These are the pros and cons of renting an RV during the coronavirus pandemic

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Instead of planes, trains, automobiles and hotels, more and more travelers are considering renting an RV for upcoming trips.

After all, there is virtually no risk of contracting COVID-19 when you are sleeping and eating in your own home on wheels.

But while it appears a great way to travel, you need to know the pros and cons before you rent a camper (that you pull) or motor home (that you drive).

It’s the vacation rage of 2020, according to Money magazine, which calls RV’s “virus friendly,” since you drive across the country with your own bedroom and kitchen.

But Money says many people end up surprised at the total cost, which can total a lot more than you first think.

Know the real cost

  • RV rental can range from $100 to $300 per night, similar to a hotel room.
  • Campsites are another $50 to as much as $150 a night, depending on location and amenities.
  • Gas can cost $75 to $100 per day, even with today’s low gas prices, as most motor homes get just 5 to 10 miles per gallon.
  • Your auto insurance may not cover the full value of that RV, and your credit card may not cover it at all. That means you may have to pay $25 or more per day for RV insurance.

Add it up and you can end up spending $300 – $400 per night, though it is still cheaper than a $500 a night luxury resort.

One other downside: many rental RV’s are budget models, without all the high-end amenities you see at RV shows. Tour the model first, before you rent.

Pull-behind camper or motor home?

Campers that you pull tend to rent for less than models you drive.

But think twice about a pull-behind camper if you have never towed a vehicle before. You will need an SUV or pickup built for towing, with a tow package that includes brake light hookups.

And if you have never towed anything, you could be in for a surprise when you try to back up.

A small or mid-size motor home that you drive is usually best for first-timers, experts say.

And you have your own COVID-free accommodations, which can be well worth the cost.

Bottom line: Campers are a great way to travel safely during the pandemic. Interested? Check a major rental firm like Cruise America. Or rent directly from owners at RV Share.

Just know all the costs involved, so you don’t waste your money.

About the Author

John Matarese
John Matarese

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