Go Back   iRV2 Forums > MOTORHOME FORUMS > MH-General Discussions & Problems
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Closed Thread
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 01-31-2016, 04:35 PM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Campbellsville, Ky
Posts: 2
Gas vs Diesel

Can anyone tell me the differences in the drivability of a gas vs a diesel motorhome?

jimbob57 is offline  
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 01-31-2016, 04:43 PM   #2
Senior Member
palehorse89's Avatar

Newmar Owners Club
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 6,692
Originally Posted by jimbob57 View Post
Can anyone tell me the differences in the drivability of a gas vs a diesel motorhome?
Hello and welcome here
2 Different beasts, and the price tag separates them, new or used, along with the ride and living quarter noise level when driving, front engine vs rear engine. They both drive great!...........


2000 Newmar MADP 4060, 350ISC, Spartan MM, IFS 2011 Jeep JK, M&G Braking, 2014 MTI 27' Hog Hauler, Wireless brake control, 2006Ultra & 1989 Springer
palehorse89 is offline  
Old 01-31-2016, 04:48 PM   #3
Senior Member
Daveinet's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Chicago Area
Posts: 293
If we are talking about strictly about throttle/engine response, there is a basic description I like to give. Generally speaking, the diesel will feel more responsive in the bottom end and the first 2/3rds of the peddle press. The gasser will feel more responsive at wide open throttle. The diesel will seem like it has more power, as it rarely downshifts, however when it does downshift, you do not gain much extra. A gasser on the other hand may even feel weak, as it often downshifts, however when it does downshift, there is a lot more to be gained.
At high altitudes, a diesel engine looses more power than a gas engine, HOWEVER, most diesel engines are turbocharged. Because the turbo has a lot of headroom, it dramatically makes up for the loss in air density, such that you typically have no loss of power at high altitudes.

You kind of open up the torque vs HP discussion, as commonly diesels get their power at low RPMs with gobs of torque. Because it gets its power at low RPMs, there is no need to downshift. It just tends to pull along. The limitation is that the diesels have a low redline, so you can only downshift so much. This limits the maximum power that can be gotten from the engine. A gas engine gets its power from turning high RPMs, this means you gain the use of that power from the torque multiplication of the transmission. The HP number of an engine spec tells you the maximum power you can get out of the engine. That means it will give you an indication as to how fast a vehicle will accelerate, or the top speed it will hold on a climb. The torque number gives an indication of how fast the engine needs to turn to achieve that speed. So a diesel feels like it just lumbers along, because the engine does not scream, however in raw numbers, it may not be going as fast. Because you do ot hear the engine scream, you have a perception of effortlessness, even though technically, it might be slower. When a gas engine screams, you perceive you are working the engine very hard, but that is where the engine gets its power.
'83 Revcon Prince 31' FWD FMCA F298817
502 w/Howell/GM ECM/Edelbrock MPFI,Thorley's & Magnaflows, 4L85E 4 spd, KoniFSD
Daveinet is offline  
Old 01-31-2016, 04:50 PM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 4,032
Both will do the job. Different techniques and way different costs. Why not tell us what your concerns are? That will get you better answers.
nothermark is offline  
Old 01-31-2016, 04:51 PM   #5
Senior Member
Gordon Dewald's Avatar
Winnebago Owners Club
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 7,921
I have not recently driven a gas MH. The last one was a gas pusher in the 70's. We now have a diesel pusher. IMO the diesel drives much better but that is comparing apples to ??? There is no comparison.

Recalling various posts on the forum it appears that a diesel coach will be quieter, smoother and more fun to drive as a general statement.

There are so many options, fixes, add on's and customization that the question is very difficult to give an absolute answer.

I suggest you see if you can test drive a gas and diesel coach and make up your own mind.
Gordon and Janet
Tour 42QD/inTech Stacker
Gordon Dewald is online now  
Old 01-31-2016, 05:18 PM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 272
As others stated it depends on which gas and which diesel you are referring to

When I was shopping back in 09, I drove ford and workhorse gas as well as a DP. The ford was my least favorite of the bunch, it was the most affected by wind and trucks passing and also felt road irregularities more. 5 speed trans

The workhorse is what I went with, it wasn't much louder vs the DP I drove, I would say almost equal driving down the highway just cruising. Once in the throttle accelerating the gas is a bit louder. This took crosswinds better vs the ford and also had a smoother ride but not as good as a DP

The DP did everything better. The weight helps with the wind issues, chassis helps the ride and the engine gives TQ to make traveling more stress free

Biggest complaints with my gas coach is difficulty getting gas, not all gas station accept a 38+ ft RV pulling a vehicle. Not just the length but also the height.

I do wish It had more power, not just going up mountains but pretty much any incline like a simple overpass the thing kicks down a gear or two if cruise is on... Rarely used it for that reason.

Prefer a larger fuel tank, as I stated above its not easy at times finding a station, it would be nice to be able to go 700-1000 miles on a tank vs 400 ish.

My next RV will be a used DP
NC25T is offline  
Old 01-31-2016, 07:31 PM   #7
Senior Member

Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 2,592
Originally Posted by jimbob57 View Post
Can anyone tell me the differences in the drivability of a gas vs a diesel motorhome?

This is a complex question...but I'll just give some easy generalities to get you going. Diesel Motorhomes 99% of the time has engine in the rear - so you don't hear engine noise up front while you are driving. Diesel Motorhomes also have air ride suspension which cushions most of the bumps and makes you feel like you are floating above the road.
pasdad1 is online now  
Old 01-31-2016, 08:34 PM   #8
Senior Member
FunGus's Avatar
Monaco Owners Club
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 329
I can add another generality. Generally people will upgrade to a DP for the power, ride and drivability. Generally people will go from a gas to a DP, but NOT from a DP to a gas.

Loving the Beaver!
Jason, Sherri, Christian, & Wheeler (Golden Retriever)
2008 Beaver Contessa Huntington CAT C9 400hp FMCA f25478 S4
FunGus is offline  
Old 01-31-2016, 08:37 PM   #9
Senior Member
tedgard01's Avatar

Carolina Campers
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Winston Salem, NC
Posts: 2,341
Good question...
tedgard01 is offline  
Old 01-31-2016, 09:18 PM   #10
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 4,032
A lot of the DP "advantage" is the bigger house and heavier vehicle. For full timers or folks traveling a lot going to the bigger vehicle makes the drive train choice. No good small to mid size diesel and no big gas. That puts the only real engine choice in the middle range 30-35 or so ft units. (Yes there are very small diesels.) Where you want to go can limit the size of what you can take there. The point is that there are a lot of facets to making a choice not just the engine.
nothermark is offline  
Old 02-01-2016, 06:49 AM   #11
Senior Member
George Schweikle's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,795
Hi jimbob57,

Welcome to IRV2

I see this is your first post, but you couldn't have chosen a more popular, contentious or entertaining topic. Look up in the menu bar, find SEARCH, type in "Gas vs. Diesel", and you will find many threads discussing the topic. There is a lot of good information, but just work around the many opinions and comments that don't add to the information you want.

Originally Posted by jimbob57 View Post
Can anyone tell me the differences in the drivability of a gas vs a diesel motorhome?
George Schweikle Lexington, KY
1999 Safari TREK 2830, FMCA 190830, Safari International chapter
1995 Safari TREK 2630, 1983 Winnebago Chieftain, 1976 Midas Mini
George Schweikle is online now  
Old 02-01-2016, 07:30 AM   #12
Senior Member
barmcd's Avatar
Monaco Owners Club
Texas Boomers Club
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 1,465
Given the same size and weight coach, I can't imagine any gas engine outperforming a diesel in any parameter. The diesel should accelerate faster, tow easier, maintain speed better on grades and get better fuel economy than a gas powered coach. And it'll do all that without screaming along at 5000 rpm to get up a hill. The trade off is upkeep on a diesel will be higher and repairs will generally cost more.
barmcd is online now  
Old 02-01-2016, 08:53 AM   #13
Senior Member/RVM #90
MSHappyCampers's Avatar

Monaco Owners Club
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Columbus, MS
Posts: 19,268
Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined us!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
Joe & Annette

2002 Monaco Windsor 40PBT, 2013 Honda CRV AWD
MSHappyCampers is offline  
Old 02-01-2016, 09:09 AM   #14
Senior Member
Gordon Dewald's Avatar
Winnebago Owners Club
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 7,921
An addendum to my post.

Either gas or diesel will get you to your destination. Once there you will not notice much of a difference. Diesels will generally have a front access, gas a center access.

Both will climb the steepest hills, length will affect some of the campgrounds you can access.

My suggestion is to determine what you will be using the MH for and then find a floorplan that suits you. Then the gas vs diesel issue will become clearer as the available options will be spelled out.

Gordon and Janet
Tour 42QD/inTech Stacker
Gordon Dewald is online now  
Closed Thread

diesel, gas

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Diesel or Gas. mdunner Full-Timers 22 01-15-2015 11:29 AM
Gas vs Diesel StuartCaw Just Conversation 36 10-21-2014 05:29 PM
Noise level driving front end diesel vs gas. Keithmq MH-General Discussions & Problems 17 06-03-2014 07:51 PM
A High End Gas Class A or A Low End Diesel Pusher Grandcanyon Class A Motorhome Discussions 110 04-23-2014 10:22 AM
Combination Gas - Diesel engine George Schweikle iRV2.com General Discussion 3 01-10-2014 08:35 AM

» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2015 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:28 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.