What Is The Best MPG For Diesel Motorhomes?
I'm still motorhome researching & shopping. I've decided on a class A diesel, as small as I can find. Now I need to know about mpg in diesel motorhomes. What kinds of diesel engines get the best mpg? Also, which are the most reliable & have the least maintenance costs?
ANSWER: Greetings Jan thanks for submitting your question on our Ask An RV Question Page.
Oh Boy !!!!! I was hoping no one would ever ask this question. Well since you asked, I guess I will do the best I can to give you an answer. The first thing you need to know is that the general rule of thumb for RV MPG is that the bigger the RV the fewer miles per gallon it gets. That rule of thumb generally holds true for both gas and diesel powered RVs.
The average MPG for diesel RVs is around 9 - 14 MPG. There are a lot of diesel Motorhomes that get less then this and there are a lot of diesel Motorhomes that get better than this. You do not say whether you are looking for a new motorhome or a used motorhome. Generally a newer diesel motorhome will get better fuel mileage than an older diesel motorhome, because the newer Motorhomes are equipped with the newest generation of more fuel efficient diesel engines.
As far as maintenance costs are concerned, diesel powered RVs cost more to maintain then gasoline powered RVs. It really does not matter who manufactured the diesel engine the differences in maintenance costs between brand A and brand B is not going to be significant enough to make it the basis for an RV buying decision.
Which diesel engine is most reliable? All diesel engines currently manufactured are all very reliable as long as they are maintained following the engine manufacturers guidelines. Diesel engines will go for 100s of thousands of miles as long as they are maintained properly and not abused by their owners.
I guarantee that there are some RVers that say Cummins makes a better diesel engine then Caterpillar and then there are just as many RVers and so-called experts that say Caterpillar is better and so on, and so on. It is no different than the debate on who makes better cars Ford or Chevrolet. It is an opinion. I choose not to get involved in this debate. You should be fine regardless of what brand diesel engine you get in your RV.
When looking for an RV there are other factors you need to take into consideration aside from MPG. The biggest factors you should take into consideration are whether you will be comfortable in the RV you are looking at. Does the RV you are looking at fit your particular lifestyle? If you solely base your decision on MPG, you may end up being disappointed and may be missing the whole point of what the RVing lifestyle is all about.
I will use myself for example. When we were looking for our current motorhome; MPG was a factor that we took into consideration, but more than that we were looking for a motorhome that fit our own unique lifestyle and one that we would be comfortable in while traveling and camping. The one we finally chose did not have the best miles per gallon of all the ones we looked at, but it did have all of the amenities we wanted.
When the fuel price crisis hit, our family was affected by it just like the majority of other RVing families were. To make up for the lower MPG of our RV we planned trips of shorter distances. The fact that we did not travel as far as we did in the past did not diminish the enjoyment of our RV Camping experience, because we had a motorhome that had the amenities that enhanced our enjoyment. To this day I do not regret getting a motorhome that was not as fuel efficient as we originally planned.
I wish you the best of luck on your RV hunt and I hope that you find a fuel efficient motorhome that also has all of the amenities that will fit your particular lifestyle.
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