Are you curious about the life on the road? To test it out, you don’t need to buy a recreational vehicle. Many companies offer the opportunity to rent an RV for travelers to experience what it is like. There are many options to rent an RV, and some RV rental companies have closed down. However, peer-to-peer RV rental businesses have grown in popularity.
What makes one company stand out from the others? Good RV rental companies will inform you upfront about the fees, ensure that your RV is clean, and provide insurance in case of an emergency.
To give you a complete overview of the top RV rental companies, we made our recommendations. Let’s first look at how the different types of RV rental agencies work.
Different types of rental companies
You have two options when renting an RV: peer-to-peer or traditional. These are the benefits of each type.
The pros and cons of traditional rental companies
Rental car companies and traditional RV rental companies are similar. A large company may rent a vehicle to you. They have a fleet of vehicles that are specifically designed for travelers like yourself.
This means that you need to have consistency in your rentals, from vehicle types and cleanliness, and assurances that the company will perform regular inspections after each rental.
Traditional RV rental companies offer one-way rentals. It’s unlikely that you can return an RV you have rented directly from the owner. Traditional RV companies have many locations throughout the country so this is not an issue.
The pros and cons of peer-to–peer RV rentals
Peer-to peer RV rentals are similar to Vrbo or Airbnb. These platforms connect RV owners and potential renters. This opens up the possibility of cheaper rentals and greater variety. You don’t have to travel to a rental agency to rent an RV. RV owners are available anywhere. Peer-to-peer RV owners can even transport the RV to your campsite or location.
You may be renting an RV directly from the owner. This means that you might encounter many different types of RVs such as campervans and trailers or fifth-wheel trailers. Before renting any of these non-driveable options, make sure you have a suitable towing vehicle.
The best traditional rental websites
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 epidemic caused some RV rental companies in the U.S. to close down, including Apollo and Jucy. Only two RV rental companies have been around for a while: El Monte and Cruise America.
1. Cruise America
Cruise America is the top-rated RV rental company for traditional rentals due to its size, availability and ease of booking. Cruise America has 123 locations in 33 U.S. States and five Canadian provinces. You can choose the pick-up and drop off dates, times, and locations, just like renting a car.
You will be charged 38 cents per each mile. However, there are promotions that offer 100 miles free per day. You can also choose to bring or rent your own cooking equipment and bedding. All of this information is available to you during your booking process.
There are five types of RV rentals available from Cruise America that can sleep three to seven people. The majority of RV rentals are Class C rentals, which refers to drivable motorhomes that have a bed above the driving cab. Cruise America rents trailers that can hold four people if you have a suitable towing vehicle.
2. El Monte
El Monte only has 27 U.S. locations and one international location in Tokyo. El Monte is a smaller and slightly older version to Cruise America. El Monte’s booking process can be a bit more complicated, and there aren’t as many options available for one-way rentals.
There are many advantages to renting from El Monte. First, El Monte charges no fees for generator use while Cruise America charges $3.50 an hour. If you camp mostly at campgrounds, this won’t make a big difference in your rental costs. It can add up if your “boondocking”, which is the practice of staying in an area without electricity, water, or sewer hookups — whether it’s in a remote campground or parking lot.
El Monte has a fleet that includes five types of RVs, ranging in length from 22 to 33 feet. Four of the five types of RVs are Class C RVs. El Monte rents larger, bus-shaped RVs.
The best peer-to-peer rental websites
RVshare and Outdoorsy are the two largest peer-to-peer RV rental businesses in the market. RVezy is another new player. These are the top three RV rental sites that allow peer-to-peer rentals.
Outdoorsy is our top choice for RV rental sites because of its extensive network and simple-to-use search engine. Outdoorsy claims it has more than 1 billion days of RV inventory in 4,800 cities and 14 other countries.
Outdoorsy uses its huge size to offer 24/7 customer support, 24/7 roadside assistance and safety checks for renters. They also provide $1 million insurance coverage that covers owners, renters, and RVs. You can’t ask for more from a rental platform.
It was close between Outdoorsy & RVShare when we chose the best RV rental website. It all came down to the BBB ratings of each company. Outdoorsy’s 3.96 customer rating out of 5 stars is better than RVshare’s 3.67 rating out of 5. Both rental companies have an A+ rating.
RVshare was founded in 2013 and is the “first and biggest peer-to-peer RV rental market.” RVshare’s intuitive search platform allows renters to choose from over 100,000 vehicles.
RVshare offers chat support 24/7 and its rental guarantee will provide a replacement vehicle if the RV owner cannot be reached or the vehicle isn’t listed. RVshare provides clear and easy-to-understand information, such as breakdowns of various types of rentals.
RVezy was founded in Canada in 2016. It has rapidly expanded to the U.S. RVezy claims that although it may not be the biggest, it is “North America’s most trusted RV rental market.” It also points out over 150,000 5-star rated bookings to back up that claim.
RVezy has many listings across the U.S. including hundreds of RVs for rent in Tampa, Florida. RVezy’s attractive rental rates make it worth looking at the next time you are considering renting an RV.
RV rental companies, recapped
Finding an RV rental company is the first step. Cruise America and traditional RV rental companies are similar to chain hotels in the RV rental industry. These are great options if you want a reliable rental company. You can also rent one-way because of their many locations.
This makes peer-to–peer RV rental sites such as Outdoorsy or RVshare the Airbnb for RV rentals. There will be more choice, more places and a lower cost. These types of rentals come with inherent risks and inconsistencies.
Our testing revealed that RVshare, Outdoorsy, and Cruise America are the top RV rental sites. The right choice for you will depend on your availability, pricing, and the deals.
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