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If you are considering taking an RV trip, knowing how much it costs to rent an RV can be a big piece of the financial puzzle. Renting, rather than buying, can be an excellent way to test the waters of the RV life to make sure that it’s right for you and your family.
So, exactly how much does it cost to rent an RV?
On average, it costs $175 per night to rent a class C RV, the most common type of rental. The price can range, however, anywhere from $50 to $500 per night depending on what type and size of RV you choose, as well as location and seasonality. This range exists because not all RVs are the same, and things like size, type, and age of the rig you rent will all go into the price.
This number does not include camp site fees, which can add anywhere from $15 to $100 (or more) per night.
Why is there such a huge range of prices to rent an RV? The higher numbers in this $50-500 range are generally going to be for new, large, or luxury RV rentals, while the lower end will be for older, smaller, and less luxurious ones.
Then there is also seasonality – summer is peak season for RVing and so rentals are more scare, and prices higher during the warm season. Costs will also vary depending on the location that you are traveling to and from as well, so be sure to get a real quote from a few different rental companies before renting.
Average RV rental prices by type/class
|Type of RV:||Avg. Rental Prices per night:|
|Class A Motorhome||$155 to $275 per night|
|Class B Campervan||$100 to $200 per night|
|Class C Motorhome||$150 to $200 per night|
|Travel Trailer||$50 to $125 per night|
|Fifth Wheel||$60 to $150 per night|
|Pop Up Trailer||$50 to $100 per night, often less|
The cost of an RV rental is based primarily on what type of RV you want to rent. Briefly, here are the basic types:
Class A Motorhome: These are the largest drivable motorhomes, perfect for large families or those who want a spacious, luxurious RV experience. These RV’s can be up to 45 feet long, but are on average about 33 feet. Optional slide-outs can also contribute extra interior space. Their size means they are a bit more difficult to maneuver – the tradeoff for the extra square footage.
Class B Camper Vans: These are generally the smallest drivable RVs. They are better for single people or couples. They handle very nicely and fit many places a Class A or Class C will not – but you sacrifice roominess on the inside.
Class C Motorhomes: Usually smaller than the Class A, these motorhomes are generally built on a truck or van body, and are easier to maneuver. More compact, they often have creative use of space to sleep up to 6 people. Like the Class A’s these RV’s can include slideouts to make them open up to have even more room once parked.
Towable RVs: Towable RVs are the most common and most economical type of RV when looking to purchase an RV. But rental of one of these types of RV will require you to have a truck or other vehicle capable of towing, and generally at least some towing experience. For this reason, towable RVs are typically less common as rentals. They come in various styles, including travel trailers, fifth wheels, pop-up campers, and toy haulers.
What determines the price of RV rentals?
A number of variables go into RV rental pricing.
Type of RV. You can see that larger models such as Class A motorhomes are going to be more expensive than the smaller, class C ones. Drivable RVs are also going to be more expensive than towable ones.
Size of RV. Within RV classes, there will be different lengths. A longer class A motorhome is going to be more expensive to rent than a shorter class A motorhome.
Age of RV. Newer models are going to be more expensive to rent than older ones. That said, there is a market for vintage RV’s, so sometimes the very old ones can cost even more to rent.
Location. Pricing for RV rentals will vary based on location. If you are in an area where RV rentals are very popular, you may end up paying more.
Time of Year. Similarly to hotel rates or airfare, the cost of an RV rental will vary seasonally. Prime camping time is generally in the summer, with late spring and early fall being the next most popular.
Mileage. Some RV Rental companies include mileage in the rental rates, while others will charge you for the mileage separately. Keep that in mind while comparing, and look to see what is included.
Other Perks. You may have an option of having the RV delivered to you, or even set up at your campsite. Some companies offer more amenities, such as kitchen supplies, bedding, or camping gear with the rental, while others will require you to bring your own stuff.
Where can you rent an RV?
You have options when it comes to deciding who to rent an RV from. Here are some of the most popular RV rental companies now.
Outdoorsy is a peer-to-peer RV rental network (think Airbnb, but for campers) that connects RV owners with people who want to rent RVs. They have RV rentals available in all 50 states, and their service can be accessed from a computer or on an iOS or Android app. When booking with Outdoorsy, be sure to read the details of the RV’s you’re interested in booking. Each owner will have different rental set ups, regarding mileage included and amenities.
RVshare is considered the first and largest peer-to-peer RV rental marketplace, with over 60,000 RV owners renting their rigs on this site. Their website offers an excellent search interface, and a worry-free rental guarantee. Similarly to Outdoorsy, each RV owner sets their own arrangements regarding cost per mile. You can search by “unlimited miles” though, if it’s easier for you to not have to worry about doing that calculation.
Cruise America is the nation’s largest RV rental firm, and maintains a fleet of rental RVs that can be picked up at one of 126 locations throughout the US and Canada. They offer both round-trip and one-way rentals, and pricing is based on the number of miles you plan to travel. The “Cruise America” logo on the side of a Class C RV is a common site at many campgrounds in the summer.
Other Places to Rent a RV
There is very likely to be a local RV lot near you that offers campers for rent. Check with them to see what they can offer you, as they can often beat the prices of the larger places. And in most cases a campground that rents RVs will already have it set up and ready for you when you arrive.
You will also likely encounter other peer-to-peer RV rental sites, but keep in mind that there is overlap with these websites, so you might be better to stick with either RVshare or Outdoorsy.
Nightly RV rental rates by rental company
We did a little research and identified the average nightly rental rates from the most popular RV rental companies. Check out the table below:
|Class A Motorhome||$175 to $275 per night||$175 to $275 per night||$105 – $125 per night |
|Class B Campervan||$100 to $200 per night||$100 to $200 per night||n/a|
|Class C Motorhome||$150 to $200 per night||$150 to $200 per night||$95 $115 per night |
|Travel Trailer||$50 to $125 per night||$50 to $125 per night||n/a|
|Fifth Wheel||$60 to $150 per night||$60 to $150 per night||n/a|
|Pop Up Trailer||$50 to $100 per night||$50 to $100 per night||n/a|
Pricing details on Outdoorsy and RVShare
You’ll notice that average pricing at Outdoorsy and RV share is the same. This is because they are both peer to peer RV rental companies that serve many of the same RV owners. Competition between the sites means that you can occasionally find the same RV listed on both platforms, so choose the one with the lower price. We found that many of the RVs for rent on these platforms did include some amount of miles included in the rate.
To determine if there are mileage or other fees associated with an Outdoorsy or RVshare rental, make sure to read the entire listing. On both sites, scroll to the bottom of the listing to view rates and availability, how many miles are included, if any,, and what the cost is per additional mile.
Pricing details on CruiseAmerica
CruiseAmerica only rents out full size drivable RVs, most commonly Class C styles. They haven’t published a comprehensive list of their pricing, but we checked a few different cities to get a basic number. Expect to add 35 cents per mile for your trip. This is calculated at booking, and varies based on location and time of year.
To show an example, we looked at renting an RV in Rochester (upstate NY) for this Spring.
A Class C motorhome for one week, Friday to Friday, in April was priced at $90 per night. 300 miles, charged at 35 cents per mile added $105 to the entire trip. A $9 cleaning fee and NY State taxes brought the weekly charge to just over $1000, making the nightly cost $145/night all-in.
Is it even possible to rent an RV?
Yes, you absolutely can rent an RV. RV rentals are available most everywhere in the US, from both corporate style rental agencies and peer to peer services (think, Airbnb, but for campers). Generally the requirements are that you have a valid driver’s license and are at least 18 years of age, though in many cases the age requirement increases to 25 for insurance reasons.
You can rent an RV for one night, one week, one month, or a whole year. How you rent an RV and where you rent an RV from will depend on your budget and your goals for your RV trip.
How do I know if renting an RV is right for me?
There are a few things you should think about before taking the plunge and renting an RV. Let’s look at those below.
Is renting an RV cheaper than a hotel?
Renting an RV is generally not cheaper than renting a hotel, though it depends on the location and amenities involved with each.
This depends… (and we’re going to say that a lot in this particular article) on what your goal is. If you are renting a small RV and boondocking or staying in a public campground, then yes, renting an RV will likely be cheaper than staying in a hotel. A nice RV in a nicer campground will likely cost more than the cost of a hotel room.
Location matters here as well. Just like a hotel in NYC will cost more than a hotel in Buffalo, an RV rental in Northern California will cost more than an RV rental in Northern Wisconsin.
This all said, renting an RV because it might be cheaper is probably not your best option. Consider the conveniences that hotel travel will offer versus the extra work that RV travel has. If a hotel sounded good to begin with, then stick with that choice, but if you want an adventure, consider renting an RV instead.
Should I rent an RV before I buy one?
Renting an RV before you buy one is an excellent idea, especially if you’ve never been RVing before. While there are lots of fun aspects of camping in an RV, it also has its share of work and responsibilities that go along with it. Renting and spending a few nights in an RV will help you decide which features and considerations are most important to you – putting you in a better position to choose a floorplan and model that is right for you if you do decide to buy.
Owning an RV is a big commitment, and while we think it’s amazing, it may not be right for everyone. Renting an RV for a trip is a great way to learn more about driving and using an RV and getting a feel for how you and your family like the RV lifestyle.
Taking an RV out onto the open road is such a unique and fun adventure that your family will remember forever. Renting can be the perfect way to have that experience you’ve seen in road trip movies like RV, Little Miss Sunshine, and We’re The Millers, except maybe without all the drama!
Do I need a special license to drive an RV?
If you’ve never done it before, you might think that driving such a large vehicle would require a special driver’s license. The fact is that in all 50 states, a regular driver’s license allows you to drive a recreational vehicle, no special permissions required.
Do keep in mind that driving a motorhome is not as easy as driving a car though. Backing up can be especially difficult, so opt for a rental RV with a backup camera, especially if you use one in your personal vehicle. Its also quite different driving one style of RV versus another – say a Class A motorhome compared to towing a Fifth Wheel or Travel Trailer.
The most common RV rentals are “Class C” motorhomes and thus towing is generally not an issue. Class C RV rentals often drive and handle very similar to moving trucks.
Do I need insurance to rent an RV?
In most instances, the camper will come with insurance coverage built into the rental. This coverage will be very basic liability coverage. Your personal car insurance may also cover you while you are driving a rented RV. If in doubt, check with your insurance company for details, and ask if any additional insurance is needed.
Tips for saving money on RV rentals
There are other costs associated with renting an RV that you may not have thought of yet! Here we’ll show you how to save money on an RV rental and how to save a bit more on your overall RV camping trip.
Find deals and coupons
Why pay full price if you don’t have to? Many RV rental companies, including peer-to-peer sites, will offer coupons and discounts. You just have to look for them.
When it comes to local or regional RV dealers, check for discounts on one-way trips, or relocation specials (when they need to move some RVs to a new location, they’ll charge less for you to move it for them). Don’t forget to check coupon sites like Groupon.com for money saving discounts too. CruiseAmerica sometimes runs mileage sales, where the cost per mile is reduced. Watch out for that sale too.
Consider all the additional costs of renting an RV
The cost of the RV rental, plus the cost of mileage (if charged), the cost of the campsite rental, and the cost of food and entertainment should all be factored into your overall trip cost. If you can save cash in one of these areas, you can spend more on others. Utilize coupons or seasonal deals for campgrounds, or cook your own food rather than eating out.
Save money with long-term rentals
In some cases, renting an RV for a longer period of time will make your per-night cost cheaper. If a long RV trip is what you’re looking to take, start by looking for rental places that offer discounts for time periods longer than 1 week. On Outdoorsy or RVshare, you can contact the owners directly to ask about making a deal for a long term rental.
Enough reading… Go rent an RV!
You are now ready for your RV rental adventure! Bottom line when it comes to the cost of renting an RV: RV rentals aren’t necessarily cheap, but they can be a ton of fun! And renting an RV is a great way to try it out and see if its something you enjoy before committing to RV ownership.
Be sure to check for hidden costs and add up costs for mileage, campsites, food, and entertainment to budget for a whole RV rental trip. And make sure to slow down and enjoy your time traveling outdoors!
Lindsay enjoys RV camping with her husband and two children. Her RV is a vintage 1985 Minnie Winnie, which she inherited from her grandfather. She has learned a ton about RV camping and maintaining vintage RV’s since getting the Winnebago, and has worked to update and fix up the interior of the rig to better accommodate her family’s needs and comfort. Lindsay works as a freelance writer and blogger, and camps recreationally, primarily in New York State parks.