Real RV Fuel Economy – Fleetwood Excursion
One of the biggest campfire questions has to be What is the Fuel Economy of your RV? or What is the MPG of that RV? Calculating the MPG or Fuel Economy of your RV is a pretty simple task, but ask one of these questions around the campfire and you’re likely to get a fisherman style story!
I’m not saying I’ve never done it, we’ve been calculating our RV MPG for years with our Monaco Vesta (you can see that info here: gonewiththewynns.com/vesta-fuel-economy) Nikki has occasionally caught me exaggerating when chatting up our RV fuel economy. What I have not done is tell a giant lie like “our 40 footer gets 16 Miles Per Gallon!”….come on people that’s just ridiculous.
So how do I calculate the MPG or Fuel Economy of my RV?
If you’re good at keeping a log there are plenty of apps that make tracking MPG, price, miles driven, etc. a breeze as long as you remember to do it at the pump. We’re not that disciplined (usually after dropping a couple hundred bucks at the pump the last thing on my mind is filling out a questionnaire).
I keep track of all my receipts, notate the RV Mileage, and file away in a box above the driver’s seat.
The Computer on your RV is not a MPG calculator, it’s more like a video game…its made for entertainment purposes only! This little computer can’t monitor every detail about the fuel consumption of your RV, but it can help you get an idea of your RV’s best engine RPM and teach you not to have a lead foot or perform “jack rabbit” starts at the stoplight.
Below are my Miles Per Gallon calculations for Roy, our 2014 Fleetwood Excursion 33d. If you don’t have an Excursion you can take these calculations and guesstimate for just about any similar size, weight, and shape of RV that’s using a Cummins engine. Keep in mind we are towing a Smart Car which has a small footprint and weights a lite 2,000 pounds. We also keep the speed between 55 mph and 60 mph, so if you have a heavy right foot your MPG will likely be much lower. Before we departed Indiana our RV was weighed in at 24,500 pounds loaded (with with all our gear and the tanks approximately half full) and our tire pressure was adjusted for maximum performance and safety.
05/2014 – 08/2014 Conklin Fuel Supplement Test: Flat, Boring and Hot as Hell!
In March we had a reader contact us to see if we’d like to get better fuel economy in the RV. He said “I love your website…I’m a private supplier of Conklin products and they can provide your RV with a cleaner engine and better fuel economy.” I said “duh, of course we’d like better MPG“. So he sent us one bottle of Conklin 4-Power D to clean out the engine, and one bottle of Conklin Diesel Plus Fuel Conditioner to improve fuel efficiency. I waited to use the product till we crossed the Appalachian mountains so the terrain would be more flat. After running both bottles through I was concerned we wouldn’t get a real reading with only 2 fill-ups, so I got one more bottle of the Diesel Plus. So here’s the scoop on our Conklin Diesel Fuel Supplement Test in our Fleetwood RV:
Route: Bardstown, KY to Walnut, IA (via MI and da UP)
17,047 Starting Mileage
19,392 Ending Mileage
2,345 RV Miles Driven
276.749 Gallons of Diesel Used
$1,030.74 Total Diesel Cost
8.48 MPG Sub-Total
34 hours of generator use
17 gallons of generator fuel consumed (approximate)
*7 gal of DEF used (approximate)
9.02 MPG for the Fleetwood Excursion with my Conklin Diesel Fuel Supplement test
I have done a few things “wrong” in this test that most likely influenced the readings:
- In my other tests I haven’t really used the drivers A/C, but this stretch of travel was extremely hot, so I pretty much rant the A/C non-stop on the “MAX” setting. I’m sure this has thrown off the MPG reading.
- Conklin recommends changing the fuel filter after using the 4-Power D but I feel unless I needed a new fuel filter the expense of this service will cost far more than what I would save in MPG; so I didn’t spend the money on a new fuel filter & service.
- Our diesel engine is barely broken in at 17,000 miles, so I’m guessing the engine is pretty clean, so maybe an older RV will benefit more from these supplements?
- It’s nearly impossible to know the amount of fuel consumed by the generator unless you document every device run, including the watts, time run, etc while using the generator, but I’m not that patient.
- Filling the DEF is a pain and some places don’t have it, so I just made note of the DEF reading at the start and finish of the MPG test, so that’s why it’s “approximate”.
*My trip computer is a little optimistic, as is typical with RV MPG computers
I wish I could have reported a 1-2 MPG increase but it’s not the case with this test. So compared to my other RV Fuel Economy readings it doesn’t seem that the Conklin products helped me achieve better MPG. I’m not saying the products don’t work, and I’m sure the lower MPG reading can be attributed running the HVAC in the drivers area. Please know Conklin has run their own tests and they stand behind their claims about performance, value and longevity; and when I flip through their website it seems they have plenty of happy customers that claim better fuel economy and cleaner engines. If you use any fuel supplements in your RV tell us about it in the comments below.
Just for fun here’s the Smart Car info for the same time frame:
1182 miles driven
32.94 gallons of Premium Gasoline
35.89 MPG for our little Smart
Now if only we could have a diesel Smart car here in the states…now that would be AWESOME fuel economy to report. Till next time we’ll keep truckin’ along and trackin the RV fuel economy. Please share your RV make, model, year, size and MPG in the comments; we love comparing RV Fuel Economy readings.
01/2014 – 02/2014 Big Winds, Mountains and Desert
Our Excursion has a liquid urea tank so I decided to make my first Miles Per Gallon calculations based on 5 gallons of DEF. We filled up in Wichita Falls, TX as we headed north towards the Rocky Mountains. We battled a gnarly head wind for around 30% of the drive and a severe cross wind the remainder of the nearly 1000 mile trip to Breckenridge, CO. We also drove in the Rockies with giant climbs and descents…so to say this is an unbiased real world test would be an understatement.
Route: Dallas, TX to Breckenridge, CO to Cloudcroft, NM to El Paso, TX
12,679 Starting Mileage
14,261 Ending Mileage
1,582 RV Miles Driven
169.448 Gallons of Diesel Used
$28.12 approximate DEF Cost
9.34 MPG Sub-Total
10 hours of generator use (approx)
5 gallons of generator fuel consumed (approx)
9.62 MPG for the Fleetwood Excursion based on this first test
I have done a few things “wrong” in this first test:
- I didn’t reset all my MPG, miles driven, etc on my CPU to get an accurate idea of the bias of my on board MPG CPU. I did reset the average MPG upon my first fill up and snapped this photo at the end of this MPG test, surprisingly it’s fairly accurate at 9.8 MPG.
- I didn’t fill the DEF full for the test, so I don’t know exactly how much DEF I’ve used.
- I didn’t notate my starting generator hours so all I have is an estimated run time.
- It’s nearly impossible to know the amount of fuel consumed by the generator unless you document every device run, including the watts, time run, etc while using the generator, but I’m not that patient.
Overall I’m pretty happy with the 9.62 MPG, especially considering our route and how Mother Nature didn’t help us out any! I wish there was a way to increase the MPG of an RV but other than a more streamlined and aerodynamic design, or maybe an electric hybrid RV, I’m not sure it’s going to get much better anytime in the near future.
Check back soon as I’ll be updating regularly throughout our trip.
03/2014 – 05/2014 Hills, Plenty of Flat and “Mountains”
This time we drove through the Hill Country of Texas, the higher elevation of Birmingham Alabama, and the Blue Ridge and Smokey Mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee. Needless to say there was some pretty big up and downs on this route so it’s interesting to see how these hills affected the Fuel Economy of our RV.
Same driving habits as before: 55mph, no a/c, towing a Smart car, etc. Fredericksburg, TX to Birmingham, AL to Boone, NC to Bardstown, KY
25.67 MPG Combined Fuel Economy
2014 Fleetwood Excursion 33D
14,998 Starting Mileage
17,047 Ending Mileage
2049 Miles Driven
202.73 Gallons of Diesel Used
$758.22 Cost of Diesel Fuel
$31 ½ tank of DEF – approx. 6 gallons
10.11 MPG Sub-Total
7.2 Hours of Generator Use (78.5 -85.7)
3.6 Gallons of Generator Diesel Consumed (approx)
10.29 MPG for the Fleetwood Excursion based on my second fuel economy test
As you can see in the photos the trip computer wasn’t too far off from our actual mileage, but it was still a little more positive than reality (granted it’s much better than the Trip Computer on Windy the RV)
To add a little fun to the total MPG of our RV we’ve also logged the fuel economy of our Smart Car. Realistically we should be combining the MPG of these two for our overall trip fuel economy…after all we purchased the Smart car specifically to tow behind the RV so we could easily explore the adventures waiting outside of the campground. It’s only fair to combine the number right?
2009 Smart Car ForTwo
30,566 Starting Mileage
32,037 Ending Mileage
1,471 Smart Car Miles Driven
35.83 Gallons of Premium Gasoline Used
$137.78 Cost of Gasoline
41.05 MPG for the Smart ForTwo Convertible
What’s most interesting is the RV industry is not required to deliver any sort of EPA regulated numbers, you know: like a car!
So when you ask your RV salesman “what kind of Miles Per Gallon does this RV get?” when he answers it’s most likely a big fat guess…or worse…a bold faced lie. In my opinion this is one of the major downfalls to the RV industry; but leave it to bloggers, writers and forums to test, document, and report on their real RV MPG. A little searching online and hopefully you can find some real world Fuel Economy on the RV of your dreams.
Share your RV Make, Model and MPG below in the comments; let’s make it a little easier for people to find this valuable information. If you don’t have an RV tell us which one you’re interested in and maybe we can help with finding the MPG for you. If your 40 footer really gets 16 MPG please tell us how you do it 🙂
Disclaimer: We were not compensated for this post and as usual our comments, data and math skills are all based on our experience with our Fleetwood Excursion and the RV industry as a whole.
Hi there ,appreciate your posts and the info therein.
We have a 1993 Fleetwood Coronado 30′ on the chevy p30 frame with a 454 engine a d 4l80 tranny.
Our first big trip,frpm Northeast Mo out to Kelowna BC and back was 4700 miles,we towed a small trailer with our dresser harley on in ,approx1400 lbs.We tried to keep our speed to a conservative 60 mph and were able to average 9 mpg with a low of 7.8 and a high of 11.We didnt run the genny much at all so it probably wasnt a factor and we Did run the dash a/c almost everyday,We crossed the rockies in Canada and in the US and over ranges as well,we are very satisfied with our mh’s performance,also used reg gas and synthetic motor oil.
I assume you are using US gallon calculations. I always mention imperial or US gallons when I talk about gas mileage. I improved my gas mileage by changing from the stock ford muffler to a free flow walker. It also sounds a lot better and it gets the heat away from the engine more efficiently. Thx, Pete. P.S. We have a 2014 34 foot south wind with the Ford 3 valve 5 speed engine /trany.
Have a 2007 Fleetwood 40X with a Caterpillar C7 engine, no DPF, no DEF. I can get 9.5 to 10 mpg on the highway (flat ground) at 55 mph and no toad. Towing a 24 ft car trailer (weight 6200 lbs) at 60 mph I get ~8.5 mpg. Mileage when new was closer to 7.5 mpg and started to get better once I got > 10,000 miles.
I had tried to ask this before, so here goes again. Why did you guys switch from Diesel to Gas RV?
We explain the switch here: https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/story-behind-our-rv-design
On mileage, internal features (three living zones) and comfort, we decided on a Roadtrek 210P with the Chevy chassis. We average 16-18MPG at speeds from 50-70 MPH. We also rented a 19′ Sprinter and got better.However, the difference in fuel costs (87 octane gas) versus diesel, the Sprinter diesel saved us about 5% in actual fuel costs. The comfort difference was palpable and certainly not worth a 5% fuel cost gain. To delve further, a gallon of DEF is about $11 plus freight and shipping. This adds about 1/2 cent per mile to the operating costs of the diesel engine. We decided against the Sprinter – too small. We opted for the 210P because it was consistent with my life philosophy which is “everything in moderation.” After about 60 days and 15,000 miles, we’re doing fine.
In our pursuit of a 32-34 foot Class A Motorhome we are amazed that the warranty on the engine and suspension system only covered a one year warranty. Even if it’s an all Ford or Freightliner package. That does not say much for the hope & expectations of the consumer paying as much for a popular RV unit as a home. The depreciation on a new or nearly new RV is extreme. But the question is, do you want a Class A Motorhome or not!?! We have had a trailer or two for over 25 years.
I was surprised to see you driving a gas unit, instead of a diesel. I’m hoping you elaborate on the noted differences of up hill climbs and down hill speed controls of you V10 gas rig. I noticed on your video (after you crossed into Canada) that the front end sounded real noisy, as if the front end was not strong enough. Maybe that was just loose stuff you had on the dash or counters. I could write a short novel on all the questions I have, but I’ll be merciful. Thank you for sharing you lives. Are you coming thru Seattle?
Hey Guys really love your smiles and energy ) I have an older 34′ Gulfstream , its a plain
coach with no slides or exra features ….but it was my first love and has a 190hp cummins motor
undersized for towing but it consistently gets 14mpg ….and is great on its own. We just take
bikes and explore that way. I am searching now for something nicer as many slides as i can get
3 or 4 would be good and i dont mind a 40′ rig what blows me away is how inexpensive used diesel
pushers are…… why would anyone by a new one when they depreciate so quicly…I am negotionating
on a Tiffin Allegro bus that sold new for 280k and 8 yrs later its gonna go for around 100k doesnt need
DEF and the low mileage on a diesel is hardly even broken in….. Really looking forward to your alaska trip… we will be doing the ALCAN also next year with friends so we will be following your Blog closely
Thanks Guys and Safe Travels
Okay, this is probably a dumb question, but why is your tow car using gas when you’re towing it?
Thank you Nikki. I must have misunderstood what I was reading then. Also, a big thanks to you both for your vids and information. My cousins just told me about your site and I’ve been glued to it for days reading, watching your vids, and enjoying the great information you’ve provided.
We’re looking at the possibility of RVing full-time so I appreciate your info and love your style of creating vids. Because I’ve been watching them back to back for a couple of days, you can totally see the difference from when you first started until now and how creative you both have gotten with your delivery. Quite entertaining! 🙂
It’s all a lot of info and even my eyeballs go crossed every once in a while when looking at everything. Thanks for the love and yes, we have gotten much more comfortable with being in front of the camera over time. Its kinda weird to look back at some of our super old stuff sometimes but fun. We were so stiff in the beginning!
I use a Bluetooth ODB2 adapter with the $10 Torque Pro App for Android to log our trips and provide a lot more details on the engine operation than the dashboard on our Thor Ace 30.2 provides. I average about 8.5 MPG regular gas with the V10 Ford motor.
I also discovered with the app why the outside temperature gauge on our RV trip computer was always wrong. It’s the air intake sensor instead of the ambient air sensor.
I’ve checked the MPG accuracy manually 2 times and the ODB2 adaptor and Torque PRO are very accurate.
It will work with your smart car too.
Excellent Android phones like the Moto G cost ~$150 and can be a dashcam, trip logger, remote camera, and traffic aware GPS all in one. The Waze App has frequently steered us around long accident delays and warned us of hazards on the road ahead.
I work in IT and love electronic gadgets.
If gasoline stays below $2 per gallon for years and diesel remains $1 per gallon more that gas I wonder if more people will choose gasoline engine RVs over diesel?
I’m from the future. Gas did not stay at 2/gallon.
My ’99 Fleetwood Discovery 37V with 275 hp Cummins would get 8 – 10 mpg. It didn’t seem to matter what I towed or if the terrain was flat or mountains. But if I went over 62 mph, I could drop to 8 mpg.
I now have a 2011 Discovery 40X with a Cummins 380. She seems to. Be more sensitive to towing and terrain, but speed is still the biggest factor. I drive 62 MPH towing a Silverado Z71 crew cab. I do not try to keep weights down. I keep tanks full and carry too many tools and toys. We even travel with our St Bernard! I get 8 MPG, which is ok.
The BEST mileage I got was 7.3 MPG on a three month trip to Alaska.
The worst mileage I get is when it is parked in the driveway and I get zero MPG.
Ha Ha, that driveway mileage is terrible! I will make a note of that. 🙂
Really well written article, good to know what to expect.
2014 Forest River Georgetown 351 DS.
Mountains & Hills-5.0 (the scenery is well worth the drop in fuel economy)
Spent 2 months driving Washington and Oregon state dropping down into Northern California. Drive a 2008 Newmar Dutch Star 4035 with Cummins 425hp and Allison 6 speed, towing a Jeep Wrangler. Never saw mileage above 7 mpg. But man does it move, like a 40 ft. hot rod, or at least it felt like it.
ha ha, you may not have great mpg’s but at least you are cruising! Nothing worse than feeling under-powered in the mountains!
I love your website! I am a single lady, a young-ish 70, who is starting to look at motor homes. My purpose would be to travel with my 7 lb. poodle and cat, maybe once every other month. I am a concert pianist, so I would arrange concerts ahead of time in various places. This way, I could get a tax break on my trips. Also, I think it would be great to meet my single woman friends along the way for some fun trips as well.
I know nothing about these vehicles, so have basic questions:
1) Is gas or diesel preferable?
2) What kind of maintenance would I have to do, or can I get someone at the RV park to do everything (I’m not into mechanical doodlings)
3) Do they all come with generators as I’d need one, especially leaving the animals inside some of the time.
4) Somewhat concerned about safety travelling alone. It would freak me out to be in bed and have someone knocking on the door!
Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
I live in Tucson (just moved there 2 1/2 yrs ago) so that is my home base for now.
Thank you very much!
Sheryll, sounds like an RV would be a great fit for you! The concert/girls trips would be lots of fun.
These are some fully loaded questions to which I can’t answer all at once (I would be way to long and would become a post instead of a comment). I would suggest spending some time on our RV’in page as you will find the answer to most of these questions. https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/rvin
If that isn’t something you are interested in doing, we offer chat sessions where we can answer all kinds of questions in the time span of an hour vs. lots of hours spent typing back and fourth. You can find the info on chat sessions here on our contact page: https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/contact
Hi Jason and Nikki! Great to see you both and visit a bit at the Pomona RV show! Don’t know if you’re still checking this post or not, but I am weighing (so to speak) the 33D Excursion with the 300 Cummins vs. the Winnebago Forza (35′ 6″) with the 340 Cummins. Do you think the larger engine would impact the fuel mileage for the better or worse? Both vehicles have the same gross weight rating. Thanks so much for all you do.
A larger engine will likely impact the mpg, my guess would by 1-2 mpg. You’ll also want to consider the Excursion sits lower to the ground which means less wind resistance while driving. Also you’ll want to check the “empty factory weight”, our Excursion is 21,945lbs, my guess is the Forza weighs more which means the actual carrying capacity would be less than the Excursion and the additional weigh will cause the MPG’s to go down a bit more.
Its all very confusing, and a total paint to wrap your head around, but your due diligence will pay off.
Let us know what you end up with.
Great job Wynn’s. We recently upgraded from a ’95 Bounder 28′ to a 2013 Excursion 33A. Interesting that I use the TRIP MPG and Instantaneous MPG same as you. I retired abut a year ago and we’ve only made 2 long trips. First from Sacramento through the 5 Utah parks and home, about 10 MPG towing Geo Tracker. Many high passes along our route which really suffers the MPG. And second Sac up the Oregon coast to Portland without towing visiting many breweries along the way. Back home down I-5 which is pretty flat, 11.3 MPG. Note these MPGs are based on gals at fill up and not the computer since it’s 1/2 to 1 MPG optimistic. I like to drive 55 (required when towing in CA) using the cruise-control.
Thanks for sharing Brad! Is the Excursion getting better fuel economy than your Bounder did? Just wondering…
Thanks for the response Jason. The Bounder was a Ford chassis with a 460 ci V8. I hadn’t checked the Bounder mileage in some time. When it was new it got about 9-10 MPG, but that had gone down considerably over the years. I had a spark plug wire go bad and was running on 7 of 8 cylinders for awhile (really hard to climb hills at that time). Just a guess, but I think I was getting 6-7 MPG at 55 to 65 MPH. I’m really pleased with the Excursion mileage.
We too are pleased with the Excursion MPG, and according to the Fleetwood engineers we’ve spoken to the Bounder should get 10%-20% lower fuel economy than the excursion…so sounds like you were right on with your guess.
I should have have checked my facts a little more, of course the US Gallon is less than a UK gallon so taking this in to account we pay about $5 more per US gallon
This is one of the biggest issues in Europe and the relative small number of American RV’s on the roads of Europe. The punishing taxes on fuel would put the 72.3 Gallons in the $800 bracket.
Most Petrol RV’s coming in to the UK/Europe and usually converted to LPG which more matches US prices of course you cant do the same with Diesel
We pay around nearly $12 per gallon about 80% of this is taxes.
Its a shame as most people I meet in the European motorhome world aspire to an American RV and most certainly those full timing choose an American RV.
Saying all this, there has been since 2005 a massive increase in size of European Motorhomes as younger people come to the market and families who demand more space.
So the American RV is starting to look more attractive not least with the more modern RV’s being much more to European Style and Fuel Consumption improving the gap between a large European and an American RV is narrowing
In fact our confidence was gained on a German 8m (27ft) (big for European standards) motorhome doing around 19mpg the step up to an American RV does not now seem such a big step
I just can’t believe anyone would want a large RV in Europe! We have spent many months exploring Europe via Mini-Van and even that sometimes can be too large for some of those hairpin turns and old castle walled streets.
We haven’t been documenting how we tow in such detail (ie. weight, conditions etc) but we have so far found the following:
2012 Tiffin 35QBA (gas class A coach)
Average mpg: around 7.5mpg when we are fully loaded and towing a Mini Cooper convertible on a tow dolly, at elevation (CO). Driving speed average 55-65 mpg. We did get 8.5mpg driving it empty at lower elevation.
2006 Mini Cooper S Convertible
Average: 30mpg approx
Total average: around 18.5-19mpg combined
We are slow campers so now that we are on the west coast, won’t be traveling as many miles in the coach, more in the Mini. For now!
THANKS JULIE! Love to hear the scoop. If you get a minute head over to our towing post https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/how-to-rv-tow-car and let me know what you like/dislike about your dolly. We’ve heard people that love them and people that absolutely despise them. Glad you’re on the road!
We really enjoy your posts! We found you from following the bread crumbs (or composting toilet crumbs) from the RVGeeks blog.
Recently completed a cross-country trip from Washington State to Maryland and back (5750 miles round trip), so lots of terrain variety. 2014 Tiffin Phaeton 40′ with Cummins ISL 380. Calculated MPG of the MH – towing a 2014 Honda CRV – was 9.58. Highway speeds were between 60 and 65 MPH on average, but never over 65 MPH.
Tim, AWESOME! Thanks for sharing. So happy to hear the mpg’s of your Phaeton were so high.
we’ll not a rv person but getting the bug.Been in 18 wheelers for over 30 yrs Own cats in 80 and 90 ahhh my 550 hp got 6.0 mpg that 80000 ills at 70 or 75 miles phr.500 hp cummins bout the same anywhere for 5.5 to 7.0 mpg.Yall don’t get surge charge that’s why stuff is so high.Truckers are getting help with there fuel or there be no trucking. Take care enjoy reading bout y’all’s travels over 4 million miles my self and one wore out butt. Gregg
We’ve met many truckers who decided to purchase an RV and drive a little more leisurely once they retired! We love camping next to truckers, they have the most wild stories.
Love the idea of sharing fuel mileage in the comments!
1999 Rexhall Classe A (32ft) with 82000km on it (52000miles). On a recent trip with a good mix of highway and city driving, we averaged 10.52mpg. Seeing other comments here makes me wonder if I can do better 🙂
10.5 MPG is pretty darn good Patrick. Thanks for sharing.
Greg & Lynn
Hi, we have a new winnebago via and get 15 mpg on a couple of trips (no towing) nice power from this rig.. The old rig (view) got 17mpg year in and out.. but wow, the price is nuts on mercede’s platforms. Good handling and just the right size for a couple..
We would love to travel in the Via, that size is perfect little get around RV…but didn’t work for our full time needs. We’d love to get 15 mpg!
I was SOOooo heartbroken, after having had illusions of grandeur to live the rest of my life in a 28 foot used RV.. only to find that the best I could get was 5-6 miles per gallon.. I tried 2 different units and could not live with the idea that any thought of “Cost Effectiveness” could be achieved.
So now.. i just pack up my Kia Van and travel to the closest Motel 6 and enjoy at least the savings… PS.. the Am/PM’s along the way do not make up for the convenience of pulling over, bit alas… I can’t have everything.!
Gilbert, sounds like you have found a way to make it work but if you decide to look at RV’s again, check out the class B+ as they have the best mpg we have seen. Some get 19-20 mpg.
We have a 2000 F250 7.3L with 262,000 and tow 2013 (36′) Montana 3150RL(4mos) with average of 10-12.5mpg. Our best did get close to 16 with tail wind. This trailer has rounded front whereas our 2004 Savoy (28′) was a flat square box killing our avg mpg was 8-10. Love towing 5th wheels. In two weeks we start our trek north to Indy and beyond for 5-6 mos. Like the comment miles per month……… Glad to get 10-12!
Tom, thanks so much for sharing! Now if only there was always a tail wind!
We average 16mpg towing a 1984 34′ Airstream International with a Honda Odyssey.
Unhitched, the Ody returns 25mpg (highway). Once the kids are older I am planning to replace the Honda with a Mercedes Diesel.
I have a 05 odesy and I only get 15 mpg hi way towing nothing at all. What year is yours ???
Bill our #FleetwoodRoy is a 2014 model. If you want to know more about Roy (our RV) read here: https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/roy-the-rv
We are loving our (new) 2007 Leisure Travel Van 23′ Serenity diesel and getting 15 MPG towing the Honda Fit. It was an adjustment downsizing from the Vesta but worth it. Looking forward to the ‘Roy’ commentary video.
OK we tow a 31′ Airstream trailer 7100 lbs. When we towed with our Chevy Avalanche we got 10 mpg towing and 19 without. We just purchased a new 2014 Chevy Silverado 1500 Texas Edition. We just drove 500 miles in hill country with average speeds of 65. We average 12.8 mpg towing and 22.8 without. Not bad for gas engine.
Ginger, that is pretty good! Thanks for sharing!
One thing further about your Fleetwood sponsorship – because of this I have now considered Fleetwood much more seriously in my RV Class A shopping than I did before – so they have already achieved their goal with you – to increase awareness of Fleetwood out in the marketplace. And after doing further research on the brand, visiting dealers and comparing models I am fairly impressed with them. But still very interested in your thoughts.
Perfectly timed comment Richard! We are shooting a video soon on the best and worst features of our excursion!
Since there are several comments here about people’s current travel plans and wanting to meet or get together with you or others, people should be aware of a new site which will help accomplish that – RVillage.
Recently started it allows members to join groups, assign friends and enter travel plans so others know where you will be when. All free. Started with the help of the Technomadia folks. Looks good!
So how does Roy’s mileage compare to what you got from Windy?
And while comparing your 2 RVs – how do you like the Fleetwood vs Monaco overall? I have seen your initial videos when you picked up Roy, but virtually no other comments since – other than about needing a better bath sink faucet.
I know you don’t want to “bite the hand that feeds you” and say anything negative about Fleetwood, but you were open and honest in discussing Windy’s pros and cons and am hoping to read the same about Roy. Since you are long term professional full time RVers we value your opinions about life and equipment on the road. Keep it up!
Richard you can see all of Windy’s MPG reports here: https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/vesta-fuel-economy . I am sure it seems like longer but we have only lived in Roy for 4 months now and it takes time to test everything and document the info. We had 3 years with windy to document. We do have a post and video we are working on with our thoughts on the best and worst of the excursion. That should hopefully answer most of your curiosities on quality and such. So far we have been surprised at how well the coach has handled and held up to our rigorous use.
Good to know about Fleetwood – thanks!
Looking forward to your new video.
Also – just an idea – you could do another “day in the life” video except this time with Roy. My wife and I – and I am sure many others – really enjoyed that video and all the details you worked into it. Anyway – for your new video you could cover a lot of the pros/cons of Roy while doing another very entertaining and informative video of daily life in your RV.
Finally – hope you guys are working on a book about all your adventures and travels. Think it would be fascinating.
We would love to do another ‘day in the life’ video with Roy. Please understand the original video took an entire week to produce, so it will take us some time to produce another one of these pieces.
I realize that there is no comparison between a Class B & Class A RV. But three of the things I considered before purchasing my Class B were:
1. Full economy
2. I didn’t want to tow
3. I wanted to be able to drive & park just about anywhere.
I never really checked my mileage until I had to make a run to Kentucky to pickup my daughter a few months back. Travelled on all Interstate Roads.
Distance travelled before first fill up: 729.6 kilometres
Average speed: 100 KPH (63 MPH)
Diesel fuel consumed: 19.2 US gallons
M per US Gallon/H: 38/1.6 = 23.75 MPG
I started with full propane tanks (16 US gallons) and full fresh water tanks (30 US gallons)
And that ladies and gentlemen is why I bought a Class B.
Granted I travel alone and have plenty of room for me and my camera to explore North America.
And … I seldom travel the Interstate Highways when I do my travelling. So my best guesstimate would be around 18-20 MPG on a regular trip.
Karsten, we love the class B’s because they are so stealthy and you can park anywhere! Thanks for sharing your mpg’s.
Just curious, what model B do you have, Karsten?
Well I sure thought we would be getting a little better fuel economy moving up to a diesel rv…but hey we bring everything under the sun with us so can’t complain. We have a 2005 Winnebago Journey 40ft with a Cat C7 350 hp towing a 4dr Jeep Rubicon (4,300 lbs). We average 6.4 to 7 mpg. I’m not a slow driver either mostly I drive 65 to 68 mph on interstates.
I have heard that the Cummins Diesel’s are much better on fuel economy than Cat, that’s why Cat got out of the highway engine business, not to mention the new Def requirements.
Still wouldn’t ever go back to a gasser…I love the torque and ability to tow/carry what we want.
I have a ’97 Dodge diesel pickup which generally gets 18-19 mpg highway, by itself. When it tows my 28-foot 5er, it falls to 12-13 mpg.
That said, wind can make a huge difference. No fish story, one day I got nearly 16 mpg towing with a 30 mph tailwind—and another day, less than 10 mpg against a wicked headwind.
It’s great to follow you guys on your travels. We have a 2013 Fleetwood Excursion 35B. On our last trip to Utah. Strong head winds and rain and snow. Mpg 12.3 . We left the toad at home. So cal to parowan Utah and back. Keep up the good work.
Hi Jason, we enjoy following you guys from Frisco, TX. We have a 31ft 2012 Fleetwood Storm 32BH gasser – we get 7 mpg no tow, even with a Scangauge and 55-60mpg. Fortunately gas (for now) is ~10% less than diesel. Using Gasbuddy helps save us a lot, esp with some advance planning. We use a simple estimate for our fuel trip cost: number of miles to our destination + 10% = return cost in dollars.
Thanks for sharing Andrew! Its always difficult to hear a 30′ gas coach getting under 9MPG, I know there’s gotta be a way to increase that. In due time I’m sure.
Hurry and get that Gas Vs Diesel video up…I am shopping and still on the fence gas vs diesel…will be 2 old ladys driving across country…many questions
We too have so many questions about it. We are planning to test drive a few gas class A RV’s and speak with the professionals from Fleetwood at the Du Quoin Rally in June. Sorry to say the earliest we can get up this video will be July/August. Wish we could do it faster for you.
Our go to response is: Do you plan on spending lots of time in the mountains? Do you plan on towing a car up these mountains? If your answer is yes then go for the diesel as it has more torque and can manage mountains much more easily and safely. Of course it depends also on how big/heavy of an RV you plan to purchase (the bigger/heavier the worse the gas engine will perform in the mountains).
If you don’t care for the mountains then save yourself the cash and go with gas!
2003 Holiday Rambler Scepter cummins ISC 350 diesel weighing in at 30k loaded and pulling a 5000 pound buick enclave. Average 8-9 mpg driving 64mp depending on terrain.
Seems your fleetwood will be better once broken in.
#FleetwoodRoy has only 14,000 miles on it so far…so he’s just a baby still. Not sure we’ll be with him long enough to see the engine broken in.
Our 2008 42 ft. Monaco Dynasty (4 slides) with the 425 hp Cummins weighs in at 40,029 lbs. We pull a CR-V weighing 3,400 lbs. We always bring the tow vehicle when we travel. Over the 7 yrs. and 65,000 miles, including the 500 hrs. on the genny and use of the diesel Aqua-Hot system, we have averaged about 7.2 mpg.
I have noted the hour usage of the genny and Aqua-Hot on each receipt just for my own observation.
I usually start looking for a station at 1/2 a tank and try to never fall below 1/4 of a tank. The worst recorded mpg was 4.5 and the best 9.8 mpg. The wind and terrain is your friend and/or enemy! LOL!
On a side note; do not trust your fuel gauge right down to E!
I ran out of fuel when my gauge said 1/8 of a tank remaining. After an emergency refuel delivery, I had four separate roadside assist mechanics come try to restart, all failed!
Now I’m out $1200 and had it towed to the nearest CAT dealer.
2013 Winnebago 31WP w/ V10 – 9mpg average towing Jetta TDI.
Both our cars are Jetta diesels, so we don’t mind paying higher price for diesel for them. I’m a fulltime planner/dreamer presently…..we may be there in 3 years.
If we ever wanted another coach, I’m decided not to spring for a diesel model. All perks aside….too much cost.
Thanks for sharing Paul, it is more expensive to do everything on a diesel so I understand your point.
Sunday, I ran from New Orleans to St. Augustine in a 34′ 2003 Georgie Boy Pursuit. The Ford V-10 has proven to be a great engine. I filled up in Biloxi Ms. and ran straight through. 8.3 miles per gallon. I was not towing, I have remodel and it is much lighter ( although I have not weighed it yet.) I did push the speed a bit and stayed over 62 most of the time. I-10 is good for speed in that area not sight seeing. Be sure to come to St. Augustine!
Thanks for sharing Jim, would love to see you out here on the road…we’re always interested in seeing Georgie Boy RV’s since they’re not made anymore.
Love your site, been following you guys since your HGTV days. Our 2006 Ford F250 diesel gets 17-18mpg while on cruise control at 70mph on the interstate. But, when towing our 2011 27′ Airstream, that my wife & I full time in, we get 13-13.5mpg at a highway speed of 62-64mph. Wish it could be as good as a VW camper, but at least it’s not single digits.
Not bad MPG for towing, it must be due to the aerodynamics of the Airstream trailer?
Love you Guys keep up the good work.I”m not full-time Rving, but me a my wife are planing to do it in the future.Was just wondering the other day how much I would spend on gas and this post is very helpful.We enjoy all your post and video’s and they are very inspiring and helpful.
Thanks from Vancouver Canada
You can also check out our “Cost of Living Full Time in an RV” article, you’ll be surprised how “little” we spend on fuel compared to food! https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/rv-living-cost
We’ve now been fulltiming for 12 months and 2 weeks but have only covered 7,000 miles. Tiffin Allegro Bus 30,700 lbs plus CR-v toad 3200 lbs. We are never in a rush but we keep out of the way of the trucker as they are working for a living so 55 to 62 mph is about our average. We get 7.1 mpg and it doesn’t matter what we do that’s what it is, up in the Rockies or across the plains. $3750 a year for fuel including the generator, and we are VERY happy campers. Thanks for a great blog.
I didn’t touch on another very important subject…I can’t stand those who say “I can’t drive to that place, fuel is too darn expensive”! That makes me crazy, especially when those people are driving a giant new RV. I digress…
Thanks for sharing.
We’ve had six recreational vehicles:
1978 VW Campmobile – don’t know; never checked
1987 VW Westfalia – usually about 20-22MPG
1985 22-foot Lazy Daze – ~ 8-9MPG, not towing
1999 40-foot Mountain Aire (diesel) – 9.5, not towing
2005 27-foot Lazy Daze – ~9.5 MPG, not towing
1998 Dodge Sportsmobile – 16MPG – driven separately with above RV’s.
We did actually do a test regarding the fuel used by the generator when we were boondocking in place for a week with the 27-foot Lazy Daze. We filled up at the beginning and the end, and calculated the results. DH = Math Major; these things are exciting to him!
I noticed the other day in our logbook that the Mountain Aire (GVWR of 32,000#) consumed diesel fuel at a cost of $1.29/gallon when we bought it in 2001, and drove it home to Arizona from Florida. GASP!
We work under a new set of rules now – Miles per Month!
miles per month…love it!
We too had a Westy: 1985. I think we averaged 15 MPG…not that it mattered because it cost us $500 in service everytime we drove it 1000 miles 🙂 Ahhhh, the joy of old cars!
1999 Fleetwood Bounder 32H with Ford V10. We’ve been seeing 7.9 mpg mixed conditions over last 14 months. I was truly amazed that we got 5.9mpg from Phoenix to Payson Arizona! My Dodge Durango only gave us 9.5 mpg towing a 20 foot tent trailer, so I’m a happy camper!
Considering we’re carrying around an entire house I’m amazed we can get anything over 5MPG! Thanks for sharing Bernie.
Have kept detailed fuel records on my 37′ 2007 Monaco Cayman since new. Cummins 325 hp ISB. Over 60,000 miles average MPG is 9.84. I have no way to break out the diesel generator usage so the number includes about 800 hours of generator time. Weight on scale: 26,300 pounds (max) plus 3500 pounds toad. I a happy camper. 🙂
Sounds great Gerry, thanks for the info!
Our diesel Chevy truck gets about 12 mi per gallon but that’s combined towing and driving around without the trailer. It gets less when we are towing but I’m not sure what. Numbers make my head spin! – Jenn
That’s crazy, I would just think the truck would get better MPG…but i guess you guys are towing a big 5th wheel with a loaded truck full of kids and pets 🙂
1995 Volkswagen Eurovan Camper
20 mpg on freeway.
10 mpg in San Francisco daily gridlock.
haha, gridlock stinks JP!
13 Itasca Navion, 6 cyl Sprinter Diesel. – 15.38 mpg yr avg , includes some diesel generator use
Lucky you Sue! Any tow car?
About 1/3 of the time we tow a Honda Fit.
2004 22 foot Rialta built on Eurovan chassis – 17 -19 depending on speed.
Is that highway or city? Just wondering.
That’s highway. I try to stay at 60 on the highway.
When we hit the road on 4/11/03 (11 years next week!) diesel was cheaper, or about the same, as regular gas… around $1.35/gallon as we recall (ahhh, memories). We’ve watched helplessly over the years as diesel has climbed in absolute and relative price, often well beyond premium gas. We can’t imagine how truckers aren’t marching on Washington in protest! But we digress.
’05 Newmar Mountain Aire, 43′, weighing in loaded at about 19 tons, towing a Honda CR-V weighing around 3,500 lbs. When this RV was brand new, we got a pretty steady 7 MPG, but we’d heard that once the engine is broken in really well, that would go up. We just crossed 57,000 miles, and now that it’s really, really well broken in, we’re all the way up to…. 7 MPG! We’re hoping that since diesel engines last so long, that they’re not really broken in until 100K? Please? We’ve been dreaming of even 8 MPG for the past 9 years!
Faster or slower speeds don’t seem to matter. We tried NEVER exceeding 55 for a couple of months and it didn’t change a thing. Tailwinds do seem to help a bit though. And we’re planning a trip from the top of Mt. Whitney to Bad Water in Death Valley, in neutral, just to see if we can up our economy. lol
Average fill for our 150-gallon tank is about $500, but we’ve come close to $600 (large empty tank x expensive fuel = 2nd mortgage). At least we can comfortably cruise nearly 1,000 miles on a fill.
Jason & Nikki, where are you parked these days? We just wanna visit with you. Honest. By the way, and do you have a locking fuel cap? 😉
Hey Geeks thanks for the details. I too have found the MPG seems to perform the same at 55mph as 60mph; although I’m not willing to try 70mph!
Headwinds stink for fuel economy, its painful to watch that little “actual mpg” number go all crazy.
We are currently near Charlotte, NC…on the other side of the US…so I don’t think driving over to steal our 100 gallons of diesel will be worth it 🙂 And yes we do have a lock on the cap access. Miss you guys.
One aspect you didn’t touch on…generators that run on diesel! They pull from the same tank as your DP engine. So if your “camping” for a long period of time, your resulting mileage will suffer. And if your in the desert during the summer running the generator to power 2, 3 or 4 roof airs….it won’t be a pretty sight, even if you ARE going downhill!
I did mention the generator in the toggle that includes my actual MPG for the test. You must have breezed right by it!
1996 fleetwood discovery diesel 38′, full of gear, water, wife, 3 small kids and no toad. Wichita KS To Niagara Falls and return; 9.5 mpg at 60ish mph.
Nice Sean! I’ll have to tell Fleetwood.
2003 Itasca Suncruiser, 8.1 L V8 340 hp, 26,000 lb +\-, towing 2010 CRV/ 3500lb +\-, 65 mph avg speed.
Last 10 mos driving all types of terrain – avg 6.7 mpg.
Selling dealer suggested we would get 10-11 mpg.
dang dealers, can’t always trust those guys (or girls).
Chris G – I had a big grin after reading your post…literally minutes before loging in and seeing Jason’s article tonight I had just calculated our gas mileage from our 410 mile run from Spokane,WA to Sunriver, OR yesterday.
Ready for this? 6.7 MPG. Same 8.1 litre engine I’m guessing but mines in a Chev 2500 HD 4×4 pulling our 30ft Skyline Celebrity 5th wheel.
I’m just thankful I don’t have to commute because my truck gets the same 7 MPG (maybe 8 if I’m luck) even when not towing. 🙂
Interesting article, didn’t think about how much work it would be to accurately track MPGs with the generator running! I have to tell you, as someone who travels with 2 dogs, I got a big kick out of the cat hair in the fuel economy display picture! 🙂
yea, I thought it was funny too…I swear that damn hair sticks to everything!
’08 Fleetwood Discovery 40ft towing mini cooper 9.1mpg. In line with other owners
Seriously?!? If we can get 9MPG with 40′ I’m telling Fleetwood we need a bigger RV next time around 🙂 Thanks for sharing.
21 foot Winnebago Travato touring coach (gas), full-timing for 2 months, not towing… Using MileageKeeper app to record all fuel purchases: 15.0 MPG. (Best tank: 19.9, worst tank: 10.5).
now you’ve got me salivating.
Interesting to note the difference between Diesel and Unleaded.It used to be more economical to run a diesel rig but now with unleaded at around.60 cents per gallon less a gas rig is nearly the same as diesel especially with DEF cost.
We get 7.9 mpg with our 35ft gasser. National Sea Breeze towing a Chev Malibu
Ray it’s also cheaper to service a gas engine vs. a diesel. We are actually working on a Diesel VS. Gas video now…should be interesting.
Way cheaper, I change the oil/filter myself not much more to do to a v-10. My last oil change was less than $40.00. Looking forward to your gas vs. diesel post.
2004 Damon Challenger – Ford V10 – 8.01 average over all our trips including several short FL trips and a 10 day trip from FL to TN.
not bad for such a large gas engine.
07 Leisure Travel Vans 23’ Serenity Diesel, 18.2 MPG average, better on highway according to Fuelly.com
thanks for making us feel bad Randy 🙂 I guess its ok…but our last Vesta MPG posts top that (they include the Smart car) https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/vesta-fuel-economy
08 Winnie View, Sprinter Diesel, towing a Tracker. One year full-timing average 14.8 mpg according to “Road Trip” app.
15mpg!!!!! with a tow???? Rub it in why don’t you 🙂