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Monument at the Arctic Ocean shore in Tuktoyaktuk NWT

We have been conducting WVO Roadtrips for over 14 years and have several interesting statistics.  In the process of proving the longevity and efficacy of alternative waste oil fuel systems, we have driven a lot of miles.  We even were in the running for the Guinness World Record for longest roadtrip driven on alternative fuels, but got beat out by a couple from Canada.  We would have the world record if they added up all of our accumulative miles driven since 2005, but they don’t allow breaks of longer than two weeks between roadtrips.  Since most of our adventures occur in the Summer, there is too much time in between to qualify for the record.

Here are some of the many records and stats we have collected over the years:

  • Longest continuous WVO Roadtrip without stopping longer than a day:  13,148 miles (21159.65 km) in 18 days in 2015.  (From Los Angeles to Wisconsin to Thunder Bay to Wemindji to Happy Valley Goose Bay to St Johns to Chicago to Los Angeles.  Not including miles spent on a ferry.)
  • Total Accumulative WVO Roadtrip miles to date (not including commuting, family, routine, or other mileage):  101439 miles (163250.2 km)
  • Every American state visited except Hawaii.
  • Every Canadian province and territory (including Nunavut) visited, including every major and moderate Canadian city.
  • Furthest North Traveled: 70°23’51.6″N, oil field and Arctic Ocean tour north of Prudhoe Bay Alaska (2013)
  • Furthest North Driven on WVO: 70°12’23.5″N, northernmost accessible road in Deadhorse Alaska (2013)
  • Furthest North Traveled in Canada: 69°34’24.7″N, boat ride north of Tuktoyaktuk on the Arctic Ocean. (2018)
  • Furthest North Driven on WVO in Canada: 69°27’21.0″N, Tuktoyaktuk Northwest Territories (2018)
  • Furthest North Driven using a WVO-powered passenger car: 64°55’45.5″N 147°37’48.6″W, Alyeska Pipeline Viewing Point. (2008)
  • Furthest West Driven on WVO: 150°06’23.1″W, Denali National Park, Alaska and 150°16’32.7″W, on Alaska Highway 3 north of Anchorage. (2008)
  • Furthest East Driven on WVO: 52°40’50.6″W, St John’s, Newfoundland (2015)
  • Furthest South Driven: 25°08’32.1″N, Everglades, Florida, USA (2006)
  • Furthest South Driven on WVO: 31°57’46.7″N 110°24’34.9″W, Interstate-10 in Arizona, USA (2006, 2012)
  • Three nations visited (USA, Mexico, and Canada) 
  • First Nations visited (Navajo, Uintah and Ouray, Yakama, Blackfeet, Crow, Fort Berthold, Mille Lacs, St Croix, Grand Portage, Ocmulgee, Pine Ridge, Omaha, Yankton, Colorado River, Gila River, Osage, and Cree regions: Wemindji, Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation, Tlicho Lands, Gwich’in Lands, Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in, Selkirk First Nation, Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation, Teslin Tlingit Council, War Lake First Nation, Waswanipi,  and many more.)
  • All miles of the Trans Canadian Highway driven, except Victoria Island (trip planned in 2019 or 2020)
  • All Canadian and Alaska Highways driven:
    • Yellowhead (2010),
    • Cassair (2013),
    • Alcan (2008, 2013, 2018),
    • Dempster (2018),
    • Trans-Labrador (2015),
    • James Bay Road (2015),
    • Highway 11 (2015),
    • Queen Elizabeth II Highway,
    • Mackenzie (2013),
    • Laird (2013),
    • Lord Selkirk,
    • Dalton (North Haul Road) Highway (2013)
    • Top of the World Highway (2013)
    • Denali Highway (2008)
    • Yellowknife Highway (2013), and more.
  • Roadtrips where 3 oceans were visited within 13 days: 2013 and 2015
  • All Manhattan Project sites visited, except Trinity.
  • All NASA sites visited
  • Nearly all American and Canadian national parks visited.
  • Number of “days” spent north of the Arctic Circle:  5 days (2013) and 3 days (2018)
  • Lowest Elevation Driven:  282 ft (86 m) below sea level.  Bad Water Basin in Death Valley National Park in California USA. 2008 and 2013.
  • Highest Elevation Driven:  12,183 ft (3,713 m). Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado USA.  2012 and 2018.
  • Longest solo split without stopping: 761 miles over 13 hours on November 24, 2013
  • Best Fuel Economy achieved: 490 MPdG (miles per diesel gallon) with the 1998 Jetta on the 2008 Alaska Hwy Roadtrip.

Yearly Statistics

  • 2006
    • Nicknamed “Roswell Trip”
    • Wisc to L.A. to Roswell to Wisc
    • 1980 Mercedes Benz Wagon
    • Visited 15 states and Mexico
    • Total Miles Driven: 4569 miles
    • Interesting Fact:  While fixing the suspension in the mountains of Colorado, we were passed over by snooty Coloradans the entire day. Near the end of the repair, a truck pulled up to help us. We thanked him and asked him why his fellow Coloradans were such jerks. He said, “I wouldn’t know, I’m from Michigan, driving to California.”
  • 2007
    • Nicknamed “East Coast Trip.”
    • 1996 VW Passat TDI
    • Approximately 2984 miles driven
    • Overall Shortest WVO Roadtrip to date.
    • Interesting Fact: The Passat incurred a catastrophic turbo failure only 211 miles into the journey, which forced us to spend 2 days searching for parts in Milwaukee.
  • 2008
    • Nicknamed “[First] Alaska Trip”
    • Total Miles Driven: 8934 miles (14378 km)
      Total VO: 170 gallons (644 liters)
      Total Diesel: about 28 gallons (106 liters)
      Average mileage: 45.1 mpg (19.2 kpl)
      Total Duration: 13.26 days
      Average miles-per-day: 673.7 miles (1084 km)
      Average velocity (including rest): 28.1 miles per hour (45.2 km per hour)
      Monetary savings with VO (assuming US$4.99 per gallon Diesel): US$847.68
    • 1998 VW Jetta TDI
  • 2009
    • Nicknamed “Quebec Trip”
    • 1996 VW Passat TDI
    • Total Miles Driven: 4788 miles in 9 days
    • Interesting Fact: First time we ate Poutine.
  • 2010
    • Nicknamed “Yellowhead Trip.”
    • 1998 VW Jetta TDI
    • Total Miles Driven: 7195 miles in 13 days
    • Interesting fact: Originally planned as an attempt to drive the entire Trans Canadian Hwy west of Thunder Bay, the trip was completely detoured mid-trip when a Manitoba visitor center clerk suggested we take the Yellowhead Highway instead, due to the main highway being catastrophically washed out near Medicine Hat.
  • 2011
    • Nicknamed “Appalachia Trip.”
    • 1996 VW Passat TDI
    • Approximately 4624 miles driven
    • Interesting Fact:  Glenn asked the staff at Subway if “Italian B.M.T. stood for ‘Big Monster Turd.'”
  • 2012
  • 2013
    • Nicknamed “Prudhoe Bay Trip.”
    • 1988 Ford Diesel Van
    • Total Miles Driven: 12502 in 19 days
    • Interesting Fact:  Supposed to be our retirement to WVO roadtrips, but that didn’t last long.
  • 2014
    • 1988 Ford Diesel Van
    • Approximately 4582 miles driven
    • Shortest WVO Roadtrip with the Veggie Van
    • Interesting Fact:  This trip had a lot of issues with bladder control.
  • 2015
    • Nicknamed “Labrador Trip.”
    • James Bay Road, Labrador, Newfoundland, PEI, etc
    • 1988 Ford Diesel Van
    • Total Miles Driven: 13,148 in 18 days
    • Visited Nunavut via Wemindji
    • Interesting Fact: Cod Tongue is supposedly a delicacy in Newfoundland, but it tasted more like a dare.
  • 2016
    • Nicknamed “Churchill Trip.”
    • 1988 Ford Diesel Van
    • Total Miles Driven: 7041 miles (Trip cut short due to mechanical issues)
    • Interesting Fact:  Contrary to most southern Canadians assertions, Thompson is not a ‘shithole.’
  • 2017
  • 2018
    • Nicknamed “Tuktoyaktuk Trip.”
    • 1988 Ford Diesel Van
    • Total Miles Driven: 11815 miles
    • Special thanks to Roger and Winnie in Tuktoyaktuk, and Mike and Skeeter in Whitehorse
    • Interesting Fact:  The overdrive failed in the middle of the Alaska Highway, so we had to drive no more than 55mph for over 3000 miles.

Potential 2019 WVO Roadtrip

We are planning more trips in the future, but running out of ideas and places in North America.  For 2019, we are contemplating driving the Trans Canadian Highway all the way to Victoria Island, where there is a section of the THC that we haven’t done yet.  Also, Glenn has built a “Frankenvan” which is a mix between a VW TDI and Chrysler minivan, which would fare well on that paved journey.

There are plenty of possibilities for future WVO roadtrips, and feel free to contact us if you want to help.  We have been working on shipping one of our vans to Australia to circumambulate the continent all on biofuel.  Another possibility is to ship the Veggie Van or Frankenvan to Vladivostok, then drive the Trans Siberian Highway all the way to Europe.  Then ship the van back to North America through Lisbon, Bilbao, or Saint-Nazaire.  If you live along these paths and want to contribute, email us.  A third option would be to find a willing European that has a diesel vehicle and wants a biofuel system, then we fly to their town, install a kit, and use the vehicle to travel Europe and Asia.  Then the original owner gets to keep the kit.

It’s been a fun project and hobby, and we hope to continue for many more years to come.


Copyright Nick Pisca and Glenn Wienke 2019


***Including a family excursion to Idaho for the solar eclipse
*Not using alternative fuels