Anyone who tows an RV, for any length of time, knows that getting the most out of our fuel can be challenging at the best of times and with the high prices of fuel these days it has become an even bigger challenge. So, how can I improve my towing MPG?
As I said before, camping trailers and Fifth wheels come in various sizes and shapes. Some camping trailers are low profile and have pop-up tops to increase space, and tent trailers have to be opened up and the ends pulled out.
Then there are the small trailers, called “Tear Drop” that are round in the front and taper to a blunt point in the back.
There are some trailers, out there, that are made of fiberglasses like the Escape and others like Airstream Trailers that are made from aluminum. These trailers have rounded edges and corners which make them more streamlined so the air moves around them better. Some box like trailers, and some fifth wheels, now have fiberglass or plastic bulbous fronts on them to cut down on wind resistance.
- Make sure all tires are inflated to the proper PSI. It’s a good idea to check them before you leave and again before you leave the campsite. You sure wouldn’t want this to happen because of improper tire pressure. Check the treads and sidewalls for cracks, bulges, and wear.
- Make sure they all balanced and the brakes aren’t dragging. The slightest bit of drag will cause your engine to work harder and, over the long haul, your MPG will suffer.
- Check all your fluid levels, especially your transmission and engine oils, and make sure you have the correct type of fluid. Also, make sure the transmission shifts properly.
- When was the last time you had your engine tuned? Check the fluids and replace the air filter if need be.
- Make sure the fresh water and waste water tanks are empty when traveling. Water weighs over 8 lbs. a gallon. 35 gallon tank = 280 lbs. for one tank, most trailers have 3 tanks and some tanks are quite a bit bigger. That’s a lot of weight to be dragging down the highway when you’re trying to save fuel.
- Don’t carry a lot of extra items like food in the refrigerator or extra gear that you really won’t need.
- Last but not least, check your driving habits. You will save fuel by driving a little slower, trying to avoid idling your engine and using less of the lower gears in your transmission: higher revs means more fuel consumption.
Another way to reduce wind resistance is to install a “Truck Roof Wind Deflector”. They come in various sizes and shapes. They are even available for cars as well. If you don’t have a deflector, air goes over the truck and hits the bulkhead of the trailer and also traps air in the box of the truck, thus increasing the drag as you drive along the highway.
With a “Deflector” the air is directed up, over and around the trailer, which reduces resistance, improves mileage as well as wear and tear on the trailer.
I hope these tips are useful to you and if you have any comments or want to leave a tip of your own, feel free to do so at the bottom of this page.