Do you ever think about RV gas mileage savings tips? Most RVers pay attention to gas prices but it is just as important to focus on RV gas mileage improvements. Hauling a large trailer or driving an RV coach is just going to eat up a lot gas no matter how you slice it. Over the long run though, with some simple tips, you should be able to improve the miles per gallon you are getting and at the least, not waste gas doing 80 mph down the highway. Here are some simple RV gas mileage savings tips which should improve your gas mileage.
Keep Up On RV Maintenance
Probably, the #1 thing you can do to get the best fuel efficiency out of your motorhome or tow vehicle is to perform regular maintenance on your RV. The camping experts, KOA, created a graph that gives you a visual of the largest culprits in fuel efficiency loss in RVs, and it was no surprise to me that three out of the four biggest culprits are dirty air filters, out of tune engines, and faulty emissions. According to their research, a finely tuned motorhome or tow vehicle engine can save you up to 20% in fuel efficiency. Replacing an old oxygen sensor could make your RV a whopping 40% more efficient. A clean air filter can improve your RV’s fuel economy by up to 10%. You can get 3% better fuel efficiency by keeping your tires properly rotated and adjusting your tire pressure. No matter how you look at it, keeping up on your motorhome or tow vehicle’s maintenance schedule saves you money at the gas pump.
Driving Tips for RV Gas Mileage savings
According to a study, every five miles per hour that you speed over that sweet spot costs you as much as ten cents more per gallon! So even if fuel prices are going down, your driving habits could be keeping your cost at the pump much higher.
Some driving tips include:
- Use your overdrive gears whenever you can.
- Utilize your cruise control so that you’re staying at a consistent speed.
- If you’re idling somewhere for more than two or three minutes, turn off your engine.
- Avoid rapidly speeding up or slowing down; build speed slowly and steadily.
- Keep your windows rolled up while on the highway.
- Plan in advance for best RV routes and less traffic.
- Leave plenty of time to reach your destination, so you don’t have to speed.
Don’t Over pack your RV or Travel Trailer
It’s easy in modern RVs to over pack, particularly in motorhomes and fifth wheels that offer such a wealth of storage. The problem is that extra weight makes for lousy gas mileage, and it’s not just the extra weight, but how it’s distributed throughout your RV. Take a look at your RV’s Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) and stick to that, even if you can load in more. Also, spread the weight throughout the storage options in your RV so you’re not overloaded on one side or one end. Think about what you can leave at home. For instance, can you buy firewood near your destination rather than hauling it in your RV?
Check water and waste tank before you go
Another thing to consider in terms of RV weight is your water and waste tanks. If you’re going to a campground with full hookups, don’t fill your water tanks before you go; just fill up at the campsite and save yourself some mileage on the road. Remember, one gallon of water weighs eight pounds, and that quickly adds up. Similarly, dump and flush your waste tanks as soon as you can when you’re done camping, so you’re not hauling home the extra weight and impacting your fuel efficiency.
Manage Fuel Prices
Knowing the current fuel prices in the areas you’re travelling to, and which station has the best gas price can save you a lot of time, hassle and money on the road. Check out these websites, Automotive.com and GasBuddy.com, to find current fuel prices throughout the U.S. Just enter the appropriate zip code for prices and stations. We published a recent post on GasBuddy.com which provides instructions on the app as well as a review of the app. Check it out. Knowing where to go ahead of time can give you a big advantage when it’s time to pull out your wallet.
Keep your RV serviced
A poorly tuned engine has to work harder to give your RV the power it needs, thus consuming more fuel. Many claim that something like a dirty air filter can reduce your RV’s gas mileage by up to 20%. Keep your engine properly maintained and correctly tuned with regular servicing. This way it will run much more efficiently. Using the manufacturer’s recommended motor oil will boost fuel efficiency by several percent, and something as basic as a clean air filter can increase it by up to 10%.
Keep your RV Tires properly Inflated
Properly inflated tires may result in a 3.3% improvement in your RV gas mileage. It may not seem like much now, but when you combine it with all the other fuel-saving behaviors you practice, it makes a difference. Check the wheel alignment. Wheel imbalances increase tire friction on the road resulting in reduced fuel mileage.