What to know before renting a Recreational Vehicle (RV)


Looking for a adventure camping vacation in USA? Then you very well could end up behind the wheel of a recreational vehicle (RV).With a rental RV you get the best of all worlds — you get to see all the sights your heart desires and you get to enjoy the comforts of a big RV, without committing to the responsibilities and big money that come with purchasing an RV.

Just like cars, there are different types of RVs. Each one offers different features, and you will want to know what features you are looking for to determine what is the best fit for your needs. Here are the most common types of RVs:

  • Class C Cabover – This RV has a van cab with an attached motorhome. Class C RVs typically have a bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen that can be converted into sleeping quarters. Not quite as big as other classes of RVs, the Class C Cabover can comfortably accommodate five people and is fairly easy to manage.

  • Class A Motorhome – This type is the largest of the motorhome family. With this, you will traveling and camping in luxury. With more room than other RVs, you can easily live in this motorhome. But keep in mind that with its more luxurious and roomy accommodations comes a bigger rig that is more difficult to drive.
  • Fifth Wheel Camper – This pull-behind RV requires a fifth wheel hitch that is mounted in the bed of your truck. Fifth wheel campers have two full-sized beds and bunks, and also offer a kitchen, bathroom, and dinette.
  • Towable Travel Trailer – You also can rent an RV that you tow behind your truck, as opposed to drive. These trailers have kitchens, bathrooms, and sleeping areas typically fit for four or five people.

. Where to rent?

check the local RV rental agencies and go through their terms and condition. find out how much you have for your RV rental, gas, supplies, attraction fees, and extra spending cash. You’ll also be able to get a better idea if, given your budget, a week long or month-long RV trip is most realistic.For the first time renters , it is usually good to rent Class C vehicle.

. How much it will cost?

in an average the RV might cost $250 – $500 depending on the size and season. but other things will add on to it such as gas mileage, insurance , road side assistance , camping ground (what kind of facility) , public transport/rental car if you need to go out, cleaning preparation, fresh water fill up, gas and propane fill up and delivery and pickup from your house. For each day you rent you get on average free 100 miles so if you are planning for extra miles make sure you add that as cost as it might cost extra money (25 cents to 50 cents). it is better to prepay for the extra miles.

. What to look for in a RV?

so many different options are there in RV that it is difficult to choose which RV is good for you. If you are camping for more days and need extra space in RV it is better to go for one which slides to give extra room and a slider for you to sit outside.

. Security deposit renting RV?

Most of RVs require you to deposit money while reserving the RVs. make sure you check the cancellation policy.

. Check the Insurance?

make sure you talk to your insurance company before reserving the rv. most of the insurance company will not cover your rv rental if you don’t own one. If your insurance don’t provide the coverage then take the full coverage insurance from the rental company. some of them give full insurance coverage included in the rental price with a deductible. It is advisable to take extra roadside coverage in case any thing happens.

. Initial inspection

Before heading out, do a walk-around of the RV to observe any potential problems. “Check your tire pressure,” says Groene. “Make sure all access doors are closed and no obstructions are in the way.”

. can you drive ?

Shortly after renting your first-ever RV, get acclimated to your new “big ride” in a safe, open space. Even if you’ve driven a minivan or large truck for years, you’ll find that the RV experience presents an assortment of new challenges. “Go to a mall when it’s empty or a big church lot on a weekday,” says RV expert Janet Groene, co-author of the book, Living Aboard Your RV. “At low speeds there, learn to use the mirrors, turn corners, back up and park. Familiarize yourself with the rear-facing TV view, if your RV has one. If you’re traveling with a partner, practice hand signals so you can help each other park and back up without resorting to shouting instructions.”

.Can you drive while sliders are open?

you should always retract the sliders before driving as it might accident and you might topple.

. speed limit and gas mileage ?

One of the thing you should note is the gas mileage for a RV. most of the RVs will give on average 10 miles per gallon if you stay withing 65 miles per hr. If you are planning for a trip from point A to point B and google map or gps says it will take x amount of time then add 5 min to each hr you will drive as most of interstate will have 70 and you will be going less than that. going with max speed miles will get you 8 miles per gallon average.

. Big-picture perspective

You have one major safety advantage in an RV: elevation. You’re sitting higher than most auto drivers, which gives you a longer, wider view of the road. Use this to gain a greater perspective of what’s ahead, including any road obstructions, slowing traffic, accidents, etc. “You should give your full attention to the road, especially in an RV,” Groene says. “It has a higher center of gravity and lots of wind surface. Maneuvering provides many surprises and they are worse at speed or on windy days. Add a sudden blow-out to the picture and you’ll want both hands on the wheel.”

. A safety cushion

About 15 percent of RV auto insurance claims are caused by the failure to correctly stop and turn. RVs need plenty of distance to brake, as well as width to turn.

. Tall order

Always check clearance signs for tunnels and commercial buildings to assess whether your RV will fit underneath. “You should be constantly aware of your RV’s height in feet and inches,” Groene says. “Don’t attempt to go through a drive-through or indoor parking garage unless you’re absolutely certain you’ll make it.”

. Balanced load

An unbalanced RV is likelier to suffer a blowout, breakdown or braking/steering problems. Pack evenly so you don’t “overload” one particular section of the RV.

. where to camp?

In planning a long trip in the country, go on the websites of campgrounds to make sure they’re right for RVs. “Many indicate whether they have pull-through sites and hook-up areas,” Groene says. “Pull-throughs allow you to drive straight to the RV section. Hook-ups are for connecting to electricity, water and sewer.”

.Camping with Full hookups (water, electricity and sewerage)?

most of the nice camp grounds with full hookups cost little extra but it is nice to have and peace of mind as you connect these three things to your RV and has home like feeling while away from home.

.should you use RVs restroom while in a camp ground?

most of the nice camp grounds have well maintained restroom with nice showers and swimming pool. It is better to use those instead of squeezing in the RVs small space.

.Dry Camping without Full hookups (water, electricity and sewerage)?

most of the RVs holds enough fresh water , generator on board , propane gas for cooking and refrigerator and big capacity for sewerage (toilet and bath/kitchen sink water) so with a family of four you can live without any dependency for 4/5 days. most the camp ground even if they have no hook ups will have dumping station and restrooms with shower facility.

.Can you cook while driving?

yes can cook while driving . only thing to keep in mind is you are driving on a smooth road.the microwave and rice cooker or plugging in skillet needs generator.

.air conditioning and generator usage?

The rental agencies give some 3hr free generator usage per day. the air conditioning from the engine like a regular car will keep the first four seats cool. if you want whole RV air conditioning (for example while driving someone wants to be on the bed room back of the RV you need start generator). usually generator usage over allowed time are charged 3 to 4 dollar per hour. other than air conditioning the microwave and charging any electrical equipment or rice cooker or plugging in skillet needs generator.

.can you watch TV while driving?

most of the RVs have a 32+ inch tv on top of the driver seat and most of them are plugged in using engine’s battery and usually use 7watt. passengers can watch TV+DVD while on the road. The TV+DVD can also be running using generator.

.can you use water while on the road?

as the water is located not on top to create pressure there might be a mechanism which needs to be shut down after usage or else water might leak and you will be out of water on the go.

.what kind of gas to use?

make sure you rent the RV that use 87.

.can you rest in rest areas and any shopping complexes?

only few states (6/7) allow overnight stay. make sure you call and have back up plan.

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