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Renting an RV: How much Does it Really Cost?
Bring up an RV rental to someone, and you’ll likely get a response of “I’ve heard of that!” followed by “how much does it cost?” That’s the big question when it comes to RV rentals, and unfortunately, it’s a tricky one to answer. The truth is, RV rental prices run the gamut from very affordable to outlandishly expensive. On top of that, traveling in an RV is different for everyone; some people are conservative with resources and mileage, others aren’t. Since there’s no cut and dry answer for an RV rental cost estimate, we’ve gathered some information to help you figure out where you might fall on the pricing spectrum.
In General, How Much Does it Cost to Rent an RV?
Yes, it can be dangerous to make generalities, but you’re looking for numbers, right? RV rental per day costs are all over the board – they vary depending on the class and the age of the RV. Typically, you can expect to see the average price RV rentals in these ranges:
- Class A: $150-$250/night (10+ years or older); $350-$450/night (newer)
- Class B: $100-$200/night (10+ years or older); $200-$350/night (newer)
- Class C: $100-$200/night (10+ years or older); $225-$400/night (newer)
- Travel Trailer: $50-$125/night (10+ years or older); $125-$200/night (newer)
- Fifth Wheel: $60-$150/night (10+ years or older); $150-$300/night (newer)
Of course, there are other types of RVs, like toy haulers and pop-up campers, but those are a little harder to find for rent. Keep in mind that no two RVs are the same, even if they’re the same age. If an RV is larger and has luxury amenities, you can bet it’s going to cost more than other models from that year.
How Rental RV Pricing Works
RVshare has more competitive pricing than traditional rental services. That’s because owners don’t have to pay fees to list with us and can set their own prices. However, owners also set limitations for their rigs. So while there are no “hidden” fees like with some rental sites, there are some disclosed ones you need to take into consideration. For example:
- The price to rent an RV depends on the RV type, size, and age. An older Class B is going to cost a lot less than a diesel pusher Class A.
- Owners will often list a daily base rate, a minimum rental (in days), a weekly rate, and a monthly rate. The nightly rate may fluctuate based on season or location.
- There will be a tax on the amount, depending on your state.
- Some owners may charge you a fee to hop on their insurance.
- Most owners set limits on generator use and mileage. If you go over these amounts, you’ll be charged per hour of generator use or per mile.
- Usually, there’s a security deposit, which you’ll get back when you return the RV clean and unscathed.
- There might be optional fees, like fees for outdoor furniture or a fully stocked kitchen.
As you can see, there are a lot of pieces to the pricing structure, and how much you’ll ultimately pay at the end of your trip. It’s in your best interest to thoroughly read the listing before you book a rental. Let’s take a look at an example:
- This 2004 Class A motorhome in Boston is listed at $225 per night with a four-night minimum.
- The weekly rate is $1575, giving you one free day when you rent for six. The monthly rate is $4800.
- This owner charges a refundable damage deposit of $1000, and insurance is $27.
- There’s a 7% rental tax (ah, good old Taxachusetts!)
- The owner gives you a limit of 150 miles per day, with four hours of generator use per day. Go over either of those, and you’ll pay $0.45/mile or $4.00/hour.
- There are some optional fees, such as satellite TV for $10, or a kitchen supply package for $50.
So, let’s imagine you’re renting the RV for two weeks. That’s $3,150 right off the bat. Factor in everything else…
+ $220.50 (tax)
+ $1,000.00 (deposit)
+ $27.00 (insurance)
= $4,397.50 total.
There’s your total without any extras and overages. That doesn’t account for gas, campground fees, food, and other expenses you’ll incur on the road. Prices for RV rentals have so many factors; you might want to print an Excel budget sheet to keep track!
Tips for Staying on Budget
Now that you have an idea of how much it costs to rent an RV per day, your head is probably spinning with all the numbers you need to calculate. Then, of course, there are the extra expenses you’ll run into while traveling. We’ve gathered a few tips to keep you on budget:
- Look for discounts on RV renting prices. As we mentioned before, owners often give you a few free days for long term rentals. You can always negotiate with them, too.
- Pay VERY close attention to your mileage and generator use. Be a lunatic about it, even. Overage fees add up quickly – you could end up paying hundreds in fees just for a few hundred miles and several hours on the generator.
- Plan your route and make campground reservations ahead of time. This not only keeps you on your mileage budget, but it will also save you on gas.
- You might want to use an app to find the cheapest gas stations nearby. Every penny counts!
- Make sure the RV isn’t overburdened, and check your tire pressure daily. Excess weight will eat up your fuel supply (and it’s not good for the RV).
- If your RV is self-contained, try a few nights dry camping without hookups. You’ll save on campground fees. Remember to watch your generator use, though!
Hopefully, we’ve helped you narrow down your choices for renting an RV. To say that the average price for an RV rental varies is an understatement, but with a little internet sleuthing and arithmetic, you should be able to come up with a budget. Always remember to research the overage fees and deposits. Lastly, be conscientious on the road and avoid using up your resources. Happy trails!
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