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Can you remember the last time you took a long, relaxing family vacation?
Whether it was so long ago you couldn’t name the year or just a few weeks ago, you and your loved ones can always benefit from more travel. Experiencing the world will broaden your horizons and inspire your heart, and it’s a great learning opportunity for children of all ages.
And if you’ve never toured the country in an RV, you may find it’s one of the most ideal ways to get the very most out of your road trip. RV traveling is comfortable, spacious, flexible and affordable. (And best of all, there’s no TSA check-in rigmarole required!)
If you’re thinking about exploring this exciting, unique travel lifestyle, you might be on the hunt for RV rental companies near you. Renting an RV is the perfect way to make sure RVing is right for you and your family — although we’re pretty sure you won’t be disappointed.
To find motorhome rental companies in your area, you can simply run an online search for “RV rental agency near me,” including your zip code. In most markets, you’ll find a variety of options in an accessible radius, from small, locally-owned firms to bigger franchised locations. No matter what RV rental company you choose, however, it’s important to keep a few things in mind.
1. Always read the RV rental agency’s reviews.
It might be surprising that this piece of advice comes before anything to do with pricing. But simply choosing the least-expensive RV rental agency can be a recipe for disaster. Your rental motorhome’s affordability will quickly be offset by a lack of customer service should something go wrong on your trip.
You may notice that the RV rental agency lists certain testimonials and customer experiences on its website. While this is a good place to start, the agency will obviously cherry-pick the best customer feedback from those most pleased with its services. It’s a form of advertisement. For this reason, you should also be sure to find reviews on third-party sites where companies aren’t allowed to remove potential negative feedback. One of the best such websites is Yelp, but you can also find reviews on Google Pages and Facebook, too.
Even if the rental costs a little bit more, it will be well worth it to have reliable equipment and friendly, efficient customer service on your side. Here are some things to look for while you’re reading through reviews:
- Do customers report their rental RV was in good, working order? Did anything mechanical go wrong during their trip?
- How did customer service team members treat renters? Were they friendly and efficient, or more concerned with simply getting the renter to sign?
- Does the rental company provide resources for renters during their trip, like roadside assistance? Even if nothing goes wrong, you might run into a simple problem — like not remembering how to turn on a certain set of lights, for example. You want to make sure there’s a way for you to get in touch with a friendly voice who’s ready to help!
- Do reviewers say they’ll repeat their rental experience, or will they move onto a different RV rental agency next time?
- Do experienced campers think the rental was overpriced, or that the cost was fair?
2. Compare RV rental agency fees.
- How many people are going on the trip? If you have a big family, you’ll need more space — not just for the people themselves, but also for all their stuff!
- How long of a trip are you taking? Even if you’re going solo or taking a romantic getaway with your honey, you might benefit from having more space if you’ll be gone for several weeks or a month.
- What kind of climate will you be traveling into? If you’re headed north during a cold part of the year, you need to make sure your rig is winterized, including tire chains and RV-specific antifreeze for potable water. And if you’re headed into desert heat, you’ll want to make sure you have a hearty air conditioner… which means a modest campervan might not make the cut!
Once you have some idea about what kind of RV will suit your needs, you’ll be in a better position to call around and get a price quote. You can find your RV rental agency’s phone number on its website or listed on Google — some firms even offer help through email or live online chat.
3. Consider alternative options.
Renting an RV at first is always a better choice. You’ll get to make sure the lifestyle is right for you, and you can also try out several different models to find out which one’s best for you and your family. That said, if you’ve rented RVs several times and are an active camper, you may want to consider investing in your very own rig.
But if you’re still a relatively new camper who can’t find an RV rental agency that’s meeting your needs in your area, there are other options. You can also turn to the peer-to-peer RV marketplace through sharing economy platforms like RVShare. Just as Airbnb helps property owners place their unused spaces for rent at affordable rates, RVShare matches private RV owners with trustworthy renters like you. Since private owners don’t have to worry about paying for overhead business costs like big dealerships, they’re able to place their RVs for rent at a fraction of the cost of most commercial renters.
Aside from being more affordable, RVs rented through the peer-to-peer marketplace may also be more comfortable and homey. After all, they’re used and loved by regular people! Plus, those regular people will be your main point of contact for questions and concerns you might have during your trip. That means you won’t have to worry about dealing with a faceless customer service team that may or may not be in your side.
4. Have fun!
All the research and logistics that go into planning the perfect family vacation can become overwhelming, but don’t forget the ultimate purpose of your trip: to bond with your loved ones and see and experience some new, exciting places. Be flexible during your trip and remember that sometimes, surprises and unplanned detours can make the best memories of all.