Van conversions are incredibly useful, not just for working, but also for helping individuals with special needs get around. And if you drive frequently, you will want to ensure you are getting the best fuel economy possible. This will save you money in the long run, because after all, gasoline is a variable expense item. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to help improve fuel efficiency in your van conversion.

Remove Unnecessary Weight

If you store a lot of tools, gear, and other heavy equipment in your van that you don’t use regularly, unloading it until you really need it can improve your fuel economy. Maintaining a checklist of these types of items will help you remember the ones you need most. Remember, the lighter your van, the better fuel the economy.

Make Sure Your Tires Are Fully Inflated

Driving a conversion van with partially deflated tires often results in poor fuel economy. You may be able to squeeze an extra mile-per-gallon or two by maintaining the proper tire pressure for your van’s make and model. This can add up to a quite of bit of savings throughout the year. So consult with your manufacturer’s manual for the optimum tire pressure required for the best driving experience.

Accelerate Slowly and Don’t Speed

Accelerating too quickly and other aggressive driving behaviors will reduce your gas mileage approximately 15 percent to 30 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. So push the pedal down smoothly and slowly instead of revving the engine at every stoplight. Also, above roughly 50 mph, fuel economy decreases dramatically, especially on the highway, so avoid speeding and you can shed up to $0.34 per gallon of gas in fuel costs.

Braking should also be done with ease and well in advance of approaching obstacles as this will allow the van to coast which increases fuel economy. Cruise control is also a great way to save gas as well. It keeps the acceleration constant to avoid wasting fuel.

Regular Maintenance is Essential to Fuel Economy

Check your fluid levels regularly and make sure you always have the right amount for your van conversion. You should also make sure you have a relatively clean air filter, and that you have the right spark plugs. If you have any leaks or other problems, you should get them taken care of immediately otherwise they could damage your engine or others parts of your vehicle.

Shut the Engine Off Instead of Idling

Switch off your engine when you’re not on the road. Believe it or not idling for more than one minute actually burns more fuel than restarting the engine.

If you incorporate these five suggestions into your daily driving routine, you will have a noticeable improvement in your fuel economy right away and more money in your pocket.