Gas mileage

I'm trying to decide if we should keep our motorhome or buy a trailer. My brother says he get 12 miles per gallon pulling his 27 foot trailer, we get about 6 miles per gallon on average. He has a 460 cu. in. Ford, we have a 454 cu. in. Chevy engine in our 27 foot motorhome. Thanks for any help you might be able give us. Terry


Senior Member
Gas mileage

Welcome to the forum.
I have the 454 Chevy engine in a class A and get between 6-9 MPG on average. It all depends on if I am pulling my tow dolly/car, how much load (wife packing :) ) and the terrain I drive on (hills, etc), and if it is tuned up regulary/correctly. I really don't worry about milage that much, as it is part of the RVing world.
There are trade offs of pulling a trailer vs a Class A or C. If you don't drive that much, I would stick with the A or C. If you are on the road a whole lot, you need to determine if you would really save that much by switching. There are many other factors like transmission, etc.
In other words, it is a personal thing for each RVer as to whether they drive or pull their mobile house.
Gas mileage

Hi Terry,

Archer is right on the money when he says it is a personal choice whether you drive or pull your RV.

However, I have had both and will never go back to a motor home of any type. They are way too expensive.... and not just the fuel,,, there is expensive license tags, mandatory insurance, gas mileage, drive trains, expensive tires, and everything else that has more than one moving part....from windshield wipers to the headlights.

Now... double this because you are pulling a toad that has to be licensed, insured, maintained, etc....

I prefer the 5th wheel for these reasons...

Cheaper to purchase, cheaper license tags, cheaper insurance, no drive train to worry about, no engine to worry about, tires are much, much cheaper, no windshield wipers or headlights... and the mileage is double or more with a diesel pickup truck.. I average 19/21 mpg without trailer and 14/16 mpg with trailer.

As for the argument about being able to use the restroom, make coffee or walk around in a motor home without having to stop... only a very foolish person would ever do that... A smart RVer will always pull over and stop before allowing anyone to get up and move around. All it would take is one tap of the brakes or a swerve to avoid another vehicle or piece of trash laying the road and a person moving around could be tossed around like a rag doll..

Please don't get me wrong, everybody has their own wants and needs and it's their personal choice as to what kind of RV to buy..

But the bottom line is... be happy with what you have and don't try to keep up with the Jones,,, their friendship in the bankruptcy court is not worth it...

Gary B

Senior Member
Gas mileage

Hi Terry6, I agree 100% with Archer & John, if you like your MH stay with it if you want to try something differnet then go for it. Not wanting to cause any trouble, I think your brother needs a new calulator, I have a Ford F-350 dually with a 460(Ilike it never had one bit of trouble with it and has all the power I need) I have towed a 30' 5th wheel and have 118000 miles and the best mpg I've gotten empty is 12.4 towing generally between 6.5 & 7.5 mpg, with our slide-in camper 2 trips to Alaska we averaged 9.9 mpg. Good luck :) :laugh: :cool: :bleh: :approve:
Gas mileage

I want to thank you all for the welcome and the information. Archer, the best mileage we ever got on our 1983 Suncrest was 6.5 average, that is between L.A. and Arizona ( Grand Canyon) in the Fall of the year. When we take our vacation in the summer, we head to Northern California and around Reno Nevada where the roads get pretty steep in places. Our tow vehicle is a Chevy S-10, but I disconnect on really steep grades. My wife drives the S-10 on those steep grades, I call that our alone time. :laugh: Just kidding honey. :8ball: What can I say, 3 weeks is a long time in a 27 foot motor home. :evil: :8ball: :8ball: :8ball: , Let me move on before she breaks my fingers. John, the insurance I learned about when my Brother bought his trailer, like you say half of what we pay for our motor home. And the rest of your points are well taken, especially walking around while moving. Gary, don't worry about causing trouble, My Brother likes to disagree with just about everything I say, it's been that way for 52 years, we have a great time disagreeing with each other. :laugh: I hope we can keep doing it for at least another 52. ;) In that light, I think you're right about the calulator. :laugh: You all take care, and glad we found your site. Terry (aka Terry6 :laugh: )


Senior Member
Gas mileage

I would bet that you are comparing the mileages between an engine that is carberated, as I know yours is, to the mileage of an engine that is fuel injected. As a case and point, we had a motorhome of 24 1/2 feet with a 454 Chevy that got between 6-7 mpg. But it was and 87 and was carberated. We now have a Ford V-10 that is 35' long and weighs 2500# more and it gets near 9 mpg. But the difference comes with the more modern engines. Mileages have increased dramatically for motorhome just as they have for all other vehicles so if you get a newer one, it will get much better mileage, no matter what engine it has. If you get a travel trailer and tow it with an engine of the same vintage as you have now, the mileage will be no better than what you now get. But that said, it will take a lot of fuel savings to regain the expense of trading RVs if that it the main reason for the trade.

And to John's remarks, I have seen enough posts by John to know that he travels alone, so he sure does have good reason to see no advantage to a motorhome for being able to move around in it while traveling down the road! I sure hope he never changes to a motorhome if that is what he has in mind. The driver has no more freedom while traveling in a motorhome than in any other RV. But there is a reason that there are slightly more fulltimers in motorhomes than there are in travel trailers, and we are not all lunitics! But the real key is to have the type of RV that fits your travel style and needs. And don't let anyone tell you that you are wrong if you are happy with the RV that you have now. Trading RVs just will not save you money.