I'm wondering why a diesel powered RV costs so much?


New Member
I have looked at a Class A gas that would work and a diesel A, that's just a little bigger buts costs, more than twice as much. About $60/gas versus $130K/diesel, the DP is 2 ft longer ands that's about the only difference. My question is why?


New Member
Re: I'm wondering why a diesel powered RV costs so much?

I really don't know the answer to your question. We went to an RV dealer to see what was in their parts/acc and walked thru a big DP today. We weren't bothered by any salesman, I think we didn't fit the part they expect. It was huge (admiral I think) had two big slides, lots of storage and looks real roomy with the slides out. DW and I laughed together and said yeah, but ours is paid for. Really I could never justify giving the kind of money they want, and would never do it. I was actually intimidated by the thought of having to drive something like that.

I am quite happy with mine, it is used and we have spent 'casual' time remodeling it. http://www.rvusa.com/forum/mbbs22/images/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

DL Rupper

Senior Member
Re: I'm wondering why a diesel powered RV costs so much?

The diesel engine is about $40,000 extra on a Motor home. It gives you torque to get up the hills and lasts about 400,000 to 500,000 miles between overhauls. The only way you can re-coup your investment in a diesel Motor Home is if you drive the Motor Home at least 50,000 miles a year.

We have had our 5th wheel RV for 12 years and traveled around the US about 10 times over and have only actually put 84,000 miles on the RV. We have put 210,000 miles on our first Diesel pick-up and have put 70,000 miles on our second Diesel pick-up.

Bottom line: most of the miles go on the tow vehicle with trailers or on the towed (toad) vehicle in the case of the Motor Home. However, if you want to zip up the hill, the diesel is the only way to go.


Senior Member
Re: I'm wondering why a diesel powered RV costs so much?

Your price difference between the gas powered class A and a pusher seems a bit on the high side, assuming that you were looking at the same basic motorhome on each chassis. Based upon the prices that you list, I would guess that you are looking at used RVs? To really compare you need to look at make/model units that are available on either chassis and it will tell you a great deal.

To put it quite simply, the cost of a new chassis for the diesel pusher is about $35K more than the cost of a gas powered chassis for the exact same motorhome. The reason is that the diesel engine is more expensive and requires a different transmission. Both the engine and the transmission for a diesel weigh more, even if the same power ratings. For that reason they also require a different chassis structure that is made of heavier materials and that is much more stiff. And since the chassis now weighs much more, it also has to have a higher GVWR in order to carry that same motorhome, so that adds even more to the cost because it now must have a different suspension and axles and such. Since the entire thing is to cost so much more, the manufacturers nearly always now add an air suspension system and air breaks, which also are more expensive to build than what is found on a gas powered chassis. In addition, the design to cool the engine and transmission is more expensive when it is in the rear and can't use the force of wind over the RV to supply cooling air movement.

In short, the diesel chassis is much more complex and expensive than one powered by gasoline. It is also true that most diesel engines will out live the gas powered one, but a properly cared for gas chassis will last easily 100K to 150K miles. The pusher found in the more common motorhomes today should last more like 200K to 250K while those powering the big bus conversions will easily run for 500K or more.