Taking a vacation in an RV is the best way to save money on a trip. Don’t just take our word for it. Google it and you will find that RV travel with a family of four is 27-62% less expensive than vacations that include hotel, airfare, and restaurant costs.
Of course the exact savings will depend on the nature of your travel. A lot of it depends on how long the trip is and what time of the year you are planning your adventure. Not to mention where you are going. According to many experts, the breakeven point is about 200 miles a day. If you drive less than that on average, an RV beats the traditional car/hotel vacation.
On one back of the napkin calculation, we found that accounting for an average hotel, airfare, and dining expenses a traditional vacation will cost around $181 per day. Compared to your average cost RV vacation factoring in campground rates, gas, groceries, etc. your daily cost is around $55 per day.
Getting the most bang for your buck is important and that is why we have taken it one step further. Right now we have the first three of the largest expansive covered. Transportation, check you have an RV or you are going to get an RV. Lodging, check. Again, you have an RV they are pretty good for sleeping in! Food, check. Instead of dining out at a nice restaurant every night you are making meals with the family. Having a great time and saving a lot of money in the process.
Fuel is typically the fourth largest expense on a road trip, behind the three aforementioned. It is something that you can actually save a lot of money on. How can you improve your fuel economy? Write down these tips and tricks and keep them in mind for you next RV vacation.
- Avoid Highways. First, and foremost the way you drive your RV will make all the difference. The key is not to rush on the trip. Avoid driving fast and going back and forth between lanes. If you can avoid interstates then even better! In general, in a combustion engine vehicle, each 5 mph you drive over 60 mph can cost anywhere from 7 -23% more on fuel consumption. With gas prices what they are right now, it is equivalent to paying 10 cents more per gallon. So if you’re traveling down the Interstate at 75 mph add 30 cents to the price on the pump!
- RV in tip top Shape. There are a lot of different types of maintenance you can do to make sure your RV is running at peak efficiency. A well tuned engine can make all the difference and can be up to 10% more efficient. Also, make sure your tires are properly inflated. Tires that are under inflated can cost you 3.75% in fuel economy and over inflated tires can be a safety concern. Check your manual and make sure you get air them up to the correct psi. Quality spark plugs are up to 12% more efficient and a clean air filter is up to 20% more efficient.
- Keep it Light. Pack lighter by not topping off fresh water tanks until at the campground and by purchasing firewood and other camping materials on-site to keep the RV lightweight while traveling. Don’t tow anything behind you. Don’t bring a ton of gear. Be sure holding tanks are dumped before heading out to further lighten the load. For every extra 250 lb’s of stuff you’re carrying you lose 1-2% of fuel efficiency.
- Fuel up when it’s cool. At the pump you’re charged by volume; according to the laws of physics, fuel is most dense at cooler temperatures and fuel pumps measure volumes of fuel, not densities of fuel. Filling up in the early AM is always better than filling up mid-day (unless it’s one of those crazy weather days). This one is argued by a lot of people and may only save you a tiny fraction of money. However, every cent matters and every cent adds up.
Remember, going easy on the gas pedal will save you the most money in the long run. Stop by United RV we have tons of great RVs, from big to small, old to new! Whatever you are looking for at United RV, we are sure to have something you want. If you are interested in learning more about how to save money on your next RV trip, then we will be happy to offer any tips we have come across over the years! Contact us with any questions.