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Our Top 8 RV Rental Tips
It’s no secret that Americans love to travel, and as technology continues to propel the global economy forward, more people are embracing the nomadic lifestyle. As time goes on, work relies less and less on physical location. This new normal has created a boom in RV travel, especially among younger generations.
In fact, according to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association, the fastest growing segment of RV ownership in 2013 was among 35-44 year olds. “They spend more money on experiences than on material goods,” Matt Rose, director of recreation vehicles at the Indiana Manufactured Housing Association Council, told CNBC.
Still, not everyone has an extra $50,000-60,000 (or more) to invest in an RV of their own. That’s why RV rentals are one of the most convenient and affordable ways to experience the RV lifestyle.
Even if you’re brand-new to RV travel, renting an RV is a great way to experience life on the open road without the hassles or commitments of ownership. Plus, it’s much easier than booking a slew of hotel rooms throughout your multi-city trip.
Ready for your road trip? Here's some RV rental advice to get you started.
First Time RV Rental Tips
Deciding to embark on your first road trip is one of the most exciting travel experiences there is. But once you start researching, the mood can go from ecstatic to overwhelmed pretty quickly. Fear not! Simply follow these useful campervan rental tips to help make your first time a seamless experience.
- Choose your budget: No one likes losing money, nor does any traveler want to risk running out of cash somewhere along their trip. That’s why determining a budget for your RV adventure is the single most important part of the planning process. Once you know how much money you're willing and able to spend, you’ll know how much you have for your RV rental, gas, supplies, attraction fees, and extra spending cash. You’ll also be able to get a better idea if, given your budget, a weeklong or month-long RV trip is most realistic.
- Plan your parking: If there’s one thing that many first-time RVers overlook, it’s overnight parking. While traveling via RV definitely offers you more flexibility than renting motel rooms throughout your trip, it’s important to keep in mind that not all RV parking is free. Nor are you allowed to park an RV anywhere your heart desires. So, unless you want to be sleeping with one eye open in the parking lot of an isolated Walmart (which is an option many Rvers choose regularly), you’ll definitely want to do your research, planning your route based on where you’ll be staying each night. A few places to consider: national parks (these typically offer RV campgrounds for modest prices), truck stops (these are often free, though some RVers complain about noise), local supermarkets, schools, and churches (these often allow RVs to park overnight, though you will want to ask permission first), and of course, RV parks and campgrounds.
- Find a reputable RV Rental Source: If there’s one RV rental tip you follow, make sure it’s this one. Don’t risk your money, or more importantly, your safety, by going with just any RV rental company out there, especially if you’re a first-time RVer. By using a reputable company like RVshare.com, you’ll have the peace of mind knowing that you’re getting your vehicle from a trusted owner and that it’s safe to drive. Plus, every booking made through RVshare.com is processed securely online and backed by a $10,000 guarantee. No need to exchange checks or cash with strangers you meet on the Internet. What’s more, you’ll have access to 24/7 roadside assistance with your RVshare rental. This means that no matter what happens while you’re out on the road, you can rest assured, help is always just a phone call away.
- Settle on space: Now that you’ve established your budget and mapped out your route (which also means you know how long you’ll be gone), you’re ready to choose your RV. Traveling solo or with a single companion? A Class B motorhome might be a great option. Easy to park and maneuver, Class B campers come with all the basics, including bathrooms, small kitchens, and areas for dining and sleeping. For larger groups or extended trips, a Class C or Class A motorhome may be more convenient. These typically feature a wider body and an over-the-cab area that double as sleeping or storage spaces. On RVshare.com, you can search through thousands of vehicle options to accommodate as little or as much as you need. Whether your budget is $45 or $400 per night, you’ll find your perfect RV camper on RVshare.com.
- Get to know your camper: You’ve finally done it. You set your budget, settled on your route, rounded up your group, and booked your RV. There’s just one more RV travel tip you want to make sure to remember. Get to know your camper. When you pick up your RV, take it for a spin with its owner. Explore every nook and cranny. Ask questions. Even if you think you know how to navigate the GPS or flush the toilet, let the RV owner demonstrate and guide you, just in case.
RV Rental USA Tips
Even if you’re a seasoned RVer abroad, RV travel in the U.S. can be a different experience. That’s why you’ll still want to do your research before setting off on an RV trip across the border. After all, even the most experienced traveler can benefit from some tips and tricks!
Know the Rules: If you’re planning an RV trip across the U.S. border from Canada, for instance, there are some things to consider. First, it’s important that you keep your proof of residency handy. The U.S. Custom and Border Patrol accepts valid passports, NEXUS, or FAST identification. If you’re traveling at any point from the U.S. to Canada, be ready to present proof of citizenship. If traveling with children and both parents aren’t present, you may need a notarized letter from the missing parent giving your little one permission to leave the country. In some cases, pets may need certain paperwork before crossing the border, as well.
You should also know how long you’ll be staying. The U.S. allows Canadians to visit for a total of 182 days per calendar year. Longer visits could result in the government requiring you to pay resident taxes.
More RV Rental Tips
Now that you’re ready to embark on your travel adventure, we thought we’d share just a few more motorhome rental tips to make sure you get the most bang for your buck while you’re out on the road.
Pack Smart: It's easy to over pack on clothes, shoes, games, and gadgets, while forgetting those not-so-obvious must-haves. Ever tried to open a can of tuna with no can opener? It’s not the most relaxing way to spend your day. Ask your RV owner if your rented camper comes with any essentials (ie. plates, glasses, silverware, coffee pot, towels, etc.) and leave behind anything that’s already included. Make sure to pack other camping essentials like food, toilet paper, flashlights, swiss army knives, and batteries.
Save on Gas: Driving around 55 mph is optimal for saving gas. So is minimizing the use of water, heat and electronics in your camper. When planning your route, consider how many miles you’ll be driving per day. This will avoid wasting unnecessary gas.
Now that you’re equipped with your own arsenal of RV rental tips, it’s time to hit the road and RV like a pro!