Save 50% Off of Campsites with Passport America

New RVer Needs Advice Should He Buy A Gas or Diesel Motorhome?

by Bob Lemo
(South Florida, Fl.orida, USA)

Hi Folks:

I am thinking of getting into an RV/Motorhome now that my wife and I are retired. We live in Florida but have enjoyed many car trips to parts of the Southeast US especially. We have lived in Idaho for 8 yrs and have enjoyed many car trips around the NW US as well. Before children (all grown now) we traveled the SW US as well.

As we consider RVing we have considered that are trips out would be probalby not be over 6 to 8 weeks at a time, and probably not more than a couple of times a year, spring through fall and then back to Florida for the winter.

We have done some looking at new RV's in the 32' to 36' range which we feel is plenty big enough for us for the 6-8 week trips. There are still some new 2010 and 2011's out there as the new 2012s start to hit the dealers. In looking at the differences between coaches in the range of 32' to 36' we find both gas engine and diesel engine motorhomes.

I am hoping for some feedback from both gas owners and diesel owners as to how they (the newer FORD V10) gas motorhomes perform as opposed to the diesels. Let me say also that I have been a decent mechanic my whole life and feel very conversent about all of the mechanical issues of gas verses diesel, horsepower, torque, repairs and maintenance.

I have had many cars that I have put 100,000 plus miles on so I know good maintenance is a key to longevity, etc.

Leave your RV repair bills to us—Good Sam Extended Service Plan

To add to the feedback, I don't anticipate that we would drive the Rockie Mountains again but certainly the Appalachians and eastern US mountains occasionally.

So, to bring an end to this intro, please, I would appreciate feedback from both camps, (gas and diesel) about how they perform in the real world and is a gas V10 good to tow a small "toad".

I welcome all of your wisdom and years of experience. Thanks


Protect your RV and your family while on the road: Join Good Sam RV Emergency Road Service Today and save!

Do you have any suggestions or comments for Bob? You can add them to this page by clicking on the "Click Here To Post Comments" link located near the bottom of this page.

Camping World

Don't Forget To Visit The Everything About RVing Stores.  If It Has To Do With RVing And The Outdoors The EARV Stores Have What You Are Looking For!

RV Accessories - Sporting Goods - RVing and Travel Books and How To Videos - Kindle Accessories and Books - The RVers Gift Shop - The RVer Mall - Buy or Sell An RV - The NASCAR Collectibles Store

Comments for New RVer Needs Advice Should He Buy A Gas or Diesel Motorhome?

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Gas vs Diesel
by: Alan

Wow! The" main difference is power on the hills and the ride. Keep in mind some states require a CDL on coaches over 26001 lbs. diesels weigh more and can also stop you from traveling some roads as well.

You might have air brakes and there are some issues that can occur if proper maintenance is not accomplished in a timely manner. Just like a gasser, you will need to read and adhere to the maintenance schedule as per the mfg recommendations.

Most people do not read the manual until there is some kind if problem. If buying a used diesel, there are lot of issues you can make the dealer check before you sign the contract.

Gas vs Diesel
by: Steve

If I were to choose a diesel powered RV, what would I find different about how it is driven? I know they start differently (glow plugs have to be allowed to warm up first). Anything else that I'd have to learn?

No Perfect Answer
by: ppazucha

In the same way as deciding how many Sq Ft you NEED in your RV, or what floor plan you NEED in our RV deciding between gas and diesel is all about what YOU want your RV'ing experience to be.

Almost everyone feels most comfortable with things they know about. Because diesel is not the norm for automotive transport in the U.S., the more diesels a driver may have driven the more likely they are to choose another. Just as a RV'er who has never driven a diesel may be most likely to want to stick with gas.

Diesel vs. Gasoline costs are pretty much normalized -- no longer are you going to get bargain fuel just because you're driving a diesel. And it takes horsepower and torque to get you down the road -- driving faster & harder in gas or diesel is going to cost you in fuel mileage whichever you drive.

Over 1,500,000 successful roadside rescues—Good Sam RV Emergency Road Service

A diesel pusher is going to be quieter -- putting all those moving parts in the rear is simple audiology. The roar of a gas engine can drive a person batty if you are inclined to be driven batty by things like that.

Generally speaking you can see the Gas Vs Diesel question as one of spending more money at the start and in fewer large chunks over time, or spending less money at the start and spending <> smaller chunks of money more often over time.

I think the bigger question has nothing to do with "best" and nothing to do with the male tendency to want 'more/bigger/faster' and more to do with finding the coach that fits you perfectly: design, features, cost, length, etc. Buying BIG will keep you out of facilities you might want to visit. Buying SMALL may make life cramped and cause you to go RV shopping all over again. Figure out what you want your RV experience to be, and how long you you might be RV'ing. I say because life has a way of surprising us all, and I've known a lot of couples who anticipated RV'ing for years and found themselves back in Bricks & Sticks in a very short time. This lifestyle isn't for everyone.

Diesel and Diesel only!

All about the power. If you hit the mountains you will want diesel.

gas vs diesel
by: Anonymous

Diesel, hands down. The people I know either have a diesel or want a diesel (much like a Harley-there are HD's and wannabies...only 2 kinds of cycles).

Gas vs Diesel
by: John

I guess many people say different things. Here is my input. I have owned both. The diesel wins in my books by far, if price is not your main issue.

The diesel will be way quieter, smoother and has more torque and can have more living space depending on the coach of course.

1 ride in a diesel vrs the gas may be your answer, however you must decide what serves your purpose the best.

The service on a diesel is more but usually has to be done a little less often. everyone will give what they like as an opinion tho.

We own a Tiffin Phaeton and love the excellent service Tiffin has.

Drive both and compare!

Good luck and happy RVing in what ever you choose.

We would never go back to a gas after 4 Diesels now, LOL we keep upgrading, Need to stop. hahaha

Gas or Diesel?
by: SirDennis

My wife and I have had both gas and diesel Class-A motorhomes. In September 2010 we purchased a 37 ft Gas Fleetwood Southwind. After only 3 trips we decided we needed to test-drive a Diesel. While traveling from Illinois to Connecticut to Illinois to Arizona and back we were worn out by the gas engine's sound, the bumps on the roadway and the vibration of the steering column.

Our new Fleetwood Discovery 42 ft Diesel, purchased in May (only 8 months after the Gas rig) is wonderful. Not only is it very quiet but the air suspension smooths out the bumps beautifully while there's virtually no vibration in the steering column. Where I could only travel 200-300 miles/day in the Gas, I can now do 400-500 miles/day in the Diesel.

So, take it from one who's been there - don't waste time/money in a Gas RV - Go Diesel from the start.

Wishing you well... SirDennis

gas vs diesel, I say gas
by: Anonymous

I bought a new gas ford v-10 last year. Price difference between the cheapest diesel and what I got buys about 20,000 gallons of gas. I know how to do maintenance too and took that into account. I tow a 1000 lb motorcycle on a 700 lb trailer and don't even know it's there. Good power (governed to 75 mph) and drives like a car. 32 ft class A. We drove 6000 miles this year and figure that will be our average. Mileage is about 7-8 ? but I don't pay too much attention to it. Go for what floats your boat. I have found there can be gas vs diesel snobs, same as older vs newer rigs. I just drive along and enjoy the ride.

your RV question
by: peterh

there. is a best answer. if you can afford the difference in price, get a diesel pusher. look at the 32 ft. allegro breeze and the 32 to 36 ft. allegro reds. wonderful products and perfect for your needs.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Ask An RV Question.

Passport America, Save 50% on Campsites

Suggested Reading

Good Sam Roadside Assistance

Passport America, Save 50% on Campsites

Good Sam Travel Assist

Click Here

Untitled Page