Gas RV vs. Diesel RV

2012 Winnebago View

Gas and diesel motorhomes come in a variety of styles and sizes.  What to choose depends on how much you plan to travel, your budget, how many people you need to sleep, what you plan to tow and personal preference.  Class A, class B and class C motorhomes are available in both diesel and gas models.

The Winnebago View pictured above is a diesel class C motorhome.  Diesel class C motorhomes like this are generally on a Sprinter chassis with a Mercedes Benz 6 cylinder turbo diesel engine.  They are 24 to 25 feet long, feature European inspired styling and can tow a small car.  They are more fuel efficient than gasoline class C motorhomes and their engines last longer, but they require a larger initial investment.  Gas class C motorhomes come in a greater variety of sizes, usually 22 to 31 feet and offer more choices in floorplans.  They are on a Chevrolet or Ford van chassis with a cabover bed and most have a V8 or V10 engine.  They have more torque and pulling power than the diesel models.  All class C motorhomes have automotive like driving features making them easy to drive and maneuver.  Maintenance is less expensive on gas models than on diesel models.

Class B motorhomes (or class B+ like the Thor Siesta Sprinter) are similar to class C motorhomes, but instead of the cabover bed, they have a TV or storage compartment above the cab.  Diesel models (like the Era by Winnebago) often get 17 miles per gallon, which is better than any other motorhome.

2012 Tiffin Allegro

The 2012 Tiffin Allegro pictured above is an example of a gasoline Class A motorhome.  All class A motorhomes are on a truck, bus or custom chassis.  Gasoline class A motorhomes are less expensive than diesel models and they’re less expensive to maintain.  In fact, some owners may be able to perform routine maintenance themselves.  Diesel models must be maintained by a service facility with experienced diesel mechanics.  To choose between buying a gas class A or a diesel class A, consider your budget, how long you plan to keep the motorhome, how much you plan to travel, how much storage space you’ll need and what (if anything) you plan to tow.

If you want a very large (38 to 43 foot) motorhome, you will need a diesel class A.  It provides more carrying capacity, more storage, greater weight stabilization, a smoother ride (air ride suspension) better steering, better brakes (air brakes) and more towing capacity.  For example, if you need to tow a race car in a trailer, you’ll need a diesel class A.  The diesel engine, while being more expensive to maintain, will last longer than a gas engine. Most people travel less than 5,000 miles a year in their motorhomes, however,  and they trade them in without having accumulated a lot of mileage. If you plan to spend a lot of time traveling, diesel is a good choice.

It isn’t necessary to spend the extra money on a diesel model if you don’t want to.  You can get a beautiful class A motorhome with slide-outs and whatever floorplan and features suit you in a gasoline model.  Besides costing less than diesel, the cost of maintenance and repairs is lower.  Some people believe that diesel class A models are more fuel efficient than gas class A models, but there is hardly any difference.

We hope this answers your questions about the differences in diesel and gas motorhomes.  If you need more information, please click below and let us know.

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