How Much Does It Cost to Rent an RV?

5/13/2020 Go RV Rentals
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Summary

In this article we will discuss:

1. How much it costs to rent an RV;

2. The cost variables to consider;  

3. Cost to rent an RV per day; 

4. Cost to rent an RV per week; and, 

5. Cost to rent an RV for a month 

 

Whether you are planning a long weekend at a state park or you plan on driving across the country for an entire summer, renting an RV is a fun and adventurous way to travel. We've shown you the top 8 reason why you should rent an RV. While an RV rental saves you a lot of money compared to simply purchasing the vehicle outright and it compares favorably to driving /flying and renting hotels/cabins, the actual breakdown of cost to rent an RV will vary based on several factors.

 

Indeed, comparison shopping for an RV rental is not always easy because each platform has their own rate structure and policies. Go RV Rentals facilitates an “apples-to-apples” comparison for renters by breaking down the cost components.  Here are a few things you should know about the cost to rent an RV to help you find an RV to meet your needs and budget:

How much does it cost to rent an RV?

Well it depends...

Not all RVs are created equal and they typically are classified into several main types: Class A motorhome, Class B motorhome (aka camper van or campervan), Class C motorhome, and travel trailer (i.e., bumper-pull, pop-up, fifth-wheel and toy hauler). The type of RV that you choose will be a big factor in what your daily rate is going to be.

Furthermore, RV makes, models, amenities and age all factor into the cost to rent an RV. Just like certain makes and models of cars cost more than others, the same hold true for RVs. As an example, a run of the mill Lexus costs more than a typical Hyundai and a Lexus LS is more expensive than a Lexus ES. Likewise, an Airstream costs more than a Jayco and the Airstream Classic rents for more than the Airstream Basecamp. Finally, a newer model year and more amenities is more valuable than and older model year and fewer amenities and therefore the rental cost is on average higher for late models and amenity-rich RVs.   

 

Class A Motorhome Rental (Average Price - from $252 per Night*)

Class A motorhomes are typically higher end bus-like RVs that you drive like a car and offer many luxury features.  If you plan on traveling with a family or entertaining and you want to have the feel of being in a home, a Class A might be the best option. To have these extra amenities and room, though, you are going to have to pay more for it. Class A motorhomes are typically the most expensive type of RV. However, the gas engine models generally cost less than the diesel-pushers.

Class B Motorhome Rental /Camper Van (Average Price - from $197 per Night*)

Class B is a drivable RV that looks like an over-sized van. Its size is somewhat in the middle of Class A and Class C. They normally don’t have slide-outs. These may be fully self-contained with mini bedroom, bathroom and kitchen. The cost varies greatly and may cost more than a Class A or less than a Class C.  

Class C Motorhome Rental (Average Price - from $201 per Night*)

Class C motorhomes are usually built on a van frame, are typically smaller than Class As, have less of the luxury look and feel but are very nice and ultimately a cheaper option. If you still want to have a traditional RV experience but want to keep costs lower, choosing a class C motorhome is a great choice.

Travel Trailers Rental (Average Price - from $110 per Night*)

Travel trailers are quite different than both Class A and C motorhomes because they are pulled by your vehicle instead of being driven. Travel trailers are a lot less expensive than a motorhome to rent and you get an added benefit of having a separate vehicle to drive around at your destination. If you want to take a camping road trip and keep costs as low as possible, travel trailers might be the option for you.  

* Note average prices shown are indeed averages. The actual prices may be more or less.   

RV Rental Prices: Average Daily Base Rates as of May 13, 2020

City Class A Class B Class C Trailer Pop Up Toy Hauler Average
Atlanta $ 242 $ 266 $ 198 $ 113 $ 76 $ 133 $ 171
Austin 258 175 205 99 84 160 164
Denver 234 206 203 109 110 180 174
Detroit 250 242 201 118 76 138 171
Los Angeles 225 195 222 120 83 148 166
Orlando 297 169 191 109 67 139 162
Philadelphia 263 200 217 112 74 155 170
Phoenix 255 138 185 97 83 132 148
Salt Lake City 254 197 195 115 68 155 164
Seattle 245 185 196 112 78 148 161
Average $ 252 $ 197 $ 201 $ 110 $ 80 $ 149 $ 165

Notes: These average daily base rates do not include sales tax, fees and any other add-ons which may apply. Information sourced by Go RV Rentals from online research. 

The  average daily rate to rent an RV was $165 as of May 13, 2020 which remained unchanged from six months prior. Note this data point represents the averages all vehicle types across all sampled locales which ranged from $80 for a Pop-up to $252 for a Class A. Furthermore, within the sample the lowest daily rate was $50 for a Pop-up and the highest daily rate was $650 for a Class A.  

As you can see, depending on which class of RV and rental location, the daily rate varies. Now let's discuss other cost factors for figuring how much it is to rent an RV. 

 

How Long Will You Need The RV? Cost to Rent an RV for a Week

Many RV rental owners have a minimum rental period that can vary but is commonly three days.  If you are only renting for a short amount of time, you can usually expect to pay a higher daily rate than what you would pay if you are taking a longer trip of one week or more when discounts may be offered. Consider renting an RV for a week or more for a lower daily rate. You might ask: how much does it cost to rent an RV for a week? Weekly discounts typically are about 10% - 15% off. Some owners offer a deal where you rent for 6 days at regular rate and get the 7th day free. That would be a 14% discount.  Similarly, the cost to rent an RV for a month would be discounted off the daily rate by 10 - 15%. 

 

When Do You Need An RV? Off Season 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—during peak season, more people want an RV rental so the prices may go up; during off season there are more unrented RVs to choose from and prices may go down. Peak season is traditionally during the spring and summer months 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.

 

Additional Fees campfire at night

The cost to rent an RV is not always made up of just a daily rental rate (mobile devices click here). Oftentimes there will be additional fees and charges that you will have to pay. These can vary a lot so it is important that you find out the details before you rent. Some of the additional costs may include:

Mileage Costs

Mileage costs are typically associated with motorhomes and not travel trailers. A few RV owners offer unlimited mileage on their RV rentals.  Other owners offer a daily mileage allowance and additional costs are only added if you exceed a specific cap. For example, you may be given a daily mileage allowance of 150 miles. Anything over that would be charged at $0.38 per mile. If you rent your RV for 7 days and you drive a total of 1,500 miles, you would be 450 miles over your allowance. That would result in an extra $171 to your final bill.  

You will also need to budget for gasoline or diesel fuel expense.  Most motorhomes get somewhere around eight to ten miles per gallon and you can expect to get a few miles per gallon less on your vehicle than normal when you pull a travel trailer/ camper.

Generator Use

If you plan on camping out in the boondocks, that is in an area that does not have any type of hookups for electrical power and you want to use electronics you are going to have to use an electrical generator. Unlike a travel trailer that typically utilizes an external generator most motorhomes have an onboard generator. If you are in popular RV campgrounds this may never be a problem, but be aware some campsites do not have any electrical hookups. Some owners include unlimited generator use or charge a flat daily rental fee and others offer an allowance of so many hours per day.  In this case, you will be charged an hourly rate for your generator usage over the allowance.

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.

 

Reservations and Deposits

Typically the RV owner will collect a reservation deposit to hold the RV for you when it is booked. This deposit is then applied against the amount you will owe for the RV rental charges and depending on the owner's policy may or may not be refundable if you cancel your reservation.

Additionally, when you pick-up the RV the owner may collect or process a credit card authorization for a security deposit to cover potential damages to the vehicle.  Most, if not all, of this deposit will be refunded to you (or the credit card authorization released) after you return the RV, provided it's not been damaged and you've satisfied the terms of the rental agreement.

Conclusion

Regardless of what type of RV you want to rent for your trip, make sure that you communicate with your RV owner to understand the fees and policies they have for mileage and generator use, the cost of linens, other equipment and miscellaneous fees. Also, you should get a good understanding what their policy is on deposits and refunds should you have to cancel your reservation.

Finally, and most importantly, always get a written quote for your planned trip from your RV owner to avoid any misunderstandings and surprises.  You will be a happy camper!

 

Frequently Asked Questions: 

1. How much does it cost to rent an RV? 

It varies based on type of vehicle, when you rent, where you rent and additional miscellaneous costs, like mileage use, etc. The average daily cost to rent an RV is $165 for all RV types and pickup locations. This can vary to less than $100 per day for a small travel trailer rental to upwards of $650 for luxury RV rental.

 

2. How much does it cost to rent an RV for a week?

Take the daily rate of $165 times 7 will give you the weekly rate or about $1,155 as an average. However, some owners will discount about 10-15% for a weekly rental at certain times of the year.

 

3. How much is a 3-day weekend RV rental. 

That would cost about $500 based on the average cost to rent an RV. This could be more or less depending on the RV type, pickup location and other cost factors (read above). For example, it generally costs more to rent a large RV than a small one. Furthermore, a motorhome rental usually is more costly than a travel trailer rental.

 

4. Is it cheaper to rent a hotel or RV? 

Again, it depends on your family size, type of RV, etc, etc., etc. Say for example, you have a family of 6 and rent an RV, then you wouldn't have to rent two hotel rooms, airfare and/or a rental car (or incur wear and tear on your own vehicle). Also, you could avoid eating out by cooking meals inside the RV. With that said the nightly rate of most RVs are higher than average hotel costs but with the RV you can go where there are no hotels and you will have a lot more fun!

 

 chart showing cost to rent an rv

 

Additional Resources

 

Recommended Reading: The Ultimate Guide to Renting an RV  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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