The Top Expenditures To Budget For On Your RV Camping Trip

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Easily the most important part of preparing for your RV camping trip, even if it’s not the most fun, is budgeting for each the expenditures.

One of the big appeals to RV camping trips as a family vacation is that they are significantly cheaper in comparison to alternatives such as flying or staying in hotels.

Nonetheless, this does not at all mean that RV trips are cheap, and you still will need to set aside a fair amount of money.

Here are the top expenditures you will need to budget for on your RV camping trip:

Renting The RV

The first and primary cost of the trip will be actually renting the RV. Outdoorsy is an excellent resource to help you find RV’s with the best rates in your area.

How much can you anticipate to spend on renting an RV? It really depends on who you’re renting it from and on the size of your RV, but as a general rule, anticipate to spend around $100 on the low end and possible over $200 on the high end.

Assuming you spend around $150 a day renting an RV and are going on a week long RV trip, that means it would cost you around $1,050 to rent the RV for that week.


Fuel is another large expense for RV trips. It’s no secret that motorhomes are not exactly fuel efficient vehicles.

To calculate how much you’re going to be spending on fuel, you’ll need to take the length of miles of your trip and divide it by the miles per gallon rate of your particular RV. Then, you will take the resulting figure and multiple it by the price of gasoline.

On average, an RV should get around ten miles per gallon. With the average fuel prices of today hovering around $2.60, and assuming that you go on a one thousand mile long trip, you can expect to pay approximately $260 in fuel prices for this example.


RV campground fees are actually not quite as high as you may have anticipated. They can vary drastically in price, from as low as $15 a night to as high as $200 for the luxury and in-demand locations.

Most RV campgrounds, however, will cost in the vicinity of $30 to $50. There may also be added fees for having children and pets, though most don’t (FYI, if an RV park has added fees for kids and children, it’s likely a sign that they prefer you not have them).

If we take the middle number of $40 for a week long trip, that comes out to $280 for a full seven nights. It’s certainly cheaper than staying at a hotel.


You’ll need to budget for both the food you bring with you and the food you plan on buying restaurants. If you’re conscious of cost, bringing you own food will definitely be a cheaper option in comparison to eating out.

The good news about budgeting for food is that it is the expense you have the most control over. You don’t get to control how much your RV costs to rent or what the cost of fuel per gallon is, but you do get to choose which foods you want to bring with you so can keep the expense down as much as possible.

If there is another piece of advice to be given in regards to food on RV trips, it’s to plan each individual meal ahead of time, so you know exactly what you’ll be eating for each meal on each day. This is the only way you can truly take the total cost of food into account.

Budgeting For Your RV Trip

Budgeting is an important component of planning for any type of vacation. Make a list of each of these expenditures on an Excel spreadsheet and calculate how much you anticipate to spend on each one. Don’t allow any expense to be overlooked.

As a whole, going on an RV camping trip may actually not be as expensive as you think. If you’re extremely budget conscious and you want to go on the cheapest trip possible, with the cheapest RV rental, the cheapest food and campground, and with a short duration and travel distance between you and your destination, it is possible to spend less than a thousand dollars on a fun and memorable RV trip.

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