Good Sam Camping Blog

RV Fuel Gremlins: Looking at Hidden Factors

Man Refueling RV


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RV fuel gremlins — finding the hidden factors that affect mpg. Part I of a series.

RV owners seek to reduce fuel consumption — it’s one of the things we all have in common. The financial savings, reduction of carbon footprint and enhanced peace of mind that come from consuming smaller amounts of fuel make RV travels more enjoyable.

Now, we all know the basics of reducing fuel depletion: slowing down, accelerating at a constant rate, keeping your tires aired up, etc. But we should look beyond the obvious. We need to dig deeper and examine the hidden causes and results. We should look at the effects of tire rolling resistance, grade resistance, aerodynamic drag, engine components, drive train losses and — the wild card — the human factor.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll look at many of the factors that affect a vehicle’s fuel mileage. Many of these are hidden gremlins that nibble at the mpg constantly while you travel.

RV Fuel Gremlins: Fact-Based Principles

First, we must look at the fact-based principles. These things “are what they are” and remain constant (information sourced from RV suppliers):

Now these represent some factors that in many cases can’t be altered easily, if at all. While you may be able to limit your engine idle time, you can’t change the over/under 50 mph resistance factor.

But there’s so much more when it comes to boosting mpg. Next week, we’ll examine the effects of fuel mileage in “Where the Rubber Meets the Road.”

Peter Mercer – With the RV Fuel Gremlins