Is it cheaper to rent an RV or stay in a hotel?

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: Is it cheaper to rent an RV or stay in a hotel? We will compare the costs of renting an RV and those of staying in different-class hotels during a vacation. We will also give you a few tips on how to make the best of travelling and living in an RV during your trip. 

Is it cheaper to rent an RV or stay in a hotel?

Is it cheaper to rent an RV or stay in a hotel for a seven days vacation? There is no simple or definitive answer to this question, since different factors can come into play: 

  • the duration of the trip, 
  • the number of miles traveled, 
  • the price of gasoline in the country of destination, 
  • the number of travelers, 
  • the cost of hotels and the type of comfort expected. 

The fact remains that the RV is very practical for a road trip, since it offers more freedom than booking rooms in a hotel or B&B. For lovers of wide open spaces and flexibility, this freedom is priceless anyway!

The costs of renting an RV vs Staying in a hotel for 7 days

Staying in a Standard HotelStaying in a more luxurious hotelRenting an RV
Meals: $700Meals: $1200Meals: $120
Gas: $300Gas: $300Gas: $560
Hotel Room: $900Hotel Room: $1800Renting RV: $120
Parking Fees :$0Parking Fees: $0Parking Fees: $120
Total: $1900Total: $3300Total: $920

Going on vacation: price of a hotel room

The price of a hotel room is a big factor in the budget when you want to go on vacation. Thus, basic rooms in hostels or single boarding establishments start at 40 or 50 dollars. If you want more comfort, it takes around 100 dollars per night, plus the price of breakfast. 

Travellers wishing to afford exceptional accommodation can easily count on several hundred dollars for luxury accommodation or boutique hotels, often set up in period residences.

The prices obviously vary depending on whether you want accommodation in the city centre, close to the beach or whether you opt for a remote, less desirable accommodation. Sleeping in a RV can be an interesting alternative. 

This is an obvious choice if you have your own vehicle for an RV vacation. For rental, count around 120 dollars per day and around 900 dollars for a week. We see that going on vacation in a RV becomes interesting when there are more than two of you sharing the vehicle. Camperdays is a company that allows you to rent an RV wherever you are.

The costs of vacationing in an RV

Camping has gradually become more democratic and has evolved a lot in recent years. While camping was previously economical, given the offer and the different styles of camping, prices have also fluctuated. And there are several reasons for this.

  1. The type of campsite. Depending on the campsite you choose, the rental price can drop from single to double for the night. And the camping category is not for nothing. Cheaper than a hotel, but with all the comforts one can hope for, camping with accommodation is perfect for a stay with family or friends. 
  1. Campsite stars and their influence on prices The more stars a campsite has, the more services it will have, and the more prices will go up. To simplify your task, here is what the stars correspond to, so you can choose according to your desires and your budget.

The 1-star campsite, a stay at a low price. As soon as there is a star, campsites are required to offer a minimum of services. The criteria for 1-star campsites are quite basic, they must:

  • Have a good quality / price ratio (services, cleanliness).
  • The location should be at least 70 square meters.

The 2-star campsite, a minimum of services. While they are required to offer, as with the 1-star campsite, accommodation of at least 70 square meters, campsites with two stars must also provide services and facilities, such as a playground for children, internet in common areas and be comfortable. This implies cleanliness, the quality of the furniture, etc.

3-star campsite, the golden option? Here we are starting to reach higher prices, requiring a larger budget. In fact, in addition to the criteria of the previous two stars, this type of campsite must offer, for pleasant holidays, good quality accommodation, a minimum surface area of ​​80 square meters for the pitch, and 24-hour permanence. 

The 4-star campsite, for maximum comfort. If the prices are higher here, it is because the 4-star campsite must provide even more qualitative accommodation, facilities and services, nearby shops for supplies, a website, information support with at least two different languages, etc. All this, in addition to the criteria already mentioned for the other campsites.

Luxury holidays at the 5-star campsite. Rental in a 5-star campsite must include top-of-the-range equipment, comfortable accommodation, at least one body of water, such as a swimming pool, many services (spa, gym).

Plan your average budget for a stress-free vacation

If you want to start budgeting for a trip, you need to know the prices. We have seen that they can vary depending on the type of rental, but we can already have an idea. In addition, we must take into account ancillary expenses.

  1. The price of the campsite. Here, we are basing ourselves on a camping rental for a mobile home for four people in the middle of July. All ranges and regions combined, expect to spend between 800 and 1200 dollars on average.

During sales, prices decrease between 500 and 700 dollars, ideal for a small budget. These are also, again on average, the prices charged by one or two-star campsites.

  1. Food at the campsite/ We tend to want to have fun on vacation. Restaurant, ice cream by the water, parties, etc. So many expenses that can quickly put a strain on a budget, especially if you have children. Before you go, find out about nearby food stores, restaurants and their prices. Some campsites offer services worthy of a hotel with half board and full board. A tip that can save you a few dollars.
  1. Vehicle rental. If you are traveling by train or taking a flight to your vacation spot, you will likely need a vehicle to get around there. These additional costs must be taken into account upstream. Plan to rent a car when booking at the campsite, for the week or a few days depending on your needs.
  1. Ensure your vacation Accident, theft, loss, etc. you may, during your stay, be victims of various prejudices.
  1. Book in advance. It’s not just last-minute deals that can save you a few bucks. This other tip is to make your reservation in advance. Often, you will have a discount which can allow you to choose a more upscale campsite, or with more services. In addition, you will have more choice for the location and can organize yourself with peace of mind.

Camping is a different lifestyle that will cut you off from your routine. Each year, thousands of French people choose to pitch their tent or live in a mobile home for one or more weeks.

Whether in the heart of nature, by the sea, with the family or not, the campsite is constantly renewing itself, offering more and more original activities, so that each person can keep a unique memory of their vacation, the everything, with prices much more interesting than elsewhere (hotel, club).

In short

Is it more economical to sleep in a RV than at a hotel? It all depends on the rental price of your vehicle. But if you add the price of the hotel and the cost of renting a car, the motorhome will allow you to make interesting savings on your road trip, especially if you are traveling in groups and if your trip lasts at least a week, but between hotel service and freedom, it will nevertheless be necessary to choose.

What is your decision? Feel free to leave a comment!

FAQ on Is it cheaper to rent an RV or stay in a hotel?

What do I have to bring to travel by RV?

Don’t even think about packing towels, dishes or a blanket for your motorhome trip. Companies often offer a kitchen kit with everything you need to cook and eat for about $ 100.

In addition, they will offer you to rent a coffee maker or toaster for about $ 8 the whole trip. They also offer a personal kit for $ 50, which includes a sleeping bag, pillow, blanket, bath towels and sink.

What is the cost of living in an RV vs a house?

Living in an RV can certainly be cheaper than living in a house or apartment. The cost of living in the United States is more expensive than in 79% of countries in the world, no wonder many choose the RV life! The estimated monthly costs for a single person in the US is $2,611 – and that price can be brought down if you choose to live in a motorhome

What driving-license do I need to drive a motorhome in the United States?

Unless you want to reserve a bus-type “motorhome”, the “B” driving license is enough to drive a motorhome in the United States, apart from the international driving license that is usually necessary to drive more relaxed.

How can I save gas on my RV trip?

Of course, you can save gas on your RV trip and extend the above miles limit, just by following a few simple tips: 

  1. Travel light – By reducing the weight of your RV to a minimum, you could save money at the pump. For example, 100 pounds of additional baggage could represent a 2% fuel increase. 
  1.  Add a baffle – In this way, your vehicle’s engine will “strain” less and at the same time consume less fuel. Finally, this deflector could protect your vehicle from small stones and other debris that you will come across on the road!
  1.  Drive responsibly –  By limiting acceleration-braking (as much as possible), by maintaining a constant speed and by respecting the speed limits, you could achieve great fuel savings, while adopting a safer driving style!


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