Lesson 2: Diesel differences


Class A motor coaches are very similar from a “using” perspective whether you have a gas or diesel engine. The houses are similar, the benefits are similar, and the components within them are similar. However, there are some fundamental differences that are worth noting and do require additional information to understand.

This lesson covers those differences and helps you sort out what features and systems you have or don’t have, depending on your model. More information is contained in the MasterTrack course, but we cover the core basics in this lesson. Watch on!

MasterTrack Lesson

Coaches come in both gas and diesel models. If you have a diesel model, you need to use “ultra low sulfur highway diesel”. This is the same diesel found at truck stops and regular gas stations. But just to make sure, always check that it reads somewhere “highway diesel”, NOT “red diesel” or “off-road diesel”.

Master Tip: In most places across the country, diesel is denoted by a green handle. There ARE stores, however, that use a BLACK handle for diesel and green for regular gas. Be careful going into ‘auto-pilot’ mode. Double check!

If you have a diesel coach, you also have a DEF system. DEF stands for Diesel Exhaust Fluid. This is a tank of fluid that is slowly injected into the exhaust of your engine. It burns very slowly. You will only need to fill the DEF tank every 3rd to 4th time you fill your diesel tank. Older vehicles (prior to 2008, though it got stricter in 2010) are not required to use it (and are not equipped for it).

Master Tip: When getting gas, if not using RV/truck pumps, pull all the way in near the convenience store and aim AWAY from the store to get gas. This makes exiting much easier, as you don’t have to fight the in-and-out traffic of cars that aren’t aware of you or don’t want to wait. Pulling into that area first forces them to wait as you set up for gas.

Truck stops: Don’t be intimidated. Here are some tips:

Pull in the same way all the trucks are pulling in. Usually there will be signs that direct cars one way and trucks another.

Usually you can’t use your normal credit/debit card. If you don’t have a fuel card, you’ll have to go in to the store and tell them how much you think you’ll put in (i.e. $200 on pump 4). They will only charge you what you actually pump, even though they gave you a partial receipt when you first came in. However, the receipt doesn’t show gallons or the specifics often required of a receipt – it’s just a pre-authorization.

Same thing with DEF (pre-auth for it). You’ll need to pull the coach forward enough for the DEF tank to be near the pump.

When you are done, it is customary to pull forward immediately either to the line or out far enough for the next truck to pull in and get gas. You will have time to go to the bathroom, visit the store for some snacks, etc. DON’T LEAVE YOUR COACH WHILE IN THE GAS LANE BY A PUMP! This includes going back inside for your receipt – pull forward first.

It is also important to know that you are responsible for any diesel spills that occur at a station. Some stations will provide soak pellets and a shovel broom. Most won’t – you need to carry what you need to address any spillage.

Yes, you can park in the back with the other trucks for a break or overnight stay!

Video Lesson