9 RV Rental Tips for an Awesome Summer Vacay [$40 off!]

So, you’ve been locked in your house for a couple of months now, wondering about how to salvage your summer plans. Flights are off the…

white campervan rental with joshua trees and boulders

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So, you’ve been locked in your house for a couple of months now, wondering about how to salvage your summer plans. Flights are off the table. Road trips are hard because you don’t want to stay in a hotel. You don’t really even want to be near people, but you’re itching to get outside.

An RV or campervan rental is the perfect form of self-isolating. You won’t have to use public restrooms, stay in hotels, or eat at restaurants.

Plus, renting an RV is way cheaper than other forms of travel. Consider how much you’d spend booking flights for your entire family, hotel rooms and dining out and compare that to an RV rental. An RV rental usually runs between $100-$200 per night, but you can find much more expensive, luxurious RVs.

You can use your RV to visit parks or travel to see your family and have your own little isolation chamber.

We’ve been traveling in our Chevy Astro campervan for the last few months and have some great tips on social distancing while still enjoying your RV vacation.

Here are my best RV rental tips for renting a campervan or an RV during these strange times.

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1) Figure out what type of RV rental you want

This campervan is for rent in Seattle. See it now on Outdoorsy.

There are tons of different RV rentals to choose from – anything from campervans, to truck campers, to driveable RVS to towable travel trailers. Here’s a brief guide to the type of RVs you can rent:

Class A: These are those huge honkers you see driving down the highway which get about 6 miles per gallon. You’d need to tow a small car with one of these. Click here to check out Class A rentals near you.

Class B: Class B RVs are the smallest of the bunch, and are the size of an extended van. These are the easiest to drive for first-time RVers. Despite their size, Class Bs have all the amenities of a larger RV. Click here to see Class B Rentals near you.

Class C: This is a midsize RV with an over-cab bed. Class C RVs are the RVs you see most often when people rent from larger companies like Cruise America. Click here to see Class C rentals near you.

Campervan: Campervan rentals can run the gamut, from self-built to professionally-built, and can be anything from an old VW Vanagon, to a newer Mercedes Sprinter. Check campervans carefully to make sure they have the amenities you desire. Click here to see campervan rentals near you.

Towable: Towable RV rentals can range in size from large 40” trailers to tiny teardrops. If you’re comfortable towing something, a small trailer for two could be a fun way to go camping. You can easily take a small off-road trailer down dirt roads to find dispersed campsites. Click here to see towable travel trailer rentals near you.

2. Decide if you want to go with a peer-to-peer RV rental or a company

Winnebago Revel Class B RV rental in the Alabama Hills, California
This Class B RV rental is available in California. See it on Outdoorsy now.

A peer-to-peer rental company like Outdoorsy and RVShare is like AirBnb, connecting RV owners with potential renters. Renting from these companies is cool because you’ll often find unique, interesting rigs. 

Plus, peer-to-peer rental companies provide a safe platform for payment, offer roadside assistance plans, and insurance plans to go along with your RV rental.

You’ll also be able to find RV rental deals if you with with a peer-to-peer platform.

A company like Cruise America maintains a fleet of Class C RVs and truck campers. You’ll find one-way specials that you won’t find with a peer-to-peer rental, but typical prices are much higher than Outdoorsy or RVShare.

You also won’t find specialty rentals like campervans or teardrop trailers.

💡Remember to use the coupon code wayward40 to get $40 off any rental with Outdoorsy. Browse RV Rentals now.

3. Make sure your RV rental has the amenities you need

Pickup truck towing an R Pod RV rental in front of a snow-capped mountain
This towable RV is available for rent in Denver. See it now on Outdoorsy.

If you’re renting an RV from a larger company like Cruise America, it’s most likely you’ll find all the comforts of home.

A unique ride like a self-built campervan has more in question.

During this strange time, I highly recommend you rent a rig with a bathroom or shower, or at least a solar shower. Right now is not a good time to be touching and using public restrooms.

Another option is to purchase a portable camping toilet to bring with you on your trip.

Planning on camping off-grid? You’ll need an RV or campervan rental with solar panels, an inverter and batteries. Or, you’ll need a gas-powered generator to keep the lights on.

4. Plan your route carefully

Campgrounds and parks are slowly reopening across the United States, but there are no guarantees. It’s important to plan your route and make reservations if you want to stay in a campground. 

If you have a long road trip ahead of you, see if there are any rest stops or RV Parks you can stay at along the way.

One great group to check out for the latest updates is: RV Coronavirus News

Other than that, Google the area you’re planning on visiting to check on opening dates and any restrictions.

💡Remember to use the coupon code wayward40 to get $40 off any rental with Outdoorsy. Browse RV Rentals now.

5. Decide if you want to try boondocking, or free camping

White Class C Rv rental in Utah
This Class C RV is available for rent in St. George, Utah. See it on Outdoorsy.

Boondocking, or finding free, dispersed campsites, is one of our favorite things to do in our Chevy Astro van. Not only does this keep you incredibly far away from people, but you can really enjoy peace and solitude in the great outdoors.

Finding free campsites doesn’t have to be hard.

Check out our guides here: 

Click below to download our Boondocking Starter Kit to learn how to find free campsites:

6. Buy groceries and fill up on water before you go

Blue and white travel trailer for rent in Seattle
This trailer is available in Seattle. See it now on Outdoorsy.

To help protect rural communities, its a good idea to buy tons of food and fill up your water tanks before you go visiting another area.

If you do need to grocery shop while on the road, either order items for pickup, or go early. We went to Walmart at 7am to avoid crowds.

Also, we set up a handwashing station at the van so we can wash hands before and after shopping. We also wear masks inside grocery stores to protect others.

7. Carry hand sanitizing wipes and disposable gloves

Having plenty of hand sanitizing wipes, hand sanitizer, or disposable gloves around is a good way to travel during this strange time. Use sanitizing wipes before and after touching gas pumps, or wear a pair of disposable gloves.

We also routinely use sanitizing wipes on our steering wheel, door handles, sunglasses, keys and electronic devices.

Some RV rental owners with Outdoorsy, like this campervan rental in Seattle, are offering sanitizing wipes and sanitizing spray with the rental.

8. Visit less crowded places

Woman standing on huge rocks with campervan at a campsite in the distance
This is our campsite in the Mojave Desert, where we rarely saw anyone else!

While really cool national parks are starting to reopen, it may be a good year to avoid busy parks like Zion and The Grand Canyon. There are tons of other lesser-known parks you can visit! Try state parks, national forests or BLM (Bureau of Land Management). 

Places like the Mojave Desert National Preserve in Eastern California are jaw-droppingly beautiful, with far fewer crowds than a place like Yosemite.

9. Have fun with your friends or family!

Traveling in an RV or a campervan is a natural form of self-isolation. You can have a great time with friends or family without visiting restaurants, rest stops or even campgrounds.

Now is the time to explore that park or nature area you’ve always wanted to visit.

Just remember to act safely and responsibly, and to check the area you want to visit before you go.

Ready to rent an RV? Browse RV rentals near you below. Remember to use the coupon code wayward40 for $40 off your rental!

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  1. Sue Jones says:

    Stop sending spam, I do not want to do any business with, your attention is not welcome.

    1. Kristin Hanes says:

      Sue, I am unable to unsubscribe you from browser notifications. You need to do this yourself in your own browser.

  2. Stephanie says:

    Just discovered your website, and glad I found you! This article is interesting, because my husband and I have not tried RVing, and we’d like to test it out by renting first, but it seems really expensive. We never spend $100 – let alone $200 – per night on an Airbnb, and we always find a nice place that we have to ourselves. I feel like we’re missing something. Why are people willing to pay so much more for an RV?
    Thanks, and I look forward to reading more of your articles!

    1. Kristin Hanes says:

      I can’t tell you why RV rentals are so expensive. I have seen that thought and think it a bummer. However, when you’re in an RV you will be cooking all your own meals, so I think it can save money in the long run. With a hotel you are still always eating out.

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