Posted on February 05, 2016
One of the most important decisions that a potential RV buyer will need to make is the choice of engine: diesel or gas? Each has its advantages and drawbacks - from the point of view of the fuel itself - and extending to the motorhome features and driving experience. Here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons that we hope will help you make an educated decision.
Let’s talk fuel
Fuel efficiency: Diesel RVs sip, gas RVs gulp, with the former being almost 10% more fuel-efficient than the latter. This can make a big difference when you’re on the road most days of the year or go on road trips frequently. As far as fuel costs are considered, you will of course factor in the higher per gallon cost of diesel compared to gasoline. Additionally, a diesel engine consumes much more (almost three times) oil than a gas engine. It will set you back in oil changes in the long run.
Power: Diesel wins in the towing power stakes, packing a lot of torque at lower RPMs. Gas engines run at higher RPMs and don’t have as much towing power. Since their engines work harder, there are also more wear and tear issues. This translates into higher costs of repair over the long-term.
While diesel conquers mountains and elevated terrain easily, gasoline engines perform better in cold weather. This is mostly down to diesels taking longer to warm up than gas engines, and the paraffin wax in them thickening when temperatures drop.
Availability: Though both gasoline and diesel and service stations are widely available across the nation, the former trumps the latter on overall availability. Consequently, repair, periodic servicing and access to parts are not a hassle with a gas RV.
A discussion of motorhome features centered around diesel versus gasoline RVs must start with the lifestyle aspirations desired from the vehicle. Generally, a diesel motorhome is the preferred choice among those planning to live in their RVs full time and fully invested in a life on the road. Gasoline is more often the pick of families trying out the RV lifestyle. Some reasons why a full-time RV owner may have chosen a luxury RV with a diesel engine include:
It’s not to say that a gasoline powered motorhome is less comfortable or versatile than a diesel RV. Depending on the manufacturer’s design vision and engineering, a gas RV can be just as much of a good option as its comparable diesel counterpart. It helps to spend some time in each to be absolutely sure of the better of the two - for your unique needs and preferences.