*Disclaimer: This post is part of a content series sponsored by Camping World. All opinions are our own.
This past summer, the average cost of a gallon of gasoline peaked at $5 for the first time in history! Those prices had a huge impact on all of us, but if you’re an RVer like us, it meant we had to reevaluate our summer camping and RV travel plans.
We had a hard time balancing our desire to enjoy the outdoors and our family camping traditions while sticking to our budget. But, we found ways to both save money on gas prices and improve our mileage, which certainly helped. We’ve put together our five top tips to help you do the same!
1. Utilize Memberships & Apps
The first and easiest place to start when it comes to saving money on gas is simply looking for discounts. We often use the points we earn at grocery stores to save at the pump, but there are other RV memberships and apps you can use as well.
Gas Buddy is one of the most popular RVing apps for saving on gas. It provides real-time gas price information at 150,000+ stations so you can find the cheapest gas in your area. You can also earn cashback rewards on purchases with their brand partners, and even discounts at nearly all gas stations across the country by using their GasBuddy payments card.
Did you know that by being a Good Sam member you automatically save $.05 per gallon ($.08 for diesel) at Pilot Flying J stations? If you don’t know what Good Sam is, it’s the world’s largest organization of RV owners. A Good Sam Membership gives RVers 10% savings on their network of 2,000+ Good Sam Parks in the U.S. and Canada, discounts at Camping World retail locations, and savings on propane, installation fees, RV trip planning, show discounts and more! They also offer the best Roadside Assistance, extended warranty plans, RV and auto insurance, life and health insurance and travel assistance programs.
Join Good Sam Today! Discounts, Tips, Tools & Much More!
Keep up With RV Maintenance
Keeping your RV (or the vehicle you tow your RV with) in tip top shape is something that many RVers overlook when it comes to saving on gas. It’s important to remember that regular maintenance on your RV will mean better gas mileage on your trips!
Regular oil changes are especially important on your motorhome or tow vehicle. Using synthetic oil can increase fuel economy by more than two percent. Checking your tires before every trip using a tire pressure monitor can also make a difference in improving your gas mileage. Even something as simple as replacing a dirty air filter can considerably increase an RV’s mileage.
These small routine maintenance tasks can go a long way in not only saving you money in gas, but also saving you in future repairs down the road.
Adjust Your Travel Style
Simply adjusting your travel style can be a small change that makes a big difference in your gas costs. Choosing to RV to destinations that are closer to home is the most obvious travel style change you can make to save money. But, also modifying your driving during travel days can help with saving gas.
Optimal gas mileage is typically achieved by driving around 60 mph. Combining a slower speed with using cruise control are two adjustments that can surprisingly make a dramatic difference in how often you’re having to stop to fill up.
Some other travel day tricks to try are: avoiding windy days if possible, ensuring your route is planned and you’re taking the most efficient route, and traveling light to decrease the amount of weight you’re carrying in your RV. And of course, there are other things like avoiding using the air conditioner, refraining from rapid acceleration, etc. can all add up to make a big impact on your gas mileage.
Downsize Your RV
It’s not rocket science that different types of RVs have better gas mileage than others. We’ve owned a variety of RVs and campers over the years and one of our favorites was our 26-foot class C motorhome because it got considerably better mileage than our class A motorhome or even our truck that towed our fifth-wheel. Lighter RV = better gas mileage!
If gas prices have you camping less and less, consider trading your RV for one that is better on your wallet at the pump! Another option is to purchase a more fuel efficient camping solution, like a rooftop tent. We recently got a Venture Forward Hard-Shell Rooftop Tent that fits on our smaller SUV and is perfect for allowing us to still take quick camping trips without the costs and hassle that can come with RVing.
Here is our review of the Venture Forward rooftop tent, if you’re considering this as an option for saving money on your camping adventures:
Use Other Transportation
Another simple solution to save money on gas while RVing is to have other ways to get around once you’ve arrived at your destination. There’s no shortage of options, regardless of where you plan to camp.
Many campgrounds and RV parks we have stayed at have shuttles or busses that take campers either into town or to popular tourist destinations. If not, you can always look up what public transportation options are available in the destination. If you’re going to popular tourist spots, chances are it will be fairly easy to get around to the places you want to go.
Of course, you can always bring your own transportation alternatives. Walking is the easiest option, but not always convenient or possible if you’re wanting to go longer distances. That’s why bikes are often an RVers best friend. Bikes are convenient because you can easily transport them using a bike rack that works for your type of RV.
We especially love our e-bikes and never camp without them because they allow us to go farther without being too physically demanding. There are tons of different types of e-bikes out there. Here are our reviews of the two that we own and love:
We hope these simple but powerful tips and tricks can allow you to save money on gas while still getting out on the open road and enjoying the outdoors. We’d love to hear what other ways you’ve saved money on gas in the comments.