How often should you change oil in a diesel motorhome

How often should you change oil in a diesel motorhome

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Diesel motorhome needs good maintenance and many of us don’t do it the right way. Also, changing oil in a diesel motorhome is one of the significant thing to practice. When you buy a brand new motorhome your dealer or the service dealer will help you determine the frequency. But, once the motorhome becomes old its upto you to decide when to change the oil. A scheduled maintenance helps in deciding the timeline.

What should be the oil changing interval for diesel rv’s

This is a very subjective question. Not all need to change the rv oil with same frequency. In fact, different rv manufacturers specify different intervals as to when they should the change the oil. The ideal way to find out when you should change the oil, is to find out from the manual. Most or almost every time you will find the information written unless you have bought a used motorhome and can’t find the information.

On an average, a motorhome oil should be changed every 8 months to around a year. Having said this, there are different factors that come into picture and thus, not everybody does this, some will stay put for 2 years or even 4 years. But, that can be bad and may lead to issues with the motorhome or rv.

Motorhome manufacturer normally provide limits of both, months and also miles. Number of miles you drive is also important because some may use the rv too much, where as some will use it very less. But, the idea is to understand how much rv has been driven, on an average people would drive around 200-400 miles per month or more. But, not all will have this average and thus, manufacturers consider both, so which ever occurs first should be the decider for you.

How many miles exactly before oil change

Number of miles that your rv covers before changing the oil can also vary. Not all manufacturer will have it same. It all depends on the quality of manufacturing. A good quality built motorhome will need less of oiling. Here again, you need to check with the manufacturer manual to see how many miles you could go without changing the oil. As said earlier, the manufacturer will specify both; miles as well months before which you should change the oil. Thus, whichever comes first should be your deadline.

Many people just continue using the oil and do not bother to change it. I have seen people who do not change oil even after doing 30,000 miles. That can be crazy for you motorhome. Ideally the manufacturer will have these number of miles way less. It can be as low as 3500 miles or closer.

On an average one should change the motorhome oil every 6000-8000 miles. If you don’t hit these numbers before the months limit then go with the months limit.

Either ways, make sure the oil is changed, else it can be very bad for you rv. We will see what can be the problems, if you don’t change the oil in your diesel motorhome within the limits.

Why changing motorhome oil is important

Not changing oil even after the normal interval has passed or just dragging for miles-after-miles can be very bad for your motorhome’s engine. You definitely don’t want your costly class A motorhome to go through all the repairs. An engine that has not be serviced with fresh oil will sit and result in problems that can be more serious. And also, the cost involved later on can be more. Overall the timely maintenance of your motorhome is very necessary and should be taken seriously. A RV that costs you in excess of 40,000 or more, definitely needs that kind of maintenance and changing oil is one of the most important things you simply cannot afford to miss.

With extended usage of oil, sludge can form and acids and moisture inside the oil can damage the motorhome engine badly. You definitely don’t want to pay for the repairs later. Changing oil and filter can be little costly but definitely lesser than the repairs and replacement of parts. Using better oils can sometimes help in extending the intervals but its necessary that you do a good analysis on the oil that is being used. It is also dependent on how the motorhome is being used.

Can i just continue using the oil

Using the oil for periods specified by manufacturer is important. At-least till the time rv is in warranty. If you do not follow the manufacturers instruction for maintenance, than you may violate their warranty norms. And thus, could be an issue for you. Thus, just make sure you follow as per their guidelines. If they say changing the oil every 4000 miles, then just do that. Or, if they say that you need to change it every 6 months, do it even if you didn’t drive the rv that much. There is definitely some reason why the limitations are in place any ways. Hence, doing so will not harm but will only keep the motorhome in better conditions.

Once your motorhome is old or if you bought an old used one then it depends how you want to take it forward. The best way still will be to follow manufacturers guidelines. At times, you continue using the oil. Will it harm that bad if you continue using a little extended time or miles? Well, nobody can say that with accuracy; but many people use it for long and do just fine. A good way to find out this, is to analyze the oil and take decision.

Considerations for changing oil in diesel motorhome

Before you just extend the interval or frequency of changing oil just understand the conditions with which you are using the rv. Someone who drives the motorhome through dusty roads, uphills more often will need to consider the changing oil much earlier than the one who has been driving it through good and non dusty roads for most of the times.

1.Frequency of Use and surrounding conditions

How frequently you use the motorhome is also important. One who drives the motorhome for longer stretches may be in good position than the one who drives hardly. Reason for this is that, the more you drive, the lesser the oil gets contaminated and thus you can continue using it.

A motorhome that remains idle for most time of the month or is taken out for very small drives; then the oil may loose its value and get bad. And thus, replacing it will be needed earlier than thought. Type of oil used is also important. Certain type of brands work well for you, it also depends the weather where you live. If the motorhome manufacturer specifies certain type or brand of oil then its can be good thing to follow same.

 2.Winter preparation

Diesel rv maintenance should be more focused towards winter season. Hence, keeping the oil change intervals just before winter should be good for your motorhome. Basically, all maintenance should be done by fall or spring so that your rv is fully prepared for winter. Also, oil change should be part of your entire maintenance.

3.Engine power

Understanding engine power of your rv is also important. The frequency with which you should change the oil is also dependent on the engine power. Higher the power, lesser will be the difference in between two oil changes. Ideally, the manufacturer will mention different horse powers and their oil change intervals. Better go with the suggested intervals.


A lot of things go into deciding when you should change the oil in motorhome. Frequency of use, weather, road conditions are some of the important factors that decide whether you should go ahead and change the oil. A scheduled maintenance is a god practice to keep that costly motorhome in good shape. All the best.

G. Yoganand

A RV enthusiast who spends countless hours researching and learning various things related to RV camping. He believes in spending time doing Outdoor activities.
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