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Are All Camper Vans Diesel?

White camper van with chair and table beside it parked in a campground

Going camping is exciting for everyone involved. Picking your destination and stops on the way is part of the fun. Another essential part of the preparation process is selecting the right camper van for your adventure. The more you know about camper vans, the easier your decision will be.

Are All Camper Vans Diesel? When deciding on a camper van, you have the option of either a diesel or gas model. Each type of camper van will suit your needs in different ways. Choosing between the two depends on what factors are most important to you.

Shopping for a camper van is a big decision that will set the tone for your adventure. A diesel or gas camper van will each have their advantages and disadvantages.

In addition to these choices, there are different options for camper vans. You can buy one all ready to go or convert a cargo van yourself. Being prepared with all the information will help you to choose the camper van that will work best for the camping experience you and your family desire.

Diesel vs. Gas Camper Vans

Not all camper vans are diesel. You can also get a camper van that runs on gas. Each has its pros and cons. It all depends on what your needs and requirements are. For some, the price may be what is the most important, and for others, it may be the resale value. Or even something in between such as comfort. I will touch on some of the other important factors below.


Is the price of your camper van a significant factor for you? Are you giving yourself a budget when shopping for a camper van? These questions are ones that you should answer before you go to look for either a diesel or gas camper van. Generally speaking, a gas camper van is going to be less expensive than a diesel camper van.

However, it is also essential to keep in mind that there will always be a range of cost/value. So, even though a gas camper van will be less expensive, if you plan on using it frequently, you may want to look into how much filling up the tank would be. It could end up being more cost-effective to purchase a diesel camper van based on how much you plan on using it.

Whether you purchase a diesel or gas camper van, you are probably wondering how well they will hold their value going forward. We have a post “Do Camper Vans Hold Their Value?” that discusses this topic in further detail.

Fuel Economy

As mentioned in the previous point, the fuel economy is another thing to consider. Fuel economy relates to how many miles you can go on a gallon of fuel. That also means you will have to think about how often you will need to fuel up if you are using your camper van for an extended period.

If you are looking to maximize your fuel economy, then your best selection is going to be a diesel camper van. You will be able to get more mileage out of a diesel camper van than a gas camper van. It may cost a few additional bucks to fill up the tank, but in the long run, you will save more money because you will be getting better fuel economy.

One thing to take into consideration here is that not every gas station will carry diesel fuel. So when taking extended trips, you may have to plan where to stop to fuel up and ensure that those gas stations have diesel. Buying a diesel camper van means that there may be times where you have to drive a little out of your way to fuel up your camper van.

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When it comes to power, the research and evidence are clear about which one is better and more reliable. A diesel camper van wins in this category every time. The diesel-fueled engine is more powerful than the gas-fueled engine. This power will especially be evident when you are driving on an incline or up a mountain.


Making the decision based on maintenance is a tough one because there are arguments for both sides. For example, some would say that the diesel camper van is more expensive because of the oil change.

The diesel camper van requires more oil; because of that, the oil change would be more expensive than that of a gas camper van. But there is also the argument that due to the larger oil capacity, the diesel camper van will require fewer oil changes.

Another thing to consider is that a gas-powered camper van will need more maintenance because it will have to work harder than that of a diesel-powered camper van. So if you have a gas-powered camper, you may find yourself in the shop more times than those who own a diesel camper van.

While we are on the topic of maintenance, there are other factors that you need to figure into the cost of camper van ownership. Our post “Are Camper Vans Expensive to Run? Let’s Break it Down” delves into this subject further.


This category is one where it is genuinely a tie. Both diesel camper vans and gas camper vans have numerous selections where luxury and comfort will exceed your expectations. Of course, the higher your budget, the more luxury you will be able to purchase. But no matter your budget, you will be able to find comfort for all the journeys you plan on taking in your camper van.

The RV Class System

Now that you have information on diesel or gas camper vans, you also need to determine whether or not a camper van is even the best option for you. Camper vans and other motorized RVs fall into either Class A, Class B, or Class C.

Class A

The Class A vehicles are the RVs that look like celebrity tour buses. These are the biggest RVs ranging anywhere from 25 to 40 feet. These will typically sleep eight to ten people. Surprisingly enough, the vehicles in this class can either be diesel or gas.

But either way, you will be looking at a considerable fuel bill every time you go to fill up. With these, you also have to keep in mind that the mile per gallon is low. On the plus side, a Class A RV is going to be the most luxurious option.

Class B

When you think of Class B vehicles, your mind should immediately go to sleeper vans or camper vans. These will be on the smaller side and also the easiest to drive. You will be able to maneuver up or down a steep hill without any trouble. Backing this class of vehicle up will also be easy for you to do.

Even though they are smaller, they will still come fitted with all your essential needs, such as a kitchenette and a bathroom. These camper vans are the best for your outdoor adventures. They will safely and comfortably transport you on your journey and will set you up for sleeping out under the stars.

The last benefit of these sleeper and camper vans is that they will be easier on your wallet. When it comes to fuel, they are more economical because they get more miles per gallon. You will be able to drive longer between each fuel up, regardless of whether you have a diesel or a gas-powered van.

Class C

The RVs in the Class C category are going to be larger than that of Class B, but smaller than the Class A. Class C vehicles are built on a truck chassis, so they are comfortable to drive. These can be designed to have all the luxury and comfort of the Class A vehicles, just on the smaller side. They are also fuel-efficient and are comparable in this area to the Class B vehicles.

In the end, there are many different choices to be made when looking to purchase a camper van. They can either be diesel or gas-powered, and each has its benefit. So choosing between diesel or gas is entirely up to you and what you plan on doing with your camper van.

Here are some of the main points in this post:

  • Camper vans can either be gas or diesel.
  • Gas camper vans are generally going to cost less than diesel.
  • Finding diesel is sometimes harder to find than gas when filling the tank.
  • Both diesel and gas camper vans provide a comfortable option for camping.
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Ever since I was little I have been a traveler at heart. It all started when I was six years old and my family took a road trip to Alaska. I enjoy visiting new places and revisiting some of the great locations that I have been to already.