What a pain in the gas!

This story was originally posted on 3/8/11, just about a year ago. It seems like every year the media and the powers that be that control gasoline prices  feel the need to put a scare into us regarding gas prices. With all the recent media coverage, we thought it would be relevant to re-post this story.

Sticker Shock at the Gas Pump … Gas prices continue to climb … Gas prices: How high will they go?

Jeez, you can’t turn on the TV, surf the web, or have a conversation with someone without the topic of gas prices coming up. A media feeding frenzy.

Now, don’t get us wrong, we’re all for lower gas prices and appreciate how hard everyone works for their money, but how much does this really effect our RVers out there? If you’re a full-timer doing a lot of driving, obviously there is a pretty big impact. However, these folks represent a very small segment of the RV community, so how about everyone else.

For a more typical scenario, here are  figures based on towing a travel trailer or fifth wheel,  your tow vehicle getting 12 miles per gallon, and taking a 250 mile trip.

At $2.50 per gallon, the cost to travel 250 miles is $52.08

At $3.50 per gallon, the cost to travel 250 miles is $72.92
(a $20.84 difference)

At $4.00 per gallon, the cost to travel 250 miles is $83.33
(a $31.25 difference)

So, as you can see, even if gas gets as high as $4.00 per gallon, your trip is only costing you an additional $31.25.  For most motorhomes, depending on their mpg, the cost will be a little higher, but you get the idea. If you’re staying fairly close to home and you factor in all the other ways you save by traveling in your RV, the increase becomes a little less painful.

You can also do a few simple things to help increase your mpg, such as staying close to the speed limit, accelerating slowly instead of “punching it”, trying to avoid heavy braking, and keeping your tires to their proper pressure.

As far as finding the cheapest gas in your area, if you haven’t already, try GasBuddy.com. They have mobile apps available also. Please remember not to get too carried away with the price and end up traveling out of your way to save a penny or two!

It’s also worth mentioning that from what we’ve been able to gather, these prices are NOT being driven up by any type of shortage, but by the “speculators” who invest in gas, so this situation could be very short-lived. What ever happened to supply and demand??

Now get in your RV, go to your favorite place, and forget about this nonsense!!

Until next time.. Happy RVing!


Happy Earthday – Jayco Goes 100% Green!

TJayco is now 100% green certifiedoday, Jayco announced that all of their products, which includes the Jayco, Starcraft, and Entegra brands, have been “green certified” by TRA Certification Inc.

With this announcement, Jayco, Inc. becomes the first major RV manufacturer to become 100% green certified. Their product lines include some of the most popular RV brands in America today such as the Jayco Jay Flight and Autumn Ridge by Starcraft. TRA Certification Inc. is a third-party, internationally accredited certification organization.

What does “green certified” mean?

TRA has four levels of certification for RV manufacturers:  Bronze, Silver, Gold and Emerald.  Most of the Jayco products received the prestigious Emerald rating in three out of five categories (water efficiency, indoor environmental quality, and operation and maintenance) and Gold ratings in the other two categories (resource efficiency and energy efficiency).

And how about that Jayco Skylark!

Emerald Certified Skylark

Emerald Certified Skylark

The Skylark travel trailer was awarded an Emerald Level Performance Rating which is the highest rating available.   So, why is the Skylark considered “greener” than conventionally built travel trailers in its class? This was accomplished by offering standard features aimed at energy efficiency such as LED lighting systems, which consume less than one-fourth the electricity of conventional lighting, and lasts about 10 times as long. That’s much better than even CFL lighting! The Skylark also uses double-paned acrylic tinted windows, Azdel™ Super Lite substrate in all lamination, plus  other “sustainable technology” techniques to help make the Skylark more energy-efficient. The Skylark is also light enough to be towed by most SUVs and minivans.

Inside Jayco – Green Certification

Here is a short video with more information about their green efforts:

According to Jayco, in 2009 alone,  their recycling efforts and conservation programs saved over 28,000 trees and 14,000 cubic yards of landfill space, plus enough energy to power more than 600 family homes for an entire year.

Our take

In this day and age where many companies mislead consumers by calling themselves “green” or “pink” or whatever the cause may be, we love that Jayco did it right by having their products certified by a legitimate, third-party company and not just saying they’re “green”. It’s also worth noting that many of the manufacturing processes that are called “green” today, are processes that Jayco began doing in the late 1980’s. They are truly pioneers in this area.

Fuel For Thought

Yes, it’s time to tackle the age-old question — Diesel or Gas. When it comes to selecting a motorhome, this is probably one of the most frequently asked questions. Surprisingly, the answer isn’t simply a matter of one being better than another. Just like making recommendations for a trailer versus a fifth wheel, or a Class A type versus a Class C, the answer really comes down to the same thing — how are you going to use it. With that in mind, we’ve come up with some guidelines to get you started. You should also consult with your local RV dealer. Make sure you speak to someone with some expertise on the topic.

Do Diesel

Damon Astoria Diesel Pusher

Astoria Diesel Pusher by Damon

In general, the rule of thumb has been if you’re going to put a good number of miles on your motorhome, you should go with a diesel. This point of view still pretty much holds true. For full timers in particular, who can really rack up the miles, a diesel is almost a must. They last longer than their gas counterparts and require routine maintenance less frequently. In general, they also tend to get better gas mileage. The cost is likely to be more than a gas unit, but there are now some nice, affordably priced diesel pushers on the market.

Go Gas

Winnebago Sightseer Class A Motorhome

In general, if you plan to only use your motorhome for short trips, and don’t plan to put a lot of miles on it, then gas will probably work best for you. Typically, gas motorhomes are less expensive too and  easier to work on for the do-it-yourselfers. In the past, diesel pushers were  typically thought to have more to offer as far as your living amenities were concerned. This, however, has changed over the last few years, and you’ll now find that many of your entry-level gas motorhomes now include a good number of luxury items.

Get Torqued

I’m not even going to attempt here to review the complexities of torque/RPMs which can get pretty complicated. That said, if you’re planning on towing a vehicle or trailer, or are planning to do a lot of travel through the mountains, then this is something very important to factor into your decision. Generally speaking, you’re going to find that diesel motorhomes can tow more and have more power than their gas counterparts, but the specifics vary dramatically between the various models.

Always a good idea when making any purchase, especially a large one like this, be sure to do your research and talk to the experts to help ensure you find the right rig for your lifestyle. Good luck!

Until next time.. Happy RVing!!