For many, RVs provide a more exciting and independent way to experience travel. If you’d like to rent an RV for a quick road trip or camping adventure, here is some valuable information to help you get started.
An increasing number of Americans are discovering the freedom and flexibility the RV lifestyle has to offer. The number of RV shipments in the U.S. reached a new quarterly record in March of 2021, representing an increase of over 51% from just a year before. Traveling in an RV opens up an entirely new way to experience the world without the restrictions of a hotel room. If you’re thinking about taking a trip in a recreational vehicle, take a few moments to learn more about the basics of RVs so you can hit the road with confidence.
Finding the Right RV for You
First, you’ll want to decide if you’d prefer a motorhome or a towable trailer. Motorhomes are something of an all-in-one, but may be more expensive. They are classified as type A, B, or C according to their size and are ideal for family road trips. Due to the size and increased difficulty of driving type-A recreational vehicles, many newcomers may feel more comfortable behind the wheel of shorter type B or C options.
Towable trailers are smaller and simpler without an engine, but require a way to hitch up to your car. For romantic excursions or a solo camping trip, this may be the better choice. The amenities and features of different RVs will vary widely between models, so find a recreational vehicle that best accommodates your unique needs.
How to Rent an RV
Renting an RV is a fairly straightforward process. While going through regular rental companies is one option, peer-to-peer trailer rentals have started garnering a lot of attention. Companies like Travelcamp will deliver an RV directly to your current location and pick up the RV from wherever you are when it’s time to go home. This approach makes RV renting much more convenient and cost-effective, especially for those who don’t want to deal with towing a trailer themselves.
The cost of renting different RVs will vary widely. Most companies charge a daily rate for rental, but there may also be an additional charge for the number of miles accrued. The size of the RV and the furnishings inside will also influence the price. Rental providers will ask for a deposit upfront to reserve a trailer or motorhome and RV insurance is required. Although many renters include insurance with an additional fee, it’s a good idea to check ahead of time.
Understanding RV Driving Laws, Insurance, and Safety
If you’re planning a trip across the country or through multiple states, be aware that driving laws will change from place to place. Do some research on the height, width, and length restrictions of RVs in different states. Every state has differing brake and safety chain requirement for trailers that exceed a particular weight as well. There are also various rules for where an RV can be legally parked, so be sure to brush up on local regulations in the area you’re visiting. Some states allow for triple towing if the total length is less than 65 feet while others like North Carolina or New York prohibit triple towing entirely.
Setting Up Your RV for Camping
Camping an RV can seem like a complex process at first, but it gets easier with time and practice. Be sure to familiarize yourself with all the functions of your RV ahead of time so there will be fewer surprises when you arrive at your destination. Follow these simple steps to set up your RV at a campsite:
1. Select a Campsite: Find a spot with a view and plenty of room to maneuver. It may be worth comparing rates at different campgrounds to find the best deal. Make sure the camping spot you select supports all the conveniences you need like cable, electricity, and freshwater hook-ups.
2. Park Safely: It’s best to have someone outside the vehicle looking out for obstacles or pedestrians when parking. Maintain visibility with your helper through a side-view mirror if you’re backing in and take your time getting into position.
3. Connect your RV to Water, Electric, and Sewer: Once you’ve parked, connect your RV to the city utility service. It’s essential to take the necessary safety precautions before getting started. The breaker should be off before connecting to electric service, and you should always wear gloves before hooking up the sewer line.
4. Before Leaving, Drain Black Water and Grey Water Tanks: If your black water tank is getting full, be sure to purge the contents at the on-site dump station. Next, dump the grey water tank to help flush anything remaining in the lines. Always remember to clean out the sewer line thoroughly with a water hose before departing.
Additional RVing Tips
Make a list of the supplies you may need, and stock up ahead of time. Some of the best sightseeing destinations or camping spots are some distance away from town, and you may find yourself purchasing basic goods at a gas station for a much higher price than usual. Before you head into less populated areas, double-check that you have plenty of food and all the necessities covered. Buy toilet paper if you’re running low, and invest in a first aid kit or a fire extinguisher if there isn’t one on board. It can prove useful to have a set of tools on hand for maintenance or light repair work. It’s also a good idea to purchase a map of the area just in case you lose service to GPS or cellular networks.
Nothing quite compares to the freedom and excitement of traveling in an RV. Whether you want to get away for a few days or take the whole family on a long road trip, using a recreational vehicle is an excellent way to bring the comfort of home with you wherever you go. If you’re new to RVs and have a lot to learn, don’t get discouraged. Keep these tips in mind to ensure your next RV trip is a resounding success.