Made the final fillup and returned the truck today. Totals for the trip:
Miles traveled: 3,214.8
Fuel consumed: 356.967 gal.
Avg. Economy: 9.006 MPG.
I was curious to see how they'd react at the counter when they computed the mileage, as I figured that 3,215 miles was probably a longer distance than it is actually possible to travel in a straight line within the continental United States. (It's certainly much longer than the 2,546 miles one would travel on the most optimum route from Port Charlotte to San Diego.)
Turns out I was very close, but missed it by just a hair. From the Southernmost Point buoy in Key West to Hole-In-The-Wall Washington is 3,655 miles according to Google.
So close, and yet so far.
I am quite pleasantly surprised by the fuel economy I achieved. I'd very strongly considered getting the larger diesel truck, based upon Penske's own predictions that the 16' gas rig should average 6 MPG, and the 22' diesel rig 9 MPG. In fact, Penske even has a fuel calculator which told me that the 16 footer should burn through $1,446.75 in fossil fuels (at $2.70) vs. the 22 footer's $1,030.23 (at $2.89), which would have more than covered the cost spread in the base rental charge. My actual fuel tab for the trip is somewhere in the mid $900s. (I haven't added it all up, I'm just using their average cost x my actual consumption.)
Well, that's just bollocks.
Honestly, I can't imagine how I could even approach 6 MPG. I had the truck pretty much full to capacity, and was towing a 2,000 lb trailer with another 2,200 lbs worth of car on it, travelling at 70-75 MPH in a lot of places, and climbing mountains as high as 12,000 feet in places. Granted, the turbo would have been nice on those arduous uphill grades along I-70, though of course I was quite glad in other areas to have as short and lightweight a rig as possible- particularly when I stayed the night in Georgetown, CO. (Those roads were something else.)
What a long, strange trip it's been. Honestly, I really enjoy these cross-country moves; I find they give me pause to reflect and unwind, and they are, for the most part, quite rejuvenating. I think that rather than ever going on a cruise again, I may in the future simply rent an RV and drive the whole length of the country once a year.
And there's still some beef jerky left.