What does it cost to vacation in an RV?

Traveling with an RV can be cheaper for some families, but you need to cover expenses and prepare for anything that might happen. Though some people believe that purchasing or renting an RV is a

Traveling with an RV can be cheaper for some families, but you need to cover expenses and prepare for anything that might happen. Though some people believe that purchasing or renting an RV is a low-cost method to travel, there are certain circumstances where it isn’t.

For instance, there are unexpected expenses that arise if you put a lot of miles on your vehicle, as many RV travelers tend to do. 

Even if you are trailing a camper, there are certain precautions you need to take and a specific auto insurance policy you will need to buy to ensure you are completely covered. So before you join the hundreds of other RV fanatics who will be taking the highway for their vacation, take the time to learn more about these options first. 

Instead of asking “Does my insurance cover towing a trailer?” after filing an insurance claim, you can have everything in order before even needing to file a claim. Below we will detail all the ins and outs of taking an RV on a vacation and how to potentially reduce the biggest expenses.

The Cost of Buying an RV

In general, the cost of purchasing an RV ranges from $30,000 to $300,000. This pricing may vary depending on criteria such as class, bundled amenities, and other expenses. 

The type of RV is one factor that might affect its price. There are six primary classes: 

  • Class A
  • Class B
  • Class C
  • Travel trailers
  • Fifth wheels
  • Pop-ups

Each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. However, the most popular types are in classes A, B, and C. 

The primary distinction among these three classifications is the size of the RV. Class A RVs are distinguished by their resemblance to buses. They tend to be more expensive than smaller classes. 

Their prices can be as low as $200,000 and as high as $300,000. You may be able to get a Class A RV for lower than $200,000 if it is an older model.

The class B RVs have the appearance of a van, but the body varies according to the manufacturer. Class Bs are less expensive than class A since they are smaller, with costs ranging from $100,000 and up.

The last popular RVs style, class C, is very simple to operate and is the smallest of the three most popular classes. Class Cs are less expensive than A and B models, with prices ranging from $30,000 to $60,000.

The Costs of Owning an RV

When planning for your RVs purchase, keep in mind that there are expenses other than the RV itself, such as sales tax, vehicle registration fees, maintenance, and other long-term costs. 

The amount of these fees, as well as the conditions you must satisfy to drive off the lot (like auto insurance), is determined by the state you reside or purchase it in.

Maintenance is another cost associated with purchasing an RV. Without proper planning and budgeting, maintenance issues can ruin your entire trip. 

For instance, instead of doing all the things you planned to do during a pit stop in Harbor Island, SC, you could end up using all your spending money on fixing something that broke or stopped working while driving.

In most cases, you will receive a limited warranty depending on where you purchase your RV. These warranties vary depending on the vendor, but they typically include a time limit before they expire.

The Cost of Renting an RV

RV rentals are charged per night, with larger, newer models being more costly. On average, the weekly rental will cost between $1,000 and $3,000, but as usual, the prices will vary depending on the kind of RV you rent. 

The cost of renting an RV varies greatly depending on the rental business you choose, the type of vehicle you rent, the rental location, the age of the vehicle, and other factors. However, it might range from $150 to $200 per night for the three most common RV types (Class A, B, and C).

RV Mileage Fees

Aside from the rental cost, some RV businesses charge mileage fees. It’s simple to locate rentals with unlimited miles, but some of them provide a certain number of miles for free and then charge for extra mileage. This can add an extra 20 to 80 cents per mile to the total cost of renting.

Although not all RV companies impose cleaning fees, some do, and the price of this fee can range from $40 to $200 on average. However, if you clean the camper rental before returning it, you could potentially avoid these charges.

Lastly, when renting an RV, you will be charged taxes based on the state in which you pick it up. So if you live in Georgia but rent a vehicle in Florida, you must pay Florida sales tax.

The Cost of RV Insurance

Pricing for RV insurance coverage varies greatly due to the variety of kinds and classifications, as well as the common factors that affect your cost for insurance. 

On average, full-time RV insurance often costs around $1,000 to $2,000. In general, RVs are more expensive to insure than travel trailers. In contrast to travel trailers that are towed by another vehicle, they are driven and require liability insurance. 

High-end RVs are typically more expensive to replace than most trailers, pop-up campers, truck campers, and fifth wheels. Insurance is more expensive for the largest form of RV, class A, than for the smaller class B and C types.

If you finance your RV, most lenders need comprehensive and collision coverage to safeguard it, which boosts the cost of your insurance. If your vehicle is paid in full, you can omit physical damage coverages to reduce your cost.

RV Rental Insurance can cost anywhere from $10 and $100 per day or night, depending on the type of RV, the coverage, and the business offering it. Similar to renting a car, you must have insurance that has liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage.

Other RV Traveling Costs

If you rent an RV, you’ll need to fill it up with gas before returning it. Most rental companies prefer that you fill the tank before returning their vehicle, and may charge you the cost of filling it, plus a fee for them to drive to a gas station and fill it. This fee can range from $20 to $100 or higher depending on the business.

Aside from the fees associated with not refueling the RV, you have to pay for gas while traveling. Several manufacturers claim that their RVs get between 10 and 20 miles per gallon. 

So a full tank of gasoline will cost anywhere between $50 and $800, based on an average cost of $2 to $6 a gallon. The price of gas depends on the state and city you are driving through. 

Another major cost associated with taking a vacation in an RV is the campground cost. RV parks will serve as your home base, whether you’re visiting a neighboring location or on a long road trip. 

Since some parks have a lot of facilities and others have a little selection, not all rates are the same and can range from $20 to $100 per night.

Though taking an RV trip can seem extremely fun and exciting, it can be expensive if you are not diligent while planning your vacation. With the information provided above, hopefully, you can make an RV vacation worthwhile without breaking the bank.

Imani Francies writes and researches for the auto insurance comparison site, AutoInsurance.org. She enjoys writing travel advice articles to help her readers find the right insurance policies and stay safe on their road trips.