Car and Driver: How To Rent An RV

May 3, 2021

Go RVing's Public Relations team works with outlets across the country to increase awareness of RVing and expose more consumers to the benefits of an RV vacation. Go RVing recently teamed up with Car and Driver's Ezra Dyer to get a first-had perspective on how to rent an RV. 

Your RV-rental decision tree has two main branches: what kind of RV to get, and where to go. On the former question, I’d recommend perusing as a resource to explain the various genres of equipment, which can generally be classified as travel trailers or motor coaches. First-time renters tend to gravitate toward motor coaches on the theory that they’re self-contained and self-propelled, thus simpler, but that’s not necessarily the case.

Rule No. 1: You Need a Car

If you rent a travel trailer, congratulations: You’ll have a car (or rather, a truck or SUV) that you can uncouple and use for local transportation once you’ve arrived at your campsite. If you rent a motor coach, you’re probably going to need to enlist a spouse or friend to drive along with you in a personal vehicle, since your own car is not likely set up for flat-towing (you know, when you see some road behemoth that looks like it’s being tailgated by a driverless Wrangler).


No. 2: Rent Where You're Going, Not Where You Live

I don’t have a particular preference for trailer over motor coach, or vice versa, but coaches are a little more versatile since they’re more compact than a truck-and-trailer combo. Some campsites are designated “Motor coach only” because they’re designed for nose-in parking, and the hookups are always on the left. On the other hand, a truck towing a trailer will probably be much nicer to drive than a motor coach. But that shouldn’t matter too much either way, because you definitely want your RV rental as close to your destination as possible.


Rule No. 3: Know Your Site Before You Get There

This takes us back to the second major decision, the one concerning your destination. There are two paths you can go: boondocking or a resort. Boondocking means you find a spot to park and you’re totally self-contained—also what’s known as “living the dream.” If you’re boondocking, you can theoretically go anywhere, a hotel on wheels. I went boondocking a couple years ago, for a college reunion, and it was a genius move: I parked on the edge of a lot and had my own lodging for the weekend. Another time, I went that route at a NASCAR infield, and I’ve never had my abode any closer to a Sammy Hagar concert. The downside of boondocking is also that you’re totally self-contained...Go to a resort, though, and you could live there. Plenty of people do. You’re hooked up to water and power, and you can empty your tanks whenever they get full.


Rule No. 6: Ask the Owner Which Supplies Are Included and Be Very Specific

Each RV owner will have a different idea of what constitutes, “comes with everything you need,” which most will claim. Sometimes that’s actually true, and sometimes an owner will assume you’ll use disposable plates and utensils, so there won’t be any non-disposable versions of those. Definitely enquire about sheets and towels, pots and pans.


The kids spent a weekend riding bikes around the resort, they played basketball and went to the pool; we hit the beach and Ripley’s Believe it or Not museum. I grilled dinner as the sun set over the marsh and we watched movies at night. And when we were done, I took advantage of another perk you can often find on Outdoorsy listings: free delivery and pick up. I’d wanted to set up the RV myself, but when it came time to leave, we packed our bags, emptied the tanks and hit the road. The Outdoorsy deal seems like a win-win for everyone—the RV owner makes some money that helps offset the cost of the thing, and the renter gets the RV experience without the commitment of buying one. I’ll do it again. I’m due for some boondocking.

Check out the full article from Car and Driver here

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