Author Topic: How many miles per gallon does your bus get?  (Read 36610 times)

Offline technomadia

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  • Zephyr - 1961 GM PD-4106-446
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Re: How many miles per gallon does your bus get?
« Reply #45 on: March 14, 2013, 09:14:55 AM »
Our bus: 1961 GM 4106, 8v71 with v730 transmission. We're 35' long, and with most tanks pretty empty, weight just over 24,000 lbs. We tow a 2500 lb Mini Cooper behind. We typically travel at 55-60 mph if the speed limit is that high (we avoid interstates if we can.)

After 1.5 years of full timing in our bus, we average about 6.6 mpg, and that's will usually about 5-6 hrs of generator time (which is plumped off the same tank), and running the roof air off the alternator if it's warm out on a driving day.

We find that to be pretty darn good mileage for a house :)

Keep in mind, to a full-timer, fuel becomes part of your rent. And the beauty is, you can control how much you spend of your monthly budget on rent by varying up your pace of travel. So the MPG is useful info, but not as important as how many miles you drive. Need to trim back the costs?  Find a cheap camping situation (monthly rate, workamp, find a courtesy parking situation, boondock on public lands, etc.) for a month or two and be more stationary. Want to make a major transition? Budget for it.

Here's a post we did a while back further explaining it:
http://www.technomadia.com/2012/09/a-full-time-rvers-perspective-on-fuel-costs/

It includes a link to our spreadsheet calculator where you can plug in your anticipated mpg and annual miles, and will calculate your monthly fuel costs at various prices. For us, it helps us keep it all in perspective... and perhaps it can help you with this budgeting question?

 - Cherie
Cherie and Chris / Bus tour: www.technomadia.com/zephyr
Full-time 'Technomads' since 2006 (technology enabled nomads)

Offline lvmci

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Re: How many miles per gallon does your bus get?
« Reply #46 on: March 14, 2013, 12:16:02 PM »
Hi All, another fact, I'm always interested in is, what does your bus do going up the likes of a cajon pass on I15 san bernadino, or baker grade I15, or mt pass I15 or the likes of these grades, do you drop down to 2nd gear and 30mph, or are you able to stay in 4th or 5th at 50mph, or what kind of speed & gear? How does heat or cold affect your bus, lvmci...
MCI 102C3 8V92, Allison HT740
Formally MCI5A 8V71 Allison MT643

Offline TomC

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Re: How many miles per gallon does your bus get?
« Reply #47 on: March 14, 2013, 02:20:31 PM »
I live in L.A., so I take the I-15 to Las Vegas at least once a year. My bus weighs 31,000lbs and my towed is 3,750lbs for a total of 34,750lbs. I have a 8V-71 with V730 and 4.56 gears. Before turboing with N65 injectors with 304hp and 800lb/ft torque, I would pull Cajon at 32mph in 1st and end up that fast at the top of Baker grade coming south. Also, any other small hill would require down shifting from 3rd to 2nd and slowing to around 40.
Now that it is turbo'd with 375hp and 1125lb/ft torque running 7G75 injectors, I pull Cajon in second gear at 43mph at 1800rpm. Also, don't have to shift down on any other hill except for Cajon and Baker grade. Even though my fuel mileage is the same, the performance is much better and doesn't smoke at altitude (has a bit of smoke on initial start, but clears up fast). Good Luck, TomC
Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.

Offline belfert

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Re: How many miles per gallon does your bus get?
« Reply #48 on: March 14, 2013, 02:53:33 PM »
Fuel costs are a very real cost to me and it does keep me from using my bus as much as I might like to.  I do usually spend more per year on tires, repairs, registration/insurance, and routine maintenance than I do on fuel.  If I don't need tires or extra repairs I'll still spend a minimum of $1,500 a year to keep the bus on the road.  Last year I spent around $3,500 to $4,000 on non-fuel expenses and about $2,500 on fuel.  I had to buy two tires and had a few repair issues last year.
Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN