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Medford OR to Los Angeles.... sans PG&E card!

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  • Medford OR to Los Angeles.... sans PG&E card!

    Who needs PG&E?

    This weekend, we picked up a 2014 GX from the fine folks at Lithia Honda - Medford, and CNG-o-phile Billy Day. Being from LA, we don't have a PG&E card, so the Chico fuel stop was not available to us. Rut roh.

    Billy was kind enough to fill the GX for us, as the Medford CNG station is only open Mon-Fri. We started with 65 miles on the odometer, and a stated range of 246mi (appx 3300psi). Our next possible fuel stop? Woodland, CA -- 289 miles away according to the Google.

    Using the combined powers of "drive slow" (50mph, cruise control set -- no other monkeying around with tire pressures or managing inclines) and "omg it's really cold in Oregon" (about 40F), we skated into Woodland with range to spare... and ended up in the "299 club" on our very first tank. In fact, we still had a segment on the fuel gauge, and the pump claimed we had 560psi still in the tank when we attached. We should've just kept going to Tulare.

    Can't wait to see what she's like with LR tanks added. This is a WAY better car than our "training wheels" 98 GX that we've been flogging for the last 2 months.

    Before:



    After:



    The rest of the ride home was much more enjoyable at 80mph. Of course, our mileage was noticeably less... heh heh.

    Cool car!

    - Mike

  • #2
    Lithia Honda in Medford now has a brand new store across from the RVTD Transit yard. RVTD has provided public CNG for two decades on weekdays. Billy Day is a remarkable salesman and I will meet people in far reaches of the state who know him. Great guy.

    I fueled this week at the PILOT CLEAN ENERGY LCNG in the adjacent city of Central Point. The CompactCNG compressor and 4 ASME tubes were added to the existing LNG station in a single month. Fuel is now available 24/7 at this northern end of the Siskiyou Summit route to California. I took my 2001 GX with the new replacement tank, so I did detour when I got to Redding to fuel in Chico at PG&E.

    Matheson (moving US Mail) and Frito-Lay are operating CNG trucks up and down Interstate 5 which is part of the reason why - in the year 2016 - there have been three new CNG stations put into service: Vancouver WA, Central Point OR, and Buttonwillow CA.
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    • #3
      Great reports. I didn't know we could venture that far north without a PG&E card.
      Sold GX

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      • #4
        Originally posted by GX-SV View Post
        Great reports. I didn't know we could venture that far north without a PG&E card.
        ?Ya, but just be sure your auto insurance covers towing before you make the trek!
        '13 Chev Silverado 2500 Ext Cab Factory Bi-Fuel
        '08 Green Tea Metallic GX
        FMQ-2-36 Fueler

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        • #5
          Originally posted by cnguser View Post

          ?Ya, but just be sure your auto insurance covers towing before you make the trek!
          Not insurance, I have CSAA Plus road service for 100 mile towing. Last flat tire on Mercedes, had it flatbedded to wheel/tire shop.
          Sold GX

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          • #6
            i want to make a trip from orange county to portland and maybe further north to seattle so with what you guys are saying i do not need a pg&e card? i was planning on applying for one but i honestly would never use it

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            • #7
              To consider before attempting Woodland, CA. to Medford, OR:
              * Now it is wet and wintry - some windy portions, and may need chains over the mountain passes, slowing down to lower gearing (more fuel).
              * Would need defrost cycle (more fuel).
              * Going at 50MPH can become a hazard to other vehicles.
              * What vintage Honda? Up to 2005, less MPGGE, 2006-2011 better, 2012-2015 best possible.

              I went the safe side during warm weather between Medford and Chico with my '08.
              Would not even consider Medford to Woodland, good or bad weather...
              '13 Chev Silverado 2500 Ext Cab Factory Bi-Fuel
              '08 Green Tea Metallic GX
              FMQ-2-36 Fueler

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              • #8
                West Coast route using public CNG stations not owned by PG&E would include the 293 mile Woodland CA to Central Point OR stretch. Total (including ups and downs) elevation gain northbound 8751 ft and 13,785 ft southbound. Shasta County and Siskiyou pass are plowed in the winter, but driving with snow chains installed may result in not reaching the next fueling station. There are still single lane work zones which can result in bottleneck delays. Speed limit south of Redding is 70 mph.

                For the above reasons, you will want to have the extra fuel made possible by fueling in Chico. The PG&E card costs nothing to have. An invoice is sent for any month in which the card was used. Follow the below thread on cngchat to locate a tank inspector near Anaheim listed in the xlsx file:

                Home > Forum > Local & CNG Station Chat > US Western Region > California > Northern California > PG&E Requires CNG Tank Inspections by Dec. 12

                The spreadsheet in the above thread is titled:

                CNG Fuel System Inspectors (12-1-2014 CA, NV, UT).xlsx

                PG&E fuel card application:

                https://www.pge.com/tariffs/tm2/pdf/...RMS_79-753.pdf

                There have been GXs with CVTs and 5-speed transmissions that have made the longer Central Point to Woodland run. But speed, a/c (summer), weight capacity all suffer. Get the PG&E card and have sufficient extra fuel for any slow down or snow that may come up.
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                • #9
                  Buyer of the 2009 Civic GX (odometer 200K miles) on eBay last week flew to Portland OR to drive the car back to Los Angeles. Linda completed the return drive in 22 hours with 5 fueling stops and a 1/2 hour stop for dinner. She is a retired truck driver and said she was able to drive 70-75 mph most of the way. A 1000 mile run like this says a lot about the dependability of the car, as well.

                  The seller fueled the car at home in The Dalles OR, but had to cross into Washington State for the drive to Portland because Interstate 84 had been closed for over a week due to fire fighting operations. Linda then left at 4am the following morning, a Sunday, and fueled at Eugene OR (112mi); Central Point OR (163mi); Chico CA (223mi); Los Banos CA (212mi); and Buttonwillow CA (142mi) prior to reaching Los Angeles. She says she even ran the air conditioner of the longest stretch (crosses 4200 ft Siskiyou Summit) because it was 105F in the Mt. Shasta area. Tires were pumped up to 40psi. PG&E card required for Chico and Los Banos.

                  The 2012 CNG Civic used for the 2014 Border-to-Border Odyssey Day road trip was delivered to the start of the run by a pair of drivers from Santa Ana to Seattle in 23 hours.
                  .

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