What To Expect

The mind is an endless think tank – it is constantly looking for ways things might go wrong or be better. Once you are ready to go on an RV trip and you have pinned down the perfect RV rental, RV gas mileage is going to come up! Naturally, you’re going to ask, “How much will I spend on gas if I rent an RV?” It is a very valid thought, especially if you don’t want any surprises when you get to the gas pump. RV gas mileage can be tricky and you don’t want to come up short at a critical point of your journey!

The answer might seem quite straight-forward, however, it is a bit complicated. It depends on the class of RV that you are driving, as that is primarily what determines the amount and cost of gas. This is directly related to the weight and other parameters that may come into play. Are you ready to find out the amount you will be spending on gas with your RV rental?  To keep it simple, we’ll look at the RV gas cost based on the class. It’s possible that this info might change your plans on what class you decide to go with.

By the way, for tips and tricks for planning your next RV trip check out our article!

Class A

When driving a class A RV rental, it’s a given that you will spend a lot of gas. A class A RV is not the RV with best gas mileage – the sheer size and weight of this larger vehicle comes with its benefits but fuel efficiency is not one of them. On a 1000 mile trip, you will definitely be looking at spending a lot on the RV gas mileage. The largest RV class is the one that will drain your wallet the most.

Assuming the per gallon gas cost is $2.89 and average gas mileage rate of 9 MPG, traveling 1000 miles will cost around $321.11. Clearly, if you are going for frugality renting a class A RV is not the best route.

For a comprehensive guide on Class A RVs, check out our article!

Class B

This class of motorhome rental effectively trades weight and mass for fluidity and maneuverability. This allows it to bridge the gap when it comes to RV gas mileage.  As the smallest form of motorable RV rental, the gas consumption is quite small and that is a plus. Taking a 1000 mile journey with this motorhome class will only cost you about $144 cost if fuelling at $2.89 per gallon. This figure is assuming a 20 MPG, but you can expect to see between 18 and 25 miles per gallon. This is great considering it is right in line with most standard passenger vehicles.

The fuel efficiency is, of course, a trade-off for the limited space available in with this class. If you are fine with an RV with the best mileage but gives you limited space, the Class B would be your best choice.

Wanna know more about class B camper vans? Check out our blog post!

Class C

Class C RV rentals are the in-between when it comes to RV classifications. A little bigger than the class B and a little smaller than the class A, class C motorhomes are the epitome of the word ‘compromise’. It can give you the space you need, with the amenities you might be looking for in an RV. It might not be the RV with the best gas mileage, but you can make the necessary adjustments to make it work, especially if you are flexible in your budget. With an average of around  9-12 miles per gallon, a class C RV rental would run you about $289 dollars. This is calculated assuming $2.89 per gallon and 10 MPG.

You will notice that it is much closer in fuel efficiency to the class A. In fact, the difference is almost negligible. With that said, gas mileage should not be the deciding factor when choosing between a class C and a class A RV. You will want to look more at the features, amenities, and maneuverability. If you can make the compromise, the class C RV is such a good option. You will be able to get the room you need and an easier driving experience.

Interested in learning more about Class C RVs? We’ve got you covered. Check out our article!

Travel Trailers

Since trailers are basically hauled along by some other vehicle, the gas consumption cost of the RV rental itself is the gas consumption of the vehicle pulling it. More often than not, a small car or minivan serves as the hitching point for the trailer. As the trailer weight can cause a drag for the car, the fuel consumption tends to be higher.

This varies based on the towing vehicle and the size of the trailer, but we found that, on average, most vehicles will lose about 7 miles per gallon in fuel efficiency. This means that if you have a vehicle that usually gets about 30 MPG, it would be reduced to around 23 MPG. Traveling a 1000 mile journey at $2.89 per gallon, the cost would be around $125.65 whereas it would usually cost you around $96.

So yep, we’ve got another article for you, specifically on travel trailers. For more info, check out our blog post!

Save Money on Gas

Now that we have the numbers out of the way, you probably want tips on how you can reduce your fuel consumption, right? The truth remains that buying fuel sucks and RVs sucks fuel. Here are a few hacks you could use to get your motorhome rental to consume less fuel:

Don’t idle: So you’re on your merry way, but you find your way into a traffic jam and you realize you’re not going anywhere anytime soon. You are wasting precious time and precious fuel, too. If you sense you will not be moving forward for a while, don’t idle; cut off the engine immediately and save a few drops of fuel.

Fuel up when it’s cool: This hack works fine and it is based on the age-long principle of thermal expansion. At the pump, you are charged per gallon – that is volume and not the density of the fuel. In the cold hours of the morning, one gallon of fuel will be much denser than the same one gallon will be in the afternoon heat. This works on regular vehicles too!

When you’re making the decision to rent, your choice should be based on your needs. KOA offers a great calculator, if you need more help! If RV gas mileage is of paramount importance, hopefully, this article helped you out!