Is your RV eating up a lot of fuel? Here are some tips to help you maximize your RV gas mileage and improve your RV performance.
RVs need a lot of gas to function. In fact the larger your motorhome, the more fuel you'll need to power it. Pair that with the ever-increasing gas prices and you can end up spending quite a few bucks on RV gas alone. But all is not lost, there are many ways to improve your RV gas mileage. All it takes is a little planning and forethought. Here are some tips to help you maximize your RV gas mileage.
Regular RV Maintenance
Getting your RV regularly serviced can really improve your gas mileage. For example, dirty air filters can really eat up your gas, replacing your RV's air filters can improve your RV gas mileage by 10%. Using synthetic oil when changing your motor oil can increase fuel economy by more than 2%. Don't sleep on getting your motorhome tuned periodically to keep ahead of any changes your RV might need. Your service station can inform you what parts of your RV needs to be serviced when so keep track of all these appointments. You can use online tools like Maintain My RV to keep track of your RV maintenance.
Manage Your Weight
A heavier RV will require more fuel than a lighter one. Don't carry more weight than the recommended rating of your motorhome. This also goes for travel trailers and fifth wheels; calculate the optimum weight you can carry in your trailer to reduce drag and don't exceed it. Empty the black and grey water tanks of your RV while traveling and fill your freshwater tank with only 1/4th of the capacity. Carefully study the cargo carrying capacity (CCC) of your RV and keep within those limits.
Check Tire Pressure
Under-inflated tires can increase your fuel consumption by 4%. Make sure your tires have the optimal amount of pressure to reduce fuel usage. Use a tire pressure gauge to check the pressure in all your RV tires and inflate or deflate them accordingly. You can also take your RV to a service station and have a professional take care of this for you before hitting the road. Alternatively, some tires have better fuel economy than others, these are called eco tires and they have a lower rolling resistance than average improving fuel economy by about 4%.
Maintain a Steady Speed
Your driving style can really affect the gas mileage of your RV. Changing a few habits can really help you maximize your mileage. Start by gradually increasing the speed of your motorhome instead of 'flooring it' from a dead spot. A gradual buildup of speed can greatly increase fuel economy. Similarly, drive at a steady speed to reduce gas usage. Increasing and decreasing your driving speed variably can use up a lot of fuel. Using cruise control can really help you keep a steady speed.
Plan Your Route
Hitting the road without a plan may sound romantic but trying to figure out the right route while on the road can be really expensive in terms of fuel usage. Planning your route ahead of time can help you avoid this problem, you can plan stops and map out fuel refilling stations. Fewer stops and minimal backtracking can help you save a lot of fuel.
Idling your RV can really eat up a lot of fuel. If you have to stop, even for a small break, turn off your engine instead of idling. This will not just save you gas but also reduce your carbon footprint by cutting down on your emissions.
Limit AC Usage
The air conditioning unit in your RV can empty your gas tank if used consistently. Try limiting your AC usage so you can save up on gas. When possible, roll down your windows and enjoy some fresh air instead of turning your AC on. Alternatively, you can stagger AC usage throughout your trip to increase your fuel economy.
Balance Your RV
An imbalanced RV requires more fuel to pull. Keep the weight of your RV evenly distributed on all four sides. Heavier items should be closer to the floor and bolted in place. Balance out the load in the front and rear of the motorhome as well.
Traffic requires stop-and-go driving that can eat up your fuel quickly. Planning your route ahead of time can help you avoid high traffic areas. Traveling in the afternoon or late in the evening can also help you avoid rush hours. You can use driving apps to keep abreast of traffic stats in any area and plan your route accordingly.
Check the Weather
Driving in high winds or a storm requires more fuel. Use weather apps to plan your trip, that way you can avoid driving in adverse weather conditions and save up on fuel.