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ra2jim 08-23-2016 06:11 PM

Mileage for 2001 RoadTrek170
14.7 mpg
one way, 264 miles over 4500-ft elevation rise
Dodge 2500 chassis 5.2L V8 (only 12,000 miles!)
2 people, moderate load
clear weather, 10-15 mph crosswind half the time

AZ ADVenturist 08-24-2016 03:13 PM

That's what we averaged w/ our Chev 190Versitile 5.7 (350ci). Sometimes worse. Now getting 16.5 - 17mpg with our '13 190 R/T. 6liter motor. Great!

ra2jim 08-24-2016 05:03 PM

That's great AZ - larger engine longer rig than mine but better mileage! I guess that's the price for driving older models. I haven't filled back up the tank yet so I'm curious to know my return trip mileage since it was generally mostly down hill.

My first goal is to reach above 15 mpg. That's only 5% more. Even so, I'm wondering if that can be achieved by lessening weight like remove original TV/vcr, replace all kitchen stuff with lightweight equivalents, replace some cabinets, side door passenger seat box, large overhead drawer above front cab, lighter bike rack, water tanks to acceptable minimum, buy food at destination, etc. That's probably not even close to 5% of gross weight - maybe not enough to put a dent in the mpg. Oh yeah, maybe the wife & I can lose weight...

I know that keeping the engine tip top shape is important. I'm wondering if better octane gas or using additives does anything.

Achieving that balance of economy and comfort is not easy - but the challenge is kind of fun!

mkguitar 08-24-2016 05:23 PM

often a larger motor and more torque uses less revs- less fuel.

my 2001 GMC pick up has the 4.8 vortec and is usually empty and gets about 20 MPG.

when loaded the mpg drops quickly- on hills the tranny will hunt between 3rd and OD- this up and down as it tries to get best performance is a pain, and many of us with that motor shift to stay in 3rd on hills.
My Pal has same truck with the 5.3...his is actually nicer to drive on hills and his mpg avg is better than mine ( compared over the 15 years...!)

the 6.0 Vortec in my 06 PW is better sized for the weight of the rv and we get about 16 mpg at 65 mph- on flat with no ethanol gas we have seen 18. The larger motor has more torque and doesn;t rev as high to get moving from a stop and doesn;t need to downshift as much/often on hills.

so bigger isn;t always thirstier

right at 99/2000 is when the big 3 motors got alot better for efi controls and mpg.


AZ ADVenturist 08-24-2016 10:50 PM

Mike, have you found a 'tuner' in Phx area? I've been told that a properly turned & well setup LS motor can achieve low 20smpg. Although maybe not cost effective in a limited use "lumber-ing wagon" as a class B.

Jim - I'm not sure higher octane fuel or "snake oil " additives are worth the very low % increase of mpg.
Regards, Ric.
P.S. I love my 6liter w/ 6spd transmission. No hunting between gears.

mkguitar 08-25-2016 04:57 PM

I don't think the MPG and "performance" go together with out major changes such as defeating the emission controls ( and Maricopa County puts my B on the rollers due to the GVWR).
Possible that gains may be seen with another type exhaust, but the pay off is years down the road- and for our driving i don't wanna noisy exhaust

I have some ASE training- but am more a hobbiest.

look at it this way- the manufacturers have a real reason to up MPG ( CAFE standards)- and power output ( the market), so they do within reason ( cost).
We love our bulletproof 6 liter vortecs- they are really efficient- I have some older cars with 7 and 8.2 liter motors which provide much less power , use much more fuel, spew more CO and HC and take more fiddling

as far as octane- the vehicle is designed for a certain octane fuel- below that the ECM will have to retard spark timing to prevent detonation/pinging- retarded timing will give poorer MPG.
above the spec'd rating, higher octane does no good.

So best economy- pump gas price and best MPG is usually right in your manual. Keep that in mind in Colorado where 85 abounds...go for the midgrade or blend your own...1/2 85 and 1/2 89 = 87

The iphone gasbuddy app helps me plan fuel stops by location, price and grade

basic to economy are clean air filter, correct spark plugs, tires and psi and weight...don;t roll with full water tanks if you don;t need to


AZ ADVenturist 08-25-2016 08:05 PM

Agreed. Well said!

ra2jim 08-25-2016 10:26 PM

Some good input here - thanks guys. I wanted to add that I was drafting behind 18-wheelers about half the time but just got a little bored!

Anyway, I think this van is new enough to have one of those odbII ports - if true, I'm thinking of getting one of those readers to get some stats. Any opinion on what data could be most helpful? I understand there are phone apps that will display them live. Any of you use this?

My other car is a ford escape hybrid which has a decent set of data showing up on the dashboard. I miss that on the RT.

Davydd 08-25-2016 11:10 PM

How close do you have to be to draft behind an 18 wheeler? I find when I am behind an 18 wheeler at an appropriately safe distance that I get a lot of buffeting. So I always drop back further or I pass them.

mkguitar 08-25-2016 11:12 PM

scan gauge ii is about $130

drafting is tricky- in order to be close enough to take can;t see- and if you are far back enough to see, you are in their air which will reduce you mpg.

you will notice that when passing a truck, as you approach there is dirty air buffeting and resistance- once you get past the trailer wheels you are in clean air and can get by more easily.

2.) a tire will kill you, never sit your vehicle next to the truck's tires on the road- get by quick


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