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Avoid These 10 RV Rental Mistakes

Published on October 12th, 2021 by Ray & Tammy Roman
This post was updated on May 19th, 2023

The first time renting an RV can be frightening, especially if you usually stick to hotels. By avoiding common RV rental mistakes there isn’t anything to fear. But the question remains, what mistakes should you avoid and how are they avoidable?

rv rental mistakes

In the following article, we will review the top 10 mistakes made when renting an RV, to ensure that you can avoid them.

Avoiding common mistakes not only ensures you find the right rig to rent, but also provides you with the knowledge you need to avoid negative surprises. The following will help you can have an amazing RV journey.

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1. Using Only Photos to Judge an RV

While you can learn many things through a picture, pictures should not be the only determining factor when considering renting. Remember here that skimming is not your friend.

It is always important to see photos of the listing you might be interested in; pictures may not give you as much of the story as you need as they are not always worth a thousand words.

Nevertheless, we recommend that you read the descriptions, in addition to looking over pictures, to get a better understanding of the listing in question.

Simply glancing over the description is an extremely common mistake, one that you now know to avoid.

2. Only Checking Amenities Once

Assumptions are your enemy when renting an RV. Like the previous mistake, you cannot just assume that specific amenities will be included based on photos, the price of the rental, or related listings.

For your comfort, you should always double-check the listed amenities to guarantee everything you need is available. Amenities can often be the determining factor when it comes to selecting the right rig, so you should always check them at least twice.

In relation to judging an RV only by photos, in some cases the photos could be misleading or old, we highly recommend double-checking all the information about your potential rental.

2. Not Paying Attention to Cancellation Policies

You should always take the time to read cancellation policies so there is no chance of skipping this later.

Renting through an honorable and reputable peer-to-peer camper rental company, their cancellation policy is oftentimes easy to find on every single listing. These may vary as this policy is one that owners carefully consider when offering their RV for rent.

It is imperative that you find and read this policy and keep it in mind when booking. Plans can sometimes change, if your do, knowing this policy will allow you to abide by the cancelation rules the owner has put in place.

4. Not Choosing a Reputable Company

The most important mistake to avoid is renting from the wrong source.

You can rent an RV in many ways. Renting directly from individuals is what some people choose to do, but in that case, if something were to go awry, nobody would be there to help put things back in order.

Thus, we recommend renting with a dependable company such as RVshare, so that you can rent from an individual and have protection if something goes wrong.

Life, in general, is unpredictable, the last thing you need on your vacation is added stress if unpredictable mishaps were to occur. I believe the saying goes, “Better safe than sorry.”

5. Not Looking at Reviews

When it comes to choosing an RV, another common mistake is skipping reviews.

Reviews are important because other renters can share their experiences so you can know what to expect.

While photos and descriptions are extremely important because they can give you a view and description of the interior, reviews give you more inside information from the previous renters’ thoughts and feelings about their time with the rig.

Reading reviews should help you feel more confident in not only the rental but the owner’s responsiveness and helpfulness as well.

6. No Renter-Host Communication

When renting from individuals, you are building a relationship. It is important that you have trust in the person you rent from with your vacation, and they have trust in you with their trailer or motorhome.

Building trust and a relationship require respectable communication from both sides. Responding promptly before and during the rental and communicating concerns or issues that may come up is a must.

We all know the foundation for trust is communication, and trust between you and the owner of the rig will exponentially improve the outcome of your vacation.

7. Having Expectations Set Too High

Nobody wants to start a vacation off on the wrong note, setting the tone for the whole rest of your experience. Expectations matter, but only work if they are reasonably attainable.

It is always rational to expect a clean RV with operational appliances, but it is important to keep in mind that an RV is not a 5-star hotel.

An RV is a home away from home that you are responsible for. Your expectations should reflect that to avoid discontent.

8. Misunderstandings About Location

“Location, location, location!” Location is always important in terms of not only attractions you want to see but also your rental location, lodging, and travel time.

When choosing your lodging location for a vacation, it is important you stay somewhere close to the attractions you want to see.

Renting an RV away from where you plan to park is doable because RV’s have wheels, travel times can have a huge impact on your vacation plans. Therefore, we recommend double-checking your rental location to get better expectations in terms of travel time.

9. Not Abiding by Rules and Guidelines

RV owners that list their trailer or motorhome for rent usually set easy to follow and reasonable rules in place to protect their rig, themselves, and renters.

Not abiding by the rules could result in damage to the rig, losing your deposit, and conversations with RV insurance companies.

Even worse, failing to follow the rules could result in you getting injured on the trip and the possibility of ruining your trip.

10. Not Following Check-Out Procedures

Before returning the rig there are often a few things the renter is asked to do. Typical things might be, washing the dishes, removing the sheets from the beds, and dumping the tanks to help the owner prepare the RV for the next renter.

While some renters may ignore these tasks, it is important to remember that some owners may charge extra fees, like a dumping fee or a cleaning fee, for not cooperating.

We recommend doing these tasks before returning your rental to end your trip with no unexpected complications. Following check-out procedures relates back to the previous recommendations of communication, trust and following the rules, this ensures a smoother experience and better chances of future renting.

RV Rental Mistakes Final Thoughts

RV rental mistakes are easy to make but even easier to avoid in cases like this. Knowing these top 10 mistakes is a huge step in the right direction to make your renting and vacation experience not only easy but as relaxing as you envision it to be.

Avoiding these RV rental mistakes helps you make your first time renting an RV easier and allows you to better enjoy all your RV experiences. By cutting out the usual mistakes you will set you apart from other renters, making the owners more likely to rent to you in the future.

Sources: RVShare, Outdoorsy

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