How Much It Costs To Rent An RV? (And How To Pay With Points)

Are you dreaming of hitting the open road, waking up to new views outside your RV’s windows each morning? RV travel has exploded in popularity, especially among digital nomads and remote workers seeking the ultimate flexible lifestyle. But before you get too carried away with visions of van life, it’s important to understand the costs associated with renting a motorhome or campervan.

This comprehensive guide will take an in-depth look at RV rental expenses – from nightly rates to hidden fees – and reveal clever strategies for using credit card rewards to make this adventure more affordable. Let’s start by breaking down the different classes of RVs and what they offer.

What Are the Different Types of RVs?

What Are the Different Types of RVs?

Not all recreational vehicles are created equal. Your choice of RV class will impact things like living space, amenities, fuel efficiency, and of course, pricing. Here’s a quick overview of the main categories:

  • Class A Motorhomes: These are the big rigs – the largest and most luxurious RVs on the road. Amenities often include residential-style sofas, bathrooms, kitchen galleys, and even master bedrooms. All that size (typically 33+ feet long) comes at the expense of poor gas mileage, making Class A’s the least fuel-efficient option.
  • Class B Motorhomes: On the opposite end of the spectrum, Class B’s are the most compact RVs around, essentially amped-up camper vans. While incredibly easy to drive and park, their small size means minimal living space with combo bathroom/showers. But you can’t beat their fuel economy for RV travel.
  • Class C Motorhomes: As a nice middle ground, Class C motorhomes are built on truck or van chassis with an over-cab area for extra sleeping or storage space. Their mid-range size (20-33 feet) translates to decent fuel efficiency and living quarters for smaller travel groups.

To illustrate the size differences, imagine parking a Class A versus a camper van in a standard parking lot. The Class A is like trying to squeeze an ocean liner into a small marina!

Read More : How Much Does It Cost To Build An RV Pad?

How Much Does an RV Rental Cost?

The nightly price tag for your RV rental will depend primarily on three factors – the class, age, and size of the motorhome. In general, the larger and newer the RV, the higher the rates you’ll pay. But exactly how much are we talking?

According to rental company RVshare, estimated average rental costs break down like this:

RV Class10+ Years OldNewer Model
Class A$150 – $250/night$350 – $450/night
Class B$100 – $200/night$200 – $350/night
Class C$100 – $200/night$225 – $400/night

those base nightly rates are just the start. There are plenty of additional fees to account for with an RV rental:

  • Insurance and Protection Package: This covers things like liability, damage, and emergency roadside assistance. For a 14-night RVshare rental of a Class C motorhome, this package was over $1,000!
  • Preparation/Cleaning Fees: Owners will charge fees (often $100+) for cleaning, restocking supplies, etc. between rentals.
  • Taxes & RVshare Service Fees: Don’t forget about rental taxes (8-15% in many locales) plus service fees from the rental company itself.

As a concrete example, let’s look at a real 14-night RVshare rental for a 2022 Class C Forester motorhome that sleeps 8 people:

Base Rental Cost: $3,282 ($211/night with weekly discount)

Owner’s Preparation Fee: $198

Insurance/Protection Package: $1,085

Taxes: $239

RVshare Service Fees: $312

Total Cost: $4,788 for 14 nights

While the advertised rate was $211/night, the all-in pricing for this motorhome rental came out to a whopping $342 per night after fees! Always read the fine print and account for these extra charges when budgeting.

Other Expenses You Need To Consider When Renting an RV

Other Expenses You Need To Consider When Renting an RV

The sticker price for your RV rental is just one piece of the financial puzzle. There are several other unavoidable costs that can quickly add up for those RV camping or taking extended road trips:

  1. Fuel Costs: RVs are incredibly fuel inefficient, especially the larger Class A’s. With gas prices high, driving long distances will put a major dent in your budget. For context, many Class A motorhomes get under 10 mpg.
  2. Campground Fees: If you’ll be staying at RV parks, campgrounds, or even some national parks, fees can range from $30 per night for basic sites all the way up to $112+ for full hookups, amenities like WiFi, and prime locations.

“We drastically underestimated campground costs on our month-long RV road trip. Between national park entry fees and full hookup RV sites, that expense category alone ended up being over $2,000!” – Jen, RV traveler

  1. Toll Roads & Driving Fees: Depending on your routes, tolls can quickly nickel and dime you. While some may be just $1-2, others like the Pennsylvania Turnpike can cost well over $100 for an RV to pass through.
  2. Excess Mileage: Most RV rentals come with mileage limits, like 100 free miles per day. Go over that allotment, and you’ll face per-mile fees that can reach 35-45 cents. The costs add up fast on longer trips.

To avoid surprises, be sure to factor fuel costs based on your RV’s size and mileage, research campground pricing at intended stops, check for tolls along routes, and understand your rental’s mileage policy/fees.

How To Earn and Use Credit Card Rewards To Pay for an RV Rental

Given the potential for high gas, camping, and other fees, the overall expense of RV travel can quickly skyrocket. Fortunately, strategic use of credit card rewards can help offset those costs significantly. Here’s how:

Earning Bonus Points/Miles

  • Use credit cards that earn bonus rewards in the “travel” category to pay for your RV rental, campground fees, etc. Top options include the Chase Sapphire Reserve (3x), Amex Green Card (3x), and premium hotel cards.
  • For gas and fuel spending, maximize rewards with cards like the Citi Premier (3x on gas) or Citi Custom Cash (5% cash back on your top category each billing cycle when it’s gas).
  • Consider the RVshare RV Mastercard from Thor Industries which earns 5x points per $1 spent on RV rentals, campgrounds, and gas purchases made through the RV Trader platform.

Redeeming Rewards

While you can’t directly book RV rentals through travel portals, there are still great ways to redeem your hard-earned points:

  • Statement Credits: Use points from cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred/Reserve, Capital One Venture, Citi Premier, etc. to cover all or part of your rental expense with statement credits. You’ll get a redemption value of 1 cent per point/mile.
  • Book Through Travel Portals: Though RVs can’t be booked this way, use your points to cover other costs like rental cars (for getting to/from the RV location), flights, and hotel stays by booking through travel portals. With cards like the Sapphire Preferred/Reserve, you’ll get 1.25-1.5 cents per point in value.
  • Cash Back Redemptions: If you have a cash back card that earned on gas, campground, or other RV trip purchases, those rewards can help pay you back for those costs.

The key is strategically using cards with bonus categories to maximize your earnings potential, then taking advantage of valuable redemptions – whether statement credits or travel portal bookings – to recoup RV rental and trip costs.


With some smart planning and strategic use of credit card rewards, the dream of RV travel can absolutely be within financial reach. By maximizing bonus categories for earning points on the rental itself, fuel, campgrounds, and other trip expenses, you’ll rack up a solid stash of rewards. Then take advantage of valuable redemption options like statement credits and travel portal bookings to offset those costs.

Whether you’re imagining waking up to mountain views in your Class A motorhome or island hopping with an adventuremobile camper van, leveraging credit card points can make an RV road trip surprisingly affordable. Just be sure to account for all the expenses beyond nightly rental rates. With rewards defraying a major chunk of the costs, you’ll be able to embrace the RV lifestyle to the fullest!

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