Shopping for a Class A RV motorcoach is fun, exciting, and can also be confusing. Between floorplan options and features, lengths, and color palette choices it can be overwhelming. One of the best decisions you can start with is choosing a drivetrain. Here, we break down the differences between the two major options: Class A Diesel and Class A Gas.
Advantages and Features of a Class A Gas Motorhome
Class A gas motorhomes are popular for many reasons, but the main one seems to be ease of ownership. Getting a Class A Gas engine serviced is easier, as there are more shops able to work on them. Maintaining a gas engine requires less cash outlay, and there are more options for finding fuel on the road.
Disadvantages of a Class A Gas Motorhome
Depending on the brand, model and therefore weight of the rig you choose, a gas engine may not have enough torque to take you on the trips you want to be on without some sacrifices. A Gas engine may overheat on long uphill runs, and may require a slower ascent speed than a diesel engine.
Summary of advantages and disadvantages of Class A Gas RVs
- Easier to find a gas stop
- Lower up-front cost
- Less torque at higher speeds
- Easier to get serviced
- Typically less costly repair bills
- Gasoline is typically cheaper than diesel fuel
- RVs with gas are typically smaller
Check out these Class A Gas RVs under $100,000
Advantages and Features of a Class A Diesel Motorhome
Class A enthusiasts are passionate about their diesel engines, with good reason: diesel-based RVs tend to last longer than their gas counterparts, and give about 25% more power for the buck. Many high-end coaches use diesel engines to help justify the cost, as the length of ownership for these tends to be a longer cycle.
In addition, according to popular Class A manufacturer Newmar, diesel motorhomes are much more fuel efficient. That is partly because diesel fuel has a greater energy value than gasoline does. Its higher energy density means that diesel fuel can offer up to 10 percent better fuel economy by volume.
What is a Diesel Pusher?
You may see this term as you are shopping for Diesel RVs. Diesel Pusher simply means that the engine is located in the rear of the coach vs up front, and these Class As are designed to give you more torque when going up hills. Diesel pushers tend to be the largest RVs.
Disadvantages of Class A Diesel RVs
According to KOA:
- At a range of $2.50 to $3.50 per gallon in 2020, diesel fuel often costs more at the pump. However, this is off-set by their superior fuel economy.
- RVs with diesel engines have lower RPMs than those with gas engines meaning slower acceleration and lower top speeds.
It is also important to note that diesel engines are more technologically advanced, so service may cost more if you neglect proper maintenance.
Check out these Class A Diesel RVs under $100,000
Summary of advantages and disadvantages of Class A Diesel RVs
- Higher fuel costs
- Less options for fueling up while travelling
- Better fuel economy
- Slower acceleration
- Larger RV options
- Longer engine life
- Requires consistent maintenance
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