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How to Find the Best Deal on RV Rentals
If you’re a budget-conscious traveler about taking an RV trip, you may have some concerns about the cost of a discount RV rental. RVs are notoriously expensive to purchase, with many different motorhome, trailer, and campervan models costing over $100,000 for the baseline configuration.
In reality, however, renting an RV is financially feasible for most prospective renters, given sufficient research and some thoughtful planning. There are a wide variety of low-cost RVs available on the RVshare marketplace, and if your budget is still stretched a bit too thin, there are numerous strategies you can deploy to further minimize your costs.
Prep Your Own Food
If your RV has a refrigeration unit, take the time to prepare some meals at home and pack them for the trip. Some days on the road will be particularly exhausting, and you may simply not have the energy or interest in cooking up a fresh meal in your RV kitchen. Instead of eating out and running up the budget of your trip, you can reheat your prepared food and have a healthy, delicious meal at a low cost.
Supply Your Own Equipment When Possible
RV owners may not provide all useful accessory equipment free of cost with your rental. As such, important equipment (kitchen, sleeping gear, toiletries, cleaning equipment, an RV repair toolbox, and other essentials) may come at an additional cost if supplied by the owner. To minimize these costs, use your own equipment.
Plan Your Trip to Minimize Daily Mileage
Some RV rentals will charge a fee for daily mileage in excess of some agreed-upon baseline (as owners would like to preserve the mechanical integrity of their RV, which can suffer due to excess daily mileage). These mileage fees can quickly escalate the cost of your trip if you’re not careful. To avoid going over the allotted “free daily mileage” amount, take some time to plan your trip routes beforehand. If you want to change your itinerary on-the-go and do something more spontaneous, you still can, but at the risk of running into excess daily mileage fees.
Rent an RV for a Longer Trip
If you’re interested in going on multiple short RV trips but are struggling to make it work within your budget, it may be worth consolidating the trips into a longer one. Longer RV rentals typically come at a significant discount (a weeklong rental may come in at a 10-20%+ discount compared to the daily rate).
RV owners value the certainty of having filled rental dates. It’s not necessarily easy to find willing renters for a given length of time. By incentivizing a longer rental term, owners secure some income and minimize the administrative effort of finding and vetting new renters.
Rent for Off-Season
If you’re really stuck for ideas on how to get an RV rental discount code, consider renting an RV during the off-season. Off-season rates are often significantly discounted, as owners work desperately to fill up their rental schedule. Keep in mind that owners essentially “lose” money for every day that their RV is left unused and unrented. If you are renting an RV during the off-season but the owner’s listing does not indicate an off-season discount, use this knowledge to negotiate a lower rental rate.
Negotiate Your Rate
Owners may be willing to negotiate a lower rental rate if you can make a good case for it. The RVshare platform puts you in direct contact with owners – most of whom are not treating their rental listing as a business. Personal and pressing concerns of the owner (such as the need for a quick infusion of money) may result in significant discounts during negotiation.
Avoid Renting a Large RV if Possible
It is very easy to inaccurately guess your living space requirements when renting an RV. Many prospective renters overestimate how much space they’ll actually need, and rent an RV that is too large – and generally much more expensive – compared to the alternatives. When looking for an RV to rent, make sure you critically assess the living space. If you’re on a budget, consider whether a smaller space will be comfortable for your trip.
Rent from an Owner in a Low-Cost Region
Renting an RV from an owner based in a city or region with a high cost of living is generally more expensive than renting an RV from an owner based in a city or region with a low cost of living. At first, this may seem counter-intuitive: the value of an RV should arguably be the same regardless of where it’s rented from. In reality, however, owners price their RV rentals at a rate that is reasonable given their circumstances.
An owner dealing with a high cost of living (expensive rent, groceries, etc.) is, therefore, more likely to post an RV rental at a correspondingly higher rate. Budget-conscious RVers may want to consider renting from an owner in an area with a lower cost of living, as the rate is likely to be lower (or can be negotiated further down).
Use the RVshare Platform
The RVshare platform is a powerful tool for browsing and comparing thousands of RV rental listings from around the world. Unlike standard RV rental services, which rely on quick-fix discount specials to compete (like RV rental coupons and groupons), RVshare connects renters directly with a worldwide network of owners. As prospective renters on the platform can easily compare listings, owners are incentivized to price competitively to succeed on the platform.
We encourage you to browse RVshare and see for yourself how easy it is to find a great rate on your next RV rental!