Travel Tips December 29, 2017
Here’s Exactly What To Look For When Renting An RV For A Road Trip
Considering renting an RV for your next trip? You might think you know what you’re looking for, but there’s a lot that goes into selecting the perfect road trip machine. Here are a few pointers to help you make the best decision for your trip.
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
1. Don’t pay for more space than you need.
If you’re planning for a few weeks on the road with the whole family, go ahead and shell out a few extra bucks for that bus-style RV. You’ll appreciate the additional space to stretch out. However, if you’re only planning on a few days of driving with your significant other, consider renting a mid-size motor home instead. Look at models with slide-out room extensions if you truly feel you want a bit more space.
2. Do a dirt-check.
If the dealer can’t be bothered to clean the interior of the RV before renting it out to another customer, just think of what else they might not be maintaining (hint: the engine).
3. Don’t rent the first one you see.
It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of the trip and fall in love with the first fancy model you see, particularly if you’ve never used an RV before. But it’s best to shop around online and visit several rental places before committing.
4. Plan your meals around your cooking abilities.
If you’re renting a model with a full kitchen, you’ll have a lot of flexibility when it comes to cooking. But if you’re driving off with nothing but a pantry and a hot plate, your menu will need to look a little different. Also, check for cooking utensils like steak knives, pots and pans before you drive off the lot.
5. Check the fine print. And then check it again.
Renting an RV isn’t like renting a car. You might expect hidden costs like insurance, security deposits and taxes. But you should also ask about things like included equipment and optional items. Some rental agreements include linens and towels, some don’t. You could end up saving hundreds by going with the same model at a different rental agency that offers a more generous rental agreement.
6. Consider bringing your own generator.
If you’re traveling to state parks or using your RV mainly as a living space out in nature, you’ll want a reliable source of power. Even if your campsite advertises electrical hookups, you never know what you’ll find when you arrive. They could be non-functional or unreliable. Sure, your campsite could refund you some cash for the inconvenience…but that won’t change the fact that you’re in the middle of the woods without electricity.
7. Make sure Fido can come along.
Even though you may consider your dog a member of the family, the rental agency probably doesn’t. Make sure your rental agreement allows for pets and double-check for any additional pet-related fees like a deposit or daily add-on fee.
8. Consider that your stuff is going to move around.
You might want to think about renting bikes, kayaks and lawn chairs at your destination if you don’t want to deal with securing them to the RV. Also, think about how small appliances like your coffee maker and laptop will fare on bumpy roads. Make sure the RV has interior storage for things you don’t want to fly all over the place in transit.
9. Finally, learn how to drive that thing.
If you’ve never driven anything larger than a sedan, you may be in for a rude awakening the first time you try to park your RV. Watch online videos to learn how to maneuver a big vehicle and ask your rental agency for pointers. And of course, insurance is your friend.
What are your best tips for renting an RV? Let us know!