The 6 Best Diesel Motorhomes For The Money

If you’re thinking about investing in a motorhome, chances are you are debating between whether or not you should get a diesel or a gasoline engine. In reality, there are quality diesel and gasoline motorhomes at every class.

You might be wondering which is better a diesel or gasoline motorhome?

Gasoline engines tend to be more responsive, and depending on where you’re traveling, you might find it easier to find gasoline fuel stops. With diesel, you tend to get better miles to the gallon, as well as more power. Diesel motorhome engines tend to be the preferred option for RV travelers who want to tow a boat or flat-tow a car behind them. This makes diesel arguably more popular than gasoline for large Class C and Class A motorhomes.

So, if you’re interested in a diesel powered motorhome, you might be wondering which one is the best value for the money? Her's the 6 of the best diesel motorhomes for the money to consider:

  • 2020 Newmar Ventana 4369 Class A Diesel Motorhome 
  • 2020 Tiffin Allegro Breeze 31 BR Class A Motorhome
  • 2020 Winnebago Era 70A Class B Diesel Motorhome
  • The 2020 Pleasure Way – Plateau FL Class B Motorhome
  • 2020 Dynamax Corp DX3 37BH Class C Motorhome
  • 2020 Forest River Forester 2401Q MBS Class C Motorhome

Though this is a truly crowded field and to truly find the one that is best for you, we’ll need to take a look at the benefits and some of the possible drawbacks that make diesel motorhomes so different from their gasoline siblings.

What Are The Benefits Of A Diesel Motorhome?

Diesel has several benefits to consider, which may put it over the top compared to gasoline. This includes things like:

The torque and power generated by a diesel engine can sometimes be double what you find in gasoline motorhomes.

With a professionally installed tow bar and towing package, a diesel motorhome will perform better and use less fuel to tow a second vehicle or a boat.

  • Fuel Efficiency – You tend to get more miles to the gallon with a diesel engine compared to gasoline, which also means fewer fuel stops and more time getting to where you’re going, rather than waiting in line at the pumps.
  • Durable Build Quality – Diesel engines tend to use more robust construction, as they are larger and deal with greater forces compared to their gasoline counterparts. This often translates into fewer breakdowns in the overall course of the diesel engine’s life.
  • Superior Torque & Horsepower – Diesel engines tend to produce more torque and deliver more horsepower than a gasoline engine of relatively the same size.
  • Ride Quality – Diesel engines tend to produce less vibration than gasoline engines, though diesel engines are usually a little bit louder than a gasoline engine of the same size.

Does A Diesel Motorhome Engine Cost More?

Here we run into one of the complaints against diesel engines. In general, a diesel motorhome engine can cost 25 to 35-percent more than a similar gasoline engine.

This does tend to drive up the price tag on the initial motorhome purchase.

The counterpoint to this is that you are getting an engine that will likely last longer, and modest fuel savings.

Depending on how long you intend to have the motorhome, you might also see less depreciation as the years go on. This could translate into superior resale value or trade-in value.

Does A Diesel Engine Cost More To Maintain & Repair?

When it comes to maintenance diesel engines don’t tend to be more than gasoline.

You still have to do all the usual things like changing the oil, maintain the battery, replace the air filter, and check the belts.

When it comes to repairing cost. Diesel engines do tend to cost a little more to repair.

Part of the reason for this is that not every mechanic is qualified to repair a diesel engine. Diesel mechanics tend to be fewer and far between.

If you break down on the side of the road and you need an expensive tow, you can expect to need to take a diesel motorhome farther, which might also translate into a bigger bill from the tow truck.

The counterpoint to this argument is that most of the tow trucks that are large and strong enough to safely tow a Class A or Class C motorhome have diesel engines.

Which means they are more likely to be able to recommend you to the closest diesel mechanic.

Are Diesel Motorhomes More Luxurious?

With a diesel engine, you tend to get more power in the same size motorhome of that class.

Assuming the RV manufacturer was wise enough to beef up the suspension, it means the average diesel motorhome is more likely to be able to bear a heavy load for things like a jacuzzi tub, large water storage tanks, and large kitchen appliances.

Are Diesel Motorhome Engines Louder Than Gasoline?

An engine itself does tend to be 10 to 20% louder than it’s gasoline counterpart.

Though in recent years improvements in mufflers, as well as sound and vibration dampening, have helped to reduce the noise heard in the cab. 

This also translates to less road noise when you drive. The suspension systems on diesel motorhomes also tend to be softer, so you feel less of bumps on the road as you drive.

The Benefits Of Better Suspension In A Diesel Motorhome

With a diesel motorhome the beefier, softer suspension tends to translate into better ride comfort.

This means less jarring, less banging, and a smooth ride. If you’re on a long drive, or you’re riding over rough roads, you will feel less of the road than you would in a gasoline motorhome that typically has firmer suspension.

Diesel Motorhomes Have Greater Towing Capacity

The torque and power generated by a diesel engine can sometimes be double what you find in gasoline motorhomes.

With a professionally installed tow bar and towing package, a diesel motorhome will perform better and use less fuel to tow a second vehicle or a boat.

6 Of The Best Value Diesel Motorhomes Reviews

While this is certainly a crowded field, there are a few diesel motorhomes that are well worth the money.

If anything the following reviews are a good place to start shopping when you’re looking to get your feet wet in the exciting world of diesel motorhomes.

Best Class A Diesel Motorhome

1. 2020 Newmar - Ventana 4369 (Class A)

Newmar - Ventana 4369
  • GVWR of 44,700 lbs.
  • Towing Capacity of up to 15,000 lbs.
  • Fresh Water Tank Capacity of 105-gallons
  • Gray Water Tank Capacity of 65-gallons
  • Black Water Tank Capacity of 45-gallons
  • Sleeps up to 9 people

With one look at the floor plan on the 2020 Newmar Ventana 4369, you get the feeling that they designed it for a traveling couple or perhaps a small family.

As a Class A motorhome, it has just about everything you want to see in a home on the road.

The master suite comes with a king-size bed, with a ton of his and her wardrobe closets and overhead storage.

There’s also a rear master bathroom that is palatial. It even includes his and her sinks, and hookups for a washer & dryer combo.

Stepping out of the master bedroom there’s a second half bathroom.

It’s just off the kitchen, which includes a dining table with four chairs and a tastefully hide-a-leaf for times when you want to host guests for dinner.

The primary living room in the 2020 Newmar Ventana 4369 is in the front right behind the driver and passenger captain’s chairs.

There’s a large LED TV built into a power left, that’s integrated into one of the three slide-out sections.

This means a passenger can sit back and watch TV or listen to the game while the driver pilots this mammoth motorhome down the road.

It’s much more social than some other class A motorhomes that put the living room midship or in the rear.

2. The 2020 Tiffin Allegro Breeze 31 BR Motorhome

Tiffin Allegro Breeze
  • GVWR of 44,700 lbs.
  • Towing Capacity of up to 15,000 lbs.
  • Fresh Water Tank Capacity of 105-gallons
  • Gray Water Tank Capacity of 65-gallons
  • Black Water Tank Capacity of 45-gallons
  • Sleeps up to 9 people

With one look at the floor plan on the 2020 Newmar Ventana 4369, you get the feeling that they designed it for a traveling couple or perhaps a small family.

As a Class A motorhome, it has just about everything you want to see in a home on the road.

The master suite comes with a king-size bed, with a ton of his and her wardrobe closets and overhead storage.

There’s also a rear master bathroom that is palatial. It even includes his and her sinks, and hookups for a washer & dryer combo.

Stepping out of the master bedroom there’s a second half bathroom.

It’s just off the kitchen, which includes a dining table with four chairs and a tastefully hide-a-leaf for times when you want to host guests for dinner.

The primary living room in the 2020 Newmar Ventana 4369 is in the front right behind the driver and passenger captain’s chairs.

There’s a large LED TV built into a power left, that’s integrated into one of the three slide-out sections.

This means a passenger can sit back and watch TV or listen to the game while the driver pilots this mammoth motorhome down the road.

It’s much more social than some other class A motorhomes that put the living room midship or in the rear.

Class B Diesel RV

3. The 2021 Winnebago – Era 70A

Winnebago – Era
  • GVWR of 11,030 lbs.
  • Fresh Water Tank Capacity of 25-gallons
  • Gray Water Tank Capacity of 26-gallons
  • Black Water Tank Capacity of 8-gallons
  • Sleeps up to 3 people

Winnebago is one of the strongest names in the RV industry, with a reputation based on their durable, popular motorhomes.

The 2021 Winnebago Era 70A is a robust Class B motorhome on a heavy duty Mercedes Benz Sprinter chassis which is a little over 24-feet long.

There’s also an optional 4 Wheel Drive trim level that really adds to the traction put down by the 3.0L V6 diesel engine.

Inside there’s a leather couch that can be converted into a twin or queen-side bed.

The kitchen features stainless steel appliances, including a 3-burner stove. There’s also an optional solar power system, that makes it easy to stay off the grid.

4. The 2020 Pleasure Way – Plateau FL

Pleasure Way – Plateau FL
  • GVWR of 10,030 lbs.
  • Towing Capacity of up to 4,220 lbs.
  • Fresh Water Tank Capacity of 24-gallons
  • Gray Water Tank Capacity of 35-gallons
  • Black Water Tank Capacity of 10-gallons
  • Sleeps up to 2 people

The 2020 Pleasure Way Plateau FL is a diesel-powered Class B motorhome that is large enough to let two people live comfortably on the road.

Yet it’s also far more nimble than it’s lumbering Class A and Class C motorhome siblings. It arguably handles on the road like the large van that it resembles.

It has a towing capacity of up to 4,220 pounds, which is enough to flat-tow a small car.

Though what the 2020 Pleasure Way Plateau FL is probably better suited to do is tow a boat or equipment trailer.

There are even some small travel trailers that are in it’s towing capacity range, for times when you want a separate sleeping area for the kids and a private one for mom and dad.

There’s a modest wet bath positioned right behind the driver’s seat. It is integrated with the kitchen area’s RV absorption refrigerator frame.

The kitchen also has a small sink and two-burner stove. In the back of the 2020 Pleasure Way Plateau FL, you’ll find a modest living room with a flat-screen TV.

You can covert the rear sofa in a full-size bed that allows you to watch TV while lying in bed.

The 2020 Pleasure Way Plateau FL has a fair amount of storage inside. Though the roof rack has superior reinforcing.

With a cargo pod installed on top, you could conceivably double or even triple the amount of storage you can take with you.

Class C Diesel RV

5. The 2020 Dynamax Corp - DX3 37BH

Dynamax Corp - DX3 37BH
  • Dynamax Corp - DX3 37BH
  • Towing Capacity of up to 20,000 lbs.
  • Fresh Water Tank Capacity of 94-gallons
  • Gray Water Tank Capacity of 52-gallons
  • Black Water Tank Capacity of 52-gallons
  • Sleeps up to 12 people

The 2020 Dynamax Corp DX3 37BH is a large Class C motorhome with a powerful 6-cylinder diesel engine as its beating heart.

This also gives it an impressive towing capacity for bringing an SUV or boat with you on your RV adventure.

The master suite in the 2020 Dynamax Corp DX3 37BH is in the rear of the motorhome. It features a king-size bed.

It has a lot of storage, as well as an entertainment center, and a spacious closet.

If you are willing to compromise a little closet space, there are also hookups for a stackable washer & dryer combo.

There is a pair of bunk beds right outside the master suite door, with mattresses that are just the right size for young children, and it’s close to the large master bathroom.

The 2020 Dynamax Corp DX3 37BH has a separate door leading to the kitchen and living room for added privacy.

The living room and the spacious kitchen use an open concept design. There’s a comfortable love seat, as well as a bench seat dinette, and a small couch that all convert into beds.

Technically Dynamax claims that you can sleep up 12 people in the DX3 37BH, but this would be a little bit tight. In the real world, 10 people are more realistic.

6. The 2020 Forest River – Forester 2401Q MBS

Forest River – Forester
  • GVWR of 11,030 lbs.
  • Payload Capacity of 1,082 lbs.
  • Towing Capacity of up to 4,200 lbs.
  • Fresh Water Tank Capacity of 35-gallons
  • Gray Water Tank Capacity of 35-gallons
  • Black Water Tank Capacity of 35-gallons
  • Sleeps up to 4 people

The 2020 Forest River Forester 2401Q MBS is a nicely designed Class C motorhome with a powerful diesel engine.

It has a heavy duty Mercedes-Benz Sprinter cutaway chassis and slide out that help maximize the interior space.

There’s also a fair amount of tech sophistication built into this Class C diesel motorhome.

It includes a lane-detection warning system, and side view exterior cameras, as well as a high-quality multiplex system that can be controlled via Bluetooth.

The floorplan is very thoughtful with a queen-size master bedroom in the rear and an elongated bathroom laid out along the rear passenger side.

The kitchen includes a 10 cubic foot absorption refrigerator a two-burner stove top, a sink, and a flip-up counter.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Do PAK Brakes Do?

Pak Brakes are more common in diesel motorhomes and other large diesel-powered vehicles. They’re especially handy for travel downgrade in mountains.

They use the vehicle’s engine weight to help slow it down. It’s a great feature to have when descending steep switchback roads.

You should make a diesel motorhome with PAK brakes a priority if you live in a mountainous area, or you love to travel and camp at elevation. They will save your traditional braking system a lot of wear and tear.

What Are The Benefits Of Flat-Towing A Car Behind A Diesel RV?

The superior towing power is one of the biggest benefits of a motorhome with a diesel engine.

At the same time, one of the biggest complaints about motorhomes is that once you get to camp, if you want to go anywhere, you have to break camp, retract the slide outs, and then drive a rather awkward, lumbering vehicle through what are usually tight RV park roads.

It can turn simple things like running to the store for a bag of ice or making a run to the RV dump site, into a hassle that dampens an otherwise fun RV vacation.

When you tow a family car or an SUV behind your diesel motorhome, you have a runabout vehicle with you.

It lets you set up the motorhome, layout camp just how you want it, and make simple trips for a bag of ice a breeze.

It’s also much easier to get around and do some more sightseeing. You can even get a portable wastewater storage tank that will hook to the most standard car and SUV hitches for emptying the black and gray water storage tanks.

With a diesel-powered motorhome, towing a mid-size SUV is typically easy and you can get around your destination without the headache of piloting a giant motorhome.

It’s pretty rare to be able to pull this off with all but the most robust of gasoline motorhome engines.

Conclusion

The diesel motorhome segment of the RV industry is relatively crowded, and for good reason.

Not only are they more powerful, and more reliable, but you can use them to tow along.

If you are going to be traveling in the mountains, or you want to flat-tow an SUV or family sedan with you, then a diesel-powered motorhome should probably be at the top of the list.

Not to mention the fact that they typically have less depreciation, so if you need to trade it in or sell it to a private party a few years down the line, you might see more back for your investment.