You invested in a campervan because you wanted to see the country. And you’ll see more of the country if you take steps to extend your fuel efficiency. So, how can you master your mileage?
A little automotive know-how is all you need to tweak things. The proven techniques below extend your fuel efficiency and let your campervan cover more miles before stopping for petrol.
Here’s what you should know about improving your campervan’s mileage.
The Importance of Fuel Efficiency
If you ask most people why fuel efficiency matters, they’ll respond with “the price at the pump.”
There’s little doubt that fuelling your campervan can get expensive. For example, the average
campervan has a 25-gallon petrol tank, meaning it takes a pretty penny to fill her up at 145p.
However, cost is only one reason fuel efficiency is important. Addressing climate change means
reducing reliance on fossil fuels, including petrol. Unless you drive an electric campervan, poor
efficiency means creating more emissions. Improving your mileage is a win for you and the planet.
5 Proven Techniques for Extending Fuel Efficiency
The following proven techniques can significantly improve your campervan’s fuel efficiency.
Some require little to no mechanical skill, while others might cause you to hop on YouTube and
watch a few instructional videos before tending to their camper.
Have no fear — when in doubt, a mechanic can become your campervan’s best friend. Don’t
hesitate to ask a professional for help mastering your mileage.
1. Kick Your Tyres
Your tyres play a significant role in overall fuel efficiency in several ways. One you might be unable to avoid — proper tread. While tyres with low tread preserve fuel economy, you need something with grip to manoeuvre your campervan off-road.
Tyre pressure is a factor within your control. Many people dial down their pressure for increased
grip when off-roading in their campervan. However, forgetting to properly inflate your tyres for
highway use can cost you
Before you inflate your tyres, you’ll want to check their pressure. To get the most accurate
reading, make sure your camper is stationary for at least eight hours.
Also, take care to avoid overinflating your tyres. Doing so makes them wear out more quickly
and increases your chances of a blowout. Consider getting a tyre pressure monitoring system
(TPMS) to ensure your campervan’s safety.
Improper alignment can also affect fuel efficiency. It makes your campervan work harder when
steering, which uses more petrol. Rotate your tyres every 5,000 to 8,000 miles and have the
shop check your alignment.
2. Change Your Filters
Your campervan has two significant parts impacting fuel efficiency: fuel and air filters. Many
people replace their fuel filters as part of an oil change, although some newer campervans have
single screens intended to last for life.
Your air filter likewise affects fuel efficiency, as your campervan needs both oxygen and petrol
to operate. It’s relatively easy to DIY this repair, and mastering the trick can save you
considerable money over a shop. Black smoke coming from your exhaust is a good sign that
your air filter needs maintenance, although it can also indicate clogged fuel injectors, another
cause of poor economy in campervans.
3. Check Your Sensors
Two of your campervan’s sensors can also impact fuel efficiency. They are:
● Oxygen sensor: Campervans manufactured after 1996 have oxygen sensors, ensuring
your camper receives the right mix of fuel and oxygen to run smoothly. However, a dirty
sensor can cause your engine to burn up to 40% more fuel, nearly doubling your use.
This faulty component is the leading cause of check engine lights but is easy to replace
● Mass air flow sensor: This device measures the air flowing to your engine, sending
results to an onboard computer for adjustments. It requires a special spray to clean and
should be maintained often to preserve your campervan’s fuel economy and prevent
4. Injectors and Rings
Repairing additional components affecting your campervan’s fuel economy may require a trip to
the shop. However, talented amateur mechanics can try many of these replacements at home
— it all depends on your comfort level.
The toughest part of changing your campervan’s fuel injectors may be removing them. Even
older models require considerable force, and some newer versions may need special tools to do
the job. If you DIY, remember it’s best to use original manufacturer’s equipment (OEM) to avoid
producing more or less power than necessary and creating harness issues for your campervan.
Your engine’s piston rings form a seal to create compression against cylinder walls. When dry
and worn out, they can’t make a tight seal, resulting in poor engine performance and damaged
fuel economy. Regular oil changes extend their life but watch for slow acceleration and grey
exhaust smoke as additional clues your campervan needs maintenance.
5. Watch Your Speed
Want a no-wrench way to extend your campervan’s fuel efficiency? Slow down there, Nitro. Yes,
you want to reach your destination, but every mile you travel above your campervan's optimal speed wastes more petrol. Also, a camper’s size makes it hard to brake when you’re travelling at high speeds. The last thing you want is to hit something on the road.
Presumably, you invested in a campervan because you enjoy laid-back, country life. Embrace
that attitude while on the road and use less petrol when reaching your destination.
Proven Techniques to Extend Campervan Fuel Efficiency
Creating some emissions is part of owning a campervan. However, you can decrease your
carbon footprint and keep more money in your wallet by mastering techniques to extend fuel
You don’t have to be a mechanic to employ the above tricks to extend your campervan’s fuel
efficiency. Ask a professional for help when needed, and do the right thing to keep your
favourite camping spots greener and save cash.
Written by Oscar Collins