Accurately estimate fuel costs for your next adventure using our popular RV Gas Trip Calculator.
We also share useful tips to boost your RV’s fuel efficiency and help you save hundreds on gas.
Tip: Check out our RV Trip Cost Calculator if you’re looking to estimate not only the cost of fuel but the entire RV vacation, including campsite fees, road tolls, and more!
RV Fuel Trip Calculator
Total cost of fuel:
Tips for Using This Gas Cost Calculator
- Know Your Vehicle’s MPG: The accuracy of the calculator depends heavily on the MPG (Miles Per Gallon) figure entered. It’s crucial to know your vehicle’s real-world MPG, not just the manufacturer’s specifications. I recommend calculating it manually by tracking the miles driven and the fuel used over several trips.
- Estimate Fuel Costs for Different Routes: If you have more than one possible route for a trip, you can use the calculator to estimate the fuel costs for each route.
- Check Local and National Fuel Prices: The fuel price can vary significantly between regions. Use the national average as a baseline, but for a more accurate calculation, look up current gas prices in the area where you’ll be buying most of your fuel. Websites and apps that track fuel prices can be very helpful for this.
- Consider Miles Per Gallon (MPG) When Planning Stops: If you have flexibility in your travel schedule, consider planning your refueling stops in areas where fuel is cheaper. You might be able to save some money, even if you travel a few miles out of your way for cheaper gas. The calculator can help you estimate how much you could save by doing this.
- Use the Calculator to Budget for Trips: By knowing the distance of your trip and the average price per gallon of fuel, you can use the calculator to get a good estimate of your fuel costs. This can be a big help when budgeting for the total cost of the trip.
- Recalculate Often: Fuel prices change frequently, and your vehicle’s fuel efficiency can change based on factors like speed, terrain, and whether you’re towing something. For long trips, consider recalculating your fuel costs periodically to keep your budget up-to-date.
Tip: While the calculator can give a good estimate of fuel costs, it’s always a good idea to budget a bit extra for unexpected expenses or variations in fuel price or vehicle efficiency.
Tips to Save Money on Gas on Your RV Trip
RVs aren’t known for their great fuel economy, but there are some important tips you can implement to save money on gas on your next trip.
Optimize Route Planning
- Choose Direct Routes: When planning a trip, consider the efficiency benefits of the most direct route. Reducing mileage translates directly into reduced fuel consumption. While scenic routes and detours can add to the adventure, they also increase fuel costs. Only you can decide if those added fuel costs are worth it.
- Consider Terrain: The lay of the land significantly impacts your RV’s fuel consumption. Mountainous or hilly terrain forces your engine to work harder, consuming more fuel. In contrast, flat terrain aids in maintaining a steady speed, improving overall fuel efficiency. Route planning with this in mind can help minimize fuel costs.
Maintain Optimal Speed
- Stay Below the Speed Limit: High speeds, while tempting on open highways, take a toll on fuel efficiency. Keeping speed in check and driving at a steady, reasonable pace can significantly lower fuel consumption.
- Use Cruise Control: Cruise control isn’t just for comfort; it’s also a tool for fuel efficiency. By maintaining a consistent speed, cruise control minimizes fuel-burning acceleration and deceleration, which helps reduce overall fuel consumption.
Reduce Excess Weight
An RV loaded down with unnecessary items uses more fuel. By reducing the weight inside your RV, you increase its fuel efficiency. Assess what’s essential for your trip and what’s not. Remember, every pound counts when calculating fuel costs.
Regular Vehicle Maintenance
- Keep Your RV in Peak Condition: An RV in top condition typically performs more efficiently than one overdue for service. Regular oil changes, engine check-ups, and tire inspections can increase fuel efficiency. Always ensure your RV is in peak condition before embarking on a journey.
- Check Tire Pressure Regularly: Proper tire inflation directly impacts fuel consumption. Under-inflated tires create more resistance, forcing your vehicle to work harder and use more fuel. Regularly checking and maintaining the correct tire pressure can lead to significant savings in fuel costs.
Use Fuel Apps and Discount Programs
Smartphone apps and discount programs can help you find the cheapest fuel prices in your area. By using these tools, you can plan your refueling stops more effectively and potentially save a significant amount on fuel costs.
Some of these apps and programs may also offer loyalty rewards, leading to further savings over time. Gas Buddy is arguably one of the most popular apps that combines fuel price data with a rewards program.
Consider Alternative Modes of Transportation
Once you’ve reached your destination, consider using alternative modes of transportation to get around. Bicycles, public transit, or even walking can provide excellent opportunities to explore while giving your RV—and your fuel budget—a break.
By implementing these strategies, you’ll see noticeable improvements in fuel efficiency, leading to significant cost savings over time. Always remember, each journey offers unique circumstances—stay flexible, adapt, and, most importantly, enjoy the adventure that RV life offers.