What to Know Before Renting an RV, Including How Much It Costs

Where to Rent An RV

There are many RV rental websites out there—our favorite is Outdoorsy (review coming soon).

When booking a trip, you’ll enter a pickup/dropoff location and a timeframe. Then the site will return the nearby places to rent an RV.

Most of the rental websites are up to date and easy to use. The big three in the business are Outdoorsy, RVShare, and Cruise America.

Prices vary by rental site (we cover it later on).

How Does It Work?

For renting the RV, you will have a window to pick it up and a window to return it. Between then, you control the RV.

Normally there is a limit to the number of miles you can drive (about 500-1,000 but it depends on the length of the trip). If you go over, you’ll be charged somewhere around $0.45/miles.

Video

Equipment / Miscellaneous

 

Unless you plan on taking your own bedroom and bathroom linens, utensils, and other kitchenware you are probably going to have to rent these items from your RV owner. Kitchen supplies are typically a single fee for a kit and linens are charged based on a per person rate. In rare instances, these items are included for “free”.

 

Several other areas for possible miscellaneous charges include delivery, service fees, pet fees, propane usage, cleaning, tank dumping and service charges. These fees may or may not be included in the base daily rate so be sure to ask.

 

How much does it cost to rent a pop-up trailer?

If you want to take a small vehicle that doesn’t have a large tow capacity, then a pop-up trailer is for you. While the space may be a lot more limited than a traditional camping trailer but you can get all the same basic amenities.

These usually come with two sleeping areas as well as a living area that usually have some sort of small kitchen built in. As far as restrooms or showers go, pop-ups will sometime include one or both, but some do not have either.

The average rental prices on a pop-up trailer are very reasonable ranging from $45 per day to $100 per day.

The prices and options vary widely so be sure to check each listing to make sure you get everything you want.

If you would like to check the current availability and prices of pop-up trailers on RVshare click here.

Low range $59 per night example-



2004 Coleman Fleetwood Utah

2004 Coleman Fleetwood Utah

 

  • Folding Trailer
  • Sleeps 7
  • Length 12 ft.
  • Pet-Friendly: Yes
  • Wheelchair Accessible: No
  • Smoking Allowed: No
  • Delivery: No
  • Pick Up Anytime After 3:00 PM
  • Drop Off By 9:00 AM

Amenities- Roof air conditioner (updated), slide out, fire extinguisher, refrigerator, T.V., kitchen sink, hot and cold water supply.

Rental for this unit is $59.00 per night, $350.00 per Week, $800.00 per month. Minimum two nights.

  • Refundable damage deposit: $800.00
  • Insurance: $9.95/day (sales tax not included)

This is a perfect example of a pop-up trailer that does not have a toilet or shower. For the price, you can bring portable versions of either one.

Check out our article- How to shower while camping for great ideas for camping shower. Click here.

Medium range $75 per night example-

2016 Forest River Rockwood

2016 Forest River Rockwood

 

  • Folding Trailer
  • Sleeps 6
  • Length 19 ft.
  • Pet-Friendly: No
  • Wheelchair Accessible: No
  • Smoking Allowed: No
  • Delivery: No
  • Pick Up Anytime After 5:00 PM
  • Drop Off By 12:00 PM

Amenities- Fire extinguisher, refrigerator, kitchen sink, roof air conditioner, shower, toilet, AM/FM radio, hot and cold water supply.

Rental for this unit is $75.00 per night, $525.00 per Week, $2,000.00 per month — minimum two nights.

  • Tax: 7.00%
  • Refundable damage deposit: $150.00
  • Excess mileage: $0.25/mile
  • Excess generator usage: $5.00/hour
  • Insurance: $14.95/day (sales tax not included)
  • 100 miles per night included with rental
  • Six hours per night generator usage included with rental for free.

If you want to pay a little more, you can get a model like this with a shower and toilet.

High range $85 per night example-

2015 Jayco Jay Series 1207UD

2015 Jayco Jay Series 1207UD

  • Folding Trailer
  • Sleeps 7
  • Length 12 ft.
  • Pet-Friendly: No
  • Wheelchair Accessible: No
  • Smoking Allowed: No
  • Delivery: No
  • Pick Up Anytime After 3:00 PM
  • Drop Off By 11:00 AM

 

Amenities- Range (stove), fire extinguisher, refrigerator, kitchen sink, roof air conditioner, shower, hot and cold water supply.

Rental for this unit is $85.00 per night, $675.00 per Week, $2,400.00 per month — minimum two nights.

  • Tax: 6.00%
  • Refundable damage deposit: $1,500.00
  • Insurance: $9.95/day (sales tax not included)

optional fees

Towels & bed linens: $20.00 Charcoal grill & fire starter chimney: $15.00 Pans: $10.00 Heated beds: $10.00 This is a nice trailer, but for the money, I would go in the medium range as this one has a shower but no toilet. Again there are different options, pricing, and availability all the time.

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.

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.

What should I pack for my RV trip?

There's a fine line between overpacking and not having what you need. Like any trip, you'll want to pack the clothing and supplies necessary for the activities you have in mind. Buemi says to "pack thoughtfully," noting that renters should "speak to the RV owner about what they keep on board for their renters, such as linens and cookware." Bouma notes that it's important to have a tool kit and first-aid kit on hand, in case of emergencies. If you're traveling with kids, don't forget games, craft supplies, movies, kitchen supplies, and of course, sticks, graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate for making s'mores.

Related: 10 Mistakes to Avoid When Visiting a National Park (Video)

Tips for saving money

The price of RV rentals typically aligns with renter demand and camping seasonality. During peak-camping season, you can expect to pay premium prices for an RV rental.

Want to save some money during peak season? Talk to owners about weekly or monthly discounts, which could save you between 5% and 20% off the base rate.

If you don’t mind camping during the off-season, you may be able to find off-season pricing, seasonal discounts, and custom quotes. Each listing should show pricing specials, but if it doesn’t, reach out to the owner to find out more information.

Frequently asked questions

Is renting an RV cheaper than a hotel?

Yes, RVs are much cheaper than a Rental hotel room. RVs Rental prices vary depending on the size of your unit and what extras you want to include in your vacation. You can spend anywhere from $300 – $1500+ per week depending on the rental company, Rv type, and time of Rental season. Rates are always cheaper than Rv hotel room costs and you have your own RVs rental house so there is no need to pay cleaning fees.

What is the cheapest way to rent an RV?

The cheapest way to rent an RV is to use the campervanhire.com search function and sort by prices from lowest to highest.

Is renting an RV worth it?

Yes, it is definitely worth it. It is cheaper and more eventful than staying at hotels.

How much does it cost to rent an RV cross country?

To rent an RV cross country RVs Rental costs start at around $300 per week. Rental trips often include one RV rental night in a hotel near the airport and can be less than $700+ if you rent an Rv for more than 2 weeks.

5 Tips For Renting An RV

  1. The first step in renting an RV is to choose which vehicle type you need for your trip. There are many types of RVs available on the market including motorhomes, travel trailers, 5th wheels, and toy haulers.
  2. The second step is to choose Rental Rv Features. RVs come with a variety of Rental Rv features and can range from Rental Rv accessories to TVs, DVD players, game rooms, and much more. The size of the RV you need is also important when choosing Rental Rv features.
  3. The third step is to Rental Rv Costs. Rental Rv costs vary greatly depending on the Rental Rv type, size, and extra services that are included with the unit.
  4. The fourth step is to properly Rental Rv Inspections. All RVs should be inspected before your trip so you can ensure there are no damages. The inspection of Rental RVs should include a walk-around and test run of RVs to ensure systems are functioning properly.
  5. The final step is Rental Rv Preparation. The preparation for your RV trip is the most important step in renting any Rv rentals unit. Make sure you keep all safety equipment such as flares, R patches, and emergency supply kits in your RVs.

How rental RV pricing works

Let’s understand how RV pricing works. Rental Rv storage and Rental Rv transportation are generally free. RVs are usually rented for 24h or 48h, therefore the Rental Rv price includes Rental Rv mileage which is usually from 50 to 100 miles per day.

Renter’s insurance cost around $1.50 – $5 per day depending on how your Rv is insured. Rental Rv insurance costs are usually less than $1 per day. RVs also have different Rental Rv age restrictions. RVs under 25 years old and over 7 years old can have an additional fee which averages about $0 – $10 per day depending on the size of the RV unit.

Tips for staying on budget

Do You Pay for Mileage When Renting an RV?

Whether you pay for mileage when renting an RV depends on who you rent the RV from and the type of rental agreement you’re under.   

As there are three different types of rental agreements and pricing models used for renting RVs including pay per mile, unlimited mileage, and the hybrid model, which is a combination of the first two.  

And each of these rental agreements and pricing models handles mileage differently.  

Pay Per Mile RV Rental Pricing Model

The pay per mile RV pricing model charges a set amount per mile while you are renting the RV and is the most common way RV rental agencies such as Cruise America rent their RVs

For example, in the case of Cruise America, they charge anywhere from .17 to .35 cents a mile depending on the type of RV you rent from them on a per night basis.  

With a base mileage charge of 100 miles if you’re renting locally and 250 miles if you’re renting one-way.

And then at the end of the rental, they will refund you any miles you didn’t drive or charge you .35 cents for each additional mile you drove beyond the base mileage.  

Unlimited Mileage RV Rental Pricing Model

The unlimited mileage RV rental pricing model charges a flat daily rate, as opposed to charging by the mile, and is the most common RV rental pricing model used by peer-to-peer RV rental websites such as RVshare and Outdoorsy.  

With the unlimited mileage RV rental model, there can be a wide range when it comes to the daily rates charged based on numerous factors such as the type of RV it is as well as its age, size, sleeping capacity, and level of luxury.

But, in general, daily rates for unlimited mileage RV rental agreements usually range anywhere from $80 to $200 a day.    

Hybrid RV Rental Pricing Model

The last type of pricing model available for RV rentals is the hybrid model, which is a combination of both the pay per mile model as well as the unlimited mileage model. 

As you are typically charged a flat daily rate that includes a certain amount of miles like 100 miles and then charged a per-mile fee for every mile driven over the miles included in the daily rate fee.

These additional mileage fees on the hybrid RV rental model can vary quite a bit depending on the RV and particular owner but typically range from .25 cents to .35 cents per mile.  

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.

How Much Does It Cost To Rent An RV For A Week Trip

This is a lot of information to digest and chances are if you try to break all the numbers down into one big equation, you’ll have a flashback to high school algebra class.

The amount can vary depending on the size, and type of RV, as well as how far and how long you plan to travel.

  • The cost for a day trip can range from $75 to $350 before tax.
  • A 7-day trip can range from $500 to $2,400 before tax.
  • A one-month vacation can range from $1,750 to $10,000 before tax.

Tips for Making Sure You Have a Great Rental Experience

We want you to have the best RV rental experience you can. Here are a few things to consider:

Make Sure You’re Renting the Right RV for You

What I mean by this is two-fold: make sure it’s something you’re comfortable driving and also that it has enough room for everyone.

If you’ve never driven a large vehicle before, renting a large Class A for your first RV rental experience may not be the best choice. Talk about stressful! The last thing you want is to be stressed on your vacation.

Read the Rental Reviews

Reviews are there for a reason. Make sure you glance through them for any red flags, like last minute cancellations or an owner that was hard to communicate with. Unfortunately, bad experiences like that can happen.

Read the Fine Print

Make sure you read through the entire listing so you know what the owners provide, what extra fees there are, if the rig is pet-friendly, etc.

Ask the Owner Questions

If you have a question, ask! It’s better to know everything you want to know up-front so there are no surprises.

In addition, asking a few questions gives you a chance to get a better feel for the owner’s demeanor, willingness to help, and overall responsiveness. If it’s obvious to you that a few questions are annoying to the owner and you are getting short, unhelpful responses, it may just be time to move on and keep searching.

The owner has just as much of an impact (if not more) on your RV rental experience as the RV itself!

Educate Yourself

Some of the RV owners provide a manual or even YouTube videos for you to watch so you can educate yourself on RV basics like set-up and tear-down. A little education can go a long way, making sure you have the best RV trip possible.

Book Your Campground In Advance

If you’re RVing during high season, you don’t want to leave it to chance that the RV parks will have room. RVing is more popular than ever and those campgrounds fill up fast!

Plan Your Route Ahead of Time

Check out your route and make sure you know what roads you’re taking. This is helpful for a number of reasons:

  • On the east coast, there are some roads RVs aren’t allowed on because of very low bridges
  • Some routes might be better for RV travel than others
  • If you’re traveling a long distance, it’s good to know how many hours a day you’ll be traveling and where you’re stopping
  • Being prepared and in the know is less stressful on everyone

One good resource is RV Trip Wizard. It’s an all-encompassing RV trip planner for $39 a year. If you’re not happy with it, they offer a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Bring Some Comfort Items from Home

RV travel is amazing for so many reasons, but one of those is you can have a few comforts from home with you. Whether that’s your favorite blanket, pillow or whatever else to help you get a good night’s sleep, you can bring it along. Remember, it’s a home on wheels.

About Us

At RV Owner HQ we love everything about RVs and the RV lifestyle. So we created this website in the hopes of sharing what we love as well as what we’ve learned along the way.

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