What is the camper van with the best mpg? (11+)

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: What is the camper van with the best mpg? We will also give you useful advice on how to consume less fuel with your camper van. 

What is the camper van with the best mpg?

The camper van with the mpg currently on the market is the Winnebago Travato, with an impressive 22 mpg. Besides making the most economical camper van, Winnebago is known for making RVs that are both comfortable and durable. The Winnebago Travato is sure to bring you both. 

Winnebago Travato is the best-selling Class B motorhome in the United States and Winnebago improves the interior especially with the 2021 model year

The following brands also make noteworthy camper vans with good mpg:

Camper van modelMPGSpecs
Mercedes-Benz Sprinter36.2 mpgOnly with the 316 CDI RWD variant and the 7-speed automatic gearbox
Volkswagen Crafter38.2 mpgFor both the 102hp and 140hp versions of the single-turbo 2.0-gallonTDI diesel engine
MAN TGE38.2 mpgFor both the 102hp and 140hp models 2-gallon engines
Iveco Daily E640.3 mpgFor the 35S12 and 35C12 models only
Renault Master 40.4 mpgFor the Energy dCi 145 engine 
Nissan NV40040.4 mpgOnly with the front-wheel-drive 145hp 2.3-gallon twin-turbo diesel.
Ford Transit40.9 mpg2.9t and 3.1t GVW Transits
Vauxhall Movano40.9 mpgWith the 145hp engine
Citroen Relay 45.6 mpgThe 130hp and 160hp versions of its 2.0-gallonBlueHDI engine 
Peugeot Boxer47.1 mpgThe 3.5t 130hp variant 
Fiat Ducato47.9 mpgOnly a 115hp and 290 Nm model 

What influences the mpg of a camper van?

It is not only the type of camper that counts in the story. It also depends on which engine the motorhomes in question are fitted to. The majority of motorhomes in circulation have a ‘naturally aspirated diesel engine (older models) or turbodiesel. Already within this ‘maxi-category’, we can see how the latter, despite ensuring better performance, consume significantly less at the same power.

More generally, however, it is preferable to focus without delay on a diesel camper than one that is equipped with a petrol + LPG system, usually present precisely to limit fuel consumption. The reason?

Compared to diesel, the petrol + LPG camper costs less and enters the city even in the event of a traffic block, it is true, however, it guarantees lower performance, even on the motorway, has a reduced autonomy and the LPG system should constantly revise. At this point, it is worthwhile to consume slightly more with diesel than to be forced to submit to some annoying handicap.

How to consume less fuel with a camper van

A camper van is a heavy vehicle and, therefore, finding a vehicle on the market that guarantees at least a range of 6 miles with a gallon of diesel is a difficult task. Considering the possible savings we have talked about so far in our guide, it is also advisable to take into account a series of small measures that are able to allow significant savings on motorhome consumption, even in the order of hundreds of dollars a year.  

For example, by turning to petrol stations that charge a lower price: sometimes fuel prices differ by 8-10 cents per liter; it means that, by opting for the right distributor, you will be able to obtain a saving of 3-4 dollars for each full tank.

  1.  Do It Yourself: Once you have chosen the camper with which you will make your trip, it is also the case to fill it with fuel. How to save? Don’t worry, one of the first choices is definitely doing it yourself at the gas station. Not all people know this, but self-service petrol has a reduction of about 2% in costs per gallon compared to that set by petrol stations.

In this way, on a full tank of petrol, you can save several dollars, which at the end of the holiday remain in your wallet. Furthermore, petrol stations must be studied with extreme care. If on the full tank of a car the savings when changing the distributor may be less evident, on that of a motorhome it can be substantial.

Saving around 4 dollars per tank, for example, in a week’s vacation you can spend up to 15 dollars less. Many low-priced distributors, in fact, have a difference of up to 10 cents per gallon on the cost of gasoline: this is why it is important to choose carefully.

  1. Drive without accelerating: The savings also depend a lot on the pace. Driving without too many jerks to the engine is the first step to saving. Furthermore, by maintaining a safe distance you avoid sudden braking that consumes a lot of fuel in a few meters. Driving the camper also imposes a speed limit.

Given the weight and size, as a rule, it cannot exceed 60 mph. For this reason, the state or provincial road is often recommended in relation to the motorway. It also allows you to explore the route better, which is a bit like the philosophy of traveling by camper.

The driving style, regardless of fuel consumption, must be calm as there are a lot of risks because it is a bulky vehicle. With a calm and non-excessive driving style, you can save 10 or 15 dollars at the end of your holiday.

  1. Taking urban routes:  Fuel is consumed much more easily if you choose routes in the city. Even in small towns, in fact, there can be traffic and you will be forced to proceed at a slow pace.

If the camper moves only in first or second gear, remaining stuck in traffic for a long time and running empty, the fuel will be consumed almost uselessly. Better, then, to choose extra-urban routes that allow you to always proceed at the same pace without finding traffic.

It should also be considered that in cities and small towns, especially historical ones, there may be areas limited to traffic. If you do not know the map of the city, you risk entering the historic center with the camper, spending not only the fuel money but also the very high fine that you will surely get.

A full-tank camper that will have to cross one or two urban areas on each day of travel will have used about one full tank more at the end of the holiday, compared to one that always drives in extra-urban areas. In the city, smog and traffic also prevent you from keeping the windows open to cool off. This is why campers passing through urban areas will have to make more massive use of air conditioning.

In this case, partial savings, combined with a lower impact on the environment, can be achieved by setting the function that recycles the already cold air. Instead of taking it from the outside and cooling it, the motorhome engine will filter the air that is already inside, purifying it, and putting it back into circulation.

However, this does not mean that the expenditure of fuel and energy is significant. On extra-urban roads, especially low-flow roads (such as provincial or local), you can easily do without air conditioning, closing the windows and letting in the scent of nature, as well as fresh air.

  1. Sharing the camper van: It is always pleasant to travel by this means, but sometimes you risk taking a trip that is too expensive. Precisely for this reason, it is necessary to devise tricks in order to avoid a higher expense.

As we all know, the total cost that weighs heavily on a motorhome holiday is certainly that of fuel, to which the motorway costs must also be added.

  1. Proper maintenance is the key – The link between maintaining your RV and reducing your fuel consumption may not be visible at first glance, but a vehicle in optimal condition will allow you to achieve superior fuel efficiency!

The bottom line

As you could read in this article, the fuel consumption of your campers will largely depend on the brand model, gas tank capacity, but also on your driving style and how well you maintain your vehicle!

Do you have any tips or questions on the content? Let us know!

Other FAQs about Camper Vans that you may be interested in.

Why are camper vans so popular?

What is the best camper for a family of 4?

Is driving a campervan difficult?

FAQ on What is the camper van with the best mpg?

How to regulate RV gasoline consumption?

To regulate RV gasoline consumption: 

  • Avoid accelerating the accelerator. 
  • Avoid climbing too high in the towers.
  • Anticipate traffic. 
  • Stop the engine. 
  • Shift gears quickly. 
  • Shift down rather than brake. 
  • Avoid leaving the air conditioning always on.
  • Use cruise control.

How to save fuel on a descent?

To consume less fuel on a descent, slow down on the way up and let go of the throttle completely on the way down. Maintaining cruising speed when the road climbs requires extra fuel. And all the more so as the road is steep.

What to do if my RV over-consumes gas?

If your RV over-consumes gas, you must first find the cause and then try to fix it. For optimal operation of your engine, it is essential to have good carburetion. Carburetion is the mixture of air and gasoline during engine operation. This is the first point to check. 

References

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