Tips for your Renting your First RV
There’s nothing quite like the feeling of zipping down the highway, headed at high speed toward whatever destination you choose.
Ideally, you’ve got your favorite people along for the ride, as well as delicious snacks and a lineup of hand-picked tunes. It’s just you and the road, and you don’t have a care in the world — except for how you’ll manage to see and do the plethora of awesome stuff there is to explore once you get there.
Seriously, road trips are awesome enough that it’s hard to imagine something better. But if you’ve been toying with the idea of renting an RV for your next vacation, we’re here to tell you that you should definitely do so.
RV travel is a total road trip upgrade. Think about it: You’ve got all the same freedom and flexibility, but you’ve also got your accommodations right there with you, no matter where you go! That means last-minute plan changes or trip extensions are no big deal, and you can always pull off to explore some spot that looks interesting.
You’re not beholden to anybody else’s schedule, and you don’t have to worry about finding a hotel room or a restaurant. Talk about liberation.
But if you’ve never traveled by motorhome before, you may be wondering, “How do I rent an RV? And what do I need to know about driving one?”
Although these large vehicles might seem intimidating at first, we promise the whole process is actually really simple.
Here’s how and where to rent an RV, and the basics you need to know to fully enjoy vacationing in one.
Rent an RV for a Road Trip
First things first: How do you find an RV to rent in the first place?
Fortunately, the word’s out about how amazing this unique form of travel is. And that means there’s no shortage of places to find your perfect vacation vehicle.
As RVing has increased in popularity, more and more commercial dealerships have opened up to meet the increased rental demand, so you have lots of different options to choose from as far as places to rent an RV.
There are large, nationwide RV rental franchises, like El Monte and Cruise America. These can be good to check out if you want to rent an RV for a one-way journey, since you’ll likely be able to drop the rig off in a different location than you got it from. Increasingly, you can also find smaller privately owned RV rental dealerships, which may have smaller fleets but more personalized customer service.
There’s also another option for RV rental you should know about… but we’ll get to that in a second!
Average Cost to Rent an RV
No matter how much you’ve saved up for your travels, it’s a fact of life: Budget matters. After all, it’s way more fun to spend your vacation money on food and activities at your destination than to blow it all on your RV rental fee.
And make no mistake about it: Renting an RV can be quite expensive! It depends on which kind of rig you go for, of course, but large and luxurious RVs can easily cost $250 per night to rent or even more — and that’s not counting the fuel you’ll need to put into it to get where you’re going. (Or the campground accommodation fee. Or food. Or…)
But if you’re looking to rent an RV on the cheap, there are some RV rental deals and secrets you should know about.
First of all, when’s the best time to rent an RV? Obviously, certain seasons are more popular for travel (like summer), which means that more RVs will be rented and any remaining available rigs might be more pricey due to high demand. (Alternatively, however, some dealerships may end up cutting special bargains to get those stubborn last few RVs off their rental lot — you simply have to shop around to see what’s available and going on in your area.)
Second of all, the type of RV you rent matters. For instance, it’ll likely cost you a whole lot more to rent a large Class A diesel pusher chock-full of luxurious amenities than it would to rent a small sleeper van or teardrop trailer.
But if you really want to save some money on your RV rental, listen up. Did you know you can rent an RV from its owner?
RVshare, and other services like it, allows travelers like you to find campers for rent by owner. On the other side of the equation, those RV owners get to make some extra money off their vehicles when they’d otherwise be sitting empty. Since they don’t have to deal with costly business overhead, they can usually afford to list the rigs much less expensively — and they often don’t have the same kinds of hidden fees that dealerships have. (We’ll come back to that point in a moment!)
Finally, renting a rig through a peer-to-peer market also allows you a greater diversity of RV choices, since private owners aren’t limited to one or two models like a commercial dealership.
Give the listings in your area a look to get an idea of average pricing. For instance, you might be surprised at how much it (doesn’t) cost to rent a smaller trailer, like a pop-up camper!
Requirements to Rent an RV
If you’re worried about licensing requirements for your RV rental, there’s good news: You don’t need any fancy qualifications! In the vast majority of situations, a regular driver’s license is all you need to operate your rental vehicle.
There is, however, usually minimum age to rent an RV — which in most cases is 25 years of age. This is due to insurance reasons Check with your individual rental agency if you have any questions and to ensure there aren’t any other requirements.
One thing to keep in mind, however: Most RV rental agencies do charge for mileage over a certain limit. That means if you’re looking to rent an RV for a long trip out west, you’ll want to make sure you find a dealership or owner who offers unlimited miles. It can save you a ton of money if you’re going the distance — even a small per-mile fee really adds up!
Why Rent an RV?
Renting an RV is a great way to see the country without having to worry about finding accommodations. Plus, renting an RV gives you a great opportunity to try out a few different kinds of rigs if you’re in the market to eventually buy one of your own.
Finally, the real answer to this question: Because you want to! You found this page and are reading this blog, which means something is calling you to the lifestyle. You’ll never know if you don’t try, right? So get out there and find your dream rental!