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If you’re planning on renting a recreational vehicle 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 it?

RV generators use propane or gasoline to run which can cost the owner an average of $3.00 per hour of use. That’s why when a renter needs to use a generator, they have to let the owner know as there’s a charge for it and it may vary depending on the type of electronic device you are going to use.

To have a better understanding of the charges for RV generator use, I’ll tell you more information on 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?

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Jenny Thompson

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, RVezy, or RVShare. 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

Types of Generators

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Tomasz Zajda

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


Gas is usually the most convenient option as you will already be filling up your RV’s tank at the gas station making it very easy to acquire and is cheaper than the two alternatives. 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, meaning more trips to the gas station and being more aware of your fuel situation. Gas is of course also very bad environmentally, even compared to the alternatives; therefore, it is not the best option if environmental cleanliness is a concern that you have.


Diesel is the middle point between the more ecological Liquid Propane and the environmentally damaging Gas. 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 in comparison to Gas, meaning you’ll have to plan your stops more carefully when taking trips. Another negative to using diesel is it can be very loud in comparison to its alternatives.

Liquid Propane

The most eco-friendly choice of the bunch, Liquid Propane is a great option for staying green on the go. 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.

Do RV’s come with built-in generators?

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

The majority of RVs come with their own built-in generators as they will need to power the appliances in the RV already and the internal battery is not enough, especially with the more high-end RVs which feature high-end appliances. 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, but the type of generator matters as well.

Can you camp without a generator?

Camping without a generator is usually associated with Dry Camping. 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.

RV Rentals and Staying on Budget Tips

RV Vacations are becoming more luxurious in comparison to how it was years ago however, not everyone has the budget to afford these kinds of trips. The good news is here, they are now easier as well 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, it will eat into your budget quite quickly. To cut on some of the costs associated with food, you can plan your trip to campsites that have included campground grills that you 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 going somewhere with no electricity or water but does not have any fee as it 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.

Campground Rates

If you do decide to stay at a campsite for the views or for convenience’s sake, be aware that most campgrounds usually have campground fees, especially if you’re looking for a specific spot on the site.

Cleaning Fees

Some RV Owners and Companies charge a cleaning fee in case you leave it in an unseemly state.

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.

Mileage Allowances

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.

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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.

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

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    Shauna Kocman founder Family Travel Fever
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    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!  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.

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