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How to Rent a RV for Your Big Family Vacation

    You see them on the road every day—great, shining RVs—happily rolling down the highway to parts unknown. They look like huge, marvelous beasts, and the happy drivers seem to handle them with ease.  If you ever wondered what it would be like to be at the wheel of a recreational vehicle and what’s it like to spend your vacation in one, let’s take a look at what it’s like to have one on vacation out on a temporary basis. That’s right—you can rent a recreational vehicle for a few days or a few weeks and find out if this type of vacation is right for you.

    The RV Personality

    There are as many types of RV personalities as there are vehicle types.  If you’re a fisherman or hunter and like to spend your leisure hours in remote areas, an RV might be the perfect lodging for you. There’s no need to worry about plugging into electricity—today’s recreational vehicles are completely self-contained. Heating, air-conditioning, refrigeration, cooking, and showering can all be done completely off the grid. Simply prep your vehicle and you’re ready to spend your days and nights along mountain streams, in a national forest, and along ocean shorelines.

    For those with more urban tastes, RVs can make traveling to cities and tourist attractions more time-efficient and less expensive. When traveling in an RV, you make fewer bathroom stops. You don’t have to wait for service in restaurants (unless you want to), and you don’t have to arrive or depart according to hotel or motel schedules. You can reserve campsites in state and national parks across the country or private campgrounds with many amenities.

    Most major tourist attractions have accommodations for RV parking. Your extra clothing is always with you. You can clean up on the spot.  And the RV is always available for a quick nap or quick snack.  This convenience saves you time for those jam-packed sightseeing trips where every minute counts.

    The Rental Company

    The rental company that provides the recreational vehicle can make or break your trip. Because you will be embarking to unknown areas, with a new type of vehicle, work with an experienced, reliable company with a solid protocol for familiarizing you with the RV systems. A good rental company will provide you with information on how to deal with problems on the road and with good advice on local provisions. They can also give you directions on the best routes to get where you want to go.

    Some RV rental companies have such a tight operation that they routinely have their RVs ready for passengers that arrive on flights that arrive late at night. With this type of setup, there’s no need to get a hotel room for half a night.  Your RV will be waiting with the light on, with bedding, towels, and even window coverings for your privacy. This attention to detail is a signal that the rental company knows its customer’s needs and is ready and willing to provide them without prompting.

    If possible, get references for the rental company you will be using. If references aren’t available, then read the RV magazines or check internet sites for reviews. Here are a few tips for finding a competent RV rental company:

    1. Do they offer “kits” for bedding, cooking, and bathing at good prices?
    2. Will they send you the paperwork to look over in advance?
    3. Do they fully inform you of insurance needs and have you checked your current insurance to see if recreational vehicle rentals are covered? Do they offer additional insurance coverage at a reasonable price?
    4. Do they have a system in place to quickly and efficiently check you in and check you out?
    5. Do they offer extra amenities for rent, such as lawn chairs, barbecue grills, and outdoor tables to make your trip comfortable?
    6. Do they know the problems of novice RV renters and warn them of potential problems and possible remedies?
    7. Do they have a system for handling emergencies on the road?

    These details can make the difference between having a memorable experience on your vacation and floundering in uncertainty and discomfort.


    Now you can rent an RV much like you would a vacation home through RVshare.  RVShare has the largest RV Rental Marketplace. Choose from Pet-Friendly RVs, Drivable RVs, Towable RVs, or even Deliverable RVs. Not sure what type you want to rent? Check out their handy guide based on option highlights, driving comfort level, mileage, length, and amenities. Plus, RVshare offers industry-first rental insurance and 24-hour roadside assistance!

    Planning The Trip

    As with any road trip, travelers should prepare well in advance of their trip with information on routes to attractions, road conditions, expected weather conditions, and stops along the way. With global positioning devices, commonly called GPS, these tasks are easier than ever, but vacationers should nevertheless plan carefully in advance. The internet makes locating tourist attractions, addresses, hours of operation, and other information available on demand. If you can bring an internet-connected device with you on your trip, you will have this information at your fingertips but do not count on an internet connection alone. Bring your guidebooks and maps as a backup, in case you enter remote areas where phone or internet service is not available.

    Keeping Safe During RV Travel

    Certain conditions on the road can offer dangers for RV vacationers. Unfamiliar roads can create sudden hazards for these large vehicles. Always maintain a safe speed during inclement weather. Take your time and allow plenty of room for braking. If you find yourself on mountain roads, go slowly, allowing faster traffic to go around you if necessary.  Park the vehicle carefully at your site as directed by the campsite operator. Keep doors locked during the night. Though most campgrounds are safe places with regular security, keep valuables locked up and out of sight. Keep campfires well away from the vehicle area and ensure that all fires are completely out before leaving the site. Keep the emergency number given to you by your RV rental company in a safe place in case of breakdowns on the road.

    Following these tips will ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable first RV trip. It is likely to be only the first of many RV trips because once you become familiar with RV systems and the degree of comfort that RVs offer, you will find yourself coming up with endless new destinations to explore with your big family in your cozy, temporary RV home.

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    Theresa Jorgensen

    Theresa Jorgensen

    Theresa Jorgensen is a mother to four children including twins. She recognized the necessity for a comprehensive resource of hotels that cater to big families with rooms and suites for 5, 6, 7, or 8 people in a single room while traveling with her own family. In 2008, she established SixSuitcaseTravel to compile a database of such hotels. Over time, the website has grown to include travel advice, itineraries, road trip suggestions, national park guides, and more. Theresa takes pleasure in assisting other big families in creating unforgettable travel experiences.