Rent An RV [A Beginners Guide With Tips and Costs]

If you are ready to embark on your vacation and want to rent an RV, you are in for lots of fun and lots of flexibility. Unlike other forms of vacation transportation (airplane, train, car) an RV lets you take your home on wheels wherever you want. To make your RV rental less stress-free, we have some tips to help you along.

To see what RV rentals are available in your area, visit Outdoorsy.

  1. Plan To Fail If You Fail To Plan – Now that you have decided to go anon RV trip, you will need to consider the type of RV you want to rent. You will also want to consider what you want to do along the way. Where do you want to stop and sight-see, where do you want to stay the night? Take the time to plan your RV trip from beginning to end. This will allow you to maximize the use of your RV rental and maximize the fun as well.
  2.  Know Your Group – Before you can decide on what size RV you are going to rent you need to know who has committed to going on the trip. Being in an RV is not for everyone. Space can be cramped, especially in the smaller RVs. Make sure your group knows how long the trip is going to and the possible activities you all will engage in. If they are comfortable with your plan, that is great to hear. If they are not, they may want to opt out of your trip.
  3. Be Fair and Choose Destinations Everyone Will Enjoy – This is one of those tough ones but in order for everyone to have a good time you will need to choose destinations and activities everyone will like If you have kids on-board choose place and activities they will enjoy. Just make sure there is fun for everyone.
  4. Plan Your Budget – Before you embark on your trip, create a budget, so you have an idea of how much money you are going to need. Don’t forget to include campground fees, gas, unplanned excursions and meals, and miscellaneous expenses. Plan on taking about 20% more than you need, just in case something comes up that you did not anticipate.
  5. RV Fees – Ouch! – RV fees are real and can take a big chunk of your budget. You are going to need a deposit in order to rent the RV, you will need insurance too. Some RV companies also provide amenities at an extra cost. Things such as linens, kitchenware, propane, and generators. Propane and a generator are usually a lot cheaper with the RV rental company than at the campground.
  6. Expect Very Low Gas Mileage – RVs are a notorious gas guzzler. There really is not much you can do to improve that. To make matters a bit more expensive, if you are traveling during the summer month, gas prices tend to be higher than other times of the year. You can research cheaper places to buy gas, knowing that gas stations along a busy highway tend to be higher.
  7. This Ain’t Like Driving A Car – Driving an RV is very much more different from driving a car. Your view is different, you have to make an adjustment for stopping since it takes a longer distance to stop an RV than a car.  Turns and backing up is also a bit more difficult. Getting into your campground spot can be an adventure all by itself. However, you will always find a helpful hand in the form of a fellow RVer if you run into trouble.
  8. Save Some Money – A simple tip to save money is to pack your meals. Bring snacks, drinks, and meal prep the evening before for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Eating out is expensive, so prepping your meal will save you quite a bit of money.

How Much Does It Cost To Rent An RV?

That’s a very good question, and one that can only be answered with “it depends on”. RV rentals include several charges that you need to be aware of. These are the typical ones:

  • Nightly rental fee
  • Mileage fee
  • Generator fee

The nightly fee is similar to how a hotel charges for a bedroom, There is a set amount per night you have the RV. the nightly fee is determined by the RV owner.

The mileage fee is a fee charged for any miles that exceed the mileage allowance. Similar to a car rental company that may give you a certain number of miles per day and if you exceed those you end up paying “X” per extra mile. Again, this fee is determined by the RV owners.

The generator usage is typically determined by hours. If you exceed your generator hour allowance, you will have to pay for the extra usage. This too is a fee determined by the RV owner.

Do keep in mind that RV owners oftentimes are open to negotiations, and sometimes you can negotiate a package deal or a special offer. Don’t be afraid to ask.

Rent an RV

How Much Does It Cost To Rent An RV for a Week?

This is an example of how much it will cost to rent an RV for a week.

We’ll make the following assumptions:

  • Nightly rate is $99
  • The mileage allowance is 600 miles with a $0.35 for each extra mile
  • Generator allowance is 20 hours with use overage of $5 per hour

Your trip is going to be for 6 nights. You calculated your mileage to be 850 miles round trip. You anticipate you’ll be using the generator very little as you will be parked at a campground. Here is your total:

6 nights X $99 = $594
250 miles x $0.35 = $87.50
You won’t exceed the generator allowance.

Your Cost For Renting an RV for One Week Is $681.50 for this example.

Note this is only the rental of the RV and does not include insurance, gas, meals, etc.

How To Rent An RV Summary

I hope the information provided in this post will help you learn how to rent an RV. Renting is a great way to test out an RV if you are planning to eventually buy one. Check out some of our other posts such as Best Travel Trailer Manufacturers and Best Truck Campers for more information.

Here are some places to go with your RV:

Things to do with your RV rental in Washington State.

Awesome things to do with your RV in Las Vegas and in Arizona.

Ray Roman is the co-owner/author of Go Travel Trailers. He is the main contributor of content and an avid researcher of travel trailers and the RV lifestyle. He loves fly fishing, vacationing in Red River, NM, and spending time with family and friends.

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