We know that purchasing an RV is a huge decision. You have to consider square footage, the price, how often you’ll take it out on the road, how many bells and whistles you want and so much more. Sure, you can go to your favorite RV dealer and walk in and out of as many RVs as you want, but it won’t be the same as physically sleeping, showering, and cooking in it.
The point of renting an RV (or RVs) is to give you as much information about what you want and don’t want in your own RV before you purchase one. Below we go into more detail on what you should know before renting an RV, and we talk about why we think it’s a good idea to rent first.
The best way to increase your confidence in purchasing your first RV is to spend lots of time in rented RVs. This way, you can drive, eat, cook, clean and camp out of different RVs before you buckle down on the one you decide to buy.
- Determine who you’re camping with. Though camping sounds appealing to many, not everyone will be comfortable in a small, confined space like an RV. Talk and create a plan with those that are interested, and if someone is uncomfortable with it, they might want to wait till the next trip.
- Make a plan. Sort of like we said above, talking and crafting a plan will help everyone know what’s in store, and it will keep things organized. Figure out your destination, what kind of RV you plan to rent, any planned activities, and how many are going to ensure you pack enough food and water. Make as many lists as you need to have a successful camping trip!
- Find the campground you’re best suited for. Reading as many reviews on certain campgrounds you’re considering will help narrow down any choices. You’ll hear about their experiences and you can determine if that park will work. It will also help you know if that campground has all the features you want or need. Renting an RV without a shower? Make sure the park or campground has one – if it’s a priority to you. Other things to consider are full RV hookups and restrooms.
And here are a few reasons we think it’s a good idea to rent before purchasing,
- Renting will help you understand how RVs work. You can read the RV manual all you want, but it won’t beat renting an RV to spend some time in first. Trying to learn everything about a new RV is overwhelming, and not much of the information really sink in. Renting an RV gives you the chance to fully understand the system and how everything works. For example, in your stationary house, you can have multiple items running at once without thinking twice about it. In an RV, your power is limited and you can easily blow breakers if you aren’t careful.
- You’ll save your money! It might sound like a long shot, but hear me out. If you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for in an RV, it’ll end up costing you way more than you’re comfortable with. Sure, it’ll be nice to have a huge Class A motorhome that comes standard with all the bells and whistles, but if it’s only you and your partner that are going to dry camp, for example, all the extras aren’t necessary. Knowing the little quirks about what you like and don’t like will also help you become a confident RV shopper that is less influenced by any salespeople. In the end, your wallet will thank you!
- You’ll know what you need and don’t need. If you’re relatively new to the world of RVs, you probably don’t know much about them. That’s perfectly acceptable, but do a little research on what you might need and don’t need before you purchase your RV. RVs these days come with so many extras, and you’ll save money if you figure out what you’ll actually use. For example, if you plan on mostly dry camping in forest areas while traveling, you’ll probably want a smaller RV. If you plan to do a lot of work on the road, though, you might want to look into an RV with extra or enough space for you to do that work.
Have you rented an RV? Let us know how it went in the comments. Happy renting!