Important Things You Should Ask Before Renting An RV
A vacation is almost always relaxing, but traveling to your destination by air can turn into a nightmare. Many travelers choose to rent an RV and make the journey just as important as the destination. Traveling through a country’s landscape can open your eyes to attractions and scenery that you wouldn’t encounter any other way. So on your next vacation, perhaps it’s time to slow down, rent an RV and go on a road trip adventure.
However, before you commit to an RV road trip, there are a few things you should know about RV rentals. Here’s our guide to important things to know before renting an RV for your vacation.
Consider The Types of RVs Available
When it comes to RV rentals, there are plenty of options available so you should be able to find something that matches your needs. For example, they can range in size from Class A Motorhomes that are truly a home away from home, to Class B or C Camper Vans that are self contained and offer many amenities; or you can get a fifth wheel camper, which is a pull behind RV that has a fifth wheel hitch in the back of a truck cab. Another option is a Towable Travel Trailer which is ideal for camp sites. This one you can tow behind your truck or full size van so you will be driving your own vehicle.
Selecting the right size for your RV adventure will be a compromise between the desire for living space and the realities of parking space, maneuverability and cost. Be sure that you are comfortable with the driving requirements and size of the vehicle before departing the rental agency. Consider what types of roads you will be traveling on. You might make a different choice for a trip through the Rocky Mountains vs a coastal journey to quiet beach towns. Choose a vehicle that will be just big enough, but not so large to make it too costly or too difficult to maneuver.
Putting Down a Deposit
Renting an RV also means that you will be requested to put down a deposit. Usually you need to give a deposit for holding your reservation. Be sure you ask about cancellation fees and deadlines. There is also another kind of deposit, called the security deposit. This deposit will be returned back to you if you give back the RV after your trip in prime condition. Be certain that you carefully inspect and document the vehicle BEFORE you drive away and again as you return it, noting any prior inperfections. This is a great time to whip out your phone and take a quick video capturing all sides of the RV. When you rent an RV you will see that some companies also offer you insurance as well. Just like car rental insurance, there are lots of coverages you should be prepared to consider. If the company does not come with its own insurance, you will need to do some research and get it by yourself. The first step is to ask your regular insurance agent if your car coverage would extend to a rental. Also, be aware that rental insurance offered by credit card companies does not cover vehicles with truck bodies, and therefore would not extend to RV rentals. And it’s good to know if the vehicle comes equipped with bicycle racks.
Before placing your deposit, be sure to ask these important questions: Are there age restrictions? Are you too young to rent or too old? (Many companies do not rent to drivers past 70 years of age). Are any special licenses required? Can you take the vehicle across country borders? Are pets allowed or is there an additional fee? Is there a cleaning fee upon the return? If you return the vehicle early will you get a partial refund? Are there fees for one way rentals?
Estimate Your Costs
Prices vary widely according to the size of the vehicle, and each season comes with different rates. If you choose to rent an RV during peak season you will have to pay more than you would during the off seasons. There is a daily fee that you will have to pay for your RV, and some companies might also charge you for each mile that is traveled in your RV. Be sure to ask about mileage limites during your rental.
Practicalities of the Road
While we all envision wide open roads with minimal traffic, that’s not always the reality. Determine if your vehicle comes with an onboard GPS system. Will you need to avoid certain roads that have low bridges? Does your vehicle take diesel or gasoline fuel? Do you know just how to refill the tank and perhaps the windshield fluid? Are there any other fluids that need to be checked or replenished during your rental term?
One of the more important considerations to make is, does the RV park you’re planning to stay at need to be reserved in advance? What are the nightly costs? AND can you pull through the parking space or will you need to back out?
What To Do in Case of Breakdown?
While no one likes to think about trouble on the road, it does happen. Be sure to ask if there is on-the-road emergency assistance available. You may be able to rely on your AAA membership coverage, or there may be a private service offered by the rental agency. Be sure you know where the spare tire and equipment is located and who to contact in the event you need assistance on the road.
With a bit of advance preperation, you’ll be on your way to a memorable RV adventure!