Fuel efficiency is one of the factors people put into consideration when going RVing.
On average, the miles per gallon for a diesel RV range from eight (8) to fourteen (14) depending on size, load, and speed. Some diesel RVs go lesser miles per gallon and some take more.
|RV Model||Class||Gas Mileage|
2008 American Coach 42f
2006 Coachmen Cross Country
2013 Coachmen Encounter
2018 Coachmen LEPRECHAUN
|2021 Roadtrek Zion SRT||B||20 MPG|
|Newmar Dutch Star||A||8 MPG|
|Thor Palazzo||A||10 MPG|
|Roadtrek Sprinter RS Adventurous||B||20 MPG|
|Winnebago Travato 59G||B||20 MPG|
|Winnebago Navion Motorhome||C||18 MPG|
|Winnebago View||C||16 MPG|
|Overall average all classes:||13 MPG|
Factors That Determine The Miles Per Gallon Of Your Diesel RV
The Size of your RV: One of the factors that determine the mileage of your diesel RV is the size of your RV. Larger RVs go lesser miles per gallon. This statement means that larger RVs consume more fuel than the smaller ones. So, if the miles per gallon your RV can take is of so much concern to you, then you should consider going for smaller ones.
Old or New: Another factor is the newness of the model of the RV. Newer models of RVs have engines designed for higher fuel efficiency. This fact goes to say that new RVs will go longer miles than an old one with the same quantity of diesel.
The Terrain: The terrain you are plying will also determine the fuel consumption rate. If you are driving in a mountainous terrain where the RV has to use additional power to ply, the fuel consumption rate will be higher because the engine has to work harder.
Towing: If you are towing extra cars or trailers, the workload on the RV engine will be greater and more fuel will be consumed.
Having known what determines the miles per gallon your diesel RV gets, you should also know that there are ways you can improve the mileage. This improvement will save you some costs on fuel.
How Do I Get More Gas Mileage?
Tires Inflation Level: Inflating your RV tires to the right level will enhance your safety and improve the mileage.
Pack light: The more the weight of things you pack in your RV, the lesser your mileage. So if there is anything you will not need on your camping or anything you can do away with, there is no point taking it along.
Air Conditioning: Instead of turning on the air conditioning always and burning your fuel, you can do away with it whenever you can. Instead of using it, you can roll down the windows.
Generally, diesel RVs are much more efficient than their gas counterparts. Diesel engines can convert 45% of fuel energy into mechanical energy.
Here are some factors that determine the mileage of your diesel RV. Over the past few years, the cost of diesel has increased but there are ways you can improve the mileage. You should know that new RVs consume a lesser amount of diesel. The smoothness of your ride will also impact on your fuel consumption.
Diesel vs. Gas RV:
The foremost consideration of the people is the price. When looking for motorhomes, price matters. When someone is looking for the first time they consider price and end up with the least priced gas models. With some only getting 10 mpg the cost of fuel really adds to the trip cost.
Diesel RV is quite expensive and offers luxury kinds of stuff. There are various quality products within the same category of things. So diesel RVs are also available at least prices with very less luxury comforts. But can serve better than the least gas-powered recreational vehicle. The gas RV would end up with the least period of service. I
f a person needs good RV for a good price and bit of comfort with luxury RV then they can pick up the high-class gas-powered RV. Instead of ending with medium value diesel RV with the least comfort, these high-class gas RVs can serve far better than the medium-powered diesel RV.
If you’re driving a Class A Motorhome, which is basically a house on wheels, you can expect to get around 6-10 miles per gallon. That’s right, you’ll be burning fuel faster than a hungry teenager at an all-you-can-eat buffet.
But if you opt for a Class B Motorhome, also known as a camper van, you can expect to get a bit more mileage out of your gas tank, with an average of 18-25 miles per gallon. That’s a lot of road trip snacks you can buy with the money you save on gas!
Now, if you go for a Class C Motorhome, which is a bit smaller than a Class A but still has plenty of room, you can expect to get around 10-14 miles per gallon. It’s not quite as fuel efficient as a Class B, but it’s still better than a Class A.
If you’re not into driving a motorhome and prefer to tow your home-away-from-home, you might want to consider a travel trailer or fifth wheel. With a travel trailer, you can expect to get around 10-20 miles per gallon, depending on the towing vehicle and driving conditions. And with a fifth wheel, you’ll get slightly worse gas mileage than a travel trailer, averaging around 8-15 miles per gallon.
When comparing the fuel efficiency diesel motorhomes are considered to be better. Diesel has a greater energy value than gasoline. The diesel has a higher energy density. So it can offer 10 percent greater than gasoline does. It depends on the factor that RV is taken for complete residence trip across the country then it needed good engine power which is the diesel RV. If RV is used for short term purposes like vacations, test drives on special occasions, and the trail of motorhomes experiences. This could be done with the gas-powered RVs.
So much does it cost in gas to drive an RV?
If you are planning a vacation or long road trip, it is advisable to calculate expenses beforehand, so you aren’t faced with unpleasant surprises as far as budget is concerned. The cost of gas varies greatly, depending on what part of the country, or in some cases, even which part of the county you are in. It also fluctuates with the market – dips when the commodity is doing well and goes up when it is harder to come by. But then again, even when gas is at an all-time low, when you start looking at the average MPG on your camper, you might not be feeling so blasé about pump prices.
If you are traveling in a Class A or Class C motorhome, be it a relatively small one, you are definitely looking at less than 15 miles to the gallon. Several large RVs get as few as 4 or 6. Although towable RVs are hauled by trucks which may see higher MPG ratings (especially if they are newer models), the extra weight does factor in and affect the overall mileage. There is no two ways around it: driving something heavy requires a whole lot of fuel.
The answer depends not only on the type and size of rig you are driving, but also how far you are going, the kind of terrain you are traveling over, speed, and other factors. But you can use this formula to calculate an accurate price estimate. Here goes:
Check your manufacturer’s manual to find out the average gas mileage for your particular RV. If you bought your recreational vehicle by choosing what RV has the best gas mileage, then you may already have this information handy.
Find out the average cost of your nation’s gasoline by the mile. This information can be easily looked up online.
Map out the trip and determine total number of miles (should include the miles to get to the destination and for coming back).
Divide the total amount of travel miles by your RV mpg and multiply that number by the average cost of gas per gallon.
How to get a more fuel-efficient RV?
Follow the RV Maintenance Schedule
This sounds easy, but RV owners often neglect maintenance schedules. Did you know a dirty air filter can lower your gas mileage by up to 10%? However, that pales in comparison to a faulty oxygen sensor that can decrease your gas mileage by 40%. Using the correct grade synthetic oil can also have an impact on your gas mileage. Here is what you should keep in mind:
Research maintenance locations
There are several maintenance factors to consider including engine tuning. It might seem like a lot to remember, and for most people it usually is. RV maintenance isn’t a DIY task. Unless you have spent significant time under the hood of a car or under a lift in a shop, it is usually best to let professionals handle RV maintenance.
Don’t forget to check your service and maintenance schedule on a regular basis, so you can go in as soon as the RV is due for service. Not only does sticking to a maintenance schedule decrease the possibility of breakdowns and other serious engine trouble, but it also gives a boost to gas mileage.
The one exception to that rule is tire pressure, which you will need to check regularly yourself. Check your tire pressure even when your tire is not looking low; even small reductions in tire pressure can decrease your motorhome gas mileage.
Schedule well in advance
If you know that the RV is due for maintenance while planning a trip, you should conduct research about RV maintenance shops that are situated along your route. Make a list of all shops you can find and be sure to include important information such as phone number, address, and mark them along your trip map. Call ahead and make the crucial arrangements before hitting the road to save unnecessary delays.
Driving Tips for your RV
Here too you have to keep a few pointers in mind:
Use cruise control
Don’t forget to use cruise control. Accelerating and decelerating constantly is generally bad for gas mileage, so cruise control prevents it from happening as much as possible. You might have a steady foot, but no foot is as steady as a machine that keeps your vehicle at exactly the same speed at all times. At low speeds, you can’t use cruise control, but you can accelerate slowly and evenly to ensure you use as little gas as possible.
Minimize idling time
Every second you spend idling is a second in which the RV is consuming extra fuel and getting zero miles to the gallon. Yes, you use a little extra fuel when you start your RV up, but generally, it is better to shut off your engine if you are going to be idling for more than a couple minutes. This is all the more important if the RV has a gas engine, as they use more fuel to idle as compared to a diesel engine.
Yes, when you own an RV, it can be extremely tempting to pack your entire closet and garage into it! But the extra weight brings down your gas mileage. It is vital to inspect luggage and other items in the RV to see if you have anything stored that you don’t really need to be carrying around with you.
Drive slightly slow
For the vast majority of vehicles, optimal gas mileage is achieved around 60 miles per hour. For every 5 miles per hour faster than 60 that you drive, your gas mileage decreases by up to 7%. The way you handle your RV has a huge impact on fuel consumption, which makes it a must to adjust some of your driving habits.
Be Aware about Travel Routes
Plan the route properly
Invest a bit of effort in planning – it goes a long way toward saving money on gas. Driving in traffic is one of the best ways to kill fuel efficiency of the RV. Try to drive as much as possible during non-commute hours, so you can save yourself some money, and prevent a lot of headaches at the same time.
When planning out your route, it is helpful to have a map that you can markup to note where rest areas, maintenance shops, food places, and gas stations are located. The best part of route planning is marking all the stops on the way to your final destination that you will want to stop and see along the way.
Have a backup route planned
Most of us feel we don’t need backup routes, but it is helpful for saving on gas and time, just in case there are unexpected circumstances. Mark as many alternate routes as you would like, on the map. After you have marked alternates routes, you can add all possible stop locations as you did for your main route.
Try to avoid routes with a lot of stop signs and traffic lights. You can make good use of pit stop research tools to get the best prices possible. If you want to plan the best route, you can even decide which gas stations you will go to. You can save money by finding the cheapest gas on your route, but if you want to save money in the long run, make sure you stop at reputable gas stations. They have additives in their fuel that helps your vehicle to run clean. This will reduce engine build-up and improve gas mileage over time. You can try fuel economy chips too, but make sure they are of good quality.
To put it in a nutshell, a fuel economy chip is a piece of technology that purports to help you increase the fuel efficiency of your engine. It accomplishes that by optimizing your torque, thus leading to better performance and improved gas mileage, which certainly makes for a compelling argument. It is possible to put a fuel economy chip into a motorhome to achieve the same results, and there are several RV repair shops that offer this service.
How much is the standard MPG for each RV class and how much gas does an RV hold?
Here too there is no simple answer. Although different classes of RVs share certain similarities, there is a lot of variation in terms of size and weight, which play a crucial role in determining mileage. The capacity of your RV is important as well. It can be frustrating to spend a ton of money, keeping the tank full, but it is equally annoying to stop for gas every few hours. Here are the average figures by class:
These large and luxurious models are some of the heaviest on the road. They not only have fancy appliances and premium furniture, but come with structural and mechanical components including slide-outs, a weighty power train, and more. That is why, it isn’t surprising to learn that a Class A RV might see about 6 to 8 miles per gallon on average and sometimes as little as 4 MPG when traveling in suboptimal conditions (like over steep terrain, with hills).
Since these RVs are the biggest in size, they consume the most gas on road. Thus, they tend to have the largest gas tanks that range from about 70 to over 100 gallons, with some holding as much as 150!
These motorhomes are a lucrative option for those who want the same level of luxury like Class A vehicles, but want to shell out much less. Along with the actual price of the vehicle being lower, Class C vehicles get slightly better gas mileage, in the range of 7 to 13 MPG.
Class C vehicles definitely need a lot of gas, but their tanks tend to be smaller than their Class A counterparts. Although it will depend on the exact shape, style, and footprint of your Class C, you can expect the rig to hold somewhere between about 30 and 70 gallons.
Travel trailer mileage is all over the map, depending upon on the size of the trailer as well as the capacity and power of the tow vehicle. For instance, a small Casita travel trailer towed behind a Ford F150 might get around 12 miles to the gallon, whereas a larger fifth wheel trailer is probably going to be more costly to run, even behind a one-ton truck. However, some owners report seeing as many as 15 or 16 MPG with their trailers!
Travel trailers and towables, don’t come up fuel tanks of their own – they are dependant upon the power of the vehicle that is towing them. In this case, you have to look into the tank capacity of your town vehicle. On an average, most trucks tend to hold between 15 and 30 gallons. The newer the truck, the better its gas mileage is likely to be, but towing a trailer, does have a negative impact on the actual figures.
Class B Sleeper Vans and Small RVs
If you are content with traveling around in a converted van, sleeper van or micro camper, then what you lose in luxury and space, you will get back in gas savings. These small RVs are at the highest end of the MPG spectrum in the RV world, sometimes seeing as much as 15 or 18 miles to the gallon.
Sleeper vans, Class B motorhomes and other small drivable RVs have much smaller tanks as compared to those of Class A & C. You can expect an average of about 25 gallons capacity, but the exact figure depends upon the manufacturer and model.
Which RV has the best gas mileage?
As you can see from the figures mentioned above, it isn’t a cut and dried process when it comes to RV comparison. Although larger vehicles tend to draw more fuel than smaller ones, factors like the RVs age and the kind of terrain you are driving on, plays an essential role in how far you can hope to get on a single fill. Older RVs also tend to get worse gas mileage than newer ones, just like regular street vehicles. That said, in general, if you are looking for an RV with great gas mileage, smaller is better.
Is diesel more fuel-efficient than gasoline in an RV?
Yes, diesel is definitely a more efficient fuel source in all cases, including in the RV. That is the reason why several Class A motorhomes are powered by strong, rear diesel engines that push them along the road.
Diesel fuel contains around 10% to 15% more energy as compared to gasoline. Thus, diesel vehicles can travel more than 20% to 35% farther on a gallon of fuel as compared to their gasoline counterparts. Newer engines are more highly developed, and often burn cleaner and more quietly than gas-powered models (or older diesel engines).
The average diesel engine has the ability to convert nearly half of its fuel energy into mechanical energy, which means longer life and better handling. Although the cost of diesel has risen in recent years, diesel-powered models often require less fuel when compared to traditional gas-fueled RVs.
But diesel has its drawbacks as well. For instance, it can be more expensive than gas in some cases and harder to find. It wouldn’t be worth foregoing an RV you love just because it is powered by gas as opposed to diesel, but it is important to understand the differences between these two fuel options.
At the end of the day, the only way to understand how much it is going to cost to keep the RV fueled up is to observe how much you are spending on fuel, once you have already gotten going.
It is best to avoid random road trips without a plan for where you are going or how far you need to drive to get there. Always run your prospective destinations through an RV gas mileage calculator in order to discover the real cost of getting to where you have to go. This way you can pick your destinations wisely and save money on fuel.