Renting a RV, Part One

Renting_RVAre you planning on taking a road trip vacation soon? If so, instead of the usual car trip, have you considered traveling by RV? You don’t have one? That doesn’t matter because there are lots of places that rent RVs today. Traveling in an RV is very different from traveling in a car. With an RV, you can head off to a faraway vacation destination and you don’t need to worry about finding motels. That’s because RVs are like taking your house with you! In this two part article, we will give you the lowdown on what you need to know about RV renting.

Where are you going?

In general, there are a couple of types of RV vacations: first, a road trip or second, a destination-based trip.

Road Trip – Many families opt to make their vacation a road trip. Road trips are especially fun in a RV because you don’t have to be arranging hotels and motels along the way. All you have to do is find a campground or some other overnight spot to park for the night.

Destination-based – The other type of RV vacation is destination-based.  The RV is still your home on wheels but a certain destination is the ultimate goal – think a Disneyworld vacation. Large venues such as Disneyworld will have plenty of RV parking sites so you can park right there. There will be shuttles to the parks and to other local areas so getting around isn’t a problem. Since local hotels and accommodations can be rather expensive at big-name vacation resorts, you can potentially save some money by using an RV.
What kind of RV to rent?

According to Randall Chrysler of Henderson, TX, a Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram dealer, there are three general types of RVs to choose from:

Class C: These RVs are built on van or truck chassis. They are the ones that often have sleeping quarters above the front cab. They generally sleep two to six people. Class C RVs often have the features of the Class A motorhomes (see below) but are more economical to operate and can be easier to drive and park.

Class B: These vehicles are based on a van body, the outside literally looks like a van. Class B RVs can have many of the amenities of the larger Class A motorhomes but usually not everything. For example, not all Class B motorhomes have bathrooms onboard because there just isn’t enough room.

Class A: These RVs that resemble buses. Often called Motorhomes, they have huge front windshields and are usually 23 to 40 feet in length. Typically Class A motorhomes contain a kitchen, bathroom, sleeping and dining facilities. For all the comforts of home, systems usually include electricity, heating, air conditioning, water and a toilet/shower.

Fuel Mileage

Despite the size of the RV you rent and the size of the engine in it, you aren’t going to get much more than 10 or 12 miles per gallon with a gasoline powered RV. It simply the price you pay for totting around all that weight. If you rent a diesel-powered RV, you may get a bit better fuel mileage but that will be offset by the fact that diesel usually costs more per gallon.

Driving an RV

A question a lot of first-timers often have is: “Do you need any special skills to drive one?” Generally you don’t. The Class B and C models are mostly like driving a car, so there’s no problem there. The Class A rigs, well, they are like buses so driving one is like driving a bus but you don’t need a special permit to drive one. Just keep in mind that the longer the rig, the more you’ll need to pay close attention to clearances when making turns.

In the Part Two of this article, we will take a look at the costs of renting an RV and give you some ideas of places to rent them.


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