Diesel-Powered vs. Gas-Powered RV
Many first-time RV buyers, as well as those who already own a motorhome wonder, which is really better, a gas motorhome or a diesel motorhome? The truth is, the answer isn’t clear-cut and there are several factors that need to be considered.
Before you can decide whether you want to buy a gas or diesel motorhome, take some time to think about what type of RV lifestyle you wish to pursue. Think about how much you can spend, how you want to travel, the importance of fuel economy, RV maintenance, and the size of motorhome you want.
The first thing to consider is the price; many decide to buy a gas motorhome since they are less expensive than a diesel motorhome. Of course, there are degrees of price and quality within both gas and diesel RVs. If you need to spend less but still want to get an excellent quality RV, a higher-end gas motorhome could be a good choice. However, if you have the money and want to become a full-time RVer, you won’t regret spending the extra money on a high-end diesel motorhome. Likewise, diesel RVs often hold their value longer than a gas RV.
When you compare a diesel to a gas motorhome, diesel is much more fuel-efficient. We know that fuel is expensive and that a motorhome gets very poor gas mileage. While diesel is often more expensive than gasoline, in the long run, it can be cheaper to drive a diesel motorhome because of the better fuel economy. If you plan to put a lot of miles on your RV, living in it full-time and driving across the country, diesel may be better. However, if you don’t plan on doing a lot of driving, it may make more sense to buy a gas motorhome. Finally, you may not be able to find diesel at every gas station.
Diesel engines will last longer than a gas engine, which is a major advantage. However, if don’t plan on driving a lot, this may not benefit you very much. Also, a diesel engine can be driven longer between maintenance. However, when a diesel engine does need service, it’s usually more expensive, and you may need to go to a special shop that specializes in diesel engines.
A diesel engine has superior low-end torque, which means it will climb mountains more easily, as well as tow a car with ease. But once again, if you don’t plan on traveling through mountains a lot or towing, that advantage may not matter. However, gas engines tend to be cold-resistant and can have better performance at high altitudes.
There are advantages to both gas and diesel, but the biggest advantage of a gas motorhome is the lower initial cost to purchase it.