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Old 04-14-2013, 07:01 AM   #1
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fuel mileage

Good Morning All, We just bought a used 2006 Meridian 36g with cat 350 engine. I just checked MPG after the first long trip(about 300mi.). I double checked my math and I'm only getting 6.1 MPG. That is in Fl and Ga, mostly flat, and running about 60mph. Is this normal? I was guessing it would be closer 8mpg. Thanks
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Old 04-14-2013, 07:36 AM   #2
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We were told by previous owners we would get 10 on a '95 34H with same engine! Reality is 7s without toad but with only 22K it might improve. Didn't say if you were towing etc. but the following is good information.
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Old 04-14-2013, 07:44 AM   #3
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our Journey 36' with the Cat 330hp gets a consistent 7-8 MPG depending on terrain, headwind etc. We either tow a small trailer with our Harley in it or our Dodge Dakota.

Phil and Rudee
'02 Winnebago Journey, '07 Dakota, '11 HD Ultra
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Old 04-14-2013, 08:02 AM   #4
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MPG stories are often myth on these threads. I once had an owner of a DP like mine tell me that I should sell mine for getting 6.5 mpg when hie got over 11. Many variables involved such as TOADS weight and rolling resistance, wind, terrain and driving habits. I have a hard time isolating my actual mileage due to the aqua-heat system. Best approach is long term records. My fuel costs are not a major cost factor in travel costs and there are factors that I can more easily control. Units with the same engine may have different final drive ratios and that may be a contributing factor to fuel consumption. Most owners are not aware of their final ratios when discussing their fuel efficiency.
2007 Dutch Star 4320
2010 Mazda Miata 6 speed
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Old 04-14-2013, 10:03 AM   #5
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I read about fuel mileage frequently. My conclusion is that there is almost nothing available that will alter it significantly. So my advise is to fill up when you need fuel pay the bill and enjoy life, that's the reason you spent many thousands of dollars in the first place.
Clark and Jo
2009 Camelot
2010 Jeep Wrangler Toad
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Old 04-14-2013, 10:55 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by lvnrdream View Post
Good Morning All, We just bought a used 2006 Meridian 36g with cat 350 engine. I just checked MPG after the first long trip(about 300mi.). I double checked my math and I'm only getting 6.1 MPG. That is in Fl and Ga, mostly flat, and running about 60mph. Is this normal? I was guessing it would be closer 8mpg. Thanks

Just my thoughts but are your tires at proper inflation? Do you use a "heavy" throttle? Was your fuel tank completely full when you started? I'd think 6.1 mpg is a bit low but also suggest you have several fill ups and then average it out to get a better reading.
Bob, Sandi & Marmaduke the Big Pug
SW OREGON 2004 Journey 39K, 330 Cat
If towing: a 2006 Mini Cooper or 1995 Wrangler
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Old 04-14-2013, 10:55 AM   #7
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A few things to consider , and this is JMHO.
300 miles is not along enough trip to get a true reading. You would need a full year of data to develop your true reading.
Reason being, one part tank of fuel , can be effected by the way you fill and the nozzle. A slow fill produces less foam in the tank and allows more fuel to be added, even 2>3 gals can throw your readings way off, on a part tank calculation.
My coach ; with filler on both sides ; will take approx 6 gals more fuel if I fill from the left side rather than the right. I haven't been able to figure out why yet. So I make sure that any time I'm checking , that I fill from the left; slowly. Truck stop high flow nozzles can produce way more foam and realy throw your calculations off.
I run 1500 miles in 3 days on I-5 , filling slowly on the first day and on the last, then do my math. I figure that's about as accurate a test as possible . 9.1 mpg 2 years in a row. Rolling at 32,000lbs with toad.
This year with strong head winds 7.8 on the fist 2 days 9+ on day 3.
99DSDP 3884, Freightliner, XC, CAT 3126B, 300 HP /ALLISON 3060
2000 Caravan toad, Remco & Blue Ox.
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Old 04-14-2013, 04:28 PM   #8
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I have a '07 Journey 34H w/ CAT C7. Toad is about 3400 lbs. Drive about 62-63 mph, and do a lot of mountain driving between NY and PA, frequently. I average about 8.4 mpg under these circumstances. In flatter terrain, I average about 8.8 mpg.

There have been posts about having your engine flashed with the latest firmware (software). Make an appointment at your CAT dealer, ask them to check the software versions, and download the most recent updates. Posts on this forum suggest it might help.
'07 Winnebago Journey 34H - CAT C7, Koni's, MCU's, SS Bell Crank, Safe-T-Plus
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Old 04-14-2013, 04:53 PM   #9
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Welcome to the forum!
Pretty much the same coach. We averaged 7.87 over 13, 000 miles. Usually towing a CRV. I'm pretty much a speed limit guy (60 & under) & little generator use. My info center indicates lower (by about 1 MPG) but the above method is pencil & paper & Excel sheet. Like others have said you will need more miles to get an accurate reading. If it were me, I'd start by changing the air cleaner.
Good Luck
2005 Journey 36G Deep Blue
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Old 04-14-2013, 07:58 PM   #10
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We found when the MH turned over 45,000 miles with our 330 we started getting better milage from 7.4 to consistant 8 and higher on the flat.
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Old 04-14-2013, 10:08 PM   #11
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We have the exact same coach that you do...I have kept accurate records of all my fuel usage for the past year. (I only bought it last June) I tow a Jeep Grand Cherokee and find that the biggest fluctuation in milage occurs when I put my foot into it. If I keep it at about 55 to 57 MPH, I get a little better than 7 MPG. When I run it at about 65, I get about 6.7 MPG.
By the way, you will find many answers about fuel mileage because I have found that there are still lots of people that have no idea how to really calculate mileage. I had one guy tell me that his mileage varied by the brand of fuel that he put in his coach. I asked him how that could be and he answered that whenever he filled up his coach, he would write down the mileage. Then the next time he filled it up, he would compare how many miles he had driven. He didn't care about how many gallons he used. He told me that the only thing that mattered was how many miles he could drive from fill up to fill up. Honest...![
06' Itasca Meridian 36g with CAT 350
2011 Jeep Wrangler 4-door
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Old 04-14-2013, 11:41 PM   #12
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Fuel Mile

We have a 2004 Itasca Sunrise and we get about 6-7 miles a gal. We just got it back from having it going over. We are planning a long trip we hope we can get better gas mileages. They change the fuel filter and air and put new belt on it. So time well tell us
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Old 04-15-2013, 03:56 PM   #13
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We have 2004 Winnebago Vectra with the 350 Cummins. We got the rig used with 11k miles on it. Cummins says it is broke in after 50k miles. We now have 30k. We started at 6.5 and now get 7.5. I'm hoping it continues to grow. One thing that makes a huge difference is how much time you take filling the tank. It is often hard to get the last 10 gallons in and I often don't bother fiddling around with it. My mileage however is a running mpg from 11k miles to 30k miles so it is averaged over many tanks. Each tank mpg varies as much as 1pmg but the overall (more accurate) is constant with tiny increases as the total miles goes up. We do 60-62 and keep the Alison 6 speed in 5th gear on the highway. This is per Mike at camp Freightliner who says the best mpg is when you keep the highway rpm's at about 1800. For our rig that is 5th gear going 60-62 mph. We use econo mode if the highway is not too hilly and never when we're off the highway. There was a long discussion on this topic at Camp Freightliner in late March 2013 and this was the recommendation from Mike the teacher there.

so if you total miles is still low I suspect you'll get better results in coming months as your miles increases.


here's the Camp Freightliner blog my wife did.
Walkabout With Wheels: The Beginning of Our Freightliner Experience...
Ginny & Eric - Full Time 4/14/12 - Our Blog "Walk About With Wheels"
2004 Winnebago Vectra 40AD - 350 Cummins ISC; Toad 2012 Wrangler 6 speed
SKP, WIT, FMCA, FCOC, GoodSam, Cummins Power Club
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Old 04-15-2013, 06:03 PM   #14
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I have the same motorhome (CAT 350 w/Allison 6 speed) and have owned it since it was new and have averaged 8.5 mpg over 38,000 miles. MPG is lower when towing our GMC Acadia (it weighs over 5,000 lbs), usually by at least .5 mpg. We tow very little however. We drive consistently around 63 - 65 miles per hour all around the midwest and southern states, no real mountains like out west. At that cruising speed the rpms are right around 1,750 - 1,850 and I use the cruise in economy mode when ever possible.

My dash freightliner computer mpg reading is now up to 8.33 mpg, was about 6 or so after the first 800 or so delivery miles.
2006 Winnebago Journey 36G
Cat 350
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Old 04-23-2013, 09:57 AM   #15
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my campground miles are 99 mpg going down hill, and 4.3 uphill, so i should be getting around 46 mpg right?
actually, after 75000 miles on a 2006 meridian with the cat 350, towing a 5000 lb truck. i have averaged 6.5 mpg. most of this is western states miles, so a lot of hills are involved.
but really, ask yourself, does it really matter. if you are going to own
a rv, are you going to use it, or just let it sit? if you use it, it cost to operate it. but it cost more to just keep it parked. not in money, in loss of enjoyment.
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Old 04-24-2013, 06:41 AM   #16
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MPG is all relative; depends on load, average road speed (steady, stop & go, how fast), your foot on the throttle -- way too many variables to come up with a truly accurate figure for everyone, even in the same coach. (Don't get me started on those EPA figures...)

Even the dash computers have to figure short-term MPG based on what's going on at the moment, then try to calculate average MPG for a trip or a cumulative period based on what it's stored over time. Some of them are smart enough to show a "weighted average" that calculates a realistic figure at all times, but it's still a mathematical guess.

So, the best you can do is not sweat the little stuff and just drive like a commercial driver tends to -- light, steady foot on the gas, don't worry too much about constant speed up hills, just keep a reasonable speed with traffic. Ease off the gas early before braking. You'll see great short-term MPG on the open road, but it will always drop like a rock in stoplight territory. That's why the typical quote is 5-8 average MPG, accounting for all road conditions.

Even in an old carburetor-fed gasser Pace Arrow from the 80's, I could hit at least a calculated 10-12 MPG on the highway with no toad. That was on hilly New England highway, and keeping the speed around 55-60 -- no frantic rush, just let the cars pass. As soon as I left open road running, I topped off the tank and of course the calculation was back to 6 or 7 MPG for the non-highway driving. My newer '92 Adventurer may have fuel injection and a better transmission, but its milage can't be expected to be much better -- it's still a gas engine with a heavy load to move. Starting and accelerating a heavy vehicle is what eats up fuel fast; just no escaping it.
Eric & Holly + 2 kitties from New Hampshire
1992 Winnebago Adventurer 32'
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Old 04-24-2013, 06:56 AM   #17
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Yes my 2004 Sunrise ownly gets 7mpg. No matter what i did to it. It still get's 7 mpg
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Old 04-24-2013, 06:59 AM   #18
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Did you use bio diesel or a bio diesel blend? B100 bio diesel will drop fuel mileage by 10%. A blend won't be near the 10% loss but it does affect fuel mileage. I know the company I work for gave a bonus for raising our mileage on company truck. I got it every month by using TA/Petro instead of fueling at the Loves which are the 2 fuel stops they use. Loves is lower cost at pump but is at a minimum 5% bio blend and TA/Petro is 100% dino diesel.
1984 Heritage 2000 32 ft 1976 Jeep CJ7 toad
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Old 04-24-2013, 07:20 AM   #19
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Rick mine is A gas motor home. I just had my fuel filter change. And a complete work over. I guess that is all it will get is 7 mpg
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Old 04-25-2013, 07:15 PM   #20
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Have same engine and trans. Good feedback in the prior posts. After we bought our coach, was disappointed in mileage numbers. We changed out the air filter, fuel filter and water separator. Immediately saw better performance and better mileage. Also a very good point about the nuances of fuel filling. My coach fills better from the passenger side. If you use high flow, unless you are very patient, you will never fill the tank. Then, if you use auto pump, with lower pressure, you will put more gallonage into the tank which will drastically distort your calculation.

Also agree with avoid the heavy foot, and find the best rpm for fuel mileage. I use the control center, which provides immediate feedback. SO once you've got good airflow, and fuel flow, have fun.

Drafting a big-truck works pretty well too if you are striving for a big number.

As to the comment about fuel, there is a difference in fuels which can affect horsepower which ultimately helps economy. Not sure how significant though.
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