There is nothing like hitting the open road in America. Our interstate highways are the lifeblood of this country, transporting not only goods but people and ideas. One of the best ways to see all the wonderful things this country has to offer is to take an RV from coast to coast.
Sure, you could take a plane and get from one side of the continent to the other in six hours, but that’s just being cramped up in a metal tube with dozens of people where you have to stay quiet for the sake of others. It also makes it significantly harder to take your four-legged friends with you to your destination. And that’s if you even feel comfortable flying! Some studies have revealed that 6.5% of Americans don’t fly due to aviophobia.
Trains are also available if flying isn’t an option, and it does let you see the American countryside, plus you don’t have to deal with the stress of driving yourself. But it is still a long and expensive journey, and you miss out on the best parts of a road trip: having the freedom to go wherever you want and take any detours that you want.
Whether it’s experiencing the unique slices of Americana that you find in the cities and towns that cropped up along our highways or exploring the natural wonders hidden just off the beaten paths, the world is your oyster when you’re driving an RV cross-country.
The cost to rent an RV for a full cross-country trip can cost anywhere from around $1,500 to $6,000 depending on factors like the type of RV you get, the fuel efficiency of the motorhome or vehicle towing the trailer, how long you want to spend on your trip and how direct your path across the country is.
The cost to rent an RV for a full cross-country trip can cost anywhere from around $1,500 to $6,000 depending on two main factors: the length of your trip and the RV that you rent. Other factors like the campgrounds you stay at, the fuel efficiency of the motorhome or vehicle towing the trailer, and what attractions you visit will also impact the overall cost of your trip.
LEARN THE RV RENTAL BASICS
Is it your first time renting an RV? Learn the basics of what you should do before, during, and after your rental in our first-time renter’s guide.
If you want to drive across the country, there are countless routes you can take. How much time you drive each day and spend in the places in between is up to you!
Just going from New York to Seattle, you could take a straight shot through the northern part of the country and pass through Cleveland, Chicago, Madison, Minneapolis, Fargo, and Spokane on your way there, which would be a 2,850-mile journey including 42 hours of driving.
But you could also head south and swing through Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Charlotte, Atlanta, New Orleans, Houston, San Antonio, El Paso, Tucson, Phoenix, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Portland on your way from New York to Seattle. That journey will take you through 4,500 miles of America, and take almost 70 hours of driving.
PLAN YOUR DREAM TRIP
Wondering where you should take your RV next? Check out our list of most popular National Parks for RVers to get in on the action.
The bulk of the cost of an RV rental is in the daily or nightly rental rate, so the more days you spend on the road, the more you end up paying for the trip. Motorhomes also tend to have an additional charge depending on the mileage used, so a longer trip going out of your way to see more places might cost you more money from those charges in addition to the added gasoline costs.
Some RV renters will offer some amount of free miles each day you rent the RV, while others let you pay less if you purchase those miles in advance. You have to decide how much those additional miles and days are worth to you to see how much you should spend on your cross-country RV rental.
The next thing to consider is the cost of the type of RV that you’re renting. For instance, the nightly price of a small pop-up camper will be only a fraction of what it would cost to rent a large Class A motorhome for the night.
Below are the average costs per night to rent various types of RVs.
Class A motorhome: $175 to $275
Class B motorhome: $100 to $200
Class C motorhome: $150 to $200
Toy hauler: $100 to $200
Fifth wheel: $60 to $150
Travel trailer: $50 to $125
Pop-up camper: $50 to $100
Multiply this number by the length of your stay to get an idea of what your rental costs will look like. For an even more precise estimate that includes the additional fees and taxes that usually come with renting an RV, check out Outdoorsy and choose an RV of your liking, select your proposed rental timeframe, and get an estimate.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT RV FOR YOU
Not all RVs are created equal. Learn about the different RV classes, their pros, and their cons. You might be surprised which one you like best!
Aside from the rental itself, you’ll have other expenses to consider when factoring the overall cost of your trip. We won’t go into too much detail here on that, but make sure you account for:
Gas costs and the fuel efficiency of your RV or tow vehicle
Food and beverages
Attractions and park entrance fees
Though these likely won’t be as expensive as your overall rental cost, they can add up fast— especially fuel.
Did you know you could save an average of 25% compared to other insurance companies by getting a comprehensive plan with Roamly? This insurance company was created by passionate RV owners,so they know exactly the type of coverage you need for your RV. No more paying for expensive features you don’t need.
Additionally, Roamly doesn’t stop covering your RV if you decide you want to rent it out on peer-to-peer networks like Outdoorsy. That means you can make extra money when you’re not using your RV.