How Will Gas Prices Affect The 2022 Camping Season?
Normally, this time of year sees many RVers excitedly making plans for summer RV camping. However, so far, stratospheric fuel prices are putting a big damper on our excitement as we work out the cost of taking out the RV for a summer break.
According to the US Energy Information Administration, here is what fuel prices have done since 2020 and where they are headed in summer 2022:
Ways to avoid high gas prices
RV travel will be more costly than ever, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy RVing this summer. There will always be ways to enjoy RVing, no matter how high fuel prices soar this summer.
We can start by finding amazing places to camp closer to home but just far enough to help us get away from it all. In addition, here are some tips that will help to keep the RV lifestyle affordable for all of us.
- Camp closer to home. Use the RV LIFE Pro tools to find great spots nearby.
- Boondock more to save on campsites fees so you’ll have more to spend on gas.
- Use an RV trip planner app, like RV LIFE Trip Wizard, to find gas stations along your route. You can also utilize GasBuddy.com to find the cheapest gas near you.
How to get better gas mileage in your RV
Whether you camp close to home or plan to travel farther away, you can avoid paying high gas prices by simply doing a few things that will make your RV more fuel efficient.
- Keep your RV and tow vehicle tires inflated to their recommended tire pressure. Every five pounds per square inch (psi) of tire pressure you lose can translate into a two percent loss of fuel economy.
- Keep up with vehicle maintenance. Oil changes and tune-ups on your motorhome or tow vehicle can result in between 4% and 40% increase in fuel economy.
- Be sure to change your RV or tow vehicle air filters. A dirty air filter can significantly reduce fuel economy. Changing a vehicle air filter is a simple task that is cheap and easy to do yourself.
- Use an RV wind deflector. If you tow your rig, using a wind deflector can help increase your fuel economy (with a fuel economy increase of about 3 mpg).
- Carry less weight in your RV. Reduce the weight you are packing in your RV by not bringing as much stuff or by carrying lighter stuff. Don’t travel with full freshwater or wastewater tanks. Check out these useful tips from Do It Yourself RV on ways to haul less weight.
- Consider investing in a tow vehicle that uses electric power instead of fossil fuel to tow your rig.
- Don’t be a lead foot. Rapid accelerations and fast driving can quickly drain your tank. Keep your speed constant. Going slow and easy coming out of stops will really help decrease fuel use too. Speeding and rapid acceleration can decrease fuel economy by a whopping 15 to 30 percent. To avoid having to fill up as often, be sure to maintain keep your speed a constant 55 to 60 miles per hour.
- Use overdrive and cruise control to help drive at a constant, fuel-efficient speed.
- Use the air conditioner sparingly or not at all. Using the air conditioner in your RV or tow vehicle will reduce fuel economy as drastically as 5-25%. That’s a big drop. Traveling in the cooler early morning hours will help you avoid the heat of the day.
Eliminate RV fuel anxiety by planning every fuel stop in advance, before your RV trip begins. By using RV LIFE Trip Wizard to plan your trips in detail, you’ll know exactly when and where you will need fuel for your RV or truck. You can also vet those fuel stops with satellite and street view to make sure you can get in and out safely and back on the road.
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Lynne lives, travels and works full time in the R-Pod 180 with her 2-pointers, Jolene and Annabelle. Lynne began full-time RVing as an experiment in 2019, but she quickly fell in love with the convenience, freedom and minimalist lifestyle offered by full-time RV living. Lynne is a professional writer and has been a professional dog trainer since 1995. You can read about her travel adventures on her R-Pod Adventure blog, R-podyssey at: http://www.rpodaventure.com