The days when gasoline was $1 a gallon are long gone. Today, the average cost is around $2.5 a gallon at the pumps. Long trips in the RV can burn a lot of money. Fortunately, there are a number of steps you can take to improve the gas mileage of your vehicle.
Here are some valuable tips that can help boost the fuel economy of your RV and save you money in the long run.
1. Avoid Overloading the RV
Weight is a big factor in fuel mileage. You should keep the load to the minimum to improve the fuel economy of your RV. Avoid filling water tanks when heading out as you can fill them up at the campsite. One gallon of water can increase the weight to about eight pounds. For an RV with a 38-gallon tank, filling the tank with water can increase the weight by about 300 pounds.
When loading up the vehicle, you should make sure that the weight is evenly distributed. An RV with uneven weight distribution will consume more fuel. So, in order to avoid having to pay extra for fuel, you should distribute the weight evenly.
2. Avoid Letting Your RV Idle
You should avoid letting your RV idle. Shut off the engine if you plan to stay at a place for a couple of minutes. Letting the vehicle idle will mean that you are getting zero miles per gallon, which is horrendous gas mileage. You are literally throwing your money if you let the RV idle during brief stops.
When you are waiting for a drawbridge to go up or a train to pass, you should consider stopping the engine. Many areas have restrictions on idling a vehicle for an extended period due to pollution.
3. Maintain Tire Pressure
Always maintain the tire pressure at proper levels. You should check and adjust the pressure according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Not maintaining proper pressure can decrease the fuel efficiency by about 3 percent. In addition, underinflated or overinflated tires can lead to premature wear and tear of the tire, and increase the chances of blowouts and damage to your RV. You should make the habit of checking the tires whenever you intend to travel more than a few miles.
4. Regular Maintenance
Regular maintenance of the RV can make a huge difference in mileage. Make sure that the spark plugs and air filter are changed at regular intervals. Corroded battery cables can make the engine’s alternator to work harder, resulting in more gas consumption. Regular tune-ups will ensure that you don’t have to pay as much for fuel.
5. Drive at Lower Speeds
An RV consumes a lot of fuel at higher speeds. You can reduce the fuel consumption by driving at a slower speed. Scenic byways and back-roads are good options when traveling in an RV as they have a lower speed limit as compared to interstate highways.
When you are renting an RV, you need to make sure that you are getting the best mileage possible. Otherwise, you will end up not only paying more for fuel but also for the cost of the rental itself. Make sure to take great care of the vehicle as well, as any damage to lack of fuel efficiency will likely be yours to pay off.