How Much is the Gas Mileage Driving an RV?

It’s a no-brainer that RV’s get horrendous gas mileage. Compared to a car its awful! With that being said, it is a house and not a car so the gas mileage acts a bit differently than a car as well.

One question I had before buying a used RV was what could I expect in relation to gas consumption? It’s a perfectly common question, after all – how can you estimate costs without knowing the MPG?

Unfortunately gas mileage on RV’s varies dramatically!

This is because RVs come in all types of sizes (length), engines, weight and driving style/terrain. All of these things play a huge role in the gas mileage. However using a rough estimate is a pretty good idea.

When I was in High School my parents had a 22 foot travel trailer and when we pulled it with our GM Yukon we got 10ish MPG on mostly flat roads in Michigan.

Gas Mileage you can Expect with an RV

  • For Motor homes you can expect 6-9 mpg for gasoline engines
  • With diesel engines you can expect 10-16mpg.

I read about a couple who drove their 21 foot mercedes-benz diesel class-c around and averaged 16mpg, which is actually really damn good! However most people would more than likely be in the 10-12mpg range with a diesel. The problem is they cost about $20,000 more and you can buy a crap load of gas for that cash.

For Sonja and I we average about 7.2 mpg in our 30 foot sunseeker pulling a Jeep. So while it’s terrible it really isn’t as expensive as you’d think. Since 1,000 gallons of gasoline would cost about $2,500 and it would get us from New York City to Los Angeles and back again AND then about a third of the way there. That is a lot of driving!

So while the gas mileage isn’t good, overall its still relatively inexpensive to drive a motor home around – you don’t drive them like you drive your car, 10,000 miles would be a lot to drive one and that would cost us about $3,500.