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.

We would love to hear about your thoughts on this subject!

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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

Disclosure: Please note this post may contain affiliate links. This means – at no additional cost to you – I earn a commission if you make a purchase using our affiliate links. I only link to products and companies I use and feel comfortable recommending. The income goes toward supporting the free content on this website.

  • 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?"

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Pro Tips For RV Slide Out Maintenance

Performing RV slide out maintenance on a regular basis will save you thousands of dollars in RV slide repairs. And it doesn’t matter what kind of rig you own.

Slide out rooms can be found on many kinds of RVs. Even smaller travel trailers are often coming with slide outs now. Essentially, a slide out allows you to open up the interior of your RV and make it feel so much more roomy inside.

Motorhome with RV slide outs
RV slide outs can dramatically expand the room inside your RV

But to get that extra room, the manufacturer has to cut a large hole in the side of the RV. Then they put the slide out on a mechanism that moves it in and out as you wish.

And to keep water and debris out of the RV, slide seals or gaskets are put in place all around the slide. It all actually works surprisingly well.

But if you don’t maintain your RV slide outs, serious problems can develop. And some of these problems can cost thousands to fix and repair.

So it makes a lot of sense to practice a little preventative maintenance on your RV slide outs. If you do, the time and effort you spend will come back to you in slide out repair savings over time!

Disclosure: Please note this post may contain affiliate links. This means – at no additional cost to you – I earn a commission if you make a purchase using our affiliate links. I only link to products and companies I use and feel comfortable recommending. The income goes toward supporting the free content on this website.

RV Slide Out Seals

The rubber seals or gaskets that surround the slide-out can be referred to by any number of names. Some call them a wiper seal, sweeper seal or flapper seal. But they all do the job they are intended to do.

They are your first line of defense against having the elements seep into your RV, especially water. Replacing the seals on a single slide out can cost $1000 or more. So it makes sense to keep them in good shape.

There are any number of products for slide out seal conditioning. The primary function of these products is to keep the rubber seals supple and prevent them from drying out.

And they also need to provide protection against UV damage from the sun.

In fact, ultraviolet damage is what slowly breaks down these seals more than anything else and they can become brittle. At that point it is easy for cracking to begin, which allows moisture to seep into the RV.

To prevent this, I like to use a product that has been especially formulated for protecting rubber and vinyl seals and gaskets. It’s called 303 Aerospace Protectant.

It is very easy to apply and will immediately improve the look and feel of your slide out seals. It is also a very high quality UV inhibitor.

So regular application of this product should keep your slide out seals in good shape for a very long time. Applying the product on the outside of the seal and between the seal and the slide is all that’s needed.

I like to condition my RV slide out seals about every 3 – 4 months. You can choose your own schedule but the more often you do it, the better.

Click on this link to find out more about 303 Aerospace Protectant

(This is an affiliate link for the product on Amazon. It does not cost you any extra to buy the product using my affiliate link if you choose to do so)

Keep Your Slide Out Seals In Place

One of the most common problems I see with slide out seals is that the seal doesn’t completely flip into place when the slide is out. This can leave the seal looking odd in that some parts of the seal wiper is in place and others aren’t.

This also isn’t the best way to prevent water intrusion either. It’s only when the seal lies perfectly flat against the slide out that the best water prevention takes place. So how do you manage to get the entire seal to flip out and lie flat when the slide is extended?

One way is to physically flip it into place by hand using a ladder. But this is time consuming and carries an element of danger on the ladder.

But one of the best solutions I have found is to use furniture bumpers to do the job for you. Simply place about 4 – 5 of them in the middle of the slide out spaced out equally along the height of the slide.

Then when the slide goes in they flip the wiper in and when it comes out they flip the wiper into place when the slide is extended.

It’s a simple solution that doesn’t cost much money and saves lots of time and effort. You can check out these self-adhesive furniture bumpers on Amazon below.

Click here to view self-adhesive furniture bumpers for use on RV slides

(This is an affiliate link for the product on Amazon. It does not cost you any extra to buy the product using my affiliate link if you choose to do so)

RV Slide Out Lubrication

There is one other area of the RV slide out that needs lubrication and care. And that is the tracks where the slide moves in and out mechanically.

These metal tracks can become filthy and and even rusty over time. And that is when you will start to hear loud groans and noises as the slides move in and out.

Of course, this puts more pressure on the slide out motor too. So lubricating the tracks of the slide out will help make the whole slide mechanism last longer and work better.

For this job, I like to use the 3-in-1 product called “Slide Out Silicone Lube”. I find that it works very well for this purpose.

There are other products that also do a fine job. Whatever you use, just make sure that it does not leave a slick or gummy residue behind. If so, dirt and grime will be attracted to it and can even make the slide out tracks worse than before.

Lubricating the RV slide out tracks a few times every year will keep them in good working order though. You can read more about the 3-in-1 product that I use below.

It’s in the green can. But they also make other great lubrication products for window glass and rubber seals too. You can check them all out below.

Click here to view 3-in-1 silicone lube for RV slide tracks and gears

You can click here for 3-in-1 window track lube

Or click here for 3-in-1 rubber seal conditioner

(This is an affiliate link for the product on Amazon. It does not cost you any extra to buy the product using my affiliate link if you choose to do so)

Conclusion

RV slide outs are just like so many other parts of an RV. If they get regular attention and maintenance, they will last for years and perform well.

But if you ignore them and do little to keep them in good working order, they will soon break down. And RV slides will usually leave you with a hefty repair bill when they do.

I hope these tips on how to maintain your RV slide out seals and tracks has been helpful. If you follow the suggestions provided, you should get good use and long life from your RV slide outs.

Please comment below and tell us about your experiences with RV slide out maintenance. Or maybe you have other suggestions on how to care for your slide outs. We would love to hear from you!

As always, have safe and happy travels my friends!

The Best RV Air Compressor For Your Rig

One of the most important components of an RV is its tires. After all, that is your connection with the ground when you are traveling down the highway. So you need to pay even more attention to your RV tires than you normally do to the tires on your car. And this means that you need to determine what is the best RV air compressor for your particular rig.

And then use that compressor regularly to keep your RV tires inflated properly. So let’s take a look at the RV tire inflators that I recommend for your consideration.

Disclosure: Please note this post may contain affiliate links. This means – at no additional cost to you – I earn a commission if you make a purchase using our affiliate links. I only link to products and companies I use and feel comfortable recommending. The income goes toward supporting the free content on this website.

12 Volt RV Tire Inflators

There are several manufacturers of 12 volt portable air compressors on the market. And many of them are not very well-made. But there is a brand of 12 volt RV air compressors that is widely regarded to be the best by many RV owners.

That is the Viair brand. They are known for their quality of build and their smooth, capable function while in use. And they hold up to regular use well.

Viair makes 4 different tire inflators for the RV market, depending on what kind of RV you have. For Class B RVs, the model 89P works great and comes with a 20 foot hose.

If you have a towable RV, the model 300P works well and comes with a 30 foot hose. For Class C RVs, the model 400P is the best choice and comes with a 60 foot hose. And finally, for Class A motorhomes, the model 450P does the job very well and also comes with a 60 foot hose.

The idea with making so many models is to be able to offer these units at the size and price point that fits your RV. Of course, you can always buy a larger Viair model than is recommended for your rig and it will work fine.

And this might be a good strategy in case you might sell your current RV and buy something larger.

All Viair models come with clamps to attach to your battery as a power source and plenty of hose for your RV size. They are all lightweight and easy to use.

And some RVers I know of have even mounted their Viair compressor permanently in their rig and hooked it up to their 12 volt power system. Just click on the images below to get more information and specs on the Viair product line for RVs:

Viair 89P RV air compressor
Viair 300 P RV air compressor
Viair 400P RV air compressor
Viair 450P RV air compressor

(These are an affiliate links for Viair products. It does not cost you any extra to buy the product using my affiliate link if you choose to do so)

120 volt RV Air Compressors

While Viair clearly makes the best 12 volt air compressors for RVs, some RVers choose a 120 volt model instead. In fact, one of the most popular RV tire inflators is a pancake-style compressor made by Porter Cable.

One drawback to this style of RV air compressor is its size and weight. If you have a smaller RV it may not be the best choice for you and a Viair unit may work much better. But for those who have ample storage space, these smaller pancake compressors can be very versatile.

In fact, the versatility of these compressors extends well beyond their use as just tire inflators. Since they are true 120 volt air compressors, they can often be used for small repair and remodel jobs around the RV.

They can easily run most air-powered tools and that can be very useful in such situations. But they are also very competent RV tire inflators too. Since they can produce up to 150 psi, that will allow you to inflate almost any size RV tire easily.

But unlike the Viair models, you will also need to get the hose and connections needed to inflate your tires.

Of course, as mentioned, these compressors run only on 120 volt electricity. And this means that you will either have to be plugged into shore power or use a generator to operate them.

But if this is not an issue for you, the cost of one of these air compressors is very attractive. In fact, they can be much less expensive than the Viair compressors mentioned above.

I personally use one of these units myself for its overall versatility and power to inflate my motorhome tires quickly. Click on the link below to learn more about the Porter Cable air compressor. And you can also see what others have said about it as well.

Click here for the Porter Cable air compressor

(This is an affiliate link for the product on Amazon. It does not cost you any extra to buy the product using my affiliate link if you choose to do so)

My recommendation

In my opinion, if you choose an RV air compressor from one of those in this article, you can’t go wrong. Any of the Viair models will be a good purchase.

They will be light and efficient but will be limited only to inflating tires. If you choose a pancake compressor, it will take up more room. But it is also more versatile and can be used for other projects around the RV. But all of these air compressors are well-reviewed and have stood the test of time.

So I hope this information has been helpful for you. Having the right air compressor is important as you learn to maintain and care for your RV tires. Have safe and happy travels my friends!