• Ben Webby

How much does a Renting an RV Cost? USA Road Trip tips

Thinking about renting an RV for your next road trip? There is so many things to consider when it comes to renting an RV. The main thing is how much does RV rental cost? Rental companies are not usually the easiest to deal with and often when it gets to payment time, you get hit with a lot of hidden fees or charges. 

We break down how much it costs to rent an RV online for a weekend, a week and a month. All the examples listed below are at 2018 or newer models and in nearly brand new condition. You can find these listings and thousands of others here.

How much does it cost to Rent an RV for a WEEKEND?

Total Cost = $385.86

How much does it cost to Rent an RV for a WEEK?

Total Cost = $1396.10

How much does it cost to Rent an RV for a MONTH?

Total cost = $3161

Other fees to consider:

Most online RV rental services will require you to pay a security deposit before you hire the vehicle. This is usually between $400-$1000. But don’t worry, as long as there is no intentional damage and you don’t steal the motorhome, you’ll get this money back when you return the RV. 

Some RVs have a limit on the amount of miles you can use on your road trip, and some limit the generator hours per day. Most rental companies allow 100-150 miles per day, and then charge $0.50-$1 per extra mile. Generator allowance is usually 4 hours a night and costs between $2-$4 per extra hour.

Find out which RV would be perfect for your next Road Trip with our free test!

Benefits of Renting an RV

1. Virtually no paperwork

It's all taken care of for you. You don’t have to worry about going to the DMV and changing ownership or registration. This includes insurance too, the rental company will make sure you are ready to hit the road as soon as you get your RV. You go online, choose the RV you want and how long you want to rent it for. Once you’ve paid for the rental, the process is organized for you from start to finish. This does not happen if you buy an RV, it can be an extremely time consuming process and kind of a pain in the ass. Just picture waiting in line at the DMV for a few hours to organize all that. I'll pass.

2. 24/7 assistance

If something bad does happen on the trip and you break down, you will have 24/7 access to a customer service team. So they will be able to get a mechanic out to help you ASAP. If it's more than just  a quick fix, most RV rental companies will replace the RV for you so that you can finish your trip.

3. Great Condition Vehicles

One of the reasons renting an RV costs quite a lot, is because you are usually getting a brand new RV. Or at least one under 4 or 5 years old that has very low miles. They are always in great condition and have been looked after well. Plus, if it’s not in great condition and something happens, see point 2 above!

Our 1991 Ford Tioga, she had definitely seen better days.

It costs a lot to buy an RV that's in new condition, often 100,000s of dollars. But renting allows you to have this luxury short term for around $120 a night, which is a little more affordable...

You can always buy an old, run down RV like we did, be warned however, second hand RV's come with their fair share of problems. You can still find some great options that have been looked after well. It can take a long time though. We highly recommend inspecting the vehicle and paying for a pre purchase inspection if you are looking to buy.

When renting an RV online, the age and miles of the vehicle are factored into the price. So the more expensive models to rent are usually the newest.

4. You get to stay in RV campgrounds 

We found this out the hard way during our west coast road trip, we purchased a 1991 motorhome and were turned away from countless RV parks because it was too old. 

You have to have a relatively new RV to be able to stay at campgrounds in the US. It's a weird rule, but some campgrounds can be flexible if they aren’t full. At least if you rent an RV for a road trip, you know you are getting a new vehicle and won’t run into any issues staying in RV campgrounds. 

This gives you a place to fill your fresh water, empty your grey and black water tanks. Connect to wifi and use some less cramped bathroom facilities too. 

5. It's great practice for the real thing

If you are thinking about buying an RV in the future, renting an RV for a week can be a perfect way to get a feel for what it's like having an RV of your own. You’ll get some hours behind the wheel, getting a feel for driving a big rig on the road. Which can be quite a shock the first start. Especially when the first time you do it, you are driving on the opposite side of the road that you’re used to.

It's not all about driving practice either, you get to practice doing all the daily RV chores, like cleaning and cooking in a small space, plus everyone's favorite, going to the RV dump. If you are looking into buying an RV of your own, I would recommend renting an RV for a Road Trip first. Learn what you like and don’t like about the rv, take this into account when you are looking for an rv of your own. 

6. No storage fees or depreciation

If you buy a brand new camper, expect its value to decline by 40% in the first 2 years (on average – and this is particularly true for towables.) If you buy used, the term “buyer beware” is truly applicable!

Many RV owners store their camper for the better part of 7 months out of a calendar year, leaving only about 5 months for active use. Out of the 5 months (at best) most owners use their campers a few weekends, or perhaps for a week or two. If you are going to use your RV like this, then is it worth owning something that will easily depreciate hundreds (or thousands) of dollars from year to year, cost you hundreds in insurance, perhaps hundreds (or thousands) in service contracts and/or repairs and in routine maintenance.

If you park it at an RV storage lot for at least 6 months a year then expect to pay $400+ So while renting an RV can cost quite a lot. When you factor all these costs into consideration, buying an RV can be quite expensive. 

Summary of Renting an RV cost:

RV rental for a weekend: $385

RV rental for a week: $1396

RV rental for a month: $3161

Note: These prices are all for models that are 4 years old or newer, there are many cheaper options for RVs that are not as new.  There is usually a security deposit cost you have to pay up front for protection reasons. This usually ranges from $400-$1000. But don’t worry, as long as there is no intentional damage and you don’t steal the motorhome, you’ll get this money back when you return the RV. 

Final thoughts on Renting an RV for a Road Trip As listed above there are many benefits for renting an RV. You would only want to invest in your own if you planned on getting a lot of use out of your Campervan. It wouldn’t make sense to spend that much money if you are just planning a short vacation. The cost of renting an RV for a weekend, or week makes much more sense than buying an RV for a short time. 

If you’re looking into buying an RV and want to see if the lifestyle suits you, then we recommend renting an RV for a week and getting a feel for it. 

It’s a lot less hassle getting a rental RV. You can book it all online, have minimal paperwork, 24/7 assistance and an RV in great condition. 

If you’re interested in browsing RVs for your next trip. RVShare has the largest selection of RVs online. Get 25% off the cost of rv rental here.

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