Introducing: The Grease-Powered Travel Queen

Sean and I have decided to bring a new life into our family!

Before heart attacks ensue, Mom—I’M NOT PREGNANT. And Mary Lou (Sean’s Mom): WE’RE NOT GETTING MORE DOGS. Instead, Sean and I have opted to bring a different sort of life into our family. To be exact, 1/2 share of this 1977 Dodge Travel Queen!

I’m not even joking; Sean and I went in with Russ and Brittany (who you may remember from our Iceland adventures last March, which I blogged about here and here and here and here) on this turbo-diesel Travel Queen in preparation for an AWESOME adventure we’re planning.

Step 1: Remodel.
Although our Travel Queen (first name to be determined) is lovely, and was a smokin’ deal, and the basic parts are in great conditions. Lucky for us, Russ is a car genius and will be taking The Travel Queen from formidable to fabulous by gutting the interior and making it exactly what we want it to be. The rest of us will be supporting him by being assistants. I like being an assistant.

With the purchase, we also got some sweet 80s-floral-patterned cushions, an old sateen sleeping bag, a stuffed teddy bear for the dash, two big batteries, and some solar panels. The Solar panels and batteries, which are normally very expensive are going to be huge assets for this vehicle when she’s done, and Russ is certain we got an excellent deal. As for the sateen sleeping bag, cushions and stuffed teddy bear… the verdict is still out. Things to look forward to in our remodel include a fully-functioning bathroom (with shower and toilet), a lovely kitchen, and two full-sizes beds for us to bunk on during our adventures. There is talk of painting the outside with howling wolves and majestic unicorns, but final decisions (and a commissioned artist) have yet to be determined on that one…

Step 2: Veg.
The next component of The Travel Queen’s makeover is a conversion to run on vegetable oil. Right now, she’s a turbo-diesel automatic, but after Russ finishes with her, she will be fully functional on vegetable oil… The goal is to give her the capacity to drive approximately 1,500 miles on one tank of vegetable oil. When we run out of veg and cannot fill up, the camper will run on farm diesel. Needless to say, this project will be a HUGE learning process for Sean and I. Russ and Britt are experienced with Vegetable Oil cars because they have one, which Russ built. They also built a staw bale house together, and blog about their Green Adventures, here.

Step 3: Adventure-to-the-max!
More on our plans for the adventure part later. Stay tuned next week for photos of the BEFORE interior of ole’ Travel Queen.

5 Comments. Leave new

OMG, can’t wait to hear the progress reports. Mom


That’s awesome! My uncle does bio-diesel in his HUGE motorhome too. We went to Canada this summer and it smelled like french fries the whole way! And he’ll be driving from WI to the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah and back all on french fries! And then he’s racing a car there…that runs on bio-diesel! French fries are awesome!


Hey Ashley… that’s nuts! I’m not looking forward to the smell, I’ll say that much! But the adventure will be well worth it 🙂 Plus, we hope to stop and speak with kids groups and educate them on grease cars and the importance of protecting our environment.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.