver knows what they are doing. Mountains can make a difference if you spend a lot of time on them, but you generally go down as much as you go up, so going below an average 6 MPG even on mountains is rare unless the driver is clueless. Empty, a modern semi can get in excess of 10 MPG – that’s with a trailer, not bobtail.

    I used to own a 1976 Ford F100 Custom that got worse gas mileage while carrying no cargo than a fully loaded Kenworth T680.

    You probably won’t ever need something the size of a semi, but that diesel technology does trickle down into smaller commercial vehicles, including ones that don’t require a CDL to drive.

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