Renting an RV for the first time can be a daunting task. Many RV rentals can cost as much as $300 per day or more. How can you find the best deals and avoid overpaying?
The most important part to finding the best deal on an RV rental is knowing where to look. The best RV rental marketplaces are large enough that you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for no matter where you live. This size also allows competition between renters, which lowers prices and increases the quality of service.
RVshare.com is the largest RV rental marketplace where people can rent an RV and do so with flexibility and affordability. The second most important part to finding a good deal is knowing what kind of RV you want.
How to Choose Which RV Type is Right For You
With all the different types of RVs to choose from, it may be hard to know what model is the best one for you and your family. You should look at different types before you choose one. Remember: Bigger is not always better.
There are two main types of RV’s: motorhomes and tow-behinds. Of the motorhomes, there are 3 main classes based on size: Class A, Class B, and Class C.
Class A models are all about luxury. They’re the largest of the RV family, able to reach a massive 45 feet in length. This is great if you need a lot of space, have a huge family, or have a lot of stuff. However, there are a few RV parks you may not fit into. Paying for gas might hurt your wallet, and it can be tough to drive if you’ve never driven one before, but you get a lot of space, and amenities galore.
Class C models are the middle ground. They can range from 22-33 feet long. They say you’re able to sleep six or seven people in these models, with enough room to walk around comfortably (although I’m not sure I would try that for more than a few days). Less space, but also less gas and more maneuverability.
Class B models are small and economical. You might also know them as “campervans”. They’re great for saving on gas and they fit almost anywhere. They’re the smallest models available and become cramped if more than two to three people are living in it. They can also be used as a regular vehicle to get around in, which comes in handy.
Motorhomes are great, but anything besides a Class B can be limiting. Unless you’re towing a car (or motorcycle) on the hitch of the RV, you’re going to need to find transportation to get from one place to another if you want to leave the campground. This means paying for a taxi, renting a car, or using public transportation. If the thought of not being able to get around makes you uneasy, you might want a pull-behind.
There are various pull-behind models (such as travel trailers and fifth wheels) with plenty of space. The best thing about pull-behinds is the fact that you can detach it from your truck/SUV, leave it in the campground, and leave in your vehicle. The problem comes in when you don’t own a tow vehicle; not all RV renters rent the tow vehicle with the pull-behind.
Check out this article for a more in-depth guide on choosing the right RV for you.
How to Save Money on Your RV Rental
Now that you picked you ideal RV model, the first step in saving money is putting together a plan on paper. You need to know your budget and stay within it. The easiest way to prepare a budget is by knowing what kinds of fees you’re going to have to pay. Renting an RV usually has a daily, weekly, or monthly fee associated with it; but you may also have to pay a per-mile fee if you go over the allotted daily miles. Renters usually give you 100 miles per day with a $1.00 per mile overage fee, but not all are the same.
You should also know about any other fees, such as security deposits. Your rig will usually have an upfront deposit (which you can get back if there are no damages), but it may also have non-refundable fees for any pets. Finally, they may charge a generator usage fee. If you expect to have these fees, be sure to allocate them in your budget.
If you’re looking to save the most money while on your trip, it’s also best to know when and where you want to go ahead of time. You might be able to score a great deal if you book your trip well in advance.
Also, knowing how to negotiate will save you money. Don’t be afraid to ask the renter to lower the price. Before you email the renter, be prepared to propose a lower price, and stay within your budget. Don’t be afraid to say “no thanks” – there are plenty more renters out there, and they may just accept the lower price after you say no. Another tip: Offer to pay upfront and the renter may lower the price for you.
Bringing your own personal belongings is another thing to consider when trying to save money. When you bring your own stuff you avoid having to rent them from someone else or buy them on the road! Common items you should bring rather than rent include:
- Lawn furniture
If you’re planning on traveling with pets, you may hit a few extra snags. A lot of renters have a no pet policy; however, some renters will allow pets for an extra fee. Figure out who allows pets and who doesn’t, as well as how much they charge per pet.
When bringing a pet into an unfamiliar area, it’s important to know how your pet will react. Will he “mark his territory”? Will he scratch the furniture? You need to be aware that these things can happen, and they might ruin your chances of getting your full security deposit back.
Renting an RV for a longer period of time will save you some money as well. For example, if you want to rent an RV for three days you could end up paying $100 per night. If you rent it for a week, however, you may only pay $500, for a savings of $200. Some renters even allow you to rent their RV for a whole month for just $1,000-$1,500, if you can get that much time off work, that is!
If you’re looking to travel out of the state, you may be able to save more money on taxes. Before you rent an RV, check out the State Tax differences. Each state’s sales tax varies, so look at RV’s in nearby states to find the ones in the state with the lowest tax (if you’re willing to travel to get to it). Check out this chart of all the sales tax to find the lowest tax rates. RVshare, for example, allows you to filter search results based on state, so take advantage of this feature!
One final tip: Be aware of pickup and delivery charges. They usually only cost from $50-$100, but they still factor into your overall cost.
Whatever RV you decide to choose, we wish you luck in finding the best deal next time you rent an RV!