Fuel Economy Comparison

by Guest Blogger, Ed Morgan, CFO, Guaranty Chevrolet and RV Super Centers

If only fuel economy worked like the game of limbo, where we all wondered how low it could go! Fuel prices are however on the rise and as a current or future RV owner, you may be wondering what this is going to mean to your RV lifestyle. We’ve compiled a short list of things to consider before hitting the road.

Going the Distance
The average RV or towable owner drives fewer than 5,000 miles a year in his or her rig. Most of us drive three times as far in our personal autos every year. So let’s look at this from two viewpoints and see what the real impact is of higher fuel prices. Let’s assume that (gas) fuel is at $4.00 per gallon, up from $3.50 and that your average miles per gallon driving your RV or towing it are 10 miles per gallon. If the average trip is about 100 miles, then the overall cost increase is a mere $10. Would you be willing to give up your road trip because it costs $10 more than before?

Miles per Gallon
When your Chevy Cruze is getting 42 mpg on the highway, it might be hard to imagine driving anything that gets 10 mpg. We understand. On the surface, it sounds like a huge gap. However, consider how much we spend on a road trip in a car. If you drove your Cruze 100 miles to the Oregon Coast, you’d spend about $20.00 for gas there and back, two nights in a hotel, at say $65.00 per night (but wait there is motel tax at 18%), which is about $77.00 per night or $154.00. You need to eat, so a nice but not extravagant dinner on Friday with a drink will be $45.00 for the two of you plus tip so let’s say $53.00, and the same for Saturday night as well. Then you have breakfast on Saturday and Sunday at about $7.50 per person so about $18.00 (don’t forget that tip!) times 2 is $36.00. Lunch, probably just on Saturday will run about 20.00 for two. So, if that’s all you do, that weekend getaway using your car will cost you over $300.

How much by comparison would it cost in your RV? Well, 200 miles at 10 mile per gallon times $4.00 will cost $80.00 dollars in fuel. Most public campgrounds are about $25.00 dollars, but let’s assume you stay in a private one at $40.00 per night, another $80.00. How about food? Normally speaking, any meal we get in a restaurant will be about half the price if we cook it ourselves, so to keep it simple, let’s assume that. This will bring our total meal cost to $65.00 (remember no tip). Total cost of the trip in our RV is just over $200, a difference of more than $100.00 for a two day trip, and we got to sleep in our own bed! Why would you travel any other way?

For more information on fuel economy comparison, check out fueleconomy.gov

Share Button