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If you were thinking about a family RV trip you will likely be concerned about the cost of renting an RV. I have been asked many times – how can I rent a cheap RV?  This article includes my best tips for finding affordable campers and motorhomes. 

Traveling in an RV is a great way to spend time together as a family and travel.  You can find camping spots amazing locations that you never would be able to afford in a hotel. On top of that, you’ll have all the comforts of home with you.

You may worry that renting an RV expensive though. Like any vacation you can find ways to create a frugal RV trip. 

First, let’s look at what renting an RV actually costs. 

What you can expect to pay will depend on the type of RV, the company, and the location.  On average, an RV costs $75 -$200 a day for an RV.  Small motorhomes and campervans range from $75 to $150 a night.  Larger motorhomes, travel trailers, and fifth wheels will cost $125 to $200 a night.  

The price you should expect to pay is a wide range.  Plus, each company or individual owner charges different fees.  These are the best tips for finding a cheap RV to rent. 

How Much Can You Save Finding a Cheap RV?

By following the tips in this article you can save 50% to 95% off an RV rental. For example, we rented an RV in Canada that would have cost $200 a day and we paid $98 a day with kitchen and towel sets included.

Look for Discounts and Coupons on RV Rentals

Many RV rental companies have seasonal discounts and different coupons available. In fact, our very first time renting an RV was in Canada for 50% off. 

Companies frequently have discounts in the off-season but they also give coupons and discounts for other reasons.  For example, they may have last-minute deals due to overstock, or events that have reduced the demand for RVs rentals.

To look for coupons and discounts for your RV rental check the websites of several RV companies. We will start you off with a coupon to Outdoorsy (see the next tip too). Use this link (applied at checkout so bookmark this page) to Outdoorsy for $50 off your first rental

Get $50 off Your RV Rental for an Unforgettable Family Vacation.

You can find the perfect size RV and it comes with $1M insurance.

You can also call the local office where you plan to rent from and ask about discounts. While you are speaking to them make sure to ask about any additional things that they offer with the discount such as towels or kitchen packs.

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Picking up our RV Rental in Canada

Relocation Rental (Cheap or Free)

One extremely cheap or even free way to rent an RV is on a relocation deal. Many large companies need to move RVs for a variety of reasons. Sometimes a company move RVs to the south in the winter where it’s warm and then back north in the summer for camping in the mountains.

You may find relocation deals for a dollar a day or less if you were willing to drive one way.  

Check the national RV companies websites such as Cruise America for these deals. Transfercar lists relocation deals in the US.

Rent from your Peers 

One of the best options for renting an RV is from a local owner. The peer to peer renting model has taken off in many other areas and is also possible for recreational vehicles.

The two most trustworthy and reliable companies to rent from our RVshare and Outdoorsy.

Both companies are similar in that the owners advertise their camper and you connect with them directly. The rental will include additional insurance to cover both you and the owner.

This option gives you a wide variety of vehicles to rent. You cannot only rent motorhomes but also fifth wheels, travel trailers, pop-ups and more. Plus, some owners will deliver it to your campsite, so you don’t even have to drive it!

Plus you can get insider information for the best places to camp and recreate in the nearby area. We currently rent out our travel trailer on Outdoorsy and RVShare.  Try Outdoorsy for a discount the first time! The coupon is applied at checkout so make sure to sign up for the email or bookmark this page for when you are ready to reserve! $50 off Outdoorsy

$85 off RV Rentals +RV Planning & Packing Lists

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    Use Your own Tow Vehicle

    When using a private party to rent from you could choose to use your own truck or SUV as a tow vehicle.

    Both Outdoorsy and RVShare have travel trailers, popups, and other tow behind campers for rent. You can use your own truck or SUV if you have the towing capacity. You will need to ensure you have the correct brake controller and hitch in your truck.

    Another benefit vehicle is that you will have separate transportation when you arrive at your campsite.

    Family RV camping with bikes for kids on the activities checklist
    Bring the bikes on your RV camping trip

    Choose a Small RV

    When you rent an RV you need to think about how many people will need seats, seatbelts, and sleeping space.  You should consider renting the minimum size that you can.  We cover this in more detail in the post “15 Tips You Need to Know for RVing with Young Kids”

    Obviously smaller coaches rent for less money.  So check in about the smallest RV that you can rent a company. Another benefit is that you will have more flexibility in the locations that you stay. Many National Parks have very small campgrounds and limits RVs.  Arches National Park is extremely popular and has only a few campsites that accommodate 30ft RVs or smaller. 

    Ask your RV Owning Friends and Family

    I know that most people do not generally loan out their campers to others. However, on occasion, we have let family and close friends use our camper for their own vacation.

    When someone approaches us AND we know that they are responsible and careful we are likely to let them use the camper.

    You will need to make sure you take extreme care of the camper and return it in immaculate condition. Also, be sure that the owner has additional RV insurance and you have full coverage on your tow vehicle.

    What are the nicest things you could do as a thank you to the owner, is to fix something that’s broken or buy something new.

    Check the Local Newspaper 

    I have seen people advertising RVs for rent in our local newspaper. I can say I have only bought a camper from the newspaper but not rented one.

    To do this you need to know the location that you would like to rent a camper. Then look up the local newspaper advertisements for that area. You might see an advertisement for RVs for rent by owner.

    $85 off RV Rentals +RV Planning & Packing Lists

    Subscribe to start planning an EPIC Family RV trip! Get instant access and bi-monthy Travel Hacks.

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      Contact Local RV Dealerships and Shops

      Some local RV  businesses such as sales and shops also rent out RVs.   A search of the local area in a couple of phone calls will lead you down this route.

      The RV community is quite close and they will know of other businesses doing this.  If you would rather an internet search, try the website GoRVing.  I found 5 places in Denver including a dealership. 

      Interested in an Unforgettable RV Vacation?  Read our suggestions for the best places to camp in an RV:

      An RV vacation is something that your family will never forget.  If you are on a tight budget, finding a sharp RV rental will help stretch your vacation funds further.  

      This is part of our series on renting and RV.   You can read more about the best tips for your first RV trip with young kids. 

      Shauna Kocman founder Family Travel Fever

      Hi, I’m Shauna – Welcome to Family Travel Fever.  We are a large family, that was bitten by the travel bug!  We travel with kids and extended family.  I take the kids by myself sometimes because I don’t mind flying or driving solo with my crew to discover the coolest places.

      Sign up for our email list for my best travel tips plus get the family travel planner free.