Skyrocketing gas prices are not great for RV travel

Gas prices today – Ugh! We just left the gas station and paid over $220 for gas in our 55-gallon tank Class C RV that gets seven miles to a gallon. This is totally insane! Skyrocketing gas prices are not great for RV travel.

We all have seen the gruesome news, social media comments, emails, and tweets about the skyrocketing gas prices today. Some of you say that it makes you not want to go on another trip, and boy do we understand.

Gas prices are the number one reason RV travelers, all road trip travelers, are now making significant changes to future travel plans.

We have discussed changing or curtailing our traveling also. Motorhome owners, particularly diesel rig owners, genuinely feel the pain at the pump. Some are even writing off their beloved vehicles due to the high cost of filling the gas tank.

Skyrocketing gas prices are not great for RV travel

Always want to go

The thing is, we spend a lot of our time just traveling around the country, exploring new places, visiting friends and family, and doing what retired people do. We enjoy the freedom and flexibility of this way of travel. Seriously, we do always want to go and do not want to give up what we enjoy most.

Steve and I have calculated that the amount of money we save traveling in an RV instead of flying or staying in hotels can be quite a bit. So even with gas prices sky-high right now, we are still committed, although somewhat painfully, to our RV travels.

How can we lower our fuel costs?

Careful trip planning

These rising gas prices impact our spontaneity and ability to wake up and decide to take a trip that same day. We can no longer read about a place we’d like to visit in the morning, load up the RV, and almost immediately take off on an adventure. I am annoyed by this constraint.

Careful route planning and the necessity to stick to that plan are required now. Incidentally, I rely very heavily on RV Life Trip Wizard, part of the RV Life network, to plan our travels.

This is a paid online RV route trip planner customized to your specific rig. All of our trips are mapped out on this app before leaving home.

Making the most of each trip

We often plan a bucket list destination trip and then drive straight to that destination. We can’t always see or do it all and simply make a note to return in the future. Now, because of the additional travel expense, we make a monstrous effort to not miss sites or attractions that are important to us.

We have found that taking our time and choosing the best route for each trip can seriously cut expenses although gas prices may be a drawback these days.

On a good note, RV campgrounds may not be as crowded and it may be easier to find campsites if some RVers decide to curtail their camping adventures and choose to travel closer to home.

Skyrocketing gas prices are not great for RV travel

Routine RV maintenance is essential

  • Perform regularly recommended generator oil changes. A generator oil change is a simple and easy process that almost anyone can do. We (Steve) change(s) the oil after every 100 hours of use of our onboard generator.
  • Our Class C has a Ford engine that requires routine oil changes after every 5,000 miles of driving. It is easy to keep up with the miles driven by checking the odometer. You can get the oil changed at any place that performs oil changes, or as in Steve’s case, do it yourself at home.
  • If you have ever driven an RV, you know that the tires and wheels are the RV’s most crucial components. As for all vehicles, proper tire pressure improves gas mileage, road handling, and tire life.

It has been reported by the US Department of Energy that a vehicle will lose a percentage of its gas mileage if tires are underinflated. Also, underinflated tires will cause the tires to wear 10% faster.

You can improve your gas mileage by 3.3 percent by properly inflating your tires. This means that cars getting 30 mpg could benefit about 1 mpg with properly inflated tires.

We are big believers in monitoring our tire pressure by using a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). A display unit mounted on the vehicle dash continually displays tire pressure and temperature as we travel and emits a warning sound if a problem occurs.

Skyrocketing gas prices are not great for RV travel

Save money on gas at the pump.

For RV owners and all road trip travelers alike, gas prices have a significant impact on your travel plans. According to AAA’s National Average Gas Prices, as of March 13, 2022, the national gas price average has reached $4.325 per gallon.

Diesel is an entirely different ball game and I do not have any information related to diesel. Our RV uses gasoline, so we have knowledge about gas prices. Here are a few ways we lower our gas dollars.

  • We have downloaded and regularly used the GasBuddy app. This app provides gas prices provided by users of the app. It will quickly provide the cheapest gas closest to your current location and even directions.
  • Take advantage of rewards credit cards. Many credit cards give you cash back or points. If you pay your credit card bill in full every month, those rewards can help you save big on gas for your next trip. These are our favorite and most often used reward credit cards.
  1. We have a Texas Dow Employees Credit Union (TDECU) credit card that provides 15 cents off each gallon of gas at our local Buc-ee’s gas station. It offers 10 cents off each gallon of gas at other Buc-ee’s gas stations throughout the area.
  1. We also use Sam’s Club’s credit card that provides 5% back for the first $6,000 in fuel purchases for one year at any gas station. We often buy gas at Sam’s when we travel because we find it usually has the best price around.
  1. Shell, Love’s, Pilot, Circle-K are other gas stations that provide discount or reward programs. We occasionally, but not often, take advantage of these programs.

Remember when gas was only _______ per gallon? (fill in the blank). For me, I would fill that blank in with TWENTY-FIVE CENTS!

Skyrocketing gas prices are not great for RV travelSkyrocketing gas prices are not great for RV travel

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