How many miles will a diesel motorhome last?

In today’s blog post, we will answer the following question: How many miles will a diesel motorhome last? We will discuss what is the lifespan of a motorhome and how to extend the service life of a diesel engine. 

How many miles will a diesel motorhome last?

A diesel motorhome will last on average 300,000 miles if the maintenance and driving conditions have been adequate. Despite this, if the motorhome has been treated badly, it is very likely that the engine will not exceed 125,000 miles. 

Over the years and miles, you will notice the wear of the engine that will make it start a little worse, increase its consumption or the fumes emitted to the outside are more and more abundant.

How many miles will a gas motorhome last?

Standard gas engines on the other hand, last only about 200,000 miles, again, if properly maintained.  Gasoline engines, due to the need for compression, cause them to wear out more quickly and, therefore, reduce their useful life. 

As a general rule, this type of engine can be kept in top condition for 155,000 miles without losing any of its performance. In the event that driving and maintenance are not adequate, its useful life can be reduced to 125,000 miles.

After exceeding these limits, it is possible to increase its useful life to a maximum of 300,000 miles. Despite this, after exceeding this mileage the compression will be affected and there will be a much higher oil consumption.

How to increase the lifespan of your motorhome engine

As we have already outlined throughout the article, getting an engine to extend its useful life will depend on how you drive and that you motorhome out proper maintenance. Some practices that you do on a daily basis may be reducing your life expectancy considerably. Did you know that starting your motorhome cold or starting it and stopping it abruptly can cut engine life in half?

Derived from the above, driving on the road makes your motorhome’s engine suffer less than when it does on urban roads, so the number of miles will also vary taking this factor into account.

Therefore, a motorhome that is properly warmed up before setting off and that circulates more on the road than on the urban road will have a longer useful life than others.

10 tricks to make your motorhome diesel engine last a lifetime

  1. Follow the maintenance plan: In the maintenance book of your motorhome, it is specified when you should carry out each check and what type of oil and spare parts you should use exactly. Respect the intervals and always use spare parts with the indicated specifications, otherwise, the engine could suffer various types of breakdowns.
  1. Do not stop the engine suddenly: If during the last five minutes you have been driving on the motorway or have climbed a mountain pass, do not stop the engine until about a minute has passed: the hot oil accumulated in the turbine can be carbonized this will end up breaking the turbo.
  1. Do not rush: Try to refuel, at most, when the fuel gauge indicates that there is a quarter of the tank left. The impurities in the fuel accumulate at the bottom of the tank and, if we drain it, they can pass into the fuel system; if it happens, the injectors or the injection pump will be damaged – you will notice jerks, lack performance. 
  1. Do not refuel if … If you see that a tanker is recharging the gas station tanks, do not add fuel to your motorhome because impurities and moisture – from the fuel or the tanks – will enter the tank – if this happens, the injection system will break down. 

Service stations are prohibited from selling fuel until one hour has elapsed since their tanks have been refilled … although, in general, this is not usually complied with.

  1. Monitor oil level: Carrying a very low oil level will cause serious damage to the turbo or to the engine itself, mainly. On the other hand, carrying too much oil can also damage the turbo or burst hoses due to excess pressure. To avoid this, check the level once a month with the engine cold and flat, and make sure it is between the maximum and the minimum. 

If it is necessary to refill, use oil the same as the one they have put in the last revision – it will be indicated on the invoice-; If you have to remove it because there is excess, go to a workshop so that they take out about -20 dollars approx-.

  1.  Wait 10 seconds for the engine to warm up: If the engine is cold, wait about 10 seconds at idle before starting to circulate: you will ensure that the oil pump has had enough time for the oil to begin to lubricate the entire engine.

On the other hand, do not accelerate fully or exceed 2,500 / 3,000 rpm until the temperature indicator of the engine of the instrumentation does not mark its normal temperature –about 90ºC–; If you don’t have that watch, it is enough that you do not ‘tread’ fully for the first 7 or 8 minutes because we would accelerate the internal wear of the engine parts and, with it, their useful life.

  1. Purge the diesel filter: The diesel filter has a system to filter the moisture contained in the fuel; if that moisture got into the injection system, it would break the injection pump or injectors. So when you check your motorhome, ask to have it purged.

How many miles is too many for a used RV?

Any RV that has close to 200,000 miles is deemed an old RV and has too many miles to be considered a good investment. Besides the number of miles, obviously, you need to ask the dealership all kinds of questions regarding the condition of the recreational vehicle. Here are some questions and tips to consider:

  • What model is the RV and how old?
  • How many people have owned this RV and how many times have they driven it?
  • Do they have maintenance records?
  • How many kilometres are there on the tires and when were they replaced?

The goal here is to avoid a bad surprise and in the end, to get a good deal. Here are a few more tips to take into consideration:

  1. Request a test drive:  Most owners will let you take the RV you’re interested in for a test drive. If they don’t, don’t buy it. Major red flag. Take the RV on open roads. See how the trailer manages the different speeds, how it manages the turns, the braking. Plus, see how you handle driving. As a driver, how do you feel?
  1. Check under the motorhome for damage: Inspect the roof and around all windows. Press down on the walls and look for soft areas that may indicate past or continuing water damage. If there is water damage, save yourself and don’t buy it.
  1. Request a thorough inspection: It’s worth it! Ask the owner if you can have the rig professionally inspected before purchasing it. Press all buttons: Turn on the engine, lights, check lights, turn on the generator. Test all features to make sure they work.

After having thoroughly inspected the various RVs, and having set the optimal price, it’s time to get behind the wheel of your new RV.

Buying an RV, especially a used vehicle, can be a tedious and overwhelming process; it requires intelligent and strategic thinking, as well as the intelligence to get a reasonable offer based on quality. Make sure you follow the directions above for a good deal.


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.

If you have any questions or comments about the content, please let us know.

FAQ on How many miles will a diesel motorhome last?

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.

What is the best diesel engine for an RV?

If your budget allows it, the best diesel engine for a motorhome is an engine greater than 100 hp. You will have more comfort with a more powerful and more torquey engine, especially if you are travelling with a large payload. 

How to make the best of your diesel engine?

The following tips should help you reduce your fuel consumption and take the best from your diesel engine. A motorhome consumes between 12 and 30 litres per 100 kilometres depending on the engine and the size, we assume that if you take the road in a motorhome, it is certain that you are going on vacation or for the weekend.

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.

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. 

Other FAQs about Motorhomes  that you may be interested in.

Is buying a mobile home better than renting?

Should I live in a mobile home?

How do you fix a hole in a motorhome?


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