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5 Reasons to Avoid an RV Rental

5 Reasons to Avoid an RV Rental

Does it make sense to purchase an RV if you only plan to do a trip or two here and there, or would an RV rental be better?

RV travel has skyrocketed in the last year or two. And there are some amazing benefits to taking a vacation in an RV. But what if you don’t have an RV?

Let’s see!

What is an RV Rental? 

RV rental is borrowing an RV for a trip, usually short-term, versus purchasing one. There are many ways you can rent an RV, depending on your preferences and needs. You can either rent an RV from an individual or through a company.

Renting an RV is great for those who want to either “try before they buy” or only want to use it for a single adventure. 

5 Reasons to Avoid RV Rentals

While there are many reasons to rent an RV, there are also some real reasons to avoid RV rentals. RV travel certainly isn’t for everyone. Indeed, renting an RV might present some challenges you aren’t prepared for, turning your vacation into a disaster. 

#1 – It’s Expensive

Renting an RV is very expensive. The cost of an RV rental can far exceed that of a hotel room. Keep in mind that you have the expense of the RV rental fees plus the gas or diesel and campground fees when renting an RV.

Additionally, if you’re renting a drivable RV versus a towable RV, you’ll need to bring along a second vehicle or drive the large RV everywhere you go. If you need to bring a second vehicle, you need to factor in the fuel for that as well. 

#2 – Rules and Minimum Rental Requirements

RV rentals come with hefty paperwork explaining rules and rental requirements. The company or individual, of course, wants to protect their assets, but the rules can be extensive.

Be sure to read all of the rules to ensure you don’t find yourself breaking the terms of use and incurring additional charges. Furthermore, there may be certain minimal rental requirements that end up costing you more than you intended.

#3 – Can Be Stressful for Families

If you’ve had little to no previous experience RVing, an RV rental can complicate your vacation. It isn’t as simple as jumping in your car and checking into a hotel. There’s a learning curve to all things RVing. And when you’re on vacation, you usually aren’t interested in so much hands-on learning to make it to your destination. 

This can put a strain on the whole vacation. Family members can find themselves stressed, which can translate to high tensions and bad attitudes.

#4 – The RV Driving Learning Curve

Do you have a sedan or even a small SUV as your daily driver? It might surprise you how different it is to drive a large RV. Driving an RV requires a lot of patience on both the part of the driver and passengers. You’ll have to take your turns wider. Backing up is slower, and there are more and bigger blind spots than normal. 

The stress of clipping a tree or another vehicle can be too much for some to deal with. Having an anxious family member on a family vacation isn’t fun for anyone. If you’re concerned, you may want to think more about that RV rental.

Pro Tip: You can rent towable and motorized RVs, here’s the big difference between the two.

#5 – It’s More Work

When you take a vacation in a hotel, you book the hotel, and your accommodations are taken care of. With an RV, you not only have to book the RV but also the campgrounds you’ll be staying at. You’ll additionally need to verify your intended driving routes are safe to drive a large vehicle and free of low clearance bridges. These extra steps add several challenging layers to your trip planning.

Once you’ve embarked on your adventure, the work doesn’t end there. Instead of simply checking into a hotel, you have to check in, get parked, and set up your rental RV before you can enjoy the area. There are a lot more steps involved in beginning your vacation! 

The work doesn’t stop once you have made it to your destination either. Unless you have full hookups, you’ll need to monitor your water usage and tank levels. No one wants to deal with overflowing waste-water tanks! If you’ve never experienced dumping RV tanks, it isn’t likely something you want to do for the first time while on vacation. 

Finally, when everyone is tired from your vacation, your work still isn’t done. Now you have to tear down, dump your waste-water tanks, and haul the RV back. By this point, you may need a vacation from your vacation.

Is RV Rental Worth It? 

Now that we’ve painted a bit of a grim picture, we have to say it isn’t all that bad. Otherwise, people wouldn’t do it. RVing is a great way to travel and experience adventure. Once you’ve gotten the hang of RVing, it comes rather naturally. The problem comes when there’s not much time to learn a whole new way of travel. 

If you’re a fast learner or don’t mind a bit of hands-on learning, an RV rental might end up being a great option for you. Those that care more about the journey than the destination will likely feel their RV rental was worth it. 

If you want to get there and enjoy your destination, an RV rental might not be your best bet. You don’t want to spend your whole vacation feeling like the whole experience was a hassle. The last thing anything wants to do is walk away from a vacation feeling like it was a waste of time.

Keep in mind: Here’s the difference between RVshare and Outdoorsy, the two big P2P RV rental services.

RV Rental May or May Not Be For You

Even though more and more people are going with RV rentals for their vacation, that doesn’t mean it’s the right choice for everyone. Have you ever rented an RV? If so, what was your experience? 

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  1. Mark Mathias says:

    So if an RV rental ISN’T a good option, what are some ways people (and families) CAN see if they’d like to invest in an RV?

  2. Jennifer Foster says:

    About the renting an RV. we have a couple of times and they were great! We went for 11 days over 1500 miles and had a great time for $1,100. You just have to do your homework on camping spots. We paid $13.00 per night ate all our meals in, it was perfect for us.

  3. Kyle & Olivia Brady says:

    How often do people rent cars to see if they should buy one? You go to the lot, step inside it, see which models work for you, and then buy a used one that you can resell at no lose if you don’t like it.

  4. Ray Brown says:

    As a follow-up article, would you present the pro’s and con’s of buying an RV rental vehicle? We are selling ours because after 4 years we don’t think our current RV is right for us. Some of the better “deals” pricewise are RVs coming off rental duty. Is this a good idea?

  5. Matt Forbes says:

    I work for an RV rental facility in Georgia and based on our reviews which are published on line for anyone to view, 98% of our customers, most first time RV users, would and will, rent from us again. You get what you pay for, we maintain a fleet of newer units all less than two years old, all under factory warranty, each maintained with utmost care, if a storage latch in a compartment that may never be used is loose it gets repaired or replaced. Upon pickup we show the customer a 20 minute video on the basics of RV use and also do a full walkthrough with the customer and the unit they will be renting with a technician. We also provide a toll free number they can call 24 hours a day if they have a question or an issue. We had a family rent from us this week for a two week trip to Key West Florida and versus the cost of the cheapest hotel in the area they wanted to stay, they are saving hundreds of dollars. And if they want to change scenery and go to Disney they can, RVing is about freedom and that alone outweighs any negatives you mentioned in this article.

  6. Gail Featherston says:

    We rented an RV before we bought a trailer. Traveled over 3000 miles and had a great time. It all depends on what you are looking for and your attitude. It’s not for everyone. You don’t know if you like it if you don’t try it.

  7. David Beuke says:

    Great info, you two are living the life.