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How to Book the Cheapest RV Rental This Year

Thanks to the internet, you can find money-saving advice on just about anything – pet care, car insurance, the list goes on. Travel advice is one of the more popular categories; there are thousands of articles with tips for saving money while traveling the globe.

If you’ve read my article for saving money on airfare, in the same spirit, I decided to write another one on a more slow-paced means of travel: RVing.

We highly recommend Will Hatton’s “How to Travel the World on $10 a Day” – he arms you with the tips and tricks you need to travel the world with confidence, on the most basic of budgets. 

Click to Learn Will’s Secrets

Renting an RV – What You Need to Know

Renting an RV is a fairly simple process, but if you’ve never done it before, you probably have a lot of questions. RV rentals have been around forever, almost as long as RVing itself.

What began as an easy way for dealerships to turn a profit on excess inventory is now an entirely separate part of the RV industry. These days, there are three ways to rent an RV:

  • Renting from a large chain rental service/dealership. Because of their size and multiple locations, you can often find one-way deals and factory delivery specials.
  • Renting from a small, local business. You can expect stellar customer service and well-maintained RVs from a smaller company.
  • Via a peer-to-peer rental network like RVshare. P2P RV rental services are new to the RV world. Using an online platform, you’ll have access to a nation-wide inventory and work directly with the owner of the RV.

For those who have ever wanted to spend a couple of nights in an iconic Airstream travel trailer, a new glamping experience awaits you on Australia’s NSW South Coast.

Why Renting an RV is Better Than Flying Everywhere

In a way, renting an RV online is like booking a hotel or plane ticket online, but that’s where the similarities end. Not only is RVing a scenic and enjoyable way to travel; it’s also much more affordable.

A recent survey found that traveling in an RV is nearly 50% cheaper than flying to your destination and staying in a hotel. Depending on the type of RV you rent, you may save even more than that.

Saving money while getting to go on a road trip and spend time in the great outdoors sounds pretty great to me!

How to Save Money When Renting an RV

So, we already know that RV travel is more affordable than alternate modes of transportation, but did you know that you can shave off even more expenses? There are a bunch of ways to save money during the rental process:

  • It’s common knowledge that the earlier you book a flight or hotel, the better rate you’ll get. The same goes for RV rentals. Book your rental a couple months in advance to lock in a low rate (and give yourself plenty of time to plan your itinerary).

For those who have ever wanted to spend a couple of nights in an iconic Airstream travel trailer, a new glamping experience awaits you on Australia’s NSW South Coast.

  • Again, just like with hotels and airfare, RV rentals are cheapest during the off-season. In some cases, the off-season can be determined by as little as a few weeks. So instead of booking an expensive Labor Day vacation, wait a few weeks and go at the end of September or early October instead.
  • If you’re into snowboarding and skiing, you can save a ton of money on a winter RV rental instead of staying in lodges. Don’t worry, RVing in the winter isn’t as cold and uncomfortable as it sounds.
  • If you’re planning a one-way trip, always check with big-name RV rental services first. They often run factory delivery specials where they give you dirt-cheap rental rates to pick up a new RV and bring it to one of their locations. You can find rates as low as $1 per day! Most dealerships offer these specials early in the year (when the manufacturers pump out new RV models), so start looking for deals between November and January. Unfortunately, factory delivery specials only work if you’re okay with the specific pick-up and drop-off locations.

RV Campervan

  • Sometimes, you can find other one-way rental specials. One-way rentals are more flexible than factory delivery specials because you choose from the company’s selection of locations. Incentives usually include a waiver of one-way fees, free miles, free accessory kits, and other deals.
  • If you’re renting through a large rental chain or a local business, ask if they offer discounts to AAA members. A lot of companies do, although they don’t clearly advertise it.
  • For the cheapest round-trip rates, check with a P2P site like RVshare Since the RV owners list the RV and choose the rates themselves, you’ll often find rentals for a lot less than you would at a rental chain. Plus, you can use the messaging feature to negotiate rates and terms even further.

How to Save Money on the Road

You’ve saved a ton of money on your RV rental; you don’t want to blow all your funds on the trip itself, right? Here are a few quick tips to keep you on budget:

  • Gas is obviously the biggest and most important expense. Use an app like GasBuddy to find cheap gas nearby, and keep your speed around 55mph to burn less fuel. Wait until everyone is at work to set out on the road, so you don’t waste gas sitting in traffic.
  • Another big expense is campground fees. There are hundreds of campground discount programs out there for RV camping, like Passport America and Good Sam Club.

For those who have ever wanted to spend a couple of nights in an iconic Airstream travel trailer, a new glamping experience awaits you on Australia’s NSW South Coast.

  • If you think you can handle a night or two without electrical/water hookups, dry camp somewhere you won’t have to pay campground fees. Of course, you’ll want to do some research on conserving your resources beforehand!
  • Prepare a bunch of meals ahead of time and bring them with you. It’ll prevent you from eating out or stopping for fast food and snacks. One-skillet meals are perfect for RVing – they don’t create a lot of dishes, and you can heat them up over a campfire (which saves water and gas).
  • Be sure you understand the terms of your RV rental, and adhere to them. Some companies will charge you if you return an RV with full holding tanks, an empty gas tank, or if you return it past a certain hour.


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Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; a website dedicated to opening your eyes to the wild & natural world.

Committed to bringing you the best in adventure travel from all around the globe, there is no mountain too high, and no fete too extreme! They haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on their list.

Follow their journey on Facebook, TwitterYouTube, Pinterest and Instagram.


  1. Great post. One bit of info to add: is similar to RV Share in that the RV’s are largely from individual owners. The big difference is that RVPlusYou is all about Delivered RV Rentals.

    So, renters don’t have to drive or tow a big box and spend big bucks on gas, or therapy after their white-knuckle experience driving an RV in traffic. No, no, no. Renters simply drive their small rental car or their own car to their reserved campsite and it’s already set up and waiting. Cool huh?

    We actually refer lot’s of people to RVShare for RV’s if they want to drive. But for those who simply want to show up and have someone else do all the work;

    Just followed you on Twitter Megan. Thanks for great info!

    • Thanks for the tip Russ! Hadn’t heard of but sounds like a great way to get the RV experience if you’re not keen on the actual driving. There seems to be a trend recently of camping sites setting up RV’s and selling overnight glamping, so definitely a market for it!

      Thanks for the tip :)

  2. Thank you very much for the post! I have never traveled with an RV and have been thinking about it for a while, but now I´m convinced it’s a experience I should take… and I´ll definitely use the GasBuddy app (great tip) !

    • You’re most welcome :) Have a fabulous time on the road!

  3. I think my kids would love this way of travelling, but that might be hard – as you mention, prices go up when it’s the holidays and that’s the only times we can really travel! Great tips though.

    • Though if it’s something your family really wants to do, the further you book in advance the more likely you are to find the best price :)

  4. Thanks for sharing and I did consider RV rental in New Zealand. Given up in the end due to we have some other plans.
    But Will consider that in Australia next time if we have the chance again!

    @ knycx.journeying.

    • You’re welcome :) Australia and New Zealand are probably two of the best countries for an RV trip. Hope you have the chance to visit this part of the world soon :)

  5. Great timing! We’ve been thinking of renting an RV and doing a bit of travel around Australia. Now I just need to make sure they are OK with my puppy joining us!

    • I’m totally bias, but Australia is probably the best country for it! Ask around to see if you can find a pet friendly camper, and I’ll do the same and let you know if I find a company who allows it :)

  6. I’ve never rented an RV before but I’ve been thinking of doing an extended road trip in the summer & this seems like one of the more economical options – though as you say, maybe I should travel during the off-season for the best rates, thanks I’ll keep it all in mind

    • The off season is definitely a great time to travel if you’re looking for an economical trip … can travel further and longer for the same price as you would for a shorter trip during peak :)

  7. Thanks for sharing these awesome tips. These tips really helped me with booking the cheapest RV Rental in the USA. AS RV rentals are popular in the USA. RV Rental Companies are really helpful and help in choosing best RV for family trip. I also searched many RV rental companies and one of RV rental company I found on google. And my one friend also recommend me that site.

    • You’re welcome Shayra, I’m glad to hear that the post was helpful for you :) I hope you have an amazing time RV-ing across the USA!

  8. Thanks for sharing tips about how I can book the cheapest RV rental. These tips help me when I need an RV and my budget is low. I love this post. I am glad to you.

    • You’re welcome Caitlin, so glad the post was helpful for you. Thanks for reading :)

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