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Old 09-13-2011, 03:56 PM   #1
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only getting 5-6MPG!!

we finally calculated our usage and ohh my god! this can't be right! DW want me to sell it now :(

1979 Chevy Midas.....anyone have any suggestions for getting better mileage out of this poor beast? I am going to try and change the spark plugs and wires to see if that makes a difference. I really don't want to get rid of her, but with the cost of Gas, I doubt we can ever go anywhere besides local campgrounds.

any help would be greatful!

Larry
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Old 09-13-2011, 04:15 PM   #2
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Assuming you have the 454, a friend had the same problem. He had headers installed, After market carb with carb spacer. Mechanic changed timing and now he does better than I. Course he only had to do 7.3 mpg. I have a 31 ft with 460 ford, but FI. There are forums for chevy engines only that I bet could really help you. Good Luck
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Old 09-13-2011, 04:39 PM   #3
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What MPG were you (she) expecting? I just checked my new to me unit with a 7.4 engine. Not a long term test, just several short trips back and forth to a local state park and about an hours worth of gen. Got 7.91 mpg., rarely over 55 as mostly back roads, some interstate at 60-65 but not much.

Keep in mind you are hauling a small apartment and ANY expectation of good gas mileage will surely lead to dissapointment. Here in central SC there are many state parks within a few hours drive, we are happy with 8ish.

To answer your question, the main thing you can do is slow down, make sure your tires are properly inflated, and as you mentioned properly tuned.

If you and your wife enjoy what you do at the destinations, then you should not get rid of it.
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Old 09-13-2011, 05:09 PM   #4
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7-8 mpg is a good range for an older rig. I get around 7-8 and I have a TBI-based fuel injected 360 in my Dodge.
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Old 09-13-2011, 05:22 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildtoad View Post
What MPG were you (she) expecting? I just checked my new to me unit with a 7.4 engine. Not a long term test, just several short trips back and forth to a local state park and about an hours worth of gen. Got 7.91 mpg., rarely over 55 as mostly back roads, some interstate at 60-65 but not much.

Keep in mind you are hauling a small apartment and ANY expectation of good gas mileage will surely lead to dissapointment. Here in central SC there are many state parks within a few hours drive, we are happy with 8ish.

To answer your question, the main thing you can do is slow down, make sure your tires are properly inflated, and as you mentioned properly tuned.

If you and your wife enjoy what you do at the destinations, then you should not get rid of it.

I don't mean to sound sarcastic.....If I drive from Lone Pine Ca. to my home in San Diego, it's 311 miles I can fill my tank and put 34gals. ( I top the tank off in Lone Pine before I go home) in it that's about 9.5 miles to the gallon it's mostly all down hill

You do not want to know what it takes to fill it up in Lone Pine, because I usually put in about 25 Gals. in Adelanto, Ca. which is 152 miles from my house. I consider that the half way mark. I know I can go all the way home after I fill up in Lone Pine on my way home. My RV has a 55 gal tank. Also that's with the cruise control set @ 60 mph.

I fill up in San Diego and usually top the tank off with 30 to 35 gals. depending how much city driving I have done with the RV before we get on the freeway

Also you have to remember it's like you are driving a big box down the road

Drive 55 mph if the person following behind you doesn't like how fast you are going they can go around.....They might show you the universal sign of discontent but who cares Just kick back and enjoy life is too short as it is now.
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Old 09-13-2011, 05:46 PM   #6
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What kind of terrain and what speed are you driving?

Ken
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Old 09-13-2011, 06:44 PM   #7
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Rule #1: keep your speed down. Pushing air takes a lot of power.
Rule #2: accept a speed on highways that has you slotted into the right lane without passing the big trucks. You can actually burn a lot of fuel pulling in and out of the left lane...all to run 2-3mph faster than the trucks.
Rule #3: never talk about mileage club.

My 30' Class A with 460/FI/4 speed trans got as little as 6mpg if I was hauling with mail (which it would do quite happily). I could get better than 8 if I stayed at 60 and didn't pass folks.

Steve

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Old 09-13-2011, 06:49 PM   #8
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Try driving your house down the road and see what mpg u get.
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Old 09-13-2011, 07:54 PM   #9
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I had a 33' 83 P30 with the 454. I added a Banks header kit, Then a US Gear overdrive to the 3 speed auto. Before the above was done it got 5.6 MPG. After $5K spent for the above. It got 5.6 MPG Traded it for a ISB MH. It has averaged 10.2 MPG
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Old 09-13-2011, 08:04 PM   #10
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Our '98 Santara 35' with 460 got 5.5 to 6.5, even after the Banks kit was added. Our present diesel pusher gets 7 to 8 or so, I try not to check it too close. On my VMSpc I see anywhere from 2.5 to 254 mpg. 2.5 going up a hill and 254 going down the hill. On flat level doing 70 mph against a real headwind I saw 3.3 (before the Banks kit), on flat level under normal wind at 60 I see 12-15 mpg (after the Banks kit). What does that say? Not much!!
It is what it is!!

On our '88 Type B MH (17') with 460 and trailer towing package weighing 8,800#'s I never got much over 9 even after adding a Gear Vendors overdrive. But it sure would haul the mail with that much engine and low gearing. Racing Honda Accords to about 80 mph was fun.
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Old 09-13-2011, 09:01 PM   #11
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Guess I should add my 2 cents worth and just agree with everyone who has said s-l-o-w down. My home on wheels is an '84 26' with a 460. Our last two trips that included both interstate and secondary roads netted us 7.96 MPG. The key was to drive 50 - 60 MPH's. As someone else already said if the guy behind you is PO'd let him pass. I do make a concentrated effort to watch for vehicles behind me and try to make it easier for them to get by. I don't like being held up so I try to offer that one courtesy. Look into a tune up but don't expect miracles.

One other thing to consider is the amount of weight you are adding to your RV. In mine to keep it within the recommended limits I can add only 1800 pounds. Now you have to decide if beer or soda is more important. No need hauling both. Seriously this is an often overlooked issue. Look in your manuals and see just what your limits are and adhere to them.
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Old 09-14-2011, 07:52 AM   #12
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I'll admit, maybe my driving habits need to change.I was keeping a steady speed of 65 on the NYS Thruway this past weekend, traveling about 100 miles each way we burned through $140 in gas. (the good stuff) and that was mostly flat except in the Herkimer area.
I even emptied the fresh water tank for this trip knowing that we were going to be hooked up to supply at the site.
I keep an eye on my tire pressure so that is not a factor, I was thinking maybe the age of the RV could be the issue because it is not fuel injected. and it does butn oil a bit. In fact I had to put in two quarts of oil on my way back from the trip to calm her down. Is there anything there I can do?
I will check my weigh limits and see if there is an issue there. We recently remodeled the entire interior and I dont think I used any heavier materials, but I suppose it should get checked.
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Old 09-14-2011, 09:40 AM   #13
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Our last trip was about the same distance as yours and most of it was on secondary roads. At $3.65 per gallon I consumed $87 worth. I do the same with the water. Also I use just regular grade gas. 87 octane I believe. Although I need a tune up I had no engine knock at all.
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Old 09-14-2011, 11:57 AM   #14
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I got the same reaction from my DW with the announcement of 6.7 mpg average on several 2-3 hour trips. I thought that mpg was not too bad for going from here (locust grove Va) to Harrisonburg Va. and back. There is a little hill called the Blue ridge in between. I told my wife that we should multiply that mpg by two because I am pulling my Jeep Wrangler too. So far that has helped. I'm not sure how long this logic will hold with her but so far so good.
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