Touring Europe Motorhome
All motorhome and campers want to improve their mileage and keep fuel costs to a minimum. Fuel prices are constantly changing and even when prices are low it is a fair amount of cash to fill up the tank. At the end of the day, Motorhomes are big vehicles, so they are never going to be that great on fuel but any saving is better than none. If you are planning a long journey or just tootling back and forth at weekend, a small improvement in the daily MPG can save you a big chunk of cash during the course of your travels. Here are a few tips that you may help improve the MPG.
Good driving habits will certainly help towards good fuel consumption. We see so many motorhomes being pushed to their limits and bad driving habits like constantly flooring it (foot on the accelerator) will increase your fuel consumption. Driving at a steady, constant speed will give better mpg than driving at uneven speeds. Driving too fast and then breaking is just wasting the fuel you used to creat the speed in the first place. Steady speeds and minimum breaking all help contribute to better fuel consumption. One tip – use gravity to your advantage and build up momentum when going downhill to help you then get uphill, rather than accelerating more to get up the incline.
Plan and Prepare
We are all guilty of packing too much or panicking we have not got enough stuff only to find at the end of a trip we didn’t use half the stuff. The best way is to plan what you need, organise everything and if need be make a list. If you have the garage space, place everything together, so you can easily see all your stuff in one place. That way you are not constantly wondering, did I pack X, where did I put Y and how many Z do I have. You can see everything, appreciate how much stuff you are taking and ensure you are not overloading your motorhome. In addition, when packing try and distribute the weight evenly over the motorhome. Packing light and even will add to an improvement in fuel usage.
If you don’t empty your motorhome after every trip and just keep adding more stuff then it might be worth checking the weight. Equally, if you go away and buy a lot more stuff like gifts and duty free then your overall weight will increase. A heavier motorhome will use more fuel but also if over weight, it could become unsafe (as well as illegal). One of the best things you can do to improve your gas mileage is simply to reduce the amount of weight that you are pulling around.
If you do not use external carrying kit such as roof boxes or bike racks then remove. The motorhome has to work harder to cut through the air due to the extra wind resistance. Working harder means more fuel.
Try and ensure you travel with the grey waste tank empty. There is no point carrying around unwanted waste water. Keep fresh water tanks to a minimum . You should be able to fill up the water tanks once you arrive (unless you are camping somewhere without water), so there is no need to haul all of that heavy water along the road. There is a profound connection between weight and miles per gallon, so each and every pound matters when planning your road trip.
Servicing & Maintenance
Annual or routine servicing will help keep your engine in good condition. We travel a lot, so for us it feel it is important to keep the ‘engine ticking’ and in the best condition we can. We have noticed that efficiency starts to suffer when there are issues within the engine. Our vehicle is only 3 years old but already we have replaced the precision sensor/filter twice. Each time the filter is getting ready for a change the MPG starts to suffer. The other one to check on a regular basis is the tyre pressure to reduce resistance.
Unless it’s really cold or uncomfortably warm in the motorhome, leave the air-con turned off. Using it can put a strain on the engine and burn more fuel, especially at low speeds. The same goes for heated windscreens and other electrical appliances.
Each country has its own quirky pricing system, so it is worth checking on the best time to fill the tank and where. Also if you are moving from country to country, it is good to find out which country is the cheapest especially if you are near a duty free zone. Global Petrol Prices website is worth using to check out the prices along your route.
Pennies soon become pounds and saving on fuel means more pennies for the fun fund.