It’s RV season and if you’re planning on renting your very first RV soon, you might want to check out these commonly asked questions from first-time RV renters.
As First-timers, we understand that you may want to know a couple of things about RVs and RV renting. We’ve had a lot of first-time RV renters inquire about the same things so we have gathered their questions in order to help you prepare for your very first RV road trip.
What are the different types of RVs and do we need a special license to drive them?
There are two types of RVs and each type has subcategories as well. It is better to know and understand what these types and subcategories are so that you would know which RV to rent based on your needs and preference.
A lot of people ask if they would need to acquire a special license in order to drive RVs. The answer is, not for all types of RVs. The only RVs that would require a special license are those that weigh 26,000 pounds or more while those that weigh below that do not need a special license to drive. You’ll know how much each RV weigh on average as you get to know the different types of RVs and their subcategories below:
The first type is the Drivable RVs. These types are also often called motorhomes where you sleep in the same place that you drive. There are three motorhomes subcategories. These subcategories are: Class A, Class B, and Class C motorhomes.
Class A RVs, are bus-sized motorhomes which makes them the biggest and heaviest motorhomes weighing between 12,000 to 31,000 pounds and 20 to 40 plus feet. It is good to note though that while class A RVs offer more space, can sleep more people, and have grander amenities, they can also be difficult to drive and park, or even find a parking space they could fit in, due to their size. The campsites you can choose to stay with these motorhomes are very limited.
The Class A RVs are the only ones that could weigh more than 26,000 pounds which means they are the only ones that would possibly require a special license to drive. However, there are still many class A options that are less than 26,000 pounds so you can avoid the heavier ones in order to drive without a special license.
Class B RVs, or the Camper vans, are the smallest type of motorhomes. While they dominate when it comes to ease of driving, because of their size, they also offer less space which means they have fewer amenities such as smaller beds and can sleep fewer people compared to the other types of motorhomes. Most of the time, Class B RVs only have a wet bath or maybe even an outdoor shower. These are great for one or two campers but not recommended for families of three or more as well as groups of friends.
Class C RVs, only weigh up to 13,000 pounds and are only up to 39 feet in length. They are much easier to drive and park than the big and heavy Class As and they offer more space and better amenities than the small Class Bs which makes them the most recommended type of motorhome for first-time RV renters. Class C motorhomes are also a great choice for family or group campings.
The second type is the Towable RVs. Unlike motorhomes, you do not drive and sleep in the same area as towable RVs. These RVs, from the name itself, are towed by an SUV or a pickup truck. This type of RV has four subcategories which come in different sizes with multiple options: Truck Campers, Fifth wheels, Travel Trailers and Folding or Popup trailers.
Truck Campers are demountable RVs that are loaded and unloaded from the bed of a full-size or mid-size pickup truck so you won’t need a hitch to pull them with. Truck campers have limited space and storage but are easy to drive and are able to reach campsites with less accessible roads.
Fifth wheels, unlike the truck campers, require a special hitch that is called a “jaw hitch” to attach to the bed of a pickup truck. These are larger campers which means they offer more space such as full kitchens and have grander amenities with full-size appliances. However, fifth wheels are also heavier than the other types which means they can only be pulled by high tow capacity trucks.
Travel Trailers are more like fifth wheels but are much smaller than them. They also do not require special hitches like the fifth wheels which means that they can be towed even by minivans. While these trailers are lightweight, they offer less storage and are not as grand when it comes to amenities.
Folding or Popup Trailers are compact while towing but can expand and open on campsites which makes it great for couples or solo travelers to experience the great outdoors. Because they are small and lightweight you do not need high tow capacity trucks, and you can just tow them with most pickup trucks and SUVs.
- Where can I rent RVs and how much do they cost?
There are multiple companies that offer to rent different types of Recreational Vehicles. Here are the top three companies where you can rent your first RV:
Cruise America This company is based in Arizona but has the most locations with 125 plus across the US where you can rent from. However, they only offer Class C motorhomes.
Outdoorsy has the best selection of affordable inventory of Motorhomes including Classes A, B, and C as well as towable RVs. This works just like Airbnb for RVs where owners rent out their RVs and share their love for the outdoors.
RVshare, just like Outdoorsy, is also like Airbnb for RVs. They also offer a very affordable selection of Motorhomes and towable RVs and their website is considered the most user-friendly. RVShare is popular for one-way travel options and non-loop road trips.
RVThereYet.com has Class B, Class C, Class A & Travel Trailer RV Rental in Minnesota specializing in Mercedes Sprinter camper vans, motorhomes, and pull-behind campers with all of the luxuries of a home. This RV rental company offers local Minnesota family-owned RV rental. RVThereYet.com offers RV Rental in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, South Dakota, and North Dakota. They are also Renting Class B RVs in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis, St. Paul.
Pricing can differ based on the type of RV including the amenities it offers, the time of the year when you are renting as prices are significantly higher during camping season, as well as the location you are renting from. The cost of living in the area you would be renting from does affect the prices of the RVs available there. Here are average costs per night based on Outdoorsy as reference.
Class A RVs range from $170 to $280 per night.
Class B RVs range from $105 to $210 per night.
Class C RVs range from $155 to $215 per night.
Travel trailers range from $55 to $130 per night.
Fifth wheels range from $65 to $160 per night.
Pop-up trailers range from $55 to $110 per night.
There are also other factors that could affect your overall costs such as miles and RV insurance. Most rentals already include free on a certain number of miles and you would only be charged if and when you go over that number.
- What is RV insurance?
RV rental in Minnesota companies offers different levels of insurance to choose from. There are only add-ons you can opt for. Most of them also offer roadside assistance and other services. Be sure to read their policies through their official websites to understand and know more.
When the RV owner’s personal insurance would not apply, Outdoorsy offers commercial insurance for qualified renters and owners. They have partnered with Assurant on their liability insurance to ensure the safety of both Outdoorsy renters and owners. You can rent worry-free knowing that Outdoorsy’s $1 million insurance protection program covers the renter, the vehicle, and the owner, in case of any covered incidents. Outdoorsy also offers 24/7 roadside assistance and customer support.
RVshare offers a Standard Package of insurance and protection and you will have the opportunity to pay for an upgraded coverage at the time of your booking. Based on the value of the RV, the package RVshare offers for motorhomes and trailers includes up to $300,000 in comprehensive and collision coverage. They also offer Free 24/7 roadside assistance as well as free towing and tire service.
For RVThereYet.com, renters may purchase insurance from Camper Seeker (DBA RVThereYet.com & CamptasticRentals.com) and/or Outdoorsy as provided in Camper Seeker (DBA RVThereYet.com & CamptasticRentals.com)’s and Outdoorsy’s respective Terms.
- Do we have to book campsites too?
Yes, you’ll have to book campsites too when you’re traveling by RV. There are many to choose from depending on your preference and budget. There are campsites that only offer parking spaces while there are luxurious ones with many different amenities. RVs campsites range from $35 to $50 per night but the luxurious ones have higher prices as well. The time of the year also plays a role in the prices as well. When choosing a campsite, you really have to consider what your needs are and what is important for you then check if those are available on the sites before you book.
Private Campgrounds and RV Resorts
Camping in Private Campgrounds or in RV Resorts might be the best for you if you prefer a glamorous camping experience over an escape into nature. Be sure to prepare a bigger budget as their rates are much higher than that of national parks or state parks given that their amenities are much grander and more luxurious including great views, pools, hot tubs, sports facilities, and many more.
Camping in national parks is very popular. It makes it easy to go sightseeing as you can camp right in the middle of the beauty offered by the national park. However, since it is indeed very popular, the demand is also high so make sure you book reservations ahead as national campgrounds often fill up very quickly. You also have to consider that some national parks have limits when it comes to RV size so you may want to take that into consideration and check on it before you book.
If you’re on a smaller budget, camping in state parks may be a great option for you as their rates tend to be lower than most. It is perfect for you if you enjoy camping around mother nature.
If you don’t want to pay a lot of money on campsites, you may want to try dry camping or boondocking. The only downside would be the possibility of not being unable to connect to electricity, water, and sewer. But this can be remedied by choosing a self-contained RV that can be filled with fresh water and has a propane tank for electricity. Boondocking is usually free or very cheap. There are many different types of boondocking:
There is traditional boondocking where you camp away from everyone and everything and enjoy the best views.
There’s Wallydocking where you park in places such as Walmart or other similar places and spend the night there. This is considered to be the least appealing type of camping but is good for one-night stops while going to your destination. You just have to make sure you have permission to park overnight and that you are not staying for more than one night.
Moochdocking is another type where you park at a friend or family member’s place that is near the area you’re planning to visit.
- What about waste disposal?
A lot of people ask about how to deal with RV toilets. You might think it would be a nasty and taxing task but it really is much simpler. It is not hard and does not take much time at all. For first-timers like you, you might wonder how and where to dump RV waste.
RV waste is disposed of in a communal septic tank usually through the use of a hose. Most RV rentals include gloves you can use to touch the black tank hose. The RV owners would usually give you a run-through on how to do this before your trip so make sure to ask and even take a video so you won’t forget. Campsites usually have designated dump spots or dump stations. One of the easiest ways to find a dump spot or dump station is through a quick online google search.
- Any helpful apps you can recommend for RVing
Sometimes we forget a lot of things when we’re going traveling and this can be true for everyone especially if we’re too excited to get out there and experience a new adventure with RVing. This app will help you become well prepared for camping trips, make sure you don’t forget any camping tasks, as well as help you track your progress.
Free Zone Wi-Fi
Locating WiFi networks can be difficult when traveling. This app can help you find all of the available WiFi networks near your location and will automatically connect you to these networks as long as you are in range.
This app helps you find great campgrounds with features like pricing per campsite, cell signal coverage, and road difficulty.
find the cheapest gas stations which pop up for various gas stations in your area. It also provides information on important stuff like restrooms, restaurants, convenience stores, and more.
Aside from the WiFi networks, getting decent cell coverage can also be a challenge. This app directly finds and compares cellular data coverage from the major carriers.
Now that you know the answer to these five commonly asked questions, it’s time for you to go check out the RV rental sites and start planning your first Recreational Vehicle experience! You are sure to set out on an adventure of a lifetime. You’ll never know, you might actually get hooked and become regular RV travelers.