Perhaps you were inspired by National Lampoon’s Vacation, Eurotrip, or Little Miss Sunshine. Maybe you have fond memories of family trips as a child where your parents piled you and your siblings into a car to tour the country’s greatest landmarks. These days, our options for road tripping and camping have grown to include decked out camper vans and fully-loaded RVs. But, if your only road trip experience was being packed in a car like sardines, you might be wondering what to look for and where to start your journey.
Tips For Renting An RV
Choose The Right Size For Your Crew
There are a few different types of RVs ranging from compact pull-behinds to spacious all-in-ones. Before we go any further, there are three main types of RVs: Class A, which are gigantic bus-like vehicles most often called motorhomes; Class B, which are oversized vans popular among “van-lifers”; and Class C, which are built with truck chassis and have similar amenities as motorhomes, but much more compact. Lastly, you have your classic travel trailer; a tow-behind unit like an airstream or teardrop.
There are several options for renting an RV, so be sure to shop around for the best fit and price. Some companies are known for glamping on wheels, while others are ideal for convenience. Others still, are specifically organized for international travel. Know your travel buddies, where you’re going, and what you want to do when you get there.
Popular RV Rental Companies:
Book In Advance
Renting an RV isn’t as easy as renting a car when it comes to availability. It’s important to reserve your unit far in advance to make sure you’re not left in the dust when you’re ready to roll. Keep high season in mind too. Just like resorts and flights, RV rentals can be sparse during the summer and holidays. There are also a few things you’ll need to get in order such as practice driving an oversized vehicle and making sure you’re covered by insurance.
Prepare For Safety
Driving a motorhome and pulling a trailer can be complicated for someone with no experience. Making even the smallest of mistakes can be super costly without insurance. Look into the insurance policies offered by the rental company to make sure you’re fully covered wherever the road takes you. It’s also helpful to be prepared with roadside assistance through companies like AAA or Progressive, especially if you’re new to RV travel. RVShare offers both roadside assistance and rental insurance that covers travel across United States and Canada.
- Full-Coverage RV Rental Insurance – It’s better to be safe than sorry
- Roadside Assistance – Let the pros handle it
- Practice The Basics – Driving, turning, parking & backing-up
- Take It Easy – Slow going with extra space wins the safe driving race
Prepare for Expense
We might have said RV travel is fun, but we didn’t say it was cheap. Everything from gasoline to hookup fees can be expensive depending on the size of your rig. The average Class A motorhome can carry up to 100 gallons (or more) of diesel fuel with a fuel economy of six to ten miles per gallon. If the cost of diesel is around $2.50 per gallon, and your itinerary covers hundreds of miles, the costs add up quickly!
Miscellaneous Fees To Prepare For:
- Resort Fees
- Hookup Fee (Water/Propane)
- Pet Fee
- Cancelation Fees
Prepare for Extra Tasks
Living in a house or apartment building, you don’t really notice the mechanics and infrastructure that keep things going. Since you’re traveling in a moving house, you’ll have to handle the infrastructure (ie. electricity and plumbing) manually. With so many moving parts, there’s also an important task list to cross off when arriving and leaving your destination.
Important RV Tasks:
- Electricity – Your RV runs on batteries, which are replenished when hooked up. If your destination doesn’t have hookups, this is where the generator comes in.
- Plumbing – If your RV has a bathroom and sinks, you’ll have black water and grey water holding tanks to manage. Know where the nearest dump station is and wear latex gloves throughout the process. Secure clamps, hoses, and valves to drain, clean, and refill. Be sure to use the proper paper products and chemicals or you could damage the system.
- Don’t Forget – There are so many little things to pay attention to when arriving or leaving your destination. Stabilizers, pop-outs, hookups…these all have their place and need to be put away before takeoff, or you could cause serious damage to the RV. Download a checklist before you leave for your adventure.
Best Destinations For RV Travel
RVs to road trips are like yurts to camping. Of course, the level of luxury you enjoy totally depends on your destination. Have you ever dreamed of owning a beach house, mountain cabin, or scenic escape home in the countryside? Use this as your chance to wake up to ocean views, sprawling wineries, and babbling mountainside brooks. There are RV resorts all over the United States set up for visitors to enjoy million-dollar views from the comfort of their motorhome, van, or RV.
- Bluewater Key Resort, Florida – Oceanfront
- Tiger Run, Colorado – Slopes
- Zion River Resort, Utah – Riverfront
- Paso Robles RV Resort, California – Wineries