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Renting an RV, Part Two

Where to rent RVs

This is a question for Google. You will find that there are a wide variety of places that rent RVs, from small operations to large, national ones (Cruise America, USA RV Rentals). You may find that the RVs are a bit cleaner at the larger centers because they simply have more staff and the RVs are newer. On the flip side, you may find that the smaller places are more affordable.

USA RV Rentals
Image by Rob Warde

RV rental fees

Rental prices are usually assessed per day or per week. In addition, you may get a mileage allowance per day or per week – say, 200 miles per day or 1000 per week. In other rental centers, you might have to pay for each mile traveled, such as 31 to 39 cents being the going rate. Hoffman GM of Hagerstown, MD, a Chevrolet, Cadillac dealer, says be careful about these mileage fees, they can add up quickly. Plan your trip and calculate the amount of miles you will be driving so you have an approximate idea how much you will be spending.

Rentals are usually assumed to be round trip, that means returning to the same place you rented the RV at. If you want to return to another location, you’ll often pay an additional charge. One exception is in fall or spring, when some RV rental companies are moving the bulk of their rentals to areas of greater demand. For example, in the fall most RV rental companies move their vehicles to southern locations.

Where to stay

There are more than 16,000 public and privately owned campgrounds that welcome RVs. Most offer more than just a place to park. At the larger parks, you will find facilities ranging from swimming pools and playgrounds to game rooms and miniature golf. Most also have convenience stores and some have small restaurants.

If you’re stuck and can’t find a RV-friendly campground, you can stop for the night in a Walmart parking lot (they allow it) or a rest stop along a highway.

Other considerations

Since you are going to be driving your temporary home, you are going to need some things like towels, linens, sheets, pillows, silverware, plates, dishes and such. You can, of course, bring these items with you but if you are flying somewhere to pick up your RV, you may find renting these items from the RV center is more convenient. Typically, RV rental places charge some $100 per person for these items.

If you’re driving your car to your rental location, ask about storing your car while you are out on the road. You may be able to park on their property. Some may charge a nominal charge, perhaps $10 per day.

Getting around campgrounds is easiest on bicycle.  You may want to bring your own but most campgrounds offer rentals.

During the summer high season, make reservations in advance when going to popular sites like national parks.

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