A vacation in an RV rental seems like the perfect getaway. What could be better than an epic road trip to an amazing destination, enjoying nature that surrounds you without the need to set up a tent or stock a cabin?
That was exactly the thought that led my husband and I to plan our first RV vacation.
And what led us, after that memory-making RV vacation, to purchase our own motorhome.
Note: this article is specifically about motorhomes, not travel trailers, though some information may transfer between the two types of recreational vehicles (RVs),
RV Rental Tips from an RV Owner
Before becoming RV owners we were RV renters. And now we are RV owners who occasionally rent out our RV!
What’s So Great About RVing?
Often the journey is the most overlooked part of a family adventure, merely seen as a way to get to and from your destination. With an RV the journey becomes part of the adventure. You can stop at that quirky roadside attraction with no worries of being late to hotel check in.
If you travel with kids and they tend to bicker after being in a car for a few hours (or a few minutes!), you'll love the ability for them to spread out in the RV.
Safety note: Couches and bench seats are equipped with seat belts. I do not recommend letting kids roam freely about the RV while it is in motion.
And food! No need to stop and unpack everything to make lunch, then pack it again to get back on the road, as you would with car camping. And no more fast food or gas station meals!
You can think of your RV rental as a home on wheels. You really will have all the comforts of home- just smaller. Organization is key and planning a menu is helpful to avoid fast food stops along your route.
Are you sold on a motorhome rental for your vacation?
Choosing the Best RV Rental for Your Trip
When researching RV rentals you'll see 3 main types of motorhome: Class A, Class B, and Class C.
Class A motorhomes are built on a custom chassis and resemble a bus. Length ranges from 21-40 feet.
Class B motorhomes are built on a mini-bus or panel-truck shell. Smaller and very mobile these are terrific for couples. Length can be from 16-22 feet.
Class C motorhomes are built on a van frame with a wider body section attached to the front cab. These are most recognizable by the front over-cab sleeping area. Length ranges from 21-35 feet. (The RV pictured above is a Class C.)
As well as size of the motorhome, gas mileage is another factor to consider. Obviously, the larger the RV the more fuel it will take.
Class A and Class C RVs average 5-8 miles per gallon, while a Class B motorhome can average 18-23 miles per gallon.
Be sure to calculate mileage for your trip and figure it into your travel budget.
How Do I Find an RV Near Me?
You might be surprised where you can rent an RV in the United States!
For rentals with a single pick-up and return destination take part in the ‘sharing economy' with RV rentals by owner in your area. RV Share, Ultimate RV Rentals, and Outdoorsy are three well regarded options.
The one thing to keep in mind with this type of rental is that most people have only a single RV. So if something happens and the RV is damaged by a previous renter there will not be a replacement unit available.
You can also do a web search for ‘RV rentals in (your city/ state)'. This will return the suggestions listed above as well as RV dealers in your area that also rent RVs.
RV Rental Tips
When deciding on an RV rental you want to be comfortable, with both driving the RV and sleeping in the RV.
Be realistic about what length RV you are comfortable driving.
Not sure? Contact the RV rentals you are interested in and inquire about a test drive. Ask if you can see the unit prior to renting. If the RV isn't out on another rental or in cold weather storage most owners will arrange it.
Ask if you can see the unit prior to renting. If the RV isn't out on another rental or in cold weather storage most owners will arrange it.
Read the RV listing thoroughly. It should tell you the daily rate, minimum rental term, minimum rental age, if the RV is pet friendly, how many people can comfortably sleep in it, and the amenities. It should also list security deposit, additional fees, and cancellation policy.
If your question isn't answered, ask. RV owners want you to have a great vacation and they will do everything they can to help you toward that goal!
Be sure to read up on RV safety tips. This vehicle is called a motor home for a reason- it is like driving around with a house attached to your vehicle. Motorhome safety includes both driving safety and home safety.
What You Need to Provide for RV Rental
- All licensed drivers will need to provide copies of their current drivers licenses.
- Completed contracts, payments, and deposit.
- In most cases the renter is responsible for providing their own liability insurance coverage.
RV Packing List
- Bedding, towels, and pillows (sleeping bags are ideal for RVs with bunk beds!)
- Cookware – if cooking over fire
- Aluminium foil
- Storage containers for leftovers
- Paper towels
- Trash bags
- Camp chairs
- Camping gear you should always pack
- 5 things you must have if rain is in the forecast
- Plan your RV vacation using these Bullet Journal tips!
Note: special toilet paper is required for the RV. It is often provided but if you run out please visit the camp store or camping supplier to purchase the correct TP for the septic system!