RV Fuel Saving Tips – How to Save Money at the Fuel Pump

RV owners are getting ready for camping season. However, many campers aren’t in any big hurry if fuel prices are high. But, if you’re a full-time RVer or work on the road, you need to think about ways to save money at the fuel pump. And now, more than ever, we need to act on conserving fuel and stretching our fuel dollars.

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RV Fuel Saving Tips - How to Save Money at the Pump - Always On Liberty

RV Fuel Saving Tips

How to Save Money at the Fuel Pump

Gas Pump at Fuel Station with Motorhome - Always On Liberty

Slow your roll

Okay lead foot, time to back off the gas pedal. Because even driving 5 miles per hour less can save 2-5 miles per gallon. That adds up, especially if you’re traveling long distances.

Also, instead of driving those high speed highways that entice you to drive faster than your angel can fly, take the backroads. Not only are they more scenic with places to stop, rest and explore, the backroads have lower speed limits.

This is one of those RV fuel saving tips that will help save you some cash at the pump because you’re not using as much fuel to get to your destination.

In other words, by driving slower, you’re going to get better fuel consumption and save money on diesel or gas. But also, controlling your speed will help save lives; including your own.

✰ READ MORE ✰ Safe RV Driving Tips: Staying Alert and Healthy on the Road

Use your cruise control

RV Fuel Saving Tips - Cruise Control in Vehicle - Money Saving - Always On Liberty

If you’re going to be traveling the highways, use your cruise control. But do so safely when it’s appropriate. Not only will using your cruise control help to keep you from getting a speeding ticket but also helps increase your fuel efficiency up to 15%.

Otherwise, the constant acceleration and deceleration consumes more fuel and puts more wear and tear on your motorhome’s or tow vehicle’s drivetrain. Which means, not only will you be paying for more repair bills, but also you’ll be paying dearly at the fuel pump.

Turn down your AC

While you may be enticed to blast your motorhome’s or even your tow vehicle’s air conditioner to enjoy a cool ride.

However, it may reduce your fuel efficiency up to 25%. That can amount to a huge savings at the fuel pump.Instead, back off the AC and use one or two small usb fans to circulate their air.

You can also place these on the floor to keep your pets cool as well. If we’re on long rides, we may even charge them while their operating using a small battery charger.

Monitor your tire pressure

Checking Air Pressure on Tire - Using Air Compressor on Car Tire - Always On Liberty

When trying to save fuel costs, you should monitor and maintain your motorhome’s and tow vehicle’s tire pressure recommended by your tire manufacturer.

Under-inflating or over-inflating tires could affect your fuel consumption. For every 1% under inflation can result in a 3% fuel efficiency loss.

One of the best RV fuel saving tips is to keep your tires properly inflated. So, get in the habit of checking your tire pressure regularly; before and after your stops. Invest in a reputable air compressor for your RV and vehicles.

Also, installing a tire pressure monitoring system is a good idea to help prevent expensive blowouts and flats on the road.

✰ READ MORE   RV Tire Safety and Maintenance

Properly maintain your engine

Vehicle Engine Air Filter - Fuel Saving Tips - Always On Liberty

Your tow vehicle and motorhome engine has everything to do with fuel efficiency and mileage.

So, it’s important to keep your engine in good working condition. Get into the habit of checking your motorhome’s engine regularly (and vehicles); making certain everything under the hood is looked at closely.

You should also change out oil and filter, fuel filter, and air filter when needed. Clogged filters can greatly affect the engine’s performance.

Air filters should be checked often; especially if you’re in high dust areas. A quick easy fix is to carefully blow out dust and dirt using canned air until you can replace the air filter.

For fuel-injected engines, be cognizant of what fuels you use. Some have additives to burn cleaner. Dirty or clogged fuel filters will signal the fuel injectors to push out more fuel into the cylinders. Thus, requiring more fuel to run your engine.

And, dirty oil and oil filters will slow down your engine’s performance. Particles and sludge can get into your engine’s components and result in expensive repairs.

If your RV is going to be sitting in storage or be parked for a lengthy time, you still want to continue your motorhome’s, toad’s and tow vehicle’s engine maintenance.

Lighten your load

Almost every RVer we know overloads their motorhome or camper way beyond what their RV GVWR dictates.

Now’s a good time as ever to put your RV on a diet. Not only will lightening your load keep you safer on the road, it will help immensely with your fuel efficiency.

So, purge your belongings. Cut down on things you don’t need. Switch out your glass kitchen items for BPA-free plastic. Invest in a multi-use InstaPot instead of keeping a rice cooker, crockpot and other kitchen appliances.

Think about downsizing your kitchen and bathroom accessories. And speaking of downsizing, look into scaling down your RV gear too.

When it comes to groceries and food, shop more often instead of loading more than a weeks worth of food.

Also, skip buying products that come in heavy glass jars, bottles, and cans. Those product containers will surely add up quickly.

Instead of carting your firewood around in the RV basement compartments or even the back of your tow vehicle, wait until you get to your camping destination.

In other words, ditch anything you’ve not used in the last 6 months. Eliminating unnecessary weight will help increase your fuel efficiency thus, paying less at the pumps.

✰ READ MORE ✰  Understanding RV GVWR: How to NOT OVERLOAD Your RV

Lessen your holding tank capacity

When it comes to RV fuel saving tips, your RV’s holding tanks play a big part! Try to keep your gray and black tanks as empty as possible on driving days.

And, unless you’re driving to a boondocking site, don’t carry a lot of water in your tank. You can always refill your water along the way or at designated water fill stations.

All of this helps keep your RV’s weight down which helps with your mileage.

✰ READ MORE ✰  How a Water Bladder Can Help Extend Your Stay While Camping

Install wind deflectors

Winnebago View - Hood Bug Deflector - Money Saving Fuel Tips - Always On Liberty
Photo by Always On Liberty

As part of our Winnebago View upgrades and modifications, we installed a wind deflector/hood protector combination.

Installing a wind deflector on your Sprinter van or even your tow vehicle can make quite a difference in getting a few more miles out of your fuel consumption.

In fact, you can actually gain about .2 or more MPG (miles per gallon) using a rooftop air deflector, hood deflector or driver and passenger window deflectors.

Not only do they help with wind deflection, but also minimizes possible rock chips to your hood. And, we think it looks really cool too.

Use fuel savings apps

Fuel Expenses - Money in Gas Tank - Fuel Cost Savings Tips - Always On Liberty

There are several fuel savings apps for smartphones that help keep more money in your wallet than in the fuel nozzle. We use two fuel discount location apps anytime we’re on the road.

The first fuel saving APP is Gas Buddy. It’s a crowd-sourced app that lists prices in the area you’re located. The second is the GetUpside fuel discount app.

These fuel saving apps helps you save time, effort, and money before and during your RV vacation or road trip! You can quickly find the best fuel prices nearby.

Also, for those big rig RV owners who have huge fuel tanks, you may want to check out the TSD Logistics fuel discount card.

However, you may want to err on the side of caution when signing up for EFS TSD Logistics. The company requires applicants to release sensitive information such as social security number as well as bank account number to participate in their fuel discount program.

So, be very careful by reading (and understanding) their contract and requirements thoroughly before accepting this program.

We personally, will not use the TSD Logistics fuel savings program because of this. That said, our friends Marc and Julie at RV Love use it. Check out their video below as they go into depth on how this money saver program works.


Stay for longer periods of time

Motorhome Camping

Instead of hopping around the country like the Energizer Bunny, you can save money on fuel by shortening the distance of travel but extending your stays.

Also, you can save tons of money by camping closer to home. Because the less miles you travel means you’re obviously using less fuel less fuel. 

And for those full-time RVers who don’t have a home base, you may have to suck it up and park your motorhome or camper for longer periods of time. 

But, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Because campgrounds or RV parks may offer long term or monthly rates which will save you money in the long run. And if it’s a park where the kids can enjoy the pool and all the amenities, it’s a win-win for you all.

So, slow your roll and take your time getting to your destinations.

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Put your RV into storage

First, you never want to store your motorhome or be parked for a lengthy time period with an empty or even partially full diesel fuel tank.

This includes parking your motorhome at an RV park for even as little as 30 days. And, especially if the area where your RV is parked or stored in a storm zone. You may need it to evacuate at moment’s notice.

So, fill your fuel tank up prior to storing it or long term parking. Also, before putting the nozzle in to fill your fuel tank(s), depending on which type of engine, you’ll want to add a bottle diesel fuel stabilizer or gasoline fuel stabilizer.

The fuel stabilizer will mix into your whole fuel system, including injectors (or carburetor) and all moving components, by the time you park your motorhome or vehicle.

Fuel stabilizers help keep your fuel tank from acquiring condensation and they combat microbes. Do know though, diesel fuel can only be stored up to a year to 18 months. Otherwise, diesel fuel #2 will become contaminated and degrade.

Regardless if your motorhome is sitting in storage or at your long-term RV site, you should also make it part of your RV maintenance to run its’ engine at least monthly. This will help keep your engine and components from corroding, lubricated and fuel system from gumming up. 

While you’re at it, run your onboard generator as well.

Lastly, if you’re not comfortable conducting your own engine maintenance, definitely include it into your budget. This is not one of those that you can put off.

Don’t ever think by putting it off will save money. Because in the long run, you risk a serious and expensive breakdown that can cost you thousands of dollars just to save a penny.

✰ READ MORE ✰  Protect Your RV from Hurricane, High Wind or Storm Damage

 Final words on how to save money at the fuel pump 

RV Fuel Saving Tips - Gas Pump with money coming out - Always On Liberty

While fuel costs are high, we all have to do what we can to be able to stay mobile on the road. Don’t let the price of price of gas or diesel take the wind out of your sails.

So, let’s GO on that RV vacation or road trip! But, shop around and check those fuel savings apps and earnings programs. These RV fuel saving tips will help ease the burden of digging deeper into your wallet.

Other money saving tips for RVs

Money Saving RV Travel Tips: How to Cut Costs on the Road

Top Money-Saving RV Club Memberships

Free Camping Isn’t Really FREE! Boondocking Costs MONEY!

RV Expenses for the Full-Time RV Lifestyle

Why are Campgrounds Rates So Expensive?!

Always On Liberty - RV Fuel Saving Tips

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