A large motorhome is parked along a palm tree-lined road.

Road Trip Budgeting: Improve Your RV Gas Mileage When Driving or Towing

An important part of preparing for your road trip is planning your route and gas budget. With gas prices fluctuating as much as 40 cents a gallon, don’t let bad fuel economy ruin your trip. There are a number of things you can do to achieve the best gas mileage from your RV or tow vehicle. Pad your budget, or build in an emergency or slush fund so that an unexpected cost doesn’t sour your vacation. Estimate your gas mileage, then over estimate it to give yourself a cushion.

Weight is Everything

It may seem elementary, but it’s easy to forget that more weight equals less gas mileage. Packing light will have a major impact on your gas mileage because your engine won’t have to work as hard. Buying some supplies such as food and firewood when you arrive rather than hauling them with you is one way to reduce your load. Balancing the load is important as well. Pack mindfully and keep the weight low, too. Also, remember water is heavy. If you will have a place to fill your tank when you reach your destination, you can travel a lot lighter.

Keep It Steady

Slow and steady wins the race. You aren’t the tortoise or the hare, but it is true that the steadier you drive, the better your fuel economy will be. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to crawl along at tortoise speed; simply keep in mind that heavy acceleration and hard braking wastes gas, up to 30% according to the US Department of Energy. Besides, when you drive steady to maximize fuel efficiency you are also driving safer, making it a win-win combination.

Maintenance Saves Money

A few dollars spent on maintenance could save you hundreds of dollars in gas over the course of a trip. When your RV or tow vehicle is in peak performing order it doesn’t have to work as hard and you save on fuel. Regular maintenance is also the key to avoiding surprise repairs that could be expensive. There are some repairs you can do yourself, however having your RV and especially your tow vehicle inspected by a professional is worth the time and money.

Don’t Overlook Tire Pressure

It’s easy to overlook the obvious, but properly inflated tires do play a part in fuel efficiency. According to Fueleconomy.gov , “Under-inflated tires can lower gas mileage by about 0.2% for every 1 psi drop in the average pressure of all tires.” Being low by just 5 psi can make a 1.0% difference in gas mileage. Underinflated tires not only negatively affect your gas mileage but they are less safe to drive on overall. Like all maintenance, tire maintenance helps save you more in the long run.

Plan Your Trip

Getting lost or sidetracked can waste gas. Plan your trip online and look for construction areas or detours that might add extra miles to the drive. When you plan your route you can scout out the best gas stations to avoid getting gouged at the pump.  You can also use apps like GasBuddy can help you find the cheapest gas anywhere you go.

The Small Things Add Up

As you can see, everything has an effect on your gas mileage. Other things that hog gas are running the AC or idling when you don’t need to. Remember, anything that makes your RV or tow vehicle work harder decreases your fuel efficiency so limit their usage and stretch those fuel dollars.

Start Your Camping Adventure – Contact RV Wholesale Superstore

The best camping adventures start with a great RV! The professionals at RV Wholesale Superstore are ready to help you find the ideal RV for your budget! Visit us in-person at 5080 W. Alexis Road, in Sylvania, OH or call us at (866) 596-7767.

 

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