How Much Does It Cost To Rent An RV?

4/16/2017 Go RV Rentals
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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. 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 dealer 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: 

What Class Of RV Rental Do You Want?

Not all RVs are created equally and they typically are classified into three main types: Class A motorhome, Class C motorhome, and travel trailer. The type of RV that you choose will be one of the biggest factors in what your daily rates are for an RV rental.

 
Class A Motorhome Rental
Class A motorhomes are typically higher end 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 rental.

Class C Motorhome Rental

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 for your RV rental is a great choice.

Travel Trailers Rental

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. 

How Long Will You Be Renting an RV?

Most RV rental dealers 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. 

When Do You Need An RV Rental?

Some RV rental companies 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 rental road trip during off season months, in the late fall and winter when some RV rental dealers 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 for RV Rentalcost to rent an rv

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 Rental dealers offer unlimited mileage on their RV rentals.  Other RV rental dealers 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 staying in an area that does not have any type of hookups to use 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 dealers 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 Rental company. 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 prep fees, pet fees, propane usage, cleaning and tank dumping. These fees may or may not be included in the base daily rate so be sure to ask.
 
Reservations and Deposits

Typically the RV rental dealer 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 dealer's policy may or may not be refundable if you cancel your reservation.

Additionally, when you pick-up the RV the dealer 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 rental dealer 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 Rental dealer to avoid any misunderstandings and surprises.  You will be a happy camper!

 Additional Resources
The Ultimate Guide to Renting an RV
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