RV Life: Getting the most out of your vacation

How Much Does it Cost to Rent an RV?

By December 3, 2019 No Comments
A couple different types of RVs on a beachfront cliff at sunrise

Wanderlust may have you thinking about taking that trip across the country, seeing the sights up close and personal. Flying can get pricey when it’s a multi-stop trip, and hotels or vacation rentals can stack up the cost too.

Instead of clicking away from that travel dream, have you considered going by RV? AKA: an all-in-one house-on-wheels that can take you from point A to point B while providing all the basic living necessities. RoamAway is here to show you that renting an RV can make your adventure just that–an adventure, in the best sense of the word. Your trip can be as down-to-earth and homey as you want it to be, rather than stuffy like staying at a hotel. Wondering even more about the true cost of RV rental? Stick around and we’ll help you figure it out.


So… Just How Much Does it Cost
to Rent an RV?

There are some things to consider when renting a recreational vehicle: the hidden costs if you will. That being said, the hidden costs associated with RV renting isn’t as shady as the hidden costs you’ve found elsewhere. They include things like gas, miles per gallon, setup and cleaning fees. Other fees to consider are campsite fees and renter’s insurance. 

Typically, the cost of RV rental varies based on the age and class of the vehicle. There are two types of RV: motorized and towable. Per The Wandering RV blog, typical prices are synonymous with that of a 3-star hotel when it comes to the motorized variety:

Chart listing the rental price for different types of RVs, depending on model, year, and general average

RoamAway Class A RV Parked in designated parking spot, hooked up to power


Class Distinctions

Here’s a breakdown of the different classes of RV rentals, features, technical information,
and special requirements.


Illustration of a Class A Motorhome


Class A Features

  • The “big guy” RV
  • Large – the ones that look like transit busses
  • Most “luxury” camper is best for longer stays on location
  • Can sleep up to ten people comfortably
  • Has all the amenities of a home

Class A Technical Information

  • Difficult to get through tight spaces, which therefore limits where Class A vehicles can travel to

Class A Special Requirements

  • No commercial driver’s license needed*


Drawing of a Class B Campervan

Class B Features

  • The “camper” RV
  • More for the outdoors-focused renter
  • Can typically sleep up to 4 comfortably

Class B Technical Information

  • Class B campers are the most efficient and maneuverable of the RV classes
  • Will fit into a normal parking spot (say, at the grocery store)
  • Most Class B vehicles come with a sink, toilet, and a shower, as well as limited cooking facilities, a small fridge, and a heating unit

Class B Special Requirements

  • No commercial driver’s license needed
  • Can come with a freshwater tank, but that isn’t always the case


Sketch of a Class C Recreational Vehicle


Class C Features

  • The “best of both worlds” RV
  • More space than a Class B, more affordable than a Class A
  • Can sleep 8 people comfortably

Class C Technical Information

  • It has all the basic amenities like the Class B camper, but also has air conditioning, various appliances, as well as entertainment equipment.


Drawing of a pull-behind travel trailer


Travel Trailer Features

  • The “budget-friendly” RV
  • Most cost-effective
  • Once you reach your final destination, you can detach the Travel Trailer and use your normal vehicle as needed
  • Can sleep between 1-8 people, depending on the floor plan, model, etc. 

Travel Trailer Technical Information

  • They can be more difficult to manage on the road because they’re attached to your normal vehicle
  • Provides the typical amenities that are found in the motorized RV classes

Travel Trailer Special Requirements

  • Needs a trailer hitch


Depiction of a fifth Wheel Trailer, requires a specific hook-up


Fifth Wheel Features

  • The “easygoing”  RV
  • A Fifth Wheel is easier to maneuver than the Travel Trailer 
  • This towable RV provides the amenities of home just like the Class A, so they tend to be best if you’re sticking around one location 

Fifth Wheel Technical Information

  • Most pickup trucks can pull more on a Fifth Wheel compared to the Travel Trailer
  • Typically includes: a bedroom, living space, kitchen space, and one bathroom

Fifth Wheel Special Requirements

  • Can use a bumper-mounted hitch rather than a trailer hitch


Icon of a folding trailer, usually pulled behind a motorized vehicle


Folding Trailer Features

  • The “small fry” RV
  • Very inexpensive comparatively
  • Provides an enhanced camping experience compared to camping in a tent

Folding Trailer Technical Information

  • May provide a few double beds, a screened-off sleeping space, a small living space, cooktop, sink, and faucet.
  • Larger folding trailers may also provide bathroom amenities like a toilet and/or shower

Folding Trailer Special Requirements

  • Folding Trailers can be towed by an average car or SUV

Travel Trailer parked at a campsite at twilight


Breakdown of Other Fees Associated with RVs

A big safety net when it comes to renting an RV would be to get rental insurance. There are companies that provide insurance or damage protection for a small percentage of your rental cost. (We’re talking under 10%). This can protect you in case of an emergency (weather-related, collision-related or personal), or if appliances break, messes are made, 

Additionally, it’s likely that you’ll have to pay a refundable security deposit. This security deposit will be refunded if there are no damages, but will even still be returned to you if you purchased damage protection. 

Taxes vary based on the rental pickup location. If you’re picking up an RV in California, you’ll pay the California tax, regardless of if you’re from Arizona. 

Rental Campground Fees are pretty self-explanatory: you’ve got to pay for your spot when setting up camp at an RV camp. 

Cleaning Fees are also pretty standard, but they can be avoided if you take some time to spiffy up before returning the rental. 

Setup and/or Delivery Fees: Often, RV owners and rental agencies will only let you rent from them if they deliver it to the campground and set it up. Typically this is accompanied by a one time fee that can range from $100 to $250. 

Mileage: It’s pretty common for an RV rental to come with unlimited mileage, but if you opt for a different rental that comes with restricted miles, you may be paying $0.25-$1.00 per mile. 

One-way RV Rental: It’s often more expensive to go with a one-way RV rental, rather than picking up and returning your motorhome to the same location. Although larger companies are great for their availability across the country, be sure to check on the price difference if your drop-off and pick-up location aren’t the same.

Old style, solitary RV parked on a cliff overlooking a body of water


How to Save When Renting an RV

Often, individual renters may charge a lower rate if you’re renting for a long haul (say, over a month’s time) rather than shorter, weeklong excursions.

Book ahead of time! If you map out the whole ordeal before getting started, you’ll be able to visualize all the associated campground costs, potential roadblocks, and rest areas. There are apps available that can help you with this process, so you have one less thing to worry about. 

You can also book RV rentals during the off-season (fall, winter, and spring) despite that summer excursion being oh so tempting. This can save you money generally, whether that be campground fees, rental fees, or both. 

Meal prep! If you bring food/stock up at a local grocery store, you’ll save a bunch rather than if you were eating out or having something delivered. Plus, you’ll more often than not have a fully operational kitchen to work out of, so it’s not like you’d be limited to cold cuts and crackers.

Back of a RoamAway RV rental driving down the highway with a snow-covered mountain in the background


RoamAway: Your Adventure Awaits

At RoamAway, we can help you with your RV rentals without all the stress and mess. We have locations across the United States that make pick up a breeze and get you on your way in no time at all. Whether you’re looking for the biggest, fanciest RV available, or perhaps a simple popup trailer, we’ve got all your recreational vehicle needs a few clicks away. How much does it cost to rent a motorhome? It doesn’t have to be a lot with RoamAway. 

Test out your travel dates to see what’s in store for you and your adventure!