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  • Writer's pictureScandinavian Travel

Comprehensive Guide to Motorhome Gas Mileage

When planning a road trip or considering the rent of a motorhome, one of the essential factors to consider is the gas mileage, also known as miles per gallon (MPG). This metric indicates how far your motorhome can travel on a single gallon of gas, directly impacting your travel budget.



Motorhome Gas Mileage


Average MPG by Motorhome Class


  • Class A Motorhomes: These are the largest, resembling buses and offering luxurious accommodations. Due to their size, they are less fuel-efficient, with an average MPG of 6-8. They typically have large fuel tanks ranging from 70 to over 100 gallons.

  • Class B Motorhomes (Campervans): These are the smallest and most maneuverable motorhomes, ideal for tight spaces. They offer the best fuel efficiency among motorhomes, with an average of 15-18 MPG. Their fuel tanks usually hold about 25 gallons. If you're planning an adventure in Iceland, consider renting a campervan to explore the island efficiently and comfortably. Discover the best campervan rental in Iceland and start your journey through breathtaking landscapes with the ideal travel companion.

  • Class C Motorhomes: A middle ground between Class A and B, built on a van frame or truck chassis, these motorhomes provide better fuel efficiency than Class A with an average of 10-14 MPG and fuel tank capacity ranging from 30 to 70 gallons.



Factors influencing gas mileage on motorhomes and RV's


Factors influencing gas mileage


  1. Weight: Heavier motorhomes consume more fuel.

  2. Speed: Maintaining an optimal speed of 55-60 mph maximizes fuel efficiency.

  3. Maintenance: Regular maintenance such as tune-ups and timely oil changes can improve gas mileage.

  4. Driving style: Smooth driving without frequent stops and starts can significantly enhance MPG.

  5. Aerodynamics: The shape of the motorhome can affect wind resistance and fuel consumption.

  6. Road conditions: Flat roads improve fuel economy compared to steep or winding routes.


Tips for maximizing your RV's MPG


1. Choose a Fuel-Efficient RV


  • Opting for a motorhome known for its fuel efficiency can significantly reduce your fuel costs over the life of the vehicle. When selecting an RV, consider:

  • Class B Motorhomes: Known as campervans, they typically offer the best fuel economy, making them ideal for travelers who prioritize efficiency.

  • Diesel Engines: Diesel-powered RVs often provide better mileage compared to their gasoline counterparts.

  • Newer Models: Manufacturers are continuously improving fuel efficiency. Choosing a recent model may yield better MPG due to advancements in engine technology and aerodynamics.



Tips for maximizing your RV's MPG


2. Keep the RV well-maintained


Regular maintenance is crucial in preventing fuel inefficiency caused by underperforming engines or other mechanical issues. Key maintenance tasks include:


  • Regular oil changes: Use the manufacturer-recommended grade of oil; this can improve gas mileage by 1-2%.

  • Tire pressure: Ensure tires are properly inflated as under-inflated tires can lower gas mileage by about 0.2% for every 1 psi drop in the average pressure of all tires.

  • Air filters: Replace old air filters. A clean air filter can improve gas mileage by up to 10% by allowing the engine to breathe better.

  • Regular Check-Ups: Schedule check-ups to address any mechanical issues before they become serious.


3. Plan your route


Strategically planning your travel route can lead to substantial fuel savings:

  • Avoid heavy traffic: Use navigation tools to avoid traffic-heavy areas, especially during peak times.

  • Choose flat terrain: Routes with less elevation gain are preferable as climbing hills consumes more fuel.

  • Use RV-Specific GPS: Some GPS systems are designed for RVs and can direct you along routes that are optimized for larger vehicles, avoiding roads with height and weight restrictions. Additionally, to ensure you never run low on fuel, check out this comprehensive guide to gas stations in Iceland, which will help you plan your refueling stops efficiently and avoid any fuel-related inconveniences during your trip.


4. Monitor your speed


Speed control is a straightforward yet effective method for conserving fuel:

  • Optimal speed: Driving at 55-60 mph can maximize your MPG as higher speeds generally increase wind resistance, which reduces fuel efficiency.

  • Use cruise control: On highways, using cruise control can help maintain a constant speed, reducing fuel consumption.


5. Pack light


The weight of your RV affects fuel consumption significantly:

  • Limit luggage: Only pack campervan essentials and consider the weight of optional extras.

  • Water weight: Travel with a partially filled water tank if full capacity isn't necessary for the journey. Water is heavy, and carrying excess can impact fuel efficiency.

  • Tow smartly: If towing a vehicle or trailer, make sure it's within the RV’s towing capacity and that the tow setup is optimized for aerodynamics.


Implementing these tips can lead to improved MPG, which not only saves money but also reduces the environmental impact of your travels. By focusing on fuel efficiency, you can extend the range of your adventures while keeping operating costs low.


6. Understand Gasoline Prices in Iceland


Gasoline prices in Iceland can be significantly higher than what you might be used to, due to various factors including transportation costs and taxes. Being aware of the current fuel prices can help you budget more accurately for your trip.



Understand Gasoline Prices in Iceland


Frequently Asked Questions


What is the average mpg for a motorhome?

The average mpg varies by class: Class A averages 6-8 mpg, Class B 15-18 mpg, and Class C 10-14 mpg.


What motorhome gets the best gas mileage?

Class B motorhomes, or campervans, typically get the best gas mileage, averaging 15-18 mpg.


How far can a motorhome go on one tank of gas?

This depends on the motorhome's fuel tank size and its mpg. For instance, a Class B motorhome with a 25-gallon tank and an average of 17 mpg can travel approximately 425 miles on a full tank.


How many miles per gallon does a Class C motorhome get?

Class C motorhomes average between 10-14 miles per gallon.

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