Cruising the country in an RV is a great way to enjoy a family vacation. You have much more flexibility and space. Plus, you’ll make some fantastic memories with your family or friends that will last a lifetime. But, do you know how much it is to rent an RV? Is it more cost-effective than staying at hotels?
Let’s dive in to find out!
How Much Is It To Rent An RV?
How much to rent an RV depends on the type of RV you want. We’ve broken the prices down into the most common RV classes below so you can pick which one is right for your next trip.
Average Class A Rental Costs
Class A RVs are typically the most expensive type to buy. This carries over to higher rental costs as well. You can expect to pay between $175-$275 a night for an older class A (anything over 10 years old).
Newer Class A rentals will run you a bit more. A more recent class A model will cost $350-$450 a night on average. These RVs are some of the most luxurious out there, and they aren’t cheap for the owner to maintain, hence the higher nightly rate.
Average Class B Rental Costs
Class B RV rental prices are a little lower. This RV model is the smallest of the drivable RVs. Sometimes people refer to class Bs as campervans. If you want to rent one they will range from $100-$200 a night for an older model. These rates jump to $200-$350 a night for a newer class B RV.
Average Class C Rental Costs
A Class C is a step down from the Class A RVs. But they’re more spacious than a class B and usually come with a higher price tag.
To rent an RV in the Class C family, you’re looking at around $150-$200 a night for an older model and $225-$400 for a newer RV.
Average Travel Trailer Rental Prices
Travel trailers are typically the least expensive RVs to purchase (excluding pop-up campers and truck toppers). They’re also more affordable to rent. The catch is you need to have a vehicle that can tow the travel trailer in question. If you already have a truck or SUV with the right towing capacity, a travel trailer rental might be your best bet!
Older travel trailers can cost as little as $50 a night to as much as $125. If you want to rent a newer travel trailer, you’ll pay between $125-$200 a night.
Average Fifth Wheel Rental Costs
Like travel trailers, you must have a vehicle equipped for towing. A fifth-wheel tow vehicle requires a specialized connection in the truck’s bed. Since you probably won’t have this if you’re renting a fifth wheel, you might need to rent a tow vehicle as well. This could add additional costs beyond those listed below.
For just the fifth wheel, rental costs depend on the trailer’s age and size, with the low-end costing $60 to $150 a night. For a more superior, newer rig, your costs will be between $150 and $300 a night.
Where to Rent an RV
Once you decide what type of RV you want to rent, choose where you’ll go to rent it. There are a few options we recommend.
RV Rental Companies
There are large corporations that rent fleets of similarly equipped RVs. The most well-known name is Cruise America, which rents large, standard, and small class C RVs. They also rent truck top campers.
Commercial companies have a standard layout and selections for available RVs. You don’t get as much variety in the type of RV you choose. You also won’t find an RV with a personal touch.
But renting through a company like this can be convenient. They have many hubs where you can rent an RV. This means you should find one nearby in most major U.S. cities. You can also expect certain standard features and maintenance with your RV.
Peer-to-Peer RV Rental Networks
Peer-to-peer renting is another option that offers more variety, both good and bad. These rental companies are like the Airbnb of RV rentals. Peer-to-peer rental companies like Outdoorsy and RVshare, serve as middlemen for people to rent their personal RVs to travelers.
When you rent an RV from an individual through a peer-to-peer company, you have many more choices. You can rent almost any type of RV with unique floor plans, style, ages, and so on. It lets you find the perfect RV for you and your family.
Peer-to-peer rentals could also offer cost savings. How much to rent an RV depends on the age and features of the RV. If you’re price-conscious, you’ll have an easier time finding something in your budget.
You’ll also have the option to rent an RV for longer. Weekly or monthly rentals through a peer-to-peer company can save you a lot of money compared to nightly rates.
Other RV Rental Costs
When planning your perfect family getaway, there are other costs to keep in mind. Don’t plan a trip without considering the following additional costs. We share a few important tips below but be sure to read all our tips on How To Save Money On A RV Road Trip later.
Your RV rental doesn’t include the nightly rate of staying at an RV park or campground. You’ll usually pay an average of $35-$50 a night for full hookup sites. But in some popular destinations or high-end resorts, prices could be $100 a night or more.
Don’t forget fuel prices! These can differ depending on region and timing. But most RVs get between 5-14 mpg for a larger motorhome and around 18-20 for a class B. You can use these ranges to estimate your total cost.
Some rental companies or individuals add a cleaning fee of between $50-$100. If you clean the RV before returning it, you can sometimes avoid this fee.
Read the fine print regarding RV mileage. Some rentals will include a base rate for allowable mileage, and you’ll incur an additional per-mile fee if you go over. The costs can add up quickly! So, make sure you understand any mileage restrictions and fees before planning your trip.
Most RV rentals will include basic insurance in the rental’s cost. But others will charge additional fees for higher coverage levels. Again, read the fine print, but know that skimping on insurance is usually a mistake, especially with such a large vehicle on the road.
Is Renting an RV Cheaper Than a Hotel?
Some people expect renting an RV to be much cheaper than a hotel. While renting an RV can definitely be much more cost-effective than a hotel, it truly depends on your travel style and how many people are in your family.
If you typically need more than one hotel room for your family vacation, then renting an RV most likely will work out to be less expensive. If you typically like to stay in nicer hotels, renting an RV will absolutely be cheaper.
What Is The Cheapest Way to Rent an RV?
It can be costly to rent an RV for your vacation, but there are some simple ways to save. Here are our top recommendations.
Use a Peer-to-Peer Rental Service
Renting peer-to-peer vs. through a large corporation usually means better prices. You’ll also have more options for RVs, letting you choose an RV type and size that fits your budget. Sometimes, you can also negotiate prices or get long-term discounts when renting peer-to-peer.
Book During the Off-Season
Another straightforward way to cut costs is to book during the off-season. Let supply and demand benefit you. If you can plan your vacation in the early fall or spring, you’ll have more choices and lower fees.
Plan Meals Instead of Eating Out
One massive perk of renting an RV for your trip is having a full kitchen, so you can plan your food and cook “at home.” You’ll save a lot compared to the cost of eating out for every meal. So, take advantage of this fantastic RV benefit and don’t forget to read our guide on How To Save Money On Food When RVing.
Book Campgrounds Ahead of Time
Booking your stay in advance can also help you get the best price. Plus, you’ll have time to plan your trip and choose the best parks for camping. Not only can booking save you money, but it will make your travels less stressful. Nothing is worse than scrambling to find a campground because you waited until the last minute.
Plan Your Perfect Vacation
As you can see, RV rental costs vary based on several factors. But if you are a savvy renter, you can find a great RV for your next trip. We believe there’s no better way to travel the country than by RV, so for the ultimate vacation, consider an RV rental on your next trip.