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Old 10-16-2020, 04:45 PM   #1
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Default How Important is Gas Mileage?

Newbie here. I have been looking for used rigs. I really like the floor plan of the Chinook, and they have a reputation for being well-built, but I think they only get like 9-10 mpg at best? I would be happier with 15-18 mpg. I have seen people here say gas cost pales in comparison to maintenance, repair and other costs and should not be a huge consideration. Wondering what people think?
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Old 10-16-2020, 05:00 PM   #2
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The difference is about $800 for a 5000 mile trip at 9mpg instead of 18mpg at $3 gallon.


Your decision on how much is too much or no worry when comparing to maintenance which can be highly variable.
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Old 10-16-2020, 05:13 PM   #3
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I care somewhat, and for two reasons besides money. One, better mileage equals better range. Better range means greater flexibility in planning fuel stops. Two, better mileage means less carbon emissions. That's controversial, of course, and one could argue that if I really cared I'd tent camp in a Prius. Not going there, but in a case of other things equal...

It would not be my highest consideration, but I don't consider it irrelevant, either.

As an indication of how far technology has come, my 2014 Chevy Roadtrek on the Express 3500 van with the large 6.0L V8 and newer 6-speed HD transmission yields 17-18 mpg cruising at 65-70 mph (fully loaded, empty tanks, four on board). The 31 gal. tank gives it a working range of 450 miles. Diesels can do better still, but at an even higher cost.

That said, the Chinooks are very attractive and unique. They are really compact C's on an F450 or equivalent cutaway chassis, so it's really not fair to compare the fuel economy to a B-van.
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Old 10-16-2020, 05:14 PM   #4
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I come down firmly on the "it doesn't matter" side.

Getting good mileage is nice, but when you do the math it is such a trivial part of total ownership cost for a properly-functioning Class B you are better off treating it as irrelevant.

If it really bugs you you might try the mental trick of pretending you spent a $2-$3 more for a super-efficient class B and then just subtracting your excess gas costs from that amount every month. It would be like having a small loan payment with no interest for the extra cost! You most likely will never end up even "paying it off" within the time you own the van.

That being said gas mileage for a heavier vehicle is tremendously dependent on how you drive. With an ODBC reading meter (which you can get for $40-$80 from Amazon) giving you your instantaneous mileage you can teach yourself to get much better mileage by adjusting your driving style. It helps a lot if you are not in a hurry.
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Old 10-16-2020, 05:14 PM   #5
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I think the the answer must be to the question - would the happiness of the higher gas milage out-weigh the happiness of owning what you really want.
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Old 10-16-2020, 09:09 PM   #6
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More interior space equals lower gas mileage. Staying longer in one spot can help the budget. If you want to zoom around go for the mileage. If you want more space, slow down.
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Old 10-17-2020, 12:45 AM   #7
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My Honda car gets 30 MPG. Add $150 for two hotel stops.
MY Colorado truck got 20 MPG.
My Born Free on a Ford C-350 chassis gets 10 MPH. Last 1200 mile round trip cost $250 for fuel. Saved $150 for sleeping in the coach instead of a hotel.
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Old 10-17-2020, 03:56 AM   #8
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I looked at a couple of chinooks- the 'classic' rear-entry version has the bed in the middle- if someone is sleeping the other can't really do much without climbing back and forth across the bed


the later model (name escapes...glacier?) was a 24' and really dandy. but it would have required a re-think of my at home parking* and also complicate street parking when traveling


I'm not big on the ford v10 ( it is a gas hog) and I am more familiar with gm drivetrain layout and fixes.

we have a 2006 pleasure way on a chev and see 15~16 mpg. pretty darn economical

mike

* at the time I had 8 cars/trucks incl 4 20' long Cadillacs..I would have had to trim some trees and would have to shuffle too many vehicles to get in and out
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Old 10-17-2020, 01:26 PM   #9
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https://www.rvtravel.com/choose-a-cl...an-conversion/

Not too informative but might trigger some thoughts.
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Old 10-17-2020, 02:57 PM   #10
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"... But what about fuel economy? Class B motorhomes aren’t really much better on fuel economy than a Class C."


yeah sure


also seems to think a B will park in your garage..,most will not in most home garages


Mike
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Old 10-17-2020, 03:30 PM   #11
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This forum is so great and all of your replies are very helpful. Hbn7hj, I think I am a bit more of the ‘zoom around’ type than the ‘stay put for a long while’ type. Many of you said it is not a huge amount more comparing 12 mpg to 18 mpg (or thereabouts). I did some math and, indeed, this is true, at least right now while gas prices are low. But psychologically, it feels better to me to have better MPG. JakeGW2 said it depends on how you drive. I have gas-conserving driving habits, at least in my RAV4. So I should do better than average.

Mike, you said you have to climb over someone in a Chinook. I am by myself, with a dog, and petite. I was thinking I wouldn’t have to pull that bed all the way out and just remove the back cushions. What I REALLY want is a bed I don’t have to fold away daily, plus a really great dinette where I can use my laptop or iPad and eat at the same time. I know the Travato 59G has that but I don’t like that big boxy thing in the doorway (unless you get the 59GL, which is more than I want to pay). If someone knows of one I should consider, please share. I prefer a rear bath because I like the open feeling. When the bath is in the center, it feels more claustrophobic to me.

I am still leaning Class B because of my likelihood of driving more than staying in just one spot. Plus I am petite and agile and don’t need a ton of clothes or stuff. And I want to use it to go to cities sometimes and have parking be easy.

Thanks again for these great insights!
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Old 10-17-2020, 04:06 PM   #12
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2008 Roadtrek 210V, 15 mpg.
When you are on fixed income and did not have a big golden parachute, it matters an awful lot! I've made all the right moves financially, house is paid for and health insurance is taken care of for life (maybe). But I still have to watch finances. My pension is a union multi-employer pension that is set to go under in 2026. My IRA nest egg is tied to the S&P stock market which could go under anytime. I'm a 100% disabled veteran and who knows if the government will continue to care for us. They tell us on Social Security that it will go up this coming January, just enough to buy a case of sparkling water. My health is questionable, but I have so many things wrong with me that I doing great! My only hope is that I can keep up the pace for several more years.
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Old 10-17-2020, 06:07 PM   #13
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I have 2013 / 144” WB Sprinter DIY. All utilities except indoor shower, AC and generator. Loaded RV with us is about 7600 lbs. My calculated average mileage for 2020 is 21.27 mpg. Mostly trips not much in town. Very unlikely I can get this type of mileage in a C-class.
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Old 10-18-2020, 04:45 PM   #14
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I rented a sprinter 19 26 quantum. I was getting about 13 mpg in mixed country side driving. That was a 5 speed. I am guessing with a b van on 7 speed, probably gain about 15-20% to 15-16?
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Old 10-18-2020, 05:08 PM   #15
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We bought our 2000 D190 popular knowing that fuel was going to be big part of long trip traveling. We traveled to Yellowstone and Mt. Rushmore in July 20 days 3500 miles got 15 mpg just over $500. But we plan on doing most of our camping in our home state of Washington.
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Old 10-18-2020, 05:41 PM   #16
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Good comparison between coss370’ C and my B. Same engine, same tranny, and 13 vs 21.27 mpg.
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Old 10-18-2020, 05:45 PM   #17
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I'm pretty much where Jon in AZ is. Range and efficiency is important, not really the cost of the fuel, while being reasonable in the costs invested to get me to that range and efficiency. Fuel economy really sat at about item #5 or 6 in our 'must have' list.

And of course, you can do things such as cruise at 6o-ish MPH, keep your loaded weight to a minimum, don't travel with water in any of your tanks unless it's absolutely needed, keep your rig clean and well maintained, monitor your tires for proper inflation, all that.

We decided that it was easier to evaluate fuel economy along with other yearly maintenance costs in that interval, yearly. So we estimated total anticipated mileage per year and all the other items we expect to pay for like oil changes, etc. It made it much easier to look at total costs rather than each thing in isolation and perhaps not at the same macro level.
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Old Today, 05:21 PM   #18
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I have a 2001 Phoenix cruiser 2300 B+,on a Ford
E350 Chassis with a V10, I get 13 mpg on the highway using cruise control as much as possible.
That seems pretty good to me.
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Old Today, 06:21 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadow View Post
I have a 2001 Phoenix cruiser 2300 B+,on a Ford
E350 Chassis with a V10, I get 13 mpg on the highway using cruise control as much as possible.
That seems pretty good to me.
13 mpg on the Ford V10 is about the highest I have heard of. That's great.
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Old Today, 09:54 PM   #20
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If you have to worry about fuel consumption perhaps motorhomes arent for you.
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