Renting an RV – Actual Costs

Here are the RV related costs for our eight days of renting an RV, traveling 1670 miles through five states.  I’ve tried to be as detailed as possible regarding our experience while renting an RV for the benefit of others who might be thinking about renting one.

Fuel: Averaged 8.12 miles per gallon. The total fuel cost was $561.83. Gas was a lot more expensive up north compared to here in Kansas City. We used the on-board generator a total of 11 hours. The rental company allowed 5 hours a day at no extra charge. I did some research and the Onan 4000 with average loads uses about .7 gallon an hour. That is included in the above fuel costs.

Propane: Kept the refrigerator and water heater on the propane setting 90% of the time. Used 3.7 pounds of fuel costing $12.16. The RV rental company asked us to run on propane if we had the AC on all day. The rig had 30 amp service. For some reason they were worried about over-heating in the refrigerator with the electrical demand. We ran the furnace only one morning for about an hour.

Rental Costs: The rental company allowed us to pick the rig up the day before departure. We rented a 25 foot Class C with the walk-around rear bed upgrade and one slide. And there were no rental company stickers displayed on it!

The rig came with kitchen supplies and bedding (a $200 value). They charged $75 because we had pets and they do “deep cleaning” when we return the rig. The rental cost for the rig was $2,099 plus tax of $183 for a total of $2,282 or $285 a day. There was also a refundable damage fee of $900 in addition to this. They refunded our credit card within hours of our return. We rented after kids had returned to school which was just outside the rental company’s peek season. I want to add we could have saved by not traveling so many miles. The company said the rental rate is more influenced by the miles driven. They charge .49 a mile for each mile over 150 per day. We paid for 1,600 miles up front and they did not charge us for the overage. Full insurance came with the rental fee.

We found a rental receipt in the RV dated 6-11-15. The person had rented the same RV for 4 days. He paid $1,083 or $270 a day. He received a 600 mile allowance which was their standard 150 miles per day.

The rental company provided a lot with the rig. To include not only the insurance, bedding and kitchen supplies but also: Outside table, outside mat, folding camp chairs, cordless vacuum, broom, cleaning supplies for kitchen, paper towels, toilet paper, black water tank treatment and everything else needed other than food and clothing. We had two 12 volt televisions and they even supplied six movies. We only watched 1/2 of one! This rig was advertised to sleep six. There were only seatbelts for five which would be all I’d want to have sleeping in it. The rental company also offers a 30′ rig with two bunk beds that was only slightly higher in cost.

2/27/16 Update: I received a notice from the rental company that rates are 1/2 off during the winter if we took a trip ending before March 31st. Might be a good time to rent and head south for a couple weeks.

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