Renting vs Buying an RV

rv park in salem

Should I rent or buy an RV? At Phoenix RV Park in Salem, Oregon, we know that both new and experienced RVers ask themselves this question at some point. While owning an RV allows you much more flexibility and freedom, it also comes at a cost. Depending on your budget, lifestyle, and experience, renting an RV may be the best choice. Here we’ll break down the main advantages and disadvantages to renting or buying an RV, so you can decide which option works best for you. 


The Benefits of Renting

If you are new to RVing, or don’t know what you want in an RV, renting is an excellent place to start. By renting, you can try out different types of RVs and RV layouts. For example, do you prefer an indoor space to sleep in if it’s cold or wet outside? How much time do you want to spend setting up after you’ve arrived at your camping spot? What type of kitchen layout do you want? If you’re not sure of the answers to these questions, renting may be the best way for you to find out.    


Also, RVs can take getting used to, so renting is a great way to learn how they work. Not only will you get experience driving an RV, you’ll be able to learn how its different parts operate, such as setting up a dining room pop-out or draining the gray water tank.


Cost and budget are another big factor to consider when renting versus buying. If you just want to go RV camping a few times a year or just try it out one time, renting is much cheaper. With renting, you don’t have the upfront cost of purchasing an RV. Nor do you have to pay monthly insurance, maintenance, and/or storage fees. When you rent from an RV company, they often include things you will need while camping, such as cookware. They can also help you set up insurance for your rental. All you need to worry about is gas, food, and personal supplies.


Another thing to consider is that If you own your RV, you always have to start and end at home. But when you rent, you may be able to drop the RV off somewhere different than where you picked it up. So if you want to fly somewhere and rent an RV to drive home, you can easily do it.


The Benefits of Owning

However, if you already know that you love the RV camping lifestyle and you already understand your needs as an RV owner, you may want to skip renting and jump right into owning. 


One of the biggest benefits of owning is the flexibility and freedom it gives you, especially if you want to travel regularly in an RV. Not only will you be able to travel when and wherever you want. (Decided to stay a couple of extra days? No problem!) You may even have the option of living and working on the road for extended periods of time.


Plus, while there is a large upfront cost when buying an RV, if you use it regularly, at some point it costs less per month to operate than renting. And you won’t have to worry about rental contracts and being tied to someone else’s schedule. 

Another big bonus of owning is that you can customize your RV however you want, as well as adding your own homey touches. 


To help with costs, you can even rent your RV out to others. Did you know that you can rent out your RV to make some money when you are not using it? Individuals can rent your RV for a specific amount of time, for whatever price you set.


Which is right for you?

In conclusion, there are many things to consider when deciding whether to rent or purchase an RV. Renting offers some strong advantages, from giving you a less expensive way to experience the RV camping lifestyle to helping you identify what you are looking for in an RV purchase. In fact, it’s not uncommon for adventurers to progress from renting to buying an RV.


Owning, by contrast, also has its advantages. Your decision to rent or buy an RV will most likely come down to how frequently you plan to use it, how much of a custom experience you want, and if your budget allows for its upkeep. When all is said and done, these are the most important things to keep in mind when determining whether you want to buy or rent an RV.