The True Cost of Renting a Campervan or RV - Native Campervans

The True Cost of Renting a Campervan or RV

Cost of Renting a Campervan

All You Need to Know about Mileage, Extras, Parking & Fees.

Learn to spot the must-have perks, hidden fees, and overall cost of renting a campervan and RV rental companies. 

If you just spent hours comparing the best campervan rentals to the best RV rentals, and you’re even more confused than before, fear not! You’ve come to the right place. We’re answering questions comparison shoppers ask us most frequently, so you can find the adventure vehicle at a great price, even if it’s not ours. Learn the true cost of renting a campervan or RV below.

Look out for costly inclusions & missing essentials: What comes with a campervan rental?

When it comes to mileage caps and overages, extra driver fees, and insurance, campervan and RV rental costs are pretty comparable to renting a car. But when it’s time to take your rental rig out on an adventure – especially if you’re flying in – the extras can make or break your trip.

 We’ve all seen photos of gorgeous custom campervans, decked out with everything a vanlifer could ever need. But, when you pop your head inside a cheap campervan, you might notice a few things are missing. Bedding and cooking equipment, for example. The best campervan rental companies will be upfront about what is actually IN the van, not just in the pictures. If you’ve got to swing by a superstore to pick up utensils, coolers, blankets, and propane, your cheap campervan might end up costing a whole lot more.

 Native Campervans come with the basics and then some. Because the best campervan rental should come with camp chairs, a table, a well-stocked kitchen, and propane. Check out our rates page to learn more about what comes in a campervan rental from us.  

Spotting the hidden RV rental cost: What kind of fuel mileage does it get?

Rent a Camper Van
Credit: @ejmellow

By now you’ve probably got a running list of the best campervan rentals (and a list of the best RV rentals to boot). You’ve crunched the numbers on daily rates and mileage fees. So it may come as a surprise that a huge difference between campervan and RV rental prices is buried in the fine print. No, it’s not a fee charged by the rental companies themselves, but it can seriously impact the total cost of your trip.

 RV fuel mileage is downright abysmal, and we’re not being overly dramatic. The best RV rentals might get 10-12 miles to the gallon, and the worst can get as low as 5. Yes, that’s 5 miles. 1 gallon. You do the math. . . Paying upwards of $150 each time you fill up can really can be an adventure buzzkill.

In addition to being harsh on your travel budget, gas guzzlers aren’t exactly kind to the planet either. The biggest, best campervan rentals can get over 20 miles to the gallon out on the open road, and smaller models can get even more. Of course, all travel has some impact on the planet, so we’re taking it one step further. In 2020 we started offsetting the carbon emissions put out by our campervans. Read more about how we adventure responsibly.

Choosing the vehicle that suits your style (and the roads): How hard is it to drive an RV?

Grand Teton Campervan Rentals
Credit: @rusticbones

There are a couple of ways to compare campervan and RV rental prices. While we do recommend taking a look at the monetary expense, we also suggest considering the total cost. To us, that includes the headache of finding parking and chugging slowly up steep mountain roads. We love to drive, and we love to drive things that are easy and fun. You may not need a special license to rent an RV, but you do need some special skills. Patience and parking karma, to be specific.

Standard rental RVs are around 12 feet tall and anywhere from 20-30 feet long. They clock in at about 8 feet wide and have been known to *mysteriously* lose their side mirrors on narrow, curvy roads. If idling in long lines at national parks is your idea of fun, wait ‘till you try it in a huge, hard-to-maneuver bus! Trying to nab the last walk up campsite and there’s no pull-through? Inexperienced RV drivers are probably out of luck.

When you consider clearance restrictions and maneuverability, a campervan rental unlocks access to places RVs simply cannot go. Pair that with the overall cost to operate and ease of use, and a campervan rental simply makes more sense for many travelers.

Still have questions about the true cost of renting a campervan or comparing campervan and RV rental prices? Drop us a line and we’d be happy to help. If you’ve already chosen a campervan over an RV, explore our vans page for more advice on deciding which campervan to rent.

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