Getting the Most for Your Fuel Dollars
How to Pay More for Fuel and
Keep on RVing
Cutting RV Fuel Costs
Cutting RV Fuel Costs continues to be a major concern for RVers with gasoline on its way to $4/gallon and
diesel on its way to $5/gallon in some sections of the country. Fuel costs are one of the major expenses
associated with RVing, but RVers can take action to stretch their fuel dollars and still visit many the
locations we enjoy.

If you are planning on purchasing an RV we suggest you consider fuel costs an important selection factor.
RVers looking for a towable should consider the ultra light models, some of which can be towed easily and
safely by lighter duty minivans, crossover vehicles, pickup trucks and SUVs.

Motorhome owners may want to look at the Class B and Class C models built on the Sprinter chassis with
the fuel efficient Mercedes-Benz diesel engine and transmission.

Planning ahead will allow you to enjoy using your RV. The first step is to see if there are locales closer to
home that you may want to visit. For example RVers in the southeast may not realize that Florida has more
than 700 RV resorts, campgrounds, along with County campgrounds and parks and one of the best State
Park systems in the country providing sites from Key West to Jacksonville to Key West.

Review the areas you plan to visit to determine if any are taking you out of the way and can be postponed
or included into a later trip.

Then you can add up the total expected mileage and calculate the estimated number of gallons of fuel
required. We suggest you consider the following to get the most for your RVing dollars:
  • Motorhome RVers should ask if they need a toad on all their trips. If you don't need a toad for a lot of
    local driving over an extended time period, consider renting a car. Enterprise Rent-A-Car has very
    convenient service for RVers.
  • Fuel is just one of the expenses of RVing. RVers will find substantial savings of up to 50% by using
    the camping clubs such as Passport America and CampUSA, and the 10% - 15% discounts on
    overnight stays available with Good Sam Club, FMCA, and KOA memberships.
  • Have your engine and drivetrain serviced at manufacturer-recommended times and mileage points
    and whenever you suspect problems. Clogged air, fuel and oil filters cause loss of power and poor
    fuel mileage.
  • Check on fuel prices before leaving on your trip. From personal experience, we have found the Flying
    J travel centers to be RV-friendly and to have low prices. Fuel prices can be checked on the Internet
    at,, and http:
  • Check every coach storage compartment and exterior bays, and remove items you will not be using
    while out on the road. Every pound of unnecessary weight you carry decreases fuel mileage.
  • Regularly check the air pressure in all tires, when the tires are cool (air pressure increases while you
    are driving). Proper inflation reduces the incidence of tire failure and improves fuel consumption.
  • Check out the fuel discount programs available from travel centers such as Love's and Flying J. Also
    check out credit cards that provide discounts on fuel purchases that can run from 1% to 10% (see
    note below).
  • Many RVs show a significant increase in fuel consumption when driving at high speeds. Although most
    RVs can drive the interstate at 70+ MPH while towing, reducing the speed down to 60+ MPH will
    improve mileage and provide less stressful driving.
  • Try to travel with empty holding tanks and a fresh water tank about 1/3 - 1/2 full. Many motorhomes
    have total holding tank capacities of more than a 100 gallons, which means they can contain almost
    900 pounds of wastewater when full. Fresh water tank may be 60 gallons of water at 8 lbs/gallons or
    almost 500 pounds when full. The carrying capacity of the three tanks, can total 1400 pounds  or
    more and requires burning expensive fuel to carry it around.
  • Don't overfill your fuel tank (heat expansion forces excess gas out of the overflow) and make sure the
    gas cap is securely closed to prevent evaporation of the gas.
  • If you make frequent stops at fuel stops and travel centers, consider only filling your tank up to the 2/3
    or 3/4 point to reduce the amount of unburned fuel being carried.

Examples of available fuel discounts available include
Flying J Travel Centers, Good Sam Club/Love's
Travel Stops
, the ChasePerfect MasterCard (6% for first 3 months, dropping to 3%) and the Discover
(5% for a maximum of $5/month. We recommend you only use credit cards that provide a credit for
fuel purchases on the next monthly statement. Some cards, such as the Chase's
Hess Visa card require
you to build up a minimum amount before the credit is available.

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