Cali Cruisin’: Your Go-To Guide for California Campervan Rentals

California is one of the most breathtaking states in the USA, with endless opportunities for outdoor adventures, stunning natural scenery, and an eclectic mix of…

campervan rental in California

California is one of the most breathtaking states in the USA, with endless opportunities for outdoor adventures, stunning natural scenery, and an eclectic mix of cultural experiences.

If you’ve been dreaming or trying out a campervan rental, California is the place to do it. You’ll have the freedom and flexibility to explore California’s hidden gems at your own pace, with the added bonus of camping in some of the most scenic locations in the state.

Sierra Nevada mountain range in California
Sierra Nevada mountain range in California

Whether you’re wanting to explore the best National Parks, and California State Parks, see places like Lake Tahoe, or even take a day trip to Las Vegas, an RV rental in California will get you there.

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Top Campervan Rental Companies in California

California is an excellent destination for campervan enthusiasts, with several rental options to suit every budget and travel style. California RV rentals range from budget-friendly basic campervans to luxurious motorhomes equipped with all the amenities of a high-end hotel room.

You only need a valid driver’s license, insurance (often included with your camper van rental), and a sense of adventure to give you the road trip of a lifetime.

Outdoorsy – make it personal

2019 Mercedes Sprinter for Rent on Outdoorsy parked outdoors
Photo: 2019 Mercedes Sprinter for Rent on Outdoorsy

Outdoorsy is a top-rated peer-to-peer RV rental company that offers a unique and personalized approach to campervan travel. With a wide variety of campervans and RVs available for rent, Outdoorsy allows travelers to choose the recreational vehicle, that best suits their travel style and budget. The company offers basic and luxury campervans, trailers, and RVs, making it a versatile option for travelers of all kinds.

  • Where do I pick up my campervan? RV rental locations vary depending on where the owner is located. Many owners will deliver the RV rental to drop-off locations like an airport or a hotel for an additional fee.
  • Who all can fit? Due to the extreme variety of Outdoorsy’s selection, you can find a campervan or RV to accommodate anything from a single traveler to an entire family.
  • What does it cost? Prices vary depending on the style of campervan you choose.
  • Insurance fees: All vehicles come with insurance.
  • Mileage: Mileage allowance will depend on the owner’s preferences.
  • Can Fido come? You can search specifically for RV rentals that allow pets.

Outdoorsy focuses on convenience and flexibility and offers 24/7 customer support and a user-friendly booking platform. It is a popular choice for anyone exploring California’s stunning landscapes and cities in the campervan of their dreams.

AIYRE Pacific – stealth camping for the win

campervan on the road
AIYRE Pacific stealth camping

AIYRE Pacific is a campervan rental company that offers a unique and sustainable approach to campervan travel. The company specializes in stealthy, eco-friendly Dodge Caravan campervan conversions. With no external logos or markings, their campervans look like every other minivan out there, so no one will know you’re a tourist traveling through!

Being a member of Sustainable Travel International, for every mile driven in their campervans, they purchase carbon offsets so you can feel good about the planet while exploring its beauty.

  • Where do I pick up my campervan? Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego.
  • Who all can fit? The queen-sized bed comfortably sleeps two.
  • What does it cost? Starting at $99/day.
  • Insurance fees: Various levels with the option of using your own insurance for no additional fee.
  • Mileage: 150 free miles, with an optional unlimited mileage add-on for $15/day
  • Can Fido come? Not specified on the website.
  • Other fees: A $59 cleaning fee is applied at checkout.

The company’s campervans are equipped with a full set of bedding, a shade canopy, folding chairs, and a table to expand your camping space, a cooler, camp shower, towels, storage boxes, and everything you need to prepare your meals, including a camp stove, cookware, mess kits, and a can/bottle opener.

Travellers Autobarn lets you camp for a bargain

Travellers Autobarn Campervan on the road
Photo: Travellers Autobarn Campervan Rentals

Travellers Autobarn is a campervan rental company that provides affordable and flexible campervan rentals to travelers in California. They offer four different campervan options, all at quite a bargain. Travellers Autobarn offers a range of optional extras for an additional fee, such as camping chairs, tables, and portable showers, to enhance the camping experience.

  • Where do I pick up my campervan? Los Angeles and San Francisco.
  • Who all can fit? Each van sleeps at least 2, with specific models having room for up to 5.
  • What does it cost? Models start at $79/day.
  • Insurance fees: Minimum coverage at no additional cost
  • Mileage: Unlimited (free!) miles within the US.
  • Can Fido come? Pets are not allowed.

With a focus on affordability and flexibility, Travellers Autobarn is a great choice for anyone looking for a budget-friendly campervan trip that plans to drive a lot of miles. They even offer a discount at many campgrounds across California.

Vintage VW Surfari Wagons bring a nostalgic camping experience

Vintage VW Surfari Wagons is a unique campervan rental company specializing in vintage Volkswagen vans for retro-inspired and adventurous trips. The company offers a range of lovingly restored VW buses, each with its own unique charm and character, making it an excellent choice for travelers looking for a unique and memorable camping experience.

  • Where do I pick up my campervan? Costa Mesa, CA. One-way routes are available for an additional fee.
  • Who all can fit? Up to four people.
  • What does it cost? Starting at $170/day.
  • Insurance fees: Basic liability insurance is included, with the option to upgrade for an additional fee.
  • Mileage: 50 free (rollover) miles per day with additional pre-paid mileage packages starting at $.39/mile per 100 miles. There is a 250-mile-per-day limit on all rental vehicles.
  • Can Fido come? Approved pets under 45lbs are allowed with a $100 deposit.

Equipped with a bed, kitchenette, and pop-up roof for extra headroom, you’ll have everything you need to enjoy your California campervan rental. With a focus on nostalgia and adventure, Vintage VW Surfari Wagons is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a fun and quirky campervan rental experience in California.

GoCamp has fully-equipped campervans

GoCamp is a peer-to-peer campervan rental company focusing on convenience and simplicity. GoCamp’s vehicles are guaranteed to be fully equipped with all the amenities for a comfortable camping experience, including cookware, cutlery, bedding, and camp chairs.

  • Where do I pick up my campervan? Since GoCamp is a peer-to-peer rental platform, location pickup across California varies depending on where the campervan’s owner is. You can search by city to see what’s available. Many owners will deliver the campervan rental to places like an airport or a hotel for an additional fee.
  • Who all can fit? Due to the extreme variety of GoCamp’s selection, you can find a campervan to accommodate just you or your whole family.
  • What does it cost? Prices vary depending on the style of campervan you choose.
  • Insurance fees: Starting at $35.50 per day.
  • Mileage: 125 miles per day included, with an additional charge starting at $.35/mile beyond the daily limit.
  • Can Fido come? You can search specifically for campervan rentals that allow pets.

With a commitment to customer service and satisfaction, GoCamp is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a hassle-free campervan rental experience in California.

Escape Campervan captures the spirit of adventure

Escape Campervans specializes in custom-painted campervans designed to capture the spirit of adventure. Each campervan has a bed, kitchenette, storage space, and optional extras, such as cookware, cooking utensils, and bedding.

  • Where do I pick up my campervan? Los Angeles and San Francisco.
  • Who all can fit? Sleeps 2 – 5 people, depending on the campervan selected.
  • What does it cost? Rates vary throughout the seasons. You can get a quote from their website.
  • Insurance fees: Optional insurance is available starting at $13/day.
  • Mileage: 100 miles per day included. An additional fee starting at $.30/mile is charged after the daily maximum is met.
  • Can Fido come? Up to 2 pets with a non-refundable deposit of $150. No pets are allowed during July, Aug, Sept due to heat.

Escape Campervans is a vibrant option for your campervan rental in California, focusing on fun, freedom, and adventure.

Lost Campers provide an affordable camping experience

campervan parked on the road
Photo: Lost Campers

Lost Campers is a family-owned and operated campervan rental company that provides affordable and reliable campervans for rent in California. With a range of small campervan models, Lost Campers offers basic, no-frills campervans that are perfect for budget-conscious travelers who still want a comfortable and convenient camping experience. Each campervan has bedding and essential camping equipment, with optional add-ons to customize your camping trip to your needs.

  • Where do I pick up my campervan? Los Angeles and San Francisco
  • Who all can fit? 2 – 5, depending on the van selection.
  • What does it cost? Starting at $92/day.
  • Insurance fees: Basic liability coverage starting at $10/day.
  • Mileage: 150 miles per day included, with the option to purchase unlimited miles.
  • Can Fido come? Well-behaved dogs are allowed for a $65 non-refundable fee.

Lost Campers prides itself on providing excellent customer service, with a friendly and knowledgeable staff always ready to help. With a focus on affordability, convenience, and simplicity, Lost Campers is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a no-fuss and budget-friendly campervan rental experience in California.

Moterra Campervans provides luxury and style

Moterra Campervans is a luxury RV rental company that offers high-end, custom-built 4×4 Mercedes Sprinter campervans for rent in California. With a focus on comfort and style, Moterra’s campervans are perfect for travelers who want to experience the great outdoors without sacrificing luxury and amenities. Each campervan has a plush queen-sized bed with fresh linens, a kitchenette with a refrigerator and sink, a heater, a power system, and a portable toilet.

  • Where do I pick up my campervan? San Fransisco
  • Who all can fit? Sleeps 2 – 4
  • What does it cost? Starting at $297/night
  • Insurance fees: Starting at $13/day for basic liability coverage.
  • Mileage: 100 miles per day included, with additional mileage available starting at $.25/mile.
  • Can Fido come? Dogs are welcome for an additional $150 cleaning fee.

Moterra also offers a concierge service covering all the details, including campsite reservations, trip planning, and grocery shopping. It is a great choice for anyone seeking a hassle-free and luxurious campervan rental experience in California.

roadsurfer – the budget rental

road surfer campervan parked facing the golden gate bridge in san francisco, california
Photo: Road Surfer

roadsurfer is a leading campervan rental company that provides high-quality and fully-equipped campervans for rent in California. Each campervan has a comfortable bed, a kitchenette with a sink, stove, refrigerator, wet bath with a shower, and plenty of storage space for all your gear.

  • Where do I pick up my campervan? Los Angeles
  • Who all can fit? Sleeps 2 – 4 depending on the model.
  • What does it cost? Starting at $155/night.
  • Insurance fees: Starting at $15/day.
  • Mileage: Unlimited miles are included!
  • Can Fido come? Dogs are not allowed.

roadsurfer offers modern and stylish campervans that are perfect for travelers who want comfort, convenience, and adventure.

Best Places in California to Take Your Campervan Rental

Now that you have your campervan rental in California picked out, time to plan your amazing trip! There are so many things to see and do in the Golden State that I could write an entire book about. Whether you want to explore National Parks or go on a scenic drive, we have a few suggestions to get you started.

Yosemite National Park

One of the most popular destinations in California, Yosemite National Park is known for its stunning waterfalls, granite cliffs, and scenic hiking trails.

Yosemite National Park is a world-renowned destination in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains. The park is known for its stunning natural beauty, including granite cliffs, waterfalls, and ancient sequoia trees. Yosemite Valley, in particular, is a must-see destination within the park, with its towering rock formations and iconic landmarks such as Half Dome and El Capitan. Visitors can hike to the top of these formations or enjoy the views from the valley floor.

Yosemite, National Park, California
Yosemite, National Park, California

Sequoia National Park

Sequoia National Park is located in the southern Sierra Nevada mountains of California and is known for its giant sequoia trees, some of the world’s largest trees. The park is home to several natural wonders, including Mount Whitney, the highest peak in the contiguous United States, and the General Sherman Tree, the largest tree in the world by volume.

The park boasts spectacular hiking trails, scenic drives, and stunning views of the Sierra Nevada mountains. Visitors can explore the park’s many trails, which range from leisurely strolls to challenging hikes, or take a scenic drive through the park to see some of its most iconic features, such as the Tunnel Log and Moro Rock.

sequoia trees, sequoia, national park
Sequoia Trees, Sequoia, National Park

While you’re here, don’t forget to check out Kings Canyon National Park, right next door.

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park is a unique and otherworldly destination located in Southern California. The park is known for its distinctive landscape, which features vast expanses of desert dotted with bizarre-looking Joshua trees, boulder formations, and rugged mountains. Visitors can hike through the park’s diverse terrain, go rock climbing on the park’s famous granite formations, or stargaze under the park’s dark skies.

Rich in history and culture, the park is home to several historic sites, including the Keys Ranch, a preserved homestead that offers visitors a glimpse into life in the desert in the early 1900s. The park also has a vibrant arts scene, with several art installations and music festivals throughout the year.

Joshua Tree National Park, Mojave Desert, Rocks
Joshua Tree National Park, Mojave Desert, Rocks

Lassen Volcanic National Park

Lassen Volcanic National Park is located in Northern California and is home to some of the most striking volcanic landscapes in the country. The park’s centerpiece is Lassen Peak, a volcano that last erupted in 1915 and is one of the most active volcanoes in the Cascades. Visitors can hike to the summit of Lassen Peak, explore the park’s numerous hot springs, and take in the park’s stunning vistas, including the azure waters of Lake Helen and the bubbling mud pots of Bumpass Hell.

Home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, visitors can explore the park’s lush forests, which are home to black bears, mountain lions, and countless species of birds. Or take a scenic drive through the park to see some of its most iconic features, such as the Devastated Area, a stark reminder of the volcano’s destructive power.

Lassen Volcanic National Park, California, Volcano
Lassen Volcanic National Park, California, Volcano

Big Sur

Big Sur is a rugged and picturesque stretch of coastline along California’s central coast, known for its stunning natural beauty, winding roads, and dramatic ocean views. The area is characterized by its towering cliffs, rugged beaches, and rolling hills and is home to several state parks, nature reserves, and hiking trails.

Explore many attractions, including Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, which offers visitors a chance to hike through redwood forests, swim in the Big Sur River, and explore the park’s many scenic vistas.

Known for its rich cultural history and artistic community, the area has long been a haven for artists, writers, and musicians, with several notable figures, including Jack Kerouac and Henry Miller, calling the area home at various times. You can visit galleries, studios, and cultural events, including the annual Big Sur International Short Film Screening Series and the Henry Miller Memorial Library.

Big Sur, California, sea
Big Sur, California, sea

Death Valley National Park

Despite its name, Death Valley National Park is home to an incredible diversity of flora and fauna, including unique desert wildflowers and colorful canyons. Located in the Mojave Desert of California, the park is known for its extreme temperatures, stunning landscapes, and diverse wildlife.

Due to extremely high temperatures, take caution when exploring this area in summer. Some campervan rental companies don’t allow passage through Death Valley National Park in the summer.

Explore the park’s expansive salt flats, sand dunes, and colorful canyons, or hike through the park’s many trails to discover hidden oases and pristine natural springs. The park is also home to several historic sites, including the remains of abandoned mining towns and ghost towns that offer visitors a glimpse into the area’s rich cultural history.

Visitors can spot desert bighorn sheep, coyotes, kit foxes, and various birds and reptiles that call the park home. The park is also known for its stargazing opportunities, with some of the clearest and darkest skies in the country.

road, path, death valley
Death Valley

Napa Valley

Napa Valley is a world-renowned wine region in Northern California, known for its picturesque vineyards, world-class wineries, and gourmet cuisine. The valley is home to more than 400 wineries, producing some of the finest wines in the world, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Merlot.

Explore the valley’s numerous wineries and vineyards, taste some of the world’s best wines, and learn about the winemaking process from the experts. The valley also has several high-end restaurants, allowing visitors to indulge in the area’s gourmet cuisine and farm-to-table fare. This tour alone might make purchasing a membership to Harvest Hosts worthwhile!

Napa Valley is also known for its scenic beauty and outdoor activities. Hike through the valley’s many parks and nature preserves, including the Skyline Wilderness Park and the Robert Louis Stevenson State Park, or take a hot air balloon ride over the valley to get a bird’s eye view of the area’s stunning landscapes.

vineyards, napa valley, california
Vineyards, Napa Valley, California

Top Cities to Visit in California

If you’re picking up your California RV rental in one of these iconic cities, be sure to take some time to explore what the city has t offer if you’re passing through.

San Diego Area

This laid-back city is home to world-class beaches, cultural attractions, and a thriving food and drink scene.

San Diego, California, City
San Diego, California, City

San Francisco Area

This vibrant city is famous for its iconic Golden Gate Bridge, historic cable cars, and eclectic neighborhoods. Don’t forget about Santa Cruz and San Jose right next door!

Panorama, Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco Bay
Panorama, Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco Bay

Los Angeles Area

Los Angeles is a sprawling and diverse city in Southern California, known for its sunny beaches, glamorous lifestyle, and vibrant entertainment industry. Even if only to see the Hollywood sign or wander through Griffith Park, it’s worth the stop.

Los Angeles Area, Hollywood
Los Angeles Area, Hollywood

Best Scenic Drives in California

California is a state made for road tripping. From the iconic northern California coast road trip to a drive through Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, there’s no shortage of natural beauty.

Here are some top pics of various lengths for you to check out:

Highway 1 – Pacific Coast Highway

Highway 1, or the Pacific Coast Highway, is an iconic highway stretching the California coastline from San Francisco to San Diego. It offers breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean, rugged cliffs, and charming coastal towns.

Bixby Creek Bridge, Bridge, Highway 1
Bixby Creek Bridge, Bridge, Highway 1

Tioga Pass

A stunning drive that takes you through Yosemite National Park, Tioga Pass offers incredible views of the park’s famous granite cliffs, alpine lakes, and towering waterfalls.

Mount Kuna Crest, Yosemite, Mountain
Mount Kuna Crest, Yosemite, Mountain

Redwood Highway

The Redwood Highway is a scenic drive that takes you through the majestic Redwood forests of Northern California, where you can see some of the tallest trees in the world.

Redwood Highway, Redwood Forests of Northern California
Redwood Highway, Redwood Forests of Northern California

Which Campervan Rental in California is For You?

Renting a campervan in California is the perfect way to explore the state’s natural beauty and cultural attractions. With so many incredible places to visit and scenic drives, you’ll have the trip of a lifetime. So pack your bags, hit the road, and explore all California offers in your California campervan rental.

Campervan at night
Campervan at night

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