Traveling in a recreational vehicle can be an exciting prospect. If you are considering buying an RV, you may want to rent one first to ensure you are the “RV type”. Follow these guidelines to make sure you select the right vehicle for you, your family, and the trip you are planning.
Visit Local RV Shows
This is the first, best thing you can do in order to determine the type and size vehicle that will suit your needs. Go to a local RV show; sit behind the wheel of a variety of different vehicles. Try them on for size. Bring your family and/or your traveling companions. It helps to make sure everyone can be comfortable in the same type of RV or motorhome. Visit RV Ratings, an independent, nonprofit group that provides useful information, including a checklist of what to bring with you on your trip after you rent the right vehicle. It also provides information on what to look for in a renter’s contract.
Class A – this is the largest of the motorhomes. Usually, 26 to 45 feet in length these RVs can feature one or more slide-outs. A slide-out is an extension of the living space of the RV usually accessed by the pushing of a button. In addition to standard gas-powered vehicles, this class of motorhomes is also available as diesel pushers, which means it runs on diesel and the engine is in the back. Diesel pushers look more like a bus.
Class B – Camper Van/Van Conversion. These run 17 to 19 feet in length and can be driven without too much of an adjustment period because their size is similar to that of a standard van.
Class C – Mini-Motorhomes or Cab Over. These vehicles are built on a car chassis and feature driver and passenger side doors. Basically, a scaled down version of Class A, these RVs can range in length from 22 to 35 feet.
Diesel Pullers – The newest addition to the motorhome arena, diesel pullers feature the engines in the front and have more of a truck-like look to them.
Destination and Timeframe
Planning a minimum two-week trip can help you determine the size RV you need for your family. Be specific about where you are headed. Know the available RV parks and rates so you can budget accordingly. Don’t just hit the road without a plan. Planning the trip before you rent the vehicle will also help in your determination of the size and type of vehicle you will need. If you are not renting a car when you get to your destination, know the available transportation options, such as mass transit, bicycle rentals, taxis, etc.
Create a Budget
As with any vacation, create a budget and stick to it. Now that you know what size/type of RV you need and where you are headed, factor in all the costs associated with the trip. This includes the RV rental, all other associated rental costs such as deposits, gas, insurance, mileage, and taxes to name a few. Factor in food, campsite charges, and the activities you are planning during the trip.
So if you’ve been searching for a different kind of vacation, consider renting an RV or motorhome for your next getaway. Whether you are going just a hundred miles from home or across the country, if you plan ahead, visit RV shows, know exactly what your needs are and budget accordingly, this can become the trip of a lifetime for your and your family.