Driving a campervan or motorhome requires a lot of petrol! This post shows some mileage data for a ’94 Talbot Express.
Ever since I bought the van I have noted down the odometer and fuel volume when topping it up. So the other day I decided to take a look at the actual mileage over the past 2½ years. Of course, I had a good idea of the consumption but looking at total cost was a bit scary! We have almost used the same amount of money on petrol as the original purchase of the car. On the other side, we have had a fantastic time and considering that we in total have been living for about 4-5 months in the van, it has still been a very cheap way of travelling compared to hotel or Airbnb.
The longer trips we have had are quite obvious from the steep and data tight data periods (much refuelling). The amount of total petrol is shown below.
One thing that I quick discovered driving the van in different conditions was that it is quite sensitive to speed, outside temperature (winter / summer) and height meters (mountains in South Europe).
Speed sensitivity is presumable due to a relative low 5th gearing resulting in high rpm and fuel consumption. In addition, this 3m (9.8 ft) tall car has a high drag (air resistance). I have found that speeding more than 100 km/t (~60 mi/h) increases fuel consumption quite a lot. Most fuel efficient speed is around 80-90 km/t (50-60 mi/h).
Another thing worth noting is that mileage will be a bit lower when using bio fuel (E5 or E10). In particular in France, where some gas stations have stopped offering regular unleaded petrol. In general it is not recommended to use bio fuel for classic cars (before year 2000). However, so far we have not had any problems using bio fuel occasionally.
For outside temperature, the van uses significantly more petrol during winter months. However, I recently discovered that a flexible hose for warm air to the air intake box was not connected properly. The air intake box has a thermostatic control opening up / closing a flapper to control cold/warm air. Reconnecting this will hopefully give a better mileage this upcoming winter.
All in all, without including maintenance cost, insurance, etc., the driving cost around 1.2 DKK/km or 0.26 EUR/miles.