Embarking on an adventure with an RV (Recreational Vehicle) adds an exciting twist to vacations, festivals, and more, making your experience uniquely memorable. Here’s a cheerful guide full of tips, tricks, and advice to ensure you have a smooth and enjoyable RV rental experience.
It is also a great way to “dip your toes” into the world of RVs without purchasing one, especially if you are unsure how much space you need. Are you wanting to embrace van life but aren’t sure if the tiny space is for you? Rent a converted sprinter van. Need something for the family and pets? Try out something larger to see how well you all can co-exist to gauge the length and model you might look for in the future.
How Far in Advance Do You Need to Rent an RV?
Start early! Booking your RV at least 2-3 months in advance is a smart move, especially if you’re targeting peak travel seasons or specific events like festivals. For some festivals, you may need to rent 6 months before – or even more!
For mega-events like Burning Man, consider booking even earlier, as demand skyrockets and availability becomes scarce. Early birds not only catch the worm but also often snag the best deals and a wider selection of RVs!
Pros and Cons of Renting from a Rental Company vs. an RV Owner
From a Rental Company:
- Pros: Professional service, a wide range of options, standardized policies, and often included roadside assistance make rental companies a reliable choice. Plus, they might offer comprehensive tutorials for first-timers.
- Cons: Potentially higher costs and less room for negotiation on price or terms.
From an RV Owner:
- Pros: Personalized touch, potential for better deals, and the chance for more flexible rental terms. You might also find unique or custom RVs that add an extra flair to your journey.
- Cons: Varied maintenance standards and the need for a thorough check to ensure everything’s in working order. The availability of support in case of issues might also vary.
Consider what matters most for your trip – cost, reliability, or the RV’s uniqueness – to decide which option suits you best.
Do You Need Insurance When Renting an RV?
Absolutely! Insurance is your best friend on the road, ensuring peace of mind as you explore. Most rental companies offer insurance options as part of the rental package.
However, if you’re renting directly from an owner, you’ll need to discuss whether their insurance covers rental situations or if you should secure a temporary policy. Always ensure you’re covered to avoid any unwelcome surprises.
Can You Take Your RV to Music Festivals?
Yes, you can! RVs are a fantastic way to enjoy festivals, offering a cozy retreat amidst the bustling energy of events like Stagecoach, Coachella or Burning Man. However, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Preparation is key: Ensure your RV is equipped for the event’s specific conditions. For Burning Man, for example, you’ll need to prepare for dust and self-sufficiency.
- Check festival policies: Some events have specific rules for RVs, including size restrictions or required permits.
- Plan for resources: Remember, you’ll need to manage water, power, and waste efficiently, especially in remote locations or festivals where resources are limited.
- Check usage restrictions: Some rental companies prohibit rentals for on-site festivals like Burning Man due to wear and tear. If you do it anyways, you could be on the hook for expensive penalties, so be sure to ask and read the contract well for any restrictions they may not mention to you.
Bonus Tip: Embrace the RV lifestyle by personalizing your space and making it a cozy, comforting base for your adventures. Whether it’s adding twinkling lights, comfy cushions, or your favorite snacks, small touches can make a big difference in your overall experience.
Renting an RV opens up a world of possibilities, blending the comforts of home with the thrill of the open road. With these tips and a dash of planning, you’re well on your way to an unforgettable adventure. Safe travels!
First Time RV Renters
For first-time RV renters, stepping into the world of mobile living can be as exhilarating as it is daunting. But fear not! With the right preparation and a sprinkle of insider knowledge, you’ll be navigating the RV lifestyle like a pro.
Here are some additional smart tips and helpful advice to ensure your first RV adventure is nothing short of amazing:
Understand Your RV
Before hitting the road, familiarize yourself with your RV’s features and functions. Many rental companies provide a comprehensive walkthrough or instructional videos.
Pay close attention to how to use the appliances, the electrical system, water and sewage management, and any slide-outs or awnings. Practice driving it around a bit if you can, as handling an RV is quite different from driving a car, especially when it comes to turning, parking, and reversing.
Overpacking is a common rookie mistake. Space is a premium, and weight affects fuel efficiency. Pack versatile clothing, collapsible kitchen gadgets, and multi-use items.
Don’t forget essentials like a first-aid kit, flashlight, batteries, and matches. Also, invest in eco-friendly, biodegradable products for cleaning and personal use to minimize your environmental footprint.
Plan Your Route and Stops
While spontaneity is part of the RV charm, having a planned route and knowing where you can stop for the night is crucial. Use RV-friendly apps and websites to find campgrounds, RV parks, and boondocking spots.
Always be aware of restrictions on your route, such as height restrictions. Know your RV’s height to prevent running into something that is too low. A great beginner trick is to take your height – and be SURE it includes the added height of air conditioners etc on the roof – take that number, then add one extra foot, then put that number on a sticky note on the dash. This way you have instant access to double check height when approaching bridges.
Consider making reservations at popular destinations to ensure you have a spot upon arrival, especially during peak travel times.
Good neighbors make good memories! Respect quiet hours, clean up after yourself, and maintain a respectful distance from other campsites.
If you’re staying at a site with hookups, familiarize yourself with the proper way to connect and disconnect your RV to avoid any mishaps.
Safety should always be your top priority. Always have a fire extinguisher on hand, know the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, and ensure your smoke detectors and any other safety equipment are in working order.
When setting up at a new location, always double-check that your RV is level to prevent appliances from malfunctioning and to ensure your own comfort.
Expect the Unexpected
The unexpected is part of the adventure, but it doesn’t have to be a setback. Keep a toolkit, spare parts like fuses and light bulbs, and an emergency kit in your RV.
Learning basic RV repair skills can save the day and prevent delays in your journey.
Embrace the Community
The RV community is incredibly welcoming and full of seasoned travelers eager to share their knowledge. Don’t hesitate to ask for tips or help from fellow RVers.
Engaging with the community can enrich your experience and provide insights you might not find in any guidebook.
Take Time to Disconnect
While it’s great to share your adventures on social media or stay connected with friends and family, remember to take time to disconnect and immerse yourself in the experience. Enjoy the simplicity of life on the road, the beauty of your surroundings, and the company of your travel companions without the constant buzz of technology.
Starting your rental RV journey with these tips in mind will not only prepare you for the practical aspects of RVing but also enhance your overall experience. Remember, every RV adventure is a learning opportunity, and each trip will make you more adept at navigating the joys and challenges of the road. Here’s to your first of many memorable RV adventures!