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Reducing Your RV’s Fuel Consumption

Wednesday, May 13, 2015 – Good Sam Extended Service Plan


Reducing your RV’s fuel consumption is not only a financial gain but also contributes to a cleaner environment. We pretty well all know the basics of increasing our RV’s fuel mileage. They include reducing travel speeds, avoiding rapid acceleration and reducing engine idling time. But, there are other ways to conserve the cost of your RV’s fuel needs. Let’s take a look at some.

When climbing grades we need to maintain the throttle in a high position or the transmission will cause an up shift. If it shifts up, the engine RPM will reduce, as probably will the climb speed. So, we must use considerable throttle to ascend a steep grade. This same grade can be climbed at a more reasonable throttle setting if we manually select a lower gear. This will not only help your fuel economy, but will also aid in keeping the engine and transmission operating cooler.

As most RV’s have the aerodynamics co-efficiency of a cement block, it is not surprising that wind resistance can be a major factor effecting fuel consumption. While on rare occasions the fuel mileage will jump when we experience a tail wind, this wind does not actually push you; it just reduces the relative wind speed against the vehicles inherent drag. Far more likely, in the real world, headwinds, will be present. A wind speed of 15 to 20 MPH can effectively reduce your fuel mileage by 20%. At that rate, your fuel bill will increase by 25%. So, what’s the solution? Ideally, delay or cancel your day’s travel plans until the wind conditions are more favorable. But, if you must travel, reduce speed greatly, perhaps routing via a slower secondary route.

Use a driving strategy that maximizes zero throttle coasting. Most modern gas and diesel fuel injected engines are designed to shutdown all fuel delivery after a short delay of throttle response. This represents zero fuel burn accumulated miles! This strategy involves such actions as cancelling cruise control and slowing slightly before cresting a down grade. This can help in keeping your speed down and reduce the need to use braking action while extending the coasting. There are many other various situations that vehicle coasting opportunities can be captured, all contributing to saving fuel.

The addition of a fuel mileage computer, if you do not already have one, is a great aid also. Fuel performance data delivered to the driver on an on-going basis is said to cause driving habits to change, favoring more fuel saving behavior. This is probably due to the fuel performance being monitored, just as all the other vehicle’s functions.


Mercer, Peter. “Reducing Your RV’s Fuel Consumption.” Good Sam Camping Blog. 8 May 2015. Web. 24 April 2015. http://blog.goodsam.com/?p=31715



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