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How To Improve Your RV Gas Mileage

Published on December 18th, 2020 by Sigfried Trent
This post was updated on October 20th, 2023

gas mileage
Backcountry roads are actually good for gas mileage with steady speeds and minimal traffic.

How To Improve Your RV Gas Mileage

There are many ways to improve your RV gas mileage. Better yet, many of these techniques also offer benefits to your travel safety and improve the lifespan of your RV. You probably won’t be amazed at how much they affect mileage, but every bit helps the bottom line.

1. Regular maintenance = Better gas mileage

Every part of your RV’s mechanics and electrical system affect how much gas you use. The better running everything is, the more efficient the whole system becomes. Oil changes are especially important but everything connected to the drive train can impact mileage.

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Not only will this keep your gas mileage from degrading over time, but it will also save you money in long term repairs and help preserve the resale value of your RV. Be sure to keep records of all your service appointments and repairs with an online tool such as RV LIFE Maintenance.

2. Check your tire pressure

Low tire pressure can reduce gas mileage and increases wear on tires. You want to check your tires before every trip and expedition to make sure they are at the recommended levels. You can invest in tire pressure monitors or you can check the pressure manually.

Also, keep an eye out for low tread levels and damage on the sidewalls of your tires. These dangers aren’t so much about gas mileage, but overall safety. 

How to properly check your RVs Tire Pressure Part 1:
Buddy Gregg RVs & Motor Homes

3. Keep a modest speed

The faster you drive, the more energy your engine spends fighting wind resistance. Keeping a modest speed is going to extend your gas mileage by quite a bit. While you want to keep the prevailing speed of the road you are on, don’t push any faster than you need to. Not only will it improve gas mileage, but it also keeps you safe.

Acceleration takes more energy than maintaining speed so if you can cruise at a steady rate that can improve gas mileage. Trying to accelerate quickly is especially fuel-hungry. Take your time to get up to speed if you can accelerating a little bit at a time.

gas mileage
Not the most aerodynamic RV ever, but it’s probably seen a lot of great adventures.

4. Avoid traffic using technology

Stop and go traffic will wreak havoc on your gas mileage. Use a traffic monitor like Waze so that you avoid heavy traffic. Try to avoid city centers, especially during commuting hours and at lunchtime. Not only will it greatly improve mileage it will make for a much nicer driving experience.

5. Monitor the weather

Headwinds can really eat up a lot of extra fuel. In general, it’s a good idea to always know what kind of weather you are driving through. Avoid any kind of storms both for safety and efficiency.

If you have the freedom to delay your departure or hasten it to avoid bad weather you can reap many benefits: safer driving, better scenery, and improved gas mileage.

America’s roads are full of incredible adventures!

6. Keep your load light

You always want to keep your RV under its GVWR value, but the lighter you go, the less fuel you will use accelerating. It doesn’t have as much impact on gas mileage as you might imagine, but it can make a small difference. One way to minimize weight is to travel on empty black, gray, and freshwater tanks whenever you can.

Keep track of your RV maintenance

Keep track of all your RV maintenance with an online tool such as RV LIFE Maintenance. Not only can you keep all your maintenance records and documents in one place, you’ll receive timely reminders via email when maintenance is due and potentially avoid a costly repair or serious accident.

1 thought on “How To Improve Your RV Gas Mileage”

  1. Use energy tires, such as Michelin. Change all fluids to synthetic. Run a good fuel additive. My last 3 diesel pushers I have run Opti Lube, based upon a comprehensive blind test from 2007. The test examined 20 or so different brands of diesel fuel additives for their effect on lubricity. Observing the guidelines from Sigfried Trent and these I have offered above, my fuel mileage for my ’08 Monaco Diplomat (41″ 7″) with a Cummins ISL 8.9 liter, through 56 K miles when I traded it in on my ’18 Tiffin 37 BH Phaeton, 38’4″ was 9.3 mpg, towing a Ford Ranger p/u. The Tiffin Phaeton, now at 33 K miles and towing a Chevy Colorado 4wd, p/u is 9.5 mpg with pure diesel and 9.4 mpg with B20 Biodiesel. bje


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