Thinking about going on vacation this summer? If your plans involve plane tickets, be warned: they’re likely to be more than double what they were in 2019. And that’s not counting rates for hotel rooms.
Throughout the pandemic, RV vacations have surged in popularity as an alternative to traditional trips. But if plane tickets are surging supposedly because of fuel shortages, the question remains: how much does gas cost to fill up an RV in 2023?
To fully answer that question, we’re going to break down why plane tickets are so expensive and why that shouldn’t make you worried about gas prices for your RV.
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How Come Plane Tickets Are Still So Expensive Right Now?
Here’s a hint: it’s not because of fuel shortages.
Although jet fuel costs went up in 2022, the true reason for the exorbitant prices for flights simply remains demand. According to CNN, in a “post-Covid” world entering spring and summertime, demand for travel has skyrocketed. Yet at the same time, airlines are still trying to recoup from the losses that Covid caused.
The result is prices for flights reaching well over $400 from what they would originally be. And this is despite the incredible profits that airline companies recouped last year.
In short, Americans may not see pre-pandemic prices for plane tickets for quite awhile.
But what does this have to do with RVs?
Predictions For Gas Prices This Summer
After a year of historic highs in gas prices, GasBuddy has recently announced that the cost of gas has dropped by about 50 cents on average nationwide.
As of the time that this article is being written, AAA has recorded the average gas price for every state in the US. While the average across all 50 states is about $3.44 per gallon, states like California ($4.49) and Texas ($3.12) skew higher and lower respectively.
And, here’s the silver lining to current prices: GasBuddy has also predicted that with refinery capacity improvements in 2023, the cost of gas is likely to continue its downward trend. Or, at the very least, we shouldn’t see it go up again. This is, of course, barring any disruptions in geopolitics, global economic conditions, etc.
So, How Much Does Gas Cost For An RV In 2023?
To finally answer this question, let’s explore a number of factors that affect it. Namely, RV gas mileage and distance being traveled.
RV Gas Miles Per Gallon By Class
Often some of the largest RV rentals on the market, Class A RVs have a gas mileage of 6-10 per gallon. The exact number will depend on the weight and size of the vehicle.
Class B is the trickiest to pin down because of the wide range in size and style in RVs. Miles per gallon estimates fall anywhere between 10-25. If you’re renting a converted van, you’re likely to get towards the high end. Large Class B rigs will stay towards 10 mpg.
Regardless of the size and weight, most Class C RVs have a small range of 8-10 mpg.
Travel Trailers and Fifth Wheels
When it comes to towing a mid-size RV, gas mileage on the towing vehicle typically falls by 7 mpg. So depending on your towing vehicle, you can expect anywhere from 8-17 mpg.
Distance Traveled During Camping Trips
The other major factor that will determine how expensive your trip is— how far your trip is.
According to a survey of over 1500 participants by Survista in 2020, the highest percentage (29%) of distance in travel for camping trips of its correspondents was less than 50 miles. Paired with 22% of campers reporting they travel between 51-100 miles on average, just over half of North American campers are traveling below 100 miles on their camping trip.
Let’s say that the average camping trip destination is around 100 miles from home for an RV camper. And, for this example, let’s say that they’re traveling in California, where gas is currently the most expensive in the nation at $5.75. Because the most popular RV rentals are Class Cs and Travel Trailers, we’ll say our RV rental will get 8 MPG.
The cost for a person traveling 100 miles in California in their RV would be $71.88. On the flip side, if the person is traveling 500 miles, they’ll be paying $359.99. If they travel 350 miles, they’ll pay $215. If they travel 50 miles, they’ll pay $35.94
What if a person is using a Class B to travel in Florida?
At the low end of the MPG range, the gas cost for an RV is $21 for 50 miles and $210 for 500 miles. If their RV gets 20 MPG, they’ll pay $10.50 for 50 miles and $105 for 500 miles.
This is all to say that there’s no one single answer to determine how much gas costs for an RV in 2023. If you’d like to stay on the modest side of prices, then opting for a Class B RV with higher gas mileage and traveling a smaller distance could make a world of difference!
Something else to consider is that unlike with rental cars, RVnGO doesn’t stipulate that RVs be returned to hosts with full tanks. Hosts may request this as part of the terms with their RV rentals, so be sure to have this squared away beforehand. In other words, you could also potentially save on extra gas money at the end of your trip as well.
Remember, these prices are all based on the current—as of the time of this article being written— prices that experts predict will drop. Plus, there are other factors that will affect fuel usage, like how much you use things like your AC. Boondocking will help you save on a ton of fuel and is also a really awesome way to experience the outdoors away from the crowds.
So in all likelihood? You won’t pay as much as we’ve outlined here.
The bottomline is that renting an RV is still a much cheaper vacation than buying plane tickets and staying in a hotel this spring and summer.
Get started on your road trip today; see our RVs for rent near you!