Getting the Best MPG: 12 Ways to Improve RV Fuel Efficiency

You knew before you bought that towable trailer or that motorhome that you were going to pay premium in the gas department. Let’s face it, gas prices aren’t going down any time soon. That doesn’t mean, however, that you can’t take a few steps to improve RV fuel efficiency. Just as with a car, there are ways to make your RV more fuel-efficient. If your budget is tight, our proven tips may alleviate your situation somewhat.  Improving RV gas mileage may entail making some sacrifices, too. While you don’t have to take all our tips, there may be one or two tweaks that can really save you a bundle.

  1. Slow Down: For every mile that you go over 60 miles per hour, you are tacking on at least 10 cents per gallon. What that means is that at 75 miles per hour, you are actually paying roughly 30 cents more on the price at the pump. That adds upquickly, especially when RVing long distances.
  2. Compare RVs Before Buying: See what your friends have and how much gas mileage they get on their vehicles or just do research on average MPGs. You may not want to go too small with a vehicle and realize afterwards that it’s too cramped to enjoy, even with all the savings in gas.
  3. Change Your Air Filter: You can actually improve your gas mileage by up to 10 percent if you keep your air filters clean. This is a very wise tip that most people are not careful about, even though upkeep costs very little.
  4. Check Tire Pressure: Ass with a car, if you keep your tires properly inflated, according to your owner manual’s instructions, you will save money in gas. It’s also better for your tires, which will last far longer if they are kept filled. Under-inflated tires are actually a big risk for a blowout on the road, which can be very deadly in an RV. Don’t go just by sight. In fact, traveling with a reliable air pressure gauge is highly advised. So is regularly checking your tire pressure during a long trip (always check them while they are cold).
  5. Don’t Idle: Just hanging out with the RV turned on is a common waste of precious fuel. If you’re staying for more than two or three minutes, just turn the vehicle off.
  6. Use the Overdrive: It really does save you fuel.
  7. Use Cruise Control: This also saves fuel because driving at constant speeds is always less work for the engine. However, if you’re going over 60 miles an hour, you’re still spending more money on gas.
  8. Make Sure Your RV Is in Good Shape: Lots of mechanical problems slow down an RV and often cause the vehicle to use more gas for the same mileage as an RV that has been tuned up. You can serious use up to 40% more fuel if you have mechanical problems you may not even be aware of.
  9. Use the Oil and Gas Recommended: This applies more for the oil, which some people try to save money on. In the long run, if your vehicle requires a higher grade of oil and you’re giving it the cheap stuff you could be spending a few percentage points more for fuel. Synthetic oil, as a general rule, costs more but increases fuel economy. As for gas, if your car is not specified to take a higher-octane gas, don’t waste your money, but if it does require it, don’t skimp.
  10. Keep Your Load Light: This is a big reason why some RVs use more gas than others and why people will give you variable amounts for what they use in gas in the very same model RV. The difference is the load they carry when they vacation. The lighter you keep your load, the less money you will spend in gas. This one sounds easy, but it’s very difficult for hardcore RVers.
  11. Air Conditioners: Air conditioners can really suck gas. Use them sparingly.
  12. Trade it In: Some people end up turning in their gas guzzlers and buying smaller, lightweight trailers or motorhomes and regret all the space they lost. Don’t do anything rash before deciding how much space you need. If you have no other way to RV than to downgrade, by all means it’s worth it, but if you’re just looking to save a couple of dollars, make sure your adventures will still be enjoyable, not cramped.


Also, make sure you have the right type of specialty RV Insurance on your trailer or motorhome. Auto insurance is not an adequate protection for your investment. The unforeseen often happens to the best of us. Make sure you have the right coverage. Speak with an Insurance Specialist about your current plan and see if they can offer you a more affordable rate: (866) 501-7335.

The information in this article was obtained from various sources. This content is offered for educational purposes only and does not represent contractual agreements, nor is it intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. The definitions, terms, and coverage in a given policy may be different than those suggested here and such policy will be governed by the language contained therein. No warranty or appropriateness for a specific purpose is expressed or implied.


Posted in RV, RV Lifestyle, RV Maintenance, RV Tips Tagged with: , , , ,