Driving Central America & South America.

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Thoughts on Diesel

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robertdjung's picture
Joined: Oct 31 2006

Last time we were in central america, and trying to sell the truck (4x4 Chevy, gas) we had a hell of time finding a buyer. People just didn't want to give top dollar (and often, any money) for a gas car that got as bad of mileage as a truck. Maybe rightly so! After all, a lot of those turbo diesels get 30+ MPG.

Our plan was to get a church van. Something V8. But the more we think about it, the more we're leaning toward finding another solution.

For example, in CA, all the shuttles are a microbus made by Kia or Toyota, are diesel, and I'll bet get 40 MPG. Surely there's a solution we can buy in the States that's comparable?

So, here's to looking for a new ride. Cheers.

asteele's picture
Joined: Nov 13 2006

Have you looked at a Dodge Sprinter van? They have a Mercedes diesel engine and are suposed to get 22 MPG.

robertdjung's picture
Joined: Oct 31 2006

Hadn't heard of them... Just checked ebay, though, and they look nice, a lot like those micros I was talking about from CA, but dang, the cheapest ones for sale are still expensive at $16K and up! Ouch.

asteele's picture
Joined: Nov 13 2006

I know. I really wanted a Sprinter for my trip but I would have shot my whole budget on the vehicle!

sameul11's picture
Joined: Dec 6 2006

selling cars

You know Venezuela might be another option for selling vehicles...Gas is dirt cheap (12 cents a gallon for 91 octane) and they lovvvvee big SUV type trucks because obviously for them it the gas mileage isnt a problem. I havent been able to get a definite yes or no on how difficult it is to sell as far as paper work and taxes go. There you also see every brand of car and a few we dont have in the US.
So did you end up making much money when you guys sold the vehicle??

robertdjung's picture
Joined: Oct 31 2006

Sold the truck, the boat, and the motor for $5000 to one person.

Truck was bought for around 6000, boat was around 800, motor was probably worth 2000 in the states. Overall, not terrible for having to sell on the quick.

sameul11's picture
Joined: Dec 6 2006

article about venezuela

Did you end up making a profit? I know just about everywhere you go in south america the cars and electronics cost double...My last laptop I used for 8 months and then sold it for what I bought it for in the US. Here is a link talking about Venezuela and cars that I just ran into...I need to find out if they have toyota camrys down there...If so, Im on my way asap :D [url]http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/04/business/worldbusiness/04venezcar.html?ex=1320296400&en=3193dfb23470cef8&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss[/url]

The one problem in venezuela is that it is illegal to change bolivares to dollars..but there is a thriving black market and they arent prosecuting people who are changing money(If you go to venezuela its better to bring dollars and change the money at local businesses) the legal exchange rate say using a bank or your atm machine when I was there was 2150 bolivares to the dollar, while you could get an average of 2400 and as high as 2600 to the dollar on the black market. its nice having 20% more money to spend on vacation!

robertdjung's picture
Joined: Oct 31 2006

No profit. I mean in TX the truck was purchased for 6000. (plus boat, plus motor)... Value: $8800 more or less.

Sold in Costa Rica for $5000 for everything. Not terrible -- especially since selling a boat south of belize gets harder and harder. (I don't know about South America, probably easier near the rainforest.)

1975vwkombi's picture
Joined: Dec 5 2006

where are you buying your car and where are wanting to selling it?. I dont know about the quality of the diesel but it is always available and usually less expensive.

robertdjung's picture
Joined: Oct 31 2006

heck, we're buying in Texas, and selling in wherever we stop. Somewhere in South America. :)

bobfro's picture
Joined: Dec 17 2006

I will be traveling central america again but only in a diesel. costs are cheaper for fuel reliability is better access to fuel easier. Try to get an older but top of the line motorhome with diesel engine once u get where you are going leave vehicle in secure parking and take the bus like the central americans do its cheap too. when you get back to you home on wheels you have american convieniences like hot water shower fridge soft bed shelter cheap i took gas vehicles to central america 5 times never again take bigger rig and live life large [email]bobfro@cox.net[/email]