How to Enjoy the RV Lifestyle if You Don’t Own an RV

It’s all very romantic- traveling around, waking up to new and beautiful sunrises every morning, getting to know the world in a unique way, meeting interesting travelers at campsites every night, soaking in beautiful landscapes, and setting out to adventure on an open road. “If only we had an RV…” most of us sigh.

Good News

With the world’s economy looking as grim as it does now, it’s difficult for many people to own something as luxurious as an RV. Fortunately, this is the future and I have good news for you: If you don’t own an RV you can now rent one at an affordable price.

With the up-and-coming sharing economy, renting recreational items, such as RVs, from RV owners in your area, is easier than it has ever been before. One huge perk: You only pay for it when you want to use it!

It’s a Win-Win, Really

Rather than paying a chunk of change to rent an RV from a dealership, we can now be connected to private, individual RV owners from all over the world. Since private owners are not having to pay for big fancy buildings, advertising, branding, employees, and all the rest of what dealerships have to budget in, they can rent an RV to you for significantly cheaper. You are helping them, by making their payments easier to manage, and they are renting you an RV for a lot less than you would have otherwise.

Getting Connected with Private Owners

The largest peer-to-peer RV rental marketplace is RVshare.com. Being somewhat like Airbnb.com, It’s very straight-forward; you simply choose your departure town and dates, and they connect you with private RV owners in the area looking to rent out their RVs during that time.

rvshare

Not sure where to begin?

RVshare helps you throughout the whole process; from planning your trip, to finding the rental that is perfect for you. Once you have found one you’re interested in, they provide you with a detailed description of all the amenities and features, photos of the RV, and much more!

Ease of mind

RVshare has a secure payment system that comes with a $10,000 peace-of-mind guarantee. This company really cares about your safety and comfortability- they also offer 24/7 roadside assistance throughout your entire trip!

Not only that, but when you book online, they give 5% of cashback to use towards your next trip.

What Next?

Okay. You have the perfect RV, now what? It´s easy to get excited, jump the gun, and make mistakes along the way. To ensure a smoother and safer journey, it’s important to take notes on what to look out for while on the road in an RV for the first time.

RV travel tips

  1. Finding the Right RV Size for You – “Bigger is better,” is not always the best motto to carry along on an RV trip. Assess your needs, the amount of people you’re bringing along, and try to minimize what you are bringing; you may find a smaller, more compact RV to be just as nice and a lot less of a hassle.
  2. Read the Manuals – I have witnessed too many horror stories beginning with the regretful words, “Eh, let’s not waste our time reading this, we will figure it out along the way.” Some things are crucial to figure out; the difference between grey and black water, and how to handle each of them appropriately, being a fine and often disregarded example.
  3. Create a Checklist – Packing the most suitable attire and enough food is one thing, but there are many other spare parts and tools, such as fuses, jumper cables, and connectors, that can be very important to bring. Here are a variety different checklists that may be of help to you.
  4. Don’t Just Wing it – While leaving time and room for traveling freely is one thing, the temptations that await when you have the freedom of living on wheels are plenty; remember to slow down. It’s very important to plan out things such as your food supply, the route you want to take, the stops you want to make, places to camp, and to create a budget- you can use a generic road trip budget planner to help you with all types of expenses along the way.
  5. Being Frugal – Although the ideal of a vacation is to splurge, you can get a lot farther by being frugal, and it can be just as, if not more, fun. For instance, “boondocking,” meaning finding a remote location to camp for free, can be a lot more enjoyable than camping out in a crowded, and sometimes overly loud, RV park. Here is a greatly helpful website I found for being frugal when traveling in an RV.
  6. Bicycles – Bringing bicycles around is a great idea for traveling short distances. For instance, if your campsite is about a mile from the lake, you can much more easily ride there on a bicycle then pack everything up and drive.
  7. Long-term camping – If you find yourself staying a campsite for more a few days or more, it is sometimes helpful to start the engine and let it run for a few minutes a day, this helps to re-charge the battery.  
  8. Avoid Interstates – If you wanted to get somewhere the quickest way, you probably would have flown. Taking the back roads and two-lane highways is the best way to get a real feel for the beauty of our world and work towards satisfying your wanderlust.  However, if you like redundancy, and prefer continuously seeing the same large corporate lots over and over again, rather than a scenic mountainside, interstates may be your route of choice.

Finding A Great Route

The United States is a beautiful and immensely diverse country to explore; not to mention, its rather large and can be a bit intimidating. The U.S. has a cornucopia of National Parks of immense natural beauty, and visiting each tends to be a common goals amongst RV travelers.

Since people have been traveling this way for many years, it is good to get some advice from the wise; whether you are  traveling around the Pacific Northwest, across the country (say, from Los Angeles to New York), driving a loop around the North, or a loop around the South, it is good to have a guide.

Here is a great resource for trip planning; they have been RVing for 15 years and have a great knowledge of good routes to take, where to stop, how long to drive between stops, and many tips and tricks along the way.  

Have Fun

Out of everything I have mentioned here, it is more important to realize the incredible coolness of the adventure you are on; embrace the freedom of traveling on the open road, and live in and seize every moment of the journey. Happy travels, and cheers to the life of your dreams!

To start your search and find the perfect RV rental check out the RVshare marketplace.

Mark Jenney
Co-founder
RVshare.com

Written By

Our guest authors come from a wide variety of backgrounds, but each has something unique to contribute for adventure travel families.

4 Comments

  • You mentioned that if you don’t own an RV you can now rent one at an affordable price. My family wants to go on a long road trip and we are trying to decide what kind of transportation would be best. Do most RV dealers have rentals that people can use for a certain period of time? Finding an RV rental might be a good option.

    • Hey Derek, that is a really good questions, and I don’t have the answer. You could certainly give them a call and see if it’s a possibility … if not they’d be a good resource. There are many companies that help owners rent their personal RV’s as well … a Google search online is a good start!! 🙂

    • Sure, there are many FB pages for local swaps. Our particular swap, often lists RV that are for rent … owners trying to mitigate monthly payments via renting, check yours!! There is also craigslist … 🙂

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