How much does It cost to rent an RV

How Much Does It Cost to Rent an RV? (And Tips on How to Save)

Are you thinking of taking an RV trip but aren’t sure how much to budget for a rental?

The cost to rent an RV varies depending on the time of year, what company you use, and many other factors.

To help simplify rental camper pricing, I put together this guide that explains what to expect, including:

  • Average prices for different RV rental types and timelines
  • A breakdown of RV rental pricing
  • Which companies rent RVs
  • Tips to save money on your RV rental

Renting an RV can be the best way to lower the overall cost of a vacation, especially for families or those with dogs, as most companies are pet-friendly. An RV rental also lets you experience what it’s really like to travel and live in a camper, so you can decide if a camper purchase is right for you.

With the information below, you can learn everything you need to know about RV rental costs, so let’s jump right in!

The Average Cost of RV Rental

The average cost of RV rental

Here is a quick list of average rental rates for different recreational vehicle types, so you have a general idea of what to budget for an RV vacation.

If the prices seem a bit shocking, don’t let that discourage you. There are many ways to lower RV rental costs to fit within just about any budget.

One Week Average RV Rental Cost

TYPEPRICE
Class A$1,225 to $2,800
Class B$700 to $1,960
Class C$1,050 to $2,100
Travel Trailer$350 to $875
Fifth Wheel$560 to $1,400
Pop Up Camper$350 to $700
Toy Hauler$1,000 to $2,000
Campervan$525 to $1,050

Average Cost to Rent an RV Long Term (Monthly)

TYPEPRICE
Class A$4,000
Class B$2,800
Class C$3,000
Travel Trailer$1,650
Fifth Wheel$1,800
Pop Up Camper$1,200
Toy Hauler$2,000
Campervan$1,000

As you can see, monthy RV rental rates drop dramatically and can often be the best way to gain the most value from a long vacation.

How Rental RV Pricing Works

A couple rented an RV

The numbers above are a general idea of average RV rental prices. Getting down to the nitty-gritty of actual prices can vary widely due to the factors determining the final cost.

You may find working through a well-known RV rental company to cost much more than the average or get a fantastic deal from a private rental at a slow time of the year below the averages above.

Let’s take a look at all the factors that will go into your final RV rental cost.

Things That Affect Camper Rental Pricing

Which Rental Company You Use

There are three ways you can rent a recreational vehicle:

  • Private party
  • Peer-to-peer RV rental company
  • RV rental company

Private party rentals are locals who list their RV for rent through sites such a Craigslist or Facebook, so you can pick up a rental just about anywhere across the US. Prices through private parties are typically the lowest and easiest to negotiate.

Peer-to-peer rental companies are recreational vehicle owners who list their camper through a cooperative service to make money off their RV instead of putting it into storage when not in use.

These companies offer all types of RVs and better pricing and offer both renter and rentee extra protections.

RV rental dealers have limited locations and typically offer only motorhomes or truck campers for rent.

Expect to pay the highest daily rental rate through dealers to offset all the overhead expenses of storage, maintenance, and insurance on the motorhomes they rent.

RV Age, Type, and Size

An old motorhome

It makes sense that an older RV will be cheaper to rent than a new model, but the camper’s type and size will also factor in the final price.

Class C and A motorhomes cost more because they are very popular for the convenience of not utilizing a heavy-duty truck necessary to pull most travel trailers and fifth-wheels.

A Class B or smaller Class C often supports a more substantial rental price over an older Class A. Many renters find compact RVs much easier to drive and park in more standard settings, such as within a metropolitan area.

A larger RV, especially travel trailers, fifth-wheels, and toy haulers, will always cost more than a smaller version. Some campers can sleep up to 10 people, which is a wonderful option for big families who can’t afford to pay for two or three hotel rooms each night during a “normal” vacation scenario.

Time of Year

Spring break, long holiday weekends, and summer months are high season for RV rentals, so expect higher pricing at these times.

Locations in the south or west often have nice weather all year. Expect pricing in these areas to remain higher over an RV rental in Michigan during February.

Additional Mileage

An RV rental often comes with a pre-set number of miles that are included in the price, with an extra per-mile charge if you exceed it.

RV rental dealers are more likely to hit you with this fee than private or peer-to-peer rentals.

Trip Insurance

Expect to pay anywhere from $10 to $30 a day for RV insurance coverage. You can purchase it through RV dealers, peer-to-peer rental services, or online or personal insurance agencies.

Cleaning Fee

Most RV rentals will charge a cleaning fee, but many will waive the cost if you clean the camper to their satisfaction before you return it. Expect fees anywhere from $50 to $250.

You may also get a fee for not dumping your wastewater tanks before returning the RV.

Set up Fee

Many peer-to-peer and private RV rentals will deliver, set-up, and retrieve a camper from a nearby campground you reserve for a flat fee between $100-$250.

This fee is very reasonable over the cost and hassle of hauling a large travel trailer to your camping destination.

GENERATOR and PROPANE USAGE

Expect to pay around $3.50 per hour of generator use or a per-pound propane fee if you go outside the limits set in your RV rental contract. RV dealers are the strictest with these charges.

What Are the Top RV Rental Companies?

A couple relaxing in folding camping chairs near the rented RV

Most people who rent a recreational vehicle choose a camper from dealers like Cruise America or El Monte RV or go through a peer-to-peer RV rental service like Outdoorsy, RV Share, or up-and-coming RVnGO.

Let’s look at the pros and cons of each RV rental company.

Cruise America

Average daily base rate: $70-110

PROS:

  • Decades in the business so they know exactly what customers need
  • Convenient rental locations in common tourist areas
  • Offers rental insurance

CONS:

  • Only offers Class C motorhomes with one truck camper option
  • More expensive daily rates
  • Lots of fees and upcharges
  • Strict rules on pickup and drop off times
  • They “suggest” KOA campgrounds which are much more expensive than others
  • Large deposit

El Monte RV

Average daily base rate: $155-400

PROS:

  • Good customer service
  • Offers more RV rental types and sizes
  • RVs are newer and in better condition
  • Offers one-way rental
  • Includess $1M rental insurance coverage and roadside assistance

CONS:

  • There are still limits on RV options
  • More expensive daily rates
  • Fees for linens or kitchen packages
  • Some areas of US have no dealer locations

Outdoorsy

Average daily base rate: $50-400

PROS:

  • Any type and size of RV are available
  • Affordable rental pricing
  • Thousands of vetted rentals across the US
  • Offers excellent insurance and 24/7 customer service and support
  • Website is easy to navigate and arrange a rental
  • Renters get a more in-depth RV “walkthrough”

CONS:

  • Must deal directly with RV owner after booking
  • Some camper pictures are nicer than it appears in real life

RV Share

Average daily base rate: $65-$425

PROS:

  • Largest peer-to-peer rental service in the US
  • Offers all RV types and sizes
  • Convenient rental locations across the US and Canada
  • Offers rental insurance and roadside assistance
  • Vets both renters and customers
  • More affordable rental pricing with fewer fees

CONS:

  • Must wait for RV owner to contact you to arrange rental
  • Need to stick to renters with 5-star rating for best experience

RVnGo

Average daily base rate: $50-$350

PROS:

  • Offers all types of recreational vehicles
  • Plenty of affordable to luxury options
  • Easy-to-navigate website
  • Offers pet-friendly and wheelchair accessible rentals
  • One-way rentals
  • Automatic $1M liability insurance coverage and available roadside assistance

CONS:

  • Guest pays 3% credit card fee on each rental
  • Must deal directly with RV owner

Tips to Save on RV Rental Costs

Saving on RV rental costs

There are plenty of ways to reduce RV rental costs for both the actual unit and overall expenses for campgrounds and fuel.

Ways to Lower RV Rental Price

If you have vacation flexibility, consider booking a rental during the off-season when rates are lower. Better yet, parks and tourist areas are less crowded at these times, which enhances your camping experience.

Pay attention during the walkthrough about how things work, so you don’t break something and have to pay for repairs. Ask questions about anything they don’t mention that you don’t understand or inquire about a manual that explains RV functions.

Look into your personal automobile insurance coverage. Call your agent and see if it will cover the rental to avoid paying extra.

Choosing an older or smaller unit in good condition can save you hundreds over a newer or larger model.

Consider one-way “delivery” trips combined with a cheap flight home. These rentals are often extremely cheap, sometimes only $10-$20 a night to entice renters to bring RVs to a new dealership or for snowbirds who don’t want to drive their camper a long distance.

HINT: Are you moving, and you have a small number of personal belongings? One-way RV rental can combine a “moving van” with a way to get to your new home in one low-cost trip!

Go with peer-to-peer RV rentals for more flexible rate negotiation. Since you are dealing directly with the owner, they will be more apt to lower the rate or throw in extras like a free grill, bedding, or unlimited propane use, especially during slow times.

Tips to Lower RV Rental Expenses

Preparing meals on the road will lower overall vacation expenses dramatically. Most RVs come with kitchen appliances so you can prepare just about any meal you can at home, plus you can keep leftovers in the fridge for later.

Rent the smallest motorhome or travel trailer you comfortably can to reduce fuel expenses, especially if you plan a long trip.

Boondock, when possible, to save on the average $45 nightly campground costs. A short overnighter in Walmart or making memories on BLM land can really lower the overall cost of your trip.

Watch your fresh and wastewater tank levels, and never drive your RV when the tanks are full to improve gas mileage. Always dump your wastewater before you leave a campground, and consider only filling freshwater tanks just before or at arrival at your destination to avoid hauling around all that extra weight.

FAQs About Renting an RV

A man driving in the rented RV

Is It Cheaper to Rent an RV or Stay in a Hotel?

Studies show that it is much cheaper to vacation in an RV over a hotel when you own the unit.

For RV rentals, especially those in the 1-2 week range, you can expect to pay about the same or even a bit more if you rent a large or more luxurious RV.

For long-term RV rentals, you can save a tremendous amount over a hotel, especially since you can merge lower monthly rental rates with the much lower monthly campground rates most parks offer versus nightly or weekly rates.

Can You Use the Bathroom in an RV While Driving?

Yes, you can use the bathroom while traveling in a motorhome. This option is one of the things that makes RV road trip vacations so awesome!

Do note that travel by persons inside a moving trailer or fifth-wheel is illegal, eliminating this option.

Is It Legal to Sleep in a Moving RV?

Laws allow motorhome passengers to move about during transit, which includes sleeping if you wish.

You are not allowed to be in a moving towable recreational vehicle of any sort, as it’s illegal in all states.

How Much Does It Cost to Rent a Luxury RV?

Luxury RVs are typically motorhomes in the 40-45 foot length or expansive fifth-wheels with lots of slides.

Expect to pay anywhere from $400-$850 nightly on average to rent this level of RV.

Is Driving a Motorhome Difficult?

Motorhomes are surprisingly easy to drive once you have a bit of practice, and you pay close attention when making turns.

The back of a motorhome behind the rear wheels will “swing out” during turns, making it easy to hit things if you don’t give yourself plenty of space to navigate.

Smaller Class B or Class C motorhomes handle very much like a van or large SUV while driving large motorhomes is a leisurely cruise down the highway but is more stressful in city driving.

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RV Rental Information, Tips To Help You! (Video)

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-- Andre Gide

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