It’s a great time to hit the road in an RV. Here’s how to rent one.

Let's go get lost anywhere in the USA.

This story originally featured on Car Bibles.

An RV, or recreational vehicle, is one of the most interesting ways to travel across the country. The independence and freedom of having your entire life in a nicely wrapped safe on wheels allows you to shape your trip exactly how you want to shape it. You prioritize what you want to prioritize and go exactly where you want to go. It’s a blank board game, and you get to decide how to build the blocks you need to get to your destination. That doesn’t mean it’s devoid of downsides, however.

Not everybody wants the physical, financial, and mental responsibility of owning something as large and involved as an RV. That’s why renting an RV is the just-right balance of getting the experience they desire without all the baggage of ownership.

If you’ve never used an RV or rented one before, there are a few things you should know before getting out there. There are a variety of options to choose from and multiple ways to pick your choice, so we’ve put together an informative guide to help you before and through the process. Check out the tips and helpful info below.

The costs of renting an RV

The amount of money you spend renting an RV is more than the single cost of the rental unit. Consider these expenses when making your budget: 

  • Utensils and cookware, if needed
  • Bedding and pillows, if needed
  • Cost of gas
  • Cost of propane
  • Cost of generator use, if applicable
  • Cost of park entrance, if applicable
  • Cost of campsite rental, if applicable
  • Cost of insurance, if applicable
  • Security deposit, if applicable
  • Cost of RV rental

Average RV rental costs

These rates are listed according to the average nightly rental expenses on Outdoorsy and [RV Share]. As expected, bigger, nicer, and newer RVs will cost more.

  • Class A Motorhome: $175 to $275 [$150-$250/night (10+ years or older); $350-$450/night (newer)]
  • Class B Motorhome: $100 to $200 [$100-$200/night (10+ years or older); $200-$350/night (newer)]
  • Class C Motorhome: $150 to $200 [$100-$200/night (10+ years or older); $225-$400/night (newer)]
  • Fifth Wheel: $60 to $150 [$60-$150/night (10+ years or older); $150-$300/night (newer)]
  • Travel Trailer: $50 to $125 [$50-$125/night (10+ years or older); $125-$200/night (newer)]
  • Toy Hauler: $100 to $200
  • Pop-up Camper: $50 to $100

We have not personally used these companies before, so we cannot comment on how good or bad the services are, but these are common options people use.

Do I need a special license to rent an RV?

Always check your local state laws for specifics, but as a general rule, if you rent an RV that weighs less than 26,000 pounds, you will not need a special license to drive it. 

What are the requirements for renting an RV?

What you’ll need for your rental will vary depending on your method and the company or service you’re using, but in general, these terms and items might be required of you:

  • At least 21 years old
  • Valid driver’s license, not temporary or permit
  • Credit card
  • Purchased insurance package
  • Background checks
  • Agreement to terms and conditions
  • A tow vehicle (can also be rented)

Important RV safety

Driving with and using an RV is no small task. For people who are inexperienced with camping or have never driven a vehicle this big before, there are several important safety points to keep in mind. Use these tips to keep yourself in good shape.

Driving

  • Know the height of the RV. 
  • Know your towing limits. 
  • Practice backing up and parking in a parking lot.
  • Make sure everything inside is secure before moving.
  • Quadruple check your tires for tread, pressure, rot, and uneven wear.
  • Know and understand your tail swing.
  • Pull off during extreme weather or wind.

Camping

  • Set up camp when it’s light out.
  • Know your electrical connections.
  • Know what every button does.
  • Make sure you have leveling blocks.
  • Use wheel chocks.
  • Make sure you have enough propane.
  • Make sure your destination has appropriate parking and/or big enough sites.
  • Carry a backup cooking method.
  • Don’t overpack.
  • Know the extension of your awning, and put it down when not there. 
  • Use a surge protector for your electrical connection.

To read the rest of the guide, head over to Car Bibles.