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First-Time RV Rental Tips | RV Rental FAQs Before You Hit the Road


Buying an RV can be a feel like a huge leap, so before you take any sort of plunge, consider renting an RV to test drive the experience. An RV rental will introduce you to the many joys of camping without committing to all of the many responsibilities that come with RV ownership.

To help you hit the road, here are some first-time RV rental tips:


Choose the best RV for your needs

Before selecting a camper, take a moment to familiarize yourself with the different types of RVs:

MOTORHOMES are motorized recreational vehicles and come in three types:

A CLASS A MOTORHOME has a flat front profile, like a bus, but with accommodations that make this the ultimate “home on wheels.” Class A’s, however, aren’t usually an entry-level RV due to price, and the size and profile can make them intimidating to drive.

A CLASS B MOTORHOME sometimes called a conversion van, is outfitted with basic kitchen appliances, a bed/dinette combo, and sometimes, a bathroom. These RVs can make for fun road trips but are best suited for couples due to size.

A CLASS C motorhome is built on a truck chassis with a cab extension over the driver area, often used for sleeping space. The motorhomes feature many of the amenities of a Class A and deliver a fun road trip experience at a more economical price.

TRAVEL TRAILERS and FIFTH WHEELS are RVs that can be towed by a minivan, SUV, or pickup truck, depending on the size and type. These RVs aren’t typically the rental of choice as they add a hitching/towing element that can complicate things. However, if you choose to rent one of these RVs, it’s important you consult your town manual and all weight guidelines. The Gross Vehicle Weight Rating will be posted on the RV. That aside, there is a handful of travel trailer and fifth wheel variations to consider:

TRAVEL TRAILERS can be found in a wide variety of lengths depending on type. CAMPING TRAILERS are part trailer, part pop-up tent, which require a bit more setup. EXPANDABLES are hard-sided units with tent ends. Tent setup is much easier on these hybrids. And then there are TRAVEL TRAILERS, units that are fully hard-sided and vary in weight and length. All of these units can be towed with a bumper hitch.

FIFTH WHEELS must be towed by a pickup truck with a special hitch mounted in the truck bed, making these units the least popular among RV rentals. Fifth wheels, like travel trailers, vary in lengths. Fifth wheels are usually packed with home-like amenities, and some fifth wheels even have a garage, complete with ramp door for motorized toys. These fifth wheels are known as TOY HAULERS.

Once you settle on an RV type, then you have to nail down a floorplan that can accommodate you and your guests. Take note of the sleeping capacity but also realize RVs don’t always comfortably sleep the posted number.


Be prepared to pay for deposits and insurance

RV rentals often require one or two deposits (one to secure your reservation and a security deposit that is returned to you if the RV comes back undamaged). Some RV rental companies offer insurance, and if they don’t, you will be required to get your own, typically through your car insurance company.


Prepare for your trip

Do an online search for RV camping checklists. These lists will ensure you’re well-equipped with all of the essentials needed for an RV getaway. While doing your research, take a moment to familiarize yourself with some of the basic tasks most RVers perform when setting up and tearing down camp. Don’t worry, though, the RV rental company will walk you through all of the basics before you hit the road.


Change the RV air filter

Really, you ask? Change the RV air filter? Yep. RVs are small spaces exposed to many allergens, like dust, pollen, mold spores and pet dander (if you’re opting to go with the many outfits that offer pet-friendly RV rentals).

And don’t settle for any ordinary RV filter. These stock filters are only good at keeping the gunk out of the AC, not the interior. You can purchase the newest generation of RV Air filters, featuring 40 layers of unwoven polyester, each sprayed with an anti-microbial tackifier to capture particles as small as 3-10 microns for a MERV 6 rating.

But if all of this seems unnecessary, equate a used RV filter to this … the TV remote in a hotel room. Some things are just plain dirty when shared by a lot of people. If you truly want to enjoy some fresh air while you’re camping, make this simple swap. These filters are available at Walmart and Camping World, as well as and


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