Forget about overpriced hotels and stuffy resorts, today’s travellers crave an authentic, personal feel with an affordable price tag. AirBnB.com—an incredibly successful platform offering travel accommodations for houses, condos, or apartments—has paved the way for this trend to expand to other travel industries, including RVs. RVShare.com currently reigns as the largest peer-to-peer website for RV rentals, and it’s growing everyday.
With a wide selection, potential renters can browse through countless vehicles that meet (or even exceed!) their needs. Owners on the platform are real people, who will be more than happy to help you achieve the vacation of your dreams. Not only will you have access to someone who can guide and assist you through the rental process, but renting an RV is also considerably cheaper than owning one or relying on questionable motels to house your family.
While renting an RV can be more cost-effective than ownership, we want renters to find the best deal possible under any circumstance. Here are 8 simple ways you can have the best, and most affordable, vacation ever:
Book and Travel During the “Off-Season”
RV owners will be more eager to rent out their vehicle, and may even offer discounted rates, if your area experiences a notable drop in travel during a certain part of the year. If your vacation is limited to a specific timeframe, this strategy may not be for you, but if you are able to postpone your road trip by a month or two you may find yourself paying significantly less for your rental vehicle. Bonus: Campgrounds and parks will be less crowded than during peak season!
Search Outside of Your Immediate Area
Even if you live in a well-populated area of the country, you may consider opening up your search terms to include more remote, but still close by, RV owners. The same is true for renters in rural areas: search surrounding cities and suburbs for a larger selection and potentially better prices. If something is a little further away but is still notably cheaper than other rentals, the savings may be worth the extra drive. Always be sure to calculate your gas mileage and time needed to pick-up and drop-off the vehicle to make sure you will actually save money in the end.
Generally, the smaller the vehicle the cheaper your rental rates will be. While you and your family won’t want your RV to feel like a can of sardines, consider downsizing to the smallest vehicle comfortable in an effort to save a little extra money. RVShare allows you to search for vehicle listings based on class, size, and other factors, so you can find a vehicle perfect for your family’s road trip. Average fuel costs may also be significantly less than those of a larger model!
Speaking of fuel costs, one of the easiest ways to save money on your RV trip is through popular fuel savings programs. Many fuel retailers offer special “frequent flyer” discounts or rewards, so be sure to check out major chains in your area and along your planned route. These discounts often come in the form of “spend $100 and receive $.10 off per gallon” and can sometimes be linked to an existing credit card to increase your reward accumulation. Be sure to read any fine print associated with these programs, and remember that they can be used for your day-to-day commute also, not just when traveling.
Miles Per Gallon
Vehicle listings often include useful information like average MPG, as long as the vehicle owner has provided this info. If you aren’t able to find this information on the listing itself, a quick search of the RV make and model will let you know if you are looking at a fuel-efficient model or a gas-guzzler. It is important to factor in these numbers when comparing the costs of several listings.
If you’re a fan of the great outdoors, or even if you just want a quiet place to park your RV at night, you may want to invest in a campground pass. Many popular campsites (such as KOA or national/state parks) may offer season- or year-long memberships that will grant you access to multiple campsites around the country. These passes come in handy if you are planning to take multiple trips within a season or year, or if the predicted cost of your trip’s site reservations will be greater than the pass. Just like our Fuel Savings tip, be sure to read any fine print associated with these passes to be sure you and your vehicle will be covered!
If you know another family, couple, or just group of friends who are looking for a road tripping adventure, consider joining forces (and splitting costs) with them. The RVShare marketplace offers countless models that will accommodate a larger group of travellers without leaving you feeling overcrowded. Even though these models may cost more than their smaller counterparts, splitting the total multiple ways will leave everyone’s wallets a little happier.
Cost of Convenience
When adding up the cost of your RV rental, remember that you are paying for peace of mind and convenience. RVShare offers roadside assistance so that you can get on the open road and enjoy your vacation – there’s no need to worry about a flat tire or other accident.
No matter what strategies you use when selecting your RV and planning your trip, remember to keep factors such as vehicle demand and fuel cost in mind. While these may seem to have little impact on your vacation’s final cost, they could be the difference between a full bank account and an empty wallet.
Since all RVshare.com vehicles are privately owned, you may even find that owners offer you better rates for being an easy-to-please renter. By following our tips above, you’ll be able to experience the vacation of your dreams – and maybe even have a little cash left over to start saving for the next one!