Gas and diesel costs are rising, with no relief in sight. But you can still take steps to increase RV gas mileage and save money on gas or diesel fuel. These are our favorite RV travel savings tips anyone can do on the road.
Save Money at the Pump and Increase RV Gas Mileage
Whether you own a motorhome, truck camper, or tow a trailer, your RV gas budget and fuel economy depends on how you drive. For example, when you set your highway cruise control to 55 mph, RV fuel economy goes up. Drive faster and RV fuel economy drops.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, “each 5 mph you drive over 50 mph is like paying an additional $0.23 per gallon for gas.” Aggressive driving with excessive starts and stops also lowers RV mpg. You can also practice the following RV driving habits:
Keep Your RV Maintained
A well-maintained RV or tow truck engine is a fuel-efficient vehicle. Doing something as basic as changing a dirty air filter can boost RV gas mileage by up to 10 percent.
Keep your tires are properly inflated. Under-inflated tires produce more road surface resistance. Low tires also kill RV gas mileage. And under-inflated tires also decrease RV tire durability.
Ask your mechanic to inspect your motorhome or trailer wheel alignment. A wheel imbalance also increases tire friction and lowers fuel efficiency.
Practice Good RV Driving Habits
Plan your trip for the coolest part of the day and avoid rush hour traffic. This helps you reduce air conditioner use, which lowers fuel economy.
Use the throttle lightly when going uphill to reduce fuel consumption. Less throttle also prevents the engine from overheating. And don’t idle, which wastes fuel.
Talk to other RVers with the same rig as you if your RV gas mileage seems excessive. Compare notes on fuel efficiency. If you get significantly worse results than other RVers, take it to a mechanic.
Pack and Travel Light
Adding RV rooftop gear boxes creates wind resistance and saps fuel efficiency. Avoid them if possible.
Don’t travel with a full freshwater tank if you can avoid it. The extra weight diminishes fuel efficiency. Only carry enough water to get to your destination. Then, fill the freshwater holding tank. Empty your holding tanks when leaving.
Use local firewood. Buy it where you burn it. Only stock up with firewood once you reach the site, and leave behind what you don’t need. Transported firewood adds excessive weight, and spreads destructive non-native insects and diseases.
Use RV Trip Planning Technology
Even a good RV trip planning app can help you save money on RV gas. Map your journey ahead of time and you can avoid gas-guzzling routes, long detours, and locate campgrounds closer to where you live for RV budget friendly fun near home.
Once you find that perfect RV campsite, consider staying longer. Many RV parks offer better rates for weekly and monthly visits. Travel less to keep your RV gas budget low, and save on your overall RV trip expenses.
Motorhomes and trailers are heavy, expensive vehicles to move down the highway. Whether you drive a Class A or a small motorhome, tow a trailer or fifth wheel, there are many ways to boost your fuel efficiency. Start with RV trip planning and practice good driving habits. Following just one or two these tips can boost RV gas mileage. You’ll keep vehicle wear-and-tear down, enjoy better fuel economy, and save money too.