Fuel mileage

Road stories, questions about driving the B190, lessons learned
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skater
Site Admin
Posts: 2152
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2007 1:00 am
B190 Year: 1991
WBCCI: 13270
Location: Annapolis, MD

Fuel mileage

Post by skater » Thu Nov 21, 2019 8:14 am

I see people talking about fuel mileage here and on the Facebook group all the time and saying how bad these are. First, I'm wondering what kind of mileage would people consider acceptable for a moving house?

I understand the concern if you're going to be driving it a lot, but most RVs sit most of the time - I saw an interview with an RV repair shop manager who said the highest mileage motorhome he's ever seen had 155,000 miles. My 28 year old B190 only has 120,000 miles, and we see plenty up for sale with fewer miles than that.

I think we're conditioned to think low mileage = expensive, but I think people are missing the bigger picture. If you are taking a vacation and drive, say, 500 miles at 8 mpg (the lower end of what everyone reports), that's 62.5 gallons of gas, which is $161.94 using AAA's current fuel prices ($2.591 - https://gasprices.aaa.com/). Campground fees start around $35, though this can vary a lot based on the area. Driving our Accord would cost about $47.98, at 27 mpg, but even the worst hotel I've stayed in in the last few years was almost $100/night (more for a city or vacation area), plus meals - there's no kitchen in the Accord, and I would happily pay more for a better hotel than that place. Assuming you're staying more than a night or two, you still come out ahead with the motorhome.

Let's say the motorhome gets 20 mpg, which those diesel Sprinters can. That's $75.18 in fuel (using $3.007 as the current average for diesel, because no one is getting that mileage with gasoline in a motorhome), which is just under half as much as our B190. But how much more does that diesel Sprinter cost? The cheapest one I see on eBay right now is $51,100. Even a $25,000 B190, which is near the upper range for them, allows you to buy over 10,000 gallons of fuel before you'd break even...which would mean you would have driven it 80,000 miles, and few of us are going to put that many miles on one.

Any way you slice it, a B190, despite it's poor fuel efficiency, is still one of the cheapest ways to travel.
1991 Airstream B190 - bought, 2005; sold, 2011; bought 2017
1995 Airstream Excella 30' trailer

WBCCI #13270, Washington, DC Unit

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Keystone
Seasoned Traveler
Posts: 194
Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2010 1:00 am
B190 Year: 1994
WBCCI: 0
Location: Summit County, Colorado

Re: Fuel mileage

Post by Keystone » Thu Nov 21, 2019 11:54 pm

Well said, Skater!


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Keystone
1994
B190 4x4

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Oldbagpipe
Weekend Camper
Posts: 85
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2015 9:05 pm
B190 Year: 1989
WBCCI: 0
Location: PNW

Re: Fuel mileage

Post by Oldbagpipe » Fri Nov 22, 2019 12:49 am

How do you place a price on 'fun'? We bought our 30 year old camper (42,000 miles) explicitly for the race track. Our first couple years racing, we stayed at hotels and commuted back and forth, but we were always leaving while the evening activities were still in full swing. Once we got the camper, we were at the track 24-7, parked right between the pop-up tents and the 42' mega-motorhomes. My wife says I can quit racing anytime but she is still going to the track because she enjoys the experience so much. Again, our camper is an important tool for our happiness, of which I don't know how to place a dollar figure upon.

Just sayin...

JamesF
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Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2019 8:29 pm
B190 Year: 1996
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada

Re: Fuel mileage

Post by JamesF » Fri Nov 22, 2019 10:31 pm

I pick up my "new" 96 B190 this w/e after having had a 20' class C for the last 10 years. My class C was was dual fuel (I'm not sure that exists in the US), I could get 400 kms from a tank of gas and 400 kms from a tank of propane, but I have never figured out the litres per 100 kms (thats the "mileage" measurement in metric) because I always felt that if I "needed" to do the calculation then I likely shouldn't be driving the motorhome! I've also had discussions with friends and co-workers who want to consider an RV because they think it might be cheaper than a hotel....in the long run it won't be. With all the comments I've seen about the B190 mileage I will admit that I'm a bit nervous of pump-shock since gas is so expensive here but it will be what it is!

Abie Sea
Weekend Camper
Posts: 29
Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2015 6:29 pm
B190 Year: 1989
Location: Seattle

Re: Fuel mileage

Post by Abie Sea » Sat Nov 23, 2019 12:00 am

The only real problem with the poor gas mileage is that it is difficult to carry enough fuel in remote areas. One has to carefully plan around available gas stations and when possible where the cheapest gas is.

DavidP
Weekend Camper
Posts: 74
Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2015 8:01 pm
B190 Year: 1994
Location: Southern NJ

Re: Fuel mileage

Post by DavidP » Sat Nov 23, 2019 11:15 am

I get a minimum of 300 miles to the tank. But I usually put a maximum of 30 to 32 gallons per fill up so I'm not emptying the tank. My fuel mileage varies between 10 and 12 Mi to the gallon depending on how fast I'm driving on the highway. 10 miles per gallon around 75 and 12 miles to the gallon at 65 or less. When taking the pickup truck we would get more like 20 miles to the gallon but still have to pay on average $90 per night at the motel + food and worry that someone might steal the bike off the back of the truck. With the B we usually camp for free at the race and spend a maximum of $30 on food for a 3-day race weekend. Our food and cooking is much healthier than having to buy fast food or sit at a restaurant. And I don't think anyone can argue the point of having your own toilet compared to a porta potty. Plus the ability to be able to relax the entire weekend instead of having to hustle to the race on Sunday morning. To me you can't put a price on peace of mind and relaxation.

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