By Mark Polk
RV Education 101
If there were seven simple steps you could take to improve your fuel economy in your motorhome and automobiles, would you do it? Of course you would! So here they are Polk’s 7 simple steps to improve fuel economy.
1. Check and replace your air filter if it’s dirty. That’s right, something as simple as a clean air filter can improve your fuel economy up to 10 percent. 2. Checking and adjusting your tire pressure to the proper pressure can increase fuel economy by 3 percent. Of course, it can also prevent premature tire wear, tire failures and blowouts caused by overinflated or underinflated tires. Tires can look normal when they are seriously underinflated. Use a quality air pressure gauge and check your tires when they’re cold, before traveling more than one mile.
3. For each 5 mph you go over 60 mph, you pay 10 cents more per gallon of fuel. So if you’re traveling down the interstate at 70 mph, add 20 cents to the price on the pump. Speeding and rapid acceleration reduces fuel economy from 5 to 33 percent depending on your individual driving habits. Wow, that can add up quick.
4. Keep the motorhome tuned up and in top running condition. A poorly tuned engine can lower fuel economy by 10 to 20 percent. Poor emissions and/or a faulty oxygen sensor can cause a 40 percent reduction in fuel economy. Can you believe that, a 40 percent reduction?
5. Follow the recommended service and maintenance schedules.
6. Using synthetic oils will increase fuel economy by 2 or more percent.
7. Adding weight that you don’t need reduces fuel economy significantly. We’re all guilty of this one. As a friend once told me, if you haven’t used it in the last six months you don’t need it.
See, it really is easy to improve our fuel economy. Try following these seven simple steps to improve your fuel economy. You and your wallet will be glad you did.
|RV expert Mark Polk owns RV Education 101, a North Carolina-based company that produces and sells educational videos, DVDs and E-books on how to use RVs. Mark has more than 30 years of experience in RV maintenance. He retired from the U.S. Army in 1996 as a Chief Warrant Officer Three, specializing in wheeled and track vehicle fleet maintenance operations. He and his wife, Dawn, started RV Education 101 in 1999. They travel with their two boys in a 35-foot Type A motorhome.