Sunday, April 27, 2008

Ham Fest and a Car Ferry

Where do I begin? When we had the last Prius Hybrid Toyota, we had only one car and several customers that were interested. The first guy with cash took it. But now we have found another car in the central Iowa area. A year older but really clean.

So I was ferried to Iowa by my daughter in law. We went and looked at the car and bought it on the spot. She went back home and I stayed to spend the overnight in Urbandale. A suburb of Des Moines where the Ham Fest was to be held.

So I went to the Sunday swap meet, and saw folks that I hadn't seen in the last two years. Seemed like we talked and talked and talked. But then we are ham radio folks that talk on the radio to complete strangers, so talking to friends that we haven't seen in some time is a piece of cake.

Five hours later, we left the arena as the vendors were packing up their booths. But we weren't done, as we moved to the local Mexican restaurant and had lunch together. It was 2:30 PM before I was back on the road.

This was the first time that I had a Prius on the highway. I normally drive a Pickup and often with the 8,000 lb travel trailer on the back for ballast. So this 2,800 lb car is really small and light. It drove just fine, once I became used to the quick steering.

When I was putting around the city, I never exceeded 35 or so, and the computer calculated 53 MPG as an average. I was taking it really easy, trying to maximize the numbers.

Once on the Highway, I zeroed the computer to start over on the highway mileage. At 70 miles per hour, I was getting 42 to 43 MPG. Using the cruise control, the mileage locked right in and seldom varied.

After reaching KC and the slower speed limits of in town freeways, the mileage began to increase. Once the traffic caused coasting behind the car in front, and speeds of 50 became normal, the gas engine began to cycle on and off.

When you are driving on electric only, its like these are free miles. That vastly increases the average MPG. It jumped up to 45 for the overall trip, using a little over 5 gallons of fuel for the trip. Under $20 for Des Moines to KC!

I have to go give it back tomorrow! I wonder if the car will last at the car lot for the week? It could be gone quickly.

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