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When buying an RV, you may need to skip the aesthetics and exteriors of the RV as this can always be deliberated upon much later. Deciding whether you need a gas RV or diesel RV is essential for the best RV experience and should be your primary consideration.
About 15 years ago, there was no room for any comparison between the two. Gas RVs could not climb mountains comfortably. They didn’t quite have the torque and horsepower and you had to buy a diesel RV which was way more expensive. In today’s world, gas and diesel RVs are comparable. Thus, it can be quite confusing and difficult to choose one or the other.
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- However, there are a few notable differences between gas RVs and diesel RVs that you must know about before you decide to buy either a gas RV or diesel RV. In this article, you will find important facts about gas RVs and diesel RVs to help you make that decision so read on to find out.
Gas vs Diesel RV Options to Consider
For most first time buyers, the price is a very important consideration. The RV you opt for in the end will ultimately depend on your budget. One thing you must understand is that RVs are luxury vehicles and cost a lot.
You need to plan and save to afford one. Most people end up buying gas RVs because they are relatively cheaper than diesel RVs. Whether they are brand new or preloved gas RVs, there are still way cheaper than brand new or used diesel RVs. If you opt to buy a brand new diesel RV, you’re going to end up paying way more than you would for a brand new gas RV with similar features.
While diesel RVs are on the higher side, they retain their value longer and can be a good investment for anyone seeking to RV for a long time. However, there are also high quality and durable gas RVs but these cost way more than the average gas RV.
Thus, you should consider your budget and your RV lifestyle before you decide which RV to settle for. You can go with the gas RV if you have less money to spend on an RV. If you’re going to be RVing for a long time, you might want to save and get a diesel RV. It may cost more but it also has a higher resale value. However, if you can’t afford one, you can start with the gasser and upgrade later to a diesel RV.
Fuel Economy and Fuel Efficiency
Gas not only costs less than diesel, but it is also easier to find. So, if your travel itinerary includes remote areas and new places, you can count on a gas RV. You will most likely stumble on gas at any fuel station in the world than diesel.
Also, gas is cheaper than diesel and this makes gas RVs an affordable option for travelers on a budget. You can save money on fuel costs with a gas RV. So if you’re going to be driving your RV across the country or taking a vacation on a budget, you should consider getting a gas motorhome.
However, gas engines aren’t as fuel-efficient as diesel engines and this makes diesel RVs relatively cheaper in the long run. Gas RVs consume a lot of fuel and you may find yourself at the fuel station more often. Diesel RVs are more fuel-efficient because diesel fuel has a greater energy value than gasoline. Thus it can offer a better fuel economy than gas RVs in some cases.
It is important to consider fuel efficiency before you buy an RV. RVs consume fuel at such a high rate and fuel is very expensive. You do not want your cross-country trips to be cut short because you ran out of money to keep buying fuel for the trip.
Diesel RVs are powerful because of the increased torque. This is notable when driving in mountainous areas. It’s easy to drive a diesel RV up steep inclines then it is to drive a gas RV. You’ll also be able to maintain speed on an incline without going heavy on the throttle.
Gas RVs typically have less torque and this strains the engine when climbing slopes. It’s also difficult to maintain speed when climbing with gas RVs. If you’re going to be traveling on sloppy roads or towing with your RV, you should opt for a diesel RV as it’s more suitable.
Generally, the cost of maintaining an RV is expensive but it costs a lot more to maintain a diesel RV. Apart from oil changes and filter changes, the parts of diesel RVs are more expensive and the cost of repairing a faulty diesel RV is also more expensive.
You may need to empty your wallet to fix a diesel RV especially when the fault is technical and requires extensive repair. Thus, if you are on a tight budget, you should consider opting for a gas RV. Gassers are generally affordable and cheaper to maintain. The parts are also not as expensive as diesel RVs and they are also easily accessible.
Also, fixing a gas RV requires less specialization and technical expertise. You’ll find places to service a gas RV easily as there are simply more mechanics that can work on gas RVs than diesel RVs. Thus, if you need a repair done quickly, you can find someone to fix a gas RV easily. But for diesel RVs, you may need to wait longer and search harder before you find someone who can.
Gas RVs are not so complex. You can do general repairs on gas RVs if you know your way around a car’s engine. It’s essentially the same engine but bigger with little modifications. This is a great advantage of gas RVs as you can save money by fixing your RV yourself. Also, if you know how to change oils, you should be able to change the oil in gas engines by yourself. Diesel engines, on the other hand, are quite complicated and you may need to hire a professional to change the oil.
Also, diesel RVs have specialized parts and require specialized labor. Thus, you might find it difficult to get places to service your diesel RVs. There aren’t many qualified persons that can service a diesel RV properly. However, diesel RVs require less-frequent maintenance than gas RVs. This makes the cost of maintenance comparable although a gas RV is more economical to maintain overall.
RV size is another important factor to consider before buying an RV. The size of RV you settle for will depend on what you intend to use the RV for.
Diesel RVs are longer. They can be up to 45 feet long with a lot of storage space. You can fit a lot into a diesel RV and this generally offers a better traveling experience for travelers with spacious rooms and bigger windows to enjoy the view.
Because of their size, diesel RVs can take on more weight than gas RVs. You can fit in refrigerators, washing machines and other nice appliances to make your road trip very comfortable. They support more weight than the average gas RV. Gas RVs can’t handle much weight. They have limited capacity and cannot tow as much as diesel RVs. Towing heavy vehicles might be beyond their capacity and you may need a diesel RV for this.
There is also a difference in the storage unit underneath the coach. You will get less storage space underneath the coach if you buy a gasser. Gas RVs have straight rail chassis which limits what you can store underneath the coach. Diesel motorhomes, on the other hand, have raised rail chassis and consequently offer more storage space to RVers.
However, the size of a diesel RV makes it difficult to get into some places like campgrounds and even gas stations. This can restrict your movement and It gets worse if you’re towing with the diesel RV. This can be frustrating for first-time RVers as it takes a while to get accustomed to driving a large vehicle.
Gas RVs are not as long as diesel RVs. You can get in and out of campgrounds, boondocking spots and fuel stations easily with gas RVs. You can easily maneuver narrow, winding roads and explore different places with little restrictions.
Generally, diesel RVs last longer than gas RVs. This is as a result of their engine. Diesel engines have a long lifespan and can cover more miles before their engine needs to be rebuilt. Thus, a diesel RV will outlast most gas RVs. Gas engines do not last as long as diesel engines before they need to be rebuilt.
If you’re going to be traveling a lot or if you want to buy an RV for commercial purposes, engine life matters and you should get a diesel RV. Moreover, the engine life of diesel RVs gives it higher resale value. You can sell your used diesel RV for a higher rate that a used gas RV.
Have you ever driven in a car with a loud engine, and no matter how much you turn up the volume of your radio is still doesn’t eliminate that engine noise? Driving in a vehicle with a noisy engine can be annoying and very uncomfortable. While RVs are not as noisy as they used to be, the size and position of the engine make noise unavoidable.
However, diesel RVs have a lower noise level because of the position of their engines. The engines in diesel RVs are at the rear of the RV. If you sit in the front, you wouldn’t hear much noise. Also, diesel RVs do not make much noise when climbing mountains and inclines because of their superior torque. Gas RVs, on the other hand, tend to be noisier because gas engines are located in the cockpit right beside you. Thus, you would feel the heat and hear the noise.
Generally, no RV is quiet. You should bear in mind that you are driving a mobile house with lots of things that can rattle, squeak, bang and cause noise. You can reduce the noise level of your RV by insulating the RV, stuffing your cupboards with towels and keeping items stationery. it’s also advisable to buy an RV with a rear engine if the noise is such a big deal to you. Moreover, excessive engine noise might be as a result of poor maintenance. Thus, you may need to get your engine checked if the noise becomes excessive.
Now, to answer the age-long question, What is the Best Option between a gas RV and diesel RV and Why?
There’s no straightforward answer as the best RV is one that suits your travel style, your needs, and your budget. This is because no RV is better than the other. They have their strengths and weaknesses but ultimately, they can both take you to your destination. You can go on your adventures with friends and family and have all the fun in either a gas RV or a diesel RV. The best option for you comes down to why you want to buy an RV in the first place.
The choice is ultimately yours to make and I have highlighted the strengths and weaknesses of both RVs. It’s left for you to sift through the pros and cons and make a decision. The facts discussed above will help you make the right decision. Take a moment to think about where you would be traveling, space and storage capacity you will need, your size preference, your pocket and how long you want to own your RV before you make a final decision.