30 mpg in a Ford F-150? Hmmm


F-150 test track travels through St. Louis on the way to the challenge start point in LA.

Personally I'm a bit skeptical. But for some reason, the guys at CleanMPG not only think they can do it, but they also think they can teach me to do it, too.

So, at 10 o'clock tonight I hop on a plane to LA to join the team that has driven the 2011 Ford F-150 to our start point. We leave at 6 a.m. tomorrow (Not. Good.) and begin the trek toward Savannah, GA. I'll be with the team until May 2, when they (probably thankfully) drop me off at the airport in Albuquerque, NM ... That is if they haven't already left me by the side of the road because I couldn't control my lead foot. (I believe the words "buzzard bait" have been bandied about.)

The goal is to complete the entire trek across the US only filling up
the tank 3 times and achieving 30 mpg or more by employing the use of
hypermiling techniques.

That would seem more doable if we were driving a Toyota Prius. But,
instead, we'll be toddling along in an F-150 that comes equipped with a
3.5-liter turbocharged V-6 engine with EcoBoost.

Be sure to follow along by watching my Twitter feed @jill_ciminillo.
We'll all be using the hash #F150challenge if you want to see the
collective tweets. I'll also be posting pictures to my Facebook page and

This should be interesting because on top of having to control my lead
foot AND driving slower than the speed limit (shoot me now), we'll be
camping instead of staying in hotels. Which I've never done before.

thanks to Eureka! for providing the gear and to Ford for providing the
test truck ... Now who's supplying the coffee?


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  • Come on Jill, you can do this! If I can hypermile safely around Chicago everyday, you can certainly do it while driving through the desert. Just take Wayne's advice and you

  • In reply to killer6795:

    it's the whole driving under the speed limit thing that's going to kill me. almost killed me to go the speed limit when i was driving the ford explorer ...

  • In reply to jillciminillo:

    Imagine a world filled with school children (school zones). Who would speed when kids are present?!?! Ok, Chicago drivers would, but that's besides the point. Take my word for it, driving slower lowers your stress level immensely. Life in the right lane isn't bad.

    Safe travels,

  • In reply to killer6795:

    Lowers stress levels? You are so not a type A person, are you? Driving slower increases my stress ...

  • In reply to killer6795:

    I have my doubts too Jill! I won't lie I find a lot of the hypermiling techniques to be a little over the top in terms of what is safe and smart to really do. Plus I find that its that difference in speed that is the most dangerous especially on highways. I try to conserve as much momentum as I can and not accelerate when I know there is a stoplight up ahead and try to use engine braking as much as possible; however, every road trip I'm on especially on a time table I want to arrive as quickly as possible.

    I think its kind of iffy in the stock setup of the ecoboost especially in a truck which has the aerodynamics of a brick, and honestly fuel econ numbers mean very little on a truck when you have a big trailer on the back or a full load in the bed!

  • In reply to talipa2012:

    yeah - the 1% of trucks that I see driving with a trailer just tells me that most people driving them don't need a truck in the first place.....

    Also, do you really think that if everyone drive 85 mph on the highways, you would be safer? I tend to believe that if everyone drove the posted speed limit, the roads would be safer, and we all would save a lot of gas to boot.

    I used to be an aggressive driver, and ever since switching to hypermiling, my stress level has dropped immensely. Life in the right lane isn't all bad.

  • In reply to killer6795:

    So far we haven't used any advanced hypermiling techniques ... Though they did show me how to "fas" ... Which is basically shutting off the engine and driving in neutral. It's the slow driving that's killing me. At least I don't have anywhere to be but here. ;) Currently on the Mojave highway with lots of uphill and high head winds. 20.9 mpg ... Tough for a fuel econ challenge.

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