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Small RV rentals can be advantageous over larger RVs in a number of ways. Sometimes known as a compact RV, this type of vehicle offers all the comforts of a larger model on a smaller scale. Designed to accommodate up to three people, a compact RV is a great option for couples or small families who don't need a lot of space while traveling.
In considering whether a small RV is the right choice for your needs, keep in mind that a small RV can be classified as a Class B or C. Both of these options can be much easier to maneuver on the road than a full-size Class A motorhome. Small camper trailers for rent can also be more affordable and economical to operate than a larger RV, especially when it comes time to fill up at the pump.
There are also tiny trailers for rent that count as small camper rentals. Keep reading to learn more about renting a small RV and whether or not it might be the right move for your next vacation.
What is a Small RV Rental?
Small RV rentals are just what you think they are: rental recreational vehicles that are of a smaller size and scope than their full-size cousins. Compact RV rentals allow travelers to experience the conveniences of RV travel without having to deal with a full-size motorhome, which can be difficult to navigate and expensive to operate and fill with gas.
When you rent a small RV, you’ll also be more able to explore wild, off-grid destinations, since smaller RVs are more capable of moving down narrow or rocky roads. Small RV rentals are a great option for campers looking to upgrade their tent camping habit or adventurers who will be spending more time outside of their rig exploring than hunkering down inside in front of the TV screen.
Small RV Rentals to Explore America
Small RVs are a great way to familiarize yourself with this stunning country of ours. As mentioned above, they make it easier to get to more distant places (where the camping is less expensive and crowded), and their relatively high fuel efficiency makes it less stressful to travel further.
Not sure where to take your small RV rental? We’ve published a ton of great resources right here at RVshare to help you brainstorm and plan! Check out the following content for some great vacation fodder.
- RVshare’s List of In-Depth Guides to America’s National Parks
- RVshare’s List of In-Depth Guides to America’s Best State Parks
- RVshare’s Archive of Top Campgrounds by Destination
Small RV Rental Prices
One of the biggest incentives of renting a small RV is to save costs — after all, it’s generally safe to assume that a smaller vehicle is going to come at a lower price.
But what, exactly, is the cost to rent a small RV?
Prices for small RV rentals fluctuate based on size, availability, and season. Renting any size RV is typically going to cost more during peak season and when supply is low. During the slower seasons, bargains can be had as more models are available. Size can also affect the cost of an RV rental. Generally speaking, a smaller RV will cost less than a larger RV.
The cost to rent a Class C motorhome, also known as a mini motorhome, ranges, on average, between $70 and $150 per night based on location, season, size, and amenities. You should also expect to pay between 25 cents and 40 cents per mile, though when renting, ample miles are usually included. For a week-long journey up to 700 miles, anticipate a cost of between $800 and $2,000 to rent a Class C motorhome
Small RV trailer rentals can be more affordable. For instance, a pop-up camping trailer will usually cost $100 or less per night, with a weekly rate of between $350 and $600.
Renting a Small RV
When does it make more sense to choose a small RV than a large one?
Well, if you’re traveling solo (or just with your sweetie), a small RV can get you more adventure for your travel dollar… and if you’re a rugged, outdoorsy type, chances are you won’t be spending too much time inside anyway. So why shell out for a great big rig?
On the other hand, if you’re looking for the ultimate luxury experience during your camping trip or want to be able to cuddle up on the couch and forget there are four wheels under you at all, a larger RV might be a better solution. Furthermore, families or large camping parties will likely benefit from having more room to stretch out and create privacy in a larger rig.
When planning to rent a small motor home, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, RV rentals are typically picked up and returned at the same location. If you need a one-way rental, you will usually need to make special arrangements, and you will probably have to pay more for this privilege. When you pick up your RV rental, ensure it’s in good condition and clean. Also, verify that all appliances and equipment are in proper working order. Just like with a rental car, check for any dings, scratches, or other blemishes, and ensure that the owner is aware of their presence before you take their rig on the road. If possible, take pictures of any pre-existing damage. You can never be too prepared!
You should be prepared to complete a rental application as well as pay a deposit before picking up your RV rental. The amount of the deposit will vary, but expect to pay between $200 and $600. The full amount of the rental will likely be due when you pick up the rental.
Depending on the rental, you may be required to supply your own kitchen utensils, linens, and cleaning supplies. In some cases, these items may be included as an additional option that is available for an extra fee. The cost of a basic kitchen kit can run between $50 and $100. Additional equipment, such as a portable generator, bike rack, lawn chairs, etc., may also be available at a cost of between $5 and $50 per day.
You should also verify whether the RV you rent will be covered by your existing auto insurance. If not, you may need to purchase additional insurance. If you return the motorhome with an empty fuel tank, expect to pay a refueling cost, which may be more than the average price per gallon. You will also be expected to return the RV in good, clean condition. The waste system should also be emptied. If you fail to clean the motorhome, expect an additional cleaning fee of $150 or more.
Different Types of Small RV Rentals
There are many different types of small campers for rent, from small Class B and Class C motorhomes to small travel trailers like pop-up campers and fairy wagons.
Fortunately, you can find all kinds of mini motorhomes for rent on the peer-to-peer RV market! Our network of trusted owners offer rigs of every shape, size, and footprint… but here are a few that you might be most likely to find.
Class B and C Motorhomes
If you’re looking for a mini RV rental experience that’s basically just a scaled-down version of a full-size motorhome, you’re probably going to want to search for Class B and Class C rigs.
From the exterior, a Class B RV appears much like an oversized van. These types of RVs are also sometimes known as camper vans. The inside of a Class B motorhome will feature a kitchen, bathroom, and living space. But, you should expect space to be limited. To save room, the shower and toilet are often combined into a single space, referred to as a wet bath.
In terms of a small RV rental cost, a class B RV is usually the least expensive to rent. Due to the smaller size, they're also usually much easier to drive and offer the best fuel economy. Parking isn't usually an issue due to the size of the Class B RV. However, storage space will often be limited.
Compared to a Class A motorhome, a Class C motorhome is much easier to maneuver. In fact, it can be comparable to driving a large pickup truck or a van rather than an RV. The size and features of a Class C RV can vary, but most models accommodate between four and eight people. This type of RV will usually include all of the same amenities as a larger RV, such as a stove, sink, refrigerator, and microwave, although appliances may be smaller in scale than what is included in a larger RV.
Constructed on a cabin chassis, a Class C RV can be easily identified by its over cab sleeping space. The aerodynamic design and smaller size of a Class C RV assists in maximizing fuel economy. It’s also possible to tow a separate vehicle with most class C RVs, which makes it possible to leave the RV parked while you explore the local area in your vehicle. Some Class C RVs also feature slide-outs, which can provide additional sleeping and living space.
Pop-up trailers are small trailers that feature expandable canvas walls so you can travel light while still enjoying a good amount of interior space. They do have to be set up on arrival, including a “crank up” procedure to get the tent portion to expand, but many of the newer ones have automatic setup that makes this process quick and easy.
Pop-up trailers are great in that they combine lightweight travel with a decent amount of room to move, and many even include on-board kitchen facilities. It’s less likely your pop-up trailer will have a bathroom on board, however, so you may need to outsource when it’s time to “go”!
Teardrop trailers are micro trailers in — you guessed it — a teardrop shape. They’re usually pretty limited, basically offering a bed inside and maybe a fold-out external kitchen outside. However, many teardrop trailers are light enough to be hauled even by small SUVs and some robust sedans, and they’re both attractive and affordable for a quick weekend getaway.
Truck trailers sit on the bed of a pickup truck so you can go pretty much anywhere and bring your camper along with you, kind of like a turtle shell. However, it’s important that the truck in question have enough payload to support a heavy camper like this one, so if you rent one, you’ll likely be renting the whole setup including the auxiliary vehicle.
Small RV Rentals Near Me
Not sure how to find small RV rentals near you? Fortunately, it couldn’t be simpler.
The peer-to-peer network at RVshare has tons of rigs to choose from, including many smaller models. You can browse the listings in your area simply by entering your preferred travel dates and zip code at our homepage.
Small RV Rentals: FAQs
Let’s finish out this page about small RV rentals with answers to some of your most frequently asked questions about these rigs!
How much does it cost to rent a small RV?
As mentioned above, the price of a small RV rental will vary depending on which RV, specifically, you’re renting, who you’re renting from, and how long you’re keeping it. However, it does tend to be the case that smaller RVs rent for less money… and they also require less in the way of fuel expenses to get where you’re going!
Can I rent a small RV?
You certainly can! While small RVs can be hard to find at traditional, big-box rental agencies, there’s tons of diversity when you browse a peer-to-peer RV rental market like RVshare. Check out the listings near you today!
What is the smallest RV size?
The smallest RVs are micro trailers that include little more than a sleeping space, but teardrop trailers, pop-up campers, and even small motorhomes all offer a balance of comfort and convenience.
What are the best small RVs?
There’s no one right answer to that question. The best small RV is the one that suits your camping needs best… and the only way to figure that out is to take a camping trip (or six)!