rv rentals

Checklist for RV Rentals: Where To Look At?

You can decide to rent an RV to prepare for a future purchase and acknowledge better a recreational vehicletype through this RV rental. Or you can only rent RVs instead of buying them, so you have one available only when you need it. In any of these cases, this checklist below will be useful. I prepared this checklist based on my own experience in RV rentals to help me decide which model to rent.

Sizing According To Your Requirements

Do not rent campers that are too small. Keep in mind that during bad weather you might spend a whole day or even longer in your motorhome. Look at different types beforehand and avoid small RV rentals.

If you plan to rent a teardrop camper, just note that you are not going to be inside the trailer, and in fact, you will cook your meal outside the teardrop. If you are a family with a small child, a class C RV will be a suitable recreational vehicle. If you like to go RVing alone, a class B RV would be the best choice and a class A RV would be too large.

rv rental
CLASS C RVs DOMINATE THIS RV RENTALS DEALER AS YOU CAN SEE IN THIS PICTURE. ACTUALLY ABOUT ONLY ONE THIRD OF THESE MODELS WERE AVAILABLE FOR RV RENTAL AS THE MAJORITY WERE FOR USED CAMPERS FOR SALE. PICTURE IS FROM ITALY BY FEDERICO CANDONI

This means that there are RV rentals for all kind of RV fans. We recommend you to search based on the class of recreational vehicle and start your search with that information in mind.

Weight Of The RV and Towing Capacity of Your Vehicle

Think about the bigger things you want to take with you (bicycles, camping furniture, surfboards, etc.). Check if there are adequate storage spaces and if a toy hauler would be a good idea. Please note in particular that you do not exceed the permissible total weight and axle loads! Take particular note of the filling quantities of the fresh and waste water tanks!

RV rentals will be much more expensive if you rent a huge fifth wheel RV and you notice that your vehicle could only tow a small pop up camper or a tiny RV.

Prices For Different RV Rentals

In our website we have the price of all RV rentals and normally the rule is that the larger the RV is, the more expensive the RV rental is. Find out in advance about the rental prices for RVs. In the high season many camping vehicles are fully booked or very expensive.

Take advantage of low season, discount rates and special offers are frequently found. Minimum rental is often seven days or more in peak season. Nevertheless, you should not undergo an RV rental for a period shorter than a week.

Mileage Included In The RV Rental

If you already know your itinerary, you should carefully calculate the expenses in relation with the mileage. If you plan to drive a lot, is usually an offer with a more expensive daily rate, but cheaper without additional mileage the best option. However, if the travel route planned is shorter, than an offer limited to a certain quantity of miles can be the best option and the RV rental advertisements should mention that.

Insurance and Compensation Costs

Read the fine print, eliminate ambiguity and ask the dealer about the contract when you do not understand any of the definitions. Pay attention to points such as “…..additional cleaning costs…..”, otherwise you may incur costs for the return. RV rentals are based in template contracts, so you have to read the document well and ask for modifications when they appear to be required.
Regarding the insurance coverage: If the motorhome or RV in general is not registered as a “self drive RV rental vehicle” (note in the vehicle registration), there is no insurance cover for the renter!
  • Clarify in writing what happens when there are defects on the camper discovered later by you.
  • Which repairs may the RV renter carry out on the way without consultation to the dealer? In RV rentals, normally the answer is: only urgent ones.
  • From which amount of costs of reparation is a permission of the owner necessary?
  • What happens if the repair takes longer than the rental period or takes many days? This period of time should be discounted in the RV rentals.
  • If a replacement vehicle is provided, there is a compensation for lost holidays, who pays the possibly necessary repatriation of the vehicle if you are far from the dealer or in Canada?
  • In RV rentals, all drivers of the motorhome are to be named in the rental contract and in the insurance policy. If you see this clause, this is fine.
  • What is the deductible for the comprehensive insurance? Is it included in the price? RV rentals normally include this in the price.

Provision Guarantee

Renters with a small fleet of vehicles have a hard time replacing the booked camper in case of accident or technical defect during the RV rental. However, the replacement guarantee only applies if it is listed in the rental agreement. This will be provided normally for RV rentals with a company that has a large fleet of vehicles.

  • Is there a letter of protection for the vehicle?
  • Is a green insurance card available? For our readers in the European Union, the renter must provide also green card meaning that the RV is environmentally suitable.
  • Is it regionally limited (for example, the RV rental applies only in the United States and not in Canada)?
  • What is the deposit to be and how it is returned? Make sure that if the vehicle is returned properly, you have right to recover this deposit immediately when the RV rental finishes.

Checking The Interior Of The RV

As you might have noticed, for many of these checks, there is no difference in terms of due diligence between purchasing RVs and RV rentals. Make sure that you perform the following controls:

  • Is the camper clean (especially the sanitary room and the toilet)?
  • Open the toilet: Is the fecal tank emptied before your RV rental starts?
  • Is the fresh water tank clean and filled?
  • Is the interior dry, do you see mold?
  • Are the water and sewer pipes tight?
  • Look behind the cushions.
  • Let all water drainage options run for a short while, so you can see if everything is working well.
  • Check the floor around the sanitary cell for moisture.
  • Are operating instructions for stove, heating, refrigerator, gas system, water system and electrical system available?
  • Is the gas acceptance certificate in order? There should be a certification provided by a gas technician about the installation.
  • Where are the quick shut-off valves for the gas pipes?
  • How is the gas cylinder changed or the gas tank filled?
  • How are the water tanks filled? Each RV is different and you must know this before your RV rental contract is signed.
  • Where are the electrical fuses?
  • Where are the control instruments and what do they indicate? This check is for the rental of motorhomes as there are no control instruments in towable RVs.
  • How do flaps, doors and their locks work?
  • How are the beds?
  • How do the windows, roller blinds and mosquito screens work?
  • Make sure that the inventory declared in the RV rental contract or in an annex thereof is checked inside the RV and that you can reconcile the actual inventory with the inventory listing in the document.
  • Perform a functional check (bed construction, refrigerator, heating, cooker, water heater, water pump, sewage system, windows, roller blinds, doors, flaps, drawers, lamps).

Equipment and Appliances Included

In RV rentals there are accesories and ancillary equipment such as generators, also included

  • Is the rented camping equipment included (eg bike racks, gas bottles, camping furniture, etc.) complete and functional?
  • Important is technical accessories such as spare bulbs and fuses, water hose and a cable drum with a long cable.
  • Is there an adapter set for filling the gas bottles?
  • For excess cargo (bicycles, surfboards, etc.) you need special warning signs in some countries as in Canada and the European Union. For our readers in the EU interested in RV rentals, you will need two parking warning signs at night to park motorhomes over 3.5 tons in the European Union such as class A RVs

RV Rentals: Select the Ideal RV

In one of the first paragraphs of this article, I described the importance of choosing the right size and type of RV even before searching in the pool of available RV rentals. In the last update of the article, and looking at the confusion regarding RV types, I started to describe all the types of recreational vehicles, so you can have this point clearer if you are just starting and this is your first RV rental.

There are different types of RVs

Like automobiles, RVs come in different types, each with unique features. In RV rentals, it is important that you know which features to expect in each type so that you get what you need. These are the most common types:

  • Class A RV: This is considered the largest and the most expensive too, it is preferred by the most enthusiastic travelers for RV rentals of families with two children or groups of friends. They look like a bus and are the largest type of motorhomes. You will get a variety of these in terms of converted buses as well as purpose built models. The drivelines come with puller or pusher configurations which is either powered by gasoline or diesel engines. Some are long, almost forty five feet. In the United States, one does not require a special license to operate them. However of our readers in the European Union, RV rentals of class A RVs require a special permit.
  • Class B RV: Referred as the camper van, or simply as campers, this type of recreational vehicle includes small versions which might not even be considered to be motorhomes.This type of RV is built on a standard sized van chassis with a raised roof to enable the occupants to walk while standing. Just like the RVs in Class A, you will find both gasoline and diesel powered engines. Many RV rentals of class B RVs are for single people or just a couple. For RV rentals of a a couple with a kid, I would suggest to look below the class C RVs.
  • Class C RV: These are recreational vehicles which can be described as midsized; they range from 20 to 30 feet, built on top of a truck and van chassis. Families and larger groups will find these vehicles suitable for their large space and comfort as well as with the affordability that characterize them. They have a cabin over space called alcove that distinguishes them from other RV types and a recommended option for RV rentals of a family with one child. The child will sleep in the alcove.
  • The fifth wheel trailer: They are similar to the standard travel trailer but have a gooseneck connector which attaches it to the tow vehicle. With such a connection, the fifth wheeler trailer comes with a number of advantages as well as a few limitations which should be considered when hiring the RV. RV rentals of fifth wheels are only recommended when your vehicle has a high towing capacity.
  • Pop up camper: This is a type of a towable travel trailer considered one of the smallest of the available RVs.They come with collapsible compartments which reduce their external profiles and make them easy to store when they are not in use. Some of the trailers have hard composite walls which fold down while others are made using durable canvas, as the one that is used to manufacture tents. For RV rentals of this class, check how easy it is to unfold the pop up camper once you arrive to the camp site.
  • Teardrop campers: Teardrop trailers are a new option for RV rentals. They are only suitable for a couple or a single person. We have this complete article about teardrop campers. They are a variant of tiny RVs. In these campers, you will normally remain outside the trailer and you will be inside only for sleeping.
  • Sport utility RV trailers: They are a combination of a travel and sport utility trailer, perfect for travelers who would want to take ATVs, snow mobiles and dirt bikes with them. The back compartment of the vehicles is where the sporting equipment is stored. It also has a folding wall which doubles up as the loading ramp.

Now that we are familiar with the different types of the recreational vehicles available for hire or purchase, it is important that we look at their advantages and disadvantages so that when we are making a decision we can get one that will give us what we are looking for when we embark on our trip.

You will notice that many pros and cons of these RV rentals apply also to purchase of RVs. Due diligence is required also in an RV rental, specially to be considered if your RV rental is for more than two weeks.

RV Types Pros and Cons And Influence During The RV Rental

Class A

Known for their large size, these RVs have the following pros and cons:

Pros

  • They come with a large interior, an ample footprint, offering enough space for large groups or a family;
  • There is also enough space where cargo can be stored, this means that one does not have to limit the amount of luggage brought along in the course of travel; and
  • RV rentals of these motorhomes come with many options and luxury amenities, so for those who are into larger than life camping this means there is no limit.

Cons

  • For first-timers, this RV may be very intimidating to drive;
  • It is not easy to take a one day trip without having to tow a separate vehicle, this increases the cost of travel and may also end up reducing the fun and excitement that one may be looking for in a recreational travel; and
  • RV rentals are generally expensive; they will cost a lot to rent operate and even insure. For those who are interested in hiring for a trip, the cost is also higher compared to other types of RVs.

These types of RVs are increasingly becoming popular with the retirees as well as people who are interested in full time travel. For class A RV models, you can rent before buying and see if this class of RV is what suits better your requirements.

Class B

As a basic travel camper, RV rentals of class B vehicles give their renters a place where they can comfortably rest and sleep as well as all the things they may need while on their trip.

Due to their size, first timers may find them comfortable to maneuver, drive and even pack. Unlike the Class A RVs, they will be suitable for a quick day trips or even when you want to run some errands while on a camping trip.

You can park them in a street. They normally look like a simple van from the outside. In many models you do not even notice well from the outside that you are in front of a class B recreational vehicle. RV rentals of these campers are much more cheaper than class A models.

Pros

  • They are easy to drive, maneuver and pack;
  • They are offer an easy and simple campsite;
  • They are efficient when it comes to fuel and maintenance; and
  • They are convenient for a single day excursions and errands unlike the large RVs which may be cumbersome for this kind of travel.

Cons

  • Not suitable for large families or groups since they have limited space; and
  • You are limited in the size of luggage to carry since the space is not large enough to accommodate everything that might be required.

Class C

They have more living space when compared to Class B RVs. RV rentals of a class C Rv are the preferred option for a family wit only one child.

Class C RVs also come with a variety of amenities such as toilets and shower facilities as well as a kitchen. There is enough space, with larger models having a master bedroom suite. When it comes to maneuvering these RVs, just like a Class A, they can be challenging to drive due to their size but when it comes to restricted camp sites, they are relatively easy to manage.

Pros

  • Have a relatively large space which can accommodate the whole family or a small group;
  • They have extra sleeping spaces;
  • They are self contained with all the basic amenities which are required when in transit; and
  • They are relatively inexpensive to hire and purchase when compared to larger models, like the Class A RVs.

Cons

  • If after the RV rental you want to buy this type of RV, they can be challenging when it comes to maintenance and operation;
  • Driving may be a challenge, especially when one is a first timer user; RV rentals are here useful to discover if you feel well driving one of these.
  • Although it has adequate basic amenities, for those who may be looking for luxurious travel, they may not offer what is required; and
  • They may be difficult to take on day trips, errands or even excursions, meaning that one has to take a separate vehicle for such activities.

Despite these cons, these RVs are good options for families who have children or people who are working on a limited budget, they offer all the basic components which are required for RV camping.

Sport Utility RVs

Pros

  • These RVs come with a dual-purpose function; and
  • They are also fully outfitted, with all the necessary amenities and appliances, and therefore an excellent option for RV rentals.

Cons

  • Campers are exposed to hazardous materials mainly due to the close proximity to the garage area; and
  • Its interior space is less usable when compared to units which are similarly sized.

Despite these cons, the sport utility RV comes off as a great trade off for active outdoor enthusiasts, and they come with enough basic essentials to keep the campers comfortable.

Fifth Wheeler Trailers

Pros

  • It has a better connection thanks to gooseneck rig: more stability despite being normally very heavy.
  • There is provision of more space with the overhanging section; and
  • It can be outfitted with amenities and modern facilities providing the comfort and convenience required in recreational travel.

Cons

  • There is a limitation on the types of towing vehicles which can be used, what makes RV rentals more expensive as you probably need to rent also a pick-up; and
  • They are limited in terms of space, meaning that the number of people who can use the facility is reduced, especially over long road trips.

The flexibility, reliability, and cost provided by this type of recreational vehicle makes them a great choice for those who are seriously into camping and travelling.

Pop Up Camper RV Rentals

The design of this type of recreational travel facility makes storage difficult as it travels completely unfolded: also called folding campers. This means that while travelling, extra arrangements have to be made to carry supplies and equipment separately. Also, since there are folding joints and canvas sections, the likelihood of wearing out is very high and leaks may develop, making them unsuitable when it is wet. There is a high exposure to elements making them suitable for use only in fair weather areas or periods.

Pros

  • Their light weight makes them easy to use and maneuver;
  • One is not limited in the type of towing vehicles which can be used because it is lighter; and
  • They are relatively cheaper for purchasing and for RV rentals, making them suitable for people who are looking for recreational travel with a tight budget.

Cons

  • They are limited in terms of interior space, making them unsuitable for a larger group of campers or even a family;
  • You will be required to have other arrangements in the event you need to store luggage or other things during the camping trip;
  • Prone to failures when folding hinges, so before the RV rental check how the unfolding process is performed; and
  • There is exposure to weather elements as the walls are thinner, which may lead to health issues and discomfort during travel.

For people who are looking for part-time camping vehicles, these recreational travel facilities provide an excellent platform especially for first time campers.

Be Careful of the Following Scams In RV Rentals

Remember the following simple rule of thumb: If an offer is too good to be true, then it is almost certainly a fake. Scammers always use the same methods. The most important rule is: never transfer money to unknown persons, no matter how plausible the reasoning of the renter is and how well the RV rental looks on the paper.

A popular scam is for example: The vehicle is supposed to be in another country like Canada, or in another state, and the renter should go for forwarding costs in advance. You will never see that money again. Even cash transfers to another person as proof of their solvency, such as Western Union, usually end with the loss of money.

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Alexander Beliavski
I am Alex, an RV designer and RV developer. I create bill of materials for RV manufacturers for travel trailers and fifth wheels. I have also worked as an RV designer. As a consultant, I create customization trees for RV manufacturers who want to offer a solution to prospective customers to design their custom RV with variant configuration. Apart from this, I sell in Indiana trailer hitches, hitch balls, goosenecks and weight distribution systems where I provide advice to customers who want to know which is their towing capacity, which hitch ball should they utilize and how to deploy a weight distribution system. I do my best to explain all these processes and their installation, here in RV Favorites.