best gas mileage RV

Which Is the Best Gas Mileage RV Type?

Peter Wade

Driving your motorhome is often a great way to cut travel expenses. It’s also a way of life if you choose to live in it full-time. But choosing the wrong type of RV will ruin the purpose. If you want to get a proper estimate of the fuel cost, there’s no other way but to learn about the best gas mileage RV.

best gas mileage RV
Source: Getty Images

What Are the Types of Motorhome?

You need to know various types of RV to understand the RV gas mileage comparison.

Class A Motorhome

This motorhome is the largest of its kind and famous for its luxurious facilities. It offers all amenities, including a king-size bed, full-size fridge, a washer and dryer, and even an outside entertainment center. In a nutshell, it has everything a home would have. Its size can range from 21 feet to 45 feet. Its price range starts from $50,000, but a used one can be available for a cheaper rate.

Class A motorhomes are mostly suitable for full-time campers and those with large families. Running on both gas and diesel, these trailers can tow a small vehicle.

Class C Motorhome

This is probably the most popular type of RV. Besides having space for more people, it is available at a more affordable price. Class C RVs use truck or van chassis as the base with an attached cab section. It not only has several luxury features but also easier to maneuver than a Class A.

best gas mileage class c motorhome
Class C RVs are the most popular. (Source: Motorhomes / Wikimedia Commons)

The size of this RV is between 21 feet to 35 feet. You can use these trailers to tow a small vehicle for day trips during the camping. The price range of a Class A motorhome goes from $43,000 to above, depending on the model, floorplans, and features. Campers with a family of 4 to 6 people will find this as the most suitable one.

READ MORE: The 10 Best Class C Motorhomes Under 30 Feet

Class B Motorhome

You may know this RV type as the camping conversion van. Despite being small in size, a Class B RV offers space for a kitchen, bed, bathroom, and storage. They also come with a raised roof and dropped floor for additional headroom. Maneuvering them does not need much effort as it is similar to the average family car.

This RV is usually 16 to 22 feet in length, and the price range begins from $60,000. If you do not need much space and mostly stay outside the RV, this is the best gas mileage RV. There are both gas-run and diesel-run motorhomes in the market.

Average Gas Mileage of Class Motorhomes

How many mpg does an RV get? It depends on the type of motorhome you will use. On average, the three types of motorhomes will consume fuel at the following rate:

  • Class A Motorhomes: 7 to 13 mpg
  • Class B Motorhomes: 18 to 25 mpg
  • Class C Motorhomes: 14 to 18 mpg

Here is the RV mpg mileage of all the types, so you can get a clear idea about their fuel consumption rate.

Class A Motorhomes Mileage

Of the three kinds of RVs, Class A motorhomes have the worst mileage. You can expect to get an average mileage of 7 to 13 miles per gallon with this RV. Its massive size and configuration similar to a bus are responsible for this.

Due to these flat features, it is difficult to maneuver this RV against the wind forces. At that point, the engine uses more fuel to push against the natural wind force. The weight of this motorhome also makes it energy inefficient. The average weight of a Class A motorhome is 35,000 pounds or 17.5 tons. So, its engine has a lot to pull and eats up the fuel while doing so.

Some Class A motorhomes with the best gas mileage are:

  • Monaco Vesta: 10.7 mpg
  • Fleetwood Excursion: 10.1 mpg
  • Thor Palazzo: 10 mpg
  • Forest River Berkshire: 9 mpg
  • Fleetwood Bounder: 8.5 mpg

Class B Motorhomes Mileage

This is the best gas mileage RV class of all types. The best mpg RV class B goes around 18 to 25 miles per gallon. This mileage is even better than many large diesel trucks.

Because of its shape and weight, it goes to the maximum distance with a gallon of gas. Its aerodynamically-designed front end has a smooth transition to the roof that does not disturb the wind flow. As a result, it can travel more smoothly than other types of motorhomes. Since the engine does not have to work hard to push against the opposing forces, it consumes minimum fuel.

best class b motorhome for gas mileage
Class B RVs offer the best mileage. (Source: Mic / Wikimedia Commons)

Being the lightest of all the motorhomes is another factor that contributes to its mileage. The engine requires less power to run a lightweight vehicle, and hence, it needs less gas to travel.

Some Class B motorhomes for the best gas mileage are:

  • Winnebago Travato 59G: 20 mpg
  • Roadtrek Sprinter RS Adventurous: 20 mpg
  • Airstream Interstate Grand Tour Ext: 19 mpg
  • Midwest Automotive Design Passage 170 Ext MDP4 Lounge: 19 mpg
  • Winnebago Rialta: 19 mpg

Class C Motorhomes Mileage

When it comes to mileage, this type comes second for the best gas mileage RV. On average, it will go around 14 to 18 miles per gallon. Although it has an almost similar build to Class B motorhomes, its gas mileage is worse.

Despite having a smooth and sleek front like Class B, Class C RVs contain a bunk in the trailer portion. This overhang part obstructs the flow of wind and requires the engine to use more fuel. The weight distribution of this type of trailer also requires higher fuel consumption.

Some Class C motorhomes for the best gas mileage are:

  • Itasca Navion Motorhome: 18 mpg
  • Winnebago View 24V: 16.5 mpg
  • Fleetwood Pulse 24A: 15.2 mpg
  • Tiffin Wayfarer: 14 mpg
  • Thor Freedom Elite 24FE: 13 mpg

What Is the Best Gas Mileage RV?

These are the top picks of different classes of RV in terms of gas mileage.

Thor Palazzo (Class A RV)

Traditionally, these are the least fuel-efficient motorhome. But, some trailers like Thor Palazzo consumes less energy than others. On average, its mileage is 10 MPG, which can go up to 12.9 if the condition is favorable. Besides providing spectacular mileage being a Class A RV, it has four different floor plans. All of them will ensure maximum comfort and enjoyment, even on curvy and bumpy roads.

A Palazzo derives its power from Cummins ISB 6.7L diesel engine and comes with Freightliner XC-S chassis with Atlas Foundation system. While the air ride suspension and leatherette captain chairs ensure a relaxed ride, a luxurious interior with branded residential appliances guarantees a comfortable camping experience.

Winnebago Travato 59G (Class B RV)

To save on fuel cost in a Class B RV, investing in Winnebago Travato 59G is a beneficial idea. This is one of the best gas mileage RV options in the Class B category. This motorhome will go about 20 MPG in favorable condition. Winnebago is one of the most famous and oldest RV manufacturers in the US. Besides being an energy-efficient RV, its list of features makes it the top-selling Camper Van in North America. It has the Ram ProMaster van chassis, and it gets its power from an efficient energy system.

No matter how tough the weather or the road is, a Travato will keep moving without making you feel anything. Features like above-floor waterlines, heated tanks, roof and sidewall insulation, fuel-efficient Truma Combi Eco Plus heating, and dual-pane acrylic insulated windows make it unbeatable among Class B Motorhomes.

Winnebago View (Class C RV)

When it comes to gas mileage, Winnebago View is one of the best Class C motorhomes. In a normal condition, it will go around 16.5 MPG. This RV uses an altered Mercedes Sprinter chassis and comes in three different floor plans that make it versatile and attractive. This car provides many cutting-edge safety features, including brake assist, lane-keeping assist, and navigation.

most fuel efficient rv
A 2018 Winnebago View 24J

It also offers a Wi-Fi hotspot and the MBUX infotainment system with an interactive voice interface for entertainment purposes. Its world-class features and amenities will sure to provide you with an unparalleled Class C motorhome experience.

Factors that Impact the RV Gas Mileage

Sometimes even the best gas mileage RV fails to provide the expected results. In case you are wondering why this is happening, here are some of the deciding factors for motorhome gas mileage.

RV Weight

Since RV is a comparatively large vehicle, it weighs from 10,000 to 40,000 pounds, including all the heavy parts. The engine itself can weigh from 500 to 2500 pounds easily. Therefore, the engine requires massive power to pull the whole weight, and it derives the energy from the fuel.

READ MORE: Top 10 Ultra-Lightweight Travel Trailers Under 2,000 Lbs

Motorhome Size

Vehicle size is another contributing factor to the average mpg for RV. Needless to say that a large motorhome will consume more fuel as larger vehicles have more parts to run. It also contributes to the weight increase, and the engine will need more power to pull the RV.

Trailer Length

It may sound strange, but the motorhome length can also cause fuel inefficiency. It happens mostly in the case of Class A motorhomes. The logic for bigger RVs applies here too. A longer RV means a bigger one, and it comes with more parts. So, it makes sense that it will need more fuel to run.

How to Improve Motorhome Fuel Economy

Here are some tips that will help you to get the highest mileage from your RV, irrespective of the class it belongs to:

1. Regular Maintenance

By regular maintenance of the RV, it is possible to keep the gas mileage at the optimal level. Try to schedule RV maintenance according to the guidance of the manufacturer. If servicing is due during a trip, arrange it beforehand to avoid any problem.

2. Keeping the Weight in Control

The more weight you add, the more it becomes difficult for the engine to pull. So, try packing light while going on a trip for a fuel efficient RV.

3. Drive a Smaller Motorhome

Since the size is a crucial factor for RV mileage, a Class B motorhome is the best gas mileage RV compared to the Class A and Class C. Those who are looking for energy-efficient motorhomes should get a Class B.

motorhome gas mileage
A smaller motorhome consumes less fuel. (Source: VictorMacGill / PixaBay)

4. Slow and Smooth Drive

For the best gas mileage, try to drive the motorhome around 60 mph. Going over that limit will require more fuel. Besides high speed, rough driving also contributes to bad gas mileage. Driving through a bumpy road or off-road, curvy road, and even bad weather conditions will end up giving a horrible gas mileage.

5. Use Cruise Control

Cruise Control is the perfect way to keep the motorhome speed in check. It also helps to avoid constant speed fluctuation that results in worse gas mileage.

6. Skip Traffic

Stop-and-go style driving also eats up fuel unexpectedly. By avoiding highly populated areas, it is possible to improve the gas mileage of the RV.

7. Control Air Conditioning Use

Usually, an AC costs around one mpg from the total mileage of the fuel. But try not to run the AC when possible or run it at the lowest setting to get better mileage.

8. Turn off Engine When not Needed

Even when the motorhome is not moving, keeping the engine on will consume some fuel. It impacts the overall gas consumption in the long run.

Conclusion

The mileage of an RV depends on many deciding factors, including the type of motorhome you own. Check out the best gas mileage RV to save on fuel costs. You should also perform the tips to improve the gas mileage.

Last Updated on January 7, 2021

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