Best Options for Renting an RV for a Family Trip

Traveling around the country is so much easier in a nice RV. I am lucky enough to have a trusty RV, but sometimes it is just not feasible to buy one. Renting a motorhome or camper is a great alternative.

So what are the best options for renting an RV for a family trip?  Renting an RV for a family trip is easiest to book by using Outdoorsy, RVShare, or Cruise America. These companies supply various options of pull-trailers or motorized homes which makes it easier to find an RV best for your family. 

Renting an RV is a great idea for those who want a nice road trip experience without the worry of having to own one themselves. Riding around in an RV can be more cost efficient as well. 

Best Ways to Rent

Renting an RV for a  trip is one of the best experiences and there a couple of websites that help you select the best rental for your family. Many memories can be made on the journey that your family will never be able to forget. Picking out the right RV may seem intimidating but there are tools to make the choice easier.

There a lot of options to find rental RV’s. RV companies often have locations that you can go talk into and plan out your trip and they will also be able to ask all the questions that you need.

More recently, a way to rent is by individuals posting their rentals onto RV websites. This is a nice way to get a lot of different options for a trailer.

The 3 largest and popular companies to rent RV’s from for a vacation are Outdoorsy, RVShare, and Cruise America

These companies are similar in their function but researching in depth will help you find the best deal for your location and ideal RV.

Outdoorsy

Let’s start out with Ourdoorsy. This company is probably the most popular website to find and rent RV’s from. The renting process here is much like Airbnb. People post their trailers and motorhomes on the website for other people to use. 

A benefit of renting from this company is that it is established. You don’t have to worry about getting ripped off. 

They also offer good insurance for your journey, with helps you have a piece of mind as you are piloting a rental. 

Other nice features of using this website are roadside assistance anytime of the day, and it is also possible to speak with a customer representative. 

So how does it work? The basics are as follows: you search for the travel dates, similar to how you would look for flights and hotels, and then enter the location you would like to leave from. 

After putting in that general information for your family trip, the available RV’s show up. Just like magic.

There are some filters that you can use to find a perfect RV, like number of beds needed, rating, and price.

These features will help you narrow down the options so you can find the perfect rental.

Something to keep in mind is the price listed, is the price per night. Traveling in an RV can be more cost efficient, but taking a road trip in a motorhome is not something I would label as cheap. 

Need help on this website? Outdoorsy has a help link that is especially helpful for first-time renters.

Most of the RV’s listed are going to be at least $100 a night, with the price going up in correspondence to the amount of amenities. Motorized vehicles are going to be more expensive as well, compared to trailers that are pulled behind a truck.  

RVShare

A row of RV’s are parked alongside of a road near the Pacific Ocean

RVShare is very similar to Outdoorsy, because it is a list of owners who like to rent out their RV’s for other people to use. 

This website is nice because it is used by so many people, so there are lots of options to chose from. The website comes equipped with favorite places to travel to, basic information on the types of RV’s and can pull up suggestions based on RV’s that caught your eye.

The website itself is a little bit easier to manage than Outdoorsy. The filters are more easily seen and there is less clicking to do to find what you want.

In fact, most users comment on how easy the website is to use

There is also an option to filter the results by the lowest price first which is helpful for people on a budget. 

A neat feature on here is also instant booking, which means that the process to rent an RV is less painful than you imagined. Renting an instant booking basically means you don’t have to wait for the owner of the RV to respond.

The lowest prices to rent an RV are around $65 per night.  

The company is extensive enough that every state is in reach of their business. This source is one of the best for people to start research for their ideal RV rental. 

Depending on where you are determines how great of rentals you can get, which could either be a good thing or a not-so-great thing. 

Cruise America

Cruise America is going to be the most traditional style of renting an RV. This company has 132 different locations over the country to rent a recreational vehicle from. To find a location near you, click here

The format for this location is a lot different from the other websites. You start by entering travel dates, and the pickup location. The search doesn’t take you to a bunch of pictures and prices, however.

Instead, Cruise America has base prices for either a standard or large RV. There are also a compact and truck campers available in some locations.

There are options for kitchen supplies and personal supplies to be added to the trip as well (which is helpful for those who don’t want to pack their own items, or don’t know what to pack.) 

The estimated amount of travel is also calculated into the base price. 

Despite how different this format is, it is a lot more straightforward. There are clear pickup times. Because it is a set business that you can visit, it is a little bit less intimidating. 

Another perk is that there are deals that can be found. Coupons or limited-time deals are accepted here. 

After doing a trial of all 3 websites, the total prices came out to be the same, and by using Cruise America, the vehicle I got was a larger for the price. 

Things to Consider Before You Rent

Before settling down on what to rent for your family, there are some things to know and investigate. Especially if you are inexperienced with the process of knowhow of RV’s as a whole, it is important to do your homework.

There are some confusing aspects with RV’s, especially when it comes to the names of the vehicles. 

The different things that you should look at before you rent are:

  • What kind of RV you’d like to rent
  • How many people are coming
  • The amenities that are a must have for you
  • Know your price range

It is also great to know where you are traveling before you invest in a vacation, just to take away from the stress. 

Know the Type of RV You Want

RV is a big blanket term that people use for recreation vehicles. The term RV includes motorized buses, vans, trucks as well as campers and trailers.

So a good thing to know before you get your heart set on everything is what exactly you are getting yourself into.  

Here is a basic breakdown:

Class A MotorhomeClass B Motorhome            Class C Motorhome            Travel TrailerFifth Wheel
Tow or Drive?DriveDriveDriveTowTow
How it Feels to Drive Like driving a busLike driving a vanLike driving a truckLike driving a truck or SUVLike driving a full sized truck
MPG6 – 8 MPG10 – 15 MPG8 – 13 MPG10 – 20 MPG10 – 18 MPG
Benefits-Classic 
-Usually the most high end RV
-Usually big
-Easy to drive
-Compact
-Saves on gas
-Easier to park
-Good amenities for  less $$
– Room for sleeping
– Room for amenities
-Can detach from      truck
-Available in various sizes
-Biggest RV floor plans
– Less swaying while   driving
– can have slide outs
Usual Length21 ft – 41 ft12 ft – 20 ft20 ft – 38 ft21 ft – 28 ft22 ft – 44 ft

The information for this table was gathered from RVShare.com

So before picking which appeals best to you, it is best to consider if you have a truck that has the towing capacity for a travel trailer or a fifth wheel.

Not all trucks have the ability to tow a large trailer so keep that in mind as well. 

Making sure that you are comfortable driving around with your RV is absolutely vital when you are picking out rental. Safety of your family is always going to come into consideration and if driving a huge bus isn’t in your comfort level, then choose something else. 

If not, consider getting a Motorhome to rent. Motorhomes have their own generator as well, so it is better for beginners.

However, a Class A motorhome can require a different type of driver’s license because it is so wide.  

They can also be a bit difficult to drive. If you are wondering which motorhomes are the easiest to drive, click here

Making sure that you are comfortable driving around with your RV is absolutely vital when you are picking out rental.

Safety of your family is always going to come into consideration and if driving a huge bus isn’t in your comfort level, then choose something else. 

Know the Amenities

Not all RV’s come with a functioning bathroom or kitchen. If having those are important to you, make sure you narrow down the search by using the filters.

Check for things like how many beds are available and if there is air conditioning. These will be listed on the websites. Nicer, larger RV’s will be more expensive typically. 

If you are using RVShare or Ourdoorsy, see if you can email or get in contact with the person you are renting from. He or she might people able to inform you of what is supplied.

Read comments to see if the amenities actually worked.

Some rentals let you bring pets as well. If your trip must include the dog Buster, then check if pets are allowed.

With most non-motorized recreation vehicles, there needs to be a generator. Make sure you ask the person you are renting from whether there is a generator that comes. Most likely the answer will be yes, but it does not hurt to double-check.

Doing this can also help you save money. Some rentals might be listed at a higher price because it has some great features that you don’t really need. By eliminating the extra things and focusing on just what you need, you can save money. 

Be the most investigative customer if you have to. It is worth your time to do so. Most companies require a deposit and charge a fee. There is nothing worse than finding out at the last minute that you don’t have what you need.

Sometimes It’s Not More Cost-Friendly

A vehicle might be available for you rent for $65 a night, which is a bargain. However, just like renting a hotel or booking a flight, there are some hidden fees. There are things like taxes, insurance, and cleaning fees that will almost always apply.

I looked at a rental near me on RVShare listed at $97 and I picked a 10-day trip. Without the taxes, fees, and insurance, my price for the 10 days is $970. That might seem like a lot, but this is close to the price of a cheap motel for 10 days.

Now, what about those fees? My total price came up to a little bit over $1500. 

There is also a $750 refundable deposit. This trip really adds up. 

The model I picked for this example was not a glamorous, huge, motorhome. Rather, it was a Class C, 2 full size beds, and a twin bed. It is nice, but it isn’t the fancy and glamorous big bus that most people imagine.

On top of those fees, there is also the cost of gas. Depending on how far you are expecting to go, the more this adds up. As the chart above mentions, RV’s aren’t the best on gas mileage. 

The total for this imaginary trip I concocted is approaching a $2500 for a cheaper RV rental.

This might not be what you pictured when thinking about a family vacation. 

However, almost everyone who has had a trip in a RV will tell you that it is worth it. Trips as a family, in a place where everyone is gathered together is, in many ways, priceless.

Vacationing this way can be cheaper if you have a larger family, especially if the other trip includes flights. 

Most vacations are expensive, with flights, hotels, food but not all the family can stay in one room or get the hours of bonding. Spending the money on a rental a bit of an investment on a trip will create lots of memories for your family members.

Other Sources to Look for Rentals

If you need some other places to find your rental from, you can start by checking out our page. Click here to see the rentals available.

Some other viable options are found here:

  • USA RV Rentals – Easy to book, it just takes 3 steps. They have great deals available. They have multiple locations across the country. There is also an option to get unlimited mileage for your trip, which can save you money if you want to go on a cross-country trip.
  • Apollo RV – This company has a great website but services are not available everywhere. Mostly operates in California, Colorado, and Washington at this point in time. However, it is a great resource if you do leave in these areas. 
  • Campanda – This website works very similar to Outdoorsy and RVShare and our rental website as well. It has a nice icon feature in the filter settings to help you figure out which kind of RV you want if you are still a little fuzzy on the differences between them all. 
  • Expedition Motorhome – This company offers some very nice rentals. They also offer delivery to your door of their rentals. However, right now the company is only in California.

There are a ton of great resources to help you find the perfect rental for your family trip. It is always great to check the ratings and comments before you decide on a rental.

With a bit of research, you can surely find the best RV for you and your family. 

Related Questions

How much does a Class A Motorhome cost to rent? Newer Class A motorhomes will cost a lot more than older ones. A newer motorhome will cost $300+ a night for rental. Older Class A motorhomes will be about half of that – $150+. Extra amenities and beds will drive the cost up as well. 

Do you need a special license to drive a motorhome?  Most states do not require a CDL license to drive a motorhome. The places that do require this type of license are DC, Wyoming, and Hawaii if over 26k pounds. In Indiana and Wisconsin if over 45 ft in length.

How do you get driver’s insurance when renting an RV? Companies that rent RV’s will have you fill out information for insurance purposes as part of the rental form. The fee is usually included in the total price. This is a perk of renting from a company instead of borrowing a friends motorhome. 

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