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Renting an RV for 12: Is it Possible?
Though RVing has long been associated with smaller family and couples-oriented trips, the market has always made room for the diverse needs of RVers. In keeping with this “blue ocean” tradition, today’s RV market is well-adapted to our changing times. RVs are increasingly used by larger groups for traveling and setting up at music festivals, conventions, spring break destinations, and other group-oriented locations. Fortunately, there are RV categories and modifications out there to support these (and other) large group trips.
If you’re renting an RV to seat and sleep 12 passengers, however, be aware that renting an RV for a large number of people – 10 or more – can introduce a number of unique issues and may significantly limit your vehicle selection.
With that in mind, let’s go through the process of selecting a great 12 person RV rental!
Choosing an RV Type
The majority of available RVs seat (and certainly sleep) less than 10 passengers, so you’re going to have to look for a very particular type of RV if you’re planning on sleeping 12 passengers.
Motorized: Class A Motorhome
Class A RVs are the largest size motorized RV type available, and are built on the foundation of a bus-like chassis.
Motorized RVs unify the engine and driver’s seat with the living area, thus saving you the hassle of having to rent or attach a separate vehicle with sufficient power to lug a non-motorized trailer around.
Though Class A RVs suffer from extremely poor fuel economy, they may be your only option if you want to rent a motorized RV that can comfortably sleep up to 12 passengers. Class A RVs can be greater than 40 feet in length, and are often outfitted with a bevy of luxury amenities, which will help make your crowded trip more enjoyable! Some even include two bathrooms, something parties of 12 will certainly appreciate!
Towable: Fifth Wheel Trailers
Fifth wheel trailers are the largest size non-motorized RV type available, with some reaching a length of 45 feet or more. They are extraordinarily spacious and have earned a reputation for a “smooth ride,” making them an excellent choice for those RVers who have a vehicle that is capable of towing it (or who are willing to rent a capable vehicle). Like Class A motorhomes, fifth wheel trailers are known for their luxury interiors and facilities, but suffer from poor fuel economy – marginally better fuel economy can be gained by moving down to a large travel trailer, but is generally not worth doing so given the reduced living space by comparison.
Your choice of a motorized or non-motorized RV should not only depend on whether you have an existing vehicle capable of towing a trailer (or have the budget and are willing to rent a capable vehicle), but also on your space needs. Space is going to be limited no matter what, given 12 passengers, and comfortably fitting 12 passengers into a Class A motorhome is no easy feat. If you select a fifth wheel trailer and a separate truck to tow it, you may open up two or more additional sleeping spots in the truck (that can be rotated between passengers to ensure everyone gets their fair share of luxurious trailer living).
Slideouts: A Good Idea?
As you browse listings on the RVshare platform, you may notice that certain RVs come equipped with slideout room extensions. Slideouts allow you to physically expand the RV structure and increase the size of your living space. They can range from simple expansions (i.e., creating space for the master bedroom) to complex functions like allowing for additional sleeping berths.
Typically, the decision to rent an RV with slide-outs requires an objective assessment of the advantages and disadvantages – for example, though slideouts can make a living area more spacious, they increase the mechanical complexity of your RV and thus introduce new maintenance concerns. If you are renting an RV for 12 people, however, then selecting an RV equipped with slide-outs is a no-brainer. Slideouts on a large motorhome (Class A, fifth wheel, or even a large travel trailer) will ensure that you have enough room for 12 travelers.
When renting an RV for 12, you must also consider whether or not: a) there are sufficient toilet facilities on-board; and b) there are seatbelts for all 12 passengers.
Do be sure that there are sufficient toilet facilities for all 12 passengers. Some RVs come equipped with an additional ½ bath, which we recommend, as it will allow you two separate toilet facilities for 12 passengers – a bit of extra patience may be required, but it is certainly workable.
If you lack sufficient on-board toilet facilities for 12 passengers, you may find that your trip becomes extremely difficult, as you cannot easily stop for a quick bathroom break. Class A motorhomes and fifth wheel trailers may not fit on certain local roads, campgrounds, and RV parks, further limiting the toilet availability.
Before you rent, make sure that your RV has seatbelts for all passengers. Not only will this help to ensure the safety of your passengers, it’s the law in many states (bear in mind that you are driving a private vehicle!).
Browse RVshare for Listings
On the RVshare platform, there are tens of thousands of RV listings posted by RV owners directly. These listings feature a variety of RV models, categories, equipment load-outs, and sizes. Though it is generally more difficult to find an RV that will comfortably sleep 12 passengers, you stand a much better chance of finding one through the RVshare platform–and at a competitive rate, than any other peer-to-peer network.