15 STEP RV RENTAL GUIDE
SEVEN RV MAINTENANCE TIPS
SNOWBIRDS’ BEST FLORIDA LONG TERM RESORTS
RVING WITH KIDS
2022 ARCTIC WOLF 291RL
Once it’s been decided you’re taking an RV trip, you must determine what type you’ll rent, where you want to stay, and break down all the activities along the way. Once those decisions are made, you can start creating your budget, plan specific activities, and meal prep. Planning your trip from start to finish is the key to getting the most out of your RV rental.
DETERMINE YOUR GROUP:
RVs don’t provide a lot of space even if you go with the largest ones on the market. As such, it just isn’t for everyone. That’s why you’ll want to ensure people are aware of these tight quarters ahead of time to make sure they’re okay with this style of vacationing. Once you’ve talked this over with people who are interested and adjust accordingly, read about what to expect at the destinations you’re stopping at along the way so everyone is aware and on board. If anyone in the group is uncomfortable with any of the details, you can either choose to adjust or choose to have them sit this one out.
There are a lot of perks to traveling in an RV. Among them is you can pretty much go wherever you want at a lesser cost. One aspect of the trip you should be mindful of regardless though is making sure there’s something for everyone to enjoy. This means looking into things for any kids, making sure you and your partner have time alone, and exploring couple’s or adult activities. That way there’s fun for everyone no matter what destinations you end up choosing. Not doing this will make for a trying trip.
SELECTING YOUR RV:
Once you know where you’re going and who’s coming with, it’s time to choose the right type and size of RV to rent. You'll obviously need enough sleeping space for everyone. Then you need to take into account space for everyone to be able to lounge in. Don’t forget either about all you’re planning to bring. There will need to be the capacity to start that too. The RV should also come with the right kitchen appliances to make meals. Here’s a helpful hint to take into consideration too. An RV may say it sleeps a certain number of people. Just because it says that doesn’t mean it’ll sleep this number comfortably. This is just one of the reasons we’d highly encourage you to tour the RV before deciding to rent it.
Establishing your budget is probably going to be an ongoing process as you research each step of the vacation. As you'll see in the ensuing tips, it should include not only the RV, but also additional charges with the vehicle, park and campground fees, amenities, where you'll stay, fuel, excursions, and meals and activities at each destination. If you want to rent a car anywhere to partake in activities not suitable for an RV, you should plan that in too.
There are more costs tied to the RV than just renting it. You’ll also need to put down a deposit upfront, insurance for your trip, and depending on the duration or destination, there can be additional fees. Many RV rental companies also provide extra amenities at a cost such as linens, kitchenware, generators, propane, etc. Paying for propane and a generator are cheaper upfront than trying to do so at an RV park or campground.
DESIRED RV EXPERIENCE:
You’ll find there are a wide range of available RV experiences. For rookie RV renters, you’ll want to go with the easiest option. To us, that’s staying at a fully loaded RV park or campground equipped with full hookups, a dump station, and staff on site.
Take your time choosing which RV parks and campgrounds to stay at on the trip. Read reviews from people who took a similar trip to what you're planning. If they went to the same destinations you're considering, you'll be able to read about their experiences. You also want to ensure you’re staying at a place that has all the features and functionality you want. Private RV parks and campgrounds are often more expensive than discount communities.
DON’T OVERLOOK CAMPSITE PRICING:
RV parks and campgrounds are known to often have extra fees and pricing you’ll need to factor into your budget. Most will be paid or known upfront when booking, but others might occur upon arrival. These include additional nights at a campground or RV park, propane, generator rental, or firewood.
LIMITED GAS MILEAGE:
There’s not much you can do to avoid the extremely limited gas mileage that comes with driving an RV. This is even more of a challenge during the summer when gas prices are much higher. You can research cheaper places to stop for gas when planning your route. Gas stations along busy stretches of highway will usually be the most expensive.
DIFFERENT THAN DRIVING A CAR:
Before you consider renting an RV, take the appropriate measures beforehand to ensure you’re comfortable driving one because it’s a lot different than your typical vehicle. You can usually drive one onsite before renting it. That’s also in place because they’ll want you to do it too to lessen the chances of any ensuing issues. Once you’re out on the road and pulling into your campsite, don’t be afraid to ask for help either. The RVing community is known to be extremely helpful to fellow RVers.
DON’T WORRY ABOUT RV HOOKUPS:
RV hookups can confuse a lot of new RVers, but they’re not as tricky as you might think. Read the manufacturer’s manual, and ask the dealership to explain how to hook up to water, electric, and sewer. If you’re still unsure upon arrival, ask for help from other RVers or the park staff. Don’t connect to hookups if you're unsure. You could blow out the electrical system or cause waterline issues for the RV or grounds.
PREPARE FOR A MESS:
There’s no way around it, but it’s something you’ll just have to do. It’ll be far from the highlight of your trip and will get messy, but dumping the RV’s waste water needs to happen at some point. If your RV rental company offers dump services or the park or campground does though, pay for it. It’s worth the money. If you do this yourself, don’t hesitate to ask for help, watch online videos, and be prepared to have it possibly go wrong. Another option is to consider going without tanks for the trip by using public restrooms and showers.
COOK YOUR OWN MEALS:
An easy way to save money while renting an RV is by making your own meals. Your RV will come with a refrigerator, and if you have a generator or use electrical hookups, you’ll be able to keep food edible. Consider stopping at a grocery store on your trip to get refrigerated items. Bring snacks, drinks, and meal prep breakfast, lunch, and dinner for your trip. Eat out only when you must, and plan that ahead of time too.
HIT THE ROAD:
Once you’re aware of everything we’ve mentioned above, it’s time to get on the road! Enjoy the experience and everything that comes with renting an RV for the first time. You may discover you love it and end up buying your own to keep the adventure going.