Gas Mileage

When I purchased my truck and RV, we didn’t really go over Gas Mileage. There was a lot which the place where I bought my RV covered. There was also a lot which they didn’t. But this next one, couldn’t have been foreseen by either the place where I bought the truck, nor the place where I bought my RV…

Gas mileage

My truck, gets about 18mpg. It’s not bad considering it’s a 6 liter 3/4 ton truck. It’s about 10mpg less then I got with the CRV. It does add up, but a sacrifice I was willing to make.

However, with my 9900 pound trailer sigh, I learned I get 6.5 mpg. I learned this the hard way.

So it was the first trip taking a vacation. I hadn’t really known at this point how much gas mileage I was getting pulling. New, the RV wasn’t weighed down with all our stuff, so it actually weighed about 7400. But loaded up, was another story. Taking it home with 7400lbs wasn’t that bad. I drove 250 miles and it took about 1/2 tank, which for me is about 13 gallons. I was still getting pretty good Gas Mileage, right?

We decided to go from Northern NM to Laughlin NV. Total the trip is about 500 miles. I have a 26 gallon gas tank, so I expected to get about 300 miles before needing a fill up (thinking i would get around 15mpg). Boy was I wrong. We made it down to Gallup, and filled up. Then we filled up in several more places along the way. Every time we got to 1/2 tank (about 100 miles), we filled up. 5 times to fill up, was I thought excessive.

Unfortunately, I didn’t tell my wife that at 1/2 tank, I start looking for gas. I had to let her drive since I had worked a full 8 hour shift and hadn’t slept. Anyways, she waited for 1/4 tank to start looking… this meant we stopped in some expensive places. Gas in NM is as low as $2/gallon (at the time of this writing) and seemingly as high as $3.50/gallon (at really high places). Well, we found those $3.5/gallon places easily. sigh

So that’s one of the first tips I want to share: Start looking for gas at 1/2 tank, knowing what the prices should be will help you make better decisions on where or when to stop.

I actually learned that we did a couple things wrong on that first trip. The first was, while we were told by the RV company that we needed to have it in tow mode – we actually didn’t need to. When you are going up hill, you should have the tow mode on, when you start to lag behind. But if your vehicle can handle it, then you may not need to put it in tow mode. Flat surfaces don’t need tow mode. Tow mode actually puts you in lower gears, giving you better torque, but it also increases the amount of gas you use.

Tip: If you’re on flat or downhill surfaces, take your tow vehicle out of tow mode.

Another thing I learned is that you shouldn’t exceed 65mph. When you increase your speed above 65mph, your vehicle will start slurping down that gas. So just because I was able to get upto 85 mph – uphill, I shouldn’t have. Keep it slow and steady to save on gas.

Tip: When towing, go 65mph or less.

All around, we spent $350 on gas for a 1000 mile trek. It could have been less if I knew about tow mode, keeping the speed down, and telling the other driver(s) to start looking for gas at 1/2 tank.

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