Don't let the steep fuel prices get you down. Here are 10 ways to save money on fuel while on the road on your RV trips.
This year has seen steep increases in fuel prices, and vehicle owners are divided. Those who own electric cars are rejoicing, and hybrid car owners are safe for now, but those who use fuel are feeling the burn. RVs also use fuel to run, and RV owners know that filling up their RV tanks is an expensive undertaking.
This ambush on your summer plans is unacceptable for us. RVs are meant to take on the road freely, and summer is all about RV camping in states far and wide. Check out our ten best-suggested ways to save money on fuel below so that you can travel with an affordable fuel budget!
Reduce Your RV’s Weight
Adding weight to your vehicle means that your RV will eat up the fuel quicker. Understandably, you might be tempted to pack heavily, but this is counter-productive to being fuel-efficient. As RV campers, remember to pack only what you know you will use. Check out our guide on storage hacks to make the most out of the limited space in your RV closet. Also, consider leaving behind any other things that can be rented or found at campgrounds, like propane, grills, or chairs. Travel as light as possible to save as much fuel as you can.
Turn Off the AC
Yes, it may sound like a ridiculous thing to ask for during the summer, but hear us out. When your RV’s air conditioners run, the vehicle consumes up to 20% more fuel. Turning off your AC periodically or during long drives can save you plenty of fuel. To beat the heat, you can wear light and airy clothes, keep cooling towels and cold drinks at bay and get your sun visors out. You can also visit places with milder summers that are just as popular among tourists, like Wyoming, Alaska, Oregon, and Washington.
Minimize RV Idling
Do not keep your RV's engine running when you are not in motion. This could be during traffic jams, long queues, bathroom breaks, or parking lots. When you keep your engine running, your idling vehicle is still using up fuel, and this is anywhere from a quarter to half a gallon of fuel wasted. To avoid this and save fuel, remember to turn your RV off when you are not in motion. You can also use maps to see what routes you can take to avoid traffic jams.
Use Bicycles When Touring
There are plenty of attractions to go through at each pitstop for RV campers. Instead of driving your RV all over town, consider renting bicycles to visit places or run errands. Not only does it make for great exercise, but it will also take you through the area more closely and will prevent unnecessary fuel consumption. You can also see beforehand whether the campground you are staying at offers bikes for rent.
Fuel Station Loyalty Memberships
If you are a frequent or full-time RV camper, consider signing up for fuel station loyalty memberships. Gas station loyalty programs or cards offered by Good Sam are great ways to get discounts on fuel prices. Particularly for Good Sam, an annual membership fee of $29 can give you a discount of up to 8 cents per gallon.
Drive Slow and Smooth
Your RV burns more fuel when you drive fast, at inconsistent speeds, or brake often. Try to maintain a steady pace when driving long distances. You can do this by using cruise control and limiting extreme driving. This will cut your gas mileage by anywhere from 15% to 40% and reduce costs substantially. That’s not all. A slow and consistent speed also protects your engine.
RV Maintenance is Important
Yes, that is right! Maintaining your RV not only keeps it in top-notch shape and in better health but also reduces fuel usage. Be sure to conduct regular maintenance checks on the RV’s siding, engine, battery, and more importantly, the air conditioning and air filters. Dirty air filters can increase fuel consumption to up to 10%.
Refuel in Cheaper States
There are some states where fuel prices are higher than others. States with the most costly fuel prices are California, Oregon, Alaska, Hawaii, and Nevada. If you are heading there, consider stopping for fuel in neighboring states where fuel prices may be cheaper. Use bikes to tour local attractions and stay at campgrounds with great amenities to save you any extra weight in your RV.
Maintain Tire Pressure
Several factors can affect your RV’s tire pressure, like environmental temperatures, underinflation, and elevation. If your tires’ pressure is not maintained properly, then your RV will use up more fuel. This is because your under-inflated tires have to cross increased surface area and friction on asphalt. Make sure to conduct regular tire pressure checks as part of your RV maintenance schedule.
Choose the Most Efficient Travel Route
While taking the longer route to see more sights and enjoy the scenic way is nice, it also significantly amps up your RV’s fuel usage. Consider using RV apps and navigators like Google Maps and Waze to pick a travel route that is the shortest and most efficient one. This can be based on traffic conditions, construction sites, or just shortcuts through nature. However, avoid rough roads or those that elevate and dip frequently, because that increases fuel consumption as well.
There you have it for a guide on the best ways to save money on fuel on your RV! Summer is all about exploring new places and having new experiences. Don’t let travel hurdles stop you from living your best life on the road. With these tips, your RV trip will be affordable and still as fun!