9 Tips for Maximizing RV Gas Mileage

Want the Most Out of Gas Mileage RVing? Here's How!

pumping-gas
••• Saving gas while RVing is one of the best ways to save money on your next trip. D. Sharon Pruitt Pink Sherbet Photography/Moment/Getty Images

Let’s face it, RVers use a lot of fuel. Not only are RVers on the road for long stretches of time and miles, but trailers and motorhomes are known to guzzle down some serious gas. It’s no wonder that RVers are constantly looking for ways to save a few bucks at the pump. Luckily for you, I have nine great tips to help you maximize your gas mileage.

Where the Rubber Meets the Road

Tires can play a huge impact on the fuel efficiency of your RV.

Old, underinflated or overinflated tires can all have a negative impact on your fuel consumption. Check your tire pressure regularly to make sure it matches your manufacturer’s recommendation. Make note to check your tires after undergoing dramatic shifts in elevation as well.

Easy Does It

The way you accelerate and drive will have a large impact on your gas consumption. Going pedal to the metal, dramatic accelerations from stops and other driving techniques that push your RPMs will also drain your tank. Keep your speed steady, take it easy from stops and keep your ride smooth to give your rig more miles per gallon.

Light Load, Heavy Wallet

Weight if of course a big factor in fuel efficiency. The more weight you are hauling, the more your engine has to work. Find ways to cut down weight like avoiding carrying full propane tanks, purchasing your supplies closer to your destination and generally packing less.

Making several small changes can potentially lessen your load by hundreds of pounds.

Don’t Be a Tongue Depressor

Continuing with weight, tongue weight is the amount of weight placed directly on your vehicle from a trailer. Not only will an overloaded tongue make your vehicle more difficult to drive but it will also make your vehicle work harder and use more fuel.

Make sure your tongue weight meets manufacturer guidelines to properly balance your load and consider a weight distribution hitch.

Balancing Act

Like an overloaded tongue, an unbalanced RV will also cause your vehicle to not function as efficiently as a balanced one. Try to keep heavier objects closer to the floor of the vehicle and balance out the load in the front, rear and sides of it as well.

Keep a Routine

Routine maintenance helps keep your RV’s engine functioning properly therefore maximizing its fuel efficiency. Make sure to regularly have your ride checked out by a certified mechanic to take care of oil changes, air filters, tune ups and any other work to keep your engine purring perfectly.

Sweat the Small Things

There are many small things that may only save you a few drops of fuel by themselves but adding them all up will make a difference. Things like idling the engine, using air conditioning or keeping your windows down at high speeds will bleed the tanks. Mind these small things to make a big difference.

Use Fuel Finding Services

If you’re a member of a discount RV community, such as Good Sam Club, chances are they have a free fuel finding service. These programs will scan your area to help you find the cheapest fuel near you.

They’re also several free web sites such as Gas Buddy that can handle the task as well.

Workin’ for the Weekend

Fuel prices tend to go up during the weekend, no matter where you are. That’s why we recommend filling up your tank in the middle of the week to find the cheapest prices. This is not always the case but most areas follow this pattern.

Taking the time to bring down your fuel costs is one of the perks to RVer that’ll save you money long-term.