There are a handful of surprising facts about renting an RV in the US. Renting an RV is not as straightforward as renting a car. Here are some of the facts that aren’t obvious when planning an RV road trip. These are all good to know before planning a vacation in an RV.
1. You do NOT need a special Drivers License
Yes, you will need a valid Driver’s License, but you don’t need any special qualifications or permits to rent an RV. If you are an international driver, you will just need a valid driver’s license from your country of residence.
2. Rental Stations are Closed on Sundays
This is an odd fact that is pretty much standard across the RV rental industry. Rental stations are closed Sundays, so you won’t be able to pick-up or drop-off your rental on this day. This can complicate things if you are planning on maximizing the work week and vacation. It is best to plan your trip for a Saturday – Saturday rental if you only want to take 5 days off. If you have flexibility, we recommend renting and returning on a weekday, when stations are less busy.
3. Pick-ups are in the Afternoon and Drop-offs are in the Morning
Plan on picking up your RV between 1-3pm and dropping it off between 8-11am. Unlike rental cars, rental motorhomes and RVs need more time for them to be cleaned and serviced. You can think of RV rentals more as hotel rooms that need a few midday hours to be cleaned and ready to send you again.
4. Mileage is NOT Included
It is very typical for mileage to be an additional charge with an RV rental. If you are organized and calculate your projected mileage, you will have an opportunity to purchase your mileage in advance. If not, you will pay for it upon returning your vehicle. Cruise America charges $.38/ mile across the board, Road Bear charges $.42/mile prepaid and $.45/mile if paying upon return. El Monte charges between $.34-.39/mile depending on rentals.
5. Basic Insurance IS included
If you rent an RV in the US, your RV will come with Basic Liability Insurance. This coverage is usually third party liability protection protecting the rental company (Cruise America, El Monte, etc.) Your rental will also come with Auto Liability coverage for secondary basis for bodily injury, property damage and personal injury protection. The coverage is basic, and you will have the opportunity to increase your coverage at pick-up, for usually about $10/day.
Bonus Fact: You don’t need experience!
Here is our bonus fact. You really don’t need experience with RVs to rent one. There are many different kinds of RVs you can rent depending on your comfort level. You can rent trucks with slide in campers (like THIS one from Fraserway) to huge bus like rentals (like THIS one from Road Bear.) Upon arriving at the rental location, you will be given an orientation and be able to get familiar with your vehicle before driving off the lot. You can also study in advance and watch videos like THIS one from Cruise America or THIS one from El Monte RV. If you are comfortable driving, you will adapt easily to a larger vehicle if you take it slow and steady.
These are a few facts about renting and RV that surprises people. We are here to help you with your rental and other aspects of planning and RV road trips in the West. We can take care of your rental, campground reservations, activity suggestions and more if you would rather let the experts do it. Hope this helps those of you who would like to plan your own RV rental.