Renting an RV: 4 Tips to get you started
With the current state of the world, exploring an RV is an excellent option. There is no going to hotels where you have to wait in line to check-in only to find that your room is stuffy and the same vanilla as all the rest of the ones you've visited before. You could find yourself parked in a little slice of paradise you didn't know existed. But we are putting the horse before the carriage here.
"Glamping" is one way to put it if you like. Parked in a campground, laying in your memory foam mattress bed, the view out the window blowing pines or sandy beaches, and you have all of the comforts at your disposal: Kitchen, bathroom, living room, and as soon as you step outside your door, a place to escape. With these as a rental, you could have it all set up for you too! You could get to your campground and move in or if you are taking it to travel, get out on the road to where you're going knowing you do not have to worry about that next monthly payment. Before we get there into the wild outdoors, there are a few things that you might want to consider.
Acadia National Park
1- Pick a reputable company
This might seem like a no-brainer, but there are many sites out there to use to reserve one. If you do an Internet search, you'll find many companies that offer RV rental. Comb through the sites and pick the one that has the most reviews and best rates. Keep in mind; some of these sites are just the "broker." If I am renting my RV for someone to use, I contact a company and let them know that I have something available. They take the money and complete the reservation. I set up the rig and put it where you want it, or you come to get it from a location.
Other companies have their inventory for you to rent from. El Monte RV, Cruise America, or RV Share come to mind instantly. They have available inventory for you to use and take out on the road for your great adventure. When choosing one that has inventory, again, you should check on them for reviews for that area.
2- Pick an RV you will use
Did you know you could rent a million-dollar RV to take a trip in? You could also pick a simple no-frills pop-up trailer. Though flashy is nice, it isn't always the best way to travel. By that, I mean think about where you're going and what you're doing to do. A 48' Tiffin RV is excellent, but you'd be hard-pressed to get it into Yosemite National Park at their campground (meaning you won't). On that same note, you could have a problem with a pop-up trailer camping at Acadia National Park in late fall with temperatures dropping at night. Find a happy medium with what your plan is.
With that said, maybe you don't want to drive or tow your rental. You can have a rig put at a local campground or area if the owners are willing. While we were camping in Oregon, we met a couple of owners that set up a rig in a spot for a family coming in to rent for a week. They leveled it, got the refrigerator up and running, hooked up all of the water and drain lines, and even made sure they had extra items (chairs, logs for fires, and s'mores equipment) to make the trip all that more special for that family. That is a great setup! All in all, though, which RV style will be what you want for your trip is something to consider and not waste money on something you don't need.
L-R: KZ Travel trailer, Alliance 5th Wheel, Jayco Seneca, Newell
3. Plan your trip with the RV in mind
When you visit a hotel, you have a plan in mind, and it is not different if you rent an RV. You have an idea of where you're going; now you need to find the things to do. If you're going to rent a Class C motorhome to drive, you might want to check to see what the roads are like and if it is a good idea. We have been on several routes that would have been better if I took our car instead of our RV (it was pretty narrow). I should have looked it up, but I failed there. Don't make my mistake, please.
If you're going to be hopping around campgrounds, make sure that they have what you need. There are many more options than a KOA out there (nothing against them, they are adorable). You'd be surprised how many do not have sewer hookups or even power! There are some more in-depth things later on.
randalolson.com created this awesome map and plan
4. Know how to use the RV
This might seem trivial, but do you know how to hook up the water hose or how to hook up the black tank drain line properly? You can YouTube most of these things, but they are essential to have an idea about before you go on your adventure. A good company or owner will walk you through all of it. There are many other things about the coach you will need to learn about before setting out, so please remember to ask questions! If you run into a situation, make sure you have a contact number to ask for help from the company or the owner.
Image from Camper Report click the link to learn how to work this system
Taking an RV on a trip as a rental is an excellent option, like I said initially. There is a great big world out there just waiting for you to explore and all from the comforts of a bigger place than your hotel room. What's even better is that it's off the beaten path sometimes. I hope you find something fun to explore and that it is one of the most memorable trips you take!