Last time we came through this area in 2008
, we were coated in salt and could hardly recognize ourselves. This time the temperature is solidly above freezing and the drizzle and fog we drove through in the Chattanooga area were gone with the swipe of a wiper.
It's too far to our final destination in Florida to make it there tomorrow, so we came off the road fairly early again and were surprised to get the last site in the campground. They said that business has been unbelievably good and attributed it to the falling gas prices.
Yes, they have been falling, but when you're driving a diesel, the benefits are far less. However, many factors went into selecting a diesel engine once again besides the cost of fuel on any particular day. Overall, we get 30% better gas mileage than a similar motor home with a gas engine. The diesel engine is also much simpler and easy to maintain and repair. When we come to a mountain - the ones today were not all that impressive - we know that we have the oomph to make it over and could use the engine as a brake when we came down the other side. We could smell the brake pads smoking from other folks around us that were not as blessed. The gas engine has a huge drive shaft that goes from the engine in the front to the wheels in the back, which takes away valuable space in the rig basement that could be better used storing bikes and golf clubs.
But it still is aggravating to see diesel for sale at a prices 50% higher than gas. We've been wondering why and have read some explanations that only helped a little. The price of a barrel of crude oil contributes to the cost of a gallon of diesel than to a gallon of gas, due to tax considerations. This time of year we are also competing with folks that heat their homes with oil. So we'll be looking for the best price we can get as we sail through Georgia tomorrow since Florida prices have been nearly as high as they are in Chicagoland.
And as all of us snowbirds funnel ourselves into Florida, here's hoping we will luck into another campground with room for us before we arrive in Fort Pierce.