Marine & RVs

You Are Probably Overlooking the Easiest Way To Save Fuel on Your RV

Because pandemic lockdowns have eliminated the use of beachfront hotels and resorts, many families have turned to a more traditional form of vacationthe camper. However, the costs of maintaining an RV, especially as new regulations force manufacturers to modify their engines, can cause unwanted stress when you are supposed to be relaxing. The less-than-stellar fuel economy of RVs is among the major expenses associated with traveling in a camper. This makes finding ways to save fuel a critical element of the family vacation.

Fuel economy is crucial in RVs

A full-size RV towing a car refuels under a gas station roof
An RV refuels | Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Estimates indicate that the average RV racks up 5,000 miles each year. It is no secret that pulling or hauling the extra weight of a home, regardless of its size, places extra strain on the engine and drive train of the vehicle providing its mobility. When drag friction from less-than-ideal aerodynamics contributes to the mix, fuel economy suffers. Consequently, frugal RV owners look for ways to get the best possible gas mileage. What are some of the best ways to save fuel?

Basic tips for improving your RV’s fuel economy

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Southwest Financial assembled some RV statistics and charts as well as a few basic tips for improving the fuel economy of your RV. A standard RV averages about 10 miles per gallon, which is a number that varies up or down in relation to the size of your RV, the type of motor, and a number of additional factors. By following a few basic tips, you can improve that number and cut back on the fuel expense of vacationing.

First, follow your RV’s maintenance schedule closely. Small things like a dirty air filter can cut fuel economy by 10%. A well-tuned engine and regular monitoring of tire pressure are additional measures that impact your RV’s mpg.

Second, how you drive also has an impact on fuel economy. Acceleration and deceleration work against good gas mileage, which means that cruise control is your friend. You can also improve fuel economy by limiting idling time, traveling light, and driving slower.

Third, rather than navigating on the fly, pre-plan the routes you will take from one destination to the other. Avoid heavy traffic patterns, consider less extreme ascents and descents, and plan to use reputable fuel stations with cleaner fuel and additives that improve gas mileage.

Fuel economy chips are an easy way to improve fuel economy

A high quality fuel economy chip is among the easiest ways to give your RV’s fuel economy a boost. Fuel economy chips help optimize the performance of your RV’s engine, which helps save fuel.

Guaranty RV Super Centers estimate that class C vehicles (average-sized RVs) can improve their fuel economy by 2 to 3 miles per gallon when equipped with a fuel economy chip. However, how much the chip improves your mpg depends on regular maintenance, weight, and how you drive as well.

Higher quality fuel economy chips allow several different driving options to choose from while you are on the road. By choosing the unique driving situation you’re facing, such as mountainous terrain or congested traffic, you are able to optimize your engine’s performance, allowing for the best fuel economy. However, you need to spend some time choosing the chip best suited to your RV’s engine and avoid choosing a cheaper, less-reputable chip, which can cause damage to your RV’s engine.

Do not overlook the easiest way to save fuel in your RV

Taking to the open road in an RV is a revival of the way families used to enjoy their vacation time. It is less expensive than beachfront resorts, airline tickets, and continuous dining out, as well as being safer. There are some strains associated with vacationing in an RV, but if you use some basic tips to help control expenses like fuel economy, you can limit some of the stress. Don’t overlook using a fuel economy chip to help save on fuel in your RV.