Road Trip Vacation Sleeper Van Rental

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Sometimes, good things come in small packages.

If you love road tripping, but hate the uncertainty of finding a place to stay every night -- or if you want to upgrade your camping game by sleeping on some actual upholstery -- you may have considered giving RV camping a try. After all, recreational vehicles give you the best of both worlds: All the flexibility and fun of a road trip, without the hassle of figuring out where you’re going to hang your hat every night.

But if you’re still willing to get a little down and dirty, you don’t have to spring for a motorhome or trailer. Taking a road trip in a sleeper van might be the perfect middle-of-the-road option for you.

What You Need To Know About Renting A Van For A Road Trip

If you don’t have a sleeper van of your own, you’ll need to rent one. And you might be skeptical of dishing out your hard-earned dollars on a rental van for travel, especially if you’re already used to camping out of your car.

But sleeper van rentals are actually a perfect compromise for the rugged solo traveler or couple, and even work for some adventurous families. While not all of them come equipped with bathroom facilities or refrigeration, you’ll still know you have a comfy bed to lie down in each night of your trip, and you won’t sacrifice the fun of being outside and getting closer to nature that attracted you to camping in the first place!

Travelers who take road trips in vans love their vehicles’ ease of maneuverability; they can often wind their way into remote areas bigger motorhomes and trailers can’t access. And some camper vans are surprisingly inclusive and spacious, while still offering mobility and affordability you won’t come across in heftier RV models.

Rent A Camping Van - The Benefits

So: Why should you rent a camper van instead of biting the bullet and buying your own?

Well, we’ll start with the easiest, most obvious answer. Unless you do a lot of traveling, renting your vans for your vacations is a whole lot cheaper! When you rent a sleeper van for your road trip, you’ll pay by the night or pay a flat rate for a bigger chunk of time, like a week. You’ll also be responsible for fuel, of course, and some companies might charge you for mileage. However, considering that it cost thousands of dollars to buy your own van, using rental vans for traveling is likely a much better option… even though sleeper vans are quite affordable if you later decide you do want to own one.

Another benefit of renting a camper van is that you can figure out if sleeping in a van is, in fact, a good vacation lifestyle for you. Although it’s fun and adventurous, taking a road trip in a van isn’t for everyone, especially if you have small children or frequently travel in areas with extreme climates. By renting a camping van instead of buying, if it turns out not to be your perfect means of travel, no problem! You’ll just return it and maybe rent a bigger RV next time instead.

Tips On Renting A Van For Vacation

Renting anything always comes with a certain degree of risk. To make sure you get the best road trip van possible, you need to do some research before you sign your rental contract.

First, make sure the rental company you’re considering is well-regarded. You can do this by Googling the company’s name and checking out its website and Facebook page, which may feature customer reviews and testimonials. You can also look for dedicated review websites, like Yelp. These kinds of websites are often the best resource for finding truthful reviews, since companies can’t pay to have poor feedback removed from them, and don’t get to choose whose comments are listed and whose are not.

When you’re looking at the rental sleeper van itself, you’ll want to make sure all of its mechanical parts are in good working order -- although there are some aspects of this that won’t be visible to a layperson’s eye, of course, which is part of why it’s important to check reviews! Complete a walk-around with the renting professional before signing the contract to avoid any charges for damages that aren’t your fault, and also make sure you understand exactly what fees you’re responsible for. While you might see a low rental price listed, it often happens that hidden fees for insurance, extra mileage or even additional passengers pushes the bottom line higher than you initially expected. Be sure to ask for an itemized statement before you sign.

Where To Find Vacation Van Rentals Near You

Finding a rental facility in your area is easy -- just search “sleeper van rentals near me” or “sleeper van rentals” with your zip code.

You can also try out the peer-to-peer rental marketplace, which pairs regular people who own recreational vehicles with renters like you looking for the best possible deal. RVShare is the largest such marketplace online today, and it’s a great place to start looking for your perfect sleeper van rental. Since these recreational vehicles are privately owned, they’re usually listed for a fraction of the price that a big dealership might charge you -- and you don’t have to worry about a big, faceless customer service team avoiding your calls. You’ll be directly in contact with the vehicle’s actual owner!

How Much Does A Road Trip Van Rental Cost

The final price of your sleeper van rental will depend on where you rent it, how long you rent it for, how far you plan on driving it and many other factors. You may also purchase additional insurance and other extras if you choose.

However, it’s probably a good idea to budget about $100 per night for your camper van rental. Although many will be listed at significantly lower prices, at $100 per night, you can be confident you’ll have fuel and other expenses covered as well. As always, check with your actual rental facility to get a full, inclusive quote for the most accurate answer to the question.

Renting from a private owner is almost always a better deal than renting from a corporation. Private owners don’t have much to lose -- they’re usually renting their own recreational vehicle while it’s not in use, which means it would just be sitting empty and collecting dust anyway. For that reason, and because they don’t have to worry about overhead business costs like big dealerships do, private renters on peer-to-peer marketplaces like RVShare can afford to offer you the very best cost on your sleeper van rental. And since it’s been lived in and loved by a real family, your rental vehicle will be homey and comfortable… which is to say, perfect for your family’s big adventure!