Ultimate Guide To Renting An RV

A motorized RV at a scenic outlook in Mount Desert Island, Maine with the Tilby family.

Everything You Need To Know About Renting an RV 

If the term “How To Rent an RV” is sitting in your recent search history, then you are in good company. 

We have been RVing for the past six years in our Jayco Jay Flight travel trailer but always wanted to try out traveling in a motorized RV. This spring, the perfect opportunity presented itself. 

We were renting a house in Maine over the winter while renovating our home on wheels, and cabin fever was hitting us hard. So, we decided to rent an RV for a weekend adventure along the coast of Maine. As much as we have learned over the years about RVing, renting one was a new experience and we had many questions.

The Tilby kids walk towards a shop with a rented motorized RV parked.


Where is the Best Place to Rent an RV? 

Alongside the boom of RVing over the past few years, there’s been a boom in RV rentals and companies providing the service. A quick online search of RV rental companies produced many options to weed through. A few rose to the top during some preliminary research, each with its advantages.  

RV Rental Options

  1. Traditional RV Rental Companies

    Traditional RV Rental Companies are similar to car rental companies that own all the inventory and rent them out. This creates consistency in quality and what you can expect. The nationwide locations also allow for one-way trips. Cruise America and El Monte RV are the two biggest players in this category. Cruise America is one of the largest with more than 130 locations in most US states. The class C RVs are easy to rent and easy to get serviced. While El Monte has less US locations than Cruise America, this 50+ year-old company does offer a wider variety of RV classes, giving the prospective adventurer Class B vans and Class A motorhomes as well. 

  2. Peer-To-Peer RV Rental Companies

    Peer-to-peer RV Rental Companies are similar to Airbnb for RVs—they match RV owners with prospective renters. Outdoorsy, RVShare, and RVezy have the largest assortment, but the inventory availability ranges based on your location. We found the widest variety of inventory on their easy-to-navigate websites. All offer insurance, roadside assistance, and 24/7 customer support.  Peer-to-peer rental companies also offer an option to have an RV delivered directly to your campsite, giving you the opportunity to try out RV life even if you aren’t yet ready to drive/tow.

  3. Direct From Owner RV Rentals

    Direct From Owner RV Rentals can be a good option if you want to cut out the middleman. Searching ‘RV rentals near me’ can give a list of local businesses that rent out RVs, and Facebook marketplace and other online classifieds can also help find a local RV to rent. Be mindful of the fact that renting directly may not provide you with the same insurance and emergency support that you would get when renting through a peer-to-peer or traditional company.   

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What Kind of RV Should I Rent?

Now that we figured out where to find RV rentals, we had to decide what kind of RV we wanted to rent. We already knew we wanted to try out a drivable RV, and since we would be using it to tour the mountains and coastline of Maine, which has some height and length restrictions, larger RVs like class A’s were out. Because our trip was a bit last minute and still during Maines’s off-season, we had less inventory open to us but ended up with a very nice 25 ft Thor Motor Coach Tiburon Class C.  

When deciding what RV would best fit your needs, it is good to consider what amenities you want and need in the RV and what size and kind of RV would fit well with the area you want to visit. While a decked-out class A with a queen bed for everyone and a full chef's kitchen sounds nice, it might not fit very well down the windy, tree-covered dirt road leading to the tranquil creek-side camp spot you booked on HipCamp.

What Kind of Protection Do I Need When Renting an RV? 

When renting an RV through any of the peer-to-peer companies or traditional RV rental companies, you and the RV owner will be protected from any emergencies through their extensive insurance coverage. We rented through RVShare, which offers three different levels of insurance coverage, from liability only to all-included, full coverage. 

Most RV rental companies also offer 24/7 emergency roadside support. Similar to renting a car, the company will also take a deductible as part of the rental agreement.  Although most RV rental companies provide similar services, be sure to review all insurance and emergency information on your rental.  

Who Can Rent an RV?

Pretty much any individual over 25 with a valid driver's license can rent an RV. You do not need a CDL to drive an RV, even large Class A motorhomes. Most RV rental companies do require the renter to be 25 years old or older.  A few exceptions are Cruise America which will rent to individuals 21+, depending on state law, and some camper van rental companies, like Escape Campervan, will also rent to younger individuals.  

What is Included in An RV Rental? 

One of the perks of renting an RV is that they are an adventure one-stop-shop, and most RV owners will include all linens, kitchen items, and many times fun extras like camp chairs, outdoor rugs, roasting sticks, and hot chocolate to help make your camping trip even more enjoyable. Be sure to check the listing to find out what is included or reach out directly to the owner. 

Our RV host included all the above-listed items as well as an outdoor grill, a small propane tank, hygiene items, bath towels, generous amounts of disposables like paper plates, and lots of extra blankets, allowing us to bring our personal items and go! 

Our rental also included unlimited miles and we were able to ask for a late return at no extra charge. Many RV rental hosts also offer delivery within a certain radius. Talk with your RV owner to see what things are covered in your rental. 

Get to Know the Thor Motor Coach Tiburon Class C

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How Much Does it Cost to Rent An RV? 

There is as wide a range of RV rental costs as there are RV rentals to choose from, but the average amount per night is $100-$300, plus insurance, tax, and various service fees. 

Here’s the breakdown of what our three-night rental cost is: 

  • The unit we rented cost $266.33 a night
  • Tax was $50.93
  • The RVShare service fee was $127.04, covering roadside assistance and support
  • The mid-range full coverage insurance package was $490.56, and $26.98 for an insurance and protection tax 

For a total of $1494.51. 

This RV rental was our bay-side hotel room, our rental car transportation across the coast of Maine, our personal kitchen at the end of a hike, and our small feeling of home and grounding during our great northeast adventure.  

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