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Author Topic: Are European motorhomes more fuel efficient?  (Read 7658 times)

Elly Dalmaijer

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Are European motorhomes more fuel efficient?
« on: June 03, 2012, 09:06:55 PM »
Since we spent each year 2 - 3 months in Europe we have noticed that European cars have much better fuel efficiency than the "same" car here in North America. I am not comparing government or published km/L but  what we had in real life during those months in the various cars that we drove.

We now wonder if the same goes for motorhomes. Tom, I imagine that you could give some insight in this. Of course I would not expect you to compare a 42 ft diesel pusher with a camper van.

But could you think of two similar models on both side of the pond and do some comparisons? Surely the European ones must be much lighter, and that would influence the mileage.

Any wise thoughts? Thanks!

Elly
Either at home in St Albert AB or working in Africa or in our 1993 Itasca Sunrise.

Tom

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Re: Are European motorhomes more fuel efficient?
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2012, 09:43:35 PM »
Elly,

One factor that might account for the difference is that many small Euro cars are diesel.
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loddy

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Re: Are European motorhomes more fuel efficient?
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2012, 04:34:45 AM »
There is no comparison between US and Euro motorhomes, Euro motorhomes are of course smaller with no slides and no on board generators, most are about 3.5 tonnes in weight and are pulled along with a 4 cylinder diesel producing between about 120-180 bhp, they of course are achieving between 22-30 mpg (English), Cars in the UK are built to achieve max mpg, at 1.50 per litre that's important. On our many visits to the US we have hired many different cars, the last one was a VW passat in the UK that's fitted with a 4 cylinder ranging from 1600 cc to 1800cc gas or diesel, In the US it's fitted with a V6 (why).
I have a C Class ( American )in the UK with a V8 diesel in it and it does 15 mpg

Loddy





Lou Schneider

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Re: Are European motorhomes more fuel efficient?
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2012, 05:00:59 AM »
The Imperial gallon is also about 20% larger than the US gallon - you have to take this into account when comparing MPG figures.

loddy

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Re: Are European motorhomes more fuel efficient?
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2012, 06:36:20 AM »
Yeah I know

Loddy

Carl L

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Re: Are European motorhomes more fuel efficient?
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2012, 03:39:57 PM »
Cars in the UK are built to achieve max mpg, at 1.50 per litre that's important.
 
Just to run out the cringe factor for us North Americans, a US gallon has 3.78541 liters.  At 1.50 per liter, a US gallon of fuel would cost 5.678.   The current rate of exchange is US $1.538 for UK 1.000.   Thus that one US gallon would cost  US $8.733.   :o
 
Think about that the next time you pull up to the Flying J pump.   ;D
 


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Elly Dalmaijer

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Re: Are European motorhomes more fuel efficient?
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2012, 05:39:05 PM »
Loddy, you are exactly confirming our observations. I was not comparing a gas with a diesel, but a Honda CRV with the same model Honda CRV, or the Ford Focus with a Ford Focus.

We have no problems getting  18 - 20 kms to a Liter of gas in the cars we have used (Citroen, Ford, Saab etc). This is 39-47 MPG. These are not small cars.

So my point is: our fuel here is also expensive (in our eyes). So why can the automakers and RV makers not make the vehicles for the North American market as fuel efficient as the same ones they build for the European market? Including RVs??
Either at home in St Albert AB or working in Africa or in our 1993 Itasca Sunrise.

jje1960

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Re: Are European motorhomes more fuel efficient?
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2012, 05:44:19 PM »
Loddy, you are exactly confirming our observations. I was not comparing a gas with a diesel, but a Honda CRV with the same model Honda CRV, or the Ford Focus with a Ford Focus.

We have no problems getting  18 - 20 kms to a Liter of gas in the cars we have used (Citroen, Ford, Saab etc). This is 39-47 MPG. These are not small cars.

So my point is: our fuel here is also expensive (in our eyes). So why can the automakers and RV makers not make the vehicles for the North American market as fuel efficient as the same ones they build for the European market? Including RVs??
..... Well, I don't believe we are constrained by the same restrictions here in the States.
Jim
2011 Ford F350 DRW 6.7 Diesel
2011 Cougar SRX

Elly Dalmaijer

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Re: Are European motorhomes more fuel efficient?
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2012, 06:29:17 PM »
It seems to me that you have more restrictions. For example in Holland the amount of "road tax" (for us the yearly cost of our plates) is based on the weight of a vehicle.

This is one incentive for RV makers to keep the units "light". But can you imagine the hue and cry that would go up here in  North America if that was introduced here?!

Elly
Either at home in St Albert AB or working in Africa or in our 1993 Itasca Sunrise.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Are European motorhomes more fuel efficient?
« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2012, 07:06:51 PM »
Manufacturers make the cars that people want to buy and most buyers want the largest and most luxurious one they can afford. Several years back it was said the SUV and the pick-up truck were dead due to fuel costs, but then US fuel prices dropped again and sales of those large vehicles peaked once again.  Now, with sustained higher fuel prices, more fuel economical cars are indeed becoming popular in the USA. Five years ago you could hardly find a 30+ mpg vehicle made for the US market; now there are well over a dozen and most are selling quite well. There are even several in the 40+ mpg bracket.

Just today I was looking at a new Buick - long known as a near luxury class model - that gets 31 mpg and it was every inch a Buick. I learned that Buick actually has three models with available 4 cylinder 'Eco' engines that can do 30 mpg without sacrificing style and comfort, which I think says a lot about where the auto industry is going.
Gary
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Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Tom

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Re: Are European motorhomes more fuel efficient?
« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2012, 08:32:20 PM »
My very limited (almost 40 years) perspective of US car manufacturers is that they build cars they think that people should buy. That thinking led to the near-demise of the US auto industry in the 80's. They recovered somewhat, but still haven't figured out that they need to build cars that people want.

Providing components to the US auto industry for some years didn't change the perception. At a seminar in Maycomb (Detroit) put on by the 'Big 3', I stood up and talked about my personal experience as a buyer of US autos. The Ford guy immediately stood up and yelled to the entire room "We've heard that story a million times, and we still haven't figured out how to react to it!"

Edit: One caveat - we keep our cars forever, so it's been a while since we acquired a new one, although I'm continually looking at the market.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2012, 08:45:19 PM by Tom »
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Elly Dalmaijer

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Re: Are European motorhomes more fuel efficient?
« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2012, 11:30:46 PM »
Is there then a way to "force" the RV manufacturers to produce motorhomes that are more fuel efficient?  I am of the same opinion as Tom i.e. that cars are being designed and produced that the manufacturers think I should buy.

The same goes for motorhomes.  We own a 27ft 1993 Itasca Sunrise. Our mileage, after keeping track of all gas purchases for over 80,000 km is 4.9 km/L or 11-12 MPG averaged over 49,709 miles. We would love to buy a newer similar one, with same specs and same mileage. Except for the Mercedes/diesel/sprinter group of smaller class B's, it is not possible to find a motorhome of this length, with a similar layout and a similar fuel efficiency.

Yet this is what we want, and we cannot be the only ones that are looking for better mileage than 8-9MPG. How can we challenge the RV industry to build some really lightweight, fuel efficient models?


Either at home in St Albert AB or working in Africa or in our 1993 Itasca Sunrise.

Wendy

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Re: Are European motorhomes more fuel efficient?
« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2012, 09:11:51 AM »
If gas in the US went to $8/gal, I suspect that RVers would be more demanding about better mileage. However, at just under $4, we mostly just bite the bullet and accept the mileage we get. As for cars, there are a lot of cars that get 30+ mpg; we have a Pontiac that gets 35 mpg.
 
Wendy
Wendy, Mike, and Gordon
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Geoff_T

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Re: Are European motorhomes more fuel efficient?
« Reply #13 on: June 05, 2012, 12:46:09 PM »
Hi

Re the title of the thread, it is rather horses for courses because it's comparing oranges and apples. Enough of the similes!

In the USA I have a 29 foot Fleetwood Jamboree Searcher with a Ford E350 7.5 litre V8 hauling it along at around 10mpg.

In the UK I have a 16 foot long Talbot Autohomes Camelot with a 2 litre 4 cylinder gas (petrol) engine that does 25mpg.

Oddly enough the Camelot has instant hot water from the gas water heater while the Jamboree uses a 6 gallon gas/electric heated tank.

And the Camelot is a work of art to squeeze shower, toilet, toilet hand basin, hob, grill, oven, sink, fridge/freezer, balanced flue gas interior heater, twin tables, and sleeping for four in just 16 feet.

We'll be touring the UK this July/August in it... very much looking forward to that!

 :D Geoff and Sally Tanner

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Are European motorhomes more fuel efficient?
« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2012, 08:59:00 PM »
Actually, RV manufacturers build what their dealers think customers will - or should - buy.  99% of new RV orders are placed by dealers for their sales inventory, and they are typically looking for what sold great last year.

You want change? Just start going to RV dealers and asking them to show you something that gets 20 mpg (pick your own number). When they show you the old iron they have and make jokes like "if you have to ask about mpg, you can't afford it", pack up and leave. If enough of us do that, the message will be received loud and clear. But if instead we buy the biggest, gaudiest rig on the lot regardless of fuel consumption, we merely prove them right.
Gary
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Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Elly Dalmaijer

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Re: Are European motorhomes more fuel efficient?
« Reply #15 on: June 06, 2012, 01:49:25 PM »
Actually, RV manufacturers build what their dealers think customers will - or should - buy.  99% of new RV orders are placed by dealers for their sales inventory, and they are typically looking for what sold great last year.

You want change? Just start going to RV dealers and asking them to show you something that gets 20 mpg (pick your own number). When they show you the old iron they have and make jokes like "if you have to ask about mpg, you can't afford it", pack up and leave. If enough of us do that, the message will be received loud and clear. But if instead we buy the biggest, gaudiest rig on the lot regardless of fuel consumption, we merely prove them right.

Amen and amen, Gary!
Either at home in St Albert AB or working in Africa or in our 1993 Itasca Sunrise.

 

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