Why Do RV Rentals Charge For Generator Use?

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If you’re planning on renting a RV for your next trip, you have to make sure that you are prepared for all the charges and expenses that you will need to cover. One of them is the charge for the generator use. But why do RV rentals charge for the generator?

RV generators are expensive to buy and operate. RV generators use propane or gas to run which costs an average of $3.00 per hour of use. Since not all campers need a generator, RV rentals charge separately for the use of the generator.

To have a better understanding of the charges for RV generator use, I’ll tell you more information. You will learn how it works and how it can be a benefit for you while you are renting an RV. But before that, you may also want to check this other renting guide below:

How does RV Rental Pricing Work?

Jenny Thompson stock.adobe.com

While browsing for Rental RVs you may find yourself wondering why and how renting these RV costs may differ more than the other or how can other RVs be so expensive to rent. To answer that question, here are some things to figure out when determining the cost of renting an RV.

  • Cost per Night
  • Travel Duration
  • RV Class
  • Travel Distance

The cost to rent an RV varies widely depending on what RV type you’re renting, the rental location, the age of the RV, and which RV rental company you’re renting from. Like Outdoors and RVezy.

However, to give you a general idea of pricing, the average rental prices across the United States for RV rentals are around $50 – $300 per night.

Type of RVAverage Rental Cost Per Night
Pop Up Camper$50 to $100 per night
Travel Trailer$50 to $125 per night
Fifth Wheel$60 to $150 per night
Campervan$75 to $150 per night
Toy Hauler$100 to $200 per night
Class A$175 to $275 per night
Class B$100 to $200 per night
Class C$150 to $200 per night
The average cost to rent an RV in the US or Canada per night

Types of Generators

Tomasz Zajda stock.adobe.com

RV Generators are separated into three main types, each with its own respective pros and cons. These are Liquid Propane, Diesel, and Gas.

Gas Generator

Gas is usually the most convenient option since it is easy to get at the gas station and is cheaper than the two alternatives. Gas-powered generators are the most common for RVs.

The downside to using gas however is that it can be consumed extremely quickly as it burns faster and hotter than diesel and liquid propane. This means more trips to the gas station and being more aware of your fuel situation.

Diesel Generator

Diesel is the next most efficient fuel. It also has the best storage and fuel efficiency out of all three types meaning less time needed for refueling.

The reduced time spent refueling may be a necessity, however, depending on where you live as diesel isn’t as accessible. Meaning you’ll have to plan your stops more carefully when taking trips.

Another negative to using diesel is it can be very loud and stinky in comparison to its alternatives.

Liquid Propane Generator

The most eco-friendly choice is liquid propane. In comparison to gas and diesel, liquid propane is okay to be left stored.

However, Liquid Propane is the most difficult to obtain and has the worst fuel efficiency out of the three. While it is a good ecological choice, you will have to adjust with the lackluster fuel efficiency and the extra planning for stops to top up your generator’s tank.

You will not find many liquid propane generators on an RV.

Do RV’s come with built-in generators?

Close up of portable gasoline generator providing power for fifth wheel rv trailer in campground
sshepard via Canva.com

The majority of motorhomes come with their own built-in generators as they will need to power the appliances in the RV. Travel trailers do not all have built-in generators so campers take them separately.

When looking at the generator of an RV specifically as part of your search, it is important that you consider these two things: The type of fuel that the generator uses and its size. Size takes priority here as you will need the correct number of amps to match your appliances.

Can you camp without a generator?

Camping without a generator is possible and usually associated with dry or off-grid camping. You will use battery power and solar panels to power your RV without a generator.

Dry Camping is being “off-the-grid” meaning you would not be connected to both water and electricity. Some people prefer this way of camping as it is more traditional and provides a more in-nature feel, being away from the comforts of modern civilization.

However, you will not have as many of the benefits such as air conditioning or using the microwave.

How to Save Money on RV Rentals

The good news is here, they are easy ways to plan your trip on a budget compared to before. Here are some tips to help keep your trip under budget.

Eating In

It can be tempting to eat at the different restaurants for the different places that you’ll be traveling to so that you can taste the local cuisine.

To cut on some of the costs associated with food, you can plan your trip to campsites and enjoy the campground grills. This can use to save up on the fuel consumption of using the included kitchen in your RV.

Traveling during the OffSeason

When traveling during the off-season you can usually find discounts on almost everything, from the RV Rental Prices to Campground fees. You can also enjoy the lack of people during the off-season and even have entire campgrounds to yourself.

Don’t go to Campgrounds

Campgrounds usually have a fee, one way to avoid this is by dry camping or boondocking.

read more:

This involves setting camp in a public area such as a forest or on a plain.

While you may be able to save up by skimping on certain things, there are other fees that you need to consider for the trip. Here are some of them.

Join a Club for Better Campground Rates

Be aware that most campgrounds usually have campground fees, especially if you’re looking for a specific spot on the site. You can find reduced rates by joining a club like Good Sam or AAA

Cleaning Fees

Some RV Owners and Companies charge a cleaning fee in case you leave it in an unseemly state. Double-check what the cleaning fee is and if the owner will waive it.

Rental Insurance

You can purchase Trip Insurance and/or Damage Protection for an additional 6.5% of your total rental cost.

Trip Insurance allows you to get your money back (deposit, fees, etc.) in case of covered emergency cancellation or interruption, and Damage Protection protects you from paying for things like broken appliances, damaged interiors, etc.  Especially recommended if you’re renting a luxury RV.

Deposit Fee

You also must pay a refundable security deposit (usually $500). But this is refunded at the end of your trip, assuming there are no damages.

Bets Generators for RVs

The biggest advantage of camping in an RV as compared to using a tent is the modern amenities. Camping with all the appliances that you would need brings a certain feeling of comfort and convenience that comes with these modern times. However, not all campsites provide you with the option to plug in your RV, therefore the majority of campers turn to either built-in generators or portable ones.

The fuel consumption of your generation will differ between its type and size, with Diesel Generators being the most fuel-efficient and Liquid Propane being the worst while Gas being middling but being the most accessible. Here are examples of the mileage that you’ll get with various generator types.

DuroStar DS4000S

This gas generator has a 4,000-watt surge rating and a 3,300 continuous rating.  It holds 4 gallons of gas and can run at full strength for an hour on half a gallon. At $2.25 a gallon, it costs about $1.75 for an hour of run time.

Briggs and Stratton P2,200

This diesel generator can run at 1,700 watts of power and can handle startup loads of 2,200 watts.  It holds up to a gallon of fuel and can run for 4 hours at half power. The P2,200 would be an excellent generator for those looking to run drip coffee makers and microwaves while watching their televisions.

The Sportsman GEN4000LP

This liquid propane generator has a starting rating of 4,000 watts and can hold 3,250 watts continuously.  This generator weighs 88 pounds and does not come with any internal tanks. This model can be purchased for about $330.00 but you’ll also have to buy an external propane tank to run it.  A 5-pound propane tank costs around $60.00.

Final Thoughts

Renting an RV in comparison to going with the traditional tent-style way of camping brings the benefits of having all the modern amenities that you would both want and need. However, this in turn comes from the need of powering all these amenities. Keeping in mind what kind of generator and what kind of fuel you would need is just as important when deciding what kind of RV to rent.

While most RVs have built-in generators, a portable generator becomes a solution if in some rare exception that the one you have rented does not have one. While the extra charges may cause you to raise your budget, the extra benefit of being able to fully maximize your new motorhome will always be worth it.

Also, it might be worth it to check our Etsy Store for journals and planners. These simple tools will help you organize your spending list so you’re always within your budget.

For any other helpful RV Tips, you can check out these articles:

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    Shauna Kocman founder Family Travel Fever
    Shauna Kocman founder of Family Travel Fever

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

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