Once a year, something pretty magical happens on an otherwise deserted stretch of hot sand in Nevada.
Thousands of people congregate on the burning playa to create a temporary city — a thriving community based on art, immediacy, decommodification, and inclusion.
In case you haven’t guessed yet, we’re talking about Burning Man. Having exploded in popularity in recent years, it’s more likely than ever that you’re enviously eyeing friends’ social media posts about the (quickly!) approaching event… or perhaps staging the final preparations for your own journey into the desert.
Of course, being radically present in the stark landscape of Black Rock City is part of the Burning Man experiment. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t comforting to have a little bit of softness and ease available at the end of a long, hot day.
That’s why renting an RV for Burning Man has become an increasingly fashionable option for festival-goers of all stripes. Freedom and expression are one thing, but when it’s a hundred degrees out, it sure is nice to have AC!
But how do you go about finding an RV rental for Burning Man — especially if you’ve waited until the last minute to do so? What’s the best Burning Man RV rental available on the market, and how much will it cost?
We put together this quick and easy guide to help you experience the celebration of a lifetime in comfort and style.
Renting an RV for Burning Man
Before we dive into the nitty gritty, it’s important to realize that Burning Man camper trailer rentals tend to book up fast. That means that you’ll have the best chance to secure a rental if you make your arrangements several months, or even a full year, ahead of time.
As the festival draws ever closer, more and more RVs in the Black Rock Desert area will be reserved by other participants. Plus, specific Burning Man RV packages that are advertised close to the dates of the event are generally very expensive — much more so than regular area camper or trailer rentals that aren’t connected to the big name.
For instance, some companies even offer luxury RV rentals for Burning Man that include delivery and setup services, so all you have to do is get yourself to Black Rock and find your tricked-out camper waiting for you. Of course, this kind of all-inclusive package can run up a hefty bill. Your luxury RV rental alone will cost several thousand dollars, and that’s not counting the cost of transporting yourself from your home area to Nevada, the fuel you’ll need to run the generator if you decide to do so, the Burning Man ticket price, food, and, of course, all the fun and creative outfits and projects you’ll want to bring to participate in the festival.
So what’s the best way to rent an RV for Burning Man without going broke?
Burning Man RV Rental Cost
Obviously, no one’s headed off to Burning Man looking for a cheap vacation. The ticket alone cost at least $450 in 2017 — and up to $1,200, depending on the tier your choose.
But especially if you’re already paying that much just to get in the door, you’ll probably want to try to find as cheap an RV rental for Burning Man as possible. After all, there’s way more fun stuff to spend money on than your camper!
Obviously, the size and type of RV you choose to rent will have a huge impact on how much you can expect to pay. For instance, you might be able to secure small sleeper van or campervan rentals for Burning Man at lower prices than you’d expect for a large, Class A motorhome.
If you’re renting early enough, try to find modest RVs that aren’t in super-close proximity to the Burning Man site. That way, the renters might not be tempted to hike up the price specifically for the festival. (However, keep in mind that you’ll have to trade off on those savings by paying for gas to get the rig from point A to point B… so make sure you don’t start off too far away, unless you’re specifically after a journey!)
Another option is to check out the peer-to-peer RV rental market, such as here at RVshare, which often has more affordable options than commercial dealerships. Once again, the more time you give yourself between booking and Burning Man, the more options — including cheap options! — you’re likely to have.
Burning Man RV Rental Tips
Here are some more Burning Man RV tips to help ensure your time on the playa is safe and enjoyable for you and everyone around you.
- Minimize your generator use. Yes, it’s nice to cool down from the hot desert sun with your very own air conditioning unit… but propane-burning generators are noisy and produce fumes that could irritate other participants.
- Make sure your fresh water tank is full — and bring extra! You can’t stay too hydrated in the desert, and if you run out of water, it could be a very dangerous situation.
- Don’t forget: leave no trace. Packing out everything you pack in is one of the main tenets of Burning Man, so have a plan for every ounce of garbage or drop of dirty water you produce.
- Be prepared. The desert sun is no joke, so you need to make sure you have everything you need to stay safe and healthy: extra food and water, sunscreen, and an emergency kit for starters. Check out Burning Man’s own guidelines for RV camping to get more ideas.
Last Minute Burning Man RV Rental
If you’re searching for an RV for rent just days before the event, you may find yourself in a bit of trouble. It can be tough to rent an RV for Burning Man even when you’re well prepared, so it’s even more difficult at the last minute!
However, even if online listings seem to turn up one disappointment after another, it never hurts to call RV rental agencies in the area. You never know when someone might have a cancellation, and you might be able to get on an RV rental waiting list… as long as you’re prepared to pay up if your name is called!
Whether you sleep in a camper, a tent, or under the stars, enjoy your once in a lifetime Burning Man experience… and stay safe out there.