Both RV Trader and FMCA hear a lot from RVers about some of the biggest expenses they face at the campsite and on the road. Common costs include maintenance, repairs, tires, and general operating costs such as insurance. Then there’s fuel costs, which were already at or near the top of most RV owners’ list of major expenses even before the recent spike in gas prices.
As we gear up to hit the road this spring, everyone’s pocketbooks may start to feel the pinch. It would be a shame to travel less, limit how far you go, or—worst of all—cancel your trips altogether. To help out RVers during this season of high gas prices, FMCA has come up with a list of suggestions on how you can save a little money when it comes to fueling up.
Check Your RV Tire Pressure
It’s important to make sure that your tires are inflated properly. Whether you have a motorhome, conventional travel trailer, or a fifth-wheel, all of your tires should be checked, including those on your towing/towed vehicle. The U.S. Department of Energy says you can improve your gas mileage by 0.6% on average—up to 3% in some cases—by keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure. Under-inflated tires can lower gas mileage by about 0.2% for every 1 psi drop in the average pressure of all tires. An added bonus is that properly inflated tires are safer and last longer.
Lower Your RV Weight
While all RVs have weight limits that should be followed for safety reasons, you could also be saving yourself a little bit of pocket change by making sure you aren’t hauling around unneeded pounds. A lighter load is more cost efficient. So, it’s important to plan out what you are packing and where you are going. Maybe you can fill up on water when you get to your location. Do they have a grill or fire pit? Consider leaving yours behind. Also, make sure you are emptying your waste tanks regularly before hitting the road. This alone can take a few extra pounds off the weight of your RV.
Download RV Apps
Many different apps can help you save a little money on fuel prices. Apps such as GasBuddy and Gas Guru use your location to provide you with a list of current fuel prices in the area. These apps allow you to filter the list by fuel grade, price, payment, and distance to the filling station. Plus, GasBuddy and Gas Guru are free apps, and you don’t need to create an account.
Utilize RV Fuel Discounts
Many stores and fuel stations have loyalty programs that give you discounts on fuel for every dollar spent at their stores. Kroger, for example, is located in 38 states and has a loyalty program that helps you save on fuel every time you shop. You earn 1 point for every $1 spent. Once you reach 100 points, you receive $0.10 off a gallon up to so many gallons of fuel. Many other gas stations have similar programs!
With an FMCA membership, you gain access to the TCS Fuel Discount Card, which can save you an average of $0.34 per gallon for diesel fuel at their in-network locations.
Think Outside the (A/C) Box
A clever trick that motorhome owners use is to run their rooftop A/C unit to cool down the RV interior before hitting the road. Staying hooked up to the campground electric as long as possible prior to departure and cooling the inside down allows you to avoid running the dashboard A/C (at least for a while) and to save a little fuel in the process.
Don’t own a motorhome? Then consider other ways of limiting the use of your vehicle’s A/C unit. Drive in the early mornings or late evenings when it’s cooler outside, or consider cracking open the windows when the opportunity presents itself.
Use Your RV Cruise Control
It’s simple: by using cruise control to set the pace, you can improve your overall fuel efficiency. This is because you are avoiding rapid acceleration, speeding, and frequent braking, which cause more fuel to be used in the driving process. Maintaining a set pace for your RV allows for an easy ride and fuel savings.
We all like to keep our travel expenses as low as possible so that we can add miles and miles of more fun. With rising fuel prices, it will pay for us to slow down and enjoy the view a little more. Lowering our speed saves fuel and also reminds us to take time to enjoy the scenery. And that’s a good tip regardless of fuel prices. Also, don’t forget to utilize the resources offered with your FMCA membership.
Now that you’re prepared to find relief from high gas prices, find your next RV at the leading online marketplace for RVs nationwide, RVTrader.com!
FMCA educates, equips, and empowers RV owners in their journey to creating, experiencing, and benefiting from the outdoor lifestyle they dream of and deserve. FMCA is your ally to the outdoor lifestyle you love and enjoy.