10 Mistakes to Avoid When Renting an RV

Last updated on July 19th, 2021 at 02:04 pm. Originally published on March 2nd, 2021

If you usually stick to hotel stays, renting an RV for your vacation can be a bit nerve-wracking. Fortunately, as long as you know the mistakes to avoid, there really isn’t anything to worry about. But what are those mistakes, and how can you make sure you avoid them? 

In this article we will discuss the top 10 mistakes people make when renting an RV, so you can be sure to avoid making the same mistakes and ensure you have a fabulous time on your RV adventure. 

Camper van parked in field

Not Going Through a Reputable Company

The first and one of the most important mistakes to avoid is renting from the wrong source.

There are many ways to rent an RV. Some people choose to rent directly from individuals, but this is risky, as there is nobody to help sort things out should something go wrong. Therefore, we recommend renting through a reputable company such as RVshare, which allows you to rent from an individual while still maintaining a good amount of protection. 

Location Misunderstandings

Location is key when choosing lodging for a vacation. It’s important that you stay somewhere close to the attractions you want to see. Because RVs have wheels, it is possible to rent a rig a good distance away from where you’ll actually park, but it’s still a good idea to double check the location of your rentals so you know what to expect in terms of travel time. 

Judging an RV Only by Photos 

A picture may say a thousand words, but they don’t always tell the whole story. Therefore, while we definitely do recommend checking out the photos in the listing you’re considering, we also recommend actually reading the description so you have a good understanding of exactly what you’re getting. 

Surprisingly, skipping over the description is one of the most common mistakes to avoid.

Not Double Checking Amenities

This mistake goes hand-in-hand with the one mentioned above. Many people make the mistake of assuming an RV will have certain amenities based on similar listings, photos, or the price of the rental. If you’re hoping for specific amenities to be available, make sure you look at the listed amenities to ensure the RV includes everything you need to be comfortable. 

Skipping Over Reviews

Another thing you should definitely read before renting an RV? The reviews, of course. Reviews give you a little peek into the experiences of other renters, so you have an idea of what to expect and can feel reasonably confident the rental is decent and that the owners are responsive and helpful. 

Small travel trailer

Setting Expectations Too High

When renting an RV, it’s important to realize you won’t be staying at the Ritz. While it is perfectly reasonable to expect a clean RV with functioning appliances, you certainly won’t have turn-down service or a housekeeper knocking on your door each morning. Set your expectations where they ought to be, and you might just avoid a good amount of disappointment. 

Lack of Renter-Host Communication

The thing about renting from an individual is that you are actually building a relationship. You have to trust the person you’re renting from with your vacation, and they have to trust you with their trailer or motorhome. Developing this trust and building your relationship requires good communication from both parties. Make sure you respond to questions promptly both before and during the rental, and communicate any concerns or issues that may arise while using the RV. 

Not Following Rules and Guidelines

When an RV owner lists their trailer or motorhome for rent, they tend to put a set of rules into place in order to protect their rig, themselves, and their renters. These rules are generally very reasonable and easy to follow. 

Failure to follow the rules an owner puts in place could result in damage to the RV, meaning loss of your deposit and dealing with insurance companies. Worse yet, breaking the rules could even mean you get injured on your trip, potentially landing you in the hospital and ruining your trip. 

Skimming Over Cancellation Policies

Another thing owners must carefully consider when offering their RV for rent is their cancellation policy. Unfortunately, many renters don’t take the time to read these policies and they regret it later. 

If you rent through a reputable peer-to-peer RV rental company, this policy should be pretty easy to find on each and every listing. Find it, read it, and keep it in mind when booking, knowing that if your plans change, you will need to abide by whatever cancellation rules the owner has put in place. 

Forgetting to Follow Check-Out Procedures

When renting an RV, there are often a few things renters are asked to do before returning the rig. These might include stripping the beds, washing dishes, and dumping the tanks—all tasks that help the owner prepare the RV for the next renter. 

That said, there are many renters who opt to skip these tasks at the end of their trip. It’s important that you understand that there are some owners who will charge uncooperative renters an extra cleaning fee or dump fee if they don’t follow check-out procedures. For this reason, we highly recommend doing these simple tasks before dropping the trailer or motorhome off in order to ensure you end your trip on a good note. 

Knowing these mistakes to avoid will definitely help make your trip go as smoothly as possible. Not only that, but making a point of skipping the usual mistakes will make you a standout renter, meaning the owner you work with will be more likely to rent to you again in the future. 

Ready to try your hand at renting? Check out the thousands of RV rentals available right here on RVshare and book your favorite today!

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