Calculate Fuel Cost When Budgeting for Tour

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This is the first article in our Short and Sweet section. Getting straight to the point in under 500 words. Here is the easy way to Calculate Fuel Cost When Budgeting For Tour.

1. Find Out How Many Miles You Will Be Driving

Do the math on your routing to get the number of miles you will be driving. Pad this number to account for trips to and from the hotel/airport/audibles on days off. The real fuel killer is running the generator during the day. Overestimate to be safe.

For example – If your tour is doing 14750 miles on tour, I’d suggest basing your numbers on 15250 miles instead.

2. Find The Vehicle’s Miles Per Gallon (MPG)

You should be able to google the Make and Model of your vehicle and get the MPG from the dealer’s website. If not, these are the numbers I generally use:

  • 2017 Mercedes Sprinter 2500 – 16.1MPG
  • Prevost XL2 With Trailer – 4.0MPG (This is an unpopular estimate, but with a bus full of people and a trailer at 10k lbs, it’s close to correct… Accommodating the generator of course)

3. Find How Many Gallons You Need

Let’s use the example above, an XL2 with 4.0 MPG does 15000 Miles. That gives you 3750 Gallons total. Total Miles divided by MPG.

4. Estimate The Average Price Of Fuel

The key here is to be a little higher than what it is. In the US, I normally estimate $3/Gallon. While NY state’s gas prices are roughly $2.65/Gallon, the rest of the country might shift a little. Also, this gives you some breathing room for speeding or if your trailer is even heavier than it probably should be.

A tip here, if you go up into Canada, be aware that fuel is much more expensive. It’s currently $1.18/Litre. Which roughly translates to $4.50/Gallon.

Update: Maybe use $6 or $7/Gallon since it’s now 2022 and the world is still on fire.

5. Bring It Home

The equation is simple. Estimate your miles and use the vehicle’s MPG to estimate the number of gallons you need. Then, multiply the number of gallons by the cost per Gallon. Then pad it again to leave yourself some room.

Here is the equation:

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