Tips To Rent An RV
An alternative to buying a motorhome, fifth-wheel, or trailer is renting one. An average 25-foot class C motorhome (the type with a bed over the cab) rents for $1000-$1200/week. They come fully equipped with kitchen utensils, plates, glasses, cups, cooking pots, towels and bedding. There are no costs for maintenance, insurance, or registration. Just bring your clothing and away you go.
Tips from past RV / motorhome renters
“Always ask what’s in the convenience package. These packages generally include dishes, cookware, kettle, coffee filters, utensils, cleaning supplies (broom, dustpan), bedding and towels. We wish we would have brought a doormat, a table cloth for the picnic tables at the campgrounds, and an axe for chopping wood”
“Ask the rental dealers which campgrounds they recommend. You can often get some great discounts”
“Some RV rental dealers don’t allow or have restrictions on pets”
“Check out the floor plans of the RV’s before you rent. It’s worth going to the dealership prior to booking just to see if it’s the right fit for you and your family.”
“Make sure you REALLY know how to work the specific functions in your RV like the air conditioner and convection oven.”
“RVing is so much fun! Just make sure that when you make reservations at campgrounds you know the length and class of RV so you get the right space”
“Get into a routine at each stop: Who’s going to back the rig in? Who’s going to be the navigator? Who puts the awning out? Who gets the drinks ready?”
Some other tips to consider when renting an RV are: how to choose the right RV, what to expect in a rental, picking and dropping off the unit.
Choosing an RV / Motorhome
There are many types of RVs available to rent, it all depends on your family and where you plan to travel.
Top 5 questions
- How many people will be staying in your RV / motorhome?
- What’s your budget to put towards a rental?
- Where do you plan on going and what kind of terrain will you be driving through?
- What size of RV / motorhome are you comfortable driving?
- Will you need to tow a second vehicle?
Types of RV’s / Motorhomes
There are several types of RVs and answering the 5 questions above will help determine the best RV for your camping trip. Today’s motorhomes range from large spacious units with slide-outs to van conversions.
Here is a list of different types of RV’s available (note that each RV rental agency will have various types of RVs but may not stock all types).
Where to rent an RV / Motorhome
Motorhomes come in all sizes and are available from a number of RV Rental outlets throughout British Columbia. If you fly into Vancouver or Calgary you can make arrangements with the major rental companies to be picked-up from the airport and dropped off to your RV rental. Also, if your RV trip does not have the same arrival and departure locations, meaning you will not return to the same location that you left from, some rental companies in BC allow renters to pick up and drop off motorhomes in different provinces throughout Canada. To find the nearest rental locations to start your RV trip visit our interactive map.
What to expect when renting an RV
1. Insurance and Drivers License
- Depending on the RV rental dealer, most rentals come with insurance. It’s best to check with your car insurance broker just to be on the safe side and to see if any additional insurance is required. Many rental dealers have VIP or premium insurance packages available for an additional charge. Always read the fine print to know your coverage.
- For most RV rentals a standard class 5 drivers’ license is required and all drivers must be a minimum of 21 years of age and a maximum of 75 years of age.
2. Making a Reservation
- Most RV rental dealers will require a deposit to book your RV / motorhome. Drivers must have a valid credit card to be able to rent (for the deposit), which is refunded upon return of the motorhome.
- Check the RV rental dealer’s policies on reservations. Many require you to book up to a month ahead of your departure time.
- It is always good to ask about cancellation policies and fees before renting.
- Ask what’s included in the fees. Is there a minimum or maximum length of time or mileage you can rent for?
- Make sure you tell your RV rental dealer where you plan on going for your holiday. Some restrictions may apply (certain highways or backroads may be restricted by dealer) or additional charges may be added (like surcharges for remote areas).
- If you want to bring bikes or other toys inquire about racks and storage units.
- Many RV rental dealers have convenient pick-up and drop-off transfers from airports and hotels. Make sure you ask your dealer, whether this is an option for you.
- If you are driving to the dealer ask about storage for your vehicle.
3. What’s in a RV / Motorhome?
- Many RV rentals have “convenience packages” or “housekeeping packages”. These packages generally include dishes, cookware, a kettle, coffee filters, utensils, cleaning supplies (broom, dustpan), and often include bedding and towels. Ask your rental dealer what they offer.
Often the RV rental has a handbook with reminders of how to use the motorhome’s equipment and features, such as the Air Conditioning, and also helpful tips and check lists.
How to pick up and drop off the RV rental unit
Picking up your RV / Motorhome
- Allow yourself extra time to fill out necessary paperwork and orientation.
- The RV orientation is generally an hour long and demonstrates how to use specific features (like the sani-dump!) on your RV / Motorhome.
- Pay attention to the inspection checklist of the RV’s condition. Walk around the vehicle with the RV associate recording the condition of the RV. Upon return of the RV the same inspection process will take place.
- Make sure you are comfortable with the RV. If you have questions, ask them!
- If you would like a test drive it doesn’t hurt to ask for it. It’s better to have the confidence and knowledge before setting out on your holiday.
- Check out our section Frequently Asked Questions Page for questions on campfires, sani-dumps, and propane safety.
Bringing back your RV / Motorhome
- Refuel just before you bring back your RV / motorhome as dealers may charge you a premium.
- Bring back your rented RV / motorhome in the same condition as it was rented.
- Double check that you’ve packed up all your belongings. Open cupboards, drawers, side panels and refrigerators.
- Go over the inspection checklist.
- Pay the last portion, complete the contract paperwork, and get any deposit fees back.
Most of all: BE SAFE and HAVE FUN!
- Myth Busters on the Affordability of RVing
- Winterize Your RV
- Campfires in British Columbia
- Tips on Camping with Your Dog
- Renting an RV In British Columbia – some advice for our international traveller