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What Are the Benefits of Choosing a Diesel Motorhome?

Article Details
  • Written By: Jeremy Laukkonen
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 14 September 2017
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2017
    Conjecture Corporation
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Diesel motorhomes have numerous benefits. The primary benefit of a diesel motorhome is the additional torque these engines can provide when compared to gas engines. Diesel is typically the best choice for a motorhome that is very long and heavy, since even a large gasoline engine can feel underpowered in some of these units. Another benefit of choosing a diesel motorhome is the ability to use biofuel without modifying the engine. Fuel economy is often better in diesel motorhomes than gas powered coaches as well.

The reason that most people tend to choose a diesel motorhome over a gas coach is power. Diesel motorhomes tend to have more power because they offer more torque than their gas counterparts. This difference can become apparent when driving in hilly or mountainous terrain, especially if the coach is very long and pulling a tow vehicle.

Diesel motorhomes also tend to have more power than gas coaches due to the location of the engines. Gas coaches tend to have engines that are located in the front of the vehicle, just like a large truck or car. Since these vehicles are rear wheel drive, power is transferred to the wheels via a drive shaft that may be thirty or forty feet (9.15 to 12.19 meters) long. Such a long drive shaft can interfere with the ability of the transmission to effectively transfer power to the wheels.

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Any time a motorhome is 35 feet (about 10.6 meters) or longer, it can be a good idea to consider a diesel pusher instead of a gas coach. Gas coaches of this length and longer sometimes offer acceptable performance, but the substantial weight involved can be handled more easily by a diesel motorhome. Some luxury units have four slide-outs and other heavy design elements such as granite countertops that can require the torque offered by a diesel engine.

Another benefit of choosing a diesel motorhome is fuel efficiency. Diesel is often more expensive than gasoline, but the increased fuel efficiency can make the cost of driving more or less the same. Increased fuel efficiency means driving further on the same amount of fuel, and diesel motorhomes often have much larger tanks as well. This can allow a diesel motorhome to have a considerably more extensive range per tank than a gas coach.

Diesel motorhomes can also typically make use of biofuel with little or no modifications to the engine. Since motorhomes typically have poor gas mileage and burn through a lot of fuel, using biodiesel instead of petrodiesel can be better for the environment. Gas coaches typically need significant modifications to run pure ethanol fuel, which can also be very difficult or impossible to find in many areas.

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