Top 3 RV Rental Companies To Check Out
RV (recreational vehicle) rentals jumped in 2020 due in large part to the pandemic. While the initial expectation was for the RV business to experience a decline, the opposite has occurred. June 7 was National RV Day, which saw a spike in sales. The week before that was Memorial Day and in between those two holidays, one of the featured RV rental companies (RVShare) posted rental bookings more than 1,000% higher than in previous months. What caused the sudden spike in RV rental sales during a pandemic? The ability to remain in a contained and controlled environment while still enjoying a vacation is a large factor. If you are considering renting an RV but are not sure what the next steps are, here is an easy overview of the industry and how to rent a camper for your next vacation.
Effects of the 2020 Pandemic on RV Rentals
RV rental sales spiked during the 2020 pandemic directly because of the limitations imposed by the pandemic. People still wanted to take vacations and spend time with family but planned destinations were shut down. Travel across state lines required fourteen days self-isolation, rendering typical vacation activities unattainable if not outright illegal. RV rentals became the unexpected savior for family vacations or for simply being able to escape regular life for a while.
Schools were also being closed. Many families were reporting significantly increased stress due to working at home and home-schooling. Even normal family vacations are stressful when dealing with packing, unpacking, travel plans and hotel accommodations. RV rentals provide a portable escape without normal vacation challenges. They are also a viable, pandemic workaround in a time many families need a break.
Types of Available RV Rentals
There are many types of RVs from which to choose. Renting the right one for the situation is crucial to enjoying the time spent in it. Which RV rental type is right for you?
The motorhome is a popular rental choice because it requires no towing or additional, related driving skills. Motorhomes are divided into three classes, however. Classes A and C are both larger, with Class A being sometimes too large for first-time renters to feel comfortable. The Class B motorhome style is also known as a campervan. It is smaller and more easily driven, but perhaps too cramped for use by a larger family. Class C is the most popular motorhome rental choice, combining maneuverability with comfort. If you have driven a rental moving van, such as a Uhaul, then you can drive a camper.
- Class A motorhomes are essentially home suites on wheels. Full kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and entertainment amenities can be expected. Length can reach up to forty-five feet, with some even having enough cargo space to transport motorbikes or small cars. Campervans are better suited for two people and have significantly less amenities due to space restrictions. These types of RV rentals are best for day trips or a couple’s vacation. The Class C motorhome, while not as luxurious as the Class A, provides an enjoyable, balanced experience for four people and greatly improves upon camping in tents.
- Travel Trailers are considered 5th wheels and do require towing and appropriate driving skills. They also do require towing vehicles qualified to pull the weight. Fortunately, travel trailers come in sizes suitable for multiple towing options. Larger travel trailers have amenities similar to Class A motorhomes. Smaller ones sleep as few as one person and provide limited or no indoor bathroom features.
- Pop-up Campers are towable by regular passenger vehicles, making them ideal for occasional family road trips. They also tend to be much easier to maneuver than travel trailers. These RV types are not the choices if storage is a priority and are not designed to handle severely inclement weather. They are relatively inexpensive rental options, however, and are perfect choices for vacationers wanting to avoid both tents and hotels. These campers are also great for visiting family not having much guest space in their homes.
Top 3 RV Rental Companies
Many RV rental companies are thriving in 2020. Some still stand out above the rest for service and quality. Three of the top RV rental companies in 2020 are:
- Cruise America
Outdoorsy was created in 2015 as a peer-to-peer rental service. RVs are rented directly from owners across the nation, allowing for a wide variety of option types. Due to this variety, amenities range from those found in simple one or two-person sleepers to full-size Class A motorhomes. Average rental prices per night can range from $50 for a travel trailer or pop-up camper all the way to $275 for a Class A rental. Towing requirements vary based on type of RV being rented and it is advisable to consult with Outdoorsy customer service to make certain your vehicle is properly weighted for the RV of your choice. Think Air BnB but with RVs.
Cruise America has been in business since 1972. It is an employee owned business venture with 120+ active rental centers in the U.S. This is not a peer-to-peer service meaning RVs are rented from the company, not through a peer-to-peer model. Cruise America lists a general rental cost scenario on its website but specific pricing details are only made available after customers enter a city, state and departure/return dates. Large RVs able to transport seven people are rentable, all the way down to truck camper RVs suitable for a maximum of three people. All Cruise America RV rentals appear to be motorized with the ability to tow vehicles behind them. Amenities can include fresh water toilets, kitchen options, showers, air conditioning and being pet-friendly.
Customers looking to rent an RV from RVShare can expect to find average rental rates of $60 per night. This is a loose average, however, as all RV rental companies vary pricing based on type of RV rented and time of year. RVShare offers peer-to-peer rentals as well as direct from dealers. All three classes of motorhome can be rented on RVShare as well as travel trailer RVs. There is an interesting cash back program offered to frequent renters and roadside assistance and travel concierge services are provided for free. The travel concierge service assists in finding appropriate activates for its renters along or near their paths of travel. Amenities vary based on type of RV being rented, as do towing requirements. RVShare also boasts having one of the more user-friendly websites and search systems in the business.