With the usual travel arrangements thrown out the window thanks to COVID-19, summer 2020 marks the return of a great American pastime: the road trip. And what’s the proper way to do a road trip? With an RV or campervan, of course.
Now, if you’re like most people, you probably don’t own an RV and you may not be eager to spend $10-20 thousand purchasing a basic model. Thankfully, there’s a better and cheaper way to get an RV for your next road trip: with an RV rental. The best RV rental companies offer a range of motorhomes and campervans to suit all needs and budgets.
To help you make a decision, we picked out the top 10 RV rental places in America. This isn’t a 1-10 ranking based on any specific factor. Rather, it’s a list of the 10 companies that check specific boxes, such as best RV selection, most locations, and best RV rental for families.
However you measure it, Cruise America is the largest RV rental company in America. It has the most locations in the US (125+ and a few more in Canada), the largest market share (48% at last update in 2018) and a large selection of class C motorhomes (large, standard, compact) and truck campers. Cruise America purchases new vehicles each year from several different RV manufacturers, fitting each one out with self-contained features including gas cooktop, fridge, microwave, shower, and fresh water toilet. This is the best option overall for renting a large motorhome from anywhere in the US.
Outdoorsy is a peer-to-peer RV rental marketplace, like an Airbnb for RVs. All the RVs on the Outdoorsy platform are offered by ordinary folks just like you. Outdoorsy just facilitates the exchange and throws in a few extras like insurance coverage and roadside assistance. Just like Airbnb does for accommodation, Outdoorsy offers a superb range of cheap RVs. You can find anything on this platform – from all classes of RVs to smaller, cheaper options like truck campers and folding trailers.
RVshare is the other major RV rental marketplace, making it a rival to Outdoorsy. It too offers a massive selection of drivable RVs (in all classes) and towable RVs (broken down into 5th wheel, travel trailer, toy hauler, and popup). There isn’t much to differentiate between Outdoorsy and RVshare, and in fact we would recommend comparing options on both platforms before making a decision.
El Monte is the oldest RV rental company in America, with a history of renting out motorhomes and campervans since 1970. There’s a lot to like about El Monte. They have a great selection of vehicles, regular promos, and best of all they’re pet friendly. Most RV companies charge hundreds of bucks to bring your pets on vacation with you. But El Monte RV imposes no restrictions, only charging a $50-100 fee if the RV is not returned in the condition you received it.
It can be time-consuming comparing quotes from different RV rental companies. CamperTravel helps save you time on your RV search, aggregating quotes from around a dozen top RV providers on one platform. Just enter your pickup and dropoff location and date and your driver’s license type (US/Canada or international) and CamperTravel will show you results in seconds. If you like one of the options, simply click to continue. CamperTravel is to RVs what RentalCars.com is to rental vehicles. It does the booking for you, saving you from having to deal with third parties.
All the RV rental providers listed so far have been large companies. For something a little different, Escape Campervans is a niche RV rental firm offering five types of custom-built, family-friendly vehicle. All its vehicles are lovingly hand-painted and fitted out with all the creature comforts of home. And families with young drivers take note: the minimum age is 21 and there are young driver fees.
Of all the RV rental providers we checked out, Road Bear was the only one offering luxury living. It has a range of RVs of various sizes decked out with leather couches and other home furniture. All Road Bear’s RVs are new models from top RV manufacturers such as Coachmen and Thor and specially customized by the Road Bear team. The vehicles are suitable for families too, accommodating up to 7 people.
Travellers Autobarn was founded in Australia in 1993 and finally arrived in the US last year. It has three locations in America (Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and San Francisco) and we’re predicting it will quickly grow. This company is all about spacious class B RV campervans with unlimited free miles. It offers a mixture of new and old vehicles at a range of prices. Another benefit to renting from Travellers Autobarn is the 10% campground discount thrown in with every rental.
Despite having the name RV in it, Jucy RV’s vehicle selection mostly comprises minivans. But not to worry, that’s actually the reason we included Jucy on this list. Jucy’s affordably priced minivans offer the best in simple family-friendly traveling. Despite being smaller than the average RV, these minivans are equipped with plenty of features, including a fold-out double bed, two bench seats, two butane gas stoves, and a 5.2-gal water tank. Jucy RV is a good option if you’re looking for a smaller vehicle for your next road trip.
Transfercar is one the best-kept secrets in car rentals. Most budget car rental providers charge a fortune to drop off a vehicle at a different location from the one you picked it up at. Transfercar actually encourages you to drop your vehicle somewhere else. When you use a Transfercar RV or campervan, you become a relocation driver. You deliver the vehicle to the location Transfercar needs to get it to – and you pay a fraction of the cost of what you would normally pay for a rental.