Looking for the best way to get super cheap RV deals?
RV road trips are the move for Summer 2020. Imagine the freedom of cruising around the U.S, crossing some national parks off your bucket list, and finding the perfect spot with a view to park and sleep for the night. The only problem most people face is the cost. At full price, RV’s can be super expensive to rent (a few thousand dollars!)
Thankfully, there are some great RV deals out there you can take advantage of to make your trip budget-friendly! With RV relocation deals, you can rent an RV for as low as $1/day, and sometimes even with reimbursement for gas!
Sounds too good to be true – but it’s not. I just got back from my first ever RV trip using a one-way relocation deal! We rented a 7-person RV from El Monte for 3 days from Los Angeles to San Francisco for a whopping $35, AND they gave us a $100 gas reimbursement. We also got an RV deal from Cruise America for a 5-person RV from Seattle to Los Angeles for a total of $5!
Keep reading to learn more about RV relocation deals and start planning your RV trip!
What is an RV Relocation Deal?
Big RV companies with multiple locations sometimes need to transport an RV from one location to another. Paying an employee to do this, or paying to ship the RV out there on a truck would be expensive. Instead, these companies can save money by offering these super cheap, one-way relocation deals to consumers to essentially transport the vehicle for them. It’s a win-win!
How Do You Find These One-Way RV Deals?
RV relocation deals normally show up about 1-2 weeks beforehand, so it’s best for last minute, spontaneous trips. The company will give you a window of dates that you will need to pick up/return the RV.
One of the best sites to find these RV deals is imoova. This search engine pulls in RV relocation deals from various companies in one spot. These deals pop up and disappear fairly quickly, so keep checking back until you find one that works for you, and then jump on it! Note that when you book through imoova, you normally have to pay a $25 booking fee.
In order to avoid paying the imoova booking fee, once you find a deal that you like – read the details to find which company it’s from. Then check that company’s site to see if they posted that deal directly. If so, you can then book direct and avoid the fee.
If you don’t see anything you like on imoova, you can also try going to RV companies sites to see if they have posted any “one-way deals” or “relocation deals”. This is how I found my Cruise America RV deal – they post relocations from 25-95% off! It seems the more last-minute the deal, the deeper the discount. At the time of writing this, I just checked their site and see one-way relocation deals listed that include a $600 gas reimbursement! Incredible.
Transfercar is another search engine specializing in one-way deals. This one features rental cars more often than RVs, but it’s still worth checking in case you get lucky!
Things to Know Before Booking Relocation RV Deals
- Contract: Double check the fine print of the contract to make sure there are no additional fees you aren’t aware of
- Gas: Sometimes the super lucrative deals will include gas reimbursement, but sometimes they do not. If not, make sure you account for this. The gas needed for an RV trip definitely adds up quickly! It depends on the RV size, but I would expect your RV get about 10mpg or less.
- Miles: Your RV deal may or may not include free mileage, or might include it just up to a certain point. Make sure to ask about this, and ask how much per mile it costs to go over. (For both of our rentals it was $0.35/mile over). Map out all the stops on your trip in Google Maps to get an estimate of how many miles your trip will be.
- Size of RV: You don’t get to choose which type of RV you get for these deals, you just take what they give you. The deal normally lists how many people the RV sleeps, so you’ll have a good idea of the size of it.
- Generator Charges: We rented an RV relocation deal with both El Monte and Cruise America. Both companies charge about $3/hour for the generator usage, so I assume that’s pretty standard. We only used the generator about 1 hour per day, to charge our laptops or use the microwave. The fridge and stove run on propane so you don’t need to use the generator for that.
- Liability Insurance: Your RV relocation deal may or may not include free liability insurance with it. For reference, our El Monte RV relocation deal included free liability insurance, however our Cruise America one did not. We opted to pay an extra $10/day for Cruise America’s insurance for the peace of mind.
- To cut down on costs further, bring your own kitchen supplies and linens to avoid paying for the RV companies kitchen/linen kits (normally about $40-60)
Planning an RV Trip from a Relocation Deal
Logistics for a One-Way RV Rental
The ideal scenario when planning a one-way relocation deal RV trip is to find an RV deal to take you one way, and find another deal to take you from there back home. For our RV road trip, we took one RV relocation deal from Los Angeles to San Francisco. We then rented a car and drove from San Francisco to Seattle, where we picked up another RV relocation deal, and drove it all the way back down to Los Angeles.
Alternatively, you can just take your RV road trip one-way and then fly back. However with this option, you are now restricted to packing light for the plane trip home, which can be difficult if you want to bring kitchen supplies, sheets, blankets, etc.
Where Do You Camp Each Night on an RV Road Trip?
Some RV-goers prefer paying a nightly fee to stay in RV parks and campgrounds. The benefit to this is that they often includes amenities such as dump stations, propane refill stations, electricity hookups, etc. I personally do not see the appeal in this option, because these parks and campgrounds often are not very scenic and you are stuck around other people.
Since the beauty of an RV is that you have everything you need – a bathroom, shower, full kitchen, bed, etc – I prefer to find a remote spot with the best view to park for the night! It’s like getting a 5-star-hotel-view for free.
I HIGHLY recommend downloading the free apps iOverlander and Dyrt before your trip. These apps have a map view of spots where people have parked overnight with notes, comments and pictures. It’s super helpful – we relied on it every single night to find the best place to park the RV for our road trip! This app also notes where you can find dump stations/propane refill stations (black/grey water needs to be dumped around every 7 days).
Also, if you download the Dyrt Pro app, they have a new feature called “map layers” where it shows you the boundaries for BLM land + more for where you can find free camping.
RV Trip Packing List
In addition to clothes and toiletries, don’t forget to pack the below items for your RV trip:
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- Cleaning Supplies (consider bringing a small broom as it’s easy to track dirt/dust on the RV floor)
- Car cell phone holder that fits in the air vents
- Portable phone charger (I love this one!) to charge your phone at night without using the generator
- Kitchen Supplies
- Chopping Knife
- Coffee Mugs
- Paper Towels
- Dish Towel
- Dish Soap
- Wine/Bottle Opener
- Chip Clip
- Can Opener
- Cooking Spray
- Ziploc Bags
- Trash bags
- Hand Towel
- Beach Blanket
We packed most of the above items into boxes like this to make things organized and easy to pack. Don’t forget that each morning you’ll need to put everything away so that it doesn’t slide around/break when you’re driving!
Feel free to leave any questions in the comments section. I hope you all find epic RV deals and have the most amazing road trip this year! Happy travels!