With the popularity of RV and van travel, there are a handful of rental options. As RV rental experts, we know it can be confusing and overwhelming as to where to get your rental vehicle. We have helped many clients over the years navigate RV rentals and we have broken down the options below with our list of pro’s and con’s of each.
This is a bit of a cheat, but we often get clients that have their own RV, sprinter van or travel trailer. If you have your own RV or travel trailer, why not use it! This is not an option for many, but if you have already invested in a vehicle its great to use it. While there are some downsides at times to using a personal vehicle, it is usually the best option.
- No daily rental or outfitting fees
- Outfitted (sheets, kitchen, camping gear, etc.) to your liking
- Familiar with vehicle
- Start and End of trip dependent on location/ storage of vehicle
- Can be costly to travel long distances to explore new areas
- No back-up vehicles
- Limited to size and type of vehicle you own
Peer to Peer Rental
In the past several years, peer to peer rental programs have taken off. Companies like RV Share and Outdoorsy serve as a platform for private owners to rent their RVs and vans to the public. You can think of it as Airbnb for RVs. Our opinions are mixed, but we rarely suggest this type of rental for our clients. Owners can choose to cancel your reservation and are not required to compensate you or find a replacement. Routine maintenance and upkeep fall solely on the responsibility of the owner and if there is a problem on the road, it will be more difficult to get fixed and find a replacement. We have worked with some clients who have gotten their rentals through peer to peer companies, but overall, we believe it is too risky. The risk factors of renting through and individual, rather than a larger company, are to great in our opinion.
- Can be less expensive that renting from larger company
- More personalized experience
- More vehicle options and features
- Quality and Pricing Varies
- Rarely back-ups available
- Cleaning Standards Vary
There are a handful of established companies that have large fleets of vehicles that run rental operations. Companies like Cruise America, Road Bear and El Monte offer rentals mostly from larger cities, while Cruise America offers rentals in smaller cities, as well. The rental fleets consist of small, medium and large class C vehicles, and often have Class B and A options. (Read about different RV models HERE.) When booking with Tumbleweed, we almost solely rent with these larger companies. We find their vehicles reliable, consistent quality and are fairly priced. Renting with these companies are not totally personal, but are the best option for having a good rental experience. Within all the larger rental companies, there are subtle and not so subtle difference, but we can help you navigate the best company for you to rent from.
- Reliable Roadside assistance
- Standard experience and quality
- Guaranteed Booking
- Back-up fleet usually available
- Less personal touch
- Limited to larger cities and rental locations
- Can be loudly branded (not inconspicuous)
We think that renting your RV or van through a larger, established company is the best option for most people. The vehicles will be more consistent, rarely will there be surprises and if something breaks down, you will have a fleet of other vehicles to choose from and roadside assistance to get you back on the road.
Now that you know who we suggest renting from, we can help you decide what specific company will meet your needs for your road trip. Renting an RV involves not only picking the right company, but also making sure to include convenience kits, mileage, insurance and the rest. We can help you create the best RV road trip, starting with the best RV vehicle rental.