Planning an RV Rental Vacation

Recreational vehicles have become one of the most popular ways for Americans and Canadians to travel.

rent an rv

Considering the RV lifestyle? Try renting before laying down the cash. Camping in a rental Class C motorhome at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

There is no time wasted rushing through the airport and dealing with delays or cancellations. Even with today’s fuel prices, RV travel is still a more economical way for families to travel than staying in hotels and eating in restaurants.

An RV vacation lets you determine your daily itinerary. Stop and stretch when you’re ready; enjoy drinks and snacks when you choose; use your own bathroom when public facilities are unavailable or unsanitary.

An RV vacation offers you the ultimate freedom to travel and explore at your own pace. You have complete control over your destination plans, including when you depart, where you travel, and what you do during your family vacation.

There are many destinations you can go as a family when taking an RV road trip. These types of vacations make it possible for families to enjoy the great outdoors, see historical sites, and spend time together sitting around the campfire. When selecting a destination, it is important to ensure there are ample activities to involve the entire family.

You can tour the continent from the Canadian Rockies to Arizona and from California to Texas, Alabama, and Georgia and everywhere in between.

RV sales continue to be strong. Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) reports that RV manufacturers shipped almost 286,000 vehicles in 2012, with a retail value of more than $10.8 billion.

Touring Jasper National with a Fraserway RV rental

Touring Jasper National with a Fraserway RV rental. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Thanks to the popularity, RV rentals have also seen a boost.

There’s no better way to try before you buy than by renting an RV. Many people rent RVs simply for a change of pace by taking an RV trip to a special destination or event such as football tailgating or Mardi Gras.

You can rent near home and journey to your destination, or fly and pick up your RV at the other end. More than 460 national chain outlets and local RV dealerships rent RVs, including state-of-the-art, late-model-year units. A growing number of campgrounds offer on-site RV rentals as well.

Selecting the right RV rental company will take considerable research and price comparison. Before choosing a rental company, take time to speak to each company in your area to get a price quote and find out what is included with the rental.

RV rentals are available through both local and national companies. Some of the more popular national RV rental companies include Cruise America, El Monte RV, USA RV Rentals, and Camping World. The major rental companies in Canada include Canadream and Cruise Canada.

Most RV rental companies offer housekeeping packages (dishes, pots, pans, bed linens, etc.) for a nominal fee, or you can bring your own. Even if you’re driving or towing an RV for the first time, features like automatic transmissions, power steering, large external mirrors, and rear view cameras make it easy for experienced drivers to adjust to the difference in length, height, and weight.

Book your RV well in advance, especially if you plan to travel during the summer or on busy holiday weekends such as Memorial Day or Labor Day. These are the busiest times of the year.

Airstream trailer now available as a rental unit at Larimer County’s Horsetooth Reservoir South Bay Campground (Credit: Steve Stoner)

Airstream trailer now available as a rental unit at Larimer County’s Horsetooth Reservoir South Bay Campground (Credit: Steve Stoner)

Pre-select a few destinations and take a look at your budget. Though the cost of parking the RV for the night is less expensive than staying at a hotel, the costs for fuel and mileage can add up quickly.

Have a destination in mind before calling the RV rental company and ask for a total estimate, including rental fee and average mileage charges. Ask for several different destinations to compare rates and finally pick a location for your vacation.

It is important you understand your rights and responsibilities before signing an RV rental agreement.

When taking delivery of your rented RV, allow ample time to ensure everything is in working order and you are familiar with the operation all major systems including utility hookups (electrical, water, and sewer). Make sure you know how to hook these up before you leave on vacation and all required attachments are supplied. Check the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they are operational.

Check for any manuals that can help answer questions along the way and look for any noticeable damage. Make sure to point out any damage or missing items to the rental agency before leaving. This way you are not responsible for the items.

Make a check list of everything you need for your RV vacation, including what to bring and what to do before leaving.

Renting an RV is a great way to test drive the RV lifestyle experience.

Worth Pondering…

The attraction of recreational vehicle travel is to see the country, visit new places, meet interesting people, and experience the freedom of the open road.

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