Tips to improve your RV’s gas mileage

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This is written by our friend Eric Johnson, from TechnoRV.
Filling an RV or tow vehicle’s gas tank is never cheap, even when the price of fuel is relatively low. Even worse, it never seems to get you as far as you would like! Gas mileage in the single digits would be shocking to most “daily drivers,” but in the RV world, it’s very common.

There are a lot of factors that contribute to the gas mileage of RVs. One that we can’t do much about is that RVs aren’t very aerodynamic, with a few exceptions. Most are tall, square, and heavy. But don’t despair! You can make a difference in your miles per gallon with a few adjustments. In fact, you can increase your gas mileage by up to 20% just by inching up a fraction of a mile per gallon, depending on where you start.

#1: Watch Your Weight

It stands to reason that the heavier an RV or tow vehicle, the lower your gas mileage will be. When it comes time to pack for a trip, it’s tempting to bring as much stuff as the RV will carry, but remember that everything you take will affect your gas mileage and clutter an already small space.

Make space for the essentials, of course, like your fire extinguisher and tool kit. But choose carefully when deciding what to pack otherwise.

Here are some tips that can help lighten your load:

  • Only bring essential kitchen appliances, pots and pans. If you think you might use your Crock Pot once, don’t bring it.
  • The same goes for dishes, silverware and cups. If there are only two of you traveling, do you really need place settings for 8? Bring only what you need.
  • Travel with an e-reader instead of printed books.
  • Pack only the clothes you’ll need for a week or so and do laundry on the road.
  • If you have outdoor gear like kayaks or bikes, consider how often you’ll use them. If it’s a long trip and you’ll only use them once or twice, it might be more cost-effective to rent them instead.
  • Empty your tanks! Dump before you leave a spot, or as close to your campsite as possible if you’re boondocking. Travel with just the minimum amount of fresh water, and fill up when you get to your next stop.

#2: Check Your Tire Pressure

Tire pressure can give you one of the biggest gas mileage boosts, and it’s pretty low-maintenance once you get the hang of it. Having low tire pressure increases the size of your tire footprint on the road and therefore increases the drag. This increased drag means your engine has to work harder to keep your RV moving down the road and therefore has negative effects on your fuel economy.

One good way to keep constant attention on your tire pressure is with a wireless electronic tire pressure monitoring system. We love the TST TPMS because it’s reliable and easy to use. Just install individual sensors on each tire by screwing them onto the valve stems. The sensors will then communicate wirelessly to a display mounted inside your RV where you can check the pressure and temperature of each tire at a glance. You’ll maximize your gas mileage and help prevent flat tires, all in real time. Tires that have been run at low pressure are at the highest risk for blowouts on the road, so a TPMS is also a wonderful safety gadget. You can add these to both your RV and your tow vehicle, too.

Continue reading tips number 3 and 4 by clicking here

##RVT972

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Captn John
25 days ago

I always start with 60 gallons of FW and 100 gallons of diesel. When I have to think about another MPG or the cost of fuel I’ll stay home.

Michael
25 days ago

Just after we bought our 2017 Winnebago Navion class C, we were able to drive Colorado to California without stopping for gas!

It’s a diesel.

Bob Weithofer
26 days ago

Partially disagree with dumping the tanks. Black & Grey, yes! Fresh, always travel with enough water for two or three days. We have arrived in campgrounds to find that the water system was not working. No place else in the area was available. We have been caught in eight hour long traffic jams. Nice to have a bathroom with running water. Got to campgrounds to find that our spot wasn’t available. Had to stay at Walmart. Had storms change our plans and having the option of boondocking was comforting. Having fresh water available is important in many situations and is worth the minor amount of fuel that it costs to haul it.

want2racer
26 days ago
Reply to  Bob Weithofer

Agreed, I would rather haul some water with and have it then not. Pull into a wayside rest and making lunch is sure a whole lot easier when you have water to cook and clean up with. I have also been to remote camping places that only had old fashion hand pump for water / hard to fill a tank with that. Getting stuck in the hot desert with no water and having a breakdown could be a killer as well. Tank doesn’t have to be full but I want some with.