Anyone interested in purchasing a recreational vehicle should consider renting one before making the decision to buy. There are many types of RVs and each has own pros and cons. Renting allows experiencing the good points and the bad before making what can be a major investment.
Five different types of RVs can be rented. The most expensive is a Class A motor home. This is a camper that is generally larger than other types, and is mounted on a vehicle chassis and operates much like a bus or truck. All the comforts of home, albeit in a smaller space, are included in the motor home -- heat, air conditioning, water, electric, kitchen, bathroom, and sleeping facilities. Plentiful storage is placed beneath the body of the motor home. Generators are built-in to allow camping in remote areas.
Class C motor homes are smaller and more economical than Class A units, and are easier to drive because they are built on a truck chassis. They usually get more miles to the gallon of gasoline, too. Sometimes referred to as 'fifth wheels', the camper body extends up and over the cab of the truck to allow for additional stability as well as for sleeping space.
New on the market is the sport-utility RV, much like the Class C motor home with the addition of a storage or garage space in the rear for storage of such articles as ATVs, motorcycles, and bicycles. Full living facilities are included in this RV. Necessary to towing is a heavy-duty vehicle and the correct hitch and wiring.
If a travel trailer is being considered for travel, the towing vehicle must be heavy-duty and have the proper hitch and wiring to safely tow the travel trailer. Most travel trailers have kitchen, bathroom, and sleeping areas. The towing vehicle can be detached and used for trips away from the campground, unlike Class A and C motor homes, and the camper can be locked for security.
Least expensive to rent and with fewer amenities is the folding camping trailer, formerly called the tent trailer. When closed, these campers average about 10 feet in length and are easier to tow. Open, they can offer 15 feet – 23 feet of living space. The towing capacity of the towing vehicle and the correct hitch and wiring are necessary for the folding camping trailer. A downside of the tent-type trailer is the inability to secure belongings inside while away from the trailer.
There are many advantages of RV rentals. The cost of transportation, lodging, and food is much lower than conventional travel. Luggage isn't lost, no waiting in lines, food can be prepared in the RV, a rigid travel schedule isn't necessary, and most everything needed is inside the RV. Some rest stops permit overnight stays (without hook-ups) and even a major discount shopping retailer has some locations that allow free parking.
The daily rental rate depends upon the type and size of the RV, with most costing between $80 and $100 a day. There are other charges to consider, such as miles per gallon and rental company mileage charges, insurance, and optional packages. Even with these charges, RV rentals can cost much less than traditional travel and lodging expenses.