Transportation Part II

Now let’s talk about what type of vehicle works here. First though, what is the budget? If you are not strapped for cash, there is only one vehicle I would recommend for every person for every occasion (unless you have 4 kids) and that would be the Toyota Hilux 4wd Turbo Diesel Ext Cab Truck. They are made for Central and South American roads and off roads. They can carry 5 people, go through anything, diesel is cheaper and they last forever. Plus you can carry stuff in the back. You can go with the regular gas version as well. But if you do, retrofit it with butane.

You can get away with a Toyota Tundra from the states as well if you want to ship something. The Hilux is just made a bit stronger. Other options are Isuzu D-Max which is just the same thing or Toyota 4 Runner if you want an SUV. I would NOT recommend a small car. The bumps, ruts and topes (speed bumps or sleeping policeman) will wreak havoc on them in no time.

When North Americans first get here (and even after being here awhile) they look at Belizeans driving so slow. The first reaction is “What dummies, they have nothing better to do and aren’t in a hurry like we are”. Wrong! Vehicles cost money that many don’t have. Those that have vehicles know that they need them to last as long as possible without having to do costly repairs. Repairs like suspension, tires and front ends are avoided by merely slowing down. I have slowed down my driving a considerable amount now that I have seen some of those repairs needed on our vehicles.

I still think getting a truck is the smart thing. Or an SUV. I would recommend diesel as well because of the better milage and better price on gas. However, there is another way to save on fuel if you don’t want to cough up the extra for a diesel burning vehicle. Add a Butane tank in the back and you can run off both Butane or regular gas. Run Butane all the time and if the tank runs out, you can flip the switch and go to gas for longer trips. Diesel is over $5 per gallon and regular is $6 per gallon. But you can get butane for about $2.50. It is about 20% less efficient per gallon for fuel milage, but that only brings it up to about $3 per gallon for the same fuel economy. The conversions cost about $1000 and I would say well worth it. I even saw a big landscaping lawn mower with butane tanks on them.

Now I just wish I could afford that Hilux.

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