Before any trip, it is a good idea know how much it will cost.
Especially with RVs, there are many costs that are easy to overlook. For example…
- RV Rental costs (of course)
- Per Night
- Cleaning (Pro tip: do it yourself)
- Campground 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.
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.
RV Rental Prices
There is a wide range in prices depending on location, size, model, site and age.
Average RV Prices By Type of RV
|Type of RV||10+ Years Old (per night)||New Model (per night)||Rent/Week|
These prices, even considering their age, vary by site and location quite a lot.
Renting an RV per week is often a great choice because the rates are significantly less.
Average Fuel Cost
|Type of RV||MPG||Daily Cost|
|Trailer (5th Wheel, Pop-Up, etc)||8-12||$32.62|
Average RV Prices By Location
Because Outdoorsy and others have individual sellers listing their own RVs when they aren’t in use, the landscape is constantly changing. It’s hard to nail down a consistent price anywhere.
Prices are constantly changing. When booking a trip, check the sites regularly for a few weeks before you commit. When you see a great deal, go for it!
Cruise America is the largest site that owns their own RVs. They have 126 locations across the whole US.
They are consistent across the whole country for their prices (mid-higher on the table above).
RV Prices By Site
There are a few different approaches for RV rental companies.
Sometimes it is a collection of RV owners willing to rent their RV Airbnb-style, like Outdoorsy or RVShare. Sometimes it is dealerships and companies renting their own, like Cruise America.
Cruise America has a lot more costs to worry about, like maintenance, staffing, inspections, etc.
Pro Tip: When renting an RV for longer times (more than 1 month), individual RV owners are often extremely willing to negotiate for a lower cost.
RV vs Hotel
Unlike hotels, which don’t move and cannot be personalized, RVs are great for exploring.
RVs are made for travel. Not getting to a place—traveling through the place, experiencing it. They are made for overlanding, for the journey.Harlon Dexter
But how much does it cost? Is RVing really cheaper than a hotel?
According to the BTN Travel Index, in 2019 the average hotel room cost per night was $183.29. (For upper-upscale, upscale, and midscale hotels in 100 cities across the US.)
In addition, to rent a car will cost about $47.58 per day including fuel (same source).
That puts the total at $230.07 per day renting a hotel and car on your vacation.
A 2014 Vacation Cost Comparison prepared by PKF Consulting USA showed a family of four can save 27-62% … traveling in an RV, even when factoring in ownership costs and fuel. For a two-person traveling party, savings are 11-48%. More than 80% of RV owners say their RV vacations cost less than other forms of travel.RV Industry Association
RVing is often more economical than staying at a hotel and renting a car. You could save hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
“Owning a small RV lets you travel for only 60%-70% of the traditional car-plus-hotel cost.”Money
In the beginning we listed campgrounds, food, and activities as other expenses. Food and activities are up to you, but campgrounds, we can help with.
Wandrly did a great analysis of average campground prices across the United States.
If you have a particular state in mind, see the breakdown…
All credit to Wandrly for these images and information!
The data is from Campendium, a great resource for finding campsites and planning your trip out beforehand. (complete guide coming soon)
Boondocking (Free Camping)
One method of boondocking is staying in an RV overnight somewhere for free. Though often associated with camping out in the wilderness, you can find rural or urban places too.
Read our ultimate guide to boondocking to discover all the experts’ tactics and strategies.
A Changing Industry
In light of COVID-19 (aka the coronavirus), the travel industry has evolved. To get a better picture of what those changes look like, check out this article.
When renting an RV, it is extremely common to be charged extra for bedding and kitchen utensils. Therefore, if you have space to pack it, why not!
However you do not have to bring it (in most cases, there is a fee).
Most RVs fall in the range of $50/night (for a travel trailer) to $200/night (an older Class A). Most quality RVs for 4 people fall around $150. If it’s only 2 people, the cost drops significantly—especially if you’re interested in a camper or travel trailer.
Find the perfect fit.
For an older model, the price ranges form $150 to $250 per night. For a new model (within 5 years) the prices can go as high as $350 to $450/night. They are expensive, yes, but luxury has its cost.
Rent a Class A RV now!
Absolutely! From our research it costs $230.07 per day to live renting a hotel and car on your vacation. For an RV, it can range anywhere from $50 to $200—exactly as much as you’re willing to pay.
According to Money.com and the RV Industry Association, RVers save 50-60% renting an RV over paying for a hotel and car.
Rent an RV now!
For a newer model, the prices range from $125-$200. If you’re willing to settle for older models (more than 5-10 years) it can go as low as $50. Remember, the older ones are high quality still and well maintained. The difference is features and amenities.
Rent a travel trailer or camper or learn more about the different kinds of travel trailers!
They range from $100 to $400/night depending on age and the included features of the RV. Most sit within the range of $125 to $200, though there is a larger version that jumps up to about $250 per night.
Rent a Class C RV now!
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