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Golf carts  RSS feed

 
pollinator
Posts: 643
Location: northwest Missouri, USA
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I'm considering adding a used golf cart to our homestead. Our 15 acres is narrow and long, walking from end to end with a tool box or fencing supplies is a challenge. I've seen some really handy golf carts with a back bed to carry things. My questions for the hive mind are:

Electric or gas, and why?

Any brands to avoid?

Lessons learned?
 
gardener
Posts: 1620
Location: USDA Zone 8a
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How many hours can you get out of the electric vs the gasoline? Since your property is long and narrow, a gasoline model would be more appropriate since the electric model will only run so long before it needs to be recharged.  If its battery goes dead you might have to walk home.  With gasoline you just make sure you have a full tank or a spare gas can.

We have a golf cart and a mule.  DH says that the golf cart investment was the best money we ever spent.  And since getting the mule, there are very few places that the mule is better than the golf cart.  We have used the golf cart on rocky mountain roads.  The mule might be better in mud since it is 4 wheel drive??

The kind of tires you put on it might also make a difference.  The golf cart and the mule use the same tires.  Our golf cart has tires for rock and the mule came with tires for mud (which we want to change to the rock kind).

Ours is a Club Car and also has the a back bed to carry things, which is also a good investment.

I don't know if there are brand to avoid; just might be some are more expensive than others?

No lessons learned other than what I have mentioned and they a fun to play with, like joy riding!

 
pollinator
Posts: 529
Location: Southern Arizona. Zone 8b
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For just driving around your property, I'd recommend an electric cart.  They typically have 35-50 miles range, so it's unlikely you will ever run out of juice.  With electric you never have to go out and buy gasoline. 
Mount a couple solar panels on top and it charges for free and provides shade.  A golf cart (or similar low speed vehicle) is the only type where mounting solar panels on the vehicle makes sense.

They used to make an electric garden tractor that had all kinds of electric implements, rototillers, chain saws, etc.
With an electric golf cart, you could add an inverter and run electric tools, chain saws, weed eaters, etc.  Granted you can buy gasoline powered tools, but now you are back to having to go to the gas station periodically to buy gas.

Granted you'll have to buy new batteries every 6-8 years, but in the long run batteries are cheaper than annual oil changes, filter changes, tune ups, gasoline, etc. trips to buy gas, trips to buy oil, etc. trips to get rid of used oil, etc., etc., etc.
 
Anne Miller
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Peter VanDerWal wrote:For just driving around your property, I'd recommend an electric cart.  They typically have 35-50 miles range, so it's unlikely you will ever run out of juice.  ...
Mount a couple solar panels on top and it charges for free and provides shade.  A golf cart (or similar low speed vehicle) is the only type where mounting solar panels on the vehicle makes sense.



When we worked at places that used golfcarts on a daily basis, I don't remember getting that much mileage.  A google resulted in this:  "Electric carts are designed for 36 holes of golf between charging. 36 holes of golf is about 12 miles, with starting and stopping. If you plan to use the cart ... extensively, then you need an electric car. "

www.cunninghamgolfcar.com/t-frequentlyaskedquestions.

They used to make an electric garden tractor that had all kinds of electric implements, rototillers, chain saws, etc.
With an electric golf cart, you could add an inverter and run electric tools, chain saws, weed eaters, etc.  Granted you can buy gasoline powered tools, but now you are back to having to go to the gas station periodically to buy gas.



Speaking of electric tractors this thread might be of interest:

https://permies.com/t/35742/permaculture-projects/Wheaton-Laboratories-Electric-Tractor


Another thing to consider, is your property flat?  Will you be driving mostly on pavement?  Will there be places that are rocky or muddy?   How will you be using the cart?  Will you use it in snow or rain?

Maybe a little more information on how you intend to use the cart would give folks something to base their replies on.  Are you looking at new or used?
 
Peter VanDerWal
pollinator
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Location: Southern Arizona. Zone 8b
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Sorry, I should have pointed out that I was referring to the MAXIMUM range.

You don't want to fully discharge a golf cart battery frequently because that will significantly shorten their lifespan.  To get maximum life you only want to discharge 20-50% of batteries capacity before charging it again.  12 miles would be approximately a 30% discharge.

I'm assuming Dan isn't planning on making 20 trips a day, every day, from one end of his property to the other.  If he is, then a gas cart, or two electric carts, would be a better option.

Even if he makes 10 trips a day, every day, that is probably less than 50% discharge.
 
Dan Grubbs
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Thanks everyone for their thoughts. I think electric is the way I'll go. There are fewer for sale on Craigslist, but I don't need it ASAP, so I can take my time. I do like the thought of putting some tires on it that are a bit more aggressive. They come with tires that are not supposed to mar a golf course. That's not very good traction. My property does have a rise and fall when traveling from one end to the other, so some tread pattern will be valuable. Putting up a 100 watt array on the roof is a good idea and I likely will do that as well as a charging station where it will be parked in our lower garage. Trips might, at most, be 2-3 trips around the 15 acres a day -- at most!

Cheers!
 
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