How Much Does It Cost To Rent An RV?
Traveling in an RV combines freedom with comfort. And if you don’t already own an RV, renting one can give you all the benefits without the pain of maintenance and monthly payments. Or maybe you are considering buying one and (wisely) want to try it out first.
So how much can you expect to pay to rent an RV? And how do you find one to rent?
Two primary categories exist for RV rentals: renting from individuals (peer-to-peer), or renting from RV rental companies. Each has benefits and drawbacks; we’ll outline them in this article, and you can decide which works better for your situation. But first, let’s cover the different types or classes of RVs you can rent.
Just want the top level numbers? Jump to the chart for the average cost to rent an RV.
What Kind of RV Can I Rent?
RV rentals can be broadly classed into two types: drivable and towable. Here’s some definitions to familiarize yourself with before looking for an RV to rent, as the costs can differ significantly between the two types.
Class A: These are the vehicles that remind you of a bus: they’re tall, with a large, flat window up front. They range in length from 20 to 45 feet in length, and can run on diesel or gas (expect to get between 7 and 13 MPG). You don’t need a special driver’s license to operate one, though practicing in a large, empty parking lot or other unobstructed paved area is a good idea. These usually come with the most amenities and often can accommodate the most people.
Class B: Class B vehicles are essentially the same style as a van. Usually they are narrower than the Class A’s and C’s, and can often park in a standard-sized parking lot space, which makes them a great choice for people who plan to travel through small towns and other narrow spaces with limited access. The best vehicles for fuel efficiency, this class can often achieve between 18 to 20 MPG. The Class B is the least likely full-sized vehicle to contain a bathroom, which is a deal-breaker for many.
Class C: Class C vehicles most often resemble a truck in the front, with the addition of an overhang up over the windshield. These typically range from about 20 to 40 feet long. When you drive one of these babies, you’ll probably get between 10 to 15 MPG – better mileage than the Class A’s, but not quite as good as the Class B’s. Like the other two class motorhomes, you don’t need a special license to drive one.
Truck Camper: Just what it sounds like – a truck with a camper sitting on the truck bed. These vehicles are compact. They typically will fit in a standard parking space like a Class B. And their mileage will be better than the Class A’s and Class C’s. A truck camper may or may not have a bathroom. If it does have one, it’s usually what’s called a “wet bath.” That means the toilet is in the shower stall, so when you shower, the toilet will get wet. But it saves precious space.
Travel Trailer: Travel trailers are the often-boxy structures pulled behind a tow vehicle. These trailers can range in length between 15 to 40 feet.
Fifth Wheel: A fifth wheel is a particular type of travel trailer. It’s towed behind a truck, but instead of being attached at the rear hitch, it rests in a special coupling hitch located inside of the truck bed. This type of hitch allows you to easily haul these trailers, which can be the heaviest, most luxurious campers. It also results in reducing the sway of the trailer while traveling.
Toy Hauler: A toy hauler refers to a type of trailer that is made with a garage area to carry heavy cargo such as ATVs or motorcycles. These trailers are specially built to withstand the greater weight load. They have living space in the front, and then garage space in the back, with either the back end or the portion of a side wall that opens up to allow the “toys” to be driven in.
Hybrid: Also a travel trailer, a hybrid usually refers to a pull-behind trailer that has one or more sections that fold out to expand tent canvas beds. Hybrids have the benefit of hard sides and usually a bathroom, but provide some of the tent-like experience of a pop up camper.
Pop Up (or Folding Tent Trailer): Generally the lightest of all the towable campers, pop ups are collapsible campers that are made of canvas on the top half (except for the roof), and aluminum on the bottom. They have significantly more set up and tear down involved than trailers, but they are more compact while traveling and often allow smaller SUVs to be able to tow them without straining the engine.
And now on to the cost to rent an RV.
Renting an RV from a Business vs from an Individual (Peer-to-Peer)
While many of the prices will vary depending on the age and specifications of the rental vehicles, here’s a summary of the Average RV Rental Costs by Category.
|VEHICLE TYPE||RV RENTAL BUSINESS||PEER-TO-PEER RENTAL|
|Class A||$421 per night||$274 per night|
|Class B||$285 per night||$220 per night|
|Class C||$246 per night||$223 per night|
|Truck Camper||$99 per night||$146 per night|
|DRIVABLE RV AVERAGE:||$263 per night||$216 per night|
|Travel Trailer||$134 per night||$110 per night|
|Fifth Wheel||No Data Available||$154 per night|
|Toy Hauler||No Data Available||$141 per night|
|Hybrid||$110 per night||$116 per night|
|Pop Up||$95 per night||$78 per night|
|TOWABLE RV AVERAGE:||$113 per night||$120 per night|
Renting an RV from a Rental Company
For those who might be uncomfortable renting an RV from individuals, many RV rental businesses exist to serve the camping market. Some are businesses with locations across the country, such as Cruise America (about 130 locations) and El Monte RV (about 30 locations). Others are strictly local, but may offer more of a variety of rental types. Cruise America, for example, primarily rents Class C vehicles. With El Monte RV, you can rent either a Class A or a Class C. If you wish to rent a pop up or a travel trailer, you are going to have better luck checking with a smaller local business.
National RV Rental Businesses
Let’s look at some specifics. The most well-known national RV rental business is Cruise America. This chart shows you the current cost to rent an RV with Cruise America:
Cruise America cost to rent an RV by type:
|Truck Camper||20 feet||3 persons||$99 per night|
|Compact RV||20 feet||3 persons||$109 per night|
|Standard RV||25 feet||5 persons||$127 per night (3-night stay); $111 per night (7-night stay)|
|Large RV||30 feet||7 persons||$147 per night (3-night stay); $126 per night (7-night stay)|
Additional fees at Cruise America: mileage (about $0.35 per mile), insurance ($12 per night), Environmental fee ($5 per rental), sales tax.
Optional fees at Cruise America: kitchen kit (dishes, $110), personal kit (sheets, $60), generator use ($3.50 per hour), holding tank emptying ($50 if necessary)
[pet friendly – no extra charge but $250 cleaning fee if not cleaned up after).
Considerations: The Cruise America RVs are like a traveling billboard – they have images and text on each side, making it clear you are in a rental. In addition, some features of normal RVs are not available; for instance, these rentals do not come with awnings, which are standard on most motorhomes.
Local RV Rental Companies
In contrast to a national company where the rentable inventory is standardized, local RV rental companies have varied rental options. To give you insight into how much they can vary in the same area, here is the pricing from three local businesses in eastern Pennsylvania:
1. Martin RV average cost to rent an RV by type – all rentals are current-year models and include mileage:
|Luxury Class C||32 feet||10 persons||$281 per night|
|Premium Class C||28 feet||8 persons||$242 per night|
|Travel Trailer 1||30 feet||10 persons||$163 per night|
|Travel Trailer 2||27 feet||10 persons||$159 per night||Travel Trailer 3||21 feet||8 persons||$115 per night||Travel Trailer 4||17 feet||5 persons||$100 per night|
Additional fees at Martin RV: sales tax
Optional fees at Martin RV: Propane ($3.99 per gallon) and gas ($5.00 per gallon) if not refilled to the level at start of rental. Pets ($500), cleaning if excessively dirty ($75 per hour), generator use over first 3 hours per day ($5.00 per hour).
2. Nolt Ventures average cost to rent an RV by type – age of vehicles unknown:
|Hybrid Camper||21-23 feet closed, 23-25 feet open||6 persons||$110 per night for first 3 nights, $95 per night thereafter|
|Pop Up Camper||21 feet open||5 persons||$95 per night|
Additional fees at Nolt Ventures: sales tax
Optional fees at Nolt Ventures: Cleaning fee if necessary. Repairs to upholstery, cabinetry if necessary. Pets and smoking are not allowed.
3. Fretz RV average cost to rent an RV by type – includes nights and mileage:
|Class B||21 feet||2 persons||$1993 for 7 days, 750 miles – average: $285 per night|
|Class C||26 feet||8 persons||$1594 for 7 days, 750 miles – average: $227 per night|
|Travel Trailer 1||28 feet||10 persons||$1113 for 7 days – average: $159 per night|
|Travel Trailer 2||21 feet||5 persons||$1113 for 7 days – average: $159 per night||Travel Trailer 3||21 feet||8 persons||$115 per night||Travel Trailer 4||17 feet||5 persons||$100 per night|
Additional fees at Fretz RV: sales tax
Optional fees: Pets: $25 per night, unlimited generator use: $20 per night
In addition to the nightly rate, most businesses have add-on pricing for other equipment you may need or want such as hitches, bike racks, and break controllers. More on those optional fees below.
Renting an RV from Private Individuals
The models and classes of RV that are available through national and local rental companies are limited. Perhaps you want to try out a specific brand of camper to see if you might be interested in purchasing it down the road. Or maybe you aren’t near any RV rental businesses, or there are none available for the specific timeframe you want to travel. For these and other reasons, many prospective renters are turning to private individuals when looking to rent an RV.
How do you find someone willing to rent their RV to you? That’s easy, thanks to the two major players in the peer-to-peer RV rental market: RVshare and Outdoorsy. Much like AirBnB, these two businesses act as intermediaries between the RV owners and the RV renters. They’ve each created their own marketplace, complete with a review system, emergency roadside assistance, payment management, and insurance coverage. Let’s take a closer look at each business.
RVshare, the first major marketplace for peer-to-peer RV rentals, was founded in 2012. Today it is still the largest, hosting more than 60,000 RVs for rent across the country. The business has mostly positive reviews, so you can rent through them with confidence.
Average Cost to Rent an RV from Peers Through RVshare
The cost to rent an RV varies from state to state, and is dependent on the class of vehicle and its age, the time of year, and the number of days you choose to rent the vehicle for. But to be able to give you some ballpark numbers, we’ve chosen to look at the rentals in Pennsylvania (since we provided some prices from local businesses in PA above), and choose dates in August, which is one of the heavier travel months in this part of the country. Below are the RV rental prices by class of vehicle.
RVshare average cost to rent an RV by type:
|Class A||$195 – $550 per night – average: $308|
|Class B||$150 – $350 per night – average: $224|
|Class C||$120 – $455 per night – average: $258|
|Fifth Wheel||$109 – $299 per night – average: $163|
|Toy Hauler||$75 – $280 per night – average: $140|
|Travel Trailer||$65 – $179 per night – average: $118|
|Hybrid Camper||$135 – $169 per night – average: $149|
|Pop Up Camper||$50 – $125 per night – average: $82|
RVshare Service Fee
For each booking, you can expect to pay an additional service fee to RVshare. The service fee is about 9% of the total rental before taxes and other fees.
Insurance Through RVshare
Each rental comes with a fee for Standard insurance that’s based on the age, length, type, and stated value of the RV. For towable RVs, it starts at $10 per day. For drivable RVs, the Standard insurance starts at $20 per day. The renter has the option to upgrade to either Enhanced or Premier. Each listing details the cost of Standard RVshare Rental Insurance for that vehicle, but more information on what types of things are covered can be found on RVshare’s insurance page. As a rule of thumb, choosing shorter vehicles with lower values will keep your insurance costs down.
A few years later to the party, Outdoorsy began in 2015. Though the number of RVs available to rent doesn’t yet match RVshare, the team running Outdoorsy is no less passionate about helping people find freedom and adventure through RV rentals. And they have outstanding reviews as a business.
Average Cost to Rent an RV from Peers Through Outdoorsy
We applied the same criteria to the available rentals at Outdoorsy; that is, Pennsylvania rentals in August. Here are how the numbers turned out:
Outdoorsy average cost to rent an RV by type:
|Class A||$165 – $500 per night – average: $240|
|Class B||$130 – $400 per night – average: $218|
|Class C||$125 – $250 per night – average: $188|
|Truck Camper||$50 – $325 per night – average: $147|
|Fifth Wheel||$93 – $210 per night – average: $147|
|Toy Hauler||$82 – $275 per night – average: $142|
|Travel Trailer||$60 – $200 per night – average: $104|
|Hybrid Camper||$79 – $93 per night – average: $84|
|Pop Up Camper||$50 -$125 per night – average: $73|
Outdoorsy Service Fee
As with RVshare, you can expect to pay an additional service fee to Outdoorsy. The service fee ranges from 9% to 11% of the total rental before taxes and other fees.
Insurance Through Outdoorsy
Outdoorsy partners with Liberty Mutual to provide the insurance to its RV renters and owners. In addition to covering liability and physical damage, the insurance provides for 24/7 roadside assistance and 24/7 customer support as well as trip cancellation. The cost of the insurance meets the various state minimums, and is provided clearly for each vehicle. It can run from $25 per night for an older pop up camper, to $75 per day for a late model Class A. Renters also have the option to choose from three levels of protection: Peace of Mind, Essential, and Risk Taker.
Other Costs When Renting an RV
In addition to the daily cost of renting an RV, individuals or businesses may charge you other fees. Here are some of the primary categories along with sample pricing we came across along the way.
Equipment rental: If you require items that support towing of the RV, you may pay extra. Examples: hitches $5 for rental of a 2 inch hitch ball; $60 for rental of a weight-distributing hitch for a travel trailer; $25 for rental of a portable brake controller. If you want to be able to carry bicycles, you may rent a bike rack at $10 per day.
Daily support items: For ease of use, you might choose to rent items you normally use at home. Examples: linens can be rented for $30 to $129; kitchen dishes and pans for $125.
Services: Want access to unlimited WiFi? One Class A owner we saw offers it for an additional $12 per night. Don’t want to empty the black water tank before returning your rental? Another owner will charge you $250 to take care of it for you. Cleaning fees may or may not be optional, and can range from $50 to $100 or more.
Pets: If the RV owner allows renters to bring pets along, they may tack from $50 to $200 onto the rental fee.
Propane: Many of the RVs come with a set amount of propane to fuel stoves, heaters, and refrigerators. You may incur a charge if you don’t return the tank(s) filled to the same level. We’ve seen anywhere from a $40 fill fee to a per gallon fee ($4.99/gal).
Mileage: Many of the RV rental prices do not include all your mileage. They may allow you a set amount of miles per day, like 50 or 100, but then tack on a mileage fee of anywhere from $0.35 to $2.00 per mile over their limit.
Security deposits: Generally these are refundable if no damage occurs. They tend to range from $250 to $500 for pop up campers and older travel trailers, to $1,000 to $1,500 for most travel trailers and toy haulers, and then up to $2,000 for Class As, Bs, and Cs.
Delivery fees: If you don’t feel comfortable towing a trailer, you can often get the owner to deliver it to your campsite for a fee. Those fees depend on how far away from the owner the campsite is (so you pay a per-mile fee), along with other factors. Typical pricing for this service: $200 round trip for first 100 miles, then $2.00 per mile up to 150 miles.
Campsites: You’ll need to factor in the cost of where you are going to park your RV. You can choose from less expensive sites like state parks ($28 to $40 per night), or more expensive sites at resort campgrounds ($40 to $80 per night). Free camping can be found in national forests and grasslands, and public lands controlled by the Bureau of Land Management. If you are only looking to stop overnight on your way to your final destination, some businesses like Walmarts, Flying J travel centers, and Cracker Barrel restaurants offer free overnight stays in their parking lots.
Dump stations: Unless you want to pay the owner to dump your black and gray water tanks for you, you’ll need to do it yourself before returning your rental. If you are staying at a campground, your site may also include a sewer hookup. If not, dump stations on the grounds are usually provided for no additional fee. If you are boondocking (free camping where you are not connected to water, electric, and sewer), you’ll need to find a dump station, and it will cost on average $10 to $25 to empty and rinse your tanks.
Fuel: Gas or diesel to run your RV. We mentioned approximate MPG above for drivable RVs. Be aware that if you are towing a trailer with your own vehicle, you can expect to get lower gas mileage than normal.
When choosing a peer-to-peer rental through either RVshare or Outdoorsy, be sure to read the reviews for that vehicle and owner. The review process is one of the major benefits of choosing to rent with an individual: you can learn a lot by reading those reviews thoroughly.