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What Type of RV Rental is Right for You?
Have Questions About Renting A RV? We Have Answers!
How do I find the best deal on an RV rental near me?
We’ll be completely honest: Finding the best deal on an RV for rent takes a little bit of research! But fortunately, you’ve already stumbled upon one of the best tools at your disposal to help reduce your footwork.
RV Rental Guide helps you discover the best RV rentals available in your area for your particular travel dates… without opening a trillion tabs to do the comparison yourself. Simply enter your zip code and travel details, and information on available campers for rent will be delivered directly to your inbox. It’s that easy!
What are the main differences between motorhome rentals and a travel trailer rental?
When it comes to deciding between renting a towable RV, such as a travel trailer, and a rig with a motor on board, such as a Class A or Class C motorhome, or even a small campervan, it all comes down to personal preference and travel style. Each of these different types of camper rentals has its own set of pros and cons.
For instance, when you travel in a towable rig, you automatically have an auxiliary vehicle available for day trips and exploration once you reach your destination. On the other hand, if you don’t already have a capable tow vehicle at your disposal, you may have to go through a separate rental process to ensure you have the power necessary to tow your rig.
Motorhomes, on the other hand, offer ease and convenience, but can be unwieldy to drive and leave you stranded without alternative transportation at the campground. However, you could consider bringing along a smaller means of transit, like a bicycle or skateboard. Plus, motorhomes do have the added advantage of allowing the use of the toilet and kitchen facilities while underway — all you have to do is pull over!
What are the main factors affecting RV rental prices?
When considering camper rentals, price is likely to be an important part of your decision. After all, it’s not the cheapest thing in the world to rent an RV, no matter how you slice it!
But if you rent a RV it doesn’t have to be prohibitively expensive. And there’s good news if you’re looking to save some money — because with RVing, it all comes down to controllable costs. For instance, a small Class C coach will be much more affordable to rent than a large, extravagantly-furnished Class A motorhome. And a modest campervan will be even more affordable than that.
Some of the most important factors affecting RV rental prices include the size, type, and quality of the rental vehicle, as well as where and how far you’re planning to travel. And once you’re on the road, you also have the opportunity to save money by camping on public lands, or boondocking, as well as utilizing your on-board kitchen to avoid paying for expensive restaurant meals as you would on a regular road trip!
How much does an RV rental cost per day?
The per-day cost of an RV rental can vary dramatically depending on your rental market, the size and type of vehicle you need, and more. For example, a large, well-appointed Class A motorhome might cost $200 per night or more from a rental dealership, while a modest trailer or Class C might be half that cost or less.
There is also a growing peer-to-peer marketplace where travelers can find cheap RV rentals directly from private owners. RV rental by owner can significantly cut costs — in certain markets, some of these vehicles are available for as little as $10 per day.
What type of RV should I rent?
There are many different kinds of RVs available on the market, and each have their own drawbacks and benefits. The best type of RV rental for you and your party will depend on your individual preferences and needs.
Here are a few of the most common types of RVs, and a few of their features:
- Class A motorhomes are large and luxurious, and can often sleep up to 8 people. However, a Class A motorhome rental can be hard to fit into smaller camping spaces, and they’re notoriously inefficient on fuel. You’ll also need to tow a smaller vehicle if you’ll want a car to get around at your destination.
- Class C motorhomes offer many of the same amenities Class A rigs do but are smaller — and thus a bit more cost-effective and easier to drive.
- Class B motorhomes and sleepervans don’t have much living space at all — even for just two people, it’s very tight quarters! But this camper rental is much more easily maneuverable and affordable than other RVs.
- Travel trailers and pop-up campers are less expensive and generally smaller than motorhomes (except for fifth-wheel trailers), but they require a tow vehicle and can be difficult to set up and break down at camp. A pop up camper rental also precludes passengers from using the RV kitchen, toilet, and other facilities while under way.
Once you’re ready to rent a camper, deciding which RV is right for you is part of the fun of trying out this unique travel lifestyle. Search for RV rentals near me, consider the size of your party, the length of your trip, and your destination. Do you want to commune with nature, or bring all the luxury of a resort with you? The choice is yours!
Do I need a special license to drive an RV?
Although some states require special licensing to operate very large or very heavy vehicles, most rental RVs fall outside of these guidelines — so no, you don’t need anything but your regular state-issued driver’s license.
What is the minimum age requirement?
In most states and at most dealerships, the minimum rental age is 25.
What is the gas mileage for an RV?
RVs offer a lot of great things to travelers, but we’ll be honest: great gas mileage isn’t one of them! Fortunately, RVing can help you save enough money on hotel accommodations, food and other costs to compensate for this expense.
Here’s about what you can expect for gas mileage, based on the type of RV you rent:
- Class A motorhomes only get about 6 to 10 miles per gallon, although diesel models are a little bit better.
- Class C motorhomes get between 10 and 16 miles per gallon, with some newer models reportedly getting closer to 18.
- Class B motorhomes and sleeper vans can get anywhere between 18 and 25 miles per gallon.
- The fuel efficiency of travel trailers will, of course, depend on the size of your tow vehicle — which, in turn, will depend on how much the trailer weighs. Modern pickup trucks and full-size SUVs usually get between 15 and 22 miles per gallon.
Besides the rental costs, are there any other fees?
In most cases, yes.
Advertised motorhome rental by owner costs generally don’t include taxes and other additional fees, like those assessed for mileage, cleaning and preparing the RV, and generator usage. You may also be charged a refundable security deposit to ensure you return the RV in the same shape in which you picked it up.
The best way to avoid sticker shock when you rent RV is to ask your RV rental dealership about any extra fees and costs you should expect ahead of time, or even to request a total final quote before signing.
How do RV rental deposits work?
There are two different types of RV rental deposits:
- An initial deposit to confirm and hold your reservation, which will generally be applied toward your total rental cost (i.e., non-refundable)
- A refundable damage or security deposit, which will be returned to you when you drop off the RV without any new damage or mechanical issues
You may be assessed one or both of these fees when you reserve a rental vehicle.
The initial deposit to hold your rental reservation will generally cost a few hundred dollars, which, again, will be applied to your total rental cost once your trip is over. The refundable damage deposit may be higher — around $500, or even as much as $1000 — and works in much the same way the security deposit you’d pay for a rental property does. It will likely appear as a pending charge on your credit card, and will later be removed when you return the RV in good condition.
How does RV rental insurance work?
Insurance coverage for your RV rental varies depending on where you’re renting from. Some dealerships include a certain, predetermined amount of coverage in their rental fees; you may also receive complimentary access to roadside assistance.
Other rental facilities may add an additional daily fee to your rate for insurance coverage, which will vary depending on the size and type of your rental vehicle and how much coverage you’ll be granted. Depending on your existing auto or homeowner’s insurance, your RV rental may already be covered, so it’s always a good idea to give your personal insurance company a call before shelling out for additional coverage. It’s also possible to purchase temporary RV coverage through your personal auto insurer.
What should I pack for my RV trip?
Figuring out what to bring along for the trip is one of the most exciting parts of RV traveling!
One reason RVing is attractive to travelers is that it offers so much extra storage space. You can bring way more of the comforts of home than you can on a regular car trip — not to mention any outdoor or wilderness gear you need for your next epic adventure.
While your final packing checklist will depend on your destination, intentions, and lifestyle, here are a few items you’ll definitely want to include:
- Kitchen gear, including plates, bowls, cups, flatware, and cookware (don’t forget your can opener!)
- Bedding, including sheets, blankets, pillows, and any favorite stuffed animals
- Toiletries, like shampoo, conditioner, soap, razors, shaving cream, body lotions, and cosmetics
- Towels, for bathing as well as hand-drying (it’s easy to forget this important necessity!)
- Personal items like clothing, medications, and identification
- Entertainment items like books, outdoor equipment, electronic devices (and their chargers!)
- Emergency gear, like a first aid kit, road flares, satellite tracker/GPS, and a tool kit
You may also want to stock your RV with both fresh and packaged foods, but it can be beneficial to put off grocery shopping until you arrive at your destination. You can also bring along furniture for outdoor lounging at the campground, such as foldable camp chairs and hammocks, and tools for cooking on the grill.
Keep in mind that many of these items, especially essentials like sheets and towels, may already be included in your rental package, or may be available for a fee.
How hard is it to drive an RV?
Although it’s certainly different than driving a regular car or truck, you might be surprised to discover how simple it really is to drive an RV. Many RV cockpits look almost identical to the one you’re familiar with in your day-to-day vehicle.
However, RVs do have a substantial amount of weight — much more than even the biggest and heaviest pick-up trucks. This additional weight makes braking slower and harder, especially on hills or mountains. Plus, because of their massive size, RVs can be blown around by passing trucks and ambient wind.
How difficult you find RV driving will depend on your personal driving experience and history, as well as the size and type of RV you rent. Towing a fifth wheel, for instance, is a totally different experience than driving a small Class B!
No matter what kind of RV you rent, always take it slow and leave lots of space between you and the car in front of you. Finally, don’t be afraid to pull off and take a rest if you need!
Should I rent from a dealer or a private owner?
This decision will totally depend on your personal needs and what kinds of RVs are available on either market. As with any major investment, the best move is to shop around. Who has the best prices and the best customer service? Is there a specific type of RV you can only find at one rental facility?
It’s worth noting, however, that private owners are usually able to afford to list their RVs for rent at a fraction of the cost a larger RV dealership could. This is because they don’t have to worry about footing expensive overhead business costs. Private owners also tend to be more forthcoming about any additional fees you might be charged, and finally — but importantly — their RVs tend to feel more comfortable and homey, since they’re actually lived in, used, and loved.
What should I go over when picking up my RV rental?
When picking up your rental RV, it’s important to make sure you feel totally familiar with how it works before you drive off (and away from help). At a bare minimum, your renter should show you how to operate the lights, windshield wipers, and turn signals; they should also walk you through the coach of the RV to show you how to operate the various fixtures.
You’ll also want to understand the basic mechanics of the RV’s battery systems, as well as any fresh or waste water holding tanks. Even if you’ll only be gone for a couple of days, knowing how to properly empty these tanks might save you from a very messy situation.
Finally, ask your RV renter where you can find any emergency tools in the vehicle itself, as well as for a list of emergency contacts and roadside assistance services. If something should happen, you don’t want to be caught scrambling around an unfamiliar vehicle looking for the information you need!
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Check Out The Top Rated RV Rental Companies
Apollo Motorhome Holidays has been a popular name in the world of RV rentals since its founding in 1985. The company currently operates in Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Canada. Apollo offers rental, wholesale and retail options for a wide range of RVs. Apollo continues to operate with the adventurous Australian spirit that inspired its creation.
RVshare delivers a revolutionary concept when it comes to renting RVs for trips. It is a community-driven rental marketplace that allows renters to search listings created by independent dealers and private owners. People can browse available RVs around the country without dealing with salespeople or driving around to meet with dealers.
El Monte RV is an American company that was founded in 1970 in El Monte, California. The company gets roughly half of its business from overseas travelers looking to plan road trips to locations all around the United States. They offer an easy and affordable way to book RVs and other services when planning camping trips and road trips.
Motorhome Republic is a global leader in providing easy RV rentals. They operate in 29 countries around the world. The vehicles provided by Motorhome Republic have made it possible for people to enjoy epic road trips in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, Tanzania, Portugal, Belgium, Spain and more amazing places.
Founded in 1972, Cruise America is headquartered in Mesa, Arizona and is currently one of the largest RV rental and sales companies in the country. They own the brick and mortar RV industry with a 52% majority market share. There are 124 Cruise America rental centers in the United States, Canada, and Alaska from which you can depart.
Founded in 2013, Campanda is an online, peer-to-peer RV rental service headquartered in Berlin, Germany, but accessible to users in over 31 countries. Campanda connects RV suppliers with prospective renters. RV suppliers range from large rental companies to individual owners looking to make extra money by renting out their RV.
Road Bear is a traditional RV rental company that has been in the industry for nearly 40 years, but maintains a relatively small fleet and outlet network, with 7 outlets spread across the continental USA. All RVs rented through Road Bear are at least 2016-17 models. This means fewer total miles and a lower chance of experiencing mechanical problems during your trip.
RVmenu.com is a technology company building an OTA (online travel agent) for the RV industry. Their selection includes travel trailers, fifth wheelers, Class A, B, and C RVs.
Escape Campervans is a specialized RV rental company with branches in the USA and New Zealand. Escape markets itself on two unique benefits: 1) there are no hidden costs, and 2) the rental comes with many benefits and important camping extras that help make your trip much more relaxed, including fewer strict, arbitrary rental rules.