Buy An RV Rent An RV - Which Is Better For Me?

By: Quinn Larson
Posted On: August 9, 2018

Should You Rent Or Buy An RV?


The short answer is, yes. It can be good to rent an RV initially if you like the idea of the RV lifestyle but have little to no experience with it, and once you’re sure RVing is for you ownership can be the more cost effective option in the long run. Either way Guaranty RV Super Centers wants help you experience the good life on the road or in the campground. Both our rental and sales departments offer not only a wide variety of RV types and manufacturers, they offer advice and expertise to the novice or long time RVer.



The RV lifestyle has a nostalgic appeal to the nomad in all of us. There is an emotional reaction to the thought of being free to wander wherever the day takes you, captain of your own ship, the master of your own destiny. Bringing your own bed, kitchen, and restroom gives you the comfort of familiarity, no matter where you camp for the night.

There are easily thousands of campgrounds scattered throughout the United States and Canada, most fairly close to attractions, points of interest, and good old nature itself. With the feeling that adventure is just around the next bend the allure of RV camping casts a wide net.

Don’t look now, but you’re caught in that net with the rest of us fish. Since you’re reading this article we will assume you’re currently not an RV owner, that you have limited experience with RV camping, and that you are of course interested in the freedom of the RV lifestyle. The RV consumer is increasingly diverse in age and in the nature of their recreation and the industry is following suit. The multitude of offerings from the multitude of different vehicle manufacturers makes the deep end of the pool that much deeper, especially when we really just want to dip our toes in. Not dive in head first. The investment in an RV, new or used, can be significant and the decision can be intimidating. Information will help make the decision easier, and experience is the mother of information. The only way to gain RV experience is to use one, and the only way to use one is to rent or buy one and camp.






Why Rent?

First and foremost renting lets someone else worry about the upkeep and maintenance, insurance, and vehicle licensing costs. Not to mention parking and storage costs associated with owning an RV. Renting also gives you the opportunity to experience multiple types of RVs, from trailers to motorhomes, without a long-term commitment.

Our rental department offers a wide spectrum of RVs for rent and delivery of an RV can even be arranged if you want to camp but can't get the RV there yourself. If you’re not an experienced RVer you may not have a clear idea of how you camp, and knowing how you like to camp will go a long way in determining whether you should rent or own and what type of RV best meets your needs. It’s not uncommon for a consumer to buy the type of RV they think they want only to use it and find out another type would suit their needs better. In fact according to Go RVing market research conducted in 2016 “Two thirds or RV buyers are repeat buyers, but over seventy percent buy a different brand and over fifty percent buy a different type of RV.”

Some of this behavior can be attributed to family size changing over the course of an RV owner’s life. Often the original RV is no longer the right size depending on who has gone off to college or if there is a new addition to the household. Some of this behavior is because somebody got it wrong the first time.

“We bought a motorhome because we didn’t want to tow a trailer and we didn’t want to put the extra wear and tear on our truck. Turns out we needed a tow car anyway to really enjoy the motorhome, so we ended up with two extra vehicles to pay all the repair and license on, and put wear and tear on. We sold them both and bought a small fifth wheel and we are much happier”.

Or the other way.

”We had a trailer from when the kids were young, but when we retired we wanted to snow bird and the trailer just wasn’t big enough. We bought a big Class A and we liked it so much we sold the house and have gone fulltime”.

Renting gives you a lot of the upside but very little of the down side of RV ownership but it is not without its drawbacks. Your vacation schedule is at the mercy of the rental company’s availability, which can be an issue in the popular summer months. Of course if you vacation in the winter months availability is often very good and most rental companies have discounted rates that time of year. Renting is still significantly more expensive than ownership if you assume the same amount of usage over the course of ten years. On average an RV owner uses their RV roughly 30 days a year, or for the sake of easier math let’s say four weeks. Rental rates vary greatly depending on the season as we mentioned, but also by the type of RV you rent. Trailers tend to be the lower price point with motorhomes at the higher end. Again for the sake of easy math let’s take an average that is, if anything, a little conservative for a week’s rental and use a cost of $1000.00 a week. The average RV again uses their RV four weeks a year, so that is $4000.00. Love that easy math but now we need a calculator because to equate that $4000.00 annually to a monthly payment we have to divide $4000.00 by 12(months), which equals $333.3333333333-stupid calculator. While you could expect the monthly payments to be higher on a motorhome, $335.00 a month would afford a nice midlevel trailer of fifth wheel. Now figure that over ten years you will have spent $40,000.00 based on our example. Renting leaves you with the same magical memories as buying, but you have no physical property to either continue to enjoy or sell to recoup some of that $40,000.00.

Why Buy?


Well, at the risk of belaboring the point, buying an RV is less expensive than renting if you meet or exceed the average use of the vehicle over an extended period of time, even including the other costs associated. Owning an RV also means you are free to use it whenever the opportunity arises and for as long or as short a duration as you want. No having to reserve a rental well in advance and hope the length of your vacation is the same as the RV’s availability. Also rarely would a refund be given if you turn your rental in early for any reason. As an owner if the weather is just too bad, or unforeseen road construction puts a damper on your outing you can turn around and go home and try again next weekend.
Ownership also provides the opportunity to customize or modify the vehicle to better suit your wants and needs. A more comfortable mattress, an automatic satellite mounted to the roof, even window awnings would be additions you appreciate that a rental company may not. If you’re lucky enough to be able to store your RV at home you now have an excellent guest quarter, man cave, or if the power goes out use the 12volt power in your unit or fire up the generator and be the only one on the block to not miss a beat. There are tax advantages to be had as an RV owner as well.

Rent Or Buy, Either Way Go RVing!


The sky is bluer, the grass is greener, and the food tastes better when you have found that perfect campsite. A respite from the day to day, even just a weekend spent RV camping can reconnect you to your loved ones, not to mention nature itself. There may be no other place on Earth that it is as easy for young and old alike to make new friends than in a campground. Next time you’re staying in hotel knock on the neighbors door and invite them to make s’more’s and I bet the reaction is quite different than you would get from the nice family in the next campsite. Extend the awning, stretch out in a comfy lawn chair, read a book, listen to music or the kids or the babbling brook, and remember true wealth is measured in family, friends, and memories.

Guaranty Is Here To Help



Guaranty is a big supporter of the RV lifestyle. Yes it is our business, but beyond that it is an important slice of Americana. No matter your walk of life, hobbies and interests, or family composition a campfire and the sounds of nature are amazing cures for the hustle and bustle of our modern world. Recreation is defined as an activity of leisure often done for enjoyment, amusement, or pleasure that are considered to be fun. It appears the word was first used in the English language in the fourteenth century as a term meaning refreshment or curing of a sick person, which gives an interesting perspective. If we combine the two "definitions" it’s as if even in the Middle Ages people new that a work/life balance was important. Too much work can make you sick and the only cure is Fun. Good thing there's Guaranty where We Don't Just Sell Fun, We Guaranty It! Oh, and we Rent It Too!!