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.
- Don’t Make This Costly Mistake At RV Gas Stations
- What Are The Most Fuel Efficient RV Models?
- How To Improve Your RV Gas Mileage
- Plan and Practice Accessing Fuel Stations with Your RV
Lynne lives, travels, and works full-time in a Forest-River R-Pod 180 with her 2-pointers, Jolene and Annabelle. Lynne has been an enthusiastic RVer for over 35 years. And then one day in 2019, she began full-time RVing as a lifestyle experiment. 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
Will fuel high prices reduce Rving?
We already have 2022 rv spots reserved and as of today fuel for my rig is 5.80 a gallon at 9 MPG, OH well it is what it is.
David Halstead says
Why don’t you add HHO to ur system I did and now get 20mpg with my George town 22,000# coach and gonna put in a bigger alternator 175amp so I can make more HHO to boost my mpg to 30mpg this really works
P. Oed says
What a great de·feat·ist attitude. You must have deep pocket, but they will be empty soon.
It’s a bit ironic that people with $80,000 pickups are complaining about $4 gal. fuel…..you didn’t pick a cheap hobby. Ahhh….first world problems!
Ken Hetherwick says
And it cost $362 for you to go 500 miles. Have fun. You need a sign.
Glenn Lygrisse says
The wind deflector is a good idea. While I’m not convinced I got a boost of 3mpg, it also helps keep the bugs off the front of out TT.
Billy Bob Thornton says
Guess you should have paid closer attention last Nov. 3rd. Elections have consequences, here comes the collapse, so buckle up boys and girls, its going to get ugly.
Gayle Frohlich says
?!? Silly comment.
$4.45 for diesel in mesa arizona
tom ellis says
So you want a Dictator? Just move to Russia or North
My cost local for diesel is already over the $4 mark and climbing almost daily. I fully expect to see it hit $5 by this summer and when that happens the RV will be in storage or for sale. Will probably have to give it away by then though.
Welcome to RVing. Buy junk high and sell low.
Ron Culton says
We,ve been full timers for 13 yrs now. I,owned 6 Rv,s,dump trucks,over the road trucks,half ton,4500 series,v-r8,v-10,dand everything in between in my 60 yrs of driving. This is one fact i,ll bet on,,,every motor,gas or diesel,has an RPM where it is comfortable running.This will change ,with difficulty of pulling,or hauling a load. Fuel mileage has little to do with the speed you drive(within reason of course)If you find the RPM,S/speed the vehicle is most comfortable with,THEN u will achieve maximun fuel mileage,whether it be 55,more or less ! If you,re on level highway,not using cruise,and are having trouble holding the vehicle at the speed you wish to drive,vehicle is not “comfortable “with that speed !
Jim G says
Amazing they say diesel is projected in 2022 to be $3.24 That amazes me as of right now diesel is $5.39 at the station by me here in Ca. It’s going to go higher they say so I bet it will be over $6.00 a gallon in summer. Hey let’s keep buying our oil from Russia and others. Great idea..
Bob K says
Great comment, in rural VA it is $4.09 and rising. Russian oil supports the war in the Ukraine and even if it didn’t, US gas and oil is cleaner…
Gas prices in northern NJ went up 20 cents overnight to $3.81. Would love to pay the price in the article. We will probably park the RV .
Daniel Gautschi says
This high and higher gas prices can be changed by decisions. High gas prices take fun out of camping.
It will be changing our travel. Definitely will be staying closer to home.
Impatiently waiting for the midterms…
I think the gas and diesel table is a little behind. Gas is between $3.50 and $400 / gal right now
It is way low compared to reality. No webmaster on board.
Don’t plan a California vacation and stay away or it going to cost three times the normal amount and the biggest amount will be the fuel especially diesel. 03/02/2022 @ 8:00 p.m. P/Time
Eric Schrader says
The RV industry is in for a big crash again, just like 07-08, when unemployment in Elkhart, In. reached 33%, the highest in the country. Maybe if the manufacturers didn’t keep pushing units out the door in record time their storage yards wouldn’t be overflowing. Just went by a Camping World in Ft. Pierce off of I-95 and their inventory is lined up like toy soldiers with no buyers in sight. If they weren’t such pigs, they might be able to sell a few.
John Doe says
You’re right Eric. I work i the industry here and if the RV market crashes it will be far worse than it was in 2008. We have increased manufacturing capacity, adding new manufacturers, adding new plants and more workers. In 2008, workers took of for Thanksgiving and most were not called back until March. Even then many faced layoffs and plant consolidations. When it happens again, it will be far worse.
samual nathan says
Yes it will.
I am not pushing for nor profiting from this comment but also look for discounts. For the diesel users, there is a program called myopenroads that after you are in their program, provides reduce costs for the fuel and shows the pump prices similar to gas buddy. For example we are $4.29 at the pump here in Indiana but if you can make it to other places, I can fill up on my current route south of Nashville for $3.76. With a 235g fuel tank that adds up quick. I normally drive at 70-72 with my truck in tow and get 6.5mpg, I think I may slow down to 60-65 and see what that does.. Follow me on Youtube at Campprevost.
It won’t matter if you get discounts if the price of diesel and gas is 100% higher than it is right now. I don’t want to even spend 6.00 per gallon at a discount. It does not make sense. People that have a lot of money don’t care what the price is, but I would bet a good part of people who own RV’s will park it and do other things.
Jeff Carr says
Cal Has the highest gas prices than anywhere in the U S . CAL has a way of getting its own gas too . Right now gas is $ 4.55 to 4.99 diesel is $ 4.79 to 5.39 why our we
higher the say AZ ?
Jeff Carr says
Californians pay more for gas at the pump than any other state, and with the Russian conflict and summer months heading our way, there’s no end in sight to the rising costs.
The American Automobile Association (AAA) says Californians pay $1.20 more per gallon compared to the national average.
Buy an electric vehicle? Great idea. Fuel it with coal, store the electricity in batteries made from rare earth elements. Make sure you stop before 500 miles or you’re stuck. All so we don’t use oil because we only have 500 year’s worth.
Oh, and it still can’t pull my 30′ tt.
Will It Be Too Expensive To RV This Summer?
Just use the camper closer to home. We already have two trips planned. Each is about 700 miles round trip and the camper (43-foot Anthem) gets about 8.5 MPG.
You could strap a generator to the roof of your electric car when you take a trip over 400 miles. That way you don’t have to stop and recharge.😉
get an electric truck? I just watched a review of a Rivian and in tow mode the max range dropped to 150 miles I think. it pulled great but they had to keep their fingers crossed that they could make it to the next charging station. when they got there it took 37 mins. of charging and 17$ to get enough charge to make it the 53 miles they needed to get back to where they started out. they were pulling a trailer so they were blocking a large area while charging and felt they should only stay long enough to get a charge good enough to make it home. I will happily stay with the gasser I am using now. my ram 1500 is good for nearly 300 miles pulling our similar size trailer and refueling is quick and easy. probably just going to make shorter trips this year because of all the costs being higher.
I think we ain’t seen nothin’ yet. We will probably be lucky to keep driving our cars, let alone our RVs.
Biden is getting pleasure out of this whole thing. He figures if gas prices go high enough, his green energy will pick up more. I think that this is exactly what he wants.
Sorry, but comment does not add any value to the discussion at hand.
Greg g says
Diesel prices in eureka ca just hit $6.49 a gal . My truck with camper gets 13 mpg . We are planning closer trips for spring and summer .we are going to boon dock a lot .
…Does not add any value to the discussion at hand.
Sorry wrong reply ….meant to add to upper comment. Sorry!
Sammy duncan says
Who would want to visit cal. anyway? An ice cream sandwich is $2.50.
When the rvs go on clearance the higher gas prices continue to climb, might be a good to to buy and get a good deal.
hugo heykers says
Love to read the post and the comments…
Guys and Gals…be happy you live in the US.. I live in Europe (Belgium), here we have now almost 9 U$ / gallon…for petrol and diesel… So I will make my vacation trip over a longer period… I drive a petrol, and get around 7 mpg with TT…
1 thing I don’t agree in this post “Consider investing in a tow vehicle that uses electric power instead of fossil fuel to tow your rig” -> that is the biggest lie they want to make us believe… most energy plants are working on fossils….so what is the difference?… and when the batt packs are finished, it will be very polluting for the environment too…
Capt. Lee says
Well, I’m ok with higher gas prices. It is a small price to pay for defending democracy in the world. At least I’m not in my RV running from bombs and missiles in the night.
I didn’t purchase a rig so that I could camp nearby, I’m going to help us move to electric vehicles as quickly as I can, by burning through diesel to get to my planned vacation spots.
One advantage to higher fuel prices, there may be more open campsites.
I remember when gas shot up to 75 cents per gallon (Fall 1978). I was working at a convenience store in FL that sold gas. I had a lot of RVing Canadian customers tell me they wouldn’t be spending the winter in FL the following year due to the price of gas. Some said they would sell their RVs. Some said no one would pay those “outrageous” prices and predicted the end of RVing.
Scott B Enright says
$3.24 for Diesel? Come to California and it’s double that.
tom haddad says
just left Mammoth Lakes Calif. 6.69 – 6.99. per gallon.
Mitch Flyer says
The RV industry has had 14 years since the last down cycle to make their rectangular boxes more aero dynamic witch results in better mpg’s. But their maximum profit prevents any improvements. There are a few exceptions. Alto and Cortes have some nice aero units as well as Casita, Escape(Canada) and Oliver. Also the tow vehicle does not need to be a truck. Their are much better options for better mpg’s. Electric is not practical and creates more pollution with the massive amount of mining. The glut of used Rv’s is building daily on various sites. There will be some great deals coming late summer.
Harold Latt says
Wind deflector? Give me a break, too many people have tried them, and they don’t work.
Electric tow vehicle? Sure, no problem, as long as you don’t plan to travel far, and have plenty of time to charge up every few hours.
Turn off the AC? Yeah, well it’s pretty much been proven that the difference between driving with the windows down vs running the AC is a wash. That myth is so old it has mold on it.