Inflation for many goods can sometimes sneak up on consumers, but a quick rise in gas prices will rarely escape anyone's notice, especially RVers...
With gas prices in mind, you’ll want to be conscious of your fuel consumption. Fortunately, there are a few easy ways to increase your RV’s fuel efficiency and save money on gas!
Look Into Fuel Rewards Credit Cards
Still more gas discount programs are available with fuel rewards credit cards, Dennis says. The Shell Fuel Rewards Card from Citi offers a regular savings of 10 cents per gallon on fill-ups and 30 cents per gallon for your first five fuel purchases. The Chevron Techron Advantage Visa Card offers fuel credits (that are applied to your credit card statement) when you buy gas with its card.
Sign Up For Fuel Loyalty Memberships
Signing up for fuel station loyalty memberships is another easy way to cut back on gas costs. Membership cards like Good Sam offer fuel discounts of as much as 8 cents per gallon at FlyingJ and Pilot stations. Good Sam membership provides 5 cents per gallon off of regular gas and 8 cents off of diesel. GoodSam Club membership prices start at $29.
Download Gas-Buddy App
The GasBuddy app helps you find the least expensive gas near you. Available as an app for both iPhone and Android, as well as an interactive website, many travelers rely on GasBuddy information to save a few dollars at the pump when it's time to refuel. Before picking the cheapest station available, make it's equipped for RVs by having high enough awnings and plenty of room to pull in and out.
Anything you can do to decrease weight helps. In fact, making several small changes can lessen your load by hundreds of pounds. For example, only take the amount of fresh water you need to get to your destination, refill the tank as needed when you arrive and empty the water tank back down to the trip minimum before driving off. Stock up on heavy supplies like firewood on-site. Also, if there’s something in your RV that you haven’t used in the last six months, get rid of it—you probably don’t need it.
Stay Closer, Longer
RVers can enjoy a great outdoor experience without needing to drive too far, thanks to more than 16,000 RV parks and campgrounds nationwide (and almost 500 KOAs throughout North America). Once you get to your local campsite, opt to stay an extra night or two instead of rushing to your next destination. After all, many RV parks are vacation destinations in their own right; plus, they may offer lower rates for longer stays.
Maintain Tire Pressure
Ensuring that tires are properly inflated can also help save on gas costs. Under-inflated tires will burn through extra fuel due to the increased surface area and friction on the asphalt. Manufacturers provide data-plates in all RVs that include the recommended maximum tire pressure, based on the maximum weight of the RV. Therefore, you should weigh your vehicle to adjust accordingly.
Refuel in Cheaper Locations
Fuel prices are higher in California. If you know you're heading that way, stop in a neighboring state to fill up before entering California or other higher-cost areas. The same thought process applied to areas such as national parks and rural areas, where fuel prices tend to be higher due to higher demand and less competition. In other words, plan ahead and refuel where it makes the most sense economically.
Dramatic accelerations and fast driving can quickly drain your tank. Keeping your speed steady and taking it easy coming out of stops can help. Speeding and rapid acceleration lowers gas mileage by 15 to 30 percent. If you can maintain a constant speed, around 55 to 60 miles per hour, you’ll increase your fuel efficiency. When possible and safe to do so, use overdrive and cruise control to help drive at a constant—and efficient—speed.