Rent or Borrow for a Trial Run
You have decided that RV travel is for you. Great — but then another dilemma arises. How do you decide which RV or RV type is the one that will best meet your needs? Would a motorized RV be right for your family, or would the best choice be an RV that you can tow behind a vehicle? How big of an RV do you want? How many beds will you need? Buying an RV is a major investment, and you will want to avoid buyer's regret. While careful and informed shopping is important, actually taking a trial run in an RV will give you great insight into your family's needs when it comes to RV travel.
If you have a willing friend or family member, you may be able to borrow their RV for a short weekend trip. Ask them what they like best about their rig and what they would change if they had the opportunity.
Borrowing an RV may not always be possible. The next best option would be to rent an RV. The RV rental business has exploded over the past few years as families have found it to be a great way to take a fun and hassle-free family vacation without the initial large or ongoing financial outlay of buying an RV. RV rental is also a great option for people who have limited time to travel and don't feel they want to buy an RV when they may only use it two weeks out of the year. You may also want to consider renting if storage is an issue. In some crowded urban areas, RV storage fees may be prohibitive.
Renting an RV is almost as easy as renting a car. There are more than 500 national chain outlets that specialize in RV rentals. Additionally, many local dealers offer RV rentals as a part of their services. Another fairly recent addition to the RV rental market is rental RV fly-and-camp vacation packages.
Most rental companies carry a wide variety of motorized RVs for rental. Overall, motorized RVs are the most popular recreational vehicle to rent. Some also rent towable RVs such as foldup trailers, travel trailers, and fifth-wheel trailers. When you rent a towable trailer, you will be responsible for providing the tow vehicle (it will need to be rated for towing). If it is not equipped with a tow hitch or the larger mirrors that are needed for towing, you will have that additional expense of making your vehicle tow ready.
Most RV rental companies can also provide a package that provides the necessities for your vacation, including dishes, pots and pans, and toilet chemicals. You will be responsible for providing linens, and — of course — food and snacks will be your responsibility. Be prepared for the cost of fuel; RVs do not get the same type of gas mileage as your family car.