Fuel Range

Jun 18, 2013
225
834
Stisted
Funster No
26,553
MH
Rapido 666F
Exp
Since 2015
The other day, I learned a lesson about the onboard computer.

We have a 2016 Rapido, Fiat chassis, standard cab, tank, etc. Driving from France to Spain, I wasn't in any hurry to fill the tank at French motorway prices for diesel but still had about 80 miles in the tank as we entered San Sebastián to camp at Camping Igueldo. If you don't know the approach to that site, it is up a 4km long hill, very steep at the start and narrow all the way. About a third of the way up, there is a loud beeping, accompanied by a low fuel warning and the range went to nothing, well three dashes. No real choice but to carry on and of course we made it.

Checked in at the site but decided to return to the town for fuel before parking. By the time we got to the bottom of the hill again, the range was 180 miles!

In the UK I had run the tank down to a range of 20 or 30 miles, just to check it out. All had been well and I'd built some confidence that it was reasonably accurate, but that was on the flat.

The fuel gauge itself was showing just on the upper edge of the red marks throughout the up and down journey, so logic told me we would be fine, but it didn't half concentrate the mind and exercise the buttock muscles when the alarm went off!

Lesson learned that we would be better entering hilly areas with at least half a tank.
 
Oct 29, 2008
4,359
4,067
West Yorkshire
Funster No
4,712
MH
PVC
Exp
since 2008
If I drove my van like a grandad I can get over 800 miles, On a level and cownhill route Ive seen up to 1200miles range on the display if driving at 50ish
 
Jan 22, 2012
1,074
1,537
Wigan
Funster No
19,541
MH
Knaus Sun TI 2012
Exp
2010
I had a Volvo car once and even if you had about 2 gallons in the tank when going up hill the warning light would come on. We were once pulling a caravan through a remote part of France and it just cut out on a hill. We were stranded and about 5 miles from a campsite and garage. Some lovely French people came to our rescue. Happened again on a hill in Croatia. On both occasions there was plenty of fuel left to get me to the garage, it was if all of the remaining fuel went to the back on the tank on the hill and away from any feeder pipe.

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Lot lover

Free Member
May 13, 2016
1,291
1,610
Lot, France
Funster No
43,061
MH
Le Voyageur Integral
Exp
New boy
My antique MH does not have a fancy gizmo to tell me how far I might be able to travel on the fuel in the tank. I have never had a car with a reliable fuel guage, always having travelled twice as far on the first half tankful as on the second.

The simple solution is nearly always the best solution, reset the trip meter to zero when filling up, by experience learn how far you can travel on a tankful and act accordingly. We can cover about 600 kms so I start thinking about fill up after 300 (living in rural France makes you think like this) particularly as we tend to avoid motorways.

Remember, PPPPPP.
 
May 15, 2008
6,039
11,951
Funster No
2,657
MH
PVC
Any manufacturer with any common sense would locate the feed from the tank at the rear, strangely vehicles will coast downhill...........can't think why:)
 

pappajohn

LIFE MEMBER
Aug 26, 2007
40,365
38,123
Dark side of the moon
Funster No
172
Exp
Since 2005
Any manufacturer with any common sense would locate the feed from the tank at the rear, strangely vehicles will coast downhill...........can't think why:)
Doesnt matter where they put it, the internal dip tube will be very near the lowest point of the tank....and often in the center.

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Chris

LIFE MEMBER
May 5, 2010
20,067
162,828
Funster No
11,412
MH
None
Exp
10 years
In my first car ( a mini) the fuel gauge didn’t work so I carried a stick in the boot to measure the depth of the fuel still in the tank(y)
 

two

Aug 4, 2011
4,408
3,446
West Midlands
Funster No
17,624
MH
A-Class Fiat
The last thing you want is an unnecessary alarm going off. In Fiat, they all seem the same, so you’re forced to turn attention to the precise nature of the ‘call’. I had that happen on a busy, narrow and unfamiliar ascent (25%) a couple of years ago and it was most distracting.
 
May 15, 2008
6,039
11,951
Funster No
2,657
MH
PVC
Doesnt matter where they put it, the internal dip tube will be very near the lowest point of the tank....and often in the center.
Would that not be the 'feed' then, lowest point of tank at rear would seem logical to me but I do realise there are often design constraints.

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BreweryDave

LIFE MEMBER
Aug 10, 2011
3,370
9,496
Alvor, Algarve
Funster No
17,694
MH
None now!
Exp
2011
The readout will vary depending on your average fuel draw for the previous few minutes ish. So if a long uphill it will take that as an average and vice versa and show range accordingly as if you were at the same speed and rpm at that moment.
 
Sep 1, 2017
215
83
Funster No
50,291
What Dave said. When you take the Valencia to Teruel road the range shrinks as you climb towards 1200m of altitude.
And coming the other way, it rises to mimic my plug in Prius.
 
Aug 18, 2014
18,357
80,326
Lorca,Murcia,Spain
Funster No
32,898
MH
Transit PVC
Exp
6 years since restarting
Why would you even want to run it that low & apart from putting yourself through agonies over how far to the next fuel station there's always the likelihood of dragging the rubbish that might be in the dregs up into the filter.

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two

Aug 4, 2011
4,408
3,446
West Midlands
Funster No
17,624
MH
A-Class Fiat
Why would you even want to run it that low & apart from putting yourself through agonies over how far to the next fuel station there's always the likelihood of dragging the rubbish that might be in the dregs up into the filter.
Payload.
If it's tight, only put enough in for the journey, plus a margin.

When you go up a steep hill with 1/4 tank, the reserve light may come on, followed by the "out of fuel" alarm as it gets even steeper. The range calculation becomes meaningless as it thinks there's much less fuel than there is at a time when your fuel consumption is also abnormally high. Sadly, the range forecast is wildly optimistic on the return journey but we can always dream.
 

Lenny HB

LIFE MEMBER
Oct 18, 2007
32,475
61,829
On the coast in West Sussex
Funster No
658
MH
Hymer B678 Dynamic Line
Exp
Since 2008 & many years tugging
All 3 Ducato based vans we have had the range blanks out at 35 miles to go, drive another 10-20 miles and when you fill up always over a couple of gallons still in the tank but you still panic. Wish I'd ordered the 120 Lt tank.
 
Oct 2, 2008
3,963
6,399
J10 M40
Funster No
4,247
MH
Bucher Duro 6x6 motorhome
Exp
since 1968
All 3 Ducato based vans we have had the range blanks out at 35 miles to go, drive another 10-20 miles and when you fill up always over a couple of gallons still in the tank but you still panic. Wish I'd ordered the 120 Lt tank.
Be careful what you wish for , it nice having a big tank (378L) when you are driving , not so nice when you have to fill it again :(

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two

Aug 4, 2011
4,408
3,446
West Midlands
Funster No
17,624
MH
A-Class Fiat
All 3 Ducato based vans we have had the range blanks out at 35 miles to go, drive another 10-20 miles and when you fill up always over a couple of gallons still in the tank but you still panic. Wish I'd ordered the 120 Lt tank.
Get a Jerry can.
 

BreweryDave

LIFE MEMBER
Aug 10, 2011
3,370
9,496
Alvor, Algarve
Funster No
17,694
MH
None now!
Exp
2011
Never let mine go under 1/4 .

Nor me.........time to fill up methinks.....

68CF1438-F8CD-4593-90B9-2924B90F7356.jpeg
 
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