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Old 08-24-2014, 12:54 PM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Four Winds 23U
State: Illinois
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THOR #992
Smile Gas mileage ideas

Does anyone have any ideas on increasing gas mileage. We are new to RVing and have not gone on any long trips yet but have been thinking about how to increase mileage if possible. May be a dream but worth asking.
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Old 08-24-2014, 01:24 PM   #2
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 2011 Four Winds 28Z
State: Michigan
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THOR #531
Same wisdom as for any vehicle... make sure your tire pressure is correct, keep the engine tuned up, keep your speed reasonable, avoid jackrabbit starts, and so on.

I'm using a Garmin EcoRouteHD which reads the fuel flow data from the engine's OBDC port. From that data, we're averaging just about 10MPG with our 28Z (which is actually 29ft-10") on a E450 chassis.

One thing with the EcoRoute - I can watch how varying the speed by a few MPH affects the fuel mileage.

I usually drive between 55~60mph on the interstate, and I get passed by many other RV'ers - especially those towing 5th wheels - can't imagine they are saving much gas at 70MPH.

I used to have a fuel flow metering system on my boat - which was so depressing it was best not looked at (I averaged 0.7~0.8MPG in the boat).

The only other thing I can think of - which I might do next year - is to install a set of air-tabs (Airtab: Aerodynamic fuel savers for truck, tractor, trailer, bus, RV). They claim to increase mileage by 2~5%. Whether or not it is worth the $220 to save 5% in fuel is debatable; I put 2,500 miles on my RV so far this summer - so it would have saved $50, if I got a 5% fuel reduction.

However, the air-tabs are said to help the stability of the rig, especially when being passed by semis etc., and if that is a side benefit, it might be worth the investment.
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Old 08-25-2014, 03:19 AM   #3
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THOR #992
Thanks for the info I may look into the Airtab thing and boats suck gas. Kurt
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Old 08-25-2014, 03:39 AM   #4
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THOR #531
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boats suck gas. Kurt
Which is one reason we no longer have one.
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Old 08-25-2014, 06:49 AM   #5
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THOR #1053
Gas Mileage

Believe it or not, when we pull our little streamlined enclosed motorcycle trailer, the Toy Carrier, it apparently breaks the vacuum in back of the motor home somewhat, and we get an increase of about one mile per gallon! That's with pulling about an extra 1,500 pounds, with the weight of the trailer and the full-dress Harley in it! We use the motorcycle to visit our kids from the nearby RV park, when we travel to visit them.

It would be nice to not have to add electronics to monitor your gas mileage on the Ford E-450. They should come with the output already there, like our Lincoln Town Car has.
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Old 08-25-2014, 07:02 AM   #6
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Believe it or not, when we pull our little streamlined enclosed motorcycle trailer, the Toy Carrier, it apparently breaks the vacuum in back of the motor home somewhat, and we get an increase of about one mile per gallon! That's with pulling about an extra 1,500 pounds, with the weight of the trailer and the full-dress Harley in it! We use the motorcycle to visit our kids from the nearby RV park, when we travel to visit them.
So perhaps those air tabs might make a difference. It would be nice to get 1MPG by adding on such an item.

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It would be nice to not have to add electronics to monitor your gas mileage on the Ford E-450. They should come with the output already there, like our Lincoln Town Car has.
Yea, I hear you.

I think though there may be an option for such a monitor, but the RV factory probably does not order it. Most new cars though now have such monitors.

Perhaps Ford considers it a negative selling point for someone to test drive a new Van from a dealership and be reminded of the low gas mileage from the display.
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Old 10-03-2014, 01:50 AM   #7
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Basically I have learned to suck it up at the pump...
gasbuddy.com helps.. after a few trips in our new 27k we get around 8 mpg, but the overall cost of the trip is less then hotels plus meals so traveling in first class on the road the 8 mpg is not the real issue...until you pull in to re fuel You can save a slight bit by not running a/c, going up hills at 50 mph, etc, but really in the end these things suck gas, though as posted earlier, not as bad as boats...BTDT,, I found owning stock in an oil company helps offset the pain at the pump... do get gas rewards credit cards..or some card that rewards you for the purchases.

Enjoy the view as you drive!
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Old 10-03-2014, 03:10 PM   #8
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Model: 2013 31L
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THOR #908
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Originally Posted by FW28z View Post
Same wisdom as for any vehicle... make sure your tire pressure is correct, keep the engine tuned up, keep your speed reasonable, avoid jackrabbit starts, and so on.

I'm using a Garmin EcoRouteHD which reads the fuel flow data from the engine's OBDC port. From that data, we're averaging just about 10MPG with our 28Z (which is actually 29ft-10") on a E450 chassis.

One thing with the EcoRoute - I can watch how varying the speed by a few MPH affects the fuel mileage.

I usually drive between 55~60mph on the interstate.....
I'm curious - where do you see the peak in MPG?
like if you were to plot an Z-Y graph, MPG vs MPH (or MPG vs RPM)
assuming flat ground, no wind, and steady speed.....
Is it 55-60MPH or is that just your best compromise between speed and efficiency?

I have been wanting to get an OBD reader just to see where it is with my coach. I know it will likely be a bit different since our weight is different, and maybe even our gearing and such...(?)

When I first got my silverado with its built in read out of average MPG, I plotted this. I expected the peak to be maybe 30-40MPH, but was surprised that the peak was right around 55MPH
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Old 10-03-2014, 03:41 PM   #9
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THOR #531
55-60 is about the best, at least on flat terrain. I have not made any graph comparisons to RPM vs. Economy. I have just been monitoring the instantaneous fuel economy vs speed.

Funny thing though, I lost about 1/2 mpg after installing a set of vent covers on the roof.

I would not have thought that would have made much difference, or perhaps it's just the different roads that I drove on since putting them on that makes me think I lost that much.

Or it could be differences in temperature or a myriad of other factors that accounted for the drop in mileage that I detected.

Right now though, the EcoRoute HD is on the fritz. We were about 250 miles from home when it reset itself. I got kind of paranoid so I unplugged it from the vehicle... I probably was safe, but I didn't want something potentially burning out my computer when I was far from home.

At that point, I had been using it for a couple months with at least 2,500 miles on it. So I am sure it was just a hiccup in either the module or the Garmin GPS - which is kind of flaky anyway.

I just have not taken the time to set it up again. But I will when I start hauling my toad around as I want to see what the difference is.

As for the vent covers, methinks I will buy some of those air tabs and put a couple of them on the top of the covers (and elsewhere) to see if indeed I am losing gas mileage.
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Old 10-03-2014, 09:42 PM   #10
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THOR #992
Has anyone tried GF chip? I just clicked on an ad on this sight for GFORCE performance chip for better MPG. Just wondering if anyone has tried these.
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Old 10-16-2014, 05:06 PM   #11
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Model: Miramar 33.5
State: Washington
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THOR #578
I'm using scan gauge II, it has improved my gas mileage. When you can watch real time what your fuel useage is, it makes a huge difference. The other posters are correct, 55-60 mph is best. Where I have improved is on grades, when I see a grade coming up, I will gently increase my speed to 65-ish until I start up the grade. I will allow my speed to gradually bleed down to 45-50 mph, preventing the engine from down shifting.

Using this technique when I can, will keep my real time MPG average above 4.7 mpg while climbing hills. This combined with conservative driving strategy on the flats I can average 8-10 mpg real time. This seems to average out to approx 7-7.5 mpg per tank, that's while towing a dinghy as well. It is very easy to get that real time mpg down to 1.9 mpg on a grade or when shifting to a accelerate!!!

Also use the cruise control sparingly, only on long flat stretches, the cruise control will shift to maintain that set speed, gas economy will go in the tank! No pun intended!!

One last item is idling the engine for long periods, will impact your mpg. I've learned a lot about my engine and driving habits from the scan gauge and can recommend it to help with driving habits and fuel conservation. It paid for itself after about 6 months!!
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