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Old 03-09-2011, 10:25 AM   #1
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Default Best mileage

Fuel economy is a matter of chemistry, physics and, most ammendable, skill. Work as hard on situational awareness, route, efficient trips (most stops per usage), mountain and curve driving and smooth stops and starts and you will be surprised how consistent and managable fuel use is. As a frequent flyer, I also was taught to work off the top half of the tank only. It helps keep down contamination and is a safety factor (especially in airplanes where it gets very, very quiet if you run out and it'll be dark or all rough ground beneath you).

My vintage (1994) GMC Vandura 2500 with 5.7 FIE got about 16 miles to the gallon when I bought it at around 30,000 miles on the odometer. It gets about 16 miles to the gallon on the open road now with 100,000 more on the odometer and the engine never opened up nor fuel injectors/electrical worked on. Filters, tuneups and an oil additive (a quart of Lucas) helps keep it clean, reliable and doing its best. Routine maintenance is your best friend.
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Old 03-09-2011, 02:02 PM   #2
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My 5.7 is getting up there, and except for the lower intake manifold gasket, it is also
"virgin". What is the exact Lucas oil additive, and what does it do? Why do you use it?
Was it recommended, or did you research it?
I still haven't heard back from Outside Supply in NOLA. Have they gone under? Do you
ever stop by there to reminisce about sunny days gone by?
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Old 05-30-2012, 08:59 PM   #3
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It takes me longer to answer a post now that I'm past 80, Mike. That's Years US. But, to answer, Lucas is an additive my GM garage suggested and now uses any time I'm going on extended drives between oil changes. It appears to swell the gaskets and I know it reduces piston slap at startup. What else, I bow to my service guru. He was told years back to "keep it reliable" with the warning that if it broke down somewhere out there in the two nations (are there others?), he would get my first call at any hour.
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Old 05-31-2012, 02:18 AM   #4
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Default Re: Best milesge

Better late, than, well you know. If you weren't at the beach all day, watching all the girls go by,
you'd be able to get back to me sooner. Glad you're still hammering the keyboards.
I'm trying some Gumout stuff in the gas to see if I can get the fuel pump to last a while longer,
but I'll check out that Lucas stuff next visit to the local Canadian Tire. I've long since given up
on trying to find a magic elixir to get a few extra mpg out of the old sled.
Take care Vern, God bless.
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Old 06-07-2012, 12:57 AM   #5
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Default Re: Best milesge

Watch it with in tank cleaners and fuel pumps, there's solvent type which are alcohols and possibly stuff like xylene depending on recipe, and then there's a more parafinnic type which are more akin to paint thinner, or varsol, which actually have better lubricity than gas... then there's the stuff that looks like ATF... which is probably better for the pump, but ATF works too apparently.

Best way to keep your pump alive is to change fuel filter yearly.

If the tone of it is changing, you can get away with using on older vehicles, I'd say pre-2000, not sure when the ultra sensitive cats came in exactly, with very specifically, TCW3 outboard oil. Not any old 2 stroke oil, not snowmobile oil, not lawnmower, snowblower or chainsaw 2 stroke oil, TCW3 outboard oil... the reason is because it's ashless and designed to work with high strung electronically controlled marine outboards that have cats and O2 feedback... the further reason is that it provides lubricity down to very low concentrations like 2000:1, though typically useage is recommended at 50:1 to 200:1 in intended application, I believe the reasoning behind that is that you can "get away" with forgetting to add it for one fill and there'd be enough residual in the tank to get you by. Anyhoo... at very high dilutions, like an ounce per 10 gallons, you can stick it in your gas tank and it quiets down a whiny pump... also seems to help gas mileage a tad.

Personally, I make up my own fuel system cleaning cocktails.. using IPA, varsol, and a spritz of ATF or TCW3
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Old 06-07-2012, 02:46 PM   #6
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Default Re: Best milesge

Quote:
Originally Posted by VernM
It takes me longer to answer a post now that I'm past 80, Mike. That's Years US.
So what is that in Canadian years?
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Old 07-07-2012, 12:58 AM   #7
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I just tested my B - taking it to gig loaded with my music equipment of about 450lbs and of course a full tank of gas. The van is a 97 Dodge B2500 with the 5.2ltr V8 poptop.and got 18.98 mpg doing 70 on the freeway easy climbing and some downhill.The trip I took before along the Angeles Crest highway with 3 on board averaged 15mpg in mountainous conditions.We are taking the Bounder out for 2 weeks on a 4000 mile trip and that will average 7.5mpg.OUCH!!!!!!!
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Old 07-07-2012, 01:18 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanw909
We are taking the Bounder out for 2 weeks on a 4000 mile trip and that will average 7.5mpg.OUCH!!!!!!!
Yes, but think of the luxury you'll have with you.
If there's a way to quantify the travel costs of taking your "motel/hotel room" with you on the road,
(gas mileage plus maintenance and insurance) and figure it out per day, and then compare it to
what you'd spend in gas just to drive, and stay at a decent hotel, it might still be better to RV it.
I know it's cheaper, and generally more convenient for us to tour and sleep in the Roadtrek, but I
wonder how your Bounder would compare to a mid to large sized SUV or minivan plus accommodations?

Here's a useful website for the gas mileage costs.
http://www.eia.gov/petroleum/gasdiesel/
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Old 07-07-2012, 11:50 PM   #9
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2 grown ups 3 teenagers and 2 littleish dogs need a little more room the the the little B.We took the Bounder back east last year and did Grand Canyon, Oklahoma City,Memphis, Louieville,Washington DC,Gettysburg, NY,Boston, Niagra Falls St.louis and I 70 thru Denver ending up at Zion,Las Vegas then home. It cost us $5,000 total and about $3,000 was for fuel.My wife who is an accountant figured the price to fly,rent a mini van,Meals (2 a day at fast food and 1 picnic),fuel would have been $12,000.We had a month so we got to see a lot.
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Old 07-08-2012, 01:19 PM   #10
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Default Re: Best mileage

So, even at 7.5 mpg, and $3.50/gallon, RVing is cheaper than a more conventional fly/drive/hotel
mode of travel? That's interesting, as it's been mentioned before that it can save money traveling
with your accommodations than paying for them at your destinations.
markopolo had put up a chart or an article on here a while back that supported that theory.
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Old 07-08-2012, 05:13 PM   #11
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Default Re: Best mileage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike
So, even at 7.5 mpg, and $3.50/gallon, RVing is cheaper than a more conventional fly/drive/hotel
mode of travel? That's interesting, as it's been mentioned before that it can save money traveling
with your accommodations than paying for them at your destinations.
markopolo had put up a chart or an article on here a while back that supported that theory.
We did all the calculations early on. I don't remember what we had for a RV price and depreciation, probably about $50K and totally depreciated at 100k miles (used rig, our miles only). We figured 100 miles a day driving average. We had to be on the road about 80-90 days a year before it got less expensive than a car and hotels. For us it is more about the convenience, no bed bugs, nicer places to stay than the last nickle spent.
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Old 07-08-2012, 06:30 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by booster
We did all the calculations early on. I don't remember what we had for a RV price and depreciation, probably about $50K and totally depreciated at 100k miles (used rig, our miles only). We figured 100 miles a day driving average. We had to be on the road about 80-90 days a year before it got less expensive than a car and hotels. For us it is more about the convenience, no bed bugs, nicer places to stay than the last nickle spent.
Good point about the cost of the RV/depreciation. Not insignificant.
Is there a compensating or offsetting advantage to the RV, besides the aesthetics?
As far as bed bugs go, we couldn't agree more.
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Old 07-24-2012, 06:46 PM   #13
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Default Re: Best mileage

Just back from 1200+ miles in the rolling hills we call the Ozark and Ouachita mountains in the southern US. Averaged better than 16 mpg and that includes hours idling away in 98 degree WalMart parking lots. Lowest price for diesel $3.39/gal US, but its back up to $3.69 here in town.
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Old 08-25-2012, 09:59 PM   #14
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Default Re: Best mileage

Greetings from Southwestern Ontario,
Newbie here. I just purchased a used (4th owner, I think) 1992 Dodge RoadTrek Independent 190 (318 5.2 liter V. RV-ing is all new to me. So, I'll start here with questions about fuel economy:
- Is 87 octane sufficient? I've read elsewhere that it's not a problem.
- Will running my Dometic 3-way on DC while travelling reduce fuel economy? I'll switch to AC after I plug in at my destination.
- I guess the same interest in plugging in a slow cooker crock pot while driving applies here as well (saw that post a few weeks ago. Interesting idea!)
- The previous owners recommended that I keep my speed down to 80 km/h and to refrain from using the OD. Any contrary advise? What's a good speed limit for best fuel economy? I really don't know why they recommended not using the OD. I read the OD allows the engine rev to be lower thus saving on fuel.

That's it for now. I have much more to learn. But, I really enjoy taking my mini-home with me, especially with an interior that's in great shape, new fridge, new awning. Exterior rust (especially along the service panel below on the driver's side and insider where the shore power cord, propane tank etc. are) is a concern for me.
Cheers,
Jim
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Old 08-26-2012, 02:12 AM   #15
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Hi Jim,
Welcome to the forum. The 318 V8 engine from 1992 should get pretty decent fuel mileage if it's been serviced regularly, and hasn't been abused, but it's 20 year old technology, after all. Did you get the vehicle checked by a Chrysler dealership before you bought? The only reason I could imagine anyone would tell you to drive at 80 kph and to use the OD sparingly might be that there are problems with the transmission. I'd get that checked asap. Maybe get their body shop to give you an estimate on repairing the corrosion. One nice aspect of class B RVs is they can usually be serviced for chassis problems by the OEM manufacturer's dealerships. Larger rigs won't fit in most dealer service bays, which puts you at the mercy of RV specialty shops with them. Running the fridge on DC while driving is the best way to keep stuff cool. Just remember to switch to propane or AC when you stop, as the fridge will consume coach battery power quickly. 87 octane is fine. 85 is also acceptable. I think (arguably) that 89 octane gets me slightly better mileage, than some of the ethanol laced lesser blends. As I said, "I think".
If your van has an inverter (takes DC coach battery power and makes it look and work like 110-120V AC power) built in or added afterwards, and the slow cooker draws less than what it can provide (keep in mind you're also running your 3-way fridge on DC while driving), you could probably do it. I couldn't say for sure without knowing if there's an inverter and it's capacity, how many batteries you have, what other draws there are, engine alternator output, and honestly, I'm not the forum electrician. There are others on here who may be able to give you a better idea of what's involved in running a crockpot/slow cooker while driving. It is possible, for sure.
Good luck with it all. It's a great way to see the world, and you'll get the hang of it pretty quickly by asking your questions on this forum. Someone else has probably asked the same question or run into the same issue, but that's OK. There are lots of experienced Class B RVers on here. Or, you can try searching for info using keywords and the search window at the top right hand corner of most forum pages.
Have fun.
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Old 08-26-2012, 03:07 AM   #16
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Default Re: Best mileage

Hi Mike,
Thanks for the quick response. The RV was serviced and safetied before I licensed it. Subsequently, I made sure it had a good check up, tune-up, and steering box tightened a bit more to improve road handling. The mechanic at the garage that regularly handles RVs told me the tires are of the type that can handle the heavy load and that they are in great shape. My main car is a Veloster with excellent steering and stability. So, this beast will take some getting used to.

I've inspected the batteries - coach and engine - and they are in very decent shape. I'll learn as I go. At this moment in my learning, I'm a little hesitant to use the propane which is 2/3 full. I've used the fridge on AC and it works a charm. For cooking, I use a coleman outside under the canopy which works nicely as well.

But, since this thread is about fuel economy, I'll save my other questions for a different posting. My next query about the OD and driving at 80 kph will be to the good folks who did the tune-up etc., transmission service and also to an RV centre nearby.

Thanks again.
Jim
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