Begin RV

Diesel Pusher

What Is a Diesel Pusher? 

A Diesel Pusher is a Class A motorhome powered by a diesel engine mounted in the rear of the RV. The main distinction between diesel pushers and other Class A RVs is that diesel pushers have a diesel engine while the other types are gas (petrol) powered. 

Diesel Pusher
Thor Motor Coach Diesel Pusher, Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons


  • Similar setup to a commercial motorcoach or bus.
  • Better gas mileage than gas-powered RVs.
  • Engines can last for up to 500,000 miles.
  • Come equipped with luxurious amenities such as full-size kitchens, roomy bathrooms and residential-style furniture.


Understanding Diesel Pushers

Diesel pushers are among the most luxurious and spacious in the motorized RV family. Despite costing anywhere between $150,000 to $350,000 for mid-range models, diesel pushers remain extremely popular as they are more fuel-efficient and durable than gas-powered RVs.  

Gas engines on average will run around 30% efficiency, but diesel engines generally run closer to 45%. This means you’ll get more gas mileage and have lower fuel costs with a diesel pusher compered to a gas-powered Class A.  [1]

Diesel Pushers are typically 30-45 feet in length and have ample underbelly storage, roomy cockpit space and larger tanks for water and fuel. Compared to most Class C RVs, the Diesel Pusher will provide a smoother and more comfortable ride. 

The main attraction to Diesel Pushers, and Class A RVs in general, is that owners have all the creature comforts of home while out on the road. 

Benefits of the Diesel Pusher

As a top-of-the-line motorhome, Diesel Pushers have a number of distinct benefits : 

  • Luxury Features: Diesel Pushers are highly customizable and offer the best amenities you can find on the road. They can come equipped with king-size beds, full kitchens, washer/dryers units, full-size cabinetry and even home theaters. Luxury Motorhome InteriorLuxury Diesel Pusher Interior. Photo Credit: CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 by Flickr 
  • Storage: Diesel Pushers have copious underfloor or underbelly storage that can store months worth of supplies. Storage can typically fit large items such as large boxes, luggage, sports equipment (bikes, kayaks, scooters) or even for larger water tanks. Many Diesel Pushers will have a form of insulation in the underbelly to keep things from overheating in summer and freezing in winter.
  • Longevity: Maintenance is needed much less frequently compared to a Class A gas engine. Diesel engines can run for decades and many engines can endure several hundred thousand miles of wear-and-tear.

Drawbacks of the Diesel Pusher

The Diesel Pusher has many great features that make it attractive to the serious RVer. However, there are a number of drawbacks associated with the cost and considerable size: 

  • Sticker Shock: New Diesel Pushers can range anywhere between $150,000 + $350,000+ making them one of the most expensive vehicles on the road.
  • High Cost of Maintenance: While Diesel Pushers can go for long periods of time without needing any maintenance, when they do need work done it will likely cost more than a gas-powered Class A. In order to work on Diesel Pushers, a diesel mechanic needs to have specialized training to work on the RV.
  • Maneuverability: With their long rectangular shape and wide size, diesel pushers are more difficult to maneuver than smaller RVs. Campsites with narrow roads or soft, grassy terrain will often be inaccessible to Diesel Pushers. Maneuvering and changing lanes through narrow city streets can be difficult and making turns can be extremely tricky – especially for an inexperienced driver.
  • Parking: Diesel Pushers cannot be parked easily in residential neighborhoods and most models won’t fit in a standard driveway. Many neighborhood associations have restrictions that limit where you can park an RV on your property.

Related Terms

  • Pop-Up Camper: A class of recreational vehicle (RV) with collapsible roof and walls. 
  • Travel Trailer: A non-motorized compact home on wheels that you can tow behind your personal vehicle.
  • Class A Motorhome: The largest motorized style of RV. Built on a commercial bus or truck chassis with either a gas or diesel engine. 
  • Black Water: The human waste collected from the RV toilet. 

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