Renting an RV? Don't, Without Finding Out How Much It Could Cost You!

How Much Does It Cost to Rent an RV?

RVs can make for a convenient way to enjoy camping or road trips, but not everyone will need to purchase an RV of their own. For people who don't plan to use one often, can't afford to finance one of their own, or aren't sure if RVing is right for them, an RV rental can be the best solution. But how much does it cost to rent an RV?

RV Classes and Renting

Unsurprisingly, the price of an RV rental can vary on many factors. However, one of the most obvious impacts on the cost of renting an RV is the type you get. With RVs available in many different sizes and kinds, you'll see different per night rates for each. On average, the nightly rental RV prices look like:

  •  Class A: $175-$275
  • Class B: $100-$200
  • Class C: $150-200
  • Campervan: $75-$150
  • Fifth Wheel: $60-$150
  • Pop Up Camper: $50-$100
  • Toy Hauler: $100-$200
  • Travel Trailer: $50-$125

In general, the larger the RV, the newer the model, and the more amenities it has available, the higher rental cost you can expect to pay per night. Renting a brand-new RV can raise the price per night easily by a couple of hundred dollars. However, the RV class and the amount of time you plan to use it are only a part of the larger cost equation.

How Rental RV Pricing Works

When trying to determine how much it costs to rent an RV, it's essential to understand all the different elements that come into deciding your total. As mentioned above, the rental company will charge you a nightly rate depending on the class of the RV you choose. However, other fees will come into play.

Aside from the nightly base fee, you will also pay a certain amount per mile you drive the RV. These rates are usually around thirty-five to forty-five cents per mile, and they'll once again depend on the company you choose.

Another similar fee based on use is the generator cost. These charges are usually a small fee per amount of power used, but they can add up if you use many of the electrical amenities during your trip. In particular, air conditioner use can add to your final price if you rent during the summer months.

Other things that can add to your total costs are:

  •  Rental kitchen utensils and bedding
  •  Setup and delivery fees
  • Gas (and penalties if you don't fill the tank before returning it)
  •  Rental insurance
  • Cleaning fees
  • Tax rates

Since this list can vary depending on where you rent, it's essential to look over the terms and conditions to fully understand what the rental company will charge you so you can avoid surprises.

The Formula for Calculating a Rental Price

Even with so many variables involved, you can still get a good idea of what the total cost of your rental will come out to in advance. It's usually best to start by deciding the class of RV you need, which will determine both the space available to you and your nightly rate. Start by multiplying this cost by how many nights you'll be spending in the RV on your trip.

Afterward, look up the mileage for your trip. Using an online map can give you an estimated number to multiply by the mileage rate. With this result added to the total nightly rental fees, you can also add any of the additional costs listed above to give you a ballpark estimate of what the rental price will be.

When you actually talk to a rental agency or take your trip, you may notice some slight changes, but having this working number in mind will let you set a budget and know what to expect in overall fees.

A rental for a few weeks can easily cost you a couple of thousand dollars, depending on the model you choose. However, this is much more affordable for many people, especially in comparison to new RV prices.

Tips to Not Overspend on an RV Rental and Stay on Budget

While even a rental trip in an RV is worth the money, that doesn't mean you need to empty your wallet to enjoy the experience. If you want to keep within your budget and not overspend to enjoy your vacation best, consider these tips.

Keep an Eye Out for Discounts

While rental RV pricing does primarily rely on how many nights your trip will last, that doesn't mean you can't find discounts if you look for them. Many RV renting services will give you some days for free if you select a long term rental. If you're planning on taking an extended trip, don't forget to ask about what discounts are potentially available.

Check Online Rental Services

If you don't' know where to start looking for a rental RV, consider online. Many different services allow you to see what's available, as well as organize by various categories such as price, amenities, and more with their online RV finder. Even if you don't rent from one of these services, you can use it as a guide for how much you can expect to pay for your trip.

Watch Your Generator Use and Mileage Carefully

When you're in the RV, it serves you well to pay careful attention to the miles you're driving and how much you're using the generator. While these fees are unavoidable, can save some money by not going overboard on your usage. Some rental agencies can also charge overage fees, which can also shoot up your final price.

Book During the Off Season

Summer may be a time that's almost synonymous with vacation, but RV rental companies know that, and they're not afraid to charge a premium rate during these months. Going during the offseason will not only save on your renting costs but campground fees as well. Pick your destination in advance and see if there's a cheaper time while you can still enjoy the good weather!

Plan Your Route in Advance

Just because you know where you're driving your RV to doesn't mean you know the best way to get there off the top of your head. Take time in advance to plan out your exact route so that you can stick to your mileage budget (and save on gas in the process). At this time, you can also book your campground reservations in advance, which is usually cheaper.

Don't Overburden Your RV

While an RV can handle much more than a car can, it's still possible to overburden it with weight. If this happens, you'll go through gas faster, which incurs some extra expenses along the way. Checking the tire pressure each day will help you tell how well the RV is handling and if you need to adjust during your trip.

Watch Out for Extra Fees

RV rental services want their vehicles back in the condition they sent them out in, and sometimes there are penalty fees associated with not taking care of your rental. Thankfully, most of these are easily avoidable if you pay attention, such as refilling the tank before you return it and cleaning the RV out correctly. These can also vary by rental service, so pay attention!

While renting an RV can be a costly investment, it's possible to get a good deal so long as you do your research. No matter what the price, though, the resulting trip will be a worthwhile experience.