We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

RV tips for first time renters and users, please

Lewes, United...
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
26 365 posts
38 reviews
RV tips for first time renters and users, please

I’m a pretty experienced road tripper, having rented and driven cars in many parts of the world, but we have yet to experience an RV trip. However, we shall be rectifying that this August, when we have a confirmed booking for an RV for a week long trip.

As it is clear that we aren’t alone in seeking tips, advice and needing help or warnings of things to avoid, I thought I’d start a topic featuring nothing more than all kinds of tips on purely the RV topic.

Aspects that could be of interest and help to novices may cover such considerations as:

1 - whether to go down the RV route in the first place

2 – how to find and rent the RV

3 – how different are RVs to drive from cars

4 – how to find and evaluate RV parks, and what to expect in them

5 – practical suggestions for housekeeping in your RV

6 – how to survive camping without hook-ups

7 – additional things to buy or bring with you to enhance RV life

I’m sure there are plenty more categories too.

While most of this advice is probably going to apply more specifically to the USA, many of the tips will be applicable to other countries where renting RVs to get around the wide open spaces is also popular, such as Canada, New Zealand and Australia.

Once all you experts out there have started to share your tips, hopefully the Road Trip forum Destination Experts might arrange to add this topic to the Top Questions section.

Thanks for sharing your tips.

Lewes, United...
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
26 365 posts
38 reviews
1. Re: RV tips for first time renters and users, please

Let me start by answering my own topic with what I’ve discovered already, just to get the ball rolling. It will also allow the experts to expand on or correct my understanding:

To rent or not to rent the RV:

RVs are expensive; they are not the economy option for road trips in the USA. Renting a car and staying in hostels and basic motels is considerably cheaper than renting an RV. If you tent camp or stay in campsite cabins, that would be even more economical than an RV.

However, RVs may work our more economical for large families with several children, if you’re prepared to use every berth available. They also may give you a lot of flexibility during busy holiday periods as you don’t have to look for lodging.

Renting the RV:

To book your RV for a country you don’t live in (and this applies not for bookings in the USA, but also for countries such as Australia or New Zealand) have a look at websites that cover several geographic zones such as rv-network or campertravel.

Don’t expect to find the wide network of depots to pick up or return your RV like cars. Also, the depots are rarely at airports, more likely out of town industrial/commercial zones.

Most rental bookings cover nothing more than the use of your chosen RV for the period required. Unless you plan to buy all the extra items, you will also need to book what are generally called personal or amenity kits, charged per person, to cover linens, towels, cutlery and crockery, pots and pans, even the kettle and toaster. Again, your booking is unlikely to cover any mileage, or very few. It is usually cheaper, if you have your itinerary sorted out, to work out your estimated mileage and pre-pay for a block of miles as close as you can to your estimate. Use of the generator and cooking fuel is also usually charged extra. Unless you are a confident driver of large vehicles, you will want to add all the insurances offered, so that any minor parking mishaps or worse are covered. By the time you have added in all these necessary costs, you will have added perhaps a further 30% or more to the basic rental charge. There will be further charges to be added when you return the vehicle, which cannot so easily be estimated, depending on your usage of the generator and your actual mileage.

If you don’t own the RV so know, you may wish to avoid drinking the water from the fresh water reservoir for several hygiene and health considerations.

The charges at the RV parks can reflect the size of the parking bay you are allocated, or for differing locations within the park, with higher prices for quieter corners or shadier spots. Not all spaces allow you to drive in then out forwards, and you may wish to consider paying more for one of these until you are more familiar with manoeuvring your rig.

I will add more where I can in due course. Over to the experts ….

SWT

Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
Level Contributor
71 288 posts
132 reviews
2. Re: RV tips for first time renters and users, please

How about some of the Traveler Articles created by folks in the know:

US focused articles.......

→Types of RVs: tripadvisor.com/Travel-g28926-c151379

→Where to stay in your RV: tripadvisor.com/Travel-g28926-c151535

Canadian focused ........

→RV (Motorhome) Rentals for the Rockies: tripadvisor.com/Travel-g659487-c104900

→Campgrounds in the Canadian Rockies: tripadvisor.com/Travel-g659487-c139435

→RVing the Trans-Canada Highway: tripadvisor.com/Travel-g153339-c5325

other .........

→New Zealand: Rental Vehicles: tripadvisor.com/Travel-g255104-c2516

Edited: 15 June 2011, 15:40
Uden, The...
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
60 942 posts
42 reviews
3. Re: RV tips for first time renters and users, please

Great idea SWT. We'll wait for H-B.

Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
Level Contributor
71 288 posts
132 reviews
4. Re: RV tips for first time renters and users, please

half-Brit is the one who wrote the excellent US articles about RVing. I've probably shared them with 30 or 40 travelers already this year.

5. Re: RV tips for first time renters and users, please

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 03 October 2012, 03:15