How many miles per gallon does a diesel pusher get? (RV mpg)

In this short guide, we will explain: How many miles per gallon does a diesel pusher get? We will discuss how far you can get on a diesel RV engine and give you a few tips on how to get better mph when travelling with a motorhome. 

How many miles per gallon does a diesel pusher get?

Depending on the size and the weight of the vehicle, you can get 7 to 12 mpg for an RV diesel pusher. As you will see in the table below, factors such as the size of the RV, the gas tank size and how many miles it lasts, will directly influence the overall mpg your diesel pusher gets. 

RV average fuel consumption (examples included)

RV ClassGas Tank SizeHow far you can go on a tank of gasGas Mileage
Class A80 to 150 Gallons560 to 1,950 Miles8 mpg to 10 mpg
Class B25 Gallons450 to 625 Miles20 mpg
Class C24 to 55 Gallons336 to 990 Miles16 mpg to 18 mpg

What influences the miles per gallon that your motorhome diesel pusher gets

If you are concerned that your diesel RV is now consuming more than before for no apparent reason, it may be time to start investigating what is happening to your motorhome. 

Before throwing your hands at your head and thinking about engine breakdowns, high diesel consumption can be due to many factors, so it is important to know how to recognize what problems can trigger the consumption of your diesel motorhome and how to prevent them.

  • Filters and engine maintenance. The first step, and the simplest and most logical, is to know how our engine is in maintenance. Dirty filters and sloppy servicing are breeding grounds for abnormal vehicle behaviour, when not costly and complex breakdowns. 

Therefore, the first thing we must do is make sure that the engine has filters in good condition, that it breathes well with a clean engine air filter, that feeds well thanks to a diesel-free of impurities thanks to a filter of Fuel in good condition, and that it is properly lubricated with oil according to the manufacturer’s requirements, with a lubricant level within its values ​​(this is how you should check the oil level) and with an oil filter in conditions to retain all the dirt that the oil traps.

  • Sensors. The sensors of an engine are often forgotten when problems or breakdowns appear, such as high fuel consumption. Taking into account that a diesel engine has to know exactly how much diesel and air enter its chambers, it seems logical to think that a failure in these sensors causes abnormal operation. 

One of the most important sensors of the engine is therefore the flow meter, a sensor that is responsible for measuring the amount of air sucked in by the propeller in order to regulate the amount of fuel it must inject. Any reading failure implies that the motor works improperly.

 In addition, this information is complemented with values ​​of temperature or pressure, variables that can affect very negatively the work of the propeller if they are not correct readings. These faults also negatively affect the work of the turbocharger, leading to activating the dreaded fault mode or limp mode where the engine protects itself by limiting its performance.

  • Unsuitable or poor quality engine oil. Your engine runs on oil, which constantly lubricates the engine so it doesn’t get damaged and runs smoothly. But with old or unsuitable oil for your engine, apart from the risk of parts breaking, your actual consumption could well skyrocket.

It is important to check that your oil corresponds to the manufacturer’s recommendations, available in your maintenance book. The right oil, with the right viscosity, will protect your engine mile after mile.

  • Other factors that also influence. But not only the mechanics influence the fuel consumption of a motorhome. In addition to all the possible causes or breakdowns that can increase diesel consumption, we must take into account other factors that also have a very negative effect. 

We speak, for example, of the use of inadequate pressure on the RV wheels, of an aerodynamic compromise by the installation or removal of some element, of very high electrical consumption due to additional installations such as multimedia equipment or lighting. 

Besides, the thermostat fails and causes us to always circulate with a cold engine or a faulty air conditioning system that keeps the air conditioning compressor permanently connected.

How can you save gas on your RV trip?

Of course, you can save gas on your RV trip and extend the above miles limit, just by following a few simple tips: 

  1. Travel light – By reducing the weight of your RV to a minimum, you could save money at the pump. For example, 100 pounds of additional baggage could represent a 2% fuel increase. 
  1.  Add a baffle – In this way, your vehicle’s engine will “strain” less and at the same time consume less fuel. Finally, this deflector could protect your vehicle from small stones and other debris that you will come across on the road!
  1.  Drive responsibly –  By limiting acceleration-braking (as much as possible), by maintaining a constant speed and by respecting the speed limits, you could achieve great fuel savings, while adopting a safer driving style!
  1. Monitor the tire pressure – If your tires aren’t inflated enough, even just a few pounds, you could lose a lot at the pump; make sure you have the correct tyre pressure for optimum fuel economy; your wallet will thank you!
  1. Properly maintain your RV – The link between maintaining your RV and reducing your fuel consumption may not be visible at first glance, but a vehicle in optimal condition will allow you to achieve superior fuel efficiency!

Final thoughts

As you could read in this article, the fuel consumption of your RV will largely depend on the class of RV, gas tank capacity, but also on your driving style and how well you maintain your vehicle.

Choosing the right RV also means finding the perfect engine + gearbox couple that will allow you a pleasant ride and that will not sacrifice your comfort, at the cost of high average consumption.

What do you think? Please let us know if you have any questions or suggestions on how to improve this content!

FAQ on How many miles per gallon does a diesel pusher get?

Is gas or diesel better for RV?

When considering if gas or diesel is better for RV, we will go ahead and say that we prefer diesel. Why? Because, first of all, diesel RVs are more fuel-efficient and are easier to resell when the time comes.

Which motorhome motorization to avoid?

When it comes to motorhome motorization, avoid choosing an engine of less than 130 hp. It will very often be far too small for a vehicle of this weight (often close to 3.5T for example for an integral)

What fuel for a motorhome?

Almost all motorhomes and converted vans run on diesel. But ecological constraints require serious consideration of new energy for our vehicles. Electricity, hydrogen fuel cell, LPG, CNG or biofuels.

Will diesel motorhomes be banned?

Yes, diesel motorhomes will be banned from 2030 onwards. RV and caravan manufacturers will have until 2050 to switch from diesel to zero-emission motorhomes.


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