How Much Does It Cost to Rent an RV?

It’s a trend that just keeps growing. RVs are now a norm across the nation. They come in various shapes and sizes, from campers to motorhomes. It’s a great way to see the country. Though avid travelers may own their RV, less frequent adventurers may choose to rent. It can be an economical way to cruise if you do your research and stick to a budget.

RVs come in different sizes and different prices

RVs come in three classes, along with bumper-pull travel trailers and fifth wheels. Various manufacturers make them. Here’s a look at each type:

Class C motorhomes: These range from 20 to 38 feet long. They’re built on a van frame or truck chassis with a cab added to the front. The feel of driving one is much like driving a truck. Class Cs are available in gas or diesel engines. They offer similar amenities to travel trailers. 

Class B motorhomes: Class Bs are smaller, ranging between 12 and 20 feet long. The feel is more like driving a van. A Class B should be plenty roomy for a single person or a couple, and it gets better mileage than larger RVs. Some Class Bs have slide-outs like those available in a travel trailer.

Class A motorhomes: Class A motorhomes are like driving a classy bus. They measure between 21 and 41 feet long. If you want the best of accommodations, this could be your choice. A Class A can sleep six to eight people and offers the top amenities.

Bumper-pull travel trailers: If you drive a pickup or large SUV, a bumper-pull could work for you. They’re available in lengths ranging from 20 to 28 feet, according to Camper Report. They’re generally designed with a sitting area, small kitchenette, and bathroom. Many are equipped with slide-outs to provide more indoor room once set up for a stay.

Fifth wheel travel trailers: These are designed to be hitched to the bed of a pickup and come with much the same offerings as a bumper pull. In either case, it’s important to know the weight of the trailer and the weight your pickup can pull. One major advantage to a travel trailer is you can set it up at a campsite and detach your vehicle to go sightseeing or grocery shopping.

What to expect to spend on an RV rental

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When you ask an RV rental facility, “What does it cost to rent an RV?” you’ll need to know what you’re talking about. Not only do prices vary among vehicle models, but the age of a unit can also affect the price. A base price for renting a newer bumper pull, less than 10 years old, averages between $125 and $250 per night, RV Share reports. If you don’t mind a little older vehicle, the price could be significantly lower, about $50 to $125 per night. 

Pricing for a fifth wheel could run a tad more. However, for motorhomes, you’re looking at $100 to $200 a night for older Class B and Cs and $150 to $250 a night for an older Class A. Want a newer version? Tack on an additional $100 to $200 per night.

But the cost doesn’t stop there. Think of an RV rental as a car rental but more expensive. On top of the base rate, add rental tax and insurance. If you drive more than the typical 150 miles per day, you could see an additional 45 to 50 cents per mile. And if you use the generator for more than four hours, add a $4-per-hour generator charge.

You can save money by bringing your own kitchen utensils. You also might have to pay extra for satellite TV. Still, you get to see the country in a new way, and renting an RV can be more cost-effective than staying in a hotel.

A few other tidbits

You might wonder if you need a special license to drive an RV. In most cases, no. According to Outdoorsy, you don’t need a special license to drive a vehicle under 26,000 pounds in all 50 states.

To get the best pricing, look around. Every year, there are more RV rental companies, so you have plenty of options. Some are nationwide, while others local. And if you’re interested in glamping, some companies will set up a trailer so that it’s ready for your arrival at the beach or campsite.

Remember that prices will be higher during peak travel periods. You’ll likelier find savings outside of summer and holiday breaks. But there are savings to be found, so shop around. And don’t be afraid to ask questions.