How Much Does It Cost to Rent an RV for an Epic Vacation

1. Special licenses and different types of RVs

Whenever we tell people we’re going on an RV trip, we’re asked, “Do you need a special license to drive an RV?” Rest assured, in all 50 states RVs weighing under 26,000 pounds (most are under that weight) don’t require a special license. There are two types of RVs: drivable motorhomes and towable ones. There are subcategories among these as well.

Related: How we’re exploring the country in an RV for a year

Drivable RVs, often referred to as motorhomes

Drivable RVs are often referred to as motorhomes, meaning you drive and sleep in the same area. There are three types: Class A, Class B and Class C. The only ones that could potentially weigh more than 26,000 pounds and require a special license are Class As. Class A motorhomes weigh an average of 13,000–30,000 pounds, but with many options under 26,000, it’s easy to avoid the heavier ones. So, what’s the difference between the three?

Class A RVs are the biggest ones and they resemble coach buses. Besides weighing an average of 13,000–30,000 pounds, they also range in size from 21–41+ feet. While they generally offer the most space in the motorhome category, I don’t recommend renting a Class A for your first RV trip unless you have experience driving bus-sized vehicles. Parking these can be difficult due to their size, and you’re limited to spaces they can actually fit in.

Class B RVs, also known as camper vans, are the smallest and the easiest to get used to driving. Since they’re smaller, they sleep fewer people and accommodations aren’t as grand: there have potentially smaller beds, kitchenettes instead of true kitchens. If there is a bathroom, most times it’s only a wet bath and maybe an outdoor shower. Class Bs are great for one or two people but not the best motorhome for a family or group of friends.

Class C RVs are a great choice for first-time RVers. They provide more space than Class Bs and are easier to maneuver than Class As. The average weight is 10,000–12,000 pounds, so you’ll never have to worry about getting a special license and the vehicles range in length from 20–38 feet. Class Cs, typically built on a truck chassis or van frame, are comparable to driving a big truck that requires wide turns.

Related: Tips for your family’s first RV trip

Towable RVs

As the name implies, towable RVs are towed by an SUV or pickup truck, so you’re not sleeping in the same place as you’re driving like you would in a motorhome. Within towable RVs, there are fifth wheels, folding trailers, toy haulers and utility trailers.

Folding or popup trailers are small and lightweight, meaning you can tow them with most trucks, SUVs and even some cars. They have canvas sides that pop out, giving you space for sleeping, cooking or hanging out. Some include showers and toilets, but most don’t.

Fifth wheels need to attach to special hitches only found on pickup truck beds. They are much heavier than the other types of travel trailers, so they can’t be towed by just any truck; they need need to be pulled by something with a high tow capacity. Fifth wheels have split-level floor plans and offer a home-like atmosphere. Most fifth wheels have huge kitchens that can accommodate islands and full-size appliances.

Travel trailers are similar to fifth wheels, but the main difference is how they are towed. They don’t require special hitches, so they can be towed by minivans, SUVs or trucks. They also tend to be smaller than fifth wheels.

Truck campers are great if you want a “roughing it” experience that isn’t as rough and doesn’t require pitching a tent. The camper sits on top of the pickup part of the truck, so you don’t need a hitch. Most provide the ability to cook, dine and sleep.

Related: Maximizing points and miles on summer road trips

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Are Weekly Rates the Cheapest When Renting an RV?

Like many accommodations, longevity gets you the best rates, so weekly or monthly rates are usually cheaper than nightly. For RV owners and rental companies, weekly renters mean lower turnover, which equates to lower overhead costs. 

To encourage longer rental terms, many will offer discounts on weekly rates. Sometimes, this means you can rent six nights and get the seventh free. Other times you might get a percentage off once you reach a week. 

Whether you’re testing out RV life or planni
Whether you’re testing out RV life or planning a fun vacation, renting an RV gives you the freedom of RV life without a long term commitment.

Cost to Rent an RV in Denver

 

You can expect to see average RV rental prices in The Mile High City coming in at $176 per day and that’s below the national average of $184. However, if you must find a deal before renting an RV, then rent a Class B motorhome in Denver which goes for $198 or about 17% below the national average.

Useful Tips for Renting an RV

  • Book Your RV Online – Booking an RV online helps eliminate all of the guesswork and spares you the headache of finding the right vehicle for you. You can use various search filters to find the RV that meets your needs and budget. We recommend using Outdoorsy.
  • Book Your Campground Early – There’s nothing worse than embarking on a road trip only to realize that the campground that you’ve planned to stay at is stacked to the gills, which is why we highly recommend booking your campground spot ahead of time.
  • Pay Attention to Your Mileage – As we’ve already mentioned, there are RV owners that charge extra per each additional mile that you go over the specified limit. Also, you should pay attention to the number of generator use hours.
  • Buy Some Groceries for the Trip – If you want to cut down on the expenses of living in an RV, you may want to stock up on groceries for the trip so you can put the RVs kitchen to use instead of constantly eating out during the day.
  • Look for the Cheapest Gas Stations – Another thing you can do in order to cut down on the expenses of your road trip is to look for the cheapest gas stations around using services such as GasBuddy. This comes in handy if the RV owner demands a full tank.

Related: RV Rental for Beginners (15 Tips for First Time Renters + Checklist)

When Do You Need An RV? Offseason Saves Money

 

Some RV owners keep the same daily rates year around. However, some may charge different rates during peak season, special events and off season. Rental rates vary this way due to simple supply and demand mechanics. That is, during peak season, more people want a motorhome rental so the prices may go up. Similarly, during offseason there are more unrented RVs to choose from and prices may go down. Peak season is traditionally during the spring and summer months. This is because that is when many families have extra time for vacation due to school being out.

 

To keep costs low, consider taking your RV road trip during off season months, in the late fall and winter when some RV owners offer lower rates. This is a lot easier to do if you do not have children that are in school. Just be careful to consider holidays as some dealers may increase rates during these times. To find your RV rental now click here.

Trailers

Fifth wheel

Average fifth wheel rental costs

Average fifth wheel rental costs

Under 10 years old($161/night | $1,027/week | $4,018/month)Over 10 years old($126/night | $805/week | $3,126/month)

Fifth wheel overview

  • Length: 32-36 feet.
  • Sleeps: 4-8.
  • Minimum towing requirements: a large truck (1/2 ton and above).

View fifth wheel rentals

Travel trailer

Average travel trailer rental costs

Average travel trailer rental costs

Under 10 years old($126/night | $796/week | $3,115/month)Over 10 years old($113/night | $716/week | $2,791/month)

Travel trailer overview

  • Length: 20-30 feet.
  • Sleeps: 4-7.
  • Minimum towing requirements: mid-sized trucks and large SUVs.

View travel trailer rentals

Tent trailers

Average tent trailer rental costs

Average tent trailer rental costs

Under 10 years old($86/night | $542/week | $2,143/month)Over 10 years old($80/night | $504/week | $1,963/month)

Tent trailer overview

  • Length: 20-30 feet.
  • Sleeps: 4-7.
  • Minimum towing requirements: mid-sized trucks and large SUVs.

View tent trailer rentals

Toy Haulers

Average toy hauler rental costs

Average toy hauler rental costs

Under 10 years old($147/night | $925/week | $3,580/month)Over 10 years old($132/night | $829/week | $3,213/month)

Toy hauler overview

  • Length: 20-30 feet.
  • Sleeps: 4-7.
  • Minimum towing requirements: mid-sized trucks and large SUVs.

View toy hauler rentals

Pop up trailers and micro campers

Average pop up trailers and micro campers rental c

Average pop up trailers and micro campers rental costs

Under 10 years old($91/night | $573/week | $2,220/month)Over 10 years old($84/night | $535/week | $2,093/month)

Pop up trailers and micro campers overview

  • Length: 10-20 feet.
  • Sleeps: 2-3.
  • Minimum towing requirements: small to midsize cars.

View pop up trailers and micro camper rentals

What’s the Best Website for Renting an RV?

Where to find an RV rental changes based on the experience you seek. If you want to work directly for a large company with a whole fleet of RVs, Cruise America is a popular choice with locations throughout the country. They have a large collection of class C motorhomes with various layouts. They even have truck campers for those who prefer that route.

If you prefer to rent from an individual, there are several websites you can search. One of the most popular websites for renting an RV is Outdoorsy, which allows you to search for the type of RV you want along with location and browse availability for your dates. Renting from an individual generally gets you a more personalized experience. 

Cruise America is a popular choice for rental RVs.
Cruise America is a popular choice for rental RVs.

Is Renting an RV Cheaper Than a Hotel Room?

The quick answer to this question is…it definitely can be. But, there are different factors to consider.

Here’s how Outdoorsy breaks it down.

The average price for a hotel these days is around $134 a night for the basics. If you want a luxury hotel, a condo or a house, the price goes up from there.

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:

  • This2004 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…

$3150

  • $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!

Other RV Rental Costs to Factor In

The cost of your RV rental is the main expense you will have on your camping getaway. However, there are other costs involved with renting an RV. 

✅ Mileage Price per Mile

Be sure to see if your RV rental includes unlimited miles or if you will be charged for going over the miles allotted. If you are renting a travel trailer or pop-up camper, this will not be an issue. If your rental mileage seems lower than what you will need for your trip, try to negotiate this with the RV owner. Many owners are flexible with mileage, especially if you are renting for a week or more.

✅ Gas

Another cost to consider is gas. If you are renting an RV, ask about the average mileage that you can expect in the rig. Remember, this is just an estimate, and the mileage will vary based on your driving style and road conditions. 

If you are renting a travel trailer, it may be difficult to guess what your gas mileage will be since there are so many factors involved, like the capability of your truck and the size of the trailer. In general, plan for around 8 to 10 miles per gallon on your trip.

✅ Cleaning Fees

Check the rental listing to see if there are any additional cleaning fees for your rental. This is a pretty standard and reasonable charge as the RV is sure to need some cleaning upon your return. Again, this is something that you may be able to negotiate with the RV owner.

✅ Linens

Another possible cost is rental fees for “extras” such as dishes, towels, and linens. The great thing about Outdoorsy is that most RV rentals come fully outfitted with the basics such as dishes, pots, pans, silverware, and even camp chairs! Linens are typically an additional cost, so check your rental listing. 

✅ Tax and Tolls

One unexpected cost that can be an unpleasant surprise is a highway toll. Check your trip route and see if you will be driving on any toll roads. While some roads only charge a low fee, others can be $20 or more. It is worth checking your route to see if you want to plan for those costs or take another road. 

✅ Rental Insurance

Next, consider if you will need additional rental insurance for your trip. One thing we love about Outdoorsy is that you can choose between three levels of rental insurance for your trip. Each of these insurance plans offers coverage for common RV mishaps. Take a look at each one to determine which plan is best for you. Your car insurance or even a credit card may provide you with coverage as well, so check out what you already have before purchasing an additional plan. 

✅ Setup and Delivery Cost

If you are renting a travel trailer and plan to have it set up and/or delivered to your campsite, be prepared for a charge for this service. Likewise, if you need to rent a tow vehicle, it will also be an additional charge.

✅ Campground Fees

The final and most expensive additional cost for your RV getaway is your campground fee. If you plan to camp in a state or national park, plan for a fee of $15-30 per night. If you plan to camp in a private campground, the cost can rise even more. Rates at private campgrounds vary widely depending on the time of year, location, and amenities. In general, plan for anywhere from $50-80 per night or more. 

✅ Generator Cost

If you are camping in a campground or campsite that does not offer electric hookups, you may want to consider renting a generator. Generators may be included in some RV rentals, or there may be an additional fee. You can always save money by skipping the generator option, but be prepared to go without lights in the evening, microwave, appliances, and even a way to charge your phone! Renting a generator is a smart choice if electric hookups are not available at your campsite.

CLICK HERE to use our Discount Code RVBlogger50 an
CLICK HERE to use our Discount Code RVBlogger50 and save $50 on your first RV Rental from Outdoorsy!

How Much Does It Cost To Rent A Luxury RV?

Luxury RVs and “Glamping” (Glamour Camping) continues to grow in popularity. This luxury RV’s come with most of the bells and whistles you will find in a five-star hotel, and then some!

They also tend to come with a hefty price tag.

The cost can vary from one unit to the next depending on the size and amenities. Some peer to peer RV owners will require you to have a special driver’s license endorsement to drive it. Most require additional insurance.

  • In general, a Class A or Class B Luxury RV can range between $275 to $425 a night.
  • A Class C Luxury RV might run more in the neighborhood of $200 to $300 a night.
  • With a luxury fifth wheel, you should expect to see something in the range of $250 to $400 a night.

All those numbers don’t include things like electricity cost, generator use or water. So, be sure to do your homework before signing on the dotted line.

Last Updated on by Aaron Richardson

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