If you own an RV, you know that it chugs the gas a lot more than the average car. And since RVs typically are driven thousands of miles every year, this can add up to a LOT of money. In fact, RVers consider gas money as one of the main expenses when going on a trip.
Beginners will often make mistakes that negatively affect their trips and cost them more money than necessary. Some of these mistakes result in a lower gas mileage rate for the RV. So here are some tips and tricks to get the most mileage out of your rig, thereby saving you a few bucks.
Alter Your Driving Style
It goes without saying that driving an RV is almost nothing like driving a car. The same is true for how you drive the RV. It’s a larger vehicle, so accelerating and decelerating are slower. But if you feel like you are constantly needing to fuel up at the next stop, consider doing the following:
- Get rid of your ‘lead foot.’ There’s no need to stomp on the gas in an RV, ever. A gradual buildup of speed is the best course of action. Likewise, going too fast can burn gas more quickly. For every five miles/hour over 50, expect to spend an additional $0.17 per gallon.
- Use the cruise control whenever possible. It will prevent variable speeds, thereby not expending more gas.
- Don’t let the RV idle for too long. While waiting for trains or drawbridges (or your travel partners to finish using the bathroom at a rest stop) shut off the engine.
Making even one of these changes can increase fuel economy by up to 7 percent!
Always Check Tire Pressure
You should be in the practice of doing this anyway, as it saves wear and tear on the tires, not to mention getting a blowout on the road. Properly inflated tires can also increase an RV’s mileage by up to 3 percent. Get an accurate reading by using your tire pressure gauge when the tires are cool (just before heading out). If the pressure is too low or too high, make adjustments before hitting the road.
We know it’s difficult to always remember this, so consider having a tire monitoring system installed in your RV. It is just as effective and will let you know on your dashboard your tire’s pressure at all times.
Maintain Appropriate Maintenance
Another aspect of RV care you should be doing anyway, performing maintenance service periodically is essential to getting the best fuel mileage. Regularly replace those dirty air filters, this can increase your mileage up to 10 percent alone! Use synthetic oil when getting an oil change. This increases the RV’s fuel economy by more than 2 percent.
Did you know? The two largest culprits with respect to fuel expenditures are an improperly tuned RV and faulty oxygen sensors. Getting a tune-up can literally increase your RV’s fuel economy by up to 20 percent. A bad oxygen sensor can reduce your mileage up to a whopping 40 percent! Getting routine maintenance will help ensure you catch any issues before they wreck your gas mileage.