What kind of gas mileage can I expect?

My husband and I are trying to decide between a fifth wheel and a diesel class A motorhome. Of course with the high gas prices, mileage will be one of the deciding issues (if there is enough of a difference to count). So far we have heard from several different dealers MPG ranges that we should get or probably will get, but I would like to hear from people who actually own fifth wheels and diesel pushers. If we go with a fifth wheel we will get something in the range of the Ford F350 diesel truck to pull it. I understand there are a lot of factors that could come into play, I just want some estimates.
Thanks for the help.
Re: What kind of gas mileage can I expect?

Someone else will have to help with the MH estimates. Mileage towing a Fifth Wheel will depend of the weight of the trailer and truck you use. My Duramax trucks will get 20mpg empty and 10-12 mpg towing my trailer that weights just under 12.000lb.

Rethink buying a Ford until they come out with the new engine. The 6.0 is the worse diesel on the road and Ford knows it since they are replacing it after 4 years of use. The manager at the dealership here has 4 customers right now wanting buy backs on their trucks. Of course the '07 truck will cost more because of the new diesel regulations that take effect Jan. 1. That is one reason I bought now.

C Nash

Senior Member
Re: What kind of gas mileage can I expect?

Size of Mh will determin MPG. Most get from around 8 to 14 MPG but, if you park and travel to see sights you can pull toads that will get in the 30 MPG range. I had a dually diesel and fifth wheel and now have a gasser MH and the total MPG averages out about the same when counting total miles. Onyl you can make the decision on which better suits your camping style. If you are planning on staying in one place for long periods a fiver might be best but if traveling and staying shorter stays a MH might fit the bill. Both have advantages and dissavantages. I like the MH for our camping. Not that much difference in prices if you have to buy tow truck and 5th wheel.


Senior Member
Re: What kind of gas mileage can I expect?

With any RV the speed and driving style have a tremendous effect on the fuel consumption and with a motorhome it is even more true. You don't say what your intended use of this RV is to be, but for those who are fulltime, the choice is also importand for when you are parked in a campground. With a motorhome you would tow a small car that would be much more fuel efficient than would be the tow truck for a fifth wheel. So the mileage on the highway is only part of the question.

Driven efficiently most modern gas motorhomes are getting about 8 to 9 mpg while the diesels are running betwee 9 and 11. With good driving habits and speeds of 60 or less, gas can get close to the high end and a few diesels may get up into the 12 mpg area. But the diesel will also cost you about $30K or more over what a gas chassis does so you can buy a lot of fuel for $30K.

DL Rupper

Senior Member
RE: What kind of gas mileage can I expect?

Towing milage is not quite as important as most people believe. We have been on the road for almost 12 years and have been keeping track of our towing vs local travel milage. We have only towed our 5'er 80,000 miles in all that time. However, we have put 216K miles on our first diesel pick-up and 67K on our present 2003 diesel pick-up. We have traveled to all lower 48 States and 5 Canadian Provinces. Most of the States we have visited many times.

To us a more important question is towing torque. We travel out west in the mountains and wouldn't tow with a gas pickup at any cost. Don't know if the gas motorhomes can get up the hills out west or not.

The main point however, is do you think you will need the power and longivity of a diesel, or will you be able to get to most places with gas power. By the way, diesel fuel now costs more per gallon than reg gas. When we first started RV'ing (95) diesel was cheaper than gas and we could re-coup the higher cost of the diesel engine over a shorter time.

It is our understanding that the cost of the 2007 diesel engines are going to cost even more than the 2006 or older versions. That could also be a consideration in any decision. Just remember you will not put as many miles on your RV as you might be anticipating. Your pickup/toad maybe the prime milage consideration.
Re: What kind of gas mileage can I expect?

Strange how driving habits change over time. When I was first starting out as an RV'er about 20 years ago I wanted something that would tow down the road at 70+ miles an hour. No problem with the gas. Now I am in my 60's and own a gas engine 37' motorhome. When I first bought it I hooked my toad behind it and took off at highway speed of 65 miles an hour. I put the cruise on and let it climb mountains in Tennessee, Kentucky, and West Virginia. The engine would rev to about 4,500 rpm going up some of the grades but the speed would maintain. Then I got to thinking, why am I in such an all fired hurry to pass these big semi's when all they are going to do is pass me on the down slope. So I kicked off the cruise, backed off on the speed and enjoyed the ride instead. Sort of the same philosophy I have about riding my big Harley. Getting there is half the fun so why hurry.

So when you get your RV, gas or diesel, take your time, enjoy the ride, and you may save some money too. My signature explains my RV. I am a GM retiree and I don't bite the hand that fed me even though I didn't always agree with their corporate management decisions. And I try to always buy American nameplate.