How To Save On Gas While Traveling In Your RV
Theres no better time than now to save on everything possible, including fuel. If youre an RV owner, you know how important this is especially with rising fuel prices coupled with a dwindling economy. In this article, well discuss the many way that you can save on fuel (and fuel-related costs) while traveling in your RV.
First, lets get some of the basics out of the way. As you probably already know, reducing speed, reducing idling time, accelerating at a reasonable rate and making sure your tires are at the right tire pressure can all help you get better fuel mileage. Well dig deeper in some of those other ways to contribute to the cause.
Lets take a look at weather conditions. Due to the size of your RV, driving against winds that are blowing at more than 15 MPH can have a great impact on your RVs moving resistance. In a real-life example, a Class A coach averages about eight miles per gallon. If youre operating against a 15 MPH or more head wind, expect to lose about 1 mile. During a 400 mile day, this can add up to more than 57 gallons. Imaging what happens with higher winds. So, by limiting driving distance during windy days, or even cancelling the trip in favor of less windy days can help keep your fuel bill low. Remember the inverse; if youre traveling with the wind during windy days, you can get some really great fuel mileage.
Related with the above would be a tip that deals with your travel planning. Making an effective plan of your route beforehand can greatly reduce your driving costs, including costs associated with fuel. Pre planning ensures against getting lost, taking a wrong turn, or not knowing when youre due to arrive at specific locations. Knowing which routes to take, when to leave and your ETAs can also help in making sure that you dont get stuck in avoidable traffic. All of those ads up to not needlessly eating into your vacation budget by wasting fuel.
The next tip in saving on fuel while driving your RV has to do with how you climb long grades. Lets assume that youre driving in good weather in summer heat. In these conditions, youll need to maintain a higher RPM to ensure that youre RV gets adequate cooling circulation. If youre climbing a long grade, there are only two ways for you to maintain the ideal higher RPM; one is by holding the throttle to the floor, which will cause the transmission to seek then hold a lower gear. However, this method increases the fuel flow, and can also cause the engines temperature to rise over the norm. The other, better way is to manually choose the lower gear while using a moderate amount of throttle. This ensures that both your engine and transmission benefits with maximum cooling.
Cruise control generally helps you manage your RVs throttle throughout the day, and there are ways that an RV driver can get more actively involved to enhance their fuel savings even more. For example, when driving on hills, you can disengage the cruise at the top of each downhill, which will then let the RV coast or free wheel down. After allowing for a 5 MPH drop in speed, or near the bottom of the hill, you can re-engage your RVs cruise control with its resume function. These steps will help you reduce fuel consumption since its keeps the cruise from chasing the throttle during your downhill runs.
If you happen to have a late model RV, there can actually be an even more efficient way to save on fuel. This entails switching on your RVs compression brake after cruise control has been chosen and set. In this case, when your RV finishes descending a grade and begins to increase speed, nothing will happen at first. However, after about 5 MPH over the selected set speed, ECM will shut off the fuel to the engine, while your auxiliary braking is subtly engaged. At about 8 MPH over your set speed, your automatic downshift will kick into gear. After your RV slows, returning to your set speed, the auxiliary braking will become deactivated and fuel flow to your RVs engine is restored. At this point, cruise control kicks in. If your late model RV is so equipped, youll consume less fuel than the first method explain would.
A good global positioning system can be a great boost to your planning. As mentioned earlier, pre planning can ultimately save you tons on fuel, and a GPS unit can likewise help you from taking a wrong turn, getting lost, and in some cases help you avoid heavily trafficked areas. Youll also be able to calculate your arrival times at various points during your journey. What all of these potential time savers can do all added up can save you money on fuel.
Our last tip doesnt necessarily apply when youre driving your RV; its a handy way to save on fuel while youre not on the road. Lets say you want to warm up your RVs interior on a cold morning. You may have a heat pump or little used heating strips in your air conditioners. If youre camped out at a full service camping site, chances are electricity is already included, so whip out that heat pump and use it. Using it as your primary source of interior heating can ultimately save you money.