Three Tips to Save Money on the Inevitable RV Fuel Expense


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When you buy an RV, you know one thing for sure – you are going to have to buy fuel to get you from point A to point B. Whether your rig takes gas or diesel, you will still need to stop at the pump and pull out your credit card at least a few times during any vacation. Short of converting your RV to an all-electric vehicle (which would be pricey, to say the least), stopping at the gas station is a chore that is here to stay.

Save Money on Fuel Costs by Making Smart Decisions
Save Money on Fuel Costs by Making Smart Decisions

However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t take steps toward saving fuel on your next vacation. With some smart decision making, you can reduce the total amount of fuel that you need to purchase from the time you leave on your trip until the time your return home. Even a 10%-20% savings on your fuel bill can go a long way toward making your vacations more affordable.

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Pick the Easy Miles

Not all miles are created equal when it comes to fuel economy. If you are driving hundreds of miles for your trip, but most of those are flat freeway miles, your fuel efficiency should come out pretty good. At the same time, a trip of the same length that goes up and down mountain passes on winding roads is going to burn up your fuel at a ridiculous rate. When planning the route for your next trip, keep fuel economy in mind. It is fine to travel far from home, but try to stick to major freeways where you can set your RV at a steady speed and avoid excessive braking.

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Maintenance Matters

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The condition of your RV will have a lot to do with how much fuel you are burning on your trip. To start, make sure your engine (in the case of a motorhome) has been serviced as recommended by the manufacturer. If you get in the bad habit of skipping service visits, you can expect to see diminishing returns when it comes to fuel efficiency. Also, check to see that your tires are inflated to the proper pressure before you leave. Not only is it safer to drive your RV when the tires have the right amount of pressure, you will also save gas driving on tires that have enough air in them.

Do Extra Miles in Your Other Vehicle

Do you travel with a small vehicle behind your motorhome? If so, use that vehicle for all extra miles along the way. That small SUV or sedan is sure to get far better gas mileage than your RV, and it will be easier to navigate around town as well. In some cases, you may wish to set up camp at a site near the freeway and then use the other vehicle to take you back and forth to the destinations you are visiting. That way, you can avoid slow, winding backroads in your RV. Set up an itinerary that allows you to do the slow miles in your small car while the RV sits stationary at camp and your overall fuel consumption for the trip will go down.

Let’s hear your fuel saving tips in the comments below.

Comments 3

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  1. We disagree with traveling on freeways…We love the “back roads” Lots to see in this USA and you can’t see it by sticking to a freeway or Interstate…..

  2. Our tow vehicle (a Yukon) and travel trailer (R-Vision 23 RB) have nitrogen filled tires. The tires are always at the correct pressure even if we go from Ft Pickens, Fl. to the Colorado mountains.

  3. Better fuel mileage can be gained by driving under the speed limit, coasting on off ramps instead of racing to the exit and braking to stop, proper air pressure in the tires, and for diesels. Just shut it off when you can..If your not driving and the motor is running, your fuel mileage is dropping ..I have a 500 hp Cummings in a 44 ft Essex, I got 9+ mpg on a 3000 mile round trip from Texas to Michigan…

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