Is there such a thing as fuel economy when it comes to RVing across America?

RVing across America 

Image by johnnrosenomads

Without even thinking, we pretty much all know that when it comes to RVing across America in this day and age, we aren’t talking about fuel economy, we are talking luxury expense.

It didn’t used to be that way.  RVing across America was a great way for families to travel – they could relax, play games, see the sights and hang out together while driving across the country.  Then when they got to their destination, they didn’t have to pay extra for a hotel or motel.  They didn’t even really need to go out to eat (if they had a kitchenette in their RV).

But with the current state of the economy, items such as an RV are considered luxury items.  Add to that the cost of gas (even though it continues to go down), the RV is not widely known for its fuel economy.   And even though a fuel additive, such as Green Plus™ would help make it more fuel efficient, a typical RV weighs more and gets worse gas mileage than an 18-wheeler truck.

To top it off, a regular size RV sometimes costs more than a quality car.  Since most people I know wouldn’t want to be driving an RV to and from work on a daily basis, purchasing an RV tends to go on the back burner.

According to this article, major RV manufacturers have taken all of this into account due to the downtrend of RV sales in the past few years and have started manufacturing greener RVs.  For example, Damon Motor Coach has an RV which apparently provides a 70% increase in fuel economy over other similar “Class A” RVs.

Now while I applaud RV manufacturers for wanting to create a greener RV and while I probably will take my kids RVing at some point when they get a little older…I don’t think I’ll be putting “RVing across America” on the list of Top 10 fuel economic activities.


  • RV Bob

    I think you will see some new technology in RVs that make them a little more economical. I hope it happens in the next couple years cause I’m getting ready to retire and plan on traveling in a Motorhome.

  • John

    The New York Times had a recent article covering this very topic! They featured a few different RV owners, each with their own philosophy – for more please visit:

  • Paul

    I’m all for greener RVs, but we need to start with accurate information. The info above states “a typical RV weighs more and gets worse gas mileage than an 18-wheeler truck.” That statement is simply not true. A typical 18-wheeler weighs apx twice what most even larger class A RVs weigh. From my truck and RV experience, I suspect their fuel mileage is close to many larger RVs, if not worse.

  • Tara

    Hi Paul,
    Thanks for visiting my blog and thanks very much for your comment.
    I checked out some further information based on your comment and looks like the site I referenced was inaccurate. Thanks for pointing that out.
    According to research, a Class A RV weighs approx 15-35,000 lbs unloaded (eg without adding in weight from water tanks, various gas tanks, the family/friends you are transporting, etc.) and averages between 8-10mpg. An 18-wheeler weighs 12,000 lbs (for just the cab) and another 20-30,000 lbs av for the trailer – up to 80,000 lbs if fully loaded. Gas mileage averages 6-8mpg.
    So neither is high on the fuel economy – but like my blog states, hopefully RV manufacturers are successful at making greener RVs and increasing the RV’s fuel economy!
    Check out my post on a biofriendly trucking industry being possible in the coming decade for information on steps being taken in the trucking industry.

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