Should I go for a diesel or a gas RV?

by in Tips

A recreational vehicle is a great piece of luxury to have. It is ideal for those who love traveling or for those who are always on the run, for example, sportsmen, celebrities, etc. I too love traveling which is why I bought a new RV. 

RVs, come in basically in two fuel choices namely gas and diesel. It all depends on your priorities whether you want a gas-powered RV or a Diesel RV. For a low budget, Gas RV is the best and has some good features. In case of other advanced features like more age, crash protection, etc. the Diesel RV is the best.

RVs can also be of various variants based on size, price, amenities, etc. I will provide you a detailed and comprehensive look into the fuel type of the RV in this article. As I have tried both diesel and gas type RV, I will discuss in detail various factors that should be kept in mind while buying an RV.

Factors that will help you decide better

In this section, we will look at various factors that will help you in deciding which fuel type RV to buy. RV basically come in to fuel types namely gas and diesel.  Both have their own pros and cons. Also, both the options are fit for you in a particular way. Hence, we will take a comprehensive look at all the factors. Let’s start!!!

# Chemical makeup of the fuels

Let’s start with the basics. The fuel required to run an RV is basically gas or diesel. Both the fuel have their own physical and chemical properties. In this step, I will tell you various characteristics of both the fuels that are crucial to discuss. Pay close attention as it can also help you in being safe.

  • Diesel: Diesel is a non-volatile fuel that requires less energy as compared to gas to produce energy, which is why Deisel is easy to store. As it is non-volatile, it can be easily stored for a long period of time in the RV without evaporating and can be used in emergencies. The vapors of the fuel are also not flammable which provides an added advantage to it. On the other hand, diesel has a strong smell and also leaves a stain if accidentally dropped somewhere. On an overall basis, Diesel is a good option for fuel.
  • Gas: Gasoline is flammable fuel that cannot be stored for a longer duration of time. Along with this, the fuel evaporates and also provides a strong smell just like diesel. Gasoline is made by mixing of hydrocarbons and has a higher combustion temperature as compared to diesel. Hence, it takes more time for gas to become active than diesel.


# How their engines work?

This section will paint a picture of the basic working of the Diesel and Gas engine. Knowing about the working of engine plays an important role in case you are deciding on the fuel type of RV. It will help you learn how the engine uses the fuel to power the RV and how quickly the power is delivered. Let check the Gas engine first.

  • Gas: The gasoline engine is the one that requires a spark for igniting the fuel combination for producing energy. The working mechanism basically includes injecting the air and fuel into the engine and after compressing it igniting the fuel with a spark. The produced energy is then used to push the piston. In this way, the energy is produced in the gas engine. 
  • Diesel: Unlike the gas engine, the diesel engine does not require a spark for fuel ignition. In the case of diesel engines, the fuel is converted into tiny droplets and injected into the cylinder along with air. Post this the mixture of air and fuel is compressed to a point where they combust and push the piston. Diesel engines have more mileage as compared to that of a gas engine.


This is just the basic working of the Gas and Diesel engine which will help you understand the concept of power production inside the engines. This should also be considered while choosing an RV.

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# Differences in the operational procedures

Apart from the fuel composition and working of the engines, there are various other engine operational factors that play an important role. Both engines have their own benefits and drawbacks. Let’s take a brief look at the various crucial operational factors that matter a lot. We will start with the factors of the diesel engine.

  • Diesel engine: Diesel engine has various operational benefits when it comes to performance. One of the key benefits of having a diesel RV is its fuel-efficiency and age. Diesel engines are more fuel-efficient as compared to gas engines. If the engines are maintained timely, they can last twice as long as compared to the gas engines. Along with all of this, the diesel engine also does not lose horsepower with elevation. As compared to the gas engine, the diesel has fewer RPMs but still provides more power. On the negative side, the diesel engine requires precise tuning to function properly. The diesel engine possesses issues during the cold weather as the fuel requires more warm up time. Along with this, the fuel becomes thick which generates the necessity of adding fuel additives. As stated above also, the diesel engine gives a strong smell and is louder than gas engines.
  • Gasoline engine: Gasoline engines are balanced between the positive side and the negative one. Unlike the diesel engine, the gasoline engine has more RPMs. Also, the tuning and servicing of the gas engine are less complicated as compared to the diesel engines. On top of everything, the gasoline engines perform better in cold weather conditions as compared to the diesel engines. They are easy to build and the fuel required for running a gas engine is cheap and easily available everywhere. Balancing the positive side, the gas engine also has some negative aspects. As the heat losses are more in gas engines, their efficiency is low as compared to the diesel engine. Low efficiency decreases the age of the engine. Though the gas engine has more RPMs as compared to the diesel engine, the towing power of the engine is still less than that of diesel engines. Lastly, the gas engine produces more carbon dioxide emissions as compared to the diesel engine which affects the environment.


All these factors are required to be looked over while analyzing the facts regarding the fuel type.

# How do these engines fare with RVs

In this step, we will take a peek into the engines and their collaboration with the RV vehicles. After all, you are buying an RV, not just the engine or fuel so it is important to know how your RV will perform. We will explore how the RVs are benefitted with these engines fitted in them. Let’s check the diesel engine first.

  • Diesel Recreational Vehicle: The diesel recreational vehicle has a stronger chassis as compared to the gas-powered RV. This is the reason why the diesel RV provides a better and a smooth ride. Along with this, it also offers enhanced crash protection shielding the life of the riders. A diesel RV offers better mileage than gasoline engine and also has more towing capacity. Apart from this, there are more floor plans available in the diesel RV. The diesel engine RVs last for a longer time and can be resold at an appropriate value. On the other hand, te maintenance and fuel prices are high in case of diesel engine RV.
  • Gas Recreational Vehicle: The recreational vehicles that run on gasoline are easy to maintain as the fuel is easily available. Also, the gas engine is free from various other drawbacks that the diesel engine has. For example smell, noise factor, complicated tuning, and the cold weather. All these factors make the gas engine powered RV a great choice to make.


# The Price factor

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Apart from all the great features, the one thing that stands on the top while making a purchase is price. Keeping all the features in mind, the gas-powered RV is considered if you have a low budget. On the other hand, if you have a good budget amount and looking for features like the age of the vehicle, fuel consumption and self-protection. The diesel RV is preferred over gas RV.

  • Diesel RV price: The price of a diesel RV can be as minimum as $170,000 USD and can go up to 2 million USD.
  • Gas-powered RV price: The price of a gas-powered RV can vary between $80,000 to $150,000 USD.


# Repair and Maintenance

The repair and maintenance of an RV is a must if you are a frequent traveler. Now, how much you need to spend on maintenance and how often the maintenance of the RV is required that all depends upon the type of RV that you have. In my opinion, the gas-powered RV is better than diesel RV. The maintenance of gas-powered RV is simple and less expensive as compared to the diesel RV. Apart from this, let’s take a look at various pros and cons related to the maintenance of gas and diesel RVs. Let’s check the diesel version first.

  • Diesel: The diesel engine RV requires maintenance less often as compared to the gas engine. It has less RPMs which means less strain and less wear and tear. Its strong engine provides better performance. On the other hand, the diesel engine is complicated, hence is tough to maintain.
  • Gas: The gas-powered RV is pretty easy to maintain as it has a simple engine. The maintenance does not require any special mechanical skills so a normal person can also change the oil in the RV. As the gas-powered RV has high horsepower as compared to the diesel RV, it can travel at higher speed on a long-distance track. As the engine of a gas RV runs at higher RPMs, hence it requires maintenance frequently. The gas RV faces a tough time while towing uphill as the torque is less.


# Economy or Mileage differences

Economy and mileage is also a very critical factor that needs to be considered while buying an RV. Both gas and diesel recreational vehicles have their own pros and cons in case of fuel consumption or mileage. Let’s take a good look at the necessary points to consider before opting for one.

  • Diesel RV: Diesel is a fuel that is expensive as compared to gas. Diesel burns cleaner than gas which makes it the environment-friendly fuel. On the other hand, diesel has better fuel efficiency as compared to the gas. The average value of mileage in case of diesel RV is 8 to 14 miles per gallon.
  • Gas RV: The gas-powered RV is pretty cheap as the gas is easily available everywhere and that too at a cheaper rate as compared to diesel. On the negative side, gasoline has a stronger odor and can fill up your driving cabin with that odor. The average value of mileage in case of gas RV is 6 to 10 miles per gallon.

filling gas


As we have discussed all the RV fuel-related factors in detail, it will be pretty clear to you that which one to choose. Although both the fuels have their own pros and cons but it will all depend on your requirements and priorities. Diesel RV will be strong enough to provide you protection from the crash along with better mileage and smooth ride. On the other hand, the gas-powered recreational vehicle will be easy to maintain and will be much cheaper as compared to the diesel RV. Use TOW-MAX RV spare parts, let your RV without any trouble, also save much maintain

cost. Hence, consider all these important factors before making a decision. I hope this article helps you in the best possible way and you end up with a great recreational vehicle with state of the art features.

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