As someone who drives all over town to take my kids to soccer practice, basketball games, swim lessons, friends’ houses, you name it, there is nothing that irks me more than watching the price of gas go up as the fuel in my tank goes down. Listening to the pump chug-chug-chug as I fill up my tank at the gas station is almost painful. It hurts my head and my wallet! As my tank swells with gas, my bank account shrivels up.
But since I’m a glass-half-full kind of person, I try to see a bright spot in all of this needless leaching of my funds. After some research, I’ve discovered that while we have absolutely no control over the price we pay at the pump, we have total control over whether our vehicle sips fuel or gulps it. And if you’re an RVer like me, these tips will definitely come in handy as summer camping season approaches and you get ready to hitch up your rig! Follow these easy, no-fuss tips for improving your fuel efficiency, and pulling up to the pump won’t be nearly as distressing as it could be.
Save at the Pump With Regular Vehicle Maintenance
Since you are already performing regular maintenance on your vehicle every 3 months or 3,000 miles (right?), you won’t have to spend much time trying to work these into your routine. But just in case, here’s a rundown on regular maintenance and how it impacts your fuel economy:
Driving with a dirty air filter will make your vehicle’s engine work harder. Refer to your owner’s manual for your air filter’s life span so you know how often to change it. If you drive on dirt or gravel roads a lot, you’ll want to change it more often.
Using a tire pressure gauge, walk around your vehicle and check all the tires to make sure they're at the correct psi (pounds per square inch). Not only are under-inflated tires at risk of blowing out at high speeds, but they create more friction on the road which negatively impacts your fuel economy.
Have a complete engine tune-up performed to make sure all of its components are in good working order. Check your owner’s manual for suggestions on how often this should be done.
Make sure to use the recommended grade of oil in your vehicle.
Examine Your Driving Habits
Ok, so this may be a touchy subject, but how you drive definitely has an effect on how quickly your tank drains fuel. Have a lead foot? Like to step on it? You’re gonna pay for it (literally!). When you’re driving, especially if you’re driving/towing an RV, keep these driving tips in mind to slow the slurping of fuel.
The slower you drive, the more money you'll save at the pump, and this is especially true when towing an RV. I'm not suggesting you go 50 in a 70 zone, but even just slowing down a little will be good for your fuel economy. We all want to get to our destination as quickly as possible, especially if we have a long way to go, but if you ease up on the gas and take your time, you’ll be able to take in more of the world outside your windows and you’ll save money too!
Use cruise control:
Your vehicle is most likely equipped with cruise control, and you should use it to increase your fuel economy! By using it, your speed will stay relatively stable and your engine won’t be working hard to increase and decrease speeds as you push down and ease up on the pedal. This will ultimately save fuel (and money!).
Idle hands are the devil’s workshop, and an idling engine is a gas hog. Whenever possible, turn your engine off instead of letting it idle. It just burns through the fuel in your tank when idling.
Whoa, where’s the fire? There’s no reason to punch the gas when the light turns green or put the pedal to the metal on the highway (unless a semi truck is about to ride right up your bumper). If you rapidly accelerate you might as well open up your gas tank and let gas splash out onto the road! Go easy on the gas and you’ll see your fuel economy improve!
Watch your weight:
Everything and everyone in your vehicle or RV adds weight to it and will slow it down, thus effecting your fuel economy. Be conscious of everything you pack into your vehicle or RV, not only to increase your gas mileage, but to stay within the GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) of both! Exceeding this limit on either is dangerous. When possible, only bring along just what you need (I know, easier said than done!)
Know your gas:
Only use premium gas if your owner’s manual states to. In all other cases, just use regular. Plain and simple. Otherwise you’re just throwing your money away.
Making frequent stops to the gas station is a necessary evil in today’s world. But with these money-saving fuel efficiency tips, bellying up to the pump won’t be quite as painful. And if you have summer plans that include hitching up your travel trailer, fifth wheel, toy hauler, or other type of RV for a fun outdoor adventure, make sure you keep these tips in mind as you head down the open road. As one of the nation’s top RV dealerships, RV World is here to help you with all of your RVing needs. We carry all the top brands our customers know and love, and they’re priced to sell! You’ll get more and spend less at RV World in Grand Rapids, MI, so call, click, or visit us today!