Does Running an RV Generator While Driving Really Affect Fuel Mileage?

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So, you just bought your RV.

You must have many questions in mind. All of these questions are valid, considering it’s your first RV purchase.

One of the most common questions that new RV owners have is:

‘Can I run my RV generator while driving?’

If you are looking for the best answer to this question, then you must consult an RV expert, or someone who has been driving an RV for many years now. The simple answer you will get for this question is, ‘Yes, you can run your RV generator while driving.’ Running your RV generator while driving is perfectly safe.

However, another aspect of this question is understanding how it will affect your fuel mileage. Before we answer this question, let us first take a look at the reasons why you will need to run your RV generator while driving in the first place.







Why Do You Need to Run Your RV Generator While Driving?

Running your RV generator becomes necessary when you need to power your refrigerator, rooftop AC, electric water heater, TV, microwave and any other appliance while you are driving. One of the main reasons why you need to run RV generator is to turn on the rooftop AC in addition to or in place of the dash AC when it is too hot. When the temperature becomes too hot, the dash AC may not work, and you will need to run your RV generator to cool up the interior with your rooftop AC. Keeping the fridge cold is another reason why you need your RV generator.

Other reasons, as mentioned above, may also require you to run the RV generator for some time. Turn it off when you don’t need it anymore; for example, when you have heated food in the microwave or are no longer watching TV.


Will it Affect Your Fuel Mileage?

Running your RV generator while driving does not affect the miles per gallon that your RV gives. This means, you will still get 10mpg (if that is what it normally gives) if your RV generator is running while you drive. However, one thing you must keep in mind is that in addition to burning a gallon of gas for every 10 miles that you travel, your RV will also burn about half a gallon of gas for every hour that you keep running your generator.

This means that you will burn 6 gallons of gas to get 10mpg driving at 60 miles per hour if you don’t run the generator. When you run the generator while driving, you will burn 6 ½ gallons of gas to get the same mpg at the same speed. This difference isn’t huge, and you can pay this much to keep your RV interior cool or to run some appliances.


If you own an RV and are not sure that running your RV generator will affect your fuel mileage or not, then we hope that we have answered your question. Other than about half a gallon of extra fuel, you will not have anything to worry about when running an RV generator while driving.



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