Westbound Wanderers, Day 4: Arkansas and Missouri
Did We Almost Run Out of Fuel?
The first priority of the day was a visit to the Waffle House, as one of the travelers had never been to one. Satisfied with a twinge of regret, we hit the road to get out of Nashville before filling up. The Low Fuel light came on some 25 miles into our journey, indicating we had 70 miles of range remaining. At 50 miles, it quit counting down and just said Low. It was during this time that we also noticed the truck was beginning an exhaust regeneration cycle, felt by a twinge of sluggishness and a dive of the indicated fuel economy into single digits. We pulled off at the next exit and proceeded to put in a hair over 35 gallons of diesel. Interestingly, we have a 36-gallon tank. That was cutting it way closer than we thought, and wouldn’t it be wild if we look back on this fill-up as a type of record. Perhaps the regen cycle burned more fuel than predicted? We’ll keep an eye on how much fuel we put in during our next stops. For now, we’ll be careful how deep we bury the needle. The truck indicated 18.8 mpg and the actual was 18.79. Even though we doubt every fill-up will be that spot-on between the dashboard indicated and actual, we are pleased with that economy for a brand new truck.
During the fuel stop, our truck’s twin pulled in to the other side of the pump. Minus the type of tonneau and interior color, it was an identical truck to our 2018 Denali HD, down to the paint color. The owner had gotten it on Wednesday, and at 400 miles, this was its first fill up as well. We got a good laugh out of the irony of such occurrence, and after a quick carwash, bid farewell to the truck’s clone.
Route: Nashville, Tennessee to Branson, Missouri via Memphis
Odometer (beginning of day): 822 miles
Odometer (end of day): 1340 miles
Total miles traveled: 518 miles
Truck observations: Low fuel light finally came on (we still haven’t stopped for fuel at all); no rear air vents; first sign of the truck entering an exhaust regeneration cycle at 841 miles—instant economy down to 7-8 mpg on freeway at 70 mph; fuel range countdown indicator illuminates at 70 miles and switches to Low at 50 miles; rock chips windshield
Roadtrip observations: We find our twin at the gas station in Nashville; first Waffle House visit for one of the pilots; we find some big Cummins engines on the road; visit Elvis' Graceland
Road conditions: Freeway; windy, hilly two-lane roads
Weather conditions: Partly cloudy turns to rain by 1:30; bordered a huge storm for some PM rain and thunderstorms
Fuel stop 1 (location): South Nashville, Tennessee
Indicated average fuel economy: 18.8 mpg
Average speed: 50 mph
Price per gallon: $3.19
Actual fuel economy: 18.79 mpg