How we came to own a grease-powered RV

I remember the conversation like it happened yesterday.

Sean came home one night in January, 2012 and told me the news: He and Russ found a 1977 Dodge Travel Queen Motorhome for sale and they wanted to split the purchase, fix it up, put in a waste vegetable oil fuel system and drive it to Alaska and back with the four of us—Russ, his wife, Brittany, Sean and me.

Oh, I shouldn’t worry about the fact that the motorhome was older than me…by 11 years. And that I hadn’t seen it. And that it might have a wood burning stove coming out of the roof. The original engine had been replaced by a newer Dodge Cummings Turbo Diesel engine… And the engine alone was worth more than the guy was asking for the whole vehicle. Oh, and Russ thinks its a good idea.

So. What’s a girl to do? As in most instances when Sean has made up his mind, I agreed. What did we have to lose? Russ had agreed to be the brains on the project and to put it simple, Russ doesn’t do “impulse purchases.” All we needed to do was show up and do what he asked.

And so, for the next 5 months, we (and by we, I mean mostly Russ) fixed up the ole Travel Queen into a legit motor vehicle that ran off waste veggie oil. Russ worked hard… I mean, really hard to get her in shape for our May 29th departure. Sean and Brittany handled the plumbing (with only a few slight explosions of fecal matter from the previous owner—true story), I handled some interior painting, and Britt sewed seat cushions like a maniac. Big thanks to my dad as well for some carpentry work. And so began our 32-day adventure from Utah to Alaska and back.

Today, we’re the proud owners of the Travel Queen, and another waste veggie oil-powered VW Golf. Sean’s got a whole grease filtering setup in our basement, and we’re hooked on this alternative fuel system, especially to satisfy our love for travel around the country.

Russ, making pictures (large format black and white) from the top of the Travel Queen (TQ):

IMG_7905Filtering waste veggie oil into the Travel Queen tank from Wasabi Sushi in Whitefish during our Travel Queen adventure (before Sean and I moved to Montana):



Sean, filtering waste veggie oil from Wasabi Sushi in our basement today:

4 Comments. Leave new

Hey we should build a tiny house on the top part of your property. This has nothing to do with your story, other then the fact that the TQ is a tiny house…on wheels.


Our thoughts exactly. And by we, we mean us with your help. Sean has been researching tiny house plans for months. More on this when we see you in a week!


I had a dream that we did this last night – tiny house…..It was amazing!


Hi there!

Good for you folks running off of veggie oil! Its always been a dream of mine but I have always wondered how it runs in cold weather. Have you tried it out and any advice?

Also I love the website and blog just came across it and excited to look in to it more! I just came up with what I think is a genius plan to start a website and blog while traveling and doing good so I am always looking for inspiration, which I found here! Also if you have any advice on starting up it would be greatly appreciated!

Keep on adventuring!

Gunnison CO


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