Gas VS Diesel RV – Which Is Best?

If there is one hot topic on the RV forums online, it is the question: gas vs diesel RV – which is best? And there are many opinions on the subject.

It seems that many RV owners think that whatever engine they have is best. But it’s just not that simple.

As with so many other subjects having to do with RV living, there is no one solution for everyone. So you have to find out what works best for you and your needs for RV travel.

RV manufacturers still make RVs with both gas engines and diesel engines. And they both sell very well.

So there are those who benefit in some way from the features of each engine. And that means that there are pros and cons for both gas and diesel engines.

I am going to try and provide a solid list of these pros and cons for you now. If you have even further points of your own to add to this list, please do so in the comments below.

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If cost was not a consideration, would you choose a diesel pusher or a gas-powered motorhome?

Diesel Pusher Pros

Diesel pusher motorhome - gas vs diesel rv
Diesel pusher motorhome

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  • They are powerful. In some cases, very powerful. They can climb a steep grade with ease because of the engine’s lower torque.
  • Diesel engines have exhaust brakes that will make going down a steep grade much easier too. This saves your wheel brakes from overheating.
  • Diesel engines are very good for moving heavy weight. So you can have large appliances and more luxury features built into diesel pushers.
  • More living space. Since weight is not such a problem with diesel engines, the RV can be bigger and longer.
  • The noise level while driving a diesel pusher is much lower. This is mainly because the engine is way back in the rear of the RV.
  • More storage. Most diesel pushers have large storage compartments. Some are often even pass-through bays that make storage a breeze.
  • Diesel engines usually last much longer before needing to be rebuilt. In fact, you will probably wear out the RV before the diesel engine itself.
  • Diesel pushers usually have air ride suspensions. So they seem to just glide down the highway.
  • They also can tow much heavier vehicles due to the powerful engine as well as the beefed-up suspension and braking systems.
  • Diesel pushers also hold their value much better than gas-powered RVs.

Diesel Pusher Cons

  • The cost to buy! Diesel pushers cost a lot more when new and used. If you are on a budget, this may be a big issue.
  • They also cost more to maintain. It’s not necessarily a lot more, but there is more expensive maintenance that goes with these engines.
  • Rebuilding or replacing the engine is a major expense. Again, it doesn’t happen often, but when it does, get out your wallet!
  • A long diesel pusher will have more difficulty getting into some national parks and boondocking spots as well as some fuel stations.
  • Diesel fuel costs more. Although if you get a good diesel fuel discount card the difference between fuel costs narrows considerably.
  • Since diesel engines require a qualified diesel engine tech, finding repair facilities for them is not as easy as gas engines.
  • Since diesel engines require the use of DEF (diesel exhaust fluid), it is another liquid that you have to keep on hand for every fill-up.

Gas RV Pros

Gas-powered motorhome - gas vs diesel rv
Gas-powered motorhome
  • They are less expensive to buy! If you want to full-time, the entry expense can be high, but gas-powered RVs make it easier to get started.
  • They are less expensive to repair and maintain. All those extras and luxuries that go with Diesel pushers cost more to keep up.
  • When it is time to repair or maintain a gas RV, there are a lot more places to choose from for RV service.
  • Since they are smaller, they can often fit in more campgrounds and national parks. And finding boondocking spots is easier too.
  • If you have some kind of auto mechanic background, you will probably be able to do some of the repairs and maintenance yourself.
  • Gas is cheaper than diesel. So if you are on a budget, this is an area where monthly savings can be had.
  • Getting in and out of gas stations is usually much easier because the rig is not as long and cumbersome to move around.

Gas RV Cons

  • They don’t have as many extras and features as diesel pushers. All that gingerbread requires weight management that gas RVs don’t have.
  • They are not quite as comfortable as diesel pushers while going down the highway. But the newer gassers are much better at this.
  • The engine does not last as long and will require rebuilding much sooner than a diesel engine.
  • They don’t retain their value nearly as well as a diesel-powered RV.
  • They have less storage capacity. Again, this is because diesel engines can push more weight. That’s why truckers use diesel engines.
  • They can’t tow as much. There are plenty of vehicles that they can tow, but you won’t be able to tow the heavy ones.
  • They are noisier in the cockpit. Since the engine is right there next to you when driving, the noise and heat is greater, especially at high RPMs.

How To Decide Between A Gas VS Diesel RV

When considering a gas vs diesel RV, it’s a lot to think about. But essentially, a lot of the differences comes down to cost.

If you have plenty of funds available for purchasing and maintaining your RV, a diesel pusher may win out. But if you are on a budget, a gas RV may make a lot more sense.

If lots of luxury appliances and items are very important to you, then maybe a diesel pusher is best for you. Then again, maybe having a smaller and more manageable RV that can fit in smaller spaces easier is a high priority. In that case, look seriously at gas-powered RVs instead.

The good news is that either one will be fine for enjoying the RV lifestyle. Many RV owners full-time in either a gas or diesel-powered RV while enjoying the RV lifestyle immensely.

And either a diesel pusher or a gasser RV will take you where you want to go in your RV travels equally well.

So there is no right or wrong choice between these two types of motorhomes as far as RVing is concerned. Just balance your needs and concerns and make the choice that will fit your situation best.

I hope this discussion of gas vs diesel RVs has been helpful. Please comment below and add any additional thoughts about this comparison that you may have. As always, have safe and happy travels my friends!

Video - "Gas VS Diesel RVs - Should You Buy A Gasser?"

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Video - "Gas VS Diesel RVs - Are Diesel Pushers Really Better?"

Click the image above for the video – “Gas VS Diesel RVs – Are Diesel Pushers Really Better?”

RV Extended Warranty Protection – Yes Or No?

If you bring up the subject of getting RV extended warranty protection for your rig, be prepared. You are most likely going to get some very strong opinions, both for and against. Usually these opinions will come from those who already have made their own decision. And they often feel that what they decided is what everyone else should do as well.

rv extended warranty
Do you really need an RV extended warranty?

But RV life is more complicated than that. The more you know about RVs, the more you understand that there is no one-size-fits-all solution for everybody.

There are just too many variables to make things that easy. So the two words most often uttered by me in matters like this is “It depends”.

Buying An Extended Warranty Depends On What?

A lot of factors come into play when considering the purchase of an RV extended warranty. If the rig is newer, do you still have a warranty from the manufacturer? Does it cover everything you want to have covered?

If you have an older rig, are there extended warranties still available for that year? Do you have plenty of resources that will allow you to easily handle any major repair that may come up anyway? Then maybe an extended warranty isn’t necessary for you.

What kind of RV do you own? Does it have an engine and drivetrain or not? And the list goes on and on.

Also, what do you want an extended warranty to cover on your RV? Do you want essentially everything covered? Or do you just want the most expensive items that could need to be repaired covered? What are your expectations?

What Are Your Expectations?

Actually, what is often referred to as an RV extended warranty is not really a warranty at all. This is because only the manufacturer can provide a true warranty on their product.

And most extended warranties are offered by a company that is not connected with the manufacturer at all. But the term “extended warranty” has become so accepted in RV culture, there is no other way to describe it now.

Another important thing to realize about RV extended warranties is that they are essentially a form of insurance. You are being insured against a financial loss by the company providing the contract.

And therefore, as an insurance product, you should not expect to make a profit on the warranty purchase. Insurance in its purest form is not an investment. It is a means to manage risk.

The higher the risk that you insure against, the higher the cost of the insurance. It is just that simple. You are accepting a small loss on the cost of the insurance, to prevent the huge loss you are insuring against.

And if you never have to use the extended warranty to cover a high dollar repair, all the better. It just means that you have been very fortunate. You also did not have to deal with the hassle of filing a claim.

Or getting the claim approved, or having the work done properly, etc. So not having the contract pay out more than what you spent for it does not mean that you lost.

It means that you bought peace of mind all through the life of the extended warranty. And you managed your risk well.

What Is And Isn’t Covered?

There are no extended warranties out there that cover everything on the RV. Most contracts will not cover things like your furniture, your possessions in the RV, scratches or chips in the RV paint, etc.

They also will not cover any maintenance work done on the RV like oil changes, chassis lubrication, coolant flushes, and so on. These are considered part of the normal maintenance and wear and tear that the RV owner is responsible for.

As for what is covered, that can be very different from one contract to another. Some extended warranties are very comprehensive and will cover almost everything that could fail on your RV.

This can include the engine and drivetrain, leveling jacks, air conditioners, refrigerators, and much more. Obviously, the more risk the warranty company has, the more you will pay for a comprehensive contract like that.

Other extended warranties are targeted only for the most expensive parts of the RV. Usually these contracts focus on the engine and drivetrain mainly because that is where big dollar repairs could happen.

For those who can afford to pay for most RV repairs on their own this could be a good choice. This is because it transfers the risk of only the really high dollar repairs to the warranty company while keeping the overall warranty costs low.

Also, extended warranties are designed to pay not only for the parts of the covered repair, but also the labor as well.

What About Filing A Claim?

If you have a claim, there will be a process to go through to get approval for the repair. But most warranty companies try to make this process as easy as they can.

Keep in mind though that some people try to scam the warranty company to pay for RV repairs that are not really covered by their contract. So if they seem to be overly careful in the approval process, just be patient. Most of the time, you will be rewarded with a covered repair soon enough.

Where Can You Get An Extended Warranty?

If you buy an RV from a dealer, you may be able to get an extended warranty on your rig through them. But it doesn’t hurt to shop online and see what is available to you as well.

And if you buy your RV from a private party you will have to use an online warranty company. I do not specifically recommend a particular company myself. I think it’s a good idea to research each company that you are considering.

A good place to start is online RV forums. Also look for online reviews on each company. Keep in mind that people who have a beef with the warranty company will be very vocal.

And they are many times more likely to air their views online than those who had a pleasant experience. Just factor that in to your research and consideration.

The last thing I can say about RV extended warranties is that I own a contract on our diesel pusher motorhome. So obviously, I feel that they can be very useful.

On the other hand, I don’t think that everyone should have an extended warranty on their rig. Consider, how much risk of possible repair costs you are willing to shoulder yourself first.

Then determine what your budget will allow for the extended warranty cost itself. Using those two parameters, you should be able to find an RV extended warranty that works for your particular situation. Or you may find that it is not even needed in your case.

Enjoy your research, and have safe and happy travels my friends!

A Certified RV Inspection – 3 Reasons Why It’s Smart

Buying an RV can be stressful. And if it is a used RV of any type, the stress level only increases. So many questions need to be answered for the buyer. Like has the RV been well cared for? Is there something hidden that could be a major repair? Are all of the important RV systems in good working order?The best way to answer all of these questions is to schedule a certified RV inspection.

An RV inspection is very similar to a home inspection. It gives you reliable information to help you in the purchase of a very expensive dwelling.

But it’s also important that the inspection be completed by a certified RV inspector as well. Why is this the case?

A Certified RV Inspection Is Needed – Why?

An RV is a complicated vehicle. And it doesn’t matter what kind of RV you may want to buy. It could be a travel trailer, fifth wheel, or motorhome.

But all of them have systems that combine together to make the RV self-contained. That is, you can live in them for an extended period of time, often without the need to hook up to shore power or water. And they will even contain your waste while doing so.

All things considered, RVs are incredibly flexible and adaptable. But that flexibility calls for the RV buyer to know something about the condition of various parts of the RV. Like electrical components, plumbing, heating, air conditioning, LP gas, appliances and more.

A working knowledge of all of these RV systems are needed to get an accurate picture of the used RV’s condition.

RV inspection - some of the systems inspected
RV inspection – some of the systems that need to be inspected

Of course, there are those who have a good overall knowledge of these subjects. But most RV buyers do not fall into that category. That is why a certified RV inspector can be a big help for them when buying a used RV.

They can thoroughly examine all the RV systems accurately and in detail. This is because they have a working knowledge of many different kinds of RVs. And they can provide you with a detailed explanation of each system and its condition.

When they are done, you will have a very good idea of the kind of shape that particular RV is in.

An Unbiased RV Inspection Can Save On Repairs

So how can an RV inspection by a certified RV inspector actually save you money? Well, nobody wants to buy an RV that is a money pit. And the outward appearance alone will not tell you how much work is needed.

Unfortunately, it’s also often true that RV buyers start to look at certain rigs with rose-colored glasses. That is, they tend to overlook some of the RV’s problems just because of its eye appeal.

So having an RV inspector examine the RV before purchase is a smart move. This is because the inspector is an unbiased third-party that will truly look at the RV in an objective light.

Their one and only job is to give you a fair and accurate picture of the RV you are considering. And even if the report is not a positive one, that can save you lots of money in potential RV repairs. And wouldn’t you want to know that before the purchase instead of afterward?

So don’t consider the cost of the inspection as lost money. If everything is in good condition, you now have the peace of mind that you are making a good purchase. And if it is not in good condition the inspection will save you from making a poor buying decision.

Save Money On The RV Purchase

Most of the time, an RV inspection does not reveal major problems. But it can often point out smaller issues that the RV buyer needs to know.

And armed with that knowledge, the buyer can then negotiate a better deal. In fact, thousands can be saved on the purchase price with a thorough inspection.

RV inspections can save money
RV inspections can SAVE YOU LOTS OF MONEY!

So when you consider the benefits of getting your potential RV inspected, it’s worth the cost! One word of warning though! Don’t go cheap here and use any old inspector.

Make sure that the inspector is certified, preferably by the NRVIA (National RV Inspector Association). That way you know that the inspection will be handled the right way by a qualified professional!

Have safe and happy travels my friends!