Are you dreaming of renting a recreational vehicle (RV), but clueless about where to begin? Here are eight general RV rental questions and tips on what you should always ask for when renting campers. Start with these, and you'll end with the perfect vehicle for your trip.
See also: 9 travel facts that might surprise you.
Which RV is best for me?
This is the number-one general RV rental question. The answer is always the same: consider cost and comfort.
Determine your ballpark budget, noting that bells and whistles add up. A simple vehicle for sleeping and cooking will be a lot cheaper than a deluxe RV with multiple TVs, full-sized couches and plush beds. Next, how many people will be traveling? Sure, the manufacturer says the unit sleeps up to seven people, but does that mean seven adults will be thrilled to be stuffed into every sleeping nook? Can your seven adults walk around, cook, eat, sleep and dress in the unit for a week without getting on each other's nerves? (OK, maybe that's one general RV rental question a dealer can't answer.) Veteran RV users stick by this rule of thumb: Cut the vehicle's maximum sleeping capacity in half and you'll have the comfortable capacity for adults.
How much will it cost?
Confirming all rental costs upfront before you drive off the lot should be tops on your list of what you should always ask for when renting campers. Depending on the unit you rent, starting prices hover around $45 a day before taxes, fees and mileage. RV rental agencies, unlike car rental agencies, generally charge for mileage. The bottom line is typically more like $80 to $300 a day. Be sure to ask about special deals, packages or promotional rates. During the winter off-season, some dealers will offer pre-paid mileage packages at steep discounts. Another important general RV rental question is about your vehicle's gas mileage and model year. Fuel efficiency can range from 6 to 11 miles a gallon. Older models get less gas mileage than newer models. Does your dream model get the gas mileage to fit your budget and travel plans?
What types of RV are available for rent?
RV rentals generally come in three classes: the largest is Class A, which looks like a 24- to 40-ft. bus; the smallest is Class B, which looks like a van; and just right in the middle is Class C, which looks like a pickup truck. Most people choose Class C, which ranges from 22 to 31 ft. long, and, depending on the model, sleeps two to seven people.
Can I drive an RV with a regular driver's license?
Yes, you can use your regular driver's license. Just like when you rent a car, be sure to check with your car insurance provider to see if you are insured to rent an RV.