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RV rentals have risen significantly during the pandemic. But how much does it cost to rent an RV? Is it worth it for an epic vacation?
Rental costs depend on a variety of factors, including RV type, size, and age. Understanding the options available is incredibly helpful when building your ultimate RV vacation budget. Let’s dive in to learn more about the cost and best practices for renting a recreational vehicle.
How Much Does It Cost to Rent an RV?
Your two main options for renting an RV are motorized and non-motorized. Motorized RVs are an all-in-one package that you can simply gas and go. Non-motorized RVs require you to have a tow vehicle to move it from point A to point B.
Here’s a little more detail on both:
Motorized RVs come in various sizes designated by class A, B, and C. Class A RVs are the largest and thus the most expensive to rent. A newer class A will run you $350-$450/night, while a class A that’s 10+ years old will cost about $175-$275/night.
Class C RVs are the next size down from a class A and typically range from 24’-32’ in length. A newer class C will cost between $225-$400/night. A class C that’s a decade or older should cost roughly $150-$200/night.
Class B RVs are the smallest and most compact motorized option. These are commonly known as campervans. You can expect to pay $200-$350/night for a newer campervan and about $100-$200/night for a campervan that’s 10+ years old.
Trailers are non-motorized RVs with a slightly lower rental rate than motorized RVs. The most common types of non-motorized rentals are travel trailers and fifth wheels.
Any vehicle with the proper towing capacity for the trailer’s weight can tow a travel trailer. A newer travel trailer rents for about $125-$200/night. A travel trailer that’s 10+ years old often rents for the bargain price of $50-$125/night.
Then there are fifth wheels. Only full-bed pickup trucks with a unique hitch setup can tow them. Fifth wheels cost slightly more to rent than travel trailers because of their size and amenities. You can expect to pay $150-$300/night for a newer fifth wheel and $60-$150/night for a fifth wheel that’s 10+ years old.
What Is the Cheapest Way to Rent an RV?
You can rent an RV from either an RV rental company or directly from an RV owner. Cruise America is a popular RV rental company that offers standard pricing and instant quotes. This is an excellent option for convenience, but it may not save you the most cash.
If you want more RV rental options and are willing to spend a little longer looking, you can save by renting directly from an RV owner. Outdoorsy is an online marketplace that connects RV owners to people seeking rentals, similar to Airbnb. This option often has the best pricing because of competition between RV owners on the platform.
Is It Cheaper to Rent an RV or Stay in a Hotel?
When weighing RV rentals’ costs vs. hotel prices, it can be challenging to determine which is more economical from face value.
The short answer is that if you’re planning to stay at a two-star motel, that’s probably cheaper than an RV rental. But if you’re planning to stay at a moderately-priced hotel, the math is a bit trickier.
When comparing nightly costs, factor in both the RV rental price and the campground price. Campgrounds provide a spot to legally park your RV plus optional water, sewer, and electrical hookups. This can run anywhere from $30 for no or partial hookups to over $100 per night for luxury RV resorts.
So is it cheaper to rent an RV or stay in a hotel? It depends on the situation. Do a little research on RV rental costs and campground costs at your desired destination to find the answer.
Other Fees & Prices to Consider
As with most rentals, there are extra costs not advertised in the nightly RV rate. Account for insurance and add-ons when calculating your overall cost.
Most RV rentals require insurance, which typically has basic to premium tiers. This can add anywhere from $10-$40 per day to the rental price.
RV rental companies also don’t include linens, cookware, or dishes in the base price. You can rent any of these items for a flat rate that may add up to $150 to the final bill. Providing your own kitchenware and linens can equal significant cost savings.
Average Total RV Rental Costs
When packaging RV rental rates with extra fees, there’s a broad range of prices you can expect to pay. The lower end includes older rental units with basic insurance. Newer RV rentals with premium insurance will be on the upper end of these price estimates.
A one-day RV trip will cost you roughly $75-$350 (plus tax), not including any gas or campground costs you may incur.
A longer one-week trip can cost $500-$2,400 (plus tax). Cost savings for a week-long rental are marginal. You might be able to save more with a monthly rental, which averages between $1,750 and $10,000 (plus tax).
Overall, RV rental costs can range anywhere from affordable to astronomical. It’s all up to you how simple or extravagant you want to make your epic RV vacation.
Whatever your budget is, there’s a way to make it work. Luckily, memories made on the open road are priceless!