Update: In November 2015, Winnebago decided to reintegrate its Itasca vehicles under the Winnebago name. These great models will continue, but under the Winnebago name instead of Itasca.
Gas prices are rising, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a fuel-efficient RV that’ll save you money at the pump and keep you road-tripping. Between fuel costs and environmental concerns, RV MPG is a bigger concern for RV road warriors than ever before. But you shouldn’t let these worries get in the way of exploring all of the hidden, off-the-beaten track treasures that this beautiful country has to offer. Not to mention sharing those experiences with your family. If you’re in the market for a new RV, read on. If you’re looking for ways to make your existing RV more fuel efficient, read a previous blog of ours: “Improve RV MPG With 3 Simple Tips.”
For those looking to purchase an RV with good gas mileage, there’s good news! Each year RV manufacturers design their coaches to be more eco-friendly and more fuel efficient. As the technology gets better, so do the capabilities of the engine on a Class A, B or C motorhome. Below, you’ll find some tips on what to look for when finding the best fuel-efficient RV for your family along with some of the models we recommend.
What to Look for When Choosing an RV with the Best Fuel Economy
There are several qualities you can look for in an RV that may indicate better fuel efficiency:
1. Size, Weight and Aerodynamics
When it comes to fuel-efficiency, size matters. When you’re driving a bigger, heavier rig, your engine is going to have to work harder, which means it’s going to take more fuel to get you where you’re going. The same goes for aerodynamics; if you have a tall towable that creates more wind resistance when you’re going down the road, your tow car is going to get worse gas mileage. Typically, RVs that are shorter, more rounded, and lightweight are going to get you the best fuel efficiency.
What We Recommend: If you don’t need much space and you’re only sleeping a couple of people, a Class B motorhome is a great choice. These units are basically large vans that have been efficiently designed to offer sleeping areas, efficiency kitchens, even bathrooms! A popular Class B brand at Guaranty RV is Roadtrek, check out the entire line of Roadtrek Class B Camper Vans.
2. Fuel type
Diesel units tend to be more fuel efficient than gas-powered ones. We know what you’re thinking, diesel is more expensive per gallon than gas, so the savings may not be obvious right up front. However, over the long-term, your coach will require less fuel and diesel engines tend to be longer-wearing than gas engines, meaning you’re going to enjoy the better fuel economy throughout the life of the vehicle and fewer repairs.
What We Recommend: We have a huge range of diesel motorhomes available, but there’s one in particular that we love for the fuel economy-minded customer: the Itasca Reyo 25Q. At just 25 feet this little diesel-powered Class A has got a lot of pep. Zippy, easy to maneuver and decked out with contemporary features, this little diesel is a winner in the small size category as well.
3. Tow car fuel efficiency
This question doesn’t apply to motorhomes that feature their own engines, but if you’re looking into a folding camper, a truck camper, a travel trailer, or a fifth wheel, your fuel economy is going to depend not only on the RV you choose, but on your tow car. Size and weight of the RV, as we mentioned earlier, comes back into play here; with something smaller and lightweight, you may be able to tow it with a more fuel-efficient car like a sedan or a small to mid-sized SUV. Don’t forget to factor in the vehicle you intend to tow with when you’re choosing the RV that will maximize your fuel economy.
What We Recommend: For small, lightweight, aerodynamic RVs, that can be towed by a range of vehicles, a pop up camper, also known as a folding camper or a tent trailer, is great. Many sedans and small crossovers have tow ratings high enough to tow one of these ultra lightweight units. This means you have the freedom to tow with a vehicle that gets way better gas mileage than a large SUV or a truck. Many of these RVs are also designed to fold completely flat—you can’t get more aerodynamic than that! Not a pop up camper kind of person? No worries, there’s plenty of small trailers like some Jayco Jay Flight Swift floor plans that are light enough for those mid-sized tow vehicles.
4. Is the RV New or Used?
As technology advances, so does the fuel efficiency of RVs. Every year, RV manufacturers are finding ways to make their engines more fuel efficient and their RVs more eco-friendly, which includes better MPG. Additionally, as with most things, engines wear out over time, and an older engine will never live up to the efficiency of its modern counterpart. Choosing to invest in a new RV over a used one may cost you more money up front, but it could save you cash at the pump down the road. Check out our entire selection of new RVs. If you really want a used RV, the newer the better, or try something that doesn’t have an engine that you have to worry about wearing out like a travel trailer or fifth wheel.
Let Us Help You Find the Perfect Fuel-Efficient RV
Get back on the road with an easy conscience and healthy pocketbook in a fuel-efficient RV. Come by Guaranty RV today, or contact us, to get some help choosing an RV that’s environmentally-friendly and affordable.