TOP
Alaskan highway

Our Gas RV MPG – Fleetwood Bounder with Ford V10

If you’ve found this article while looking for a fuel efficient RV or motorhome your search may sadly end here.  I hate to say it but the RV industry hasn’t been forced by the consumer, or the government, to design class A motorhomes that get a Miles Per Gallon that one can be proud to share with their friends.  Trust me, when we started our search for an RV we spent countless hours online looking up Most Fuel Efficient RV, Best RV MPG, Green RV, Hybrid RV, and so on…  We are really hoping there’s a change for the better in the near future.

Alaskan highway

At this point we’ve had three different Class A Diesel RVs: 2 Front Engine Diesels (a Damon Avanti and a Monaco Vesta) and one rear engine diesel (a Fleetwood Excursion).  Although I didn’t track and share the MPG of our Avanti it was the best performer due to the smaller 31’ size and lighter weight.  Our Vesta came in a very close second averaging a fuel economy in the almost 11ish MPG area (you can find those reports here: Monaco Vesta MPG).  Our Excursion came in third but considering it wasn’t designed for fuel efficiency like our Vesta, I was pleased when we tracked the fuel economy in the 9.5 MPG range (you can find those reports here: Fleetwood Excursion MPG).

Now enter our new home on wheels:  A Ford V10 powered Gas RV, in fact it’s our first class A gas RV ever!  She’s a 2016 Fleetwood Bounder 33C.  Without further ado, here is the MPG of our new motorhome.

banff national park

Indiana to Montana

04/28/2015 – 05/19/2015

It was warm enough we had to run the dash AC a bit, but not too much.  We climbed several hills en-route and we battled some strong crosswinds through most of the Midwest.  I did run the generator for a few hours during this time (I had to test it to make sure it worked) but I have not notated the hours or adjusted for the fuel used, I’m assuming it’s only a teeny fraction of a gallon difference for the overall MPG.

  • Gallons: 331.82
  • Miles: 1,890
  • Fuel Cost: $784.34
  • Avg Price per Gallon (regular unleaded): $2.36
  • Avg Motorhome Fuel Economy: 6.83 MPG

rv fuel economy


Alberta to Alaska

05/21/2015 – 06/12/2015

Our dash AC stopped working so we didn’t use it all during this trip.  We didn’t pass any major mountains however we did climb many hills on this route with lots of long 6% grades.  Wind was average but not anything to complain about.  We did not run the generator during this part of the trip (thanks to our solar and lithium technology upgrades).

  • Gallons: 280.51 (Liters: 1,061.85)
  • Miles: 1,537 (2,473.562 kilometers)
  • Fuel Cost: $953.91 ($1,239.61 CAD)
  • Avg Price per Gallon (regular unleaded): $3.40 USD
  • Avg Gas RV Fuel Economy: 6.44 MPG (2.74 KmPL)

Our Alaska Road Trip

06/14/2015 – 09/04/15

This is our entire RV Road Trip in Alaska! From my first fill-up in Tok (I’m putting my Chicken, AK top off in the Canada numbers) to my last fill-up just before crossing the Canadian border. I’m trying to make sense of these numbers and I have no idea why our Gas RV MPG was so low in Alaska. Maybe it was more hilly and mountainous than our previous routes? Maybe it’s the dusty, rough roads we traveled at such low speeds? We ran the dash A/C here and there once it was fixed and we ran the generator a bit, but not enough to impact the numbers too much. I’ve triple checked my receipts and I’m not missing anything so sadly, I guess these are our Alaskan Fuel Economy Numbers.

  • Gallons: 449.47
  • Miles: 2,474
  • Fuel Cost: $1,552.30
  • Avg Price per Gallon (regular unleaded): $3.45
  • Avg RV Fuel Economy: 6.13 MPG

Canada Route to the Lower 48

09/05/2015 – 09/27/2015

Sadly, we rushed through this portion of trip heading south from our Alaska Adventures. My first Canadian fill-up was in Whitehorse, YT and our last was just south of the Canadian Border in Lacey, WA (I didn’t finish with a fill-up in BC because fuel is so darn expensive in Canada). The roads were in good condition, we met very little traffic or construction, it’s probably the most smooth sailing we’ve experienced on this trip. There are some hills but nothing that stood out to me as a big mountain. I don’t think we ran the generator this entire route so we can throw that wild card out the window. How did I end up with such poor MPG? Good news is the price per gallon is a little bit lower than Alaska Fuel Prices due to the US dollar being about 30% stronger than the Canadian Dollar.

  • Gallons: 320.47 (Liters: 1,213.111)
  • Miles: 1,817 (Kilometers: 2,924.178)
  • Fuel Cost: $1,017.85 USD ($1,323.89 CAD)
  • Avg Price per Gallon (regular unleaded): $3.18 USD
  • Avg RV Fuel Economy: 6.67 MPG (2.84 KmPL)

If you’ve guessed we’re not too happy with these numbers, trust me, you’ve guessed right!  It’s a real bummer that gas RVs don’t get near the fuel economy as a diesel motorhome…but they’re a lot less expensive so most people say it comes out in the wash.  We have loads of thoughts on Gas vs. Diesel RVs which we’ve shared in this article if you’re interested: RV Smackdown – Diesel vs Gas and we have updates with our Bounder/Gas RV performance thoughts soon!

Here’s my extremely important RV MPG disclaimer bullet points that greatly affect our overall motorhome fuel economy, small changes will most likely make your MPG numbers different:

  • This RV is brand new so the engine isn’t broken in yet, over time the MPGs will likely increase (a fraction)
  • When carrying water, fuel and propane we are sitting right at our 22,000lb GVWR
  • We are flat towing a 2000lb Convertible Smart Car which brings us approx. 2000lbs shy of our 26,000lb GCWR, so we’re nearly maxed out on all our weight ratings
  • We typically drive around 55 Miles Per Hour and rarely go faster than 60 MPH

*I’m using an app called Fuelio to track my fuel numbers and provide my RV MPG reports.
If you know of that secret Class A motorhome that gets amazing MPG please share in the comments below.  If you want to share your year, make, model and MPG it’s always great to see what others are averaging in their travels.  Who knows, if everyone else in a 30’ coach is getting better MPGs than us then maybe we’re doing something wrong!

Famous for my "how-not-to" videos, and typically the man behind the camera, sometimes I’m forced to be here in the “spotlight”. When you see my face you’re probably reading something more technical than adventurous, but either way I do my best to tell it like it is and infuse my opinions into the commentary…after all this is a blog and not MSN.

Comments (351)

  • Ivan Kennebeck

    If you find any visible mold patches, use EPA approved sprays to kill the spores, disinfect all adjacent surfaces, and apply a sealant (when the area is completely dry) for added protection against mold growth in the future.

    reply
  • Steve Haynes

    We have a 2017 Newmar Canyon Star 3710 class “A” with the changed v10 w/6 speed trans. My understanding is ford reduced the horsepower and increased the torque in the new engine.
    The first time I checked the MPG we got about 6.8 MPG. The engine was new and I feel I made some big mistakes in the mountains. I would set the Cruse and let it down shift and run high rpm up long hills.
    Now when I am in a mountain area I turn CC off.
    We Just returned from a trip to corp of engineres camping area. We had about 40 miles with some demanding long climbs. I now let the rig pick up a little speed and DO NOT TRY AND HOLD 60/65 MPH up the long inclines. It did slow down some peaking some of the long grades at 49-52 MPH. I believe by not causing the trans downshift, it would increase MPG.

    The first time I checked was at about 1000 miles. I now have over 6000 miles.

    Checking the gas I fueled at home with a small pump I have and filled the 80 gallon tank to where I could see the level at the filler and may have waisted some fuel. I found I could get over 10 gals of additional full in after running about 50 miles from fill up.
    This last trip was filled the same way and I used a total of 34. 4 gallons filled to the neck of the filler combination of what was put in at the gas station and what I put in it today. The millage I covered was 276.4 on the GPS and 276.2 on the fords speedometer.
    The mpg WORKED OUT TO 8.029……. mpg I am very happy with this number. This is a 38 foot MH on the new ford 26,000 lb chassis with the new V-10 and new transmission. I am running about 24,800lbs with all my junk and towing a Kia Soul……about 2,700lbs Combined CGVW of almost 29,000lbs
    The real issue here is the cost of ownership. My close friends have D Pushers about the same length but weigh more on the D chassis. They are reporting 9-10MPG actual millage…not reported by a dash board computer. Now lets look at the operational coasts of the two. I am paying about .0.35-0.80 less for gas. They are also having to add DFI as they fill up there tank. I do not think there is much difference between the operational costs between the D and Gas MH. I am 72 years old. I will probably put 50-70,000 miles at the most before the keys are taken away from me. The ford engine has a 50,000 mile waranty on it….Probably more than cover my actual usage. I can change my oil (7 QTs) in the driveway. A trip to Cummings would cost me about $400 2000 year dollars. I can maintain the ford in my drive way. I change the oil every 2-3000 miles….7 qts. The d Used about 16-18 qts if I recall correctly.
    D MH are great and will tow a lot more than mine…..Probably good for 250,000 miles before major expense.pull better in the mountains and cost at least 60-80,000 more for a D Pusher furnished like ours.
    I see a lot of folks buy a big MH and do not put the miles on them that they though they would. There are a lot of very low millage MH for sale by folks that thought they would use them more.
    In closing I do not think there is much difference in operating cost between the D and Gas. I am out of space! sorry for being cut off Best luck with what you go with…but don’t discount the new ford v-10/6 speed 26,000 lb Chassis…..works very well!!

    Best Regards and hope you have all smooth roads and great weather

    Steve Haynes

    reply
  • Ed

    Hi, I have a 1997 Roadtrek Popular 190. ( Love driving it). Dodge 360. Third owner. I had it for over 13 years. It now, has 220,000 + plus miles. Replaced the trans at around 180,000 with a used working one with 125,000 on it. The Dodge 360 does not burn or use oil! A few years ago, I took it with total 4 passangers for a three month trip – over 10,000 miles! No issues! Within the last 2,000 miles, I did decide – To replaced the tires, shocks, brakes, ball joints, air-conditioning compressor, batteries. And repaired the running boards/flares. I keep it stored in the winter in a heated and dehumitified controlded storage! No rust! Looks close to new on the outside.
    Plan to go to Alaska for a two month round trip with 6 people total. I have gone on many one, two and three week trips with 6 and and even seven people. Yes! I had extra seat belts installed! Right you got it! Only one or two of us slepted in the Roadtrek! Just this weekend needed to have some red angel put in my airconditioner and recharged! It blows cold air again like new!

    Now, for my reason to make a comment! Within the last few weeks, I have been checking my mpg. For 320 miles without overdrive on = 13.69 mpg.( driving 65 – 70). 285 miles with overdrive on 14.69 (there were a, few times I drove for a while with the o/d off). 386 miles going 70 (actually 75 on my speedometer) 13.39 mpg. All driving was with the air off. In the past if I kept it at 55 mpg. I got as high as 15.5 mpg. But, lately going 55 – you create traffic problem in this area around the big cities. Actually, with the ventalation in the Roadtreck and my added fans. We really do not need the air on to be comfortable! Which is interesting because my wife like it so cool in our home! I put on a long sleeve shirt! Note: many years ago, I slept in it 5 days a week – from May of one year to February of the next year. Pushed the heater on, 15 minutes before I got up! All warm. I had to put my morning water in my sleeping bag or it would freeze solid. Go to thr “y’ swim shower and shave, coffee and off to work I go!
    I also, had business in 9 states! The Roadtreck was my traveling office! Plus because it is only about 19.5 ft. long, it is legal to park on city streets. Even in NYC! It was a great traveling office – Insurance/securities. Dodge 360! I picked this Chassis because a good friend has been a mechanic forever working on trucks! He said they have way less issues with the Dodge 360’s. I think he was right!

    reply
  • Lee

    When you are driving around in a small one bedroom apartment with you water, fuel, power generating station, propane, food and waste material with you AND TOWING YOUR CAR, what kind of mileage would you expect from the most fuel efficient engine?! That being said, I had a 36 foot Dolphin with one slide out, pulling a 12 foot enclosed trailer with my Road King inside and got 9.5 mph on flat ground and about 5 mph climbing the grade from the cost side up to Tehachapi. Sure wish I would have kept it!

    reply
  • Joseph Zayas

    Dear Nikki and Jason: Love your travel videos, especially the ones on Alaska. My wife and I drove to Alaska in June 1998 and we are planning to return there in August, 2018. We are also considering buying our first motor home but will probably go on this trip with our trusty 1999 Chevy Suburban with 44 gallon fuel tank and average 18 mpg (350 V8 gas) and motel it all the way. Enjoyed reading Dave Kropf’s note of October 15, 2017 on his 2005 Georgie Boy Pursuit (3500DS?). It turns out that I am considering an identical unit for us. His reported mpg numbers look encouraging. Keep up your good work.

    reply
  • steve case

    Yup! My bought used 2004 Ford V10 Class “C” and flat towing my Hundai 2 door Accent gets about 6.7 mpg. I won’t be taking trips out west with the thing.

    reply
  • Chuck Schwerzler

    I have a 2016 Thor 32 foot Hurricane. Last summer we drove out west through Colorado, Utah, Grand Canyon, Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, etc. We drove 5,951 miles, used 695 gallons of gas and averaged 8.5 MPG. Fuel costs were $1,684 ($2.42 per gallon). Lots of hills and several days of strong head winds, probably averaged about 60+ mph. Our friends had a 37 foot travel trailer and a diesel truck and averaged about 10.4 MPG.

    reply
  • Phildoe

    Hello, my girlfriend and I recently purchased a 1996 Fleetwood Bounder 34F motorhome with the Triton V10 engine and 3 speed + overdrive automatic transmission, over all the RV is in very good shape and our first trip and ” shakedown” was this past weekend going up to Boyne, Mountain Michigan. I noticed a few disturbing little quirks with this big yet beautiful unit. 1. is that the engine seems to be running on 8 of the 10 cylinders and the other is a spot on the floor that looks like it’s a weld that cracked and is slowly pulling that corner up when high winds push against the left side of the motorhome. Rest assured we are taking it in to the RV dealer we got it from today to have both issues addressed and taken care of. other than that I can’t really say anything to negative. Deffinately many more trips planned for us in the future.

    reply
  • JOSEPH REECE

    I purchased my first motor home this year. 2000 31′ e450 class c. I’ve driven it about 1000 miles, once pulling a 7×12 enclosed. I’ve been happy with the mileage and average 9mpg. I owned a 2001 dually with an 8.1 vortex and got 8 mpg. I’d say if you don’t like the gas mileage just drive a smart car and stay in hotels.

    reply
  • Colin Cassells

    My background is I own a technology company that builds/designs technology and Entertainment solutions for RV parks as one of my clients. I also own a travel trailer.

    I spend a lot of time in RV parks and I notice how slow the RV industry is in adopting even slightly modern technology in their designs, which I think is a market opportunity lost (why no wi-fi exterior antenna’s but we have TV antennas as standard equipment for these faraday cages). Also manufactures have no drive whatsoever to adopt modern technologies/designs to make fuel efficient RV’s. I think some mandated fuel economy standards in this case would actually be of benefit, as customer demand has not convinced the manufacturers to design for economy.

    I mean come on, the v10 is a relic from the 90s which lacks direct injection, turbocharging, variable valve timing. Ford won’t even offer the engine in modern trucks/vans, but somehow the RV industry has become a dumping ground for this obsolete/inefficient tech. I think if the powertrains were from this decade where a huge amount engineering effort has been spent to improve efficiency; RV’s would be significantly more efficient. Are you listening manufacturers? Lets stop the with the 25 year old underpowered inefficient gasoline drivetrains. Some modern turbocharged gasoline engines would be nice.

    Besides left over obsolete powertrains RVs have horrible barn door aerodynamics, with lots of protrusions (awnings, ac, etc.). Though I have researched improving the aerodynamics on them, and there are owner tweaks that can be done to improve efficiency by 3-4% (areotabs, removing projections, underbody covers, etc.)

    So my experience I had a 2008 BMW X5 4.8i (360hp non-turbo v8 /6spd auto) towing a Flagstaff Microlite 21DS to Martin Dies state park, at an average speed of 65mph I averaged a dismal 7.3mpg. I replaced my tow vehicle with a 2011 BMW X5 M (555hp twin turbo, direct injected V8/6spd auto) towing the same trailer to the same destination with very similar weather, same speeds. I got 9.5mpg on a second trip to Martin Dies from our house. So really the most significant change was a different engine, and it made a big difference. The two BMW’s other than engines are nearly identical otherwise (same generation). For comparison (not at all apples to apples) my father in law towed his converted toy hauler/trailer (smaller/shorter/not as tall as ours) at about the same speeds and achieved 12mpg in his 2017 Duramax 2500HD pickup.

    reply
  • Randall

    To Summarize:
    Don’t buy a RV with the Ford Triton V10 unless you want to pay $1,000 in fuel to drive across a few states.

    reply
  • Dave Kropf

    We have a 2005 Georgie Boy Pursuit 36′ with the Ford V10. We have done trips from Huntsville, Ontario to Thunder Bay Ontario as well as Huntsville Ontario to Denver Colorado. Both trips involved some hill climbing, but not mountains. We use cruise control all the time.

    We achieved 10.2 mpg on the Thunder Bay trip and 9.6 mpg on the Denver trip. ( higher speeds) One key we have found, is to NOT let the transmission downshift. So when approaching a hill say in a 90km zone, speed up on the flat or downhill before the incline by 10-15 kph to give you the momentum to clear the hill without downshifting. This means increasing by a couple hundred rpms before the hill, as opposed to one to two thousand or more going over the hill.

    If it doesn’t look like you will make it with the cruise on, turn it off and use just enough pedal to get you there. We have found with our Motorhome, the sweet spot for power is 2500-2700 rpm, in this target zone, we can climb most hills without downshifting. Figure out what it is for yours.

    Guess in short, driving these things is not a spectator sport. You need to be engaged and figure out the best way to achieve reasonable fuel economy.

    reply
    • Patrick

      Agree with all Dave’s points. But one more is aerodynamic awareness. Don’t let followers stay behind to long. Pay attention to weather and slow down into significant headwinds. There are ways to improve the rigs aerostream like rear edge vortex generators, awning mount removals, a/c covers streamlining roof items. The under carriage may have room for cover plates etc.

      reply
  • Robert Pickles

    Ok here’s the deal, I need some info, We currently own a 2014 Thor freedom elite 28H over all it’s 30 ft. it’s on a Ford E450 chassis with a V10 and Allison transmission and 23,000 for miles.

    I’m happy with the motorhome end but there are quality issues for sure dealing with that. My real problem is with the performance of this unit, the smallest hill will have this thing backing shifting and the engine screaming at 4 to 5 grand till I get over the hill, also at 5 g’s it will not backshift sometimes it just hangs there till I get off the gas or we hit 60 to 65 mph. I have tried all different kinds of driving stiles from inching up hills at 35 mph to playing with the gas peddle to make it shift gears to flat out just letting it scream up the hill. I am very disappointed in the performance of this engine

    How ever, and this is what I don’t get there are 100’s of ford V10 class A’s out there I know cause they pass me like I’m standing still. what gives are there different V10’s with more horsepower?

    I ask this only cause we are looking to trade this unit in as it’s time for an upgrade, And I have been dead set on a diesel due to the performance of my current V10, How ever the cost of a diesel unit has got us looking at gas.

    Now be for you ask, yes I just took it to the ford dealer when we got back from this trip had a long talk with the service tech as to what was happing. they checked engine and transmission and reported back to me “THAT’S THE WAY IT’S DESIGNED IT WILL DO THAT THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WE CAN FIND”

    So my quest for info is, I would like to hear from some people with Class A motorhomes with the ford V10 what is you performance like do you wish at time you had a diesel? Thank you

    reply
    • Matt

      Robert,
      I have had two motor homes now. One a Workhorse with the 8.1L and our second with the Ford V10. I have put Banks exhaust kits on both. For the V10 I would question if you have tried to run in Tow/Haul mode. It’s that little switch on the shifter. This may get you more getty-up on the hills. Also if you feel as though your engine cannot keep up with other V-10’s I would recommend you look at your catalytic converters. My neighbor had the v-10 and lost 2 motors before he found out they were plugged. One shop cut them off and found a world of performance! I have also done the 5 star tune with my V10. This got me the most improvement in getty-up not the banks as the V10 doesn’t start using the Banks bigger exhaust until higher in the RPM range. Hope this helps. Oh and my gas milage didn’t improve too much with the banks. Running about 65 mph, generator running and towing a golf cart I get around 6-7 MPG. Best of luck.

      reply
    • Patrick

      That 2014 Thor freedom elite 28H is so non-aerodynamic it’s like holding a open bucket into the wind. Try a sloped nose RV with a similar V10 and you will see dramatic improvements in economy. Also avoiding tailgaters sapping your rear is a must. Pay attention to wind conditions and go slow when into a headwind. Good luck.

      reply
  • Fernando Gonzalez

    Thank you for all this good information. I bought me a 2015 Fleetwood terra se 31′.
    We love it but haven’t used it much.

    reply
  • Carlos A Bustamante

    I would like to make a small comment, in all your trips you used, “regular Unleaded gasoline” I have a secret from a Old taxi driver, he was driving an old police car, Crown Victoria, the secret is to use “Primiun Unleaded gasoline” 91 octane, with regular you save at the pump but not at the highway, with 91 Octane you save at the highway where you want to save, getting more MPG where it counts, try it for one or two tanks of gas, in your car, truck, SUV, if you don’t get the results you want you can always go back, also clean or replace the C02 sensor at the air intake, this is the sensor that tells the computer how much gas to pump into your engine.

    reply
    • zed ruhlen

      Use the fuel octane recommended by your manufacturer. Higher octane fuel is a waste of money if your vehicle isn’t designed to run on it. In spite of the various claims on the internet, higher octane fuel has one purpose and that is to reduce preignition. Preignition occurs when the the air/fuel mixture ignites early in the compression cycle and causes knocks and pinging. Any forced air induction (think turbo charging) or high compression engine will require premium fuel. All others are literally wasting your money.

      Plus there is no CO2 sensor in your car. There is an O2 sensor and it is located in the exhaust, not the intake.

      reply
    • Eric

      Literally not a single accurate statement in this entire comment.

      As mentioned, octane is strictly for pre-ignition and on a Triton V10 designed with a lower compression ratio, will achieve nothing positive. In fact, it will give you LESS performance. Also, there is no such thing as a C02 sensor, let alone a CO2 sensor on an engine. The only sensors on the intake tract that tell the engine how much gas to “pump” into your engine are the MAF and IAT. The world could do a lot better if “internet experts” were banned from using it.

      reply
      • Paul Taylor

        Actually there is some merit to what he has stated. Octane level is not the only difference between Premium and regular unleaded fuels. My son is a chemist and works for one of the large oil companys. He has told me that the alcohol and so called oxygenators to “gasoline” ratio is substantially different between premium and regular blends. For example Chevron supreme is about as close to pure gasoline as you can get today because the percentage of actual “Gasoline” in the mix is much higher.

        The Octane myth was true until they started oxygenating fuel and adding alcohol.

        reply
      • John

        To Eric and Zed
        Actually Carlos is right and you both are wrong. Modern engines have knock sensors that detect when an engine begins to knock from pre-ignition. The information is sent to the computer and the timing will be retarded until the knock (pre-igniton) is eliminated. To get the best mileage you want the timing advanced as far as possible without pre-ignition. By using a higher octane gasoline the timing can be advanced farther and better mileage obtained. Whether the mileage increase is worth the extra price for the premium gas will depend on your vehicle. I have had some vehicles that benefited more with premium fuels then did others.

        I think you are being a little rough on Carlos. I agree he was confused about a CO2 sensor but then again both of you were wrong about the significance of octane rating and premium fuels. Maybe you should be banned from using the internet.

        Keep an open mind before you blast somebody.

        Retired automotive R&D engineer
        John

        reply
        • Eric

          John, I appreciate your comments with maybe a little confirmation bias because those are exactly the conclusions I had reached. That said, engines are designed with a maximum possible amount of spark advance, and some may already be maximized for what happens on 87 octane. In that case, they would achieve no benefit from premium fuel. It’s hard to know in advance (pun intended) where a given engine/ECM design operates in that respect, so it’s trial and error for most of us.

          Engineering question: What is the failure mode of a knock sensor? If it fails outright or gets weak, does the ECM default to more advance (allowing knock), or retard (losing power)?

          reply
  • David "Pop's" Dail

    I would like to say Thank to The Wynns for all you fantastic informative videos. My wife and I are selling our home and almost everything we have accumulated over 60 years and are going to full time RV and enjoy what time we have left in the wonderful USA. Fuel economy is very important to us and many others who live on fixed incomes, so trying to choose between a MH or a 5th wheel is a headache causing decision. once again Thanks for all the videos and keep them coming.

    reply
  • Mark

    Hello Jason and fellow readers. I just came across this website while trying to research the expected fuel mileage for a motor home I’m interested in. I have really enjoyed everyone’s stories, info and wisdom. I have to agree with the person who said don’t worry about the fuel mileage but enjoy the journey. I already know that RVing is the cheapest way to travel. I guess I’m just trying to figure out if I can afford it. I’m not what you would call moneyed folks. I’m currently looking at a 1999 Bounder 34J in like new condition and at a very fair price. The idea of going into debt to buy it is scary but I realize it is the only way my wife and I will be able to do the traveling we want to do. By now I’m sure you have figured out this is my first RV and unless I win the lottery it will be my last. I have been looking at RVs for several years and have been doing a lot of dreaming. I’m less than six years from retirement and I want to have it paid for before then. I guess it’s just the fear of the unknown. Who knows what tomorrow will bring. Then again, none of us are promised tomorrow. Besides my desire to travel, the one thing that drives me to follow through with my dream is my Dad’s voice ringing in my ears. When he was almost 80 he said “Son, if you want to travel, do it while you’re young enough and able to do it. Your Mom and I had planned to travel and see this beautiful country we live in but our health began to fail and we just got too old. We waited too long. Please don’t make the same mistake. ” And so I press on. I will let you know how it all works out. Thanks for listening and I hope to see you on the road.

    reply
    • David "Pop's" Dail

      Mark, very well said and yes we only have one short life and when the hour glass is empty you can’t turn it over and start again. After reading your post it all comes down to “what does it matter what millage you get” that’s a small price to live a dream. My wife and look so forward to being a full time RV’er and starting a new chapter of our life. We have 3 west German slant back shepherds over 100#’s each, for comfort it says Motorhome but the wallet says 5th wheel either way initial investment will be about the same and my studies have come to the conclusion that there would be only about a 3 mpg difference. All the info in everyone’s post’s are a great tool for our decision. Thank you for your insight.

      reply
  • Peter Tamayo

    I’m planning on buying a 2009 Forest River 378TS, Ford v10 w/ 22,000mi. for $59k. It’s very clean and I like it. Blue book val looks about right.

    My Diesel buddy is telling me I’m nuts to buy a gas RV. Said milage and reliability not there; get a diesel. I told himn diesels are more $ and not sure if that would be right for me.

    Any comments from gas and diesel owners?

    reply
      • My parents RV’d pulling a trailer their average gas mileage was bout 10mpg pulling 25′ Airstream with a Dodge Monaco 400hp tow vehicle

        reply
  • Tony C

    I have been Rv ing in class C’s since 2008. I had a 2009 Coachmen 22qbc I purchased new in 2008. It had a 6 litre LS motor with a 4L80 trans. (4 speed auto). I liked the truck (despite some coach issues). Over the time I owned it, constantly towing a jeep wrangler, or an open car Trailer w/a 3600 lb. race car, doing 4000 miles a yr. it got 8 mpg. Power was ok. But as the family grew, in 2012, I purchased a new 2013 Coachmen 23QBC. This was the best truck I ever owned. Had a slide for the dinette, a 6 litre ls engine w/ a 6 speed allison transmisson. It had exelent power. Would pull hills effortlessly and was disturbingly powerful when empty…it got 8.7 -9.5 mpg across the whole time i owned it. (I also drive aggressively) 65-70. Once again the family grew and u traded it in 2015 for a 2016- 32 foot forest river bunk house . This is the most beautiful truck i owned but have had an endless list of quality issues ( some still not resolved ) i wanted a chevy chassis but its not avail. I end up with a ford v 10 and a 5speed. This is the worst engine trans combo ever!!!! I have gotten 5.5-6.3 mpg. No matter what driving style or speed. It cant pull a hill with my trailer. And barely pulling the wrangler.. WTF?? I have every gallon of fuel documented in every vehicle i have ever owned since 1995… 300 horsepower and 6 mpg. It will cost me more $ in 4 yrs than i am comfortable with. They should have used the eco-boost motor and maybe it would get better economy… I would like to add power but not at the cost of voiding the warentee. Sorry for the rant…

    reply
  • Mike

    I vote for the rough roads being the primary reason for poor fuel economy in Alaska. My F350 work truck is about half the weight of your motor home and is diesel powered, but I see serious loss of fuel economy on even moderately rough roads.

    reply
  • Roger

    We recently purchased a Winnebago Fuse 23a. It is a 24 ft rv that is on the Ford Transit chassis. It is powered by Ford’s 5 cylinder, 3.2 liter power stroke diesel. We are averaging between 14 and 15 mpg at 70 mph. Other owners report getting 19 mpg at speeds between 55 and 60. We have no problem cruising up inclines and most of time, it doesnt even downshift. It is a smaller coach but i love that diesel engine.

    reply
    • Carol Parker

      I’m currently looking at motorhomes on the Ford Transit chasis. Good to know the gas mileage. Thanks for posting.

      reply
  • Mike

    We just bought a Newmar 3333. I’ll have to say: these guys do a good job on fit and finish and overall layout liveability. On our first trip we drove almost 600 miles and averaged just over 8 mpg checking tank fillup not by computer. It was fitted with the newer 6 speed and 320hp V10. Rarely downshifted when going over overpasses towing a Mini Cooper. We’ll see how it does in the Mountains later this year. Had an imaginary issue about the door being hard to close, which turned out to be the seal was new and needed some use before flattening out a bit. The tech people told me to take it anywhere I chose if the problem continued and send Newmar the bill. This was a much different experience than our last Motorhome that was like pulling teeth to get warranty work done.

    reply
  • Great articles WITH great info. We’re going to be chasing your route (mostly) and have found your website and videos priceless (yes, tip jar rattled!). Towing a 43 foot toy hauler (with motorcycle in back) with our 2007 Dodge Ram 3500. Last year, leaving Florida, heading up to Michigan via Memphis, upstate New York, Boston, and back home, we got exactly 10 mpg even. 6500 miles with about 500 not pulling anything. Get’s abut 18-20 mpg empty. We’re pulling 21000 lbs, so I’m happy with that. We’ll be hitting Michigan first, then heading across to Alaska. Thanks for all the help!

    reply
  • Al

    We have a new 2016 Jayco Alante 31v (32ft long), have driven it over 2k miles and have gotten decent gas mileage…decent for a gasser at 7.8mpg. All of these miles have been in southern Indiana (fairly flat) then in the hills of Kentucky and Tennessee, and the gas mileage keeps increasing! We do not tow but we head out with a full fresh water tank and 2-4 people (and all their stuff). Our prior Class C was 30′ with a Chevy workhorse engine and only got about 7-8mpg.

    reply
  • Dave

    Thank you very much for your information we have had 4 different campers from high end 5th wheels yo class a gas hogs and have been doing reserch for 2 years for going up to a deisel pusher havnt decided still but we average about 6 with oir 40 foot gas and if deisel is same milage we might end up staying with gas, deisel has mor torc but gas has way more get up and go, still dont let other people deter u from posting helpful info, some people know everything lol

    reply
  • Greg

    Someone may have said this in the comments already, but possibly in Alaska they constanly use winter blend fuel, which causes lower fuel economy. I have a Silverado and I go from 11 to 9mpg when the switch happens in late fall and back up in early fall. Just a thought, could be wrong but thought I’d throw it out there.

    reply
      • Henry Blanco.

        Yes Sir. My job was to treat fuel every year as a fuel especialist, and all fuel are treated for winter.. some as crude, orhers refined..

        reply
  • Russell O'Brien

    Hi, I drive a truck for a living, but I also have an RV. In my travels I have come to the conclution that you need to get 5 miles to the gallon of diesel to break even with the cost between it and gas. With that diesel engines will last longer. If you would like more info feel free to write me. thank you for your info

    reply
  • Happy Camper

    I think it is a shame that your entire motor home experience is based on fuel economy! Take a month-long trip by any other means: fly out and rent a car; drive the whole trip in your Smart car and stay in hotels; etc. Take your time, stay a few days in each location, enjoy the trip and the experience.
    Then track the COST PER DAY, and compare that to the COST PER DAY to travel in your motor home on the same trip. You will discover two things: (1): there is NO CHEAPER WAY to take that trip; and (2): the cost for fuel PER DAY is a very small item! Park for three days, and fuel is ZERO!
    As a point of reference, our 2009 Bounder 35H (bought new; now at 60,000 miles) gets right at 7mpg towing a Honda CR-V. We drive 200-300 miles per day, then stop early, and stay awhile if we like the area. Our cost-per-day on a long trip runs between $60 and $70 per day, including full-hookup RV parks, fuel, propane, maintenance charges ( when necessary) and food. You can’t do it that cheaply in a Prius, or a Smart car. Bottom line: fuel economy would change that number very little, even if we jumped up to 10mpg – which is NEVER going to happen!!
    My recommendation is to stop counting, and start enjoying the trip! We are on our 5th motor home, and it’s all about the journey, not the mpg.

    reply
      • JanF

        My exact thoughts! You have an entire website with a lot of interesting material and one article on fuel economy?! And I was grateful for that, as we have yet to do any extended travel in ours and it’s nice to know how it compares. It also gives me perspective on future RVs I may consider. Enjoying your site and videos.

        reply
    • Brian Ruhl

      Thanks for sharing those comparisons. I bought a 32 foot bounder last fall and plan to go to the desert in the winter. But I have been stressing about the poor gas mileage.

      reply
    • Rob

      Something doesn’t add up. Based on driving 2-300 miles / day (call it on low side at 245 miles at 7 mpg or 35 gal @ $3.00) it’s about $105/day. Unless parking at Wally’s world lot it’s probably closer to $200/day. Still a great lifestyle. Nobody seems to consider the overpricing of diesel, thanks to govt taxes, but that’s a serious upcharge in many areas of 20-30%. Wipes out any mpg difference as need to get an extra 2-3 mpg with diesel, and that’s not considering the increased mpg to cover the upfront investment in the engine. Performance not considered in this thread,

      reply
    • james nunnally

      you are right,enjoy the trip.My first saleman told me,not to worry about mileage,because when time come,you will have the money for FUEL.Enjoy your TRIPS.

      reply
  • Rob Campbell

    Hello to the Wynns! I am a Snap-on Tool dealer in Juneau, AK. I have ordered a 2017 F650 with a V10. I did this because my current truck with a Cummins had a contaminated fuel issue and blew 3 injectors. Repair cost was $13,500 and Cummins wouldn’t even talk about warranty. With my localized route I don’t need a diesel and honestly the modern ones are so fragile I will buy the Ford as its the only gasoline option out there. My wife and I will be picking the truck up in Wisconsin and driving pretty much your exact route to Haines to catch the ferry in September.

    The fuel economy was a thought but its a one time only trip so whatever will be will be. My question is, how was the power? Empty I should weigh close to what you do but I will have a 6.50 gear set. Did you ever feel like the power was inadequate? I don’t expect it to take every hill at 70 but I am just hoping that I won’t be turning on the flashers and being a slug either. Your input would be much apprectiated!

    reply
  • james sullivan

    OUR LAST TRIP 12/16 THRU 2/1/17 WAS 3100 MILES IN OUR 2012, 29A THOR CLASS C MOTOR HOME. FLA TO NY AND RETURN. WE AVERAGED 8.1 MPG. GAS PRICES WERE 1.99 TO A HIGH 2.75 DOLLARS P/G. ALL TOLL, FUEL COST FOR THE TRIP @ AV 2.259 A GALLON, WAS 382.71 GALLONS, FOR 864.54. ONLY 1 PROPANE REFILL TO KEEP HEATER GOING. SAVED 50% OVER FLYING OR DRIVING A CAR, NO HOTELS CHARGES AND ALL FOOD ON BOARD.

    reply
  • jim sullivan

    road trip from clearwater, fl to ny state and back. our 1st fuel fill was awful, 6.4 mph, 2nd tank was 7.4, 3rd tank was 8.1, 4th tank was 8.8mpg. we traveld 3023 miles and averages 8.1 mpg. i was blow away. now understand there were just 2 of us out for 13 day/nights, we didn’t pull a vehicle, so it was the best conditions for us. i was surprized that mountains and flat driving was not that different, but it was less then the flats. THE SECRET I THINK IS DRIVE UNDER 70 MPH. over all i give this 112,000 mile, 2012 motor home a a plus! oh stay off the toll roads, that are killers in nj qnd ny.THIS WAS A USED CRUISE AMERICA HOME AND WELL MAINTAINED!

    reply
  • Ken

    My boat gets 2 mpg, sad to say but if gas is a issue you may have to stay away from RVs. Plus do the math on not staying in a nice hotel that will ease the pain.

    reply
    • Bill

      I once owned a boat which at best got 3/4 miles/gal. However, the longest trip I would make is 300 miles at a cost of $600. A 2000 mile round trip in a gas motorhome getting 6 mpg will cost $750 and with a diesel half of that.

      reply
  • June

    Has anyone used a chip in a v10 engine? if so, did help with gas mileage?

    reply
  • richard Brodehl

    I have a 2015 Thor VEGA 2400 (24 ft) with a ford V-10. It has 10,000 miles and I took a trip from fl to Il and back
    towing a 3400 lb nissan ROUGE ON A DOLLY. the mileage was form 8.2 to 8.8 and going about 65 mph on average. I was a little disappointed, but my next trip is florida to calif(south route) THEN UP AND Down the west coast, and back to Florida. I am going drive the Rouge seperately (about 36-37 mpg) and hope, by slowing down to 60mph max, I will get much better mileage on the rv. ??? Let you know. It will be a lot more convenient not towing!!!

    reply
    • Tow the SUV! Here’s why. Let’s say Orlando to LA, then up to Seattle and back to LA then back to FL. This is about 7000 miles. Towing you got 8.5 MPG average which would use 823 gallons. If you drive both the RV and the SUV separately the SUV alone uses about 200 gallons thus leaving 623 gal for the RV. This means the RV would have to get about 11 MPG with no towing just to beat the gas consumed while towing. Doubtful you would get anywhere near this. In fact, you would have to get far more than 11 MPG to make it worth driving separately because there is wear and tear on the SUV that is incurred while driving that is not there when towing (oil, tire wear, etc). When you include that cost it means you need much more than 11 MPG on the RV and you won’t get it. The biggest factor pointing to you towing vs driving separately is that you and your wife must be apart during the entire trip if you drive both vehicles and cannot converse about the beautiful scenery. That alone will cost you more than anything….

      PS: most V10 triton engines on rigs are fairly insensitive to towing. On my 2016 26HE Sunstar with V10 I get about 7.7 at 65 MPH while towing a Chevy Sonic and I get a whopping 9 max with no towing IF I slow down a bit. Best advice: tow the SUV, enjoy the scenery with your wife in the RV with you and slow to 60 MPH to increase gas mileage. Enjoy.

      reply
  • james sullivan

    MY THOUGHTS EXACTLY BOB ON MPG, BUT I’M ALWAYS ASKED THIS QUESRION AND FROM PAST USES OF OTHER V10’S ITS BETWEEN 6 AND 7 MPG. IF ITS 5 SO BE IT, STILL DRIVING IT..

    reply
  • james sullivan

    I recently purchased a 2012 thor majectic from cruise ameria and love it. it’s 29 feet and sleeps 7 , but it’s for wife and I.
    we are planing our 1st trip north to new york state to visit our 4 children and families. we will let you know in future post how the v10 performed and fuel mileage. we will not tow the terrain, just park the home when we arrive….

    reply
    • Big congrats on the purchase! Happy camping and do let us know how your performance is in a few months!

      reply
    • I can save you the trip… MPG will be about 8.5 and that’s if you stay below 65. Enjoy the trip though.

      In fact MPG will be 7 ish if tow and under 9 with no tow. The V10 is a brute and on anything near this length RV, MPG is fairly insensitive to tow or no tow. I have owned two… A 2002 class C 29 footer and now a 2016 27 ft class A. MPG is virtually the same in both….. The 2016 has an extra gear and is a bit smoother but both rigs got almost identical MPG. Masking this is the fact that the class A is heavier so engine technology allows the newer engine to get same mileage with heavier unit but tow or no tow only results in about 2 MPG difference in newer rigs.

      reply
  • bob

    to many variables to accurately determine mpg ……weight of vehicle, weight of personal items, hills versus mostly flat, speed, type, altitude, lets just say if you’re getting 6-9 mpg in a coach over 35 ft consider yourself fortunate. It still beats a house payment, its fun and in my opinion if you need to worry about mpg them maybe stick to other means of transportation

    reply
    • bob

      and by the way…”Gone with the Wynns’s” is great and thank you both.

      reply
  • Craig Green

    I recently purchased a 2002 Triple E 3509 Commander with a v10 and 55,000 miles. On its first trip we were in a rush and drove 75 and avg 6.7 mpg. the last trip I got 7.4 mpg with a max of 65mph and half the trip at 35 to 55 on coastal route one in Maine.

    reply
  • Tim Parry

    Hi, really like your website, loads of valuable information and opinion! We have a 2005 Dynamax Isata 280SL 28′ MH on the E 450 V10 Ford. It’s a great unit with loads of extra amenities, fun to drive and very comfortable! Though I understand the comfort/mpg relationship I find the constant early down shifting, high revving, late upshifting hill climbing performance of this chassis to be very irritating. Not to mention what it’s doing to my mpg!! I’ve been reading a lot about performance chips and tuners etc. but have yet to pull the trigger on one. Can you, or anyone, recommend the best way to go? I don’t want to do the whole “Banks” thing if I don’t have to! Thanks

    reply
    • Clayton

      Did you ever purchase a chip? I have a Dynamax 24 ft Isata Touring Sedan with the Triton V-10.

      reply
  • Ann Metz

    Our MH is retro, 1993 Elante’ by Winnebago which we have retained after numerous shopping experiences. One reason, MPG. When we bought it, husband installed headers on 454 Chevy engine and towing at 65 mph gets 11+ MPG. No, we do not have a slide out and it is very aerodynamic 34′. To get the upgrades we would like to have would be such a large unit that we could not get it into a lot of the places we would like to go. We have redecorated it using Micro Suede Fabrics & hardwood flooring.

    reply
    • Jim Jones

      What kind of headers did you put in, anyother mod did you make to get more mgp.

      reply
  • Kenneth Merry

    We have a 33ft. 2003 Coachman with Ford V10 with 32,830 miles on it. We just got to the Oregon coast after 1758 miles of all terrain travel. We averaged 7.27 miles per gallon. Across level ground we averaged about 8.25. We boondock along the way so keep the fresh water full. Have food for two plus weeks and drag a VW beetle on a car dollie behind. I feel great any time I average over 7 mpg.

    reply
  • Joe & Sue

    We just purchased a 2016 Fleetwood HR 33′ V-10 gas. GVWR 18000 lbs. I talked to various new V-10 owners and many say gas mpg increases quite a bit after break in. One claimed 12 to 15 mpg with a “Chip” and intake add ones. I have owned 4 RVs since 1998. I find the key to good mpg is less weight. Travel light and choose a good dingy. We will soon depart on our long term adventure with the new Motor home and we will share our mpg statistics. The below 7 mpg has me concerned. Most newer V-10 owners claim 9 mpg.

    reply
    • Gary

      Joe and Sue, I purchased a new 2014 coachmen encounter 38′ gas coach.GvWR 22,000 . I have never got better than 6.5 mpg. i will say I go the speed limit though, which means 65-70 mph. And I tow a GMC Terrain and have a full load in the basement. I wouldnt believe any claims of a chip getting that high of mpg. Good luck, safe travels.

      reply
    • You will not get 9 on a class A (even a short one of 27 ft) even with a newer model V10 nor would you get it on one dating back to about 2000. I know as have owned both, Towing you will get 6-7.5, not towing you will get 9 max and that’s if you drive 60. This has been true for almost 20 years for this engine. The good news is that this is a bullet-proof brute of an engine but MPG is relatively low whether you tow or not.

      reply
  • Dezell James

    How can you afford to live this way I have always wanted to my self but can seem to break free of the 9-5

    reply
    • We have a whole section dedicated to just that. In the menu bar under blog, you will see a Make Money and Travel option.

      reply
  • When looking for our first MH ever, we stumbled on a rare bird callled a SERRO SCOTTY. They were only built from 1992-1997, and then they stopped the MH line when the factory burned. TOO BAD, because they did some great things. Ours is a 1996, the upgraded version. Its built on a Ram 3500 frame and many of them , like ours, have the legendary 5.9 Cummins 12 valve engine. Ours has an AT, RWD. but some were made with manual trannies and even 4×4!
    We are on our way home now from our first trip, Norther WI to WY, and here is how the mpg shook out: Best 15 going 75 mph, no AC. Worst, 13 going 75 iwith the AC. I suspect it could be better if we drove 60-65. Havent towed anything yet, but plan to pull an aluminum 2 horse trailer, max weight we be 4400#. We will see how that goes!

    All in all, a great rig, still some quicks to work out, after all its a 96.?

    reply
  • Norm Libby

    Ive had 10 motorhomes in the last 45 years, all gas the second last was a triple E c class w/460 ford , got 9 mpg US when towing a mustang conv and 10 mpg US no towing, top speed 62 mph. 1999 fleetwood southwind v10 got 9.5 mpg US towing ford explorer. Just got Bounder 36ft / v 10 last week so to soon to tell because I have not drove it yet. Our gal. is bigger than U. S. so if you want canadian # multiply by 20% Ive been in the trucking ind. for 64 yrs and 10 mph. will cost you 3 mpg so when you see an 18 wheeler go by you at 70 mph he is avg 5 mpg or .50cents per mile as apposed to 8 mpg. or .31 cents per mile . A saving of $ 28500 a year so slow down

    reply
    • Michael Kelly

      Hi Norm….

      Looking at a 36′ Bounder v10 engine….any results you wouldn’t mind sharing…..greatly appreciated.

      reply
      • Anything that size with V10 triton gas will get you about 7.5 MPG towing and 9 max not towing. It is what it is.

        reply
  • Janz

    “With our Vesta we averaged closer to 11mpg and with the Excursion it was in the 10’s, so the measly MPG in the Bounder always hurts”

    Do the total ownership cost math on the diesels.

    There was a time when owning a diesel was not only affordable to purchase, but they were cheap to operate. That was 15, 20 years ago.

    Much different story today: gas is significantly cheaper to operate, purchase, insure and maintain. Been a diesel-head my whole life but the tables have turned.

    A twin-turbo 6.4 Hemi Dodge or twin-turbo Ford V10 would put the nail in the coffin of the choked up DEF, catalytic convertor diesel RV industry. My 2 cents.

    reply
  • Chris

    6.4mpg is what you are going to get with that setup. You might be able to squeeze .5 to 1 with a Tune from 5Star tuning. Even a diesel isn’t going to get much more than 9.

    reply
  • R. Baker

    My wife and I retired a few years ago. I was looking at Class A motorhomes and could not get many answers to the MPG questions or many other questions about which brands are better than others. I decided to get a part time job Transporting new motorhomes to the dealers. I have now been doing this for 2 years. I have put well over 100,000 Miles on a wide variety of (mostly) Class A motorhomes of all makes and sizes both Gas and Diesel. I can tell you now that length does not matter. The gas ones get about 7.5 MPG and the Diesel get between about 8 and 12 depending on engine. I do not have a tow vehicle so I cannot comment on how that would effect your MPG. I also have lots of thoughts about Quality of Manufacture but would be somewhat afraid to post this as I would probably lose my job if it were reveled who I was. I will use a made up name on here to protect myself, but if asked direct questions I will try to answer them. I love your videos and hope you continue to post motorhome ones. I will watch your sailing ones as you continue in that adventure. Thanks

    reply
    • Thanks for sharing! You most certainly can post anonymously and I am sure our fellow readers would love to hear your what your favorite coaches are…I know I am curious. Some of our tops would be Newmar, Winnebago, Leisure Travel, Monaco and Winnebago. Ok, your turn. 🙂

      reply
    • George Taub

      Hi saw your post. Would you please share your experience regarding quality of motor homes? I’m in the market for a used gas model and would appreciate any insight re best models/brands and what to avoid. Thank you. George

      reply
  • Jim Lair

    My first RV was Jayco Greyhawl 32′ with the Ford V-10 engine. MPG around 8 at best. After a couple of years I traded for a Winnebago/Itasca Navion iQ. It’s just short of 25′, built on the Mercedes Benz Sprinter chassis with a turbo V-6 diesel. Weighs just over 11,000 lbs. it sleeps 4-5 depending on adults and/or children. I tow a two door Jeep Wrangler that weighs just under 4,000 lbs. I too drive under 60 mph as this yields the best mpg. When towing I average just under 15 mpg and when not towing average a little over 18mpg. This is considered a class C motor home and is certainly less roomy that the big class A’s and many class C’s, but it’s just me and my two pups. I made a three week trip to New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and PEI without towing the jeep and had no trouble maneuvering through any areas or being able to park. Great size and very affordable for travel.

    reply
  • Angela

    We just started researching and looking at motor homes and are learning a lot from your videos. We were out looking today and came across a gorgeous fifth wheel that was a toy hauler. We wouldn’t use it to haul toys but loved all the storage, the back deck and the layout. Can you give your thoughts/opinions on these? Also I know you pull your car behind your motor home but do you hear of many people getting a rental car at their stops instead of pulling a car? I would think a rental car would be really inconvenient but wanted to ask. Just trying to learn as much as we can ?. Thank you!

    reply
  • Art Schuetz

    Has anyone try to use a chip to get better milage? Banks Power want you to change the exhaust, but it only improves the torque of drive train. They rather deal with diesel engines.

    reply
  • Craig

    Good information for my next buy. I have had a couple of motor homes now and searching for a little bigger one. Haven’t decided whether a diesel or gas yet although after this video I am leaning towards a diesel. However, on my ventures out west I have found that sometimes finding diesel fuel is a bit difficult on the back roads. However…I have learned that if I have to worry about fuel mileage, I shouldn’t be driving a motor home especially towing a vehicle. I get around 7 and 8 with my class C gas.

    reply
  • Randy Palmer

    Haven’t read all the pages but haven’t seen any trucks pulling 5th wheel MPG’s. We average 9-9.5 mpg but its been as low as 8 mpg in the wind. We have a 41′ toy hauler that we tow with a 2013 Chevy dually with the Duramax Diesel (just under 60′ total length). Trailer usually weighs around 18,000 pounds with our Harley in the back. The truck weighs around 10,000 lbs (we carry an extra 91 gal of diesel in the bed) so we total about 28,000 pounds going down the road. We’ve been coast-to-coast several times and haven’t had any mechanical problems so far (fingers crossed). This is our third trailer – first one was a small tent trailer we towed behind our Goldwing motorcycle for a couple of coast-to-coasts (that was a lot of work and HOT in the summer).

    Your videos are well done and I usually learn a thing or two from them. I haven’t seen anybody else doing what you two do. Thanks.

    reply
  • Margie and Lloyd Stanton

    You have inspired us to buy our first motorhome. We are both retired now, in our late 60’s and have been camping locally in our little cozy 23 ft Trailite camper towed behind our Chevy Suburban. Our plan is to tour the US with our 2 cats, so decided on something larger. We just bought a used Challenger, 34 ft. and a Jeep Liberty to tow behind. Our family is scattered across the country, so we will be visiting them as well. Jason, your tips are invaluable. Thank you for providing them to us novices. USA, here we come!

    reply
  • Ed

    Your website is great! Thanks for sharing. My wife and I are in the “thinking” stages of RVing, and this was helpful.

    reply
  • Frank Campbell

    We have a 22 foot Winnebago Rialta 2001 QD. It has a V6 engine and gets reliably 15 to 18 miles per gallon.
    18MPG at 55 and 15MPG at 70 miles per hour.
    We were looking for a class A (small) that could come close to that, and have been very disappointed that there does not seem to be anything close other than the very cramped “toaster van” RVs (Mercedes Sprinter conversions.)
    Any ideas?
    Frank Campbell

    reply
  • Sandy Edmonson

    Hmmm. We have a 2000 Damon Intruder (36′) gas Class A that we have driven all over the U.S. Our lowest MPG was approx. 9.5 and high is 11 MPG. Average is about 10-10.5. Our coach is always loaded to the gills and we flat tow a PT Cruiser.

    reply
    • That is really hard to believe! Please explain why you get better than anyone else..??

      reply
  • Leslie (her) and Lynn (him)

    So I am sure you have been asked this question many times ….. who gets your Bounder when you head off to your new adventure sailing? We’d love to take over this coach! Call me lazy or just very appreciative that you two took the “kinks” out! Seriously, tho, who gets this lovely home next?

    reply
  • Itasca 2013 Sunova 33c
    Gas Ford V-10
    After 25k miles of towing a Honda CRV we get an average of 6.9 mpg
    Dianeandbill.Selph.info

    reply
  • Olga & Rose Ann

    Planning on upgrading frm class c 4Winds to class A. Your information sure does provide plenty to think about. Actually, we were leaning toward Fleetwood Bounder before coming across your blog. Thank you.

    reply
  • Dan Farrell

    We have watched most of your recent videos and enjoyed them very much. We just bought a 1994 Winnebago and we hope to travel more now that we are retired. Your videos along with others have helped tremendously to avoid rooky mistakes and know more about what to expect on the road, thanks!

    reply
  • Rod

    Hello, in my motor home I use an Ultra gauge to watch real time fuel economy. It helps to see what really effects your mileage. Once calibrated you wouldn’t need an App or hand calculation. Just my 2 cents.

    reply
  • Richard

    I just found your site today and really enjoy it.

    We’ve had 2 RV’s in the last 18 months. The first was a 24′ 2015 Coachmen Class C with the Ford V10. We had similar fuel mileage along with all the other ‘wonderful’ tendencies you’ve documented. However, when I changed the oil for the first time, I switched to synthetic Amsoil after much research. With no other changes, our MPG went from up 1 to 1.5 MPG. You might want to give it a try if you find yourself in another gas coach.

    (We went to a 2006 40′ Tiffin Allegro Bus with a 400 HP Cummins; we (and our 3 dogs) are much happier in the diesel).

    reply
  • Charles

    Hi Nikki & Jason:

    I switched from a 38′ CAT C7 powered 6.5MPG Diesel to a 22′ Mercedes Sprinter (Gulfstream G31) 18MPG

    I don’t miss the space (been watching the Tiny Homes episodes) but many might. For me, the benefits FAR outweighed the loss of space. Free parking, like, everywhere. Fits in a regular parking space, easy manoeuvrability, get places a coach can’t, cheap to operate 6,000 mi for $700 USD vs $2,200 (@$2.15USD/Gal.)

    Sailing is a whole different deal. I can put you in touch with the most frugal sailors on the planet – but safety should be your main concern. (Some good prices on used boats in FL.) I got into it, chartered a boat + captain, had great weather and was still nervous the whole time – And I’m not the nervous type. But when you are alone out there, at night, and something goes wrong or bad folk come creeping… whoa. Spooky. Not cool.

    reply
  • Rodney

    Nikki and Jason,
    I spent quite a bit of time going through your blog this weekend and just think it is fantastic. I posted a few times previously and may have sounded negative but actually appreciate all your sharing. I admit I was disappointed to hear of your leaving the RV world per se. I hoped to one day soon meet you camping! Best wishes though on your future adventure. I camped overseas in New Zealand one summer- fantastic. Thank you for sharing your opinions on all things RV and about your lives.

    reply
  • derrick felix

    Grand information, Your going to find fuel savings when you move onto the Catamaran. This year.
    Cheers.

    reply
  • Ken

    Most car/truck performance shops will for a price reset the computer
    on r.v’s that have the OBD plugin,1996 or newer. I had mine reset on
    my 1999 gas class-a-.It will increase mpg, make the transmission
    shift better according to speeds and hills. I had it done also on a
    1997 Chevy pickup and gained 3-4 mpg around town with a 350 engine
    and better on the highway.Also my motorhome has a Onan generator
    which eats 1 gallon of gas per hour. So what I gained on mileage
    probably went to the generator. I gained 1-2 mpg highway on my
    motorhome. My cost for the computer reset was $ 225.

    reply
  • Jonathan Smith

    Well this is what I have been puzzled about. 2002 31′ c gulfstream E 450 v10 gas averaged 10 mpg going to California from Maine, 12 mpg on the way home. Figured it was the wind. Then we had a 2005 28′ c Lexington same chassis and engine set up. We got 8 to 10 MPG darting around the country. Now I have an 2011 27′ c sun seeker same chassis and engine set up, things keep getting worse we are down to 6 to 7 mpg. Any one have any Idea why from 2002 to 2011 my mileage has been almost halved. Off to the side I have a ram 5500 truck with a cummins that gets 7 mpg compared to similar truck but older, a 2001 2500 ram with same cummins that would get 20 mpg.
    Prices are down but individual consumption is up. hummmmmm

    reply
    • RLW

      Hey Jonathan. The average mpg for a E450 v10 base vehicle is 8.5 mpg without the camper part. One aspect of RV mileage is the efficiency of the chassis alone or, in different forms such as vans, etc. Additionally, the wind resistance, travel speed and geography impact mpg too. After hanging out on RV forums discussing MPG for four years, I have learned that most class A motorhomes get 5-10 mpg with a few outliers in the 11-16 mpg range if small diesel models (View, Vesta, etc). Gas models seem to get at most about 4mpg less than the diesel counterpart but then again in much of the country diesel fuel is more. Add to that DEF and it eats up just over half the MPG savings benefit leaving about 2mpg or so realized benefit. Towing trailers with gas versus diesel is also about 2 mpg difference. My current tow average is 12mpg (Airstream) with other owners posting similar mpg with a gasser or around 14-15 with a diesel.

      reply
  • Love your videos,please know they are very,very helpful and fun to watch.I guess I missed the part when you switched from your diesel pusher to your new gas Bounder.Why did you switch? I have to admit I am more confused than ever.I have spent the last 5 years in a small class b Islander RV.The wife and I are both retired and want to upgrade,we tow A 4 thousand pound aluminum North River boat in the spring and summer,the boat and trailer are 29 feet long so the largest RV we can get is 36 feet need to stay no more than 65 feet.I have spent 18 months doing research but you switched from deisel to gas.which do you prefer?

    reply
  • Greg

    Great job making your videos. You have helped our family pick our first RV. A Georgetown GT3 30×3. Love it!!! I think the people at Forest River paid attention to your blog. Keep up the good work. God Bless both of you in your travels:)

    reply
  • Don M

    It’s great that you have published such good, detailed MPG numbers on your 4 motorhomes. There is no doubt that diesels do better in the same shape motorhome. But aerodynamics matter too. I bet a Ford gas motor in the Avanti or Vesta would do better than the Bounder. Maybe only 1 MPG better, who knows. But better. Apparently the motorhome buying public does not want to pay for streamlining. With the two aero FREDs, did you ever feel a loss of interior or storage space due to the streamlining?

    reply
  • Evan

    I was looking forward to those numbers. Yes…a bit disappointing. I know it’s small but we had a 95 Winnebago Rialta w/ VW chassis (22 foot) that could get 18-20 mpg (no joke) and still get up most bad hills at no lower than 45 mpg. Comfort vs mpg…I don’t know whether you can have both. Love your site.

    reply
  • I just had a couple come in for the second time, (very likely buyers), they told me about your website and I like it. One of the perks of selling rv’s here at Cruise America is I get to use the rv’s for a very low price. I am in the SF Bay Area. I cost of living is so high here that I find a lot of people come in thinking about giving up their apartment and buying one of our previously enjoyed motorhomes. If someone is thinking about financing a motorhome, don’t tell them you plan on living in it, the bank won’t finance it. They want to know where you live if you stop paying for it so they can come over and repossess it.

    reply
  • John Dickinson

    Tulsa to st. George, it, : Nov. 2015, Fleetwood Pace Arrow, 37 ft. V 10, pulling tow dolly with Jeep Grand Cherokee, 6.4mpg. This trip is mostly a continuous climb to the Contental Divide, then to 6000 plus, and back to 3000 ft. I maintained a 55 to 65 max speed, and off cruise. Cruise will eat fuel as it will downshift way too early.

    reply
  • OUCH! Wow guys! That’s quite a bit of cash! Good to read. If we ever do decide to purchase an RV, y’all will be the first people we chat with for sure 🙂 Cheers!

    reply
  • Bill Forsyth

    Thanks for your insights and comments regarding RV travels. As my wife and I embark on our first RV adventure in an 07 Coachmen Mirada, I am trying to keep all the tips and tricks in my head to make the trip enjoyable and memorable. Thanks again and “See you on the road”!

    reply
  • Alan Bryant

    We have a 2004 Damon Challenger with the older V10 and we took a 3,600+ mile trip the last half of July. Our travels took us from Ohio to Idaho. We ran the generator as well as the dash air and our toad weights in just over 4,400 lbs. Our best mileage was 7.62 mpg, our average was 6.18 mpg and our worse mpg was 5.29. I didn’t feel with running the generator when we were overnighting at the Walmarts & Cabela’s and still getting over 5 mpg was too bad. We did use Lucas Gas Treatment and I feel it really helped and with the lower torque of the 2004 V10 you can almost feel the improvement when pulling long steep upgrades. PS. I do not work or receive any benefit from Lucas.

    reply
  • The only RVs that have a MPG to speak of are the RVs based on the sprinter chassis with the v6 diesel. They are only 20 to 26 ft. but they get 15 MPG or higher. I have heard of 18 MPG so you have to live in a shoe box to get the type of MPG you want It cost to push or pull around 10 to 13 tons.

    reply
  • Priscilla

    I have been following you on FB and have enjoyed your articles. On your fuel consumption article we usually get 9-11 with our 38′ Discovery diesel and I think of all the weight that engine is pushing since I don’t travel light (plus my husband rives between 60-65) Add in the savings on food and housing I still think it is a great deal. Of course when traveling in the flatlands of the south versus your trip to Alaska with mountains and altitude you expect worse gas mileage. We have had smaller class C in the past and mileage wasn’t much different.

    reply
  • Dennis

    Glad you guys are back in WiFi connect and getting your post out more consistently. LOL
    GAS vs DEISEL your ultimate post for comments always. LOL I think your original post on the subject still hits all the points people go back and forth on. I love my 2016 Bounder (same engine and chassis as yours) and over the first 5000 miles have averaged 6.2 to 7.2 with my high at 7.5 and low at 5.4. I am interested this spring to see how my 5-STAR TUNE impacts that mileage. The short trip I did with it installed the engine performance was quite a bit different. I think the difference with all things added into a year of cost between the two (MPG, Maintenance, and fuel cost per gallon), you would see not much difference in total money spent. Would I like to get 8-10 MPG, of course I would, but I knew when I bought an RV if I was overly concerned about fuel cost, I was getting into the wrong aspect for my travel and family FUN. So I watch gas prices, and try to stay at 2250 RPM ( I find RPM not Speed is the better indicator for MPG) and hope I don’t have to run my gen to cool down the whole coach (100 degrees in humid Mississippi, Georgia, and Louisiana will make you turn that gen on for a/c cooling….) Then I just go where the family wants to go to enjoy our lovely coach and fun adventures. I have said this before but will say it again, My gas bounder is just as quiet and just as fuel efficient sitting in a RV park or state park enjoying the great outdoors and family time than any other diesel parked next to me. Get out and have fun in travels no matter what you own….

    reply
  • 6

    I had a friend that got it tuned up for the best mileage possible not sure exactly how they did it but he had a founder motorhome 35 foot and was getting right around 12 and a half to 13 miles per gallon

    reply
    • 6

      also don’t forget on your trip to Alaska your elevation changes a lot and I know you can’t be adjusting for all that but that does take a toll on your mileage

      reply
  • Kay

    We *had* a pace arrow gas. Keyword *HAD*. Made 6MPG with no tow and barely loaded with stuff. No full tanks… I hated it, drive it 20 minutes and stopped told hubby he could have it. I would look for a Diesel one for me.

    A year later found one. 40′ Winnie, travel *WITH* full fresh water tank, towing SUV with FTF, have a real waterbed on board and stuff. We made 10.4 MPG on the last 1007 miles. Much smoother, quieter ride. I drive it and love it. I do keep engine updated. The very first trip we ever made in the RV we only made 4.4 MPG without waterbed. The engine had never had any updates. Hoping to move into a bigger RV in a year, again will be diesel.

    reply
  • David

    I don’t have an RV but have been a follower of your posts from the beginning. I enjoy reading your adventures. I ride a motorcycle and with friends we do long rides across Canada and the USA. Cheers

    reply
  • Dennis Charpentier

    We also travel in a Bounder 33C (2012). We purchased it this summer while trading in a 2003 Winnebago Sightseer also 33 feet. The Winnie was lighter (18,000#) but had the same size engine and we towed the same car we are towing now…a Honda Civic. The Winnie averaged in the seven’s for gas mileage while towing and eight otherwise. I thought the newer rig with better injection and more valves would be better, not. The Bounder is surely heavier, 22,000#. We travel with minimum water and even fill the gas only when I feel we have too, to conserve weight. Alas, all to no avail. The best I can do with the Bounder is the high sixes/very low sevens. I guess it doesn’t get any better than that.
    The plus is that the Civic gets great gas mileage and frequently the Bounder is parked for several days and we run around in the Civic enjoying the 35+ mpg of that vehicle. During these times…the Bounder is getting great gas mileage…parked. We do enjoy the creature comforts of the Bounder.
    I feel your pain.

    reply
  • Rick Sut

    Well, I pull a “Classy A – Frame” It weights 2000lbs in the rain ! I get 15mpg towing it with a 2006 Ford Exploder. So… I guess you have to determine if my one room, one bed, bathroomless wonder is worth saving the money or if you are really enjoying the extra luxury and storage you have. I’ll bet I have almost as much fun as you do, and wild camp almost as much when out on the road (Not a full timer).

    One Question though: I the past you have always averaged the smart cars mileage into the RV mileage. So considering all the driving to crazy excursions, how does the MPG calculate if you throw in the Smart Car?

    reply
    • Rick Sut

      Oops… never mind, I see in an earlier post you said you get 20 if the smart car is averaged in…

      reply
  • Bruce

    I really enjoy your site! Been camping since I was in diapers, tents, then pickup campers, and then 5th wheel trailers after marriage n a couple kids. I had never stayed in a paid campground till I was in my late 30s.
    This year we decided to get a class A motor home. Picked up a really nice used Fleet wood Escape 34 foot Cummins Diesel.
    I feel very good about my mileage now that I have read your articles – getting 8.5 average pulling my wifes VW Beetle. And I guess I have a lead foot, case the only time she sees 60 is going up a long steep grade or the speed limit dictates it. I will have to try slowing down and see what it gets on our next trip.
    Traveling in the motor home is SOO much more comfortable than towing a 5th wheel trailer! should have done this long ago!
    keep up the good work!

    reply
  • Hi All,

    I drive a 2001 Allegro diesel (Caterpillar) and averaged 9.5 MPG on my last trip of some 2,000 miles. I’m happy with this as my rig weighs in at 24,100 lbs. and I tow a 2,500 lb. Mini Cooper. Towing the Mini instead of my Jeep Grand Cherokee allows for a 1 MPG increase. 10% is a pretty nice increase. Keep up the great work, love your articles and videos!

    Shel Miller
    Somewhere in Florida for the winter

    reply
  • BornABruin

    Yes, there are some physics involved in RVs that you can’t get away from. To push an un-aerodynamic 20,000+ pound brick through the air takes energy. I’m not even sure if it would be feasible to somehow load the entire roof of a Class A with solar panels and used it all to for motors to drive the axles at cruising speeds. But that’s not why one buys an RV.

    Thanks for your updates and blog posts!

    reply
  • Wes Jones

    Jason,

    There’s a whole lot to this diesel/gas discussion.First though I have been enjoying watching your travels & adventures particular your personal thoughts on RV’ing.

    What has happened with the diesel engine and the emissions controls has caused major changes to the diesel industry. I drive a Sprinter van for work daily. The maintenance costs from the diesel emissions control equipment is negating almost all economic benefits of running a diesel versus a gas engine without considering upfront cost, since there is no gas option from Mercedes. In my case the engine components affected by this new tier of diesel emissions has cost on the lines of $10,000 in under 200,000 miles. I’m not sure how this affects the RV industry and the diesel motors but given that the EPA regs have forced them to all clean up tailpipe emissions to a certain standard, my guess is they will be equally affected.

    What also would’ve been interesting comparison is if you had kept track of diesel prices along the way and inserted your known mileage to see exactly what the difference in overall costs would have been.

    Hey thanks so much for the updates, all the best to you and Nikki and look forward to seeing more new stuff!

    reply
  • T C

    In 2001, I drove a new GMC 26 ft U-Haul (total length 34 ft) fully loaded moving
    van 520 miles from Arlington WA to Missoula MT over mountain passes, etc.
    The gas was $1.50 per gallon and used 6 mpg. Your 6+ mpg would be correct.
    I drove 60 mph on I-90 going east. Did you keep records for your diesel RV’s?

    reply
  • Tom

    Not sure how the MPG was calculated but when I divide your miles by your gallons I get 5.5 to 5.7 MPG

    reply
  • Per Mogensen

    We have lived full time in our 2004 Beaver Santiam. Since we started have I been tracking fuel economy. We get 7.3 MPG. We started out flat towing a Jeep Wrangler, but now have an enclosed trailer. MPG stayed the same even with the higher weight. We drive a lot in the mountains in the western US.
    I just weighed the whole setup and we are around 41000 pound for the 70′ road train 🙂
    We use the generator very little since we have 2500 watt solar and 8 house batteries. The roof of the trailer is covered with solar panels (1500 watt).
    Diesel is for sure the way to go. Both for ease of driving (torque) and MPG (per pound moved)

    reply
  • Ron

    Newbie RVers (when I say new… I mean we’ve never owned one before and decided to dive right on in) that just purchased a Class A diesel pusher (Thor Tuscany XTE 36MQ) w/ a 360HP Cummins. We will share the MPG’s once we get it but we’ve heard and read that it should get between 9-11 mpg’s. Not holding my breath as that seems a bit high.
    Thanks Nikki and Jason for sharing your adventures and experiences within the RV lifestyle.

    reply
  • William (Bill) Weaver

    When it comes to RV mileage, I have seen the problem and it is us. On a trip to New Zealand, I saw that the price of gas was about $8 a gallon, there were no big full size cars, no full size PU trucks, no big SUVs, and no big box RVs (caravans). Most of them were powered by small diesel engines that we can’t buy in this country. In talking to the locals they said “you Americans have cheap gas and like your big rigs”. Guilty. So, we all can do some do some things to improve the mileage of our rigs. Slow down. The closer to 45 the better. Monitor the traffic ahead and the signals to reduce braking. No Jackrabbit starts. Reduce weight by not filling all of the tanks and storage compartments. Keep the tires properly inflated. Turn off the engine when possible. I’m sure we can find other things to add. They all keep a little more money in our pockets. Drive like you are about out of gas and there is not a gas station in sight. Relax and enjoy the view. You’ve earned it.

    reply
  • We have just acquired a 2010 Damon Avanti 3106, we tour around playing music so it’s a nifty tour bus. We are getting 13-14 MPG, even in mountains (smallish) up and down Rt 81 for example. It’s a lot of RV and it’s the ONLY class A we considered. Although we did see your old “Windy” for sale it was a little too far to go see it (NM). Why didn’t you guys track the mpg in the Avanti? Read that you got a lemon? Hope to see you out on the road! Love, Peace and music, Bob

    reply
  • Todd Held

    Started following your adventures when we saw you camped out at Cabellas in Anchorage-our home.
    We have a 2003 Georgetown on a workhorse chassis with the chevy 8.0L gasser. Bought it to make sure We could pull the boat, 4 place snowmachine trailer, etc. when not towing, we get 10mpg ish. It’s an Alaskan fact of life. Frost heaves will destroy everything in their path if you don’t go easy.

    reply
  • Justin Harrell

    I am getting 7.3mpg so far in my new 2016 Winnebago Vista 31be with the 6-speed after 1200 miles no toad yet, usually doing 65mph. My coach is 32ft long and about 16,000 lbs. I use Road Trip HD on my iPad for tracking fuel and expenses, great if your a stat hound: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/road-trip-hd-mpg-mileage-fuel/id489383429?mt=8

    I also got a OBDlink MX wifi and use Dash command to read real time data from the engine. Lets me see MPG as I am driving(not counting generator) and other things like transmission temp, looks cool too: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/dashcommand-obd-ii-gauge-dashboards/id321293183?mt=8

    If you run a typical motorhome through some online efficiency calculators you see right away most of the energy spent at highways speeds is spent on aerodynamic drag, not rolling resistance or weight, about an 80/20 split. Slowing down makes a huge difference. This is probably why there isn’t a big difference between a 22k motohome with toad like yours and a 16k motorhome with no toad like mine, they both have the aerodynamics of bricks with nearly the same frontal area. This is also why your Avanti and Vesta did so well (besides being diesels), they both had much more aerodynamic front caps, which seem to be out of style now days, probably because it eats up useful interior room in the front cab (overhead bunks etc.). You can mess around here and see how wieght vs aerodynamics and speed affect mpg: http://ecomodder.com/forum/tool-aero-rolling-resistance.php?Weight=16000&WeightUnits=lbs&CRR=.008&Cd=.6&FrontalArea=80&FrontalAreaUnits=ft^2&FuelWh=33557&IceEfficiency=.28&DrivetrainEfficiency=.95&ParasiticOverhead=0&rho=1.184&FromToStep=5-200-5

    I really wanted to get a diesel at first, the much better mileage was really enticing, but for our first RV I couldn’t justify the cost difference. It really seems to be nearly a 50k price difference between an entry diesel and an upper gas equivalent, you simply can’t make that up in fuel even when traveling fulltime in any reasonable time, and we are not fulltiming. There are many other nice things about a diesel that make it worth while, but I don’t think mileage is one of them other than the secondary effect which is greater range between fill-ups.

    I really like the design of your Vesta, aerodynamic, diesel, modern interior design, I would probably have tried get a used one if they had made a bunk model, but we have two kids and needed bunks. Too bad they quit making them, perhaps that kind of design will return in the future.

    There is a guy on the IRV2 forums that has bought more motorhomes on the last couple years than most do in a lifetime. He had a few gas, an Excursion just like yours and now a 26ft Vista with the 6-speed, he has posted a video with the 6-speed, seems to hold gears much better than his videos of the 5-speed on nearly the same previous year Vista he had: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UE3ADWc0kH8

    You guys really need to get Fleetwood to trade out your Bounder for the same exact model with the 6-speed so we can get an awesome head to head review of the differences ;).

    reply
  • Andrew Silver

    2012 Fleetwood Storm 32BH (31′ long) on Ford F-53 V10 over 4 years / 30,000 miles: 6.9mpg average. I have had the 5startuning programming for half the mileage which has made no difference in fuel economy (but reduced the engine noise and driver fatigue). We mostly do not tow. When we do it makes little difference in fuel econ. Enjoy your posts, thanks.

    reply
  • Steve

    We have a 23′ Winnebago View with a diesel engine and average around 18 MPG. It performs very well on hills as well. But it would be very small for a fulltime traveler. It works well for our purposes.

    reply
  • Marie

    Nikki and Jason, I’ve enjoyed your blog, like you my hubby and I were in Alaska around the same time as you, only difference is, I grew up there. It was fun to see your perspective on areas I know well and the areas we were visiting that I had never been to or only been to a time or two. We bought a used 2000 Georgie Boy diesel pusher and drove up from Indiana. We amazingly averaged 10 mpg on this 36 footer towing a Nissan Altima. It cruised up the mountains with no problem and we were traveling with my cousin in a gas 25ft Flair. We drove circles around them, well not literally but we would have to stop every hour and wait for them to catch up to us though through the Yukon. Yes, gas is expensive in Canada, but when you factor in the exchange rate, its not as bad as it seems when you see $1.05/ltr. Happy travels.

    reply
    • I always love those little Georgie Boy’s when I see them rolling down the road! Surprisingly, we can keep up with a diesel no problem…we’re just using more fuel while doing it. 🙂

      reply
  • JD

    You guys are awesome! What you do for the RV community in sharing your lives and expenses living and traveling in the RV has help guide so many to make an educated decision.
    I had to chuckle a little in reading your MPG and cost. If you have a way of pulling the “from” post you will find on one I posted some time back giving almost exactly the numbers you posted. I just purchased an older 2005 Monaco Dynasty. I expect to get between 7 and 8 MPG but the comfort level is hard to beat. It is the 42 ft Diamond 4. You guys inspired us to “just go for it” so we did. Thank you!

    reply
    • Thanks so much for the love JD! So many people love their Dynasty’s and I am sure you will too…lots of comfort for sure. I do hope we see you rolling down the road!

      reply
  • Dan Covey

    We did the Alaska trip this year also. In fact we saw your rig in one of the campgrounds we stayed at. We have a 2015 Tiffin Allegro Road Road 34ft and dolly tow a Lexus Rx350. The toad combination is almost max for the rig. Our trip was 10,369 miles long from Northeast Indiana and back and took us 11 weeks. We got 6.71 mpg our best was through Nebraska with three empty tanks, it was 8.6mpg.

    reply
  • Bruce G

    2005 Newmar Dutch Star 43 foot with Cat C9 400 Hp engine. We tow a 2009 Smart Car as inspired by the Wynns. Tire pressure monitored by Pressure Pro. Okay, for the gas mileage…6.5 MPG on average! It hasn’t been much of a change when climbing mountains from flat lands. It is a bit of a beast to park this thing, but man is it comfortable!

    reply
  • susan

    Thank you SO much for your efforts here – I have been battling with my sister about trading in my 2013 Roadtrek RS Adventurous to get a class A but after this, no way. I get 20 mpg on my current unit but it is not able to allow us to ‘camp’ in it. However, we can always ‘rent’ a trailer and use the Roadtrek to tow it to camp – better too as we would both have ‘separate’ sleeping areas. Stay safe and happy out there!

    reply
  • John Puccetti

    Wow I was really depressed when we got 13 mpg on our first Roadtrek Chevy gas RV. We love our Roadtrek Mercedes SS Agile 24-26 mpg Diesel!

    reply
  • Paul Green

    We purchased a brand new 33′ Ford V-10 6.8L Chassis Forest River Class C in June. Ours comes in under 22,000lbs GVWR and we tow a Fiat 500 (approx 2200 lbs). We travel at 65 mph routinely. We just finished a 3700 mile trip and averaged a solid 8 MPG (a low of 7.2 and a high of 8.7). On such a long trip 2 miles per gallon more than you experienced makes a fair bit of difference (it would mean a ~$350 in fuel savings on our trip). It seems that at around 8 MPG the Gas RV’s reduced cost and maintenance savings “might” begin to look better compared to a Diesel. Of course, it’s difficult to compare Class A to Class C even if they use a similar chassis and are similar in length etc.

    reply
    • Gaetan

      Under 22,000 GVWR. How much under?

      reply
  • Jeff

    I just watched a video for the new Winnebago Adventurer and they mention that it now has a 6 speed transmission also mention of a brake. engine/transmission wasn’t clear. Wonder if that will help to address some of the gas RV woes. 6 mpg is kind of ugly but I don’t think you can expect much more considering the vehicles size and weight and the flat nose. Diesel is the only way to go with something this size I think. It’s a shame they cost so much more. I’d be interested to know what that Freightliner chassis actually costs. Is it possible that that is the biggest reason for the cost difference? I mean that is the basic difference between them right? Maybe you two could use your connections to find out the cost of the two chassis. Why is there sooooo much difference?

    reply
  • Robert Lowe

    Why do you need to have such a large RV for 2 people and 1 cat?

    reply
    • Because it’s our home, the only thing we have and it’s what works for us…200 square feet for two people and two cats. How big is your home?

      reply
  • Dave Houston

    Love your posts guys! You’ve emboldened us to take our 2014 Bounded 35k gasser to Alaska next year. We’re doing the sway bar upgrades you’ve installed.
    Here’s the deal with the Ford V10 platform- mileage is ugly (getting 7.1 mpg) while towing our Jeep Wrangler. The power is decent though. I keep my foot in her pretty good- cruise control @ 70 most of the time with a K&N filter, SRT towing program and AMSOIL synthetic fluids. These are relatively low cost performance upgrades that do squeeze up to 1.5 mpg while getting the extra ponies to keep us out of the truck lane on grades. The transmission decent control is excellent for a gasser. We’re really pleased with our Fleetwood Bounder for the $120k or so invested. You guys are great! Thanks for the motivation!

    reply
  • Kim Horton

    I have to wonder if the next big advance in RV efficiency will be gas or diesel/electric assist. With solar, can’t an electric assist help RV’s with fuel usage? I’m an old retired computer guy so I don’t have any engineering background but I know that GM’s Surburban/Tahoe have these systems. With solar on the roof, there isn’t much of a limit on how much of the day the electric assist could help with moving things along(:)). You’ve both got an ‘in’ with the guys that built your current test vehicle…put a good word in for efficiency if you could. I’d love to see what such a system could do with my already efficient 2007 Winniebago View.

    reply
  • Doug

    You seem to be very settled on Class A motorhomes which all seem to have low mpg figures. I did almost exactly your Alaska Trip this same summer towing a 30 ft fifth wheeel behind a Dodge deisel pickup. As far as the trip goes I only did the Canadian and Alaska portions. My average MPG was around 14.0

    reply
  • Wayne P. Salter

    Do you have to have an air ticket on your driver’s license to drive a diesel>

    reply
    • License requirements vary from state to state so you will want to check with your local DMV. As Texas residents we need a class C license for any rig over 26,000lbs.

      reply
  • BD. DANG

    from oakland, ca – Miami, Fl is like 6200 miles. A 2001 24 ft RV. How much do you think I’ll be spending for gas and how much do you think I’ll be getting per gallon

    reply
  • Carol Bufala

    Hi Jason & Nikki,
    I enjoy my vacay with you to Alaska, only wish I really got to go, but watching your post was enjoyable. Anyhow, don’t know if you remember my question to you some time ago about finding an 34-38′ RV with twin beds for my sister and I. You suggested we look at the Fleetwoods, we did. We didn’t find any with tb but fell in love with the Bounder 36E tonight. Now the 36E is the same as the Bounder 35K, just reversed of sofa set up, the L sofa is upfront for the 36E and that would work for us, except we need a table. The 35K you can switch the booth out for a credenza options but the brochure says 36E dosn’t have that option #833. Would you know why? Sorry it is taken me so long to get to my question, You guys are so on top of everything with Fleetwood, I’m hoping you know the answer. The salesmen did not know why it says that in the brochure, but said we could probably switch it afterwards. Needless to say we did not buy yet, since having a table instead of the booth is a must have, my sister cannot slide into a booth. I appreciate any knowledge you might have on it. I tried to call Fleetwood but they are closed. Thanks, Carol

    reply
    • Hey Carol, the best way to know if a manufacture will make a swap for you is to contact them directly and ask. There are lots of options that exists they just don’t advertise them. Also, if you have not looked at Newmar and Winnebago maybe do a quick online check. I have seen some interesting layouts from both that would work well for two individuals.

      reply
  • Amy

    We have a 2015 Winnebago Vista 27N Class A motorhome and we average 7.4 MPG without towing a vehicle. We generally drive between 65 and 70 miles per hour.

    reply
  • Bobby Warner

    Ha guys, we are buying a new class A MH in the range of 36 ft. With the gasser you are in now have you had any problems in the mountains, AKA climbing and or over heating problems. Are you happy with the gas or will you be going back to diesel? We are full timers, we roll slow only move about once every two weeks. Thanks so much for any input. Safe Travels Bobby and Jenny Warner.

    reply
  • Howard

    We’ve had our ’02 Dolphin 36′ for 3 years now. Workhorse chassis with the 8.1L GM V-8 and Allison 5 speed with Grade Brake, and tow our 4000# Jeep Unlimited. I run between 60 and 65 mph and get a steady 7 mpg driving around Southern California. I bought a ScanGauge a few months ago and took a drive about 35 miles away to get new tires on the coach. Without the Jeep in tow, I registered an average of 9.5 mpg round trip for the 70 miles!! I’m going to bump up the tire pressures in the Jeep and see if it will produce better mpg when towing.. We’ll be heading out next summer in the Dolphin for 5 or 6 months to start our retirement and see the country. Thanks for your blog and keep the info and stories coming!! Regards, Howard

    reply
  • Jeff

    I think the journey is as important as the destination. The ride of a diesel and better mileage is a consideration.
    Do you think you will go back to a diesel?
    Have you looked at the Tiffin Allegro Breeze models? They are 33′ or less (smaller than the Excursion), have all the diesel features and don’t require the use of DEF.
    If you have looked at these, whats your take?
    thanks!!

    reply
  • Geraldz

    My 1989 36′ Shasta Roadmaster (Chevy 454) and 1996 34′ Gulfstream Sun Voyager (ford 460) both got 6-7 mpg. I recently purchased a 1997 Fleetwood Discovery (Cummins 5.9 ISB diesel) and was pleased with my 10.5 mpg cross country ride home. That’s about a 50% increase in fuel economy!

    reply
  • Dave

    I follow your blog and see that you switched to a gas Bounder from bot you previous diesels. Two questions:

    1. Why the switch to the gas Bounder ? Does it perform like you would like on hills ?

    2. I am so exited about getting on the road RV’ing but all I run into is how poorly so many RV’s are built. Did you pick the Fleetwood because of a superior build and quality ?

    Thanks, Confused and concerned Dave

    reply
  • Denee

    Next year my family of 4 is switching to full time rving. We are starting local as my husband will still be working until we make all modifications to live off the grid. The one thing I see very mixed reviews on is whether a motor home is best or a trailer/ 5th wheel. Why did you go with a motor home? Why have you been through so many? Thank you for your time.

    reply
  • endo

    I have a 2014 Thor ACE with a Ford V10 with an 80 gallon tank, and the best I’ve gotten is 9.8 MPG, this was using 2 bottles of octane booster (SMB brand from Dollar Tree @ $1 ea.) and one 5.25 oz. bottle of Lucas oil (using the bulk bottle and re-filling the smaller one), will try using 3 bottles of octane booster next, without the booster and the Lucas oil, I get somewhere around 6.5 to 7 mpg, am going to try synthetic oil when my first oil change comes due and maybe a K&N air filter.

    reply
  • Gengy

    Was wondering how the RV is holding up and if you had any issues or repairs done since you picked it up. Rv bugs in new units are always fun to deal with.
    I did like the tire repair video!!!!

    reply
      • Now that you guys have been driving the Bounder for a bit, do you prefer the Bounder over the Excursion? Diesel vs Gas?

        reply
  • Steven doyle

    I’m a over the road cdl driver. I’ve always tracked my mpgs on cars as well.don’t forget to consider low rolling restiance tires. Also final drive Axel ratios .2.64 on a 2012 freightliner cascadia with Detroit diesel. Dd13 liter 10 speed manual .my yearly average is 7.7 hauling 80,000.it. Doesn’t climb hills without my 4 way warning flashers.but that’s 80 thousand pounds.once a year I go my thought the mountains and have no prob doing the speed limit.I’m governed at 62 mph.if someone had 355 gears they would only get 6 mpg at 80 ,000. At 600 hundred miles a day its over 10 thousand dollars a year in my employers benefit. I realize that its apples and oranges with rv and class 8 5 Axel otr trucks but Axel ratios and fuel savings rule. Good luck

    reply
  • David L Good

    2003 American Eagle Diesel Pusher. 8 MPG is the lifetime average. Doesn’t seem to make a difference if I’m towing the 2007 Honda Odyssey minivan or not… 8 MPG is what it gets with or without a toad.

    reply
  • John

    Speaking of gas mileage, I was wondering. I am considering getting a class B, I know the Mercedes Diesel do well get great mpg but I hear they are expensive for upkeep/repairs. Should I steer clear of any Class B’s with a Mercedes engine?

    reply
  • Ours is a 2004 Winnebago Sightseer 35N towing a Dodge RAM 1500 QuadCab 4×4 that weighs 5460 pounds. Traveling from the Indian Territory of Oklahoma to Rutherfordton North Carolina, Troy Montana, and Crater Of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas we average slightly less than 7 MPG.

    reply
  • Dave Dopp

    I’m a little surprised at your mileage. I suspect you might be using your cruise control a lot, which would explain the relatively poor fuel mileage. When we first started our travels I used the cruise control virtually all the time. My average back then was around 6.5 mpg. On one trip, the cruise control quit working. I noticed a dramatic improvement in fuel economy and I’ve never used the cruise control since!

    I have a 38 foot, 1998 Newmar Mountain Aire with the Ford V-10 engine. I tow a Saturn L100. Most of our trips are from Texas to Maine to Colorado and home. Most of our trips are from late-May to late-October. I typically drive 60 to 65 mph. I’ve tracked the fuel mileage for the past 20,000 plus miles and averaged 7.0 mpg. The lowest mpg was 5.5 (needed a clean air filter!) The best was 8.5 (700 plus miles, nearly all flat land with a tail wind.)

    I’ll grant driving without the cruise control requires more “work”, but the fuel savings are worth it. I typically limit my driving to about 250 miles a day.

    reply
  • Ken

    Hi . Enjoy your posts. I have 2010 Holiday Rambler admiral (31 ft SFS) class A which I enjoy very much. We bought new and this what we could afford at the time. I have never driven a diesel so I don’t no what Im missing
    I have a feeling if I drove one I would want one therefore I wont drive one (ignorance is bliss) I am curious why you guys are driving a gasser as all your past posts seem to prefer a diesel. Are you doing a honest critique on gas versus diesel? Thanks for column

    reply
  • I was just wondering why you switched from a diesel RV to a Gas RV? We are traveling seeing the U.S. and parts beyond and love our Diesel, but I always wondered about your choice to change.

    Love following you.

    reply
  • Alex Major

    You guys are AWESOME and such an inspiration for the many people that want to join the “New Nomadic Class” that is developing in this country, but don’t have the guts or courage or confidence to do it. Please send me your direct or private email address so I can tell you about an exciting project in which I am involved that I think you will be very interested in – especially reading your comments about the low mpg and the high fuel costs you are experiencing in your new Fleetwood Bounder. Cheers, Alex Major – fellow nomad;-))
    P.S. I am developing renewable aviation fuel, hence the Green Flight Foundation address.

    reply
  • Brian

    Also, I didn’t see any information or summary on total costs of up keep and repairs.
    One of the major concerns with a diesel are the repairs.
    Can you provide some info on all the major repairs you needed to make (related to engine) over the years?
    Also how many miles did you rack up before the repairs were needed?

    reply
  • Brian

    In the planning process of getting an RV and finding your videos both entertaining and informative.

    So in the big Gas vs Diesel debate I decided to put some numbers to your fuel economy.
    Based on National Fuel Price averages of 2.814 for Diesel and 2.834 for gas and an estimated fuel economy of 9 MPG for Diesel and 6.5 MPG for gas; the break even mileage for every $10K more spent to purchase a diesel is 81K miles.
    So if you spent 10K more to get a diesel and drive more than 81K miles your “saving Money”.
    If you spent 30K more to get a diesel you would need to travel 243K miles to breakeven in fuel savings.

    http://www.eia.gov/petroleum/gasdiesel/

    reply
    • Geraldz

      Of course fuel prices can fluctuate widely, but I found that by using Gasbuddy on a recent cross-country trip I could purchase diesel for $2 – $2.15/gallon. And this was with most highway truck stops advertising about $2.50/gallon! All of these “bargain stations” we’re within a few miles of the interstate.

      reply
  • Mark Manfredi

    We have a 2013 Tiffin Phaeton 42 QBH with the 400 HP Cummins ISL. We tow a 2007 Lifted and optioned for off road Jeep Wrangler 4 door. This summer we are on a trip that has taken us from our home near Orlando FL on the Southern route to Anaheim CA with a stop in Vegas, up CA to San Francisco, Denver to here in Chicago and starting to work our way south toward Orlando now. I reset the main trip computer in the driveway at home and show an average speed of 66 MPH (which included some serious mountains, both up and down) and have an average MPG for the trip so far of 9.1. At almost every stop I now find diesel less expensive than gasoline and even better with my Flying J discount card. I expect that with the flatter roads between here and home we should be in the 9.2 to 9.4 range by the end of the trip. I have not put the rig on the scales, but it’s on the to do list before we reach home, but when i first bought it and moved from our previous rig to this one, I had about 4500 pounds to spare on the GVWR.

    reply
    • Tom Mitchell

      I would be careful using the trip computer. We have a 2015 Fleetwood Discovery 37R, diesel pusher 380 HP at 38 feet with a GVWR of 33000 and pull a Jeep Wrangler. Currently, we have been traveling west on I80 from PA to CA, then North on 101 to Seattle, and headed East on I90 and currently at Livingston MT. Total milage on coach is 6200 and this trip is all but 1100 miles of that. My Trip computer shows always show in the low 9s while my MileageKeeper iPhone App is showing 8.5 (tracking miles and gallons put into tank). We are also seeing that Diesel fuel West of the Mississippi is plus or minus 20 cents from regular gas (average 3.08 per gallon). We did run the generator about 15 hours while camping at Crater Lake National Park which used some fuel(not sure how to figure that out). When I get back I will have to compare this to a trip a few years ago with a Ford F350 diesel pulling a 33′ fifth wheel. I guessing it will not be a lot different since our out and about driving in the jeep gets better milage than it was in the F350 did.

      reply
  • TimBear

    32′ 2007 Tiffin Allegro FRED, 300hp Cummins on Freightliner frame w/ Allison 6-spd. Get a steady 11mpg at highway speeds and somewhat more when we’re just loafing along (up to 13 on occasion). That’s towing a Honda CR-V, and going everywhere since we live f/t in the coach…mountains of CO, OR inclines, UT desert or IN plains. Love our coach, have had it almost two years now.

    reply
  • Norm

    I don’t know what it is about the Damon Avanti, ours was a lemon also. We had a 2011 good fuel economy 12-13mpg. Picked up a 2014 Newmar Ventana DP big difference better ride with air suspension fuel economy is 9-10mpg and build quality is superior.

    reply
  • Cameron

    I know this post is about fuel economy, but what do you think of the driving dynamics of the Ford F53 chassis? Sloppy handling and brittle ride is one of the reasons I don’t like long trips in my RV, and I’m curious if the diesel chassis you’ve tried offered any improvement in chassis dynamics (general steering feel, on-center steering feel, chassis sway, performance in wind, ride comfort, etc.)

    reply
  • Polley

    i have a 1997 Allegro 29 ft Class A motorhome 51,000 miles…this is my first RV…I wanted to go with a used one first to see if I was going to enjoy it enough before I invested so much more $$… Well, I LOVE IT!!! I love driving it…taking care of it…everything involving it…have not gone on any long distance trips yet…just local campgrounds to figure the thing out…have a trip planned in August to see the kids in Washington and Oregon…I’m located in Arkansas… Anyway…I have run a couple of tanks of gas through it and I’m getting an average 7.8 mpg driving up and down I40 towing a Jeep Wrangler with a car dolly (moving to a flat tow style in a couple of weeks)…so I guess it’s doing about average…glad to hear this…love your videos and articles…you have helped me soooo much….keep em coming…

    reply
  • Just setting up our website but we have decided on and in the process of purchasing a 2016 Bounder 33C. We also have 2 cats and are wondering where you have found the best place for the kitty litter?

    reply
  • Melissa

    My father always used to tell folks that he got around 30-35 MPG in our 40 ft Class A motorhome. The guy would usually sputter with shock and then ask how on earth he managed it. Dad would tell them “You can do it the same way I do….You lie about it.”

    reply
  • Michael

    I hate to kick you when you’re down but… I’ve taken two shakedown trips with my new gasoline Winnebago Travato 59k. The first was from Arizona to Orange County Ca and back (about 1,200 miles). Mileage there and back 17.1/ 17.1. My second trip was from Arizona to Utah and back (about 1,700 miles). Mileage for that trip was 16.4/ 17.1. The average speed on both trips read out on the trip computer at approx. 70 mph.

    reply
    • Ha ha, sounds like you are getting good use out of your new camper! Your Travato (super cool little van) is a whole different ball game and chassis so your fuel economy should be much better than ours and glad to hear your getting mpg’s! However, we never trust those on-board computers. We have always found they are a little off so we always do the math ourselves.

      reply
  • shirl

    If u were one person who depended on a quality self contained r.v. , need excellent gas mileage, wanted to park anywhere intown without having to be considered an R.V. and wanted to stay under 30 or less feet long: and a veteran who does not need disability access but is disabled. And held its value for resale…What would be your cost effected choice? “You all are a fantastic TEAM!

    reply
  • I have a 2014 Class C Winnebago View (26 ft) on the Sprinter chassis with a 3.0l turbo diesel. Just got back from a 6,500 mile trip to Colorado. My fuel mileage averaged close to 17 mpg. I don’t tow a car, just carry bikes. Fuel mileage is one measure but it translates into what is cost for fuel. I used about 380 gallons of diesel on this trip. I spent about $1,100 on fuel. With Class A or Class C gas model, I would have spent almost twice as much for the same trip. I’m a sometime RVer and take about 3 of these trips per year. For me and my mileage, the savings is substantial.

    reply
  • Rodney

    1992 32-foot Winnebago Brave Class A with Chev 454 w/3 speed plus overdrive. My last check I got 8.1 u.s. mpg with some generator use (45 min?). I have gotten over 10 u.s. mpg before. I do not drive over 60 mph mostly 55. This includes some mountain driving. The big killer in gas mileage is speed and windy days not to mention hard on your engine/drivetrain. Listen to Glen Campbell “Wichita Lineman” while driving it helps keep things slow. Opps showing my age again. Sorry folks.

    reply
  • Ed

    2001 bounder V10 only 33,000 miles on engine

    cruising at 65 mph i get approx 6.5 – 7.0 mpg if i step it up to 72mph its only a little less, closer to to 6.5mpg.
    sometimes i like to cruise faster and avoid the change downs that have the engine screaming, running at a lttle over 3,000rpm 72mph seems to do the trick
    what amazes me is how well this relatively small engine moves a huge rv so well.

    reply
  • Captjay

    That is why we went with a class A diesel pusher from Fleetwood….good fuel economy….cheaper maintenence and better performance.

    reply
  • Steve

    Our 2008 Damon Astoria 3786, 340HP diesel, California to Alaska in 2010 back through mid America (St. Louis) and back to California ….11580.7 miles, 113 generator Hrs (before we had solar) Total Fuel used 1,194 US Gallons (9.7 MPG). If the Generator used 0.75GPH then the motorhome mileage would be 10.4 MPG. Toad was a 2000 Toyota Avalon (~3500Lbs) with a Remco Lubepump. New Toad is a 2015 Cherokee, heavier by 600 pounds and it looks like about a 0.1MPG reduction on my short monthly drive test. We’ll know more after the next trip. The 340HP engine runs just right a 55 – 60 MPH. Over 60MPH the mileage drops fast.

    Enjoy Alaska. We had to replace the toad’s windshield, lots of chips, too much rain and not enough sunshine.

    reply
  • Toni Bright

    That’s about the same as our 02 Damon Intruder with a Hyundai Sonata in tie.

    reply
  • Peer Oliver Schmidt

    Hi,

    when I was looking into an RV I was drawn to a GMC MotorHome. They were build in the 70s so most are 40+ years old. When I told a very good friend of mine, who had been RVing for all her life, she said: Don’t, the gas mileage is way too bad (among other things).

    Well, I did get one. So far my mileage has been 10,5mpg driving approximately 5500mls. Sometimes better, sometimes worse.

    So it seems, in the last 40 years, gas mileage for an RV hasn’t really changed. Granted, it is only a 26″ RV, but still.

    btw: Love your blog, the technical vids, your sense of humour, and the entries about your eatery finds.

    reply
  • Fred

    We’ve had both Gas and Diesel RVs. There is a financial breakeven point between a similar size RV with Gas versus Diesel but there are a lot of factors that need to be considered in that analysis. There is a savings in the diesel fuel economy especially now that the cost gap per gallon between diesel and gas has narrowed. The Diesel has a higher pruchase cost but it also has a proportionately higher resale value. I’ve found no overall difference in the maintnance and service cost of the diesel vs gas (so far). All that said, here are some of our additional reasons we have become diesel fans:
    + The highway performance, especially pulling a tow car and driving on an incline.
    + Better gas mileage means fewer trips to the fuel pumps.
    + The diesel generator works better than any of the gas versions I have experienced.
    + Does all the work at a significantly lower engine RPM. Seems to be less tiring to drive.

    reply
  • Fred

    We have the 2011 HR TRIP we bought new early in 2012. Same specifications as the 2011 Vesta except for some finishing upgrades that come on the Vesta. We get the same mileage you claimed except we have achieved 13.5 MPG at 55MPH on level roads in FL and when not towing our car. We more recently got 10.3 MPG towing our Subaru Crostrek to New England and back at speeds 55 – 62. BTW, we’ve found the Subaru Crostrek(~3,000 lbs) with 5sp manual transmission to be an excellent tow car. We like to adventure on the “roads less traveled” and the Crostrek with AWD and higher ground clearence gives us more confidence.
    We also had a recall on the RV system mapping in November and had it reprogrammed at a Roadmaster Service location. The tech. claimed he increased the HP in the process. could be BS but I noticed an improvement in acceleration but slightly lower MPG.
    We love the HR Trip but just can’t get enough non work time. That is changing soon.

    reply
  • Jason & Nikki I’d be curious of your thoughts on how many folks actually keep their diesel pushers and make it to the break even point. Certainly you did not, LoL!! Looking forward to your write-up on the overall performance of your Fleetwood Bounder. Cheers! ~M

    reply
  • Bruce Kidd

    7 years of 30foot triple slide class C Melbourne pulling 4200 lb edge. loaded about 20,000 total . 6.8 V10 averaged 8.4 us MPG. Now we have 2005 40ft Safari DP C7 cat.in excellent condition. This is another world of driving control ! 32,000 lb and same 4200lb toad getting the SAME MPG. long live TORQUE. Now a DP, never going back.!! I love this thing ,especially the horn , , and yes, Guiness is way better than diesel. LOL .For those of you looking gas vs diesel ,buy a used diesel. just saying . .

    reply
  • Mat J

    I own a 2008 Fleetwood Fiesta 34lx, with the Triton v10. I have a 105k miles on the RV and here are something that have helped me achieve a 9.6mpg average over the past 15k miles. First start off with air pressure of my tires. I keep the air pressure at 115psi, second the engine, trans and diff all have royal purple synthetic oil. Next I never ever use the curse control as it will cost you about 1.0 to 1.5mpg. I also use a scan gauge with real time fuel monitoring and you will be amazed what going just a few mph more will cost you in fuel. When I get to steep hills I will slow down to 40mph or slower if possible, you can save a extreme amount of fuel by doing this. I also tow a 2011 Toyota Prius on a toy dolly and average around 8.5mpg while toying. It is all about finding the optimal speed when it comes to these type of RV’s. I have gotten over 12mpg while driving on a flat surface doing on average 52mph. Get a scan gauge it will pay for itself in no time. Best of luck to you guys 🙂

    reply
    • Mat J please share which tires you’re riding on in your Fiesta. We just purchased a 2004 Fleetwood Fiesta 31H (31.5 ft) and looking to exchange the tires before hitting the road full-time. Thanks!! ~M

      reply
      • Mat J

        I have Sumitomo tires Size is 275-70 X 22.5. I have about 20k miles on them and am extremely happy with them. They hold air very well, only loose about 1psi a month.

        reply
        • Thanks for the info Mat J!! Cheers! ~M

          reply
  • Joe Tarrant

    I did smile at your fuel consumption. I live in the UK. My 1990s Hymer A-Class is 22ft long, 7.5ft wide. It gets maybe 20 miles per US gallon (UK gallons are different) if I keep it below 60mph. It’s built on a 2.3 litre Fiat turbo diesel. The newer Hymer and other European makers do much better, have a wide variety of engine options (Fiat and Mercedes) and they’re fully capable of towing a small car, a trailer, etc. Have you thought about downsizing a bit? Do you really need something 30ft long? There are only two of you (you might be planning to add to that, which changes the game obviously!). But if you want to hit the environment a bit less, look at downsizing. Great site. I’m off to explore some more.

    reply
  • Dave

    Jason, I would like to get your take on how the three different RV’s handled. Not power, but if one was less fatiguing to drive, ride, maneuvering, etc. Thanks and enjoy your site!

    reply
  • Fred & Debbie Scheer

    We had a 30′ Daybreak {2012} with the Ford V-10 towing a CRV and the average was about 7 mpg that was on a 5500 mile Yellowstone trip. We now have a 2015 Bounder 35K with the same set up and the mpg is about the same. We have gone to Florida, 3500 miles, Myrtle Beach SC 1600 miles, both trips thru the PA mountains and its a little less climbing those hills but has enough power. I find that if you start your climb at the 65 mph I can maintain that speed. We have had a couple of issues with the coach but it seems to be the normal in the RV world. All in all I love this motorhome. It is well built and is set up with pretty much everything you would want to add yourself. Just want to add that I have had to deal with Fleetwood direct on a issue and they stepped up to the plate and are sending there own tech to repair the problem, EXCELLENT customer service! We purchased the Motorhome thru camping world, good price, sales people great, but the part about any camping world location taking care of you for service/repairs is a bunch of crap! I contacted 5 different ones in NJ,MA,NY,SC,and the one in PA that we bought it from {our 2nd motorhome from this location} the average return phone call was 1 1/2 – 2 days only to hear can’t help you or maybe you could drop it off in 3-4 weeks and have no idea how long it will take to get it repaired. So thanks again to Fleetwood.

    reply
  • Hey you’ve got one heavy Gasser there. Short generation comparison: my 29 ft Class A 94 Itasca Sunrise has less then 12.000 lbs. With 80 Gal of Fuel and 60 Gal Water.
    When we hook our tow, a 18 feet Horse Trailer then we got around 19.000lbs

    The mpg problem is the natural aspirated engine: the concept is hundreds or years old and the V8 or V10 hasn’t changed a lot in the last 100 years.
    In Europe nearly every new Gas engine gets a Turbocharger like a Diesel. FYI the mileage of a non-turbo Diesel is also bad. Turbocharging uses the energy which normally goes down the exhaust and improves the mileage up to 35%

    The solution would be simple and available. Remove the aging Dinosaur of Gas guzzling V8 / 10 and install a Turbocharged Gas I6 or V6. The power would be the same, but with increased torque. This would be easy for the manufacturer, Ford has this Engine, GM, they all got better power-plants then they are using. The costumer is not asking for something better.

    Sebastian

    reply
  • Ronnie Ryan

    I have been meaning to ask you Jason. Have you took a test drive(for a long trip) in a B sprinter. I was looking at that type and was wondering if it would be too cramp for one to two people. I know two would be cramp but would it be bearable for two to try on long hauls like ya’ll do. I know you tested the wde B but don’t think I seen a straight 170wb sprinter like the Roadtrek. I sure enjoy your wisdom you share with us and hope one day I will be a RV’er but fuel eco is a big for me. Ronnie

    reply
  • Blake

    Diesel costs more per gallon in my part of the country. Have you looked at your cost per mile vs. MPG?

    reply
  • Rob B

    I thought I posted here once but can’t find my comment. LOL. We just bought a 2015 Jayco Precept 31UL. We just got back from our first long trip. We drove from Ohio to Kentucky and then back to Ohio. We did not have a tow vehicle and we used the generator to run the A/C sparingly for the dog while eating along the road. It was pretty hot outside that weekend. We averaged 7.8mpg for this trip. I’m hoping that as the engine breaks in that will improve.

    reply
  • Bill

    What are your reasons for travelling in an RV rather than a trailer?

    reply
  • Rod Reichardt

    In 12,000 miles on our 2014 Tiffin Allegro 36LA we have gotten 8.2mpg. This includes one trip where the generator ran 5 days for 24 hours a day while parked. Pretty much a tank of gas without moving. I had to go fill the tank after 3-4 days as we were close to the quarter tank point where the generator is plumbed into the tank. I usually drive as fast as is safe under the road conditions. Usually towing a 12 foot cargo trailer. I would love for better mileage but I’m okay with it so far.

    reply
    • Rod, that’s impressive! We’ve been averaging 6.5 mpg in our 36LA (running at around 23,500 lbs. and towing a Honda CR-V). Much of our driving has been mountains/hills, but even when we were in flat Florida we only saw around 7 mpg. We usually drive around 62 mph if we’re on interstates, 55 otherwise. So far we’ve put in 1,558 gallons over 10,057 miles since delivery.

      reply
  • Abner

    We have a 2015 Tiffin Allegro Open Road 36LA. It’s on a 24k chassis and we normally run it close to it’s limit and tow a 2013 Honda CR-V with our Electric Trikes in the back at a total weight of around 3800 pounds. So our combined weight is around 28,000 pounds.

    Have the Ford Triton V10 on it.

    In the flat lands of the east coast we have been averaging around 9.2 MPG at an average speed of around 60.

    We have a Garmin that has a Garmin EcoRoute HD Blue Tooth connection to the OBDC port and that is where we are getting that figure from. Haven’t done any calculations by hand. So not sure how valid that figure is. But it makes me happy, so I really don’t wanna do the math a get a lower number 🙂

    9.2 keeps me happy. Heading out west soon. I’ll see how I do in the mountains. Currently in San Antonio Texas for a couple of weeks and then heading west.

    Have the Sumo Springs and Blue Ox Tiger Track on it so it handles pretty good!

    reply
  • Mark Nixon

    Jason, I’m curious if you guys ever considered a diesel pick up and a 5th wheel? I agonized over the decision between a class A and a 5er for a long time . I chose a 34 ft Montana and a Ram 1 ton diesel. I love it, but still wonder at times about a class A. Incidentally, I’m getting 11 mpg when pulling at about 65 mph.

    reply
  • Greg Dupuich/lynn w

    A consistent 15 mpg on our new via (2014) while flat towing our fiat 13.. At 26′ not big enough for you two but for us it works great.. love having the freedom of the toad..we’re heading to Alaska in aug. have fun

    reply
  • Kevin Koehler

    We have a 2000 33ft Georgie Boy with a 454, towing a Geo tracker and running around 55 I can hit between 10 and 11 mpg. I also towed a mustang for a while and it stayed the same. On flat ground I will use the cruise and that does make a difference. Yes I have had diesel motorhomes blow by me but when we did this life style change to full-time I slowed down. We also us a lot of back roads and two lane roads to see more things which help with the fuel economy. Are motor home has 100,000 miles on it and runs like a top, I stay on top of the maintenance which I can do because of it being a gas.

    reply
  • Rob

    Wow if it any consolation this makes me feel better about our mileage. We have a 2007 Leisure Travel Free Spirit, Class B Mercedes Sprinter. Kind of small, but enough space for us. 24mpg at 60mph and 22mpg at 72mph.

    reply
  • Elizabeth

    What did your Vesta get???

    reply
  • Robert B

    We just bought a 2015 Jayco Precept 31UL. We just got back from our first long trip where we used a full tank of gas. We are not towing anything, our trip was from Ohio to Kentucky and back. Lots of hills. We averaged about 60mph on the highway. We ended up getting 7.8 mpg on this trip. Hopefully as the engine gets broken in it will improve.

    reply
  • I have a 7.3 Diesel that is between 2 & 3 hundred thousand miles on it. With a small camper on it & even pulling some friends 2-horse trailer with animals I have consistently gotten 18MPG. It seems to take a lot to bring the mileage down. Though there are people I know who have gotten newer diesel engines that get better mileage once you load them or after they get higher miles they tent to get less while my old truck stays true on the miles.

    reply
  • Craig Sharp

    I have a 1994 Airstream Legacy diesel pusher. 5.9 Cummins pushing an Allison 6 speed. NC to CA to NC (with solar rack installed in CA,) averaged 13.3 MPG overall. Previous was a 1993 Pace Arrow with a gas 454. Wasn’t at all happy with 5 MPG!

    reply
  • in 35,000 miles our Itasca Reyo got a consistent 15mpg diesel. I think this pretty good mileage is fairly standard for any of the Sprinter chassis RVs. The addition of DEF fluid that makes it VERY clean did very little to impact the overall cost of traveling.

    reply
  • John Foraker

    We have a 12 Allegro open road 35qba with th ford v-10. From Colorado Sprinkgs to Oklahoma City we had an avg mpg of 9.6. I was driving 55 mph and kept th rpm’ under 3000. Took it slow n easy up th hills . From Okc to Waco Texas with avg 8.4 mpg but we had a 15-20+ headwind. The a/c was running the whole time and no gen usage. We’ve gotten 7 mpg goin 60-65 and pushin it up th hills. We are happy takin a bit more time gettin there if we can gain a couple mpg on th fuel!

    reply
  • Scotty

    Earlier this month we drove from Ohio to the Outerbanks in North Carolina in a 2014 Georgetown 377XL, flat towing a Jeep Cherokee and averaged 8.9 MPG. Average speed was 55-62 MPH. We travelled the Kentucky/Tennessee route so we drove through the Smokey Mountains. After reading the other posts it sounds like we aren’t doing too bad.

    reply
  • Vikki Rogers

    Did you notice a big difference in power when pulling the hills?

    reply
  • Jason B

    Gas mileage is a bit disappointing, but if you are happy with the ride quality and towing well, it sounds like the Bounder is still a hit!

    Truth be told, 2 or 3 mpg difference would take a long time to make up in the cost of ownership. We love the 33C floor plan and have been torn on the gas vs diesel dilemma ourselves as we ponder our first motorhome for fulltime living. Look forward to your other observations on the Bounder – and hope the dash AC problem is the limit of your issues!

    reply
    • Jason B

      Forgot to add our current setup and mileage.

      We own a 40ft (WAY TOO BIG) Coachman Brookstone 5th wheel and a 2015 GMC 2500HD Diesel crew cab and average about 7.5 – 8 mpg with mixed driving in 2015. Always under 65mph as the trailer tires, although upgraded to G rated, aren’t aren’t rated beyond that!

      reply
  • I use http://www.fuelly.com/ to track my MPG. Pretty sweet little app, which track most of your metrics contained in your post. Beats doing it by hand, one receipt at a time. And, you get all kinds of cool line graphs.. Oooooo line graphs!! 😉

    I’m curious of your take on the drivability of the gasser vs the diesel. In the climb up a hill, down a hill? How’s the toad feel? Then numbers being less of an issue, mixing in subjective “nice to haves”, do you feel going the diesel path is worth coughing up the extra $$$?

    reply
  • Skinny Badger

    We are on vacation driving from Tennessee to Oregon and back. Here are our actual hand calculations and specs:
    6.13 MPG avg. (Tennessee to Oregon)
    2005 38 foot Workhorse chassis (Windsport class A)
    Pulling 5,000 pound mini-van
    Actual weight of motorhome was 21,200 lbs.
    General interstate speeds were 65-70 mph when possible. Climbing averaged 45-55 mph.

    Thanks for sharing your MPG. We always wonder if we are even operating in a normal range for the engine, weight, and driving speed.

    reply
  • Don and Carol Brier

    We have always found the RV gets its best mileage when it is parked at the campsite and you are consuming beer instead. The beer is cheaper then fuel and you use less of it.

    reply
    • ha ha, this is true…on all accounts. 🙂

      reply
    • robert lighton

      Finally… someone who knows what they are talking about.

      reply
    • Scooter

      Yea I c your point but the pump out cost goes up or the FHU is more $$s.

      reply
  • Bummer to hear it’s so low, that’s dissappointing. The Ford V10 should be pretty reliable for you (as far as gassers go), but they’re definitely not known for their fuel economy. Fortunately maintenance costs should remain low on this engine, unless it starts blowing spark plugs (I hear they’ve fixed that now?).

    Personally, I’m glad the government hasn’t mandated a minimum MPG for RV manufacturers like they have for autos. I’m more in the camp of consumers supporting what they want to see with their pocketbooks and communication to the companies.

    That being said, even if we refused to purchase motorhomes that get less than 11 mpg, our options are really going to be limited. The only way to get better MPG is to make the vehicle (and appliances) lighter, smaller, more aerodynamic, lower on power, and usually adding on more complex (and thus expensive) emissions systems. Usually all these add-ons equate to higher maintenance costs over time.

    Mercedes seems to have struck a fantastic balance with their sprinters. They’re aerodynamic, pretty powerful, quite reliable, and they get great MPG. But that all comes with a cost: size and load capacity. I don’t think we’re ever going to see Class As get better than 15 mpg in the next 10 years, simply due to their size. When we’re hauling 22,000 lbs, I can’t think of much we can do to fix the MPG unless they implement some serious (and heavy) hybrid/electric system.

    It’s easier to swallow the pill of poor MPG by thinking of it as a house you haul around rather than a car. 🙂 But MPG translates into real costs, so I feel for ya, that’s not cheap!

    reply
  • I am surprized you did not check into the rv’s based the Sprinter chassic they adverage around 15 to 18 mpg. The only downside is that you are limited to size of 22 to 30 ft. Very few even have slides. So you can’t have your cake and eat it to. To get the mpg you want you have to give up size and amenities. It is like arguing with a women you can be happy or you can be right you can not be both.

    reply
    • LisaD

      Very few have slides? All the ones I’ve looked at do.

      reply
  • Julian Buck

    Wynns and Others; In addition to mpg and $$ spent, I also track cost per mile, one additional calculation. For the Wynns’ Indiana – Montana leg their data reveal a $0.32 per mile fuel cost. The Alberta to Alaska leg gave a $0.64 cost per mile. This big difference might be expected considering the higher price of Canadian fuel, and probably more mountainous terrain. Cost per mile is influenced most by fuel price and your vehicle’s mpg. We were examining facts, and shopping for a motor coach in 30-33 foot category for over a year. We finally bought a 2015 Thor Miramar 32.1 earlier this month. So far, after putting maybe 700 miles on it (Ford V-10; not much “stuff” weight inside yet; towing nothing), there has only been one “fill up to fill up” instance of 220 miles where I could get a fuel economy number, and it was 7.9 mpg. The coach had 1100 miles on it new, so the engine is no where near broken in yet. We selected our coach for its size (near our comfort max), and floor plan for becoming full timers later this year. My cost per mile is what I consider part of the price of the lifestyle. We will probably move around to different locations several times a year, as opposed to being on tour constantly.

    reply
  • Bill Smith

    We have been rving for 35 years. Beside having had 4 trailers 16 -28 ft., we are now on our 7th motor home.
    The first five were, one class C and four class A’s up to 38 ft. The last two have been 40 ft Diesels. We didn’t know what we were missing until we finally made the jump to Diesels in 2010. The class A Gas were great coaches but never got better that 8.5 MPG. They had Chevy 454, Ford v-10s and Chevy 8.1. Our 2010 Diesel was a Fleetwood Discovery with a Cummins 6.7 and got great mileage on the flat. 9.5 to 10.5 mpg. However because it was small compared to a lot of diesel engines it would fall back to 6.5 +_ on the mountains of WV which we traveled every year going south out of PA. Our new coach, a 2015 Phaeton has the new 8.9, 380 hp Cummins. We spent 2 months running around Georgia, Alabama, and Florida this winter and we were averaging in the high 9 MPG. I would even see +10 with the wind at our back and in WV we got 8.9. Now I don’t think we will ever see a engine that will move a 30,000 lb. vehicle getting above 12 or 15 MPG, but I think most will agree we are doing better in 2015 than we were just 5 years ago. For those trying to decide which way to go I believe its got to come down to a lot more than just mileage. For us it the quieter and smoother ride. The quietness in the cockpit because the engine is 40ft to the back. The quieter bedroom at night because the generator is 40 ft to the front. The almost unlimited carrying capacity because of the higher GVW. While it may come down to what you can afford but like us we worked up to it over 30 years.
    I have been following your journeys and blog for the last year and your current adventure is really interesting as we followed almost the same route, as you, when we went to Alaska in 2012. I would like to suggest you consider putting your RV on the Ferry at Haines and come down the inside passage. You will save a lot of fuel and time and see some of the best scenery Alaska has to offer. Good luck on your journey we will be watching.

    reply
  • Great article! Very useful information on the economic comparison of gas to diesel. I am anxiously awaiting your impressions of the handling of the Bounder as compared to your previous RV’s. Does t wander allover the road, leaving you white knuckled and weary at the end of a 300 mile journey? Does it track like a locomotive?

    reply
  • Lisa Cantrell

    Hi, Nope we are getting about the same as you in a 2008 33′ GP Class A. Our driving so far (3 mos) has been exclusively in the east with a mix of flat (FL!) and hills GA to western ME so far. When we were in flatter areas our MPG was close to 8-8.5 but it has gone down to 6 – 6.5 since hitting the hills. Our reasons though for getting a GP vs Diesel are cost. Gas has been going up $2.09 (lowest) to $2.72 (highest we’ve bought) but it’s still cheaper than the diesel and we just didn’t feel the difference in purchase price, and repairs as well as maintenance in addition to a more limited access to diesel is worth it. What we have done is to stay longer in places and travel around in our 2004 manual CRV. (We have a cat who stays in the RV but the dog comes with us and either stays in the car -not long and always in the shade (trees and window covers – with the windows open & a bowl of water) or comes with us. ) We travel at the same speeds as you but also more often have reservations so we know if/where the water will be and drive close to empty unless we’ll be dry camping (we have solar and composting toilet) .
    So, if price is a concern to me it makes more sense to travel less and it also means less spewing of fumes. The only big difference we foresee with not having a diesel will be out west where the mountains may make us wish we had the torque of a diesel, but I am not convinced.

    reply
  • Armor Todd

    Thanks for the update. Curious about the noise level while driving. Were you two able to conduct a normal conversation or did the roar of the engine drown everything out and perhaps lead to a bit of road fatigue? My wife and I are shopping right now and have pretty much decided on a diesel pusher, especially after driving some new gassers. Thanks

    reply
  • ALAN WHEELER

    I will give you another perspective. We pull a 38′ 5th Wheel with a 1 ton single axle Ford 350 diesel. Our average speed on the highway is 59 -60 and we average 11.5 mpg. Total cost of the new Ford and new 5th Wheel Keystone Montana was $100,000 and change. I admit that my wife wants a Class A instead of the truck to ride in, so we may change in the near future (happy wife happy life).

    Enjoy your blog and look forward to your adventures. Gives us ideas of places to go.

    Alan

    reply
  • BobB

    Any reports coming on how your other energy systems – solar, Lithium batteries, etc. – are doing?

    Also, how is the composting toilet? ;~)

    reply
  • Ian Brown

    All I can say is that with a lot of the new tech that is coming out because of the surge of electric vehicle interest (thanks Tesla!), I can see the possibility of hybrid coaches on the horizon. Also, with the development of the Tesla GigaFactory, the cost of lithium storage will start dropping like a stone because mass scale of production will make it work.

    Wal-Mart is pioneering a lot of new large-engine tech, as well, with their SuperTruck Program: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NER9X4_gtYk
    (Advanced Vehicle Experience Concept Truck)

    Development of tech like this is always the first step into seeing thing make their way down into a consumer market. After all, pusher diesel designs started out as commercial transport bus chassis.

    I know it’s taking time, but there IS a future worth considering.

    reply
    • There will be no Hybrids RV in the near Future.
      I did the calculation and a RV needs between 30-40 kwh of energy to drive the road an hour with 55 mph.
      This would be one massive battery bay even to get around the block. Not speaking about a day trip with 300-400 miles, a 200kwh battery bank ? at $200 for 1 kwh ? Happy million dollar RV.

      The next problem is that most RVs are not driving around. They are 99,8% in some sort of Park/Storage, most RVs never see 100.000 miles before they get 20 years old.

      More interesting would be an Electric Drive train, like Trains have, the engine is only connected to a Generator and the wheels are driven by and electric Motor.

      reply
      • Ian Brown

        Sebastian,
        When I was referring to hybrid, I posted the Walmart Super Truck as an example. The hybrid drive they’re using utilizes a MicroJet turbine to power direct electric drive, so they’re already well aware of the need to go that direction for big hauling.

        The new trick is to use the electric portion of the hybrid drive to provide short bursts of torque for startups, acceleration, and hillclimb-assist. The new hybrid supercars like the McLaren P1 are already using this technique to great benefit.

        All you need is a quick burst of high-torque electric power to get you up to speed and then pass it over to the conventional engine to maintain motion and recharge the hybrid battery for the next burst. This means the battery can be much smaller and will still result in improved milage stats. The Super Truck also does this through a battery pack that augments the turbine during periods of high current draw. That way, the turbine RPMs stay stable as the Lithium fills in the power gaps.

        I’m not expecting a motorhome version of a Prius, but I see a lot of possibility for drivetrain development, and it’s not as far off as you think.

        reply
        • Ian, yes I did read that.

          Which makes perfectly sense in Truck which is idling a lot a Truck stops and driving stop and go through the city. Most RVs a driven very differently than a Semi-Truck and are Plugged-in while parked. An RV you drive to the Highway, set cruise control and enjoy the view.

          Microjet is way to expensive, for a MH which is basically only standing around.
          Diesel electric drive, would be nice possible short term solution.

          Just an Electric Motor attached to the rear axle, no more drive shaft.
          A small turbocharged I3 or I4 engine which is charging the batteries. The nice thing about that concept would be, you could place the engine everywhere, Front, back, middle, Roof, or bottom.
          Even on an Tray under a Slide out, doesn’t matter, such a small power-plant is only 200-300lbs.

          reply
  • Randy

    This has always been a concern to me, when I got bit by the RV bug we had rented a tiny 19′ Ford and it only got 9 mpg. I shopped and shopped. Got my first one (as renting that pig was also super expensive) on the Sprinter as a van conversion from Gulf Stream. It had a big bed and everything else was small, nice, that was 22 MPG combined, 26 was my best tank. Not a class A and you had to sit down if the other person wanted to move.

    I upgraded to my permanent RV, a 2007 Serenity by LTV on a 5 banger Sprinter, the ONLY aerodynamic fiberglass T1N Sprinter. Others all had HUGE overcab areas like a regular class C. This is small enough to park at Costco and shop but has EVERY feature of a regular RV. I average 18 on this one, highway @ 21, but it’s a daily driver, getting only slightly less MPG than my convertible so I can take them interchangeably when I am driving far. Use it as a van and a towing vehicle too. But not anything to full time in. It will sleep 4 but you have to make up the second bed which shrinks the space and it has no washing machine, etc…

    I am planning a year long trip, so I just purchased the Airstream Skydeck, have not picked it up yet, but a two story RV will probably not have good MPG, people report a high of 14 with 10 being bandied around as average. Will likely get more highway miles, but I will do that trick of spending long stretches of time in small locations, likely eating more from my 150 gallon tank to run the generator than the move the RV, though I will put on solar to cut that down. But that means I have a 1500 mile range. Fill up once on a cross country journey! That should be good on the trip to Alaska, wonder what will happen when the upstairs patio fills with snow. Will have to bring a snow blower to Alaska!

    It will be nice having a bigger RV. It does have a 10k hitch so I can hang my motorcycle AND tow my Jeep.
    But then when we are no longer doing the full time thing, I hope to resell it for a profit, diesels hold their value and they are not making any more two story RVs. I will still have my 18 MPG Sprinter for trips that need a place to sleep (like the in-laws for xmas eve)

    -Randy

    reply
  • We get 8 to 8.5 mpg in our 2004 Damon Challenger with the Ford V10 engine. That is towing or not. Our toad was a Saturn Vue, but it got totaled last year and we have not had the need to get the baseplate installed on our new “toad to be”, a Chevy Captiva Sport (since we are not yet full time).

    reply
  • Steve Kass

    My wife and I are planning on becoming RV’ers for 6 months a year. We are on a fixed income so the big difference to us is the service costs of a diesel vs gas. We are purchasing a used RV so not only regular service but the prospect of a major repair on a diesel vs gas is a buzz killer. I understand that an oil change is 7 quarts vs 30. Also a major repair on a diesel like new injectors could be 4-5K. Any comments or thoughts would be appreciated.

    reply
  • Tarikians

    We have a 2012 Bounder Classic 34B Gas (35′ 7″) now with around 12.000 miles on it (bought new in January 2013) and can say that our average MPG is almost the same as yours… or a little worst as we tow 4300lb Jeep!
    Speed make a HUGE difference: If we keep 65 MPH our fuel consumption goes down almost 0.7 to 1 MPG (around 5.6 MPG) if compared with 60 MPH.(around 6.3 MPG) and even better if we keep steady at 55 MPH (around 6.8 MPG) So you can’t rush or will pay for it. All those averages were here on Florida, with no mountains or even hills but always towing a heavy 4 door Jeep JKU
    I agree with you about Diesels being more fuel efficient but also diesel fuel costs about 20% more than regular gasoline so a 7 MPG gas RV and 8.5 MPG Diesel RV will be almost same (fuel) money…. but Diesel RVs will cost you at least 40% – 60% more (same size) to buy and maintenance is also more expensive.
    For me the REALLY BIG ADVANTAGE of Diesels are other than MPG: Much better towing torque, Air suspension, Air Brakes, Engine Brake (huge advantage towing downhill) and no noise (Diesel pushers with rear engine).
    Probably my next RV will be Diesel… really not sure yet.
    By the way… what is your “driving feeling” comparing the Bounder with the Excursion? Suspension, steering,
    brakes….

    reply
  • Kenneth

    We have just returned from a 17,859 mile trip across the country in all kinds of conditions and we averaged around 10 mpg pulling a 2010 Nash 25S, 26 foot travel trailer with our 2011 Chevrolet Silverado crewcab pickup. Total trip average with and without the trailer was 14.489. We averaged 55 – 60 mph in towing mode for the majority of the trip and used the AC often, full propane, half fresh water and carrued our waste water until the tanks were full. We don’t carry alot of stuff with us so we are far from overloaded. We were very happy with the results.

    reply
  • Joe

    The reason gas motorhomes are so popular is that for most people they are cheaper. The coach costs less (this is a big one!), depreciation is less (in total dollars, b/c the coach costs less to start with), maintenance is cheaper, and fuel is slightly less expensive per gallon (this is actually pretty minor).

    For the miles driven by most RV owners, total cost of ownership for a gas coach is less. It just doesn’t feel like it at the pump.

    Tour buses, commercial trucks, passenger buses all tend to be diesel. They put on the miles to overcome the higher upfront cost. Unless you’re jetting from coast to coast each month, RVers won’t see the savings.

    Others choose a diesel coach for comfort, reliability, safety, or they just like them. There’s no problem with that, but if you think you’re saving money overall you’re probably fooling yourself.

    reply
  • James Lapsley

    We have a 2013 Bounder 33C and like you Jason, get around 6.5 – 6.8 mpg towing a 2011 Ford Ranger. As you have mentioned motorhomes are not economical, but that is not why we buy them in the first place. My wife and I do not full time but take several trips a year from Seattle to Yellowstone, Glacier, San Diego, Havasu and points in between. I am interested in learning about any handling upgrades which you may have done and your overall thoughts on this Bounder.
    I enjoy reading your posts which have given my wife and I other places and equipment to consider as we plan trips and upgrades.

    reply
  • Hale Lemmer

    Hi Nikki and Jason! Ruth and I have a 2012 Thor Astoria 36mq 360hp Cummins / Allison Trans. We tow a Chrysler Sebring convertible on a tow dolly. We average 9 to 9.5 towing and 10.5 without the tow.

    reply
  • Ernie

    Hi guys, I hate to say it but I think your mpg is about as good as it gets, before I purchased my class A I talked with a lot of class A gas powered owners and there mpg ranged between 6.5 and 8.0.
    so I opted to go with diesel over gas due to the heavier chassis and longevity of the drive train and extra power.
    I have a 40 ft monaco but when I was considering gas powered I was looking at 32 ft to keep it as light as possible. My monaco loaded w highs in at 35,000 lbs and my toad is a yukon denali which is 4,500 lbs and I get 7.2 mpg on average going at 65 mph. I have gotten over 8 mpg on occasion.
    If I had yours I would consider getting a programmer chip to boost fuel economy they do work well, it’s worth the $400 or $500 investment and you can use it on future motorhomes when you change again.

    reply
  • Marcia Jones Goynes

    We did have a holiday rambler Admiral, 34′, 2010, gas. We had that coach for 5 years and traveled 6 months or more out of the year. We only carried about a half a tank of water, kept the propane tank full or tried to. We towed an old Bronco II that we used like a garage, it was full of who knows what! Our coach was stuffed. You would have thought we would never see a grocery store again. After saying that we got between 7.3-7.8 MPG. If we didn’t have to run the engine air we did get a tad over 8. We drive around 60 miles per hour, our journey’s were always out west and we do the mountains. We have just purchased our first diesel and are getting ready for our big trip for the summer and fall. Getting a late start but don’t plan on coming home until around december, just going to beat the snow. We live in central Fl. Have no idea what this new coach will get as far as milage goes. Let you know. It’s an Itasca Ellipse 42′. We will be towing a jeep wrangler. We don’t expect the milage to be much better. ha

    reply
  • Nick Glaser

    Thanks for the update and very surprised as you on the fuel mpg! Looking forward to more insites into the comps on these RVs!

    reply
  • Larry gregory

    I was interested in how you’re feeling about your gas rig.
    I tow a 37 foot Cedar Creek at about 13000 pounds with a 2015 3500 Chevy with a 6 liter Vortec. The approx weight of the truck is 4300 pounds. I’ve always pulled with diesel and liked the power and mileage. When my 2002 decided to go through another set of injectors plus a number of other expensive repairs I decided to try a gas. When your looking at right around a $10,000 difference between gas and diesel plus the price per gallon, the break even point may never be reached.
    I picked up the new truck in September and have a bit over 10,000 miles. I’ve been pleasantly surprised with the gas. I’ve been averaging a bit over 8 towing. I too stay at 60 mph and under towing. With the diesel 10 mpg was the normal. We live in Washington state and have several mountain passes we go through. The slowest we’ve bogged down to is 45 mph but who’s in a hurry.
    I sure agree that it’s about time we start seeing some more fuel efficient RVs.

    reply
  • Nolan Olson

    The following is not the same as you and most of the commenters are doing, but in ways it is and is presented only as a contrast. Extreme laughting is permitted. My wife and I are not full timers, but very regular travelers (up to 15-18 days per month). We are pulling a [email protected] Max teardrop trailer (about 1100 pounds fully loaded) with a 2008 Toyota Highlander (3 liter V6) never exceeding 65 mph. Average mpg is 24. We have a queen sized bed, AC, heat, kitchen including refrigerator, stero/DVD/Bluetooth, standard Fantastic fan found in any self respecting RV. I could pull with much less, but I like the power of the Highlander, goes up hills with no slow down. We stay in the same parks as you big riggers (sink water goes to sewer) and we have a 125 watt portable solar panel for boondocking (the wife does demand at least a pit privy). This is certainly not for most, but suits us very well and we follow you big riggers. Let the laughing begin!!

    reply
    • We have a Camp-inn teardrop with similar features and weights and tow with a 2004 Toyota 4runner. We average about 17mpg. We don’t drive above 65. Laugh away!

      reply
  • My 98 Brave got 11mpg with the V10. Loved that coach. Traded with 260k on it.

    reply
  • I am just getting into this and have this vision of what I want to do .. Please feel free to offer advice and to give me a reality check. I realize that we can’t control the gas mileage but I am thinking that my travel patterns will mitigate that somewhat by breaking my year into travel groups within a fairly small geographic radius.

    For example, 2 to 3 months in the mountains of western Wyoming, 2 to 3 months in the canyon lands of Utah and Arizona, several weeks in the Big Bend National Park area, etc. In this manner, I only travel long distances 3 to 4 time a year while I find those really great back country places, get to know the history of the area, and adopt some friends. With a dual sport motorcyle instead of a tow car, I can be mobile both on and off road without having to move the RV. I appears to me I will be “livin the dream”. Feel free to save me from myself, though.

    reply
  • Karen connolly

    We have a 2005 Winnebago class c “Minnie”, 31.10 ft gas with a Ford 450 superpower v-10 with the Banks and have traveled all over the country in it. Get around 10 mpg or 7-8 city driving. Now towing a 2300 lb Chevy spark and have not seen our mileage go down at all. We live in Oregon and usually get 8mpg in the mountains. We try to keep at 55mph only occasionally going 60. We”ve been very pleased with it!

    reply
  • Terry Meyers

    We own a 2005 Newmar Kountry Star 39 foot diesel pusher with an 8.3L Cummins. We have put 75,000 miles on this motorhome and the total average of 7.9mpg through mountains, Alaska, Florida and mostly Arizona.

    reply
  • Doreen Colnaghi

    We drove from Atlanta to Denver, down to Bryce, through Vegas to Yosemite and are now going up the coast to eventually Vancouver and Banff (enjoyed your blogs on that area). Between the winds, the mountains, the weight, we have never gone over 6.5 mph. We are driving a 2012 Bounder 33c. It has been a shocker, especially with the gas costing much more here in the west. But we also figured on the extra cost to purchase a diesel, more expensive repairs and the higher cost of diesel fuel, that we were better off in a gas driven vehicle. Our question to you is, is there a noticeable difference in the performance and ride of a diesel vs the gas? Thanks for your info.

    reply
  • Constance Condit

    Wow! Personally, I just don’t think motor homes should be driven over 62 mph I

    reply
  • 2014 Jayco Precept, 31′, Ford V10, fully loaded, towing jeep wrangler (about 4000lbs), 70MPH when I can, using generator on trip from Texas up to South Dakota last two weeks ’cause it’s been hot and needed AC… averaging 5.6MPH Ouch! Wish I was getting 6.5-7MPG 😉

    reply
  • We just bought a 2012 Jayco travel trailer ( I know TOTALLY different category ) than what y’all are dealing with but I’m so curious to see what the gas situation will be once we hit the road! 😀 It’s definitely something to keep in mind when creating budgets!
    xx
    Lauren Jade
    Lauren Jade Lately
    ‘Simplify Life, Maximize Happiness’

    reply
  • Constance Condit

    Twenty five years ago my cousin’s class A got 6.2 mpg, so there has been improvement! ?
    We have an old class B Roadtrek with the famous Dodge 360 engine, 14-17 mpg.

    reply
  • Andrew Silver

    We have a 2012 Fleetwood Storm 32BH Ford V10 31′ long, no toad. After 30,000 miles we average exactly 7.01 mpg. We get basically the same mpg no matter how slow or fast we drive (55-70 mph). I could not understand why everyone said they get 8-10mpg but we could never get anywhere close. Have done several upgrades to the coach to improve the handling and comfort to be able to comfortably drive at 70mph: CHF (cheap handling fix), Kelderman front air suspension, 5-star tune, Blue Ox Tiger Trak bar, Blue Ox Trucenter steering. Would like to learn if you have done any upgrades to your Bounder for driveability as well.

    Would also love a comparison by you guys of your impressions on the handling and driving comfort of your former diesel Fleetwood Excursion and your new gas Bounder. Very much enjoy your videos and posts, thanks from Frisco, TX.

    reply
  • Tim Shaffer

    Ultimately decided on a Winnebago View on the Mercedes V-6 diesel Sprinter chassis due in part to better fuel consumption. We are getting a steady 15 mpg at 60mph with no toad, including West Virginia mountain driving and Texas headwinds. The View might be too cramped for some, but as a 30 year veteran motorcycle camper and backpacker, it’s a grand hotel!

    reply
  • Tim Shaffer

    Ultimately decided on a Winnebago View on the Mercedes V-6 diesel Sprinter chassis due in part to better fuel consumption. We are getting a steady 15 mpg at 60mph with no toad, including West Virginia mountain driving and Texas headwinds. The View might be too cramped for some, but as a 30 year veteran backpacker, it’s a grand hotel!

    reply
  • Stephanie

    We have a 2003 Winnebago Adventurer, 32ft with car dolly front wheels up towing a Volkswagen Golf. We get about 7-8 mpg for the past month full timing it while we drive from Texas to Washington via the East Coast so some decent climbs through mountains.

    reply
  • We have a ’99 Bounder with the V10, well broke in at this point with 79k. We got 8.9 mpg from Florida to Texas after we took delivery. We’ve been getting 7.5 -7.9 mpg during the 6500 miles driven on trips west of the Rio Grande. We do not tow anything yet and rarely go over 65 mph. When Diesel was almost $1 per gallon more, I felt the gas was to my advantage, right now the price is the same for both in Arizona (not sure how long that will last). If the price spread stays close, I’d love to own a Diesel RV for sure.

    reply
  • Michel Le Rouzes

    Leisure Travel 24 IB,2013 on a Sprinter 3500 chassis,towing a Smart convertble on four,,last 3000 miles,70 mph,14.9 miles per US gallon in may 2015 ….41000 km on the sprinter,11000 pounds

    reply
  • Bernard Schaer

    Hi Guys,

    seems like you should’ve stuck with the Vesta 😉 As I am in the process of selling Windy due to my health, I am asked about the MPG. Aside from referring them to your reporting on your site, the onboard computer currently shows 12.3 MPG (I took Windy over from you with a reading of 11.9 MPG). Since I’ve had her I’ve been doing my own tracking via my Rand McNally RV GPS, entering every purchase. According to that, the MPG stands currently at 14.0…… Keep in mind though, I was not towing anything and I wasn’t taking my entire household with me during the trips that I took with Windy. As long as the manufacturers keep building these boxy monsters not much will change until the consumer demands better gas/diesel mileage!

    Enjoy your trip to Alaska!
    Bernard

    reply
    • Herbie

      I have a 2012 Monaco Vesta, a year newer then Wendy, and I was seeing 11.2 on average of 60 MPH. I’ve since added a cold air intake and had the computer modified a bit. I’m now seeing 13.9 to 14.2 MPG at around 60. I also added a little fuel additives which I think helps over period of time.

      reply
  • JD

    Sometime back I posted on your site a comparison based on the research I could find which reflects pretty dang close to the numbers you have listed. Back at that point there was about a 30% upcharge for diesel. However diesel in the SW seems to be running about the same as regular gas and sometimes even $.10 a gal less.
    Given that the savings would increase dramatically driving a diesel pusher. And yes they cost more but the resale is also reflected on the other end. One burning question is the noise compared to the 2 FRED and the pusher?
    Thanks so much for publishing the numbers… As always great job guys!

    reply
  • Justin Harrell

    Ford is finally going to a 6-speed transmission on MY 2016 chassis, none on the market yet though. Hopeful that will improve the V10 mileage some, will probably show up in the 2017 RV’s. Also Workhorse getting back into the gas chassis market with a PSI 8.8L engine and Allison transmission, will be interesting to see it’s numbers, at least have some competition again in the gas space.

    In the end its all about weight, aerodynamics and efficiency of turning heat into mechanical work. Your Avanti had the advantage in all three areas.

    Cummins is working on their heat recovery systems to eek that last bit of efficiency out of diesel in that quest for the Carnot limit but will probably show up on semi’s long before we ever see them in the RV space.

    Ford should really make the Powerstroke diesel an option on the F53 and you would think we will see an Ecoboost replacement for the V10 at some point, but it will be a while considering they are just getting around to the 6-speed upgrade.

    In the far future I would love to see an hybrid-electric drivetrain with multiple gensets driving electric motors for redundancy and scalability. Won’t hold my breath, we will see self driving in RV’s before that.

    reply
  • CootersOnTheGo

    We don’t have a motorhome but full time with a 35′ fifth wheel instead. So my situation is different, but just to throw it out there in case any readers are interested in some heavy towing stats.

    Our fifth wheel is s an Arctic Fox which are known for being really heavy and it is. Our truck is then also our drive around vehicle when we are someplace, which I am sure some consider loud and obnoxious (older 2001 Dodge Ram 3500 Dually) but hey it works for us 🙂

    Anyways I don’t track towing vs not towing mileage (as I am lazy), but since we hit the road full time on May first of this year my average fuel economy (includes towing and not towing) is right at 16MPG. We have traveled a little over 3k miles since hitting the road (again haven’t tracked towing mileage vs non-towing but some quick math says we have towed about 800 miles). We have mostly been exploring the Washington Coast including the Olympic Peninsula (very hilly with some decent mountain climbs going into ONP and a lot of winding roads, not fuel efficient friendly) with our average stay at 7 nights (shortest is 4 and longest is 12),

    reply
    • John

      Cooter, when you get to your destination your stuck driving that big diesel truck everywhere?
      I like the idea of a Class A and a good toad with good fuel economy.

      reply
      • Works great until your cute little toad gets smacked by a V-10 powered Bounder, John…

        reply
  • Ed

    We have a 2015 Fleetwood Bounder 36e and get just about the same mpg as you’re seeing on your Bounder, right around 7mpg out here in California, we’re not towing anything though.

    reply
  • 2014 Winnebago Via, Class A, 26 feet, model 25P, flat towing a 2012 Jeep Wrangler Sahara (4,300 lbs.) The Via is built on a 3500 sprinter chasis/Mercedes engine. We are maxed out on weight. We get between 13-15 mpg. Driving speed 55 mph. We have 17,000 miles on it. We drove up to Mt. Rainier last summer without towing and got 18 mpg.

    reply
  • David

    As a Canadian reading your blog I was surprised that there wasn’t more comments about the price per gallon of Gas that you paid while in Canada. We on average pay between $1.00 to $1.30 per litre. Ie $4-$5.00 per american gallon. One of the many reasons why we Canadians like traveling to the States is that your gas is much cheaper, never mind if you like beer or liquor. Hands down you are cheaper. Even with the difference between our currency it’s still cheaper for us to cross over the boarder. I’m glad that you had a nice time while traveling through Canada. Loved your blog crossing the boarder.

    reply
  • robert lighton

    Let’s take the following example using the US price of regular of $2.11 and the Indiana current price of diesel of $2.49.
    Let figure cost of fuel for 20,000 miles in a year.
    Gas @ 6.5 mpg = 3076 gallon and would cost $6490 for the year
    Diesel @9.6 mpg=2105 gallons and would cost $5242 for the year

    The difference is $1248 more per year for the gasser if you are going 20,000 miles.
    Conclusion…. not much of a difference given the $60,000 additional price of the diesel coach!!!!!!!!!

    reply
    • John

      Robert, how much more is the diesel worth 3-4 years later? I’m guessing about $60,000!!!!
      If you can afford the nicer ride, go for it, it washes out on the back end.

      reply
    • Vence Vida

      That’s not really apples to apples. If you’re going to quote the Indiana price on one type of gas, quote it on the other, as well. The closest station that sells diesel near me in Anderson, IN has regular at 2.85 and diesel at 2.69. Yep, that’s right. Diesel is cheaper. I have noticed this trend lately. If you see my other post further up, I just got back from a trip around the western U.S. and I was shocked to see that diesel was comparatively priced and even cheaper than gas in several states. It was significantly cheaper in some places. It appears to be going that way in Indiana, as well. I’m not sure if it will last, but it’s certainly true right now. It makes a driving a diesel suddenly very appealing (if it wasn’t already).

      reply
    • Rick Sut

      Why is this comment dated June 25, when the above article appears to be dated November 5th ?

      reply
      • Because we update certain posts like this as we add new information. We started with just the first trip and just added all the to and from Alaska info.

        reply
  • Mary Abbott

    That is a lot of money to spend on fuel, but I do envy you the room you have inside. We ended up getting a Siesta 24ST. (Mercedes Diesel on a Sprinter chasis) While the model name might make you think it’s 24 feet long, it’s actually closer to 27. It might be a little cramped, but we did get 15 miles to the gallon going up to the mountains at 6000 feet. (a 2 hour trip) It took the steep grades quite well. Too bad you can’t get space and mileage. Sigh ….

    reply
  • Pat

    At 55 MPH I can get 10 MPG towing a Chevy 4 door Silverado Z71. I travel with too much water and too much junk. My St Bernard weighs over 120 lbs!
    We have a 2011 Fleetwood Discovery with 380 HP Cummins. When driving to Alaska, I pretended the price was per gallon instead of liter so it didn’t hurt so bad.
    Honestly, I RV for pleasure and avoid looking at the stupid amount I spend. When diesel got really high, we said we would save money on dining out and campgrounds rather than staying home. Slowing down helps with mileage and makes for a less stressful drive. Smiling reduces drag and may get you better mileage!
    Do the toe drink in Dawson City.

    reply
  • Norm Burgess

    We have a 31 ft Forest River FR3 and towing a Jeep Wrangler. Driving and average of 55-60 mph I am getting around 7 mpg with our Ford V10. I gree with the above statements concerning diesel vs gas that the difference would be about the same. Although the I would think getting service ie oil changes etc would be less expensive with gas vs diesel. Although the the power pulling would be greater with diesel I would think.

    reply
  • Jim S.

    Ya fuel economy, we deal with it no matter what kind of RV one has. I too will closely monitor my driving habits to maximize gas mileage. Staying under 62 MPH , using mid-grade gas when available. My best mileage is on secondary roads where the speed limit is 45 to 55. Even with some hills I’ll get better mileage running 50 to 55MPH than straight out freeways going 62. Head or tail winds will knock 1 to sometimes 1.5 MPG off the trip. But overall get 11 to 11.75 towing a 26′ tt with a v-8 pickup ( Tundra 5.7L).

    With your maxed out weight being full timers I think 7 or 7.5 might be your goal given time for the break in for the V-10. One can only pray. Also doing a AK. Trip next year so filling up at the pump will be painful.

    reply
  • Vence Vida

    Hi guys!

    We have a 2008 Four Winds Hurricane 31D. She’s a 32 foot Ford V-10 gas-powered class A. We just got back 10 days ago from a 4 1/2-week trek around the western U.S. stopping at as many major sites along the way as we could fit in, many days only staying in each location 1 night. Our route was: Indiana (home), Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana. We drove pretty hard to get that far that fast. I stayed as close to the speed limit as possible, maxing at 70 as often as I could. We were not towing, but we were not too far from our GCVW. We had terrible wind across Kansas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico. That was our worst MPG at around 5. Our best was Oregon to Montana where we got around 10. For the entire 7,300ish mile trip, we averaged 7.98. I’m really surprised at the MPG you’re reporting, especially if you’re never driving over 60. I always thought 8-9 mpg was about average for a gas RV, with 12-18 being more typical of a diesel.

    I’m anxious to hear more about your thoughts on the overall ride of the gas vs your diesels. I feel like ours rides pretty rough, but I realize she’s an entry-level model. I’ve wondered how different a higher-end diesel would perform in regard to smoothness and noise.

    reply
    • Vence Vida

      Incidentally, I realize I have Minnesota and Wisconsin out of order. Let’s blame it on the 3 time zone jet lag.

      reply
  • Mike

    Wow! We have an 07 Providence with a 350 Caterpiller. We lay at a solid 9.1 towing my Jeep or not. Nothing seems to change it but speed. I set the cruise at 60 all the time. I was considering a Tiffin Allegro with Ford gas power. You just changed that! Time to detail the Providence and let the Cat continue to purr!

    reply
  • Tab

    We have a Thor Ace 30′ V10 and get about 7mpg towing a 2200# car.

    reply
  • Emily

    We love this info! We’ve just officially joined the full time RV community!! Since traveling from AZ to PA, plus flat towing a Honda Fit, we’ve averaged 14.1 mpg. We have a 2008 Winnebago View. We love it, now that we’ve made some modifications to the floor plan to suit our full time needs! We’re definitely getting the hang of it, many thanks to your tutorials!!

    reply
  • robert lighton

    According to your figures you are using about 25% more gallons of fuel…. but the cost of diesel is probably about 25% more also. I bet if you do the figures you will find the dollars spent are the same between the gasser and the diesel.

    reply
    • CootersOnTheGo

      Every area is different on fuel, but we have been bumming around Wa state for the 7 weeks or so and on average the price of diesel has only been a 4 – 5% premium on gas. Almost everywhere we have been has only had diesel at about 10 cents more a gallon (prices between $2.50 and $3.50). For two weeks in the Seattle / Tacoma area we were actually paying about 10 cents less a gallon for diesel then gas was going for.

      So it shifts all the time, but at least where I am currently the difference is nowhere near 25%

      reply
  • John

    You are not far off from us. We have a 33ft gas Tiffin with a similar floorplan and the same engine. We tow a slightly heavier Fiat 500 and average 6.7 after 5,000 miles of use.

    reply
  • Ted Schjenken

    Your mileage isn’t to bad considering you tow a small car. I have a 1990 rexall 36 ft class a with a ford 460. It gets about 6.5 in the mountains & 10 on flat land at 65mph without towing anything.

    reply
  • robert lighton

    Wynns… so give us the difference in dollars spent between the Bounder and the equivalent dollars you would have spent in the Excursion. You would just need the current diesel prices to figure this. I bet the difference is not much at all.

    reply
  • Dave

    Buying a diesel motor home is a capital investment that you look at once when you buy the unit. Fuel is a commodity that that you might see every day depending on travel, I would rather see a lesser impact on t 🙂 e commodity.

    reply
  • Ouch!! That really paying a lot of money for fuel. If you knew what you know now, would you still pick the gasoline vehicle? I do envy your journey and have been following your posts ever since you came through Knoxville, TN. I saw you on the local news. Kewl!

    reply

Post a Comment