Motorhome Parked in National Park

Renting an RV: A Guide for Beginners

When going for a hiking trip, sometimes you would need to travel in an RV. And if you have a love for the great outdoors and hiking, you’ll probably have an interest in RVs too. Having an RV is a great way of balancing spending time in the wilderness combined with the conveniences of modern living. 

In this article, we’ll help you get prepared to rent a camper and ensure that your time with the rented RV will be both hassle-free and enjoyable.

We’ll cover everything you need to know before renting an RV based on the most common questions wannabe renters typically ask.

Do I Need to Rent an RV?

The first thing to consider is whether you really need to hire an RV for your next hiking vacation. The answer to this question will be determined by a variety of factors, including:

  • Where you are traveling to
  • The time of year 
  • Does the destination allow RVs
  • Will you be able to hook up the RV at your destinations

In general, you’d need to rent an RV when:

  • Your destination doesn’t have sufficient accommodation
  • When you’re on the road, you’d like to eat your own cooked food
  • Are looking for a long adventure yet want the familiarity and comfort of home
  • Looking for freedom
  • Traveling safely 

What Type of RVs are There?

Recreational vehicles (RVs for short) are categorized. There are numerous types of RVs, with the main differences being their size and, as a result, the variety of amenities that the RV contains. The 3 main types of motorized RVs are referred to as A, B and C. 

What is a Class A RV?

The Class A RV is the largest of the RVs, with some measuring up to 45 feet in length. Because of the greater capacity, these campers can contain a lot of extra facilities and functionality. Many of the RVs in this category feature facilities that rival the best hotels.

However, with all that weight comes poor fuel efficiency and the difficulty to park in tight spots. In addition, they are the most expensive to rent. On RVShare.com, the average rental fee for a Class A RV is $260 per night.

What is a Class B RV?

Class B RVs are simply vans that have been outfitted with camping gear. In terms of size and capacity, they are at the lower end of the spectrum. As a result, they will have fewer amenities than Class A or C RVs.

These RVs are the most affordable to rent, with the average price of a Class B RV on RVShare.com being around $90. Because of its lighter weight and smaller dimensions, the Class B RV has excellent fuel economy.

What is a Class C RV?

The Class C RV is the most popular of the RVs since it features some of the comforts of the Class A RV without the weight and poor fuel efficiency of the Class A RV and the nimbleness of Class B but with more space. Class C RVs usually have a front cabin where the driver sits and a back cabin where the RV body sits.

The cost of renting a Class C RV is usually around $150 per day. Its fuel economy is better than that of Class A, but because it still has some weight, it cannot be compared to that of Class B.

What Type of RV Should I Rent?

This depends on your needs.

  • If you’re traveling alone and don’t mind confined spaces, a class B RV is the way to go. Even if the space is limited, you will save a lot of money on fuel and daily rental fees.
  • If you have a small family and a limited budget, consider a class C RV.
  • If you want luxury and comfort and the expense of renting an RV isn’t an issue, go for a Class A RV.

How to Choose a Good RV to Rent?

When renting an RV, you should ask yourself a few questions to determine which type of RV is ideal for you.

  1. How many people will I be traveling with?
  2. How long will the RV be on the road rather than at a campsite?
  3. Where do I want to park the RV, and do they have space for the sort of RV I’m thinking about renting?
  4. What kind of roads would I be driving on on my road trip, and can the roads accommodate the size of the camper I’m thinking of renting?

When renting an RV, you should also keep the following things in mind:

Before you take the RV from the owner, make sure you properly check it. Inspect the camper for any dents, scrapes, or cracks. Also, test all of the camper’s appliances to confirm that they are in good working order.

Using a video camera to inspect the camper will provide you with visual documentation of any damages that occurred prior to renting it.

This will help you avoid having to pay for any damages that existed on the RV before you hired it.

What is the Best RV to Rent?

The answer to this question is dependent on your specific circumstances, but in general, we would recommend a class C RV. The reasons for suggesting this class are as follows:

  1. This RV is small enough to drive comfortably on most roads.
  2. They are less difficult to maneuver than class A RVs.
  3. It’s easier to find a campground with an average-sized class C vehicle.
  4. It is lower to the ground, making it easier to drive and more stable.
  5. They are also generally more cost effective than the larger RVs.

What Kind of License Do You Need to Drive an RV?

It all depends on the state you’ll be driving in. Most states do not require a special license to drive an RV and those that do impose restrictions based on the weight of the RV you will be driving. View the complete list of restrictions by state on this website.

In general, RVs weighing less than 26,000 pounds and towed vehicles weighing less than 10,000 pounds do not require a special license in any of the 50 states.

Can I drive a motorhome with a car license?

Yes, renting an RV weighing less than 26,000 pounds is the best option to drive a motorhome with a standard driving license. With this, you will be allowed to drive your RV across the United States without the need for a special license.

What Does it Cost to Rent an RV for a Week?

You’d need about $1000 in rental costs to rent an RV for a week. This does not include the cost of petrol or RV campground fees. Please check the RV’s current pricing on RVShare.com or other RV Rental Websites.

How Much Does it Cost to Put Gas in an RV?

Under normal driving conditions, class C RVs do around 10 miles per gallon. With the highest gas prices about $3.5 per gallon, you’ll most likely pay roughly $35 to travel 100 miles.

How Much Does it Cost to Fill up a Class C RV?

This is defined by the type of RV you are driving. A gas tank with a capacity of 30 gallons is standard in class C motorhomes. With a Class C RV’s fuel economy of roughly 10 MPG, you’ll be able to drive about 300 miles on a full tank of petrol.

How Much Does it Cost to Rent a Motorhome?

The cost of renting an RV is influenced by the sort of motor home that you choose. The average breakdown is as follows: A class C motorhome typically costs around $150 per day to rent. When you add 100 miles of driving each day ($35) and campsite fees of roughly $45, the total cost per day is $230.

DescriptionCost ($)
Rental fee for Average Class C RV150
Fuel (driving 100 Miles)35
Full Hookup Campsite Fees45
Total Cost of renting an RV per day$ 230
Daily cost of renting an RV

Also, note that this breakdown excludes the cost of meals and park admission. It does not include any dumping costs either. 

Bear in mind as well, the longer you rent the RV, the cheaper it will be per day. 

How Much Does the Average RV Weigh?

A Class B RV normally weighs between 6,000 and 8,000 pounds, whereas a Class C vehicle weighs between 10,000 and 12,000 pounds. Vehicles in the Class A category can weigh anywhere from 13,000 to 30,000 pounds.

Can I Rent a RV?

An RV can be rented by almost anyone. However, there are a few factors that may prevent you from renting an RV.

  1. In most states, you must be at least 21 years old to rent an RV. Some states have a higher age limit (25 years) for anybody considering renting an RV.
  2. You must have a valid driver’s license. Remember, as long as the RV you’ll be driving doesn’t weigh more than 26,000 pounds, you’re free to drive it.
  3. You must have a credit card from one of the major banks.

Aside from that, you have no constraints when driving your RV. To be safe, we encourage you to find out the particular rules that may prohibit you from renting beforehand.

How Much Does it Cost to Park an RV at a Campground?

Having checked a few camping websites it appears that a full hookup campsite will cost between $25 and $55 per night.

Fees for public campsites, like public parks, can be free or as expensive as the cost of a park admission ticket. However, preparing ahead of time can help you prevent disappointments caused by crowds in these areas.

How Fast do RVs Go?

The best speed for driving an RV is between 60 and 65 miles per hour. RVs are not the most aerodynamic vehicles on the road and driving them faster than this would dramatically lower fuel efficiency. You may also expose yourself to hazards that you would not ordinarily encounter in a regular car. Strong crosswinds, for example, might render your RV unstable at high speeds, which could result in an accident.

Do RVs Have a Special Speed Limit?

Most states have speed limits of 65-70 MPH. However, some jurisdictions impose speed limits for particular sizes of RVs. Here is a full list of the different states and their RV Speed Restrictions.

Can I Off-road with my Rented RV?

While it is generally not advisable to offroad in your RV, you may want to take your RV on an adventure away from the beaten path. Where possible, take a separate vehicle that is better suited for the off-road experience than the RV.

If you intend to drive the RV off-road, be sure the ground is firm and will not sink the wheels of your heavy RV. The heavier your RV, the less advisable to take it off-road. Remember that you hired an RV rather than purchasing one, and you will be responsible for any damages you do to the RV while it is in your possession.

How Often Should I Dump Waste from my RV?

When renting an RV, you should wait at least 2-3 days before discarding the black and gray water. This will enable it to gather for a while, creating enough pressure, and allowing the waste to break down for a time, allowing for smooth flow.

Should I Use Special Tissue Paper in the RV?

Yes, there is special tissue paper that decomposes faster than regular tissue, preventing blockage when dumping.

Where Should I Not Take My Rented RV?

Don’t drive your rented RV across international borders.

When renting an RV, most rental agreements do not permit you to enter foreign boundaries. There are several reasons for this, and doing so could get you in a lot of trouble with the RV’s owner.

Furthermore, most insurance companies do not cover damages that occur outside of the country’s boundaries. If something were to happen to the RV, you would have a difficult time getting the insurance to cover the losses if you had traveled international boundaries.

When Should I Return my Rented RV?

Most rental agreements specify when you must return the RV to the owner. It is important that you return the RV within this time frame to avoid fees or complications.

It is best if you allow time for an inspection with the owner to ensure that the car is in the same condition it was in when you received it. This will avoid questions and problems arising as a result of damage to the RV.

What Should I Do Before Returning my Rented RV?

Before returning your hired RV, it’s a good idea to do a complete check to ensure that it is in the same condition as when you obtained it. This will prepare you to answer any concerns of the owner, in case of damage to the RV.

National Parks are fantastic places to visit if you rent an RV. We have written articles about Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park that you might be interested in reading if you plan to visit these two popular National Parks.

Renting an RV for Your Next Hiking Adventure

Combining your trek with hiring an RV is a great idea if you’re planning on going for a longer time and to a secluded location. 

RVs are divided into several categories, with Classes A, B, and C being the most common. They all meet different needs, but Class C RVs are often preferred by people since they are roomy and have lower gas use. On average, hiring for a day will cost $230, which includes site fees and gas.

In addition to these tips, make sure to browse through RV rental sites for current rates and rental terms.

We hope that this guide has answered all of your questions regarding renting an RV and that you are now well prepared for your next trip.

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