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10 First time RV Rental Tips for A Stress-Free Vacation]

Published on March 18th, 2019 by Ray & Tammy Roman
This post was updated on March 14th, 2022

Ready to embark on your vacation or an extended road trip and want to rent an RV for the first time. Here are 10 first time RV rental tips for a stress-free vacation. Unlike other forms of vacation transportation (airplane, train, car) an RV lets you take your home on wheels wherever you want. Visiting National Parks and State Parks is particularly awesome in an RV.

To make your RV vacation stress-free, I have compiled this How To Rent an RV guide to help you, RV renters, along.

first time rv rental tips

10 Important Things to Consider

There are many reasons why renting an RV is a good idea. Surprisingly renting an RV is quite easy and finding a good price on an RV rental is not hard at all. These are my 10 first time rv rental tips to help you get started.

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  1. Rent an RV Plan – Now that you have decided to go on an RV trip, you will need to consider the type of RV you want to rent. You will also want to consider what you want to do along the way. Where do you want to stop and sight-see, where do you want to stay the night? Take the time to plan your RV itinerary from beginning to end. This will allow you to maximize the use of your RV rental and maximize the fun as well.
  2.  Know Your Group – Before you can decide on what size RV you are going to rent you need to know who has committed to going on the trip. Being in an RV is not for everyone. Space can be cramped, especially in the smaller RVs. Make sure your group knows how long the trip is going to be and the possible activities you all will engage in. If they are comfortable with your plan, that is great to hear. If they are not, they may want to opt out of your trip.
  3. Be Fair and Choose Destinations Everyone Will Enjoy – This is one of those tough ones but in order for everyone to have a good time you will need to choose destinations and activities everyone will like. If you have kids on board choose places and activities they will enjoy. Just make sure there is fun for everyone. Don’t forget to take your pet into account. They need to be happy as well.
  4. Plan Your Budget – Before you embark on your trip, create a budget, so you have an idea of how much money you are going to need. Don’t forget to include campground fees, gas, unplanned excursions and meals, and miscellaneous expenses. Plan on taking about 20% more than you need, just in case something comes up that you did not anticipate. Don’t forget you will need roadside assistance just in case something happens. Peace of mind is a good thing when RVing.
  5. RV Fees – Ouch! – RV fees are real and can take a big chunk of your budget. You are going to need a deposit in order to rent the RV, you will need insurance too. Some RV companies also provide amenities at an extra cost. Things such as linens, pots and pans, propane, and generators. Propane and a generator are usually a lot cheaper with the RV rental company than at the campground.
  6. Expect Very Low Gas Mileage – are a notorious gas guzzler. There really is not much you can do to improve that. To make matters a bit more expensive, if you are traveling during the summer month, gas prices tend to be higher than other times of the year. You can research cheaper places to buy gas, knowing that gas stations along a busy highway tend to be higher.
  7. This Ain’t Like Driving A Car – Driving an RV is very much more different from driving a car. Your view is different, you have to make an adjustment for stopping since it takes a longer distance to stop an RV than a car.  Turns and backing up is also a bit more difficult. Getting into your campground spot can be an adventure all by itself. However, you will always find a helpful hand in the form of a fellow RVer if you run into trouble.
  8. Save Some Money – A simple tip to save money is to pack your meals. Bring snacks, drinks, and meal prep the evening before for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Eating out is expensive, so prepping your meal will save you quite a bit of money.
  9. Campsite Delivery by RV Owner– Did you know you can have your RV rental delivered to your campsite? In some cases, RV owners are more than happy to deliver your rented RV to the campsite, assuming it is near the RV owner’s location. Make sure you choose an RV park that has campsites with electrical hookups, maybe common showers if your RV doesn’t have one, and common toilets if your rental is a pop-up camper.
  10. Rental Options – Take some time to consider the rental options offered by the various RV rental companies. Some offer one-way rentals, short-term rental, or long-term rental among others. Know what you want before deciding.

Types of RVs To Rent

No article on first time RV rental tips is complete unless we talk about the types of RVs first time renters should consider. Just about any type of RV can be rented from companies such as Outdoorsy, RVShare, Cruise America, and Adventure RV.

Travel Trailers

Travel trailers come in many sizes and floor plans so you will have many to choose from. Some are very light and can be towed by an SUV while others will require a truck to pull.

Best Travel Trailers Under 25 Feet


They are typically more expensive to rent than a travel trailer and will require a pick-up truck with ample power to tow.

rv rental tips

Motorhomes Class A

These are massive campers that are luxurious for the most part but also expensive. For a first time RV rental Class A RV might be a challenge since they do take a bit of time to learn to drive.

Class A motorhome renta;

Camper Vans – Class B

Camper vans are great since you don’t need a truck to tow, however, they have limited space. Class B RVs offer space for one or two, however they are very easy to drive and cost a lot less to rent than a Class A.

rent a campervan

Class C Motorhome

Class C motorhomes are an excellent camper to rent. They have lots of space and are easy to drive.

RV Rental costs of a Class C

Motorhomes are great to rent, however, they can be expensive to rent and are a bit more difficult to drive. There are some small Class A and Class C RVs you can try to find as rentals.

Rent an RV Tips Video

First Time RV Rental Tips Summary

Renting is a great way to test out an RV if you are planning to eventually buy one. Outdoorsy is our recommended rental company. Also, the memories created will last a lifetime. I hope these first time RV rental tips will help you with what to expect when you rent your first RV.

Here are some RVing apps you might want to download before you rent an RV or while using your rental.

Check out some of our other posts such as Best Travel Trailer Manufacturers and Best Truck Campers for more information.

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