How To Improve Rv Gas Mileage: All You Need to Know

How to improve rv gas mileage? Tips and Tricks

rv gas mileage

With fuel costs on the rise, many RV owners are looking for ways to improve fuel economy in their rigs. Our recent survey of over 3,000 RV enthusiasts found that the vast majority of respondents – around 70 percent – were actively seeking ways to improve gas mileage while they were driving their RVs. The reasons varied: some said they wanted to save money on fuel costs, while others claimed that better gas mileage would allow them to drive farther with less stops and see more sights along the way.

Whatever your reason for wanting a more fuel efficient rv, we can help you achieve your goal. Read on for our top tips on how you can improve your rig's gas mileage and save money along the way!

Average gas mileage for rvs

Motorhome Type Average Gas Mileage
Class A 7 to 13 mpg
Class B 18 to 25 mpg
Class C 14 to 18 mpg
Winner For Best Mileage Class B
Runner-Up For Best Mileage Class C
Third Place For Best Mileage Class A
  • Make sure your RV is properly serviced

  • The last thing you want to happen on a road trip is for your RV to break down or malfunction in some other way. The best way to prevent this from happening is to ensure that your RV is serviced and in good working order before you hit the road.

    • Check all fluid levels such as oil, transmission fluid, coolant, etc.
    • Inspect all hoses and belts for signs of wear and tear, and replace any that look like they’re about to give out.
    • Have the brakes checked if they haven’t been done in the past six months or so, especially if your RV has a trailer hitch attached to it — these are often overlooked during regular brake checks but can wear down just as quickly as regular brakes do when used frequently enough (such as when hauling trailers). Make sure everything else on/around your vehicle works correctly too: headlights, taillights (and reverse lights), windshield wipers/washers; air conditioning system; etc., because all these things will affect how well it runs ultimately which means how much gas mileage gets used while driving around town or cross country-wise.
  • Keep a maintenance log

  • Logging your maintenance is one of the most important things you can do to improve RV fuel efficiency. Having a record not only allows you to remember what has been done and when, but it also provides a history that can be used to identify trends that would otherwise be impossible to notice. A simple record will help you know how many miles are on your vehicle, how much gas mileage you are getting and whether it is improving or worsening over time.

    In addition to improving fuel efficiency and the performance of your RV in general, there are other benefits to keeping a maintenance log:

    • You’ll never forget an important maintenance task again!
    • Your mechanics will love you for providing them with an organized look at your RV’s history.
    • You’ll have peace of mind knowing that all aspects of your RV are in good working order as indicated by maintenance records.
  • Keep your gas tank at least half full

  • . This is not as much of a mission as you might think. Most people are already keeping their tanks full by the time they stop at gas stations and fill up their tanks. When it comes to getting most mileage out of each gallon, keep your tank half full.

    In addition to this tip for maximizing fuel efficiency, there is another practical reason for keeping your tank half full, the fuel pump in your rv's fuel tank gets cooled when there is fuel all over it. The cooler the rv fuel pump stays, the better it will perform, in turn allowing for better gas mileage.

  • Put your RV on a diet

  • If your RV is loaded with too many possessions, it will become slow and sluggish. You can give your RV a breath of fresh air by removing all unnecessary items. This will help in improving its fuel economy.

    Start by placing all items on the floor or any other place that you don't use often. If you find any item that hasn't been used for more than six months, then make an effort to put it away in a storage facility or just get rid of it.

    After this process, take time to carefully inspect the exterior and interior of your RV for signs of rust, water damage, broken cabinets or windows and loose screws. Repair these areas immediately if you find them to prevent further deterioration of the vehicle's condition.

  • Change your tires to low-resistance tires or add tire pressure monitoring system

  • If you are not in a position to change your RV Tires to Low Rolling Resistance then at least consider adding a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS). In addition, check your tire pressure regularly and keep them properly inflated.

  • Check the air filter regularly, and replace it when needed

  • You need to check your air filter regularly. This is one of the most important things you can do to improve RV gas mileage. Check it once every 3,000 miles, and replace it when needed. If you notice that your engine is producing less power or if you smell something unusual while running your RV, then check the air filter first before doing anything else.

    Your air filter should be changed at least once a year or 12,000 miles (whichever comes first). For many RVs, this job can be completed in 10 minutes or less. If the filter looks dirty or clogged, then change it immediately as this will help improve RV gas mileage. You can also have Tyler's RV Service install an aftermarket air intake system to further increase airflow into the engine and ultimately improve fuel efficiency.

  • Pay attention to weather conditions you'll be driving in

  • If it is windy, you will use more gas because of the extra work the engine has to do to resist the wind. Likewise, if it is hot, you will use more gas because the engine has to work harder to cool your vehicle.

  • De-winterize your RV at the end of winter and re-winterize it at the beginning of winter

    • Drain the antifreeze from your water heater. Connect the water heater to a hose and open the pressure relief valve to drain the rest of it out.
    • Drain all remaining antifreeze from your pipes by opening faucets and flushing toilet(s).
    • Fill up your fresh water tank before letting go of any drains or valves. Allow the pump to run for 10-20 seconds before letting go of any drains or valves.
    • Replace aerator screen in faucets, connectors on sink sprayer if applicable, and shower head if applicable.
    • Reconnect the city water connection.

    Re-winterizing times vary based on when you are re-winterizing but generally speaking should be performed as soon as outdoor temps begin to reach freezing or below freezing levels for prolonged periods at night (below 32 degrees Farenheit/0 degrees Celcius).

  • Be smart about cargo loading to avoid overloading the vehicle and decreasing RV gas mileage

  • If you have a travel trailer or fifth wheel, take care to properly distribute cargo within the unit. Loading heavy items on the front of the RV is ideal for weight distribution and for improving your RV's gas mileage.

    When packing your vehicle with personal belongings, keep in mind that every 100 pounds of cargo can reduce overall fuel economy by 1-2%. Therefore, it’s important not to overload the vehicle.

What aspects affect an rv's gas mileage?

An RV's gas mileage can be affected by the vehicle's size, weight, aerodynamics and how it is driven.

  • Size and Weight
  • Like any vehicle, your RV's size and weight affect its fuel economy. The heavier the vehicle, the harder it has to work to move forward. For this reason, small and mid-sized RVs have better gas mileage than larger ones.

  • Driving Habits
  • While a large RV may not be able to achieve the same gas mileage as a smaller one, you can improve your efficiency by changing how you drive. Driving at a steady speed on level roads requires less effort from the engine and can improve your gas mileage significantly. Avoiding jackrabbit starts and sudden stops will help you keep your fuel consumption down as well.

  • Driving Conditions
  • Your driving conditions can also impact your RV's gas mileage. Large hills or mountainous terrain require much more work from the engine because gravity makes it difficult for the vehicle to maintain speed on uphill sections of road. In addition to slowing down in these areas, it is also important to avoid hauling heavy loads.

How many miles can an RV go on a tank of gas?

The answer to this question depends on how you plan to drive your RV. Generally, the mileage will be anywhere between 8-12 MPG for a Class C and 10-15 MPG for a Class B.

When an RV is moving fast, its frontal area (the part that's exposed to air pressure) increases. Because of this, the engine has to work harder just so the vehicle could move faster, thus consuming more gas.

On average, driving at 55 MPH will give you about 7% better fuel economy than driving at 70 MPH - this is why some GPS devices are programmed to avoid highways when calculating directions because of the likelihood of traffic jams or having to stop from time to time.

To read about some of the best rvs on the market when it comes to gas mileage, read this article about the 10 best rvs for gas mileage.

How many miles per gallon does a 30 foot RV get?

Whether you're planning a road trip on a whim or hoping to make your wanderlust lifestyle more permanent, you'll want to know the answer to that question before you buy an RV.

That's because the gas mileage of RVs is notoriously poor. A fully decked out Class A motorhome can easily get fewer than 10 miles per gallon. Class Cs are somewhat better and travel trailers and fifth wheel trailers tend to be the best at getting fuel economy, but even those typically only get around 8 or 9 miles per gallon.

How many miles per gallon does a 24 foot RV get?

A 24 foot RV typically gets 10-15 miles per gallon. While this is lower than the average sedan, it’s excellent mileage for a vehicle of that size and weight. This number can vary depending on the weight of your RV, what type of Class A you have, and how aggressively you drive.

For example, if you have a larger Class A with a lot of cargo in it, you might get closer to 12 mpg than 15 mpg. On the other hand, if you have a smaller Class A with less cargo and are not driving aggressively (no hard breaking or accelerating), you could reach 15 mpg pretty easily.

What is the average mpg for each Rv class?

  • Class A – well-known and luxurious, Class A RVs are the largest of the three types. With an average fuel efficiency of 5.5 to 8.5 mpg (miles per gallon), they can be more expensive to drive. The main advantage is that they can hold many people and have a lot of cargo space.
  • Class B – usually converted vans or small buses, these RVs are typically smaller than a Class C but larger than a Class A category RV. They’re known for having greater fuel efficiency, with an average range from 8.5 to 15 mpg depending on the make and model of your RV and vehicle configuration.
  • Class C – also known as Mini Motorhomes or Cabover Campers, these vehicles are easily recognizable by the overhang above the driver’s seat, which is used for storage or extra space in sleeping areas. With an average fuel efficiency range from 10.5 to 15 mpg, Class C motorhomes provide a comfortable home-away-from-home experience when traveling cross country or going on camping getaways in remote areas with no hookups available.

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Different types of rvs and their gas mileage

  • Class A Rvs
  • Class A RVs are the largest and heaviest of the RVs. They can range from 20 feet to 45 feet in length and weigh between 10,000 pounds and 45,000 pounds. This is because they are built on a heavy duty truck chassis.

    These vehicles have a wide variety of mileage rates as you will see in our chart below, but generally speaking Class A motorhomes get between 7 - 13 MPG.

  • Class B Rvs
  • These rvs typically get around 18-25 miles per gallon. Not bad considering their size.

    If you’re looking for the most fuel-efficient RV, you can’t go wrong with a Class B motorhome. These rigs are usually built on smaller van chassis and don’t have that much room inside. But they can be very fuel-efficient because they don’t have as much aerodynamic drag as longer rigs.

    They also tend to be easier to maneuver in traffic and parking lots than larger RVs. You can often park them where other RVs would be too long or wide to fit into a space. These RVs are also sometimes called campervans and range in size from 19 feet to 22 feet in length; shorter versions of them are considered Class C motorhomes, while those over 22 feet are considered Class B+.

  • Class C Rvs
  • The class C RV is the most common motorhome. It offers a great balance of size and comfort. They are typically built on a truck or van chassis and are usually between 24-32 feet in length. They're also much easier to drive than larger Rvs as they tend to be smaller, lighter, and more maneuverable.

    Class C RVs offer various features like sleeping areas, bathrooms, kitchens, and even a TV area or entertainment space. Unfortunately, class C RVs aren't the most fuel efficient option when it comes to gas mileage. The average mpg is 14-18 mpg which means that if you'd like to travel frequently with your Class C RV you'll be burning through some serious gas money.

  • Campervans
  • I've been envious of the fuel-efficient campervans since I first saw them. They take up so little space on the road, yet they offer so much more than a standard van when it comes to comfort and convenience. Forget the cramped feeling of a minivan or SUV—these vehicles are designed for comfort and flexibility, allowing you to stop, stay in one place while you work or play, pull into remote campgrounds without worrying about parking, and easily move all your gear around at once if need be.

    But how can a van get great mileage? It all depends on what kind of vehicle you're looking at. The most fuel-efficient vans have heavy duty gas engines with diesel motors used as an option for off-road driving. This ensures that the engine will run long enough for optimal efficiency (and thus good mileage) no matter where you go. You might also want to consider getting a V6 engine instead of a V8 (unless you plan to drive through backwoods areas). And don't forget about hybrid vans like the Chrysler Pacifica; these are very fuel efficient because their engines are built for their low weight and excellent power distribution (rather than being built specifically for efficiency).

  • Travel Trailers
  • Travel trailer gas mileage is usually around 8 to 12 mpg depending on how you drive. They are bigger than other RVs making them more difficult to move and consume more fuel. A travel trailer can have a lot of weight on it as well, which can also contribute to poor gas mileage.

    Diesel rv mileage per gallon vs Gasoline rv mileage per gallon

    Fossil fuel experts claim that on average, diesel fuels have a greater energy density than gasoline. This means that the fuel effectiveness of diesel engines is generally greater than the same amount of gasoline. Additionally, since diesel contains no natural gas or liquid propane, it tends to be less expensive than other fossil fuels. For example, if you have a choice between driving an RV powered by diesel or one powered by gasoline, chances are you’ll save a great deal more money on fuel with your diesel engine.

    Before opting in for any of these types of vehicles, be sure to take into consideration the upfront costs of both. Diesel vehicles tend to come in at a higher upfront cost than gasoline vehicles.

    What is Gross Vehicle Weight and how does it affect mileage

    The Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) is the maximum allowable weight of the loaded vehicle. For example, if a truck has a GVWR of 6,000 lbs., that means it can hold a total of 6,000 lbs. of all cargo, passengers, fluids and other things that are included in the truck’s curb weight (the weight of an empty vehicle). The GVWR is stamped onto a certification label that can be found on your driver side door frame. It’s also included in your RV Owner’s Manual along with other specifications. To calculate your cargo capacity (or how much you can carry), simply subtract your RV or camper’s curb weight from its GVWR. The difference between these two weights will give you an idea as to what kind of stuff you can haul around in your RV or camper without exceeding its weight limit. You should keep track of this number throughout your trip to ensure you don’t go over the limit and cause damage to the vehicle or put yourself at risk for an accident. Your RV will also have to deal with slower acceleration and compromised handling if it exceeds its payload capacity.


Conclusion

That wraps up our look at how to improve RV gas mileage. We hope that you found the tips in this article helpful, and that they will allow you to maximize fuel efficiency during your next trip. If there are specific topics or products related to improving RV gas mileage that you would like us to cover in future articles, please let us know by leaving a comment.


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