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Is it Possible to Rent an Affordable RV?
The word is spreading about the ease and cost-effectiveness of RV rentals. It is now easier than ever to rent an RV at an affordable rate.
But you might be wondering How Much Does it Really Cost to Rent an RV?
That’s why you should read on to learn the difference between RV Rental Price vs Cost ~ The Real Deal.
We explain that the price of an RV is just the advertised price per night – but the cost of an RV also includes all of the extras…and they can add up!
BUT – if you read on you can use this knowledge to negotiate your best deal on an RV rental!
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PRICE AND COST OF AN RV RENTAL
One important thing to keep in mind when choosing your RV rental is that there are additional costs besides the rental price. You don’t want to be surprised by these costs when they arise, so it is best to factor them into your budget.
So the difference between the PRICE of an RV Rental and the COST of an RV rental is this:
The RV Rental Price is just the advertised price per night, week, or month to rent the RV for that period of time.
The RV Rental Cost is the RV Rental Price PLUS all of the other add ons that make up the total amount you will spend renting your RV. Things like mileage, generator time, kitchen packages, bedding and linens, insurance, roadside assistance, and many more items all add up to the total cost of renting an RV.
We aren’t trying to scare you or tell you not to rent an RV! We are pointing these things out so that when you do rent an RV you are educated enough to be able to negotiate the best deal on your RV Rental!
WHERE TO FIND RV RENTALS WITH THE LOWEST OVERALL COST
Renting an RV is a very inexpensive way to travel. Most nightly RV rental rates are less than the cost of an average hotel room. You will also find more amenities in an RV rental than you would find in a basic hotel room, which makes an RV rental a great value. A full kitchen, bathroom, and beds for up to eight people are all possible in an RV rental.
There are many nationwide and local companies that you can choose for your RV rental. If you are looking to rent an RV and want to find the lowest overall cost, we recommend looking for a peer-to-peer RV rental. A peer-to-peer rental allows you to rent directly from an RV owner. Renting directly from an owner is very different from a corporate RV rental where you are renting from a company that has a fleet of RVs.
PRO TIP: If you want to rent an RV with the lowest overall cost, we recommend looking for a peer-to-peer RV rental like Outdoorsy.
Renting directly from an owner usually means a lower cost. Individual RV owners can set their own prices and may even be willing to negotiate the cost with you.
Another plus to using a peer-to-peer rental service is that you have a larger selection of RVs to choose from when selecting an RV rental. While most corporate RV rentals offer just a few different options, with peer-to-peer rental services, you can choose from thousands of different types of rigs.
Renting directly from the owner is an excellent option because the owners have a vested interest in keeping their RV in good shape. After all, they use it themselves! Most RV owners take great pride in their rigs and care for them well, which means you will get a higher quality product.
In the past, one of the downsides to peer-to-peer rentals was the concern that you may not have insurance protection in the event of an accident during your vacation. Another disadvantage was that if a problem arose during your trip, you would be dealing directly with the RV owner. Many people were skeptical of a rental without someone to help mediate any dispute that may occur.
Fortunately, there are now online peer-to-peer rental services that eliminate these concerns. Using a reputable peer-to-peer rental service such as RVshare or Outdoorsy ensures that you are protected in the event of a mishap. Both companies provide insurance and customer service support to assist you if there is a dispute or issue of any kind on your trip.
While RVshare and Outdoorsy both offer similar benefits, Outdoorsy has an advantage over RVshare due to its outstanding insurance and 24/7 customer support. We also like the quality of the rental RVs and travel trailers that are available on Outdoorsy.
12 RV RENTAL COSTS THAT YOU NEED TO CONSIDER
The price of your RV rental is the main expense you will have on your camping getaway. However, there are other costs involved with renting an RV. Here are the top 12 Rental Costs you should consider.
1. Mileage Price per Mile
Be sure to see if your RV rental includes unlimited miles or if you will be charged for going over the miles allotted. If you are renting a travel trailer or pop-up camper, this will not be an issue. If your rental mileage seems lower than what you will need for your trip, try to negotiate this with the RV owner. Many owners are flexible with mileage, especially if you are renting for a week or more.
2. Gas Costs
Another cost to consider is gas. If you are renting an RV, ask about the average mileage that you can expect in the rig. Remember, this is just an estimate, and the mileage will vary based on your driving style and road conditions.
If you are renting a travel trailer, it may be difficult to guess what your gas mileage will be since there are so many factors involved, like the capability of your truck and the size of the trailer. In general, plan for around 8 to 10 miles per gallon on your trip. However, there are some excellent trip planning tools that can help you to plan your trip route, activities, campgrounds and mileage so you can get a good handle on your fuel cost.
3. Roadside Assistance
If you are traveling far from home, it may be a good idea to look into roadside assistance. If you are an AAA member, towing costs for an RV are not included in your membership. Depending on the company you use for your RV rental, some roadside assistance coverage may be provided. Be sure to read what each policy offers before making a decision about which plan best meets your needs.
4. Cleaning Fees
Check the rental listing to see if there are any additional cleaning fees for your rental. Cleaning fees are a pretty standard and reasonable charge as the RV is sure to need some cleaning upon your return. Again, this is something that you may be able to negotiate with the RV owner.
5. Linen Package Cost
Another possible cost is rental fees for “extras” such as dishes, towels, and linens. The great thing about Outdoorsy is that most RV rentals come fully outfitted with the basics such as dishes, pots, pans, silverware, and even camp chairs! Linens are typically an additional cost, so check your rental listing.
6. Kitchen Utensil and Cookware Package Cost
Some RVs come stocked with everything you need to cook and eat your meals. Others do not. With some RV Rentals, you must pay an additional amount for kitchen utensils and cookware. You can bring your own stuff or you could also try to negotiate these prices or maybe even get them thrown in at no charge.
7. Tax and Tolls
One unexpected cost that can be an unpleasant surprise is a highway toll. Check your trip route and see if you will be driving on any toll roads. While some roads only charge a low fee, others can be $20 or more. It is worth checking your route to see if you want to plan for those costs or take another road.
8. Rental Insurance
Next, consider if you will need additional rental insurance for your trip. One thing we love about Outdoorsy is that you can choose between three levels of rental insurance for your trip. Each of these insurance plans offers coverage for common RV mishaps. Take a look at each one to determine which plan is best for you. Your car insurance or even a credit card may provide you with coverage as well, so check out what you already have before purchasing an additional plan.
9. Setup and Delivery Cost
If you are renting a travel trailer and plan to have it set up and/or delivered to your campsite, be prepared for a charge for this service. Likewise, if you need to rent a tow vehicle, it will also be an additional charge.
10. Campground Fees
The final and most expensive additional cost for your RV getaway is your campground fee. If you plan to camp in a state or national park, be you will need to budget for a price of $15-30 per night. If you plan to camp in a private campground, the cost can rise even more. Rates at private campgrounds vary widely depending on the time of year, location, and amenities. In general, plan for anywhere from $50-80 per night or more.
11. Dump Fees
Most private and public campgrounds offer free RV dumping during your stay. However, not all campgrounds provide this service. Be sure to check to see if the campground you are visiting has hookups or a dump station on site. If not, you may need to dump your tanks elsewhere. Dumping fees can range from $4-10.
12. Generator Cost
If you are camping in a campground or campsite that does not offer electric hookups, you may want to consider renting a generator. The use of a generator may be included in some RV rentals, or there may be an additional fee. You can always save money by skipping the generator option, but be prepared to go without lights in the evening, microwave, appliances, and even a way to charge your phone! Renting a generator is a smart choice if electric hookups are not available at your campsite.
WHAT ARE RV RENTAL ADD-ONS?
Most RV rentals offer add-on items. Add-on items are amenities and gear that go beyond the basics of a rental and have an additional cost. Typical add-on items are GPS units, bikes, bike racks, camp chairs, tents, sleeping bags, cookware, utensils, linens, pillows, blankets, camp tables, grills, etc.
To save money on your rental, try to bring any of these items that you need. Of course, the convenience of being able to include these items with your rental may make the cost worth it to you.
Check the RV rental listings that you are considering and see if any of these items are included in the rental or if they are an additional cost. A rental that offers lots of add-on items in the base rental price may be a better deal than a cheaper rental that charges more for add-on items.
HOW TO GET THE BEST PRICE AND LOWEST COST RV RENTAL?
Are you ready to rent your perfect (and affordable) RV? We have a few tips for finding the best deals on an RV rental near you.
If you have a flexible schedule, you can save a lot of money on your RV adventure by taking your trip during the off-season. Depending on your rental location, the off-season may be during the winter (especially true for northern areas of the US and Canada) or summer (rates are cheaper in places such as Florida during the summer months). Determine the off-season for where you want to go and take a look at how much less expensive your rental will be!
Another tip is to take a more extended trip. It may seem strange, but you can often save money by extending the length of your RV rental! Remember that it takes the same amount of work for an RV owner to rent their RV for a weekend as it does for them to rent it for a week or more. Check the rental listing to see if the owner offers a discount on longer-term rentals. If a discount is not listed, send the owner a message and ask. They may be willing to give you a discount on the nightly rate for a longer-term rental.
To find the best deal on an RV rental, go to Outdoorsy.com and enter your rental location and preferred dates for your trip. Use the search filters to narrow down to your favorite types of RVs. You can also filter your search by entering any amenities or special needs that you have. For example, you can search for travel trailers that come with a tow vehicle rental. Or you can search for RV rentals that include amenities such as dishes and linens.
Next, you can filter by price, the number of people the trailer can accommodate and reviews. Because Outdoorsy is a peer-to-peer rental service, it is a good idea to only look at rentals from owners with four or five-star reviews. You will be surprised at the number of five-star reviews you will find on the website. Click Here to check out Outdoorsy’s Amazing reviews!
Once you have selected a few RVs, save them as “favorites” in your account. Next, make a list of what comes included and what items are extra costs with each rental. Considering those add-on items will give you the real cost of the RV rental and not just the price.
One of the perks of booking directly with the RV owner is that you can negotiate some of the terms of your rental. If there is a mileage limit or additional charge for generator use, ask about a discount or price break on these items. You may be surprised at the willingness of RV owners to work with you, especially if you are renting for a week or more.
About the Author:
Mike Scarpignato is an avid RVer and outdoorsman. He travels with his wife Susan in their Class A 2021 Thor Challenger and their Class C 2008 Gulf Stream Conquest. Mike is the owner of RVBlogger.com, TravelTrailerPro.com, MotorhomeFAQs.com, the RVBlogger YouTube Channel, and the private Facebook group called RV Camping for Newbies.