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How to Rent an RV

Renting an RV is a lot more complicated than renting a standard rental car. It is for this reason (and more) why many people ask us to organize the details of renting an RV for them. rent an RV for them. To break down the process, here is a list on things you need to do to rent an RV. When going about renting an RV, follow these steps…

Have a Driver’s License and Credit Card

In order to rent an RV in the United States, the only documentation you will need is a valid drivers license (from any state, or valid international license.) In addition to providing your drivers license, you will also need a credit card to carry a refundable damage deposit (usually $500.) Both will be required when picking up your RV.

Choose a Rental Location

Figuring out where you want to travel to and explore is the first step in renting the right RV. Ideally, you want to choose the closest town or city to where you want to visit. Booking an RV close to where you are going to explore not only saves you time traveling to your destinations, but also money on gas and mileage. In addition to finding a RV rental station close to you destinations, it is also good practice to focus on larger cities. You will have more rental companies to choose from when starting your trip out of a larger city. In addition, larger cities also tend to have larger airport which will also save you money when flying into your destination.

Decide on Dates

Before you are able to see what RVs are available for your trip, you will need to decide on dates. Note the specific dates you would like to travel. If you are flexible, creating a window (ex: 2 weeks in August) will also help you narrow down a rental. The most important detail to keep in mind when choosing dates, is it extremely rare for RV rental companies to be open on Sundays or Holidays. This means that you should plan for picking up and dropping off your RV on a Monday-Saturday, not Sunday. When planning your RV vacation, it is also good to keep in mind that you will pick-up your RV in the afternoon and return your RV in the morning. If you plan on flying into the city where you are renting your RV, you should plan on spending the night before your rental locally in a hotel. When returning, you will most likely be able to return your RV in the morning and still be able to make an afternoon flight home.

Choose a Model and Type of RV

When deciding what model and type of RV you would like to rent, take some time to learn about the different options open to you. The biggest factor in choosing the best RV to rent is how many people (both adults and children) you will be traveling with. Take a look at Choosing the Best RV to see the basic types of RVs you can rent. A Class C RV will be the best choice for most groups looking to rent an RV. We like Class C Motorhomes because they are equipped with proper bathrooms and kitchens, are easy to drive and can accommodate up to 7 people without feeling overly cramped.


Any RV rental company you will rent your RV from will have the daily rate your RV will cost. These are typically between $100-250/ day depending on the season you are renting and what model of RV you choose. In addition to a daily rate, you will have some optional (and not so optional) extras that you will have to include and budget into your rental.

  1. Mileage: It is very common to charge an extra fee for how many miles you drive in your RV rental. You will have the option to buy your mileage in advance (usually in packages of 100 miles) or you can pay for them when you return your RV. We recommend estimating your mileage use and paying for it when you rent your RV, as you can usually save a little in paying in advance. You can plan on paying about $.45/ mile for more companies.
  2. Sleep Kits: If you live close to where you are renting your RV, you can use your own bedding and towels to outfit your RV. If you fly in (or for convenience) you can rent “sleep kits,” “personal kits” or “convenience kits” with your rv rental. These include bedding (sheets and blankets), pillows and bathing towels.  The kits are usually charged per/person and are about $40/pp.
  3. Kitchen Kit: Similarly to the sleep kits above, you can rent a kitchen kit with your RV rental. These kits include the basic items you will need to cook and eat in your RV, including dishes, cutlery, cooking utensils, pots, pans, knives, cutting boards, etc. It is worth including a kitchen kit into your RV if you don’t plan on bringing these items yourself. Kitchen kits are provided per RV and are usually about $80.
  4. Additional Extras: You will usually have an option to include a wifi hot spot, camp chairs, and other extras. These are something you can choose when you rent your RV. These are minimal and not totally necessary like the above three items.

Compare Prices and Choose your Rental Company

Now that you have chosen your city, dates, RV model and extras you will need, you can start looking at RV rental companies. With the above information, you can see what rentals are available and compare prices. When you are shopping around, make sure you not only take the daily rate into consideration, but add up all the extras you will need (sleep kits, mileage, etc.) This way, you can compare the total price of your rental over a few different companies. We like renting from Road Bear RV, El Monte RV and Cruise America. Read more about “Choosing the Best RV Rental” here for an in depth look on who we like renting RVs from.

Book it!

Yay! At this point, you should have everything you need and want in a cart and ready to go! In order to book your RV rental, you will need a valid credit card and some personal information as the renter. You will usually just be charged for a deposit and need your name, address, # of people traveling in the RV, phone number.

Purchase Travel Insurance

Your RV rental will come with basic RV insurance which will cover your rental when you are driving, we suggest purchasing additional travel insurance. This has nothing to do with who you rent your RV with and is provided by an independent company that specializes in Travel Insurance. Travel Insurance can cover the cost of your rental if you have to cancel unexpectedly. Many personal credit cards can provide travel insurance and we also recommend Travel Guard.

Renting an RV can seem complicated, and sometimes it is! Hopefully this guide helps get you on your way to securing the perfect rental for your RV road trip. If it seems too much, we can take care of all the details and rent your RV for you. Give us a call or contact us for helping planning your road trip and RV rental.