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The Basics of Increasing Your Mileage in an RV


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The techniques that are applied to cars and trucks to increase your fuel mileage also work for your RV Simply by changing a few of your habits can increase your mileage by 10 to 20 percent or more depending how bad your driving habits are.

Some of the more practical ways are to avoid unnecessary acceleration and braking (if you have a diesel, look into having an exhaust brake with hi lo capabilities installed. )

When idling for more than 30 seconds, shut your engine off as this can increase your mpg up to 2 mpg. Slow down, take your time; it's not a race and if it is, you're in the wrong vehicle, traveling 55 to 60 mph will give you a huge increase.

When deciding where you would like to camp, think about what's right out in your own back yard, not literally, but you would be surprised at all of the interesting places you within a few hundred miles of where you live.

And with that in mind, plot out your trip with the most efficient route in mind. A more direct route may not be as scenic but we're thinking pocketbook here and it will give you more time to relax once you get to your destination.

And yet another lead in, plan on an extended stay at your camp site, less driving equals less fuel consumed.

If you are towing a vehicle, use a tow dolly or “toad" that is easier on your RV's engine and transmission. Be aware, you may see more wear and tear on your towed vehicles tires.

Now to get to the nuts and bolts of increasing your mileage; most of the things I will touch on here are simple, easy to do fixes for the do-it-yourselfer or inexpensive standard maintenance that should be done routinely.

The first thing to touch on is tire inflation, too low drastically reduces your mileage. Your tire pressure should be checked every driving morning to ensure proper inflation.

When preparing to travel, do not fill your fresh water tank full, just add enough to use while on the road and plan to fill at a location close to your destination.

The same goes for dumping your grey and black water, dump before you drive, get rid of that extra weight.

Speaking of weight, determine your RV's correct traveling weight; don't overload your RV with unnecessary items. This can be achieved by going to most truck stops or weigh stations.

Limit your air conditioning use, I know that's tough for a lot of us but we are trying to increase our mileage here.

With maintenance in mind, always check your air filter, if you can easily see light through it that's great, if it looks like L. A. skyline in the late afternoon, it's time to change.

For added mileage change over to a cold air intake, it pays for itself within a few filter changes and can be cleaned numerous times for added savings.

When changing your oil, switch to 100% synthetic oil, not only will it increase your mileage, it will also help extend the life of your engine. Synthetic oil does not break down like traditional oils. This doesn't mean you don't need to change your oil, it means you'll get better mileage.

I also like to use synthetic transmission fluid; it will save a bit of mileage money and a lot of wear and tear.

Adjust or replace your spark plugs as needed. With so many types out there it's hard to choose one. My preference is the Titanium plugs, they are a bit more expensive but they burn better and they last longer.

While you're at it, take a look at your spark plug wires. Even if there are no visible breaks or wearing, you may not be getting full current benefit. Look for high temp wires for replacements.

Remember to replace your fuel filter, there are so many “bad" fuels out there, it doesn't take long for the filters flow to be reduced.

With forgotten fuel filters comes dirty or clogged fuel injectors. The least expensive way is to add some type of injector cleaner, see below, that may clean the injectors.

If the injectors can't be cleaned the next step is to have them replaced. If you are not mechanically minded, do not attempt this yourself have a certified mechanic do this for you.

Now for fuel additives, there are quite a few on the market that tout many “miracles" but rarely measure up. From STP to Lucus Oil, they just came out with one. You could always add a bit of pure acetone, PURE mind you, but don't get it on any finishes or paint, it'll eat it right off. The mix is about 2 ounces per10 gallons.

Now you will see an increase in your mileage too by assisting in vaporization of the fuel, but don't be fooled into using all the time, your seals may and probably will dry out causing those unwanted leaks who knows where.

My product of choice is eeFuel, a bio-degradable product that works in gas, diesel and heating oil.

Happy Motoring!

Greg Pasteur


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