Diesel Motorhome Fuel Economy

by LeeAnn Neal

Motorhomes are not particularly fuel efficient vehicles. However, a motorhome with a diesel engine typically outperforms a motorhome with a traditional gasoline engine when it comes to fuel economy.

Initial Cost Misleading

Initially, it may seem a diesel motorhome is more expensive than its gasoline counterpart. Diesel RVs cost more to begin with, while, diesel commands a higher price than gasoline. However, over the years, the generally superior fuel economy of the diesel offsets these costs.

Average Miles Per Gallon

Diesel motorhomes' fuel economy varies.

Typically, the bigger the motorhome, the fewer miles per gallon (mpg) it gets. That's true whether you are driving a diesel or gasoline engine RV. The average mpg for diesel RVs is 9 to 14, although many diesel motorhomes get better or worse mileage than this, depending on vehicle size, mechanical condition and other factors.

Improving fuel economy

Anything that increases airflow through the engine of a modern, turbocharged diesel engine also improves its fuel economy. Some diesel RV owners have cotton fiber air filters installed for this reason. Check tire pressure prior to taking trips, as the correct pressure will improve fuel economy. Using cruise control can also increase the number of miles per gallon of diesel burned.

About the Author

LeeAnn Neal entered journalism in 1996. Her work has appeared in the "Headlight Herald," the "Cannon Beach Gazette," the "Coast River Business Journal" and "The Daily Astorian," among many other publications. Neal has won numerous Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association awards.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera lake mead national recreation area 4 image by Jim Parkin from Fotolia.com