RVs are expensive. They’re big, complicated machines prone to leaks and mechanical problems, and they inhale gas faster than a Bugatti Chiron. There’s a reason so many travelers opt to rent rather than buy. But, what if there was a legit way to rent an RV for just $1 a day or even get paid to drive one? If that sounds too good to be true, read on.
They’re called repositioning deals, and the way they work is simple. Many travelers rent a camper or other recreational vehicle on a one-way basis. Over time, these one-way rentals mean there are RVs scattered around the country in places they aren’t supposed to be. Rental providers could pay professional drivers big money to move these misplaced rigs back to their “home base.” Alternatively, they could ask average folks to do the driving for them for free. It’s a win-win: RV road trippers get a mostly free trip, and rental companies get their rigs relocated for next to nothing.
Rates for these deals vary widely depending on the company, seasonal demand, and the popularity of the route. In most cases, travelers can expect to pay as low as $25 per day for a rental. In other instances, rental companies only charge $1 per day, reimburse for fuel costs, and even provide a travel allowance. Most renters will need to pay a nominal fee to secure their reservation and submit a refundable security deposit (typically around $1,000) at pickup.
Flexibility is key in securing the best and cheapest repositioning deals. In many cases, new routes are only announced a couple of weeks in advance. Renters are provided with an “earliest pick-up date” and “latest drop-off date,” and are only allowed to use the vehicle within that window. Most repositioning rentals include a few other reasonable stipulations. Mileage is limited within reason, based on the scheduled route. Pets and sometimes children are forbidden. Additional drivers beyond the one who signed on for the deal often come with a surcharge. In some cases, drivers can only travel during daylight hours. Be sure to read the fine print carefully to understand what’s included, what’s not, and what you can and can’t do.
Imoova is the best, most comprehensive facilitator of repositioning deals in the U.S. The site allows drivers to narrow their search by date, RV type, daily rate, and other inclusions. Some companies like Jucy, Apollo RV, and Cruise America (North America’s largest RV rental provider) list repositioning deals directly to customers, so it’s worth checking their official websites.
If flexibility isn’t in the cards for your travel schedule, there are plenty of paid options for renting an RV for your next road trip.