Buying an RV is a huge decision and a big investment, which is why we suggest you give yourself plenty of time to do thorough research on what type of RV would be best for your budget and your situation.

If you’re going into this thinking it’ll be a fairly easy decision, you may want to take a breath and pace yourself. There are many different options to consider before purchasing your recreational vehicles, such as the type, size, and various features. One of the main decisions you’ll need to make is whether you want a gas or diesel-fueled RV.

Whether you’re shopping for a new mobile home to cruise the country in or you want a recreational vehicle for family trips and vacations, it’s important that you understand the major differences between a gas vs diesel RV. In this article, we’ll explore the differences between the two so you can make the best decision for you and your specific needs.

For your convenience, we’ve broken down this comprehensive comparison of a Gas vs Diesel RV into three key points:

  • Overall cost
  • Maintenance
  • Fuel economy

Let’s get started!


The overall cost of an RV is often the most influential factor in choosing which type to purchase. If you’re looking for the less expensive option out of the two, then you’ll definitely be more interested in a gas RV.

Gas-fueled RVs are considerably less expensive than diesel, which makes them a popular choice for budget-conscious families who want a recreational vehicle for summer camping trips, road trips, and occasional vacations on the road.

If you’re shopping for a brand new RV, the price difference between a gas vs diesel RV can amount to thousands of dollars. The average MSRP (or manufacturer’s suggested retail price) on a new gas RV can range anywhere from $80k to $150k. By contrast, you can expect to pay an MSRP of $170k at a minimum for a new diesel RV.

While gas RVs do cost a lot less than diesel, a diesel RV provides a better payoff in terms of resale and future use. You get what you pay for, right?


When it comes to the general maintenance and upkeep of the two, gas RVs require a very basic level of attention when compared to diesel RVs. Gas engines are a lot simpler than diesel, which makes them easier to maintain and less expensive to repair, but that doesn’t mean they don’t come with their own set of cons. To help you get a clear understanding of gas vs diesel RV maintenance and upkeep, we’ve broken this section down into a list of pros and cons for each.

Gas RV Pros

  • A simple engine that is generally easier to maintain and repair.
  • Basic mechanical knowledge is necessary to maintain, so you can do a lot of the work yourself. For example, an oil change is fairly easy to do.
  • Higher horsepower, which allows faster speed on long-distance drives.

Gas RV Cons

  • Runs at higher RPMs, which requires mechanical maintenance more often due to the fact that the engine is constantly hard at work.
  • Less torque, which can be hard on the engine while towing or driving uphill for extended periods of time.

Diesel RV Pros

  • A more powerful engine and lower RPMs, which means better performance with less strain.
  • Requires maintenance and mechanical work less often than gas RVs.

Diesel RV Cons

  • A complicated engine that is more expensive to maintain.
  • Higher torque, which makes this option ideal for towing and spending a lot of time climbing uphill canyon roads.

Fuel Economy

The fuel economy of gas vs. diesel RV is another major difference between the two, and there’s a good list of pros and cons behind both sides. Use these points to decide which option is right for you:

  • Gas is considerably cheaper than diesel fuel and is more accessible.
  • Gasoline does have a stronger odor, and it’s not uncommon for the cabin to be filled with the smell during long drives.
  • Diesel burns cleaner than gasoline, which is better for the environment.
  • Diesel offers better fuel efficiency than gasoline.

Make Your Decision

Now that you know the major differences between a gas vs diesel RV, we hope you feel better prepared in your venture to purchase a recreational vehicle.
Discover more helpful tips and advice on selecting your RV and financing your purchase on the Southeast Financial blog.