14 RV Rental Tips That Could Save You Money
RV rentals have become very popular in the past couple of years. This is understandable; renting an RV is a great way to experience the RV life without the big money and time investment that comes with owning an RV. It’s also a great way to try RVing on for size before you jump into the world of RVing, or even if you’re already an RVer considering upgrading or downsizing your rig.
All that said, RV rental costs can get pretty pricey. Fortunately, there are ways to cut back on the cost. Check out the RV rental tips below to learn how you might be able to spend a little less on your RV rental adventure.
1. Go with a private owner
Generally speaking, private RV owners with their rigs listed on sites such as RVshare will have lower prices than the bigger companies like Cruise America and El Monte. Not only that, privately owned rigs are often maintained better and they tend to be more comfortable overall.
2. Look for relocating deals
The one time a big company might be cheaper than a private owner is when they are offering relocating deals. These happen when a company needs to get a rig from one pickup point to another, and it often means you can get your rental for as little as $1 a day! That said, you will be responsible for finding your own transportation for one leg of the trip.
3. Choose less popular destinations
The more popular a destination is with the RV crowd, the more expensive the RVs in that area will be. This is pretty obvious, but is something many people don’t consider when planning a trip. Choose destinations that are more off the beaten path to see if you can find a lower price.
4. Visit in the off-season if possible
Similar to the RV rental tips above, if you travel during the off-season you might just be able to make a good deal with an owner who is desperate to get their RV out of storage. You will also enjoy fewer crowds at popular destinations by visiting them during the off-season.
5. Skip the add-ons
Most RV owners offer a variety of add-ons that can be tacked onto any rental. These might include linens, dishes, a fire pit, sports gear, and more. Instead of paying for these add-ons, consider bringing your own gear. Not only will you save on the rental fee, you also won’t be charged a fee should one of these items become lost or damaged.
6. Pick a smaller RV
Another one of our top RV rental tips is to choose a smaller rig. When shopping for an RV, it can be tempting to choose the largest option out there. That said, this is often unnecessary and can actually be annoying when looking for campsites that will comfortably fit the rig. Instead, search for a rig that is spacious enough to sleep your family and no bigger.
7. Rent near your destination
The idea of roadtripping in an RV is fun, we know. However, you’ll likely save a boatload of money by driving your car to your destination and renting an RV nearby. This is because most owners charge a mileage fee after a certain number of miles have been driven.
These fees add up fast, meaning a long road trip can be incredibly pricey even beyond the initial rental cost. On top of that, you’ll be paying for gas, and since RVs are gas guzzlers, the amount you’ll be paying is nothing to sneeze at.
8. Shop around
Another of our favorite RV rental tips is to take your time. Don’t get in a hurry to rent. Take the time to shop around, message a few different owners, and ask about costs, add-ons, mileage fees, generator fees, etc. You might just find that prices vary widely wherever you’re headed, giving you the opportunity to save a lot just by choosing the right rig.
9. Ask for a deal
While you’re shopping around, don’t be afraid to ask for deals on RVs that look promising. Most owners are willing to give discounts on long-term rentals, and as mentioned before, some may give a discount during the off-season. There are even a few owners who give discounts to people in the military and first responders, so make sure to ask what kinds of discounts are available.
10. Watch out for mileage and generator limits
We’ve talked about mileage fees and generator fees a few times already. It’s important to be aware of the limits and fees attached to any rig you rent and keep these in mind as you camp. Going over on mileage or using the generator too much can cost you hundreds of dollars in extra fees, making this one of the most helpful RV rental tips we can offer.
11. Camp on the cheap
Once you’ve saved as much as you can on the actual rental, the next step is to find ways to save on other parts of your trip. If you don’t mind boondocking, look for rigs that are set up for dry camping and head out into the wilderness. Prefer to have hookups? State parks tend to offer relatively inexpensive camping with hookups.
12. Cook your own meals
Eating out is fun while on vacation. This is especially true when there are lots of great local spots to try. That said, this is expensive, and since you’re carrying a whole kitchen around with you, you might as well make use of it by cooking your own meals.
We recommend trying a few of the local joints, but plan to make some delicious homecooked meals as well to help save a bit of money.
13. Choose free activities
Finally, it’s important to note that you can save a good amount of money by picking the right activities. Visiting free or low-cost outdoor attractions such as beaches and hiking trails is tons of fun, and it’s much less expensive than theme parks and museums tend to be.
14. Plan RV safe travels
For help mapping out your route for your next RV getaway, look no further than RV LIFE Trip Wizard. This online planning tool makes it easy to plan an RV-safe route. It can also locate interesting sites along the way, all according to your travel preferences. Get RV LIFE Trip Wizard with its accompanying RV LIFE App, and start planning your adventure today!
Try the RV LIFE Pro Bundle FREE for 7 days
Love RVing? You'll Love RV LIFE Pro
It’s the wanderlust, the freedom of the open road. It’s not the destination, but the journey. It’s exploring the world. You don’t need a house because when you travel, you’re home. That’s RV LIFE.
The problem is, planning epic RV journey is somewhat complex. At RV LIFE, we believe it should be simple. As RVers ourselves, we understand the process and have helped millions of RVers journey with confidence and make their travel dreams come true.
RV Trip Wizard helps you plan the perfect trip and our RV GPS app turns your phone into an RV Safe GPS to get you there safely. Have a question about ANYTHING related to RVing, join the conversation at any of our awesome RV forum communities.
Step 1: Click here to learn more and sign up for the free trial.
Step 2: Plan your dream RV trip.
Step 3: Enjoy unforgettable memories!