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Renting an RV 101: A Beginner’s Guide to the Best RV Rental Options

Did you know there are over 11 million families in the United State who own an RV? A study done by the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) in 2020 found that ownership is up a whopping 62% since 2001. That’s a lot of RVs.

But out of those 11 million RVs, only one million of them are being lived in full-time. That means there are 10 million RVs in America that are just sitting there for some, part, or most of the year.

Do you know what that means for you?

You can rent them! While Airbnb and VRBO led the way, new websites like RVShare and Outdoorsy have created a space to connect RV owners with renters in a safe and easy way.

Now you can know what traveling and living in an RV is like without having to jump into the deep end of ownership!

With a whole internet full of RV rental options, let’s take a closer look at renting an RV and find the perfect fit for your next adventure.

Renting an RV

Why Rent an RV?

There are many great reasons to rent an RV for your next trip. Here are just a few of them.


When you travel in an RV, especially a drivable one, you combine your hotel and car rental prices into one smaller number.

Even better, a modest RV’s nightly rate is typically lower than a night at a 3-star hotel!


When traveling, few things are better than heading back to your room to rest and recoup for the next day of fun. Renting an RV means you’re never further than a short walk away from your room at all times.

If you’re camping with the RV, you’ve got a place to cool off and rest in the heat of the day. This is especially handy if traveling with young kids who still need to nap!


Renting an RV means you can experience what it’s like to live in a tiny house on wheels… without making it permanent!

Whether it’s something you’re seriously considering or just a wild pipe dream, trying it out for a couple of days or a couple of weeks is an exciting opportunity.

What Does it Cost to Rent an RV?

According to Outdoorsy, the average nightly rates for renting an RV are as follows:

Class A Motorhome: $175-$275

Class B Motorhome: $100-$200

Class C Motorhome: $150-$200

Toy Hauler: $100-$200

Fifth Wheel: $60-$150

Travel Trailer: $50-$125

Pop-Up Camper: $50-$100

The prices will vary on the size and age of the RV you choose to rent.

Renting an RV

RV Rental Options

Planning your trip isn’t done once you decide to rent an RV. Now you’ve got to choose what kind of RV to rent for your drive. Or maybe you don’t want to drive to your destination at all.

For more clarity on the different kinds of RVs, make sure to check out our post about RVs VS. Campers!

Let’s take a closer look at some options to choose from when renting an RV.


Renting a driveable RV means renting either a Class A, Class B, or Class C motorhome. These are all self-propelled, with the driver’s seat inside the coach.

Sizes vary greatly.

Class A RVs are the size of tour buses. They can be up to 45” long and 13” high. They provide a lot of liveable space but can be intimidating to drive.

Class B RVs are the smallest and are also known as camper vans. These are the easiest to drive.

Class C RVs are in the middle. They are larger than camper vans, but considerably smaller than a Class A RV. Their size and shape are similar to a U-Haul rental truck.


  • No special vehicle is required for travel.
  • The novelty of traveling on a couch (with seatbelts!) is exciting for kids.
  • One price for transportation and lodging on your trip.


  • Potentially difficult to learn to drive.
  • Must tow a car if you want to drive around at your destination.
  • Gas-guzzlers.


Towable RVs are motorhomes like travel trailers, fifth wheels, and toy haulers. These are RVs pulled by trucks and SUVs with a large towing package.

Their sizes can vary from a pop-up camper, which is essentially a glorified tent, all the way up to a 50” fifth-wheel trailer!


  • Easier to drop at a campsite and explore because you have a car already.
  • Won’t have to mess with car seats in an RV if traveling with children.
  • Usually cheaper than a drivable rental.


  • Must have a truck or RV capable of towing one.
  • The learning curve of attaching to the towing vehicle.
Renting an RV

Destination Delivery

If you’re looking for the experience of staying in an RV without doing any of the actual driving, you can get an RV delivered to a campsite for you!


  • No learning to connect or drive a new vehicle.
  • Don’t pay for fuel.
  • It’s set up and ready to go.


  • Miss the experience of traveling in an RV
  • Much more expensive for delivery.

What about…?

RV rentals may not be as cut-and-dry as your typical vacation transportation and lodging, so here are a few questions you may be asking yourself.


Good news! In most cases, you’re not required to carry an RV policy on your insurance. It may be worth checking your auto policy to see if it’s easy to add on, if that’s what makes you most comfortable.

If you’d rather, most RV rental companies provide insurance for renters. Sometimes it’s included with your rental, other times it comes at an additional cost.

Whichever route you go, it’s important to make sure you’ve got some sort of insurance coverage, especially if this is your first time in an RV. It’s too easy to misjudge a distance or turn and wind up with a broken mirror or damaging a corner.

Traveling With Pets

Traveling in an RV doesn’t mean you’re forced to leave your furry friends at home!

When you’re searching for the perfect RV to rent, make sure to check for a “pet-friendly” filter option. That way, all the RVs you’ll see on the screen will welcome Fido along with you.

Roadside Assistance

When traveling through an unknown place in an unfamiliar vehicle, knowing you’ve got 24/7 roadside assistance brings you a special kind of peace.

Roadside assistance is included most times you rent an RV. Make sure to read exactly what is included in your rental, but you can expect it to cover things such as:

  • Towing
  • Tire replacements
  • Locksmith
  • Rescuing from tight spots
  • Technological support

Helpful Tips for Your Trip in an RV Rental

If this is your first time renting an RV, here are a few extra tips to make your inaugural trip one to remember!

Read the Fine Print

Many of the RV rental sites work in a way similar to Airbnb or VRBO. They will be acting as a middleman between renters and owners. This means every rental is going to have different details to consider.

It’s important to take the time to read the “fine print” of each rental. Most sites will have a section where the owner can write a full description about the RV. Read the whole thing to ensure you know what you’re getting.

There are also sections with amenities included, rules & policies, and additional add-ons like delivery or extra insurance coverage.

Know What to Pack

This is where renting an RV is considerably different than a hotel or Airbnb. While hotels and rental properties generally have the same amenities included—hair dryer, iron, bed linens, pillows, etc.— each RV rental will differ what’s provided.

Renting an RV

It’s important to know exactly what will be waiting for you in the RV before you pack. The last thing you want is to show up to your campground, go to get in bed after a long travel day, and find there are no sheets!

What’s included will vary greatly. Sometimes things like bed linens and towels are included, while other times they’re offered for an additional fee.

Many RVs with kitchens come with the general items you need to cook simple meals, but it’s in your best interest to plan on simple recipes. You should always plan on bringing all your food.

Knowing exactly what to pack will guarantee your trip will be off to a great start.

Plan Your Route

If you’re traveling in anything much longer and taller than the vehicle you’re used to driving, it’s important to plan the route to your destination carefully.

Interstates and major roadways won’t be a problem, but if your usual route takes you on any windy or twisty roads, you should double-check if your RV will be able to make that trip.

To feel completely confident, you could invest in an RV GPS. It takes the height and length of your RV into consideration when providing route information. You could also check with the RV’s owner to see if they have one available to rent, too.

Be Prepared for a Different Drive

There’s no way around it, RVs drive differently.

You’re going to stop slower, accelerate slower, take wider turns, and use way more gas than you would in a car.

Plan your trip accordingly. Give yourself plenty of time to get where you need to go.

It may also be a good idea to build in a morning to rest and recuperate from driving an RV long distances. It’s going to take a lot of concentration and can be exhausting after a long day.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if the RV breaks down or I don’t know how to use something?

Roadside assistance and insurance should be available for every RV rental. Some are included in the rental price, while some are an optional fee. We recommend confirming you’ve got both fully covered on your trips so you’ve got full peace of mind.

Do I have to have a truck or SUV?

Not at all! Many rv rental options are drivable. Some owners even have tow-kits available so you can bring your car along with you on your trip to use at your destination.

Can I travel with my pets?

Yes! Most RV rental sites have a filter option you can choose to only see pet-friendly rentals. Most pet-friendly RVs welcome dogs and ask you simply clean up after them.

There may be an added pet fee, so make sure to read all of the information on the specific listing you’re looking into.

Renting an RV

Websites that Make Renting an RV Simple

Airbnb and VRBO may have the market for room and house rentals, but these websites are the best places to find your RV rental!

For each of them, enter your departure city (or destination if getting an RV delivered) and the dates of travel to look through all of your options. Each has filters available to narrow down choices to exactly what you’re looking for.


While you can plan your trip all on your own, RVShare has trained professionals available to help you plan your trip. They can help with route information and offer up some itinerary tips.


In addition to renting RVS, Outdoorsy offers luxury curated experiences for their customers. These trips are available in several places around the US and combine top-tier RV rentals with once-in-a-lifetime outdoor adventures.

Escape Campervans

Escape Campervans specialize in, you probably guessed it, camper vans! There are several different makes and models to choose from.

They don’t cover as much of the country, yet, but their customer service and excellent experiences means it’s only a matter of time before the business grows and expands!

Wrapping up the Basics of Renting an RV

Traveling the open road in an RV is now more accessible than ever! Renting an RV means you can have the adventure of a lifetime for the same price, if not less, as driving somewhere and staying at a hotel.

Now that you’ve got some more information on renting an RV, it’s time to get out there and explore the great outdoors!

For more information on RV camping, including gadgets to make the trip more convenient and amazing campgrounds to check out, head over to our RV Camping page!