What should you consider before renting a motorhome or RV?
Type of RV
The first step in renting an RV is deciding what type of vehicle you want. Consider where you're traveling, how many passengers can fit in your RV, your preferred amenities, and what size vehicle you'll feel comfortable driving. Class B and Class C vehicles are perfect for most novice RV drivers as they're less intimidating than larger models but still offer plenty of space. If you're traveling with a large group or want plenty of luxury in your RV, you might consider a large Class A vehicle.
Remember that certain states require a special RV license to drive a Class A RV. You may also consider a vehicle to tow behind your own SUV or truck, such as a travel trailer or a fifth wheel. Learn more about the common types of RVs.
According to RV Share, RV rental rates vary considerably, ranging from around $100 to several hundred dollars per night, depending on the size and luxury level of the vehicle. Class B and Class C RVs tend to be cheaper, while large Class A RVs lean toward the higher end of that range. Travel trailers are cheaper — often less than $100 per night. You'll find the best deals by planning your trip outside of peak times like summer and school vacation weeks.
When setting your budget, don't forget to factor in other expenses like campground spaces, gas, national park passes, and activities.
The most popular option is a campground to reserve a space and connect the RV to electricity, water, and sewer. A unique option is something called "boondocking." You park somewhere and stay in the RV overnight without connecting to electricity, water, or sewer. Instead, you can use the water in the RV's tank and power the motorhome with a generator.
Before taking off in your rental, make sure you know how to work everything. Familiarize yourself with how to hook up to electricity and sewer at campgrounds, reverse safely, and secure an awning or any slide-out features that the RV has. Also, make sure you know the vehicle's height to ensure your safety while driving under bridges or overpasses. If there's anything you're unsure about, ask the rental company or RV owner to help you out. If you're driving an RV for the first time, start slow while you get used to handling it.
Where can you rent an RV?
There are two main options for where to rent an RV: a corporate rental car company or peer-to-peer rental services.
Several major car rental companies include RVs and motorhomes in their fleet. You may also opt for a peer-to-peer RV rental option, which operates similarly to car sharing. Local RV owners rent out their vehicles online. You can browse the selection of vehicles near you — or near where you'd like to visit on vacation — and get in touch with the owner about renting their RV. Many renters like this option as it often feels more personal.
Do you need special insurance when renting a motorhome?
If you're renting a motorhome and don't own it, you can get RV rental insurance directly through the rental company. Both corporate rental car companies and peer-to-peer rental services extend insurance to their customers for the duration of their trip. Sometimes insurance is included in your rate, or there may be a fee. Check with your rental company to see what their policy is. Learn more about how RV insurance works.
Rental companies typically offer the minimum RV insurance requirement in your state as a base. From there, you can often upgrade if you'd like additional coverage. Some rental companies even offer roadside assistance as part of their insurance coverage.