@SkyWhisperer - Well I am sure the rates can vary depending on a variety of factors. The location gites are in is certainly one very important factor, just like with hotels.
Amenities (or lack thereof) are also important too. If you can get by with a bare, Spartan space then you can probably save money. The best thing to do is to go online and start planning in advance.
Start making contacts with homeowners and find out what their schedules are like. They may even be able to tell you what parts of the year will be cheapest for you to travel. Most likely these will be the off seasons, not the spring or the summer. Planning is the key to traveling on a budget in my opinion.