When we picked out our Dodge Ram 2500 pickup truck, one of our requirements was that it had to have a diesel engine, so that we could run biodiesel or straight veggie oil (SVO) in it. We wanted to offset our footprint by buying such a large vehicle. So we took a class on Making Your Own Biodiesel, learned the ins and outs of producing and buying it, and set off on this trip with the hope that we would find it in lots of places. Eventually, we’ll make our own, but for now, we have to rely on Biodiesel.org to tell us who’s selling it and where.
So far, it seems that biodiesel was a little easier to find in the Midwest. Close proximity to farm and soy fields I suppose. As we got to New England though, it became apparent that biodiesel isn’t as easy to find. According to the locals, this is partly due to the cold climate (biodiesel and SVO doesn’t do well in it), and that it’s still a new concept here. The Left Coast is always so much ahead of the rest of the country, but Vermont is catching on, one woman told me.
We are finding it here, but it’s either a very low grade, or access to it is difficult. What I mean by this is, when all you have is an address of a filling station to go on, you must keep your eyeballs glued to your surroundings. Many of these stations are little podunk stops, not big fancy Citgo or Valero stops. And if you miss one, well, you can’t exactly slam on your brakes and flip a u-turn. Remember, RVs are huge rigs and need all the stopping room they can get. Twice in the last 100 miles, we missed the only two biodiesel stops, because there wasn’t enough time to stop, or room to to turn around within the first few miles. We just had to keep moving on, unfortunately.
We finally found it here in Manchester, but they are only stocking B5. And, they are a cash only business. Talk about making it difficult for people. Well, better than nothing I suppose But I’ve really just come to the conclusions that;
– trying to find a station when hauling a trailer sucks. It’s so much easier to look for the station when we are just driving the truck around.
– until it’s made more widely available through mainstream retailers, few laypeople are going to take advantage of it. Until then, it’ll just remain a curisoity to most Americans.
I’m super envious of our cyber friends Sara and Matt, who are driving around an SVO powered rig. They go from stop to stop, finding restaurants and taking the grease off their hands. Might seem like a hassle, but consider this; they’ve spent ZERO on fuel in two months. Well, you don’t want to know what we’ve spent. Let’s just say that as soon as we land somewhere, I will definitely be investigating a fuel conversion kit for the ol’ Dodge, because fuel bills suck.