Whether your rig is a camper van, a motorhome, or a truck pulling a trailer, there are things you can do to boost your gas mileage. First of all, travel light. Excess weight not only reduces your MPG but can also put you over a safe weight limit. Also, maintaining your tires and engine can make a difference.
Maintain Proper Tire Pressure
Your tire’s maximum psi for the maximum weight is not necessarily the ideal tire pressure. This is where weighing your RV can be helpful. The best way to find the ideal tire pressure is to weigh your RV by individual corners, such as the front driver’s side, rear passenger side, etc. Then check this chart for your tire brand and the proper inflation for the weight on each tire.
However, if it’s not possible to weigh each corner of your RV, look for the recommended tire inflation on a sticker inside. In a motorhome, there might be a sticker near the driver’s seat. Or, you might find informative stickers inside a closet. In any case, know the PSI for your tires.
Over-inflating your tires will not influence your mpg but underinflation will. Not only will underinflation reduce your gas mileage, but it can also contribute to dangerous and costly tire blowouts.
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating
The maximum cargo, water, and propane your RV can carry are the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating. If you have a motorhome or van, cargo weight includes you and your passengers. If you are towing a car behind your motorhome, this can also reduce your MPG.
It must be noted, a diesel motorhome or truck generally gets better gas mileage compared to gas vehicles. This is especially true if you have a heavy rig.
While it’s tempting to take it all with you, this not only creates a cluttered environment and reduces your gas mileage, but it also can make driving your rig unsafe. If you can, take your RV to a truck stop and have it weighed to make sure it’s under the maximum weight limit.
Go through everything inside your RV and remove anything that is not necessary, such as pots and pans you don’t actually use. You’d be surprised at how the weight of little things can add up. Leave unnecessary items at home. If you are full-time, make regular trips to drop things off at thrift stores along the way. Another surprising thing; you won’t miss this stuff in your day-to-day life.
If you are traveling from RV park to RV park, you should empty all of your tanks before hitting the road. You’ll be able to get fresh water at your next stop. If you are a boondocker, fill your fresh tanks and empty your black and gray tanks before heading out.
Maintain Your Trailer and Tow Vehicle
Simply changing a dirty air filter could help to boost your gas mileage. Also, check your trailer’s axles and wheel bearings, repacking them on schedule. Doing regular maintenance on your trailer’s bearings and brakes not only improves gas mileage, but it’s also essential for safety.
Driving Habits and Location
Driving against headwinds or up steep grades reduces your fuel economy. Plan your trip to avoid steep mountain roads, and if there are strong winds, consider stopping until the wind slows down. Not only will this boost your fuel economy, but it’s also important for safety.
While you might want to speed along to your next destination, studies show that keeping your speed between 55-65 mph will vastly improve your fuel economy. It’s also safer. Also, stay in the right-hand “slow” lane to avoid blocking faster drivers. It’s also smart to plan your route and drive times to avoid big-city traffic.Taking the road less traveled is not only less stressful, it could also be better for your gas mileage.
Choose the Right Fuel
Your truck or motorhome will have a recommended fuel type. Using premium fuel may or may not make a difference in fuel economy. However, it can improve performance. You may need to experiment with different grades of fuel to see what works for you.
In the end, traveling light, planning your route, driving slowly, and maintaining your tires and rig not only improves fuel efficiency, but it also improves safety.