Lizzie Dragon
by Lizzie Dragon
Posted November 25, 2020

You don’t have to break the bank to go on an RV road trip. We’ll break down how you can rent and ride off on a road trip for $500 or less, including: 

  • What to drive
  • Where to stay
  • What to do

Let’s get budgeting!

What to Drive

The price of an RV rental depends on a variety of factors, including:

  • Type
  • Location
  • Amenities

To make things easier, Outdoorsy lets you search by all of these factors, among others, like pet-friendliness, ratings, and even price! To find a rig within your price range, simply filter your search. You’ll only be shown RVs in your area that are within that range.

If you want just a one night staycation or quick, close to home vacation, you can find a cute Class C ranging from $150 to $200.

For under $100, you can usually find a small travel trailer or rooftop tent! This means, on a weekend trip, you’ll only end up spending around $200, which is far cheaper than most hotels.

Travel Trailers 

If you have a vehicle that can tow a trailer, a popup or small travel trailer, like a teardrop, is an easy and budget-friendly option. Plus, they are the easiest to tow and provide just the right amount of space for both sleep and storage.

Rooftop Tents 

If you don’t have a vehicle with the capacity to tow a trailer, don’t fret! You can rent a vehicle with a rooftop tent. Owners will list SUVs, trucks, and vans with attached rooftop tents — the perfect mix for travel and camping.

Where to Stay

The most budget-friendly overnight option is boondocking! If you’re new to the idea, boondocking is free camping in places without amenities like sewer, water, or electric hookups. For a night or weekend stay, this is easy!

You can boondock at:

  • Public lands
  • RV-friendly businesses
  • With friends

BLM lands, Walmarts and Cabelas, and friends’ driveways are all viable options.

You can find free places to stay anywhere. Find a place to boondock on sites like Allstays or Campendium.

What to Do

For a $500 budget, it’s best to stay close to home to keep gas costs low. Some rentals will also charge per mile after a certain point, so keep that in mind. Some of the best low-cost travel options are:

  • State park visits
  • Staycations

State Parks

State park visits are a great option for a quick weekend trip. You can visit multiple in your area with a state park pass! These passes will get you into your local state parks for a year.


You don’t even have to leave your backyard or driveway for a little getaway. If you don’t have the time to make an entire road trip, consider having an RV delivered for a staycation! This leaves more budget for you to spend as you please, maybe splurge for a vintage RV or the Airstream trailer of your dreams.

Get Some Bang for Your Buck

Whether you have $2000 or $500 to spend, Outdoorsy has a rig for you. Check out small trailers and rooftop tent vehicles in your area, and start planning for a great adventure on a budget!

Lizzie Dragon

Outdoorsy Author

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