5 Best Ways to Save Gas on A Road Trip
In a time when the price of gas is constantly hovering over a few dollars a gallon, we are all looking for ways to save gas when driving, especially when you really need it, such as going on a road trip. You might try to estimate your available mileage with a road trip gas calculator, but most times, you will forget that the weight of your luggage and passengers will change that amount. Using a road trip gas calculator will certainly help you get a better feel for the mileage you can drive between full and empty, but remember that there are many other ways to save on gas.
1. Make sure that your tires are properly inflated.
Under inflated tires can be dangerous, causing a driving hazard, but when tires are under inflated, they are working harder to move your vehicle and its contents, decreasing your mileage. Also, don't over inflate your tires either. Over inflating tires causes those to not adhere to the road as safely as when you use the correct air pressure and over inflation can also cause your gas mileage to go down. Wondering where you can find out how much pressure your tires need? Most vehicles have a guide located on the inside of the driver's side door jamb near the floor with correct PSI for your tires.
2. Learn what your vehicle's ideal highway travel speed is.
When driving too fast on the interstate, you will notice your miles per gallon dropping down, and you might be wondering why. The faster you drive, the stronger the air force pushing back against your vehicle, and the harder your vehicle has to work to keep that same speed, which reduces your gas mileage. To get the best gas mileage regarding wind drag speed, always be conscious of your speed. The ideal speed for most vehicles when on the highway is between 60 and 70mph. If you are in a truck or SUV, the best speed is between 60 and 65mph.
3. Think about what you are packing when you are traveling.
The more items that you bring along, the more weight you add to your vehicle and the less mileage you will get. You don't need a new change of clothing for each and every day. Use the laundry service at hotels or stop at a Laundromat. Do you really need to pack two weeks’ worth of food with you? Try packing for the trip to your destination and getting food while there at a supermarket or local farmer market. Are you packing a box full of games and books for entertainment along the way? Try downloading games and books to a tablet or I-Pad and saving all that space and weight. Don't forget that hotels also offer room sized amenities, like shampoo and soap, so toting along full bottles can be unnecessary.
4. Change your traveling times.
You might think that traveling at night when there are no other cars on the road might be the best traveling time. In some ways, you are right. You don't have to fight traffic or sit in long endless lanes of cars sitting bumper to bumper. If you are unable to travel at night when the road becomes open, travel during midday. It might seem counterproductive when there are a lot of other people traversing the same routes that you are on, but cars run more efficiently when it is warm out. Peak driving hours when you drive in the day are between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
5. If possible, do not drive with the windows down or you’re AC.
Opening your windows at high speeds causes more air drag and you won’t get the best gas mileage that way. The AC also draws off the energy of the vehicle and can cause fluctuations in your mileage. If you need some air, try an adaptable mini fan you can plug into your car's charger port. If you need to stop at a rest stop, try parking in a shady area and use screen visors.
Hopefully these tips will help you get to your destination with fuel left in the tank. There are many ways to save gas, and many ways that a road trip gas calculator can help you, but remember to factor in many things to get the most accurate idea of your available mileage so you don't become another stranded person on the side of the road waiting for assistance and eating into your vacation time!