Chip fat anyone?

Discussion in 'Motorhomes in the News' started by Jim, Sep 3, 2007.

  1. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    Messages:
    25,828
    Likes Received:
    76,108
    Location:
    Sutton on Sea
    Photographer gives RV green makeover

    By Dylan Darling
    Sunday, September 2, 2007
    [​IMG]
    Photo by Mike Greener / Record Searchlight

    HOME ON THE ROAD: Holt Webb, a fine-art photographer who plans to travel the country in search of images, sits Tuesday in his recreational vehicle that is being converted by a Redding mechanic to run on biodiesel and vegetable oil.


    A fine-art photographer who plans to roam America for two to five years is getting his cross-country rigs made environmentally friendly in Redding.
    Holt Webb, who last hung his hat in San Diego, plans to start his odyssey at the beginning of October. In the meantime, Shane Ballensky, owner of Rover Hybrids on Airport Road, is converting Webb's 32-foot-long recreational vehicle and rugged Land Rover to be gentle on the environment by burning biodiesel and vegetable oil. Webb's already been living in the RV for three months and aims to drive north to Alaska and south to Florida -- all the while finding things to photograph.
    "With his photography, he gets to stop and smell the roses," Ballensky said.
    Titled "Vanishing America," Webb's project is to take pictures of things and places that might disappear soon. On his list of places to visit are swamps in the south, shells of old factories in the Rust Belt and mustang ranges in Nevada. He said gallery shows and coffee-table books will be produced following the completion of his trip, which he hopes might be the subject of a reality television show.


    Webb, a Georgia native who earned a degree in fine-art photography from the University of Georgia, said he will learn of places to visit by talking to locals about what is close to disappearing. The more he learns, the more places he might want to stop and photograph. "The project could just explode," Webb said.


    To keep fuel costs and pollution down while he wanders, Webb said he decided to have his RV and Land Rover Destroyer 90 converted to run on biodiesel and vegetable oil. In Ballensky, Webb found a mechanic who can do the conversions. Ballensky has had the shop for three years, building on an idea borne in his own travels. On a trip to Africa, he learned that having a diesel engine in a Land Rover doubles its range. When he got back, he learned how to swap gas and diesel engines in the trucks, and his business has grown to also include the biodiesel and vegetable oil conversions. If he's lucky, Webb will barely have to pay for fuel while touring the country as he obtains used vegetable oil from restaurants. The savings could help as Webb said he's already spent more than he estimated for the whole trip just by getting geared up.


    Webb said his original budget was $300,000 set by a friend who is bankrolling the project. The used RV alone cost $150,000, and the conversions to the two vehicles cost more than $10,000 each. So Webb is trying to figure out ways to generate money as he goes. That's where the possible reality show comes in, which he said he has pitched to people he knows in the television industry.
    He's also looking for sponsors. While there's an environmental feel to the project, Webb said he is not affiliated with any environmental groups. "I don't want it to become a big tree-hugger movement," he said.
     
  2. Enodreven

    Enodreven Deleted User

    Hi,

    Does your vehicle need to be converted to run on "Chip Fat" (cooking Oil) I was under the impression from a recent link to a video from TopGear it appeared you only needed to strain it (if used) and then add 3% white sprit and away you go ?

    Has anyone actually tried it ?
    Brian
     
  3. johnsandywhite

    johnsandywhite Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2007
    Messages:
    2,348
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    Doncaster/Spain
    :Cool: Under good weather conditions YES. The conversion kit does a similar thing to an LPG conversion. It takes an heating feed from the engines cooling system and pre-heats the Oil allowing it to work in colder conditons. :Wink:
     
  4. Holtwebb

    Holtwebb Deleted User

    straight from the horse's mouth...

    Hi,

    A friend of mine just pointed out that I've become international. I've been linked on an overseas bulletin board. Kind of cool.:BigGrin:

    Yep, that article is about my Vanishing America project. You can catch all the details, and some information about the veggie conversions at www.holtwebb.blogspot.com

    In a nutshell, any diesel can run vegetable oil. And, they have been able to since Rudolph Diesel invented them. As long as it is free of water, filtered down to at least 10 microns, and brought up to temperature (between about 70 and 80 degrees C), you won't have any problems during warm weather. During cold weather, though, use biodiesel or regular diesel. Vegetable oil doesn't have the additives that prevent it from solidifying in cold temperatures. And, if your vehicle still has rubber fuel lines, they need to be replaced with newer non-rubber lines.

    Gasoline/Petrol engines cannot run on dfvegetable oil.

    By the way, in all my research preparing for these conversions, I'd never heard of adding 3% white spirit. Is that a UK thing?
     
  5. Holtwebb

    Holtwebb Deleted User

    By the way...

    I almost forgot to ask...

    Jim,

    How did you come across the story?
     
  6. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    Messages:
    25,828
    Likes Received:
    76,108
    Location:
    Sutton on Sea
    Hi Holt, welcome to MotorhomeFun.

    I can't remember how I found your story, but I do have a couple of news clipping services that scour the news and blogs on the web searching for my keywords such as, "motorhome", "RV" "pretty girl" that type of thing.:Smile: It must have picked up the "RV" in your story.

    Great story, how is your project progressing?
     
  7. The Poor Relations

    The Poor Relations Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Messages:
    598
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Sutton, Ely
    now there is an Avatar worth seeing !!!!! :Blush::Blush:
     
  8. Holtwebb

    Holtwebb Deleted User

    Vanishing America progress

    Well, I've gotten some great images, and have done several TV and newspaper interviews, but I've also hit a lot of delays.

    The vehicle wrap and the vegetable oil conversions took a lot longer than expected. (Not only did I have my motorhome converted, but we also converted my 1994 Land Rover D90.) What took so long was that we had a petrol engine in the Rover and swapped it out for a Cummins Diesel. That took a lot of customization and fabrication, and put me about 4 months behind schedule. But Shane did a great job. Everything is top of the line. (Shane Ballensky is the owner/operator of Rover Hybrids in Redding, California.)

    I should be back on the road again by the end of next week. Then I'll be heading from northern California to Atlanta in hopes of getting down to the Okefenokee Swamp by the end of January. (The mosquitoes aren't so bad that time of year.)

    Vanishing America
    by Holt Webb
     

Share This Page