If you are concerned about your RV gas mileage, you are in good company. A lot of RVers have the subject of RV fuel economy on their mind at times.
And no wonder, since RV fuel costs take up a large chunk of our RVing budget. So how do we improve our RV MPG?
The 5 tips I am going to share with you can apply to all RVs. This is because all RVs have an engine and tires.
So you may need to improve your motorhome gas mileage or your travel trailer or fifth wheel gas mileage. It doesn’t matter, because these RV tips apply to them all. Now let’s get started!
Disclosure: Please note this post may contain affiliate links. This means – at no additional cost to you – I earn a commission if you make a purchase using our affiliate links. I only link to products and companies I use and feel comfortable recommending. The income goes toward supporting the free content on this website.
Better RV Gas Mileage With Proper Tire Pressure
Maintaining the right RV tire pressure will have a big impact on your RV gas mileage. If your tire air pressure is low, the rolling resistance is greater.
This means that it will take more energy to move your RV down the road. That means more fuel will be used to get you where you want to go.
Of course, you don’t want to over-inflate your tires either. This makes for an extremely harsh ride and can cause safety issues as well.
So find the manufacturer’s recommended tire pressure for your RV and maintain that pressure in your tires. You can locate a tire pressure inflation chart for your tires fairly easily. Just search for the manufacturer’s name and add “tire inflation chart” afterward.
Usually there is also a sticker in your RV that will list the correct RV tire pressure recommended for your rig. This usually a very good place to start too.
If you use a tow vehicle for a towable RV, make sure that you maintain the correct air pressure in its tires too. And if you want the best RV gas mileage possible, you will be checking and maintaining your tire air pressure regularly.
Keep Your RV Weight Down
It’s a real adjustment to move from a sticks and bricks home to an RV. And one of the things that a new RVer has to learn is how to manage their RV weight.
This is because in our former home, weight was not an issue. So we don’t tend to think about it much when we first start RVing.
But RV weight issues impact a lot of things. There are weight limits for every RV out there. And the closer we come to the limit for our rig, the more our RV fuel economy will drop.
The reason for this is simple. The more weight the engine has to propel forward, the more energy will be required. Where does the energy come from? You guessed it, your RV fuel.
Many full-time RVers make it a rule that whenever they buy anything new, something has to be removed from the RV. This is not a bad guideline to live by. It will help make sure that you discipline yourself to keep your RV weight issues under control.
Of course, keeping our weight low is easier said than done. But the less weight we are hauling, the better our RV gas mileage will be.
Lower RV Highway Speed = Better RV Gas Mileage
Everyone knows that the faster you drive a vehicle on the highway, the lower your gas mileage will be. But it’s surprising to see how many people ignore that principle when they drive an RV.
In fact, I often see rigs of all sizes exceeding the speed limit on the highway. And sometimes, they exceed it by a lot.
Of course, this kind of speedy driving isn’t good for your RV fuel economy. But it also is more dangerous overall.
Remember, RVing should be fun and relaxing. So if you let off on the gas pedal a little, you will no doubt be rewarded in many ways!
Generally speaking, if you want the best RV gas mileage, you should keep your speed around 60 – 65 mph on the highway. For every 5 MPH above that limit, your RV fuel economy will drop significantly.
RV Engine Maintenance
If you have an RV on the road, somewhere there is an engine that is pulling it. It could be either gas or diesel, but all engines need regular maintenance.
If the proper maintenance is not followed, many things can go wrong. But one thing that will most likely suffer for sure is RV gas mileage.
The first place to look for guidance on RV engine maintenance is the user’s manual for that engine. If you don’t have it handy, you can usually search for it on Google and find it without much effort.
The manufacturer’s maintenance guidelines are the best source of advice to keep your engine in good shape. But another good source of advice can be found on the online RV forums.
Just search for “engine maintenance” related to your specific manufacturer and you should get plenty of responses. One of my favorite RV forums for this kind of information is iRV2.com.
There are several well-seasoned full-time RVers that contribute to that forum regularly. Usually they are recognizable by the many thousands of comments they have made. And the other commenters often show them the respect they deserve.
The point is, keep your engine in good repair and maintain it according to the manufacturer’s specifications. This means that you have to be organized and plan ahead for RV engine maintenance.
Don’t be haphazard about it. It may cost a little for proper RV engine care. But if you keep your engine well maintained, it will pay you back in the long run.
Use Synthetic Oil In your RV Engine
This actually could be part of the last tip I mentioned above. But it is so important that I am mentioning it separately.
This is because high-quality synthetic engine oils can do a lot of good for your RV engine. Once again, it doesn’t matter whether the engine is part of your RV or not.
It could be an engine in your tow vehicle. High-quality synthetic oil will extend the life and performance of almost any engine. Even those found in cars and trucks.
So generally speaking, if you want the best engine lubrication and therefore the best RV gas mileage, you should use a synthetic motor oil.
Yes, it will cost you a little more when you change the RV engine oil. But it’s the best protection for your RV engine that you can get.
And make sure that you follow the guidelines for changing your engine oil very closely.
And while you are at it, don’t forget to change the engine air filter regularly too for good RV fuel economy.
So let’s recap. If you want to get the best fuel economy possible with your RV engine, here are the steps:
- Maintain the proper tire air pressure for your rig and the weight it is carrying.
- Keep the weight from your stored items as low as possible.
- Drive your RV at a safe and economical speed on the highway.
- Have a schedule for your RV engine maintenance and stick to it.
- Use high-quality synthetic oil in your engine to improve lubrication and make your engine operate at its best level.
If you use all 5 of these tips, you are well on your way toward getting the best RV MPG possible. Have safe and happy travels my friends!