Renting an RV is an excellent travel option. It’s a budget-friendly way to combine both comfort and convenience, and you’ll likely meet the nicest fellow campers along the way. If you’re feeling some trepidation over your first RV rental, relax. Here’s an easy-to-follow guide for renting a recreational vehicle for the first time.


Book Accommodation for Your Trip!

Your RV will provide a comfortable place for you to sleep at night while traveling between destinations. Treat yourself to some extra room, a big kitchen and a big bed by booking a vacation rental.

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How to Choose the Right RV for You

Your first decision when renting a recreational vehicle is which style best suits your needs for this particular trip. If your RV rental company has a website, go there and explore your options for models, passenger capacity and floorplans. Here are the most common styles of recreational vehicles:

Types of RV's

Class C Cabover — This style features a van cab with a motorhome attached, identifiable by the sleeping compartment over the cab. Depending on the configuration, there’s usually a bedroom, bath, fully-applianced kitchen and a dinette that can be converted to sleeping space. A cabover will accommodate up to five people and is much easier to park, turn and back than a larger Class A “bus” type motorhome. Some cabovers also have pull-out sections that provide even more space when camping.

Fifth Wheel Camper — This is a type of pull-behind recreational vehicle that requires a (renter furnished) special fifth wheel hitch mounted in the bed of your pickup. These are large RVs that usually have two full-size beds and additional bunks as well as a good sized kitchen, bath and dinette.

Class A “Bus Style” Motorhome — This is the largest style of RV available. They are luxurious homes-away-from-home with roomy kitchens and baths. Depending on the model you rent, there may be bunks in addition to at least one full-size bed and convertible dinette sleeping areas. If you’re concerned about driving a larger motorhome, you’d probably be more comfortable renting a Class C, instead, but be sure to check them out before making your decision.

Towable Travel Trailer—If you prefer to tow your recreational vehicle rather than drive it, be aware that you’ll need to provide the tow hitch and related safety equipment, rated for the size trailer you are renting. Check with the rental company for the proper specifications. Towable trailers include kitchens, baths and permanent and convertible sleeping areas for four or five people.


If you’re unsure what configuration, sleeping capacity and amenities you’ll need, contact the rental facility staff before you reserve your unit. And speaking of reservations, making them as early as possible before your trip guarantees that the RV you need will be available. Also, check with the rental staff regarding special promotions that can save you big vacation dollars. Those might include “fly and drive” promotions, one-way rentals and seasonal specials.


About the Author

This article was written by Joe Laing, the Marketing Director for El Monte RV, a nationwide RV rental company. Joe has been on the road working within the travel industry for over 20 years, and greatly enjoys exploring the outdoors. Joe has been camping across the United States, from coast-to-coast, and makes a point to stop at national landmarks along the way. He is also actively involved in numerous campground associations, including RVIA’s Go RV’ing committee, as well as travel industry associations.