Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Hypermile that Motorhome!

So you've decided to go on that RV Roadtrip that you've always dreamed about? Worried about fuel costs? Welcome to the world of hypermiling - getting the most fuel economy for your vehicle.

Here are some great tips for hypermiling from http://www.cars4women.co.za/ :
1. Change to a manual transmission: If you’re used to driving an automatic, switching over to a manual car might take a little practice, but it’s definitely worth it. Once you have more control over the vehicle, you’ll be able to master more hypermiling tricks.
2. Slow down: The harder you press the accelerator, the more fuel you’re using. If you’re driving over the speed limit, you might save time, but you’re definitely wasting fuel and money.
3. Coast instead of braking: When you see a stop sign up ahead or a traffic light turning yellow, immediately take your foot off the gas and let your vehicle slow down by itself. If you wait until the last possible minute to brake, then you’re wasting all the fuel you used when you could have been slowing down.
4. If you have Cruise Control, use it: One automatic setting that actually helps hypermiling is cruise control, which prevents you from “creeping” over the speed limit without realising it.
5. Coast with your car in neutral or freewheel carefully on the downhill stretches: This takes the burden off your accelerator, preventing you from wasting fuel. If you’re not driving in heavy traffic, experiment with this effective money saver.
6. Don't transport junk in your car: The heavier your car, the harder it has to work to propel itself forward. Empty your boot and backseat of golf clubs, beach chairs, umbrellas and other items that you’re not using to lighten the load.
7. “Drive slow and low”: whenever possible to give your vehicle more mileage.
8. Optimise your route: There are huge benefits to “optimising” your route” when implementing hypermiling tricks. Instead of taking the scenic route to work, which could include more hills, twists, and dips, try finding a route that features level roads and less traffic lights or stop signs. Generally, a longer route with better driving conditions can use less fuel.
9. Park in the sun: The blogger Joe Future believes that parking your vehicle in the sun is a hypermiling tip for two reasons: “On a cold day, parking in the sun keeps your car warmer.” Also, a warmer car “will get to “auto-stop” mode faster than a cold car, so you’ll sit idling at fewer red lights while you’re waiting for auto-stop to kick in.”
10. Drive with a window open if you’re not on the highway: In the cooler months, stop blasting the air conditioner and roll down your windows. According to Drive.com.au, “It is generally accepted that air-conditioning increases fuel consumption by about 10 percent but winding down the windows increases drag, which is also an enemy of good fuel consumption.” If you’re going to be on the highway, keeping your A/C on low is still a good idea, but if you’re taking a joy ride, think about getting a little fresh air.
11. Don’t leave the engine running: It may seem like a good idea to let your car idle while you dash out to close the gate or drop off a DVD, but doing so wastes fuel. Take the extra few seconds to pull into a real parking spot and turn the car off first.
12. Service your car regularly: Taking your car for regular services, oil changes, tyre pressure and wheel balancing checks etc., is another easy way to maximize mileage.

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