Gasoline or Diesel: Which RV Engine Is Better?

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Gasoline or Diesel: Which RV Engine Is Better?

Which is right for you?

The road awaits, but first you have to make an important decision: Which RV will take you where you need to go? There are a lot of decisions to make about things like size, style, brand, and – maybe most importantly – whether you’re going to go for a gasoline RV or a diesel RV. Naturally, there are pros and cons to each, so which is best for you?

The pros and cons of a gasoline engine

The pros:

  • Gasoline is more widely available for filling up your rig than diesel is.
  • Gas allows the vehicle to go faster. And a gas engine speeds up more quickly than a diesel engine.
  • If you want a smaller RV, then you’ll find that they have gasoline engines.
  • A gas engine can be maintained by any mechanic and isn’t as hard to work on yourself as a diesel engine is.
  • Gas engines are less expensive.

The cons:

  • Gas engines aren’t able to tow heavier loads like diesel engines can, so if you’re going to do a lot of towing, this may be a deal breaker for you.
  • Engine location with gas-powered RVs can be an issue for drivers. Gas engines are in the front, so all the engine noise will be with you wherever you drive.
  • With a gas engine, it’s harder to maintain speed and accelerate when going up a hill.
  • You can’t go as long between oil changes with gas as with diesel, and a gas engine needs servicing more frequently.
  • It takes much longer at the pump to fill up, and a gas tank doesn’t hold as much as a diesel tank, making stops to fuel up more frequent.

The pros and cons of a diesel engine

The pros:

  • Diesel engines have far better fuel efficiency than gasoline engines, so if you’re aiming to live in your RV full time, then this may be highly beneficial to your budget.
  • They’re better at towing, so if you have a toy hauler or a trailer, you’re going to love the power of a diesel engine.
  • Typically, diesel engines last much longer than their counterparts. The caveat is you have to keep up with maintenance to see the best longevity.
  • With the engine in the back, you’re in for a quieter ride.
  • Your resale value will be higher because of the diesel engine should you decide to sell your rig.
  • Diesel won’t smell up your cabin like gasoline will.

The cons:

  • The cost of diesel tends to be much higher than gasoline wherever you go.
  • You may need to find a tractor trailer mechanic to work on your rig.
  • Diesel uses a lot more oil than its counterpart. Though oil changes happen less frequently with diesel, they come with a hefty price tag.
  • The price of a new diesel engine RV is much higher than a gasoline one.
  • If you’re driving in colder weather, diesel will need additives, while gasoline won’t.

Gasoline or diesel?

Like so many things with an RV, the type of engine that you go for depends on your lifestyle and your taste. If the price tag isn’t an issue, and you need a larger RV that can stay the course and tow along anything you hook up to it, then you may want to go with a diesel engine.

However, if your time is more limited, and you want a smaller RV that’s faster on the road and easier to service, then you may want to choose a gasoline engine. Both engines come with their own perks, and everyone will have their favorite type. At the end of the day it comes down to the lifestyle you’re going for, what you’re using your RV for, and how much you intend on using it.

Whichever engine you decide to go for, we have virtual mechanics who are ready to help you when you get into a pinch. Sometimes finding a mechanic is hard, so it’s good to know that help is just a click or call away, and our mechanics will stay on the phone to walk you through any repairs you choose to do yourself! Learn more about the benefits of the RV Advisor’s virtual mechanics.

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