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  1. #1

    Default To buy or to rent?!

    Hello all!
    My friend and I are planning a road trip around America next year. We're going for three months and to save on accomodation costs we're planning to get a campervan.
    We've been researching our options and there seems to be conflicting views about whether it is cheaper/easier to buy a van or whether to rent one for the three months.
    Does anyone have any handy hints on this subject?!
    Thank you!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default maybe cheaper - but certainly not easier

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Generally speaking, it takes about 2-3 months to "break even" on a purchased vehicle vs. a rental, and when you're talking about an RV with greater depreciation than a normal car, I'd say you're more likely to be on the 3 month side of that equation so its pretty close from a money standpoint.

    However, big problem with purchasing is that it is virtually impossible to purchase any vehicle without being a resident of the US. You simply can't get the license, insurance, and other paperwork required to purchase and legally drive a car without being able to show you actually are living here - and you really can't do that unless you are staying in the US on a long term visa.

    One other thing to note is that "Campervans" as in small van type (old VW bus style) campers really aren't widely available for rent in the US. Nearly all of what is available are the larger class A or class C RVs. Here's an excellent guide to renting an RV, as well as information about the different types of RVs available.

  3. #3


    Thanks for that info - super helpful!!

  4. #4


    Just another quick question - we've decided to rather than rent an RV to rent a car and stay at campsites along the way. As we're picking the car up from one side of the country and dropping it off on the other we're expecting to have to pay a hefty fee. My friend suggested that we rent several cars along the way so that the distance traveled in each isn't so far. Does this make sense and would this make a difference to the cost? I think this might just be too complicated and too much to sort out before we get there!
    Thank you for your words of wisdom!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Not Even Close

    It simply makes no sense to rent multiple cars. Yes, each one-way fee will be smaller, but there will be so many more of them that you have to end up paying more. You may even surprise yourself and find a great deal if you pick up and drop off at popular locations, say New York to Los Angeles. But leaving cars in several random cities along the way is going to get expensive and very fast.


  6. #6


    I had suspected this might be the case!

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