Should I get a gas or diesel motorhome? 

By Sam Lemna | December 7, 2021

Once you’ve settled on purchasing a motorhome over a trailer, the next question is if you should buy a gas or diesel motorhome. One isn’t necessarily better than the other – it will depend on your individual situation and the motorhome in question. You should consider: 

  • Your purchase budget 
  • Your maintenance budget 
  • The type of RVing you’re doing 
  • Where you’re camping 
  • The engine location (it can impact the amount of noise, vibration and heat the engine gives off) 
  • If you’ll be towing a vehicle or trailer 
  • If you’re buying new or used 
  • Condition and upkeep of the motorhome 
  • All the other factors that matter to you (unless you’re comparing a gas and diesel version of the same model of motorhome)  

Below, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of both gas and diesel motorhomes.  

Gas-Powered Motorhomes 

Gas-powered motorhomes have the following benefits: 

  • They tend to be cheaper to purchase 
  • They tend to be cheaper to maintain 
  • Easier to get a gas motorhome serviced 
  • Gas fuel is easily found pretty much anywhere 
  • Parts are more affordable and more readily available 
  • Handles cold weather well  
  • Comes in more sizes 

The cons of buying a gas motorhome include: 

  • Gas tends to be less fuel efficient 
  • More frequent maintenance 
  • Less torque 
  • A gas engine doesn’t last as long as a diesel engine, usually 
  • Lower resale value 

Of course, this depends on the individual motorhomes you’re looking at buying. For example, a Class B gas motorhome will likely be more fuel efficient and cheaper than a large Class A diesel motorhome.  

Diesel-Powered Motorhomes 

The benefits of a diesel motorhome include: 

  • More torque 
  • Better fuel efficiency 
  • Engine can last a very long time 
  • Requires less frequent maintenance 
  • Higher resale value 

The cons of buying a diesel motorhome include: 

  • It’s more expensive to maintain 
  • Fewer service centers that will service a diesel engine 
  • In some areas, diesel fuel is less easy to come by and can be a lot more expensive 
  • Newer engines may have issues and may not last as long 

In diesel engines that were made in 2010 onwards require Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF). This converts harmful exhaust soot into inert compounds.  

Should I buy a diesel or a gas motorhome? 

There’s no definitive recommendation on which type of motorhome to buy. It will depend on your budget, how you plan to use your motorhome, and which luxuries you want. We recommend test driving both types and digging in to the quality of the make and model of the RV you’re looking at.