The urge to reconnect with the outdoors and the open road usually returns with spring and RV shows. Maybe you would like to sell your “old clunker” and replace it with a newer, more polished model. Or perhaps, on the eve of an upcoming retirement, you imagine yourself driving into the sunset at the wheel of your very first RV. When it comes to choosing an RV, it is important to make an informed decision before you buy, and the same age old question has fueled the debate with regard to the type of RV engine: gas or diesel? The answer is not simple as it often depends on many factors such as your travel frequency, maintenance, fuel economy, financial means and floor space needs.
Pros of owning a Gas RV
• If you’re looking to travel only once in a while, then a smaller gas engine RV (35 feet or smaller) could make more sense.
• Since service and fuel stations are common, gas is much more accessible and affordable than diesel.
• Gas engines are also more resistant to cold weather than diesel engines.
• They have higher RPMs (about 6000 RPMs), allowing for a smoother, quieter ride with faster acceleration.
Cons of owning a Gas RV
• Gasoline has a strong odor and a short shelf life due to evaporation.
• Gas engines have weaker towing power compared to diesel equivalents.
Pros of owning a Diesel RV
• RVs with diesel engines are an excellent choice if you are looking to travel frequently and for longer periods of time.
• They tend to offer more efficient fuel consumption, meaning less frequent refills at the gas pump.
• Diesel engines usually have better torque. This means improved towing capability, an important factor if floor space is a priority.
• If well maintained, diesel engines have a longer life than gasoline ones and can still perform reliably after extensive mileage. This means diesel RVs often retain a higher resell value after a few years.
Cons of owning a Diesel RV
• At a range of $2.00 to $3.50 per gallon, diesel fuel often costs more at the pump. However, this is off-set by their superior fuel economy.
• RVs with diesel engines have lower RPMs than those with gas engines meaning slower acceleration and lower top speeds.