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Cutting Costs At The Pump

Cutting Costs At The Pump

No one wants to be in pain, especially when you live the RV lifestyle. These days, however, everyone is feeling the pinch of higher gasoline prices that puts a crimp on your wallet and adds stress to what is supposed to be a carefree, relaxing excursion in your motorhome or camper.

Gas mileage per gallon is a consistent expense in the Rver’s budget, and price increases affect the bottom line. Spending more at the pump means there is less to spend on activities, sight seeing and feathering the RV nest with the latest comforts of home. While fuel efficiency and RVing is seldom referred to in the same sentence, there are some factors that add to the fuel costs.

Number one on the list is weight. Heavier loads take more fuel. Eliminating unnecessary things from your RV can make a difference. This is the time to take inventory of what you bring along in the RV. What can you leave behind and what is your “can’t-live-withouts”? These decisions are personal ones and there is no formula for determining what should stay and what should go. Just apply some common sense.

If you use it regularly and it is an important part of how you enjoy the outdoors or your stays in camp, then it may be worth it to bring along. Are there out of season outdoor equipment in your storage compartment? If so, that is probably something you could do without until that time of the year rolls around.

How long since you read any of those books you bring along? Do you have more supplies than you need for this trip? What about the extra clothes you have packed away in the closets or drawers? It’s handy to have what you need at your fingertips and not have to reload the RV between road trips, but if it saves money in gasoline that can be a deciding factor.

A second suggestion is to drive slower and keep your speed consistent. Driving between 55 and 65 miles per hour is recommended for the best fuel efficiency. Fast acceleration wastes gasoline. Slow and steady is the best way to accelerate and maintain the most efficient speed. Use cruise control to help maintain that even speed. Take your time getting up to speed and allow adequate space and time to slow down or stop if the traffic situations warrant.

Keeping your RV maintained with regular service visits is another way to make your travels more fuel-friendly. Dirty air filters, underinflated tires, a missed oil change or tune up may not only be detrimental to the life of your RV, but can also add up your fuel costs. Scheduling routine service calls at your local service center before you hit the road can keep your motorhome or camper going longer and help you spend less at the fuel stations along the way.

Look for the cheapest gasoline prices along the way and plan to fill up there. There are apps that can guide you to the fuel centers that have the best prices of the day. Using this app and spending time planning your route with these stops in mind can help defray the overall fuel costs for the trip. Be aware that fuel prices fluctuate daily. Typically, prices rise before the weekend, so filling up early in the week may save money.

And, lastly, consider taking trips that are closer to home or have prolonged stays in one place. Less miles driven means less fuel used. Instead of heading across country, plan to visit a specific region and spend time exploring the area. Look for destinations that have a variety of activities that will give you the flavor of the place. And finding one that is near public transportation for sight-seeing, shopping or entertainment is a plus.

Choose a park or campground that checks off most of your favorite activities on your list. Like to hike? Find a place with several trails. Is fishing your thing? Choose a destination that has many different experiences, such as streams for fly-fishing, lakes for bait fishing or coastal areas for surf fishing.

Fuel costs can be a bummer when RVing is your favorite thing to do. With a little thought and small steps, it is possible to curb the costs and still get you away from home and into RV living.

Apr 18th 2022 Lois Tomaszewski

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