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Old 04-27-2012, 07:10 AM   #1
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RV Diet

In planning for our summer 2012 travels I decided start an RV weight reduction program for two reasons. One - cost of gas, a lighter RV should use less gas and two - LOTS of mountain driving, lighter means easier uphill and less wear on brakes going down.
My weight reduction goal is 5% or about 1,000 pounds. Now that I am almost ready to go I can say the 5% was very doable.
The biggest single item is fresh water. We normally travel with nearly full tank. So dump 60 gal (about equal to 500 pounds,) and already half way to target. Will carry one or two gallon jugs of water just for flushing on the road.
Other things we did.
Emptied and restocked every compartment and bin. Amazing what we could take out and do without for one trip.
Went from 9 chairs to 4, inch socket set, bike, bike rack, camp table, Jeep off road jack, Jeep back seat, lots of hand tools, extra coffee cups, cast iron skillet, canned goods, fire wood, several cases of bottled water (added drinking water filter) travel lit. and maps from other trips, service manuals (I found over 90% of my manuals online so now most are on a thumb drive in searchable pdf format,) old DVD's and music CD's and more.
Also plan to stop filling gas tank every time. full is more than enough for a couple days travels
Probably no way to know for sure if effort will really make a difference. Anyhow, it is an interesting project.
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Old 04-27-2012, 07:31 AM   #2
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You could probably achieve the same results by slowing down 5% but loosing weigh won't hurt anything either. I just don't like doing without all my toys.
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Old 04-27-2012, 09:55 AM   #3
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Do you have a ScanGuage or similar device to accurately measure the before and after mileage?

It would be interesting to see if you actually save anything.
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Old 04-27-2012, 09:58 AM   #4
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My plan is to completely empty the coach into the garage, then reload. To qualify as an item that gets reloaded - it will have been used at least once in the previous season, or consist of emergency gear (eg spare tire, tool kit).
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Old 04-27-2012, 10:20 AM   #5
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We do the diet every spring, it is amazing how much stuff can appear!
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Old 04-27-2012, 10:48 AM   #6
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OMG !!! I can't even begin imagine the amount of weight we could do without

We are coming up on our first anniversary of living full-time in our RV and besides one trip from Tacoma, WA to Vegas everything else has been short trips around Washington.

We sold everything in a two week "Everything Must Go" garage sale, rented the big 4 bedroom house and everything else we couldn't part with either went into the RV or a small storage unit.

There is probably a couple thousand lbs of stuff that we could do without. Starting with a fireproof safe, two tool boxes, and who knows what else. I guess when we do start to travel full-time we are also going to have to reevaluate our "Stuff" and go on a huge diet our selves.

We would also like to replace the two old style TV's in the bedroom and basement compartment with lighter flat screens, that should save a hundred lbs or so by it's self.
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Old 04-27-2012, 11:13 AM   #7
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When all done I don't think you'll be able to notice the difference. Slowing down will gain you more.
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Old 04-27-2012, 11:39 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MAU MAU View Post
Do you have a ScanGuage or similar device to accurately measure the before and after mileage?

It would be interesting to see if you actually save anything.
I do, but would have to make same trip twice and in the same direction, before and after weight loss, to get meaningful test results. If I know we are going over the same route twice this summer, I could fill fresh, grey tanks and 1/4 black and be close to what I removed. Might do that.
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Old 04-27-2012, 09:25 PM   #9
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I guess my wife's 48 state rock collection is a no no.
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Old 04-27-2012, 09:49 PM   #10
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There have been several studies on passenger cars measuring weigh on passenger cars. The results don't easily cross over to rigs our size. 500 lbs from a passenger car is significant percentage of weight, not so with us.

Still I can't help but believe it will help you. COuldn't begin to guess if it's 1 mpg or .1 mpg, but I bet you get something in return.

Drag and sped are the biggies though.
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Old 04-27-2012, 10:11 PM   #11
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My MH came ready to camp; just add food, water, gas and personal stuff. I probably removed about 500 lbs of stuff I would never use. Some of it new in the box and/or never used.
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Old 04-27-2012, 10:35 PM   #12
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I don't think that you will have much savings if any unless you lose a couple thousand pounds, but I could be wrong. Joe
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Old 04-28-2012, 10:43 AM   #13
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RV dieting is goodness and we do it periodically just to keep things under control, but I agree with ninos - a thousand lbs reduction on a 22k-32k is not going to make a measurable difference in mpg. On the flats the difference in rolling resistance of the tires die to reduced weight is infinitesimal. On the hills it takes a bit of extra fuel going up, but you get that back in momentum going down. The trick is to manage speed so that you don't have to throw away that momentum by using the brakes heavily.

You can probably gain as much by slowing down another 1-2 mph and still have still the conveniences.
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Old 04-28-2012, 11:14 AM   #14
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Speed is the enemy here, not a couple extra pounds.

Now DW would be the first to say we could lose dead-weigh (200 lbs or so) simply by sending me for a walk and leaving without me... but within reason the removal of "excess" items will be more of a help in finding things than in fuel savings.

1 or 2 mph reduction in speed, or 4 or 5 if you are Speed Racer, will not cost most any measurable loss of "Quality Time" while travelling. It will possibly enhance the trip memories by being able to see the places driven thru at a more leisurely pace. Slower is generally safer, considering the size of what we are piloting down the byways. Slower definately saves fuel, saves wear and tear on coach frame, tires, and nerves.

DW and I have been camping and RV'ing for well over 40 years together and not once have I ever heard either us or fellow campers say "Darn, if only I had been in a bigger rush to get here it would have been better".

Clean out the excess things, leave enough water in FW tank to be comfortable, dump black and grey before leaving the park... and stop and smell the coffee and eat great food as often as life allows... You will be happier, less stressed, and if the Speed Racer jerks beep and wave just smile and think about the fuel savings and how much less is going to the foreign oil barons !!!

Just common sense random thoughts from one thats been there...
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