A Fuel Tax Map That Explains It All

The American Petroleum Institute has released an interactive map showing the impact of state gasoline taxes on the price of fuel nationwide.

The above image depicts 2014 gasoline taxes and should be used only for comparison with the interactive map.
The above image depicts 2014 gasoline taxes and should be used only for comparison with the interactive map.

Oil companies claim they earn about 5.5 cents for every gallon of gasoline and other petroleum products refined, shipped, and sold in the United States, according to Exxon Mobile.

Consider this: The federal and state and local governments collected 40 to 60 cents per gallon in taxes.

The American Petroleum Institute just updated their map showing the combined local, state, and federal tax rate in each state as of January 1 (2015), when new taxes took effect.

The federal gas tax remains constant at 18.4 percent which means any variations have been implemented by state and local governments.

At 50.5 cents per gallon, Pennsylvania leads the way with the highest state taxes on gasoline—5 about cents higher than California!

Alaska ranks last at 12.4 cents per gallon.

To see the interactive map illustrating current levels of federal and state gasoline taxes, click here.

Please Note: The above image depicts 2014 gasoline taxes and should be used only for comparison with the interactive map.

Worth Pondering…

Get your motor runnin’
Head out on the highway
Lookin’ for adventure
And whatever comes our way
Yeah Darlin’ go make it happen
Take the world in a love embrace
Fire all of your guns at once
And explode into space.

—Words and music by Mars Bonfire

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Tampa SuperShow RV Resort Participation & Kidd-Eyster Fuel Survey

Tallahassee, Florida-based Kidd RV Resort Consulting, an integrated marketing firm specializing in the RV industry, reports on RV resort participation at the recent Tampa RV SuperShow and the Kidd-Eyster annual motorcoach resort fuel survey gathered at the show.

RV Resort Participation

2013 Tampa RV SuperShow
2013 Tampa RV SuperShow

RV resort participation remained flat at the recent Tampa RV SuperShow.

Twenty-five resorts were represented this year, the same as last year, but down from 53 during 2011. The 25 resorts represented 10 no-shows from the previous year, replaced by 10 new resorts to the show this year.

According to self reports, sales and interest at RV resorts represented at the show have been strong year over year.

“The resorts that we are associated with, such as Las Vegas Motorcoach Resort, Sunnybrook RV Resort, Hearthside Grove Motorcoach Resort, and Heritage Motor Coach Resort, enjoyed double-digit sales this past year, which we find very encouraging,” says Jerry Kidd, president of Kidd RV Consulting in a news release.

“The 10 new resorts represented at the 2013 Tampa RV SuperShow are at lower price points than the more luxurious resorts that didn’t attend this year, such as Heritage and Marina in Orange Beach, Alabama. In fact, Heritage did not attend the show this year due to selling out most of their lots prior to the start of 2013.”

Kidd-Eyster Fuel Survey

Regarding the Kidd-Eyster annual motorcoach resort fuel survey gathered at the show, this year’s results demonstrated that RVers’ driving habits were unchanged during 2012. Sentiments have remained the same with respondents indicating that if fuel prices continue to decline, more than 70 percent of RVers would increase their travel plans or behaviors.

“As in 2012, the majority of RVers responded that they would travel until fuel prices reach $8/gallon which is looking like it’s a long way off. Fuel prices are continuing to head down, and RVers are beginning to feel more positive, indicating RVers will be getting out on the road even more in the year to come,” Kidd said.

Details

Kidd RV Resort Consulting

Kidd RV Resort ConsultingKidd RV Resort Consulting specializes in working with RV developers and industry related partners to create a vision, articulate an idea, own the process, and relentlessly pursue its execution with the goal of exceeding expectations through measurable results.

Kidd RV Resort Consulting helps clients reach goals through extensive service capabilities including design and illustration, web solutions, advertising, public relations, brand consulting, and strategic planning.

Phone: (800) 323-4869

Website: kiddrv.com

Worth Pondering…

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.

—Lewis Carrol

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5 Ways to Save Fuel and Money

During the 2011-2012 Snowbird Season Arizona RV parks reported their winter residents appeared to be staying longer than in previous years, partially due to high fuel prices.

The annual O’Odham Tash Celebration, a gathering of tribes, is held in mid-February and features Native American arts and crafts, ceremonial dances, rodeos, powwows, and parades. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

With thousands of snowbirds planning to hit the road during the coming weeks and months, two things will be on their minds—arriving at their destination safely and the price of fuel.

Nationally, average retail gas prices are approximately 50 cents higher than a year ago and one dollar higher than two years ago, according to gasbuddy.com.

With gas prices reaching record levels, it’s more important than ever to keep tabs on your fuel spending.

While we have no control over the price of fuel, we can do a few things to help save money.

Most motorists share one common goal—to get the best mileage possible. The desire for the best fuel efficiency is especially strong among recreational vehicle owners. There are many ways that you can reduce fuel and related costs while enjoying life ‘on the road’ in your recreational vehicle.

On the Colorado River in the southwest corner of Arizona, Yuma’s been at the crossroads for centuries. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

RV drivers are often quite frugal. They budget carefully and they make the most of every trip and vacation. Part of that is being aware of the potential savings that are available to the consumer.

Many RVers take measures to reduce fuel consumption through simple steps like driving 55 instead of 65 or 70 mph and packing lighter to reduce weight in the RV.

Following are five tips to help you save fuel:

1. Avoid High Speeds

Decreasing your speed saves money. The greatest improvement in fuel economy is the speed we drive. As your speed increases, your aerodynamic drag increases. Driving faster pushes more air ahead of the RV which creates more resistance to forward movement. Driving 62 mph rather than 75 mph will reduce fuel consumption by about 15 percent.

2. Do Not Accelerate or Brake Hard

Accelerate gradually, both from a stop and when entering a freeway; avoid sudden jack-rabbit starts and rapid acceleration. By anticipating the traffic and applying slow steady acceleration and braking, fuel economy may increase by as much as 20 percent.

3. Anticipate traffic flow

Look at the traffic as far ahead as possible in order to avoid unnecessary stopping and starting within the flow of traffic. Maintain a safe distance between you and the vehicle ahead.

Brake smoothly, avoiding fast stops; rapid braking wastes fuel and cut down your mileage.

Look ahead and anticipate traffic conditions. Slow down well before you need to. Instead of slamming on your breaks just before the line, slowly ease off the accelerator, coasting to a stop and thus avoid wasting fuel and wear on the brakes.

When the light changes green, forget that pedal to the metal mindset and, again, ease into it.

4. Keep Tires Properly Inflated

Another fuel saver is to keep tire air pressures at the levels recommended by the tire manufacturer. Tire pressure can severely affects fuel economy.

If the tires are low on air, the engine has to push harder to move the RV ahead. It is important to know that tires can look normal when they are seriously under inflated.

Rockport is known as “The Charm of the Texas Coast” and for good reasons too. It’s a quiet, little town on the coast of Texas just 30 minutes north of Corpus Christi. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Regularly check the air pressure in all tires, when the tires are cool (air pressure increases while you are driving).

Under-inflated tires can increase fuel consumption by up to 4 percent, according to International Energy Agency.

Proper inflation also reduces the incidence of tire failure.

5. Control your weight

Added weight significantly decreases fuel mileage and increases wear and tear on your tires.

Keep in mind that everything you put in your RV has weight. The average couple carries approximately 2,000 pounds of “stuff,” and many full-timing couples carry as much as 3,000 pounds.

When possible, travel with empty gray and black holding tanks and fresh water tank no more than ¼ full.

The following are approximate weights of the liquids that RVs commonly carry:

  • Water—8.3 pounds/gallon
  • Gasoline—6 pounds/gallon
  • Diesel fuel—6.6 pounds/gallon
  • Propane—4.5 pounds/gallon

Now Let’s Go RVing!

Please Note: This is the first in a two-part series on Saving Fuel and Arriving Safely

Part 2: Stay Safe & Save Fuel

Worth Pondering…

I have enough money to last me the rest of my life, unless I buy something.

—Jackie Mason

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Five Things You Need to Know Today: May 25

Since I like things to come in fives (and tens), here are five things YOU need to know TODAY!

1. Weekend Campers See Steady Fuel Prices

Vacationing campers won’t need to worry about rising fuel prices as they hit the road for the upcoming Memorial Day holiday weekend.

Retail U.S. gasoline prices were flat at $3.678 per gallon on Wednesday (May 23), according to auto club AAA, Wright Express, and Oil Price Information Service.

According to The Associated Press, the nationwide average for a gallon of regular unleaded has dropped by 25.8 cents since peaking in the first week of April. Gasoline is 16.5 cents per gallon cheaper than it was the same time last year.

It’s all a reflection of falling crude oil prices.

The price of oil tumbled below $90 on Wednesday for the first time in nearly seven months as U.S. supplies continue to grow.

2. Pacific Coachworks Introduces ECON Lightweight Trailer

ECON trailer from Pacific Coachworks

Pacific Coachworks Inc. announced the launch of its all-new line of ECON lightweight series trailers. The line will include a toy hauler floor plan named the ECON X.

“This product is in high demand and recent events have created what we feel to be a big void in the already successful lightweight trailer market,” said Pacific Coachworks General Manager Jeff Daily in a news release.

Brett Bashaw, CEO and president of the Riverside, Calif.-based builder, noted he is expecting that the new ECON will “add to the success and growth of the company as did the Tango, Panther, Powerlite and SandSport products after being introduced into the market during the past 12 months.”

3. South Dakota State Park Visitation Up

Many top camping spots in South Dakota have already reported a 10 to 20 percent increase in visitors. Game Fish and Parks report they’ve already booked 37,000 campsites for the summer, up from last year’s 29,000, according to KSFY-TV, Sioux Falls.

Lake Herman State Park is home to 72 campsites and looking ahead to one very busy weekend.

“Last I heard, our park was full and that means we have a very busy weekend ahead. Walker’s Point and Lake Herman are full for this weekend,” John Bame said.

“It might attribute to the warmer spring we had, and April was a good month as well. A lot of our counts increased because a lot of people came out early to recreate due to the good weather,” Bame said.

To plan for a busy weekend, staff makes sure they’ve got a clean park and each site is ready to be enjoyed.

4. Brenham: Ice Cream Capital of Texas

“Brenham—Ice Cream Capital of Texas” © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

“Brenham—Ice Cream Capital of Texas,” proclaims the giant sign at the corner of U.S. 290 and FM 577, which becomes Blue Bell Road, home to Blue Bell Creameries.

The tour begins in a small projection room with a brief, humorous video depicting the history of Blue Bell, founded in 1907 as the Brenham Creamery Company. Afterward, a guide leads visitors upstairs to watch cream transform into frozen confections. Tour-goers peer through large, glass windows that overlook the various processing areas, Stainless steel vats and chutes crank out the chilly treats into paper tubs, which are loaded into boxes headed for the freezer.

For more on the sweet story of “the little creamery” in Brenham and the tasting test, go here.

5. San Antonio River Walk

Since 1938 the River Walk has been a hub of culture for San Antonio. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The famed San Antonio River Walk is 2 1/2 miles of beautifully landscaped waterfront with hotels, restaurants, nighclubs, and shopping and is one of the main tourist attractions in the state of Texas.

Historically, the waterway was used by Spanish explorers to provide water to their missions. In 1929, Robert H.H. Hugman submitted his design plans to turn the area into a beautiful urban park with apartments, dining, shopping and boat rides.

Since 1938 the River Walk has been a hub of culture for San Antonio. You can learn about San Antonio’s history aboard a river cruise, people watch as you enjoy delicious food on many of the restaurant’s outdoor patios and simply enjoy this beautiful piece of the Lone Star State.

For the complete story of San Antonio’s Paseo del Río or River Walk , read San Antonio River Walk: Jewel of the City.

Have a great Memorial Day Weekend, safe RV travels, and we’ll see you on the road!

Please Note: As a result of limited interest in “Five Things You Need to Know Today”, I’m suspending this Friday feature with this issue.

Worth Pondering…

Happiness flutters in the air whilst we rest among the breaths of nature.

—Kelly Scheaffer

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More Drivers to Take Memorial Day Road Trip

More Americans will take to the roads during the upcoming Memorial Day weekend this year as they benefit from a recent drop in pump prices, heralding a summer of strong fuel demand.

Approximately 30.7 million Americans plan to drive to destinations 50 miles or more away from home between May 24 and 28, the start of the peak driving season in the United States, according to a survey released Tuesday (May 15) by AAA.

This represents an increase of more than 500,000 travelers on the road or 1.2 percent from the 30.3 million who drove last year, which serves as an early gauge of summer gasoline sales at pumping stations.

Almost nine out of ten holiday travelers (88 percent) will take to the nation’s roadways during the Memorial Day weekend keeping automobile travel in the traditional lead as the dominate mode of holiday travel transportation, according to the organization, which provides roadside and travel services.

“The overall domestic economic picture continues to improve slightly, however, American consumers faced a new challenge this year as steadily increasing gas prices throughout the spring significantly squeezed many household budgets,” said AAA President and CEO Robert L. Darbelnet.

“Americans will still travel during the Memorial Day holiday weekend but, many will compensate for reduced travel budgets by staying closer to home and cutting entertainment dollars.”

A survey of intended travelers found that 53 percent said recent increases in gasoline prices would not impact their Memorial Day holiday travel plans. Of the remaining 47 percent of travelers who said gas prices would impact their travel plans, nine percent are planning to take a shorter trip, four percent will travel by an alternate mode of transportation, and 34 percent will economize in other areas.

Approximately 30.7 million Americans plan to drive to destinations 50 miles or more away from home during the upcoming Memorial Day weekend. (Source: wsj.com)

National gasoline prices may have peaked in April despite seasonal highs in early spring when motorists experienced average price increases for all but four days in February and March.

April experienced a full reversal as prices fell for 23 of 30 days during the month, helping to break a streak of 911 days since the national average price was lower than the previous year.

The current national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline is approximately 25 cents lower than this time last year. U.S. gasoline prices averaged $3.73 a gallon on Tuesday, compared with $3.96 a year ago.

According to a survey of traveler intentions, the average distance traveled by Americans during the Memorial Day holiday weekend is expected to be 642 miles, which is 150 miles less than last year’s average travel distance of 792 miles. With high gas prices squeezing consumers’ spending power this spring, consumers are responding by traveling shorter distances this Memorial Day holiday.

The decline in expected air travel is a factor in the travel distance decrease as fewer flying miles can be contrasted with the slight growth in automobile travel. Miles flown for weekend travel are typically longer than those driven.

Median spending is expected to be $702, only slightly more than the $692 median spending last year.

Details

American Automobile Association (AAA)

The American Automobile Association (the “AAA” or “Triple-A”) was founded on March 4, 1902, in Chicago, when, in response to a lack of roads and highways suitable for automobiles, nine motor clubs with a total of 1,500 members banded together to form the Triple-A.

Travelers get an early start on the Memorial Day holiday weekend. (Source: msnbc.msn.com)

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 53 million members with travel, insurance, financial, and automotive-related services.

Its national headquarters are in Heathrow, Florida.

AAA’s digital tools for travel planning ‘on the go’ include eTourBook guides for 101 top North American destinations, free to members at AAA.com/ebooks. Choose from city titles, like Orlando, New York, and Las Vegas, as well as National Parks.

Free AAA apps for iPhone and Android devices use GPS navigation to help travelers map a route, locate nearby member discounts, and find current gas prices.

Worth Pondering…

Speed was high

Weather was hot

Tires were thin

X marks the spot

BURMA SHAVE

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Is RV Travel Still Good Value?

With fuel prices once again on the rise and the spring and summer travel seasons approaching, you may wonder if RV travel is still good value.

Let's Go RVing to Monahan Sandshills State Park. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) has collected positive data to demonstrate that RV travel is still the most economical means of travel.

Among the points:

  • The PKF Vacation Cost comparison study shows that a family of four can save 23 to 59 percent on vacation costs depending on the type of trip and type of RV used
  • A two-person travel party (the typical empty-nest couple) would save 11 to 46 percent
  • More than 80 percent of RVers say their RV vacations cost less than other forms of vacation, even when fuel prices rise
  • Many RV-owning families take frequent mini-vacations in their RVs; 63 percent spent five or more weekends in their RVs last spring/summer
  • When fuel prices rise, RVers adjust by traveling to destinations closer to home, driving fewer miles, and staying longer in one place, according to surveys of RV owners conducted by RVIA and CVENT, a leading provider of online surveys and research technology
  • Let's Go RVing to village of Tlaquepaque in Sedona. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

    To save on fuel, RVers typically spend more time enjoying the campground experience and less time on the road

  • More than 16,000 campgrounds nationwide give RVers the flexibility to save fuel and cut costs by staying closer to home; whether they travel five miles or 500, they can still enjoy a great outdoor experience
  • Fuel prices would need to more than double from their current level to make RVing more expensive for a family of four than other forms of travel, according to PKF Consulting
  • PKF’s spring 2011 vacation cost comparison study shows that RV trips remain the most affordable way for a family to travel because of the significant savings on air, hotel, and restaurant costs, which continue to rise
  • Fluctuating fuel prices affect the cost of all modes of travel and transportation; airfares and hotel rates rise rapidly when fuel costs increase
  • Many RV owners surveyed take additional measures to reduce fuel consumption through simple steps like driving 55 mph instead of 65 mph, packing lighter to reduce weight in the RV, and turning off home utilities to save energy when traveling
  • Let's Go RVing to village of Tlaquepaque in Sedona. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

    RVers travel at a leisurely pace with no tight schedules for flights, hotels, or restaurants

Details

Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA)

The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) is the national trade association representing recreation vehicle (RV) manufacturers and their component parts suppliers who together build more than 98 percent of all RVs produced in the U.S.

Headquartered in the Washington, D.C. suburb of Reston, Virginia, RVIA is a unifying force for safety and professionalism within the RV industry and works with both federal and state government agencies to protect the interests of its members.

A clearinghouse of industry facts and information, RVIA also provides free materials to consumers and other publics about RV travel and camping and actively works with the media nationwide to educate the public about the benefits of RVing.

Address: 1896 Preston White Drive, Reston, VA 20191

Phone: (703) 620-6003

Website: rvia.org

Related Story

Worth Pondering…

Millions of Americans each year use our national forests to go hiking, fishing, hunting, camping, swimming, horseback riding, and canoeing.
—Ric Keller

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10 Ways to Stay Safe & Save Fuel this Summer

As RVers and other motorists prepare for July 4th vacation travel, a team of million mile accident-free truck drivers are helping to make our roads safer. AAA estimates that over 39 million Americans will drive 50 miles or more this coming weekend. America’s Road Team Captains, elite professional truck drivers chosen by the American Trucking Associations, are offering advice on how to safely navigate through highway traffic and congestion this summer and, at the same time, save costly fuel.

Drive carefully and arrive safely at your destination. Pictured above is Oak Creek Canyon Scenic Byway, Arizona. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

“Traffic increases during the summer months as families head out for vacations,” said America’s Road Team Captain Danny Fuller. “Even with gas prices what they are, I’m seeing many additional cars on the road. This means safe driving habits become all the more important and everyone should slow down and follow the rules of the road.”

America’s Road Team Captains agree that the first step toward a safe trip begins in the driveway before you leave home, the American Trucking Associations report in a recent news release.

1. Prepare your vehicle for long distance travel

Check your wipers and fluids. Have your radiator and cooling system serviced. Simple maintenance before you leave home can prevent many of the problems that strand motorists on the side of the road.

2. Properly inflate your tires

Properly inflated tires can save you up to four percent in fuel mileage, while under and over inflation can lead to tire failure. Ensure that you routinely check your tire pressure.

3. Drive the speed limit

A summer road trip is still the best way to see America, see its natural wonders, national parks and monuments, historic sites, and big-name tourist attractions. Pictured above is Ocmulee National Monument, near Macon, Georgia. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Lower speeds not only save money at the pump, they also make you safer on the road. By maintaining a constant moderate speed, drivers can save up to 30 percent on fuel and are better able to react to road conditions and other drivers—so slow down!

4. Large Trucks Have Blind Spots

Be aware that tractor-trailers have large areas around their trucks where other vehicles are not visible. If you can’t see the truck driver in his or her mirrors, then the truck driver is unable to see you. Keep in mind that this applies also to large recreational vehicles, especially Class A motorhomes.

5. Keep extra water in your vehicle

Just as you keep a winter driving kit on board, it is important to be prepared when driving during the summer months. Keep plenty of extra water, sunscreen, and non-perishable snacks in your vehicle in case you’re stranded.

6. Wait until parked to use cell phones

Driver distraction is a major cause of traffic accidents. Even just two seconds of distraction time doubles the chances of an accident.

7. Do not cut in front of large trucks and RVs

Since trucks and recreational vehicles are heavier than cars and take longer to come to a complete stop, avoid cutting quickly in front of them.

8. Honor the Right of Way

Keep in mind that highway traffic has the right of way On entrance ramps; maintain proper speed, using smooth merging techniques, and don’t slow down in front of a large rig.

9. Road side emergency

Remember that safety is no accident! © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Understand that big trucks cannot always stop to assist you, but most will use their radios to contact the police or highway patrol if they see you are in trouble.

10. Save fuel

To save fuel, take direct routes, minimize side trips, and maintain a steady speed. Also, a well-tuned engine, properly inflated tires, and reduced speed will result in noticeable fuel savings.

The America’s Road Team would like to remind the motoring public that from driveway to highway, safety requires patience and dedication.

Details

The America’s Road Team, sponsored by Volvo Trucks North America, is a national public outreach program led by a small group of professional truck drivers who share superior driving skills, remarkable safety records, and a strong desire to spread the word about safety on the highway.

The American Trucking Associations is the largest national trade association for the trucking industry. Through a federation of other trucking groups, industry-related conferences, and its 50 affiliated state trucking associations, ATA represents more than 37,000 members covering every type of motor carrier in the United States.

Worth Pondering…
Take time to see the special in the ordinary this weekend. Every sunset is a gift.

Speed was high

Weather was hot

Tires were thin

X marks the spot

BURMA SHAVE

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20 Easy Ways to Save Fuel and Money

With millions of people planning to hit the road this summer, two things will be on their minds – getting to their destination safely and the price of fuel.

It's a great time of year for a road trip to Canyon de Chelly in Arizona. Pictured above is Spider Rock. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The latest Campfire Canvass survey of RV owners reveals that 53% intend to use their RVs more this spring/summer despite higher fuel prices. Another 38% say they’ll use their RVs the same amount.

Many RV owners surveyed take additional measures to reduce fuel consumption through simple steps like driving 55 instead of 65 mph, packing lighter to reduce weight in the RV, and turning off home utilities to save energy when traveling.

Don’t let higher fuel prices stop you from enjoying your spring and summer; instead, test-drive these gas and money saving tips.

Most motorists share one common goal—to get the best mileage possible. The desire for the best fuel efficiency is especially strong among recreational vehicle owners. There are many ways that you can reduce fuel and related costs while enjoying travelling in your recreational vehicle.

Looking for a great spring or summer getaway? Think Galveston, Texas! © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

RV drivers are often quite frugal. They budget carefully and they make the most of every trip and vacation. Part of that is being aware of the potential savings that are out there.

Following are a number of tips to help you save fuel:

  1. Slow down and maintain even pressure on the throttle.
  2. Accelerate gradually, both from a stop and when entering a freeway; avoid sudden jack-rabbit starts and rapid acceleration.
  3. Brake smoothly, avoiding fast stops; rapid braking wastes fuel and cut down your mileage.
  4. Maintain a safe distance between you and the vehicle ahead.
  5. Don’t slam on your brakes. See a stop sign or red light up ahead? Instead of slamming on your breaks just before the line, slowly ease off the accelerator ahead of time, coasting to a stop and thus avoid wasting fuel and wear on the brakes.
  6. When the light changes green, forget that pedal to the metal mindset and, again, ease into it.
  7. Look ahead and anticipate traffic conditions. Slow down well before you need to.
  8. Minimize excessive engine workload by using the vehicle’s kinetic forward motion to climb hills.
  9. Use downhill momentum, rather than applying accelerator, to build speed back up.
  10. Go cruising. Your cruise control button isn’t just convenient; it can be a fuel-saver. When driving long stretches of open road, cruise control can be a very valuable asset, maintaining your speed within the least fuel-guzzling gear, plus eliminating your chances of accidental speeding (and getting pulled over and ticketed).
  11. BUT, cruise control can take a bite into your fuel mileage potential on hills where it tends to coast up the hill until it realizes that it is losing speed and quickly attempts to make up for it by pushing the throttle, increasing your speed and your fuel use.
  12. Weather considerations. Winds have a substantial affect on increasing or reducing the vehicle’s moving resistance.
  13. Avoid excessive engine idling. Shut the engine off when the RV sits for more than a few minutes.
  14. Follow the recommended service and maintenance schedules; keeping an RV tuned up and in top running condition saves fuel. A poorly tuned engine can lower fuel economy by 10 to 20 percent. Use the recommended grade of motor oil. It’s worth it.
  15. A clean air filter keeps impurities from damaging your engine and can significantly improve fuel economy.
  16. Regularly check the air pressure in all tires, when the tires are cool (air pressure increases while you are driving). Proper inflation reduces the incidence of tire failure and improves fuel consumption.
  17. Control your weight. Many motorhomes have total holding tank capacities of 100 gallons or more, which means they can contain almost 900 pounds of wastewater when full. Fresh water tank may be 60 gallons of water at 8.3 pounds/gallons or almost 500 pounds when full. The carrying capacity of the three holding tanks, can total 1400 pounds or more and requires burning expensive fuel to carry it around.
  18. Control your weight. Check each coach storage compartment and exterior bays; remove items you will not be using while on the road. Every pound of unnecessary weight you carry decreases fuel mileage and saves wear and tear on your tires.
  19. Control your weight. Added weight significantly reduces fuel economy. Keep in mind that everything you put in your RV has weight. The average couple carries approximately 2,000 pounds of “stuff,” and many full-timing couples carry as much as 3,000 pounds. When possible travel with empty gray and black holding tanks and fresh water tank no more than ¼ full. The following are approximate weights of the liquids that RVs commonly carry:
  • Water—8.3 pounds/gallon
  • Gasoline—6 pounds/gallon
  • Diesel fuel—6.6 pounds/gallon
  • Propane—4.5 pounds/gallon

Now Let’s Go RVing!

If you have additional thoughts, we would love to hear them. Please do share!! Send them in an email to vogelontheroad@gmail.com, and I’ll see that they appear in a future post.

Worth Pondering…

The mint makes it first, it is up to you to make it last.

—Evan Esar (1899 – 1995)

I have enough money to last me the rest of my life, unless I buy something.

—Jackie Mason

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