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Gas Vs. Diesel: What's Right For You

Gas Vs. Diesel Motorhome

One of the most common questions people ask when purchasing a new RV is whether to choose gas or diesel engine. This is an age-old question without a clear-cut answer. Neither one is better than the other, it all depends on what you are looking for out of your RV and what fits your lifestyle.


The first thing people consider when shopping for a new motorhome is the price. One question to ask yourself is how miles per year do you plan on driving? The cost of an RV with a diesel engine is typically more expensive than a gas engine, but diesel RV’s also hold their value better than gas motorhomes.

Fuel Economy

When it comes to the fuel efficiency the Diesel pusher typically gets better miles per gallon than a gas engine. While diesel fuel is often a little more expensive then gasoline it will be cheaper in the long run. With better fuel economy in the diesel that could mean fewer stops to refuel. If you don’t plan on any long trips and only use your RV a few times per year a gas engine will be more cost efficient. Another thing to consider is diesel fuel may be harder to find at gas stations in remote areas.


Gasoline engines are less expensive to maintain compared to a diesel. Parts and labor also tend to be less expensive with a gas engine. Diesel mechanics can be more difficult to come by whereas a gas engine can be repaired at most repair shops. A positive with diesel engines is they require less maintenance than a gasoline engine and typically can go longer between servicing. Another thing to consider when buying a diesel RV is the use of diesel exhaust fluid (DEF). Starting in 2011 all diesel RV’s require DEF which allows the RV to burn cleaner. DEF can be found at most service stations as well as stores like Walmart.


One of the main differences driving a diesel compared to gas is the torque that the diesel engine makes. The lack of torque is more noticeable with a gas engine when going uphill and trying to maintain speed. Gas RVs also don’t have the towing power that diesel RVs do. One more factor to take into consideration is If you live in a colder climate. Gas engines typically perform better in cold temperatures compared to a diesel.

In conclusion, when looking at gas vs. diesel RVs they both have their own strengths and weaknesses. Determining which one is right for you comes down to how often you travel, your budget and the type of driving you will be doing in your RV.