Are you planning to travel across the US during the next summer break? What about traveling in RV? Here’s all you need to know about renting an RV for the best road trip destinations in the US.
Road trips are a great way to spend time with family or friends while enjoying the picturesque landscape of the US. However, if you’re planning an RV trip across America, you need to know some things beforehand.
Quite understandably, many people have been opting for road trips rather than international travel lately. Besides the hotel fares spiking in the recent past, airline fares have also increased significantly.
That’s why it’s better to explore some unknown travel destinations in the US this year.
Once you’ve decided that you want to travel the country by road, you’re all set to learn all about renting an RV. Buying an RV is not a viable option unless you’re planning to travel for a long time or take occasional road trips.
Instead, it’s better to rent an RV from RVShare and explore the best road trip destinations. Here are some things to keep in mind.
Table of Contents
Where to Rent an RV From?
First things first, let’s discuss the best places to rent an RV.
On the other hand, if you’re most comfortable with a company rental, go for Cruise America.
The benefit of using the first two options is that you can rent an RV from practically anywhere in the US. Think of it as a huge hotel chain – there are branches everywhere.
Also, you’ll get a better deal on RVShare and Outdoorsy.
However, the perk of using Cruise America is that you can opt for a one-way rental. Thus, if you want to fly home rather than taking the road, you can do that too.
But Cruise America is more expensive than the other two. Plus, they have hidden costs, such as mileage, so you have to be extra wary.
What Class of RV to Rent?
Regardless of the renting site or dealership, you’ll have to choose an RV among hundreds of models. Admittedly, it gets a bit daunting if you haven’t done your homework.
Generally, RVs are divided into three classes; A, B, and C.
Class A RVs
Class A RVs are huge. They’re the largest motorhomes among the three classes and look pretty similar to a bus.
Most models are up to 30 to 40 feet long.
Besides being big, these motorhomes are also luxurious. They have everything you need to stay comfortable on the road.
Class A motorhomes have bathrooms, showers, kitchens, entertainment units, DVD players, washing machines, dishwashers, dinette areas, and king-sized beds.
The more you spend, the better option you get. In short, there’s no limit to how luxurious a Class A RV gets.
You should only rent this RV if you’re a retiree planning to sell your home and travel the country. Before you purchase an RV, rent one and see if you’re made for the on-the-go life.
Class B RVs
Class B RVs are smaller and often called van campers because of their construction.
Despite being less spacious than Class A RVs, these motorhomes have a kitchen area, a bed, dinette, a fridge, and a small bathroom.
Since these motorhomes are smaller, you can park them anywhere. Also, they’re easier to drive around smaller towns and cities.
However, Class B RVs aren’t for large groups. You should only rent this RV if you’re traveling with your spouse or a small group of three to four people.
Class C RVs
Lastly, Class C RVs are the smallest and most convenient option for traveling through narrower routes.
While most models are relatively smaller, the slide-out option in Class C RVs increases space, making room for more amenities, such as a stove, fridge, and storage compartments.
The modern Class C RVs are pretty much like Class A models, minus the high price point and towering size.
What Kind of RV to Get?
Since this isn’t a full-blown RV introduction, I’ll keep it brief yet informative, allowing you to decide between the two main types of RVs: the trailer and the motorhome.
You may have used the best road trip planner, but if you rent the wrong RV, you’re in for unpleasant surprises along the way.
Typically, RVs are available in a ton of sizes, shapes, and styles.
However, it’s easy to divide them into two broad categories. The motorhome refers to an all-in-one situation where your living space and the driving area are part of the same vehicle. Basically, it’s a tiny house on wheels.
In contrast, the trailer has to be pulled by a car. Thus, it’s detachable and separates from the vehicle.
When selecting between the two, you have to consider a few factors. Let’s discuss them in detail.
Since a motorhome is spacious and has more amenities, it will obviously be costlier than a trailer. Motorhomes often start from $50,000 and go as high as above a hundred thousand dollars.
Therefore, renting them will also cost you more. On the other hand, travel trailers are cheaper, around $30,000, and their rents are lesser too.
So, if you want a full homey experience and can afford the cost, go for a motorhome. A motorhome is also your best bet if you’re traveling with a group and the rent is split among four to six people.
On the contrary, if you prefer camping out in the open, a trailer is the right pick for you. Likewise, if you’re tight on budget, look for a cheap trailer on RVShare instead of swooning over the three-star-hotel-level interiors of motorhomes.
Duration of Use
How long is your vacation? Are you planning an RV rental for a cross country trip? Or, do you wish to take a week-long road trip?
Before you rent an RV, make sure you’ve planned the itinerary and route appropriately.
If you’ll be on the road for months, it’s better to be in a motorhome than a trailer. Since a motorhome provides sleeping and living space, you won’t have to spend money on guest houses or hotels.
Also, motorhomes tend to be more comfortable since they’re almost like mini-homes.
However, if you’re taking a short trip to Two Harbors, Minnesota, or a national park in your state, a travel trailer will do.
Like the overall cost, the maintenance of a motorhome is also pricier than that of a trailer.
If you’re planning an RV trip across America, you’ll have to rent the vehicle for a considerable period. During this time, you’re responsible for maintaining it too.
But here’s another way to look at it. In a trailer, you’re only paying the cost for maintaining the RV section since the car portion is separate. On the other hand, in a motorhome, the maintenance is higher because you’re paying for the RV part and the living space both.
That seems like a fairer comparison because even if you take a trailer across the country, you’ll have to pay for your car’s repairs and maintenance too.
However, in most situations, despite this disparity, a motorhome will end up costing you more.
Finally, but most importantly, you must consider how accessible an RV is.
Let’s say you’re going on a Midwest road trip. If you only plan to stay on the highway, a motorhome will work well for you.
However, if you want to explore the little towns and cities on your route, it’s better to travel in a trailer. Since the trailer can be detached from the car, you can leave it outside the town when going to a Midwest festival or local attractions.
Motorhomes are huge. So, it will be a pain for you and the residents if you’re trying to steer a giant vehicle through the narrow roads and crowded spaces.
Tips for Renting an RV
By now, you should have a somewhat clear idea of the kind of RV you need to get for your road trip.
For instance, the RV rental for a cross country trip will be much different for that in the interstate area. Also, you must consider the RV trip cost before renting one.
In this section, I’ll discuss similar tips that will make your RV renting experience a memorable one.
Plan to Explore the Best Road Trip Destinations
Since your trip’s duration and the sites you want to visit will determine the type and size of RV you need, it’s best to plan a journey before you check the rental sites.
Roadtrippers is often considered the best road trip planner since it lets you add multiple stop points, like national parks and towns, in your itinerary.
Also, the app’s basic features are free, and it’s available for all operating systems.
Book In Advance
Booking in advance will free you of the stress of renting and ensure that you get the best deal.
Especially if you’re traveling during the peak season or the summer vacation, you should book an RV well in advance. Thanks to the online booking options, renting an RV isn’t hard anymore.
You need to stop procrastinating and book your motorhome as soon as possible.
Since there’s a higher demand for RVs than the supply, the best ones will be gone if you’re too late. If you book close to the holiday season, you’ll end up paying a higher price for a not-so-great trailer.
Check all the Fees
Once you’ve made a list of the best road trip destinations in the country, it’s time to book an RV. Make sure you check all the extra fees before finalizing the transaction.
For instance, some sites have a Cancellation Fee that you must pay in case you cancel your booking. It’s better to be aware of the amount beforehand rather than being shocked by the costly fee while dealing with the emergency that made you cancel the trip.
Secondly, some RV rentals also have a Pet Policy.
Read it thoroughly to check if there’s a fee for taking pets along. If you want to take your little buddy on the road trip, add these fees to the RV trip cost as well.
Insurance is Important
Even if you’re not buying an RV, you need insurance.
Fortunately, RVShare has the best insurance coverage for travelers and that too free of cost. Along with all states in the US, their insurance also covers Canada.
Whether you’ve met with natural disasters or collisions in the way, your insurance will cover it all.
Learn to Drive
You might be your family’s designated car driver, but an RV is a bit different.
However, that’s nothing to panic about, as driving an RV can be pretty straightforward. At first, you might be overwhelmed by the sheer size of the vehicle, but once you get in the driving seat, you’ll feel more confident.
Start by driving in on empty roads and familiarize yourself with the massive surface area of the vehicle. Also, put the side mirrors to use. They’ll help you make wider turns easily.
A slightly tricky part of driving an RV is reversing. When backing, use the spotter. Some models also have a backup camera, making it easier for you to reverse the trailer.
Here’s the best tip I can give you: overspeeding is a no-no in a motorhome.
Considering its size, a giant RV racing down the highway hardly ever makes a story with a happy ending.
Pack All Essentials
Owning an RV means that you’ll most probably have everything in it.
However, when you rent a motorhome, you need to take the essentials along. Make sure you have the best travel water purifier in the dinette area since you’ll be drinking from different sources.
Also, if you’re traveling with kids, there are tons of road trip books for children to keep them entertained during the journey.
Renting an appropriate RV for the road trip is possibly the most integral part of the planning process. Since it will be your home for the next few days, weeks, or months, an RV should be as comfortable as possible for your lifestyle and requirements.
Wrapping up, I hope this guide helps travelers who’re planning an RV trip across America for this year’s vacation.
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