011 | Insider Tips to RV Rental

Camping is often a profile picture for adventure. The ability to be safely uncomfortable and dwell if life's dirt can be windows into freedom and gratitude. The journey of camping has many entry points.

I feel like camping is one of those icons of adventure. If you were to look up the profile picture of adventure often you’d see a tent,  a campfire, maybe some smores, some stars under the sky, something that just resembles the outdoors.  Camping has been one of the easiest entry points for me into a life of adventure and to create these magical, simple moments with my family.  Today’s episode is really devoted to camping as a broad umbrella, but then more specifically diving into when you’re ready to rent an RV what are some insider tips to help navigate the process.  

Adventure is about stretching yourself and embracing discomfort.  Camping not only embraces adventure definition, it provides for the gratitude experience to come home to your bed and take a hot shower.  

Types of Camping

1. Sleep Out: whimsical, out under the stars
2. Tent: Lower cost enclosure to protect from rain and animals, but by my definition still considered roughing it
3. Pop-up/Tent Camper: A soft-sided enclosure up off the ground with some space and basic amenities like electricity, cupboards, potentially heat and A/C
4. Travel Trailer: Equivalent to a tiny house with the amenities of a small living space, including a bathroom.  Need a vehicle to tow.  5th Wheel is a supersized travel trailer that requires a special hitch to tow.
5. RV(recreational vehicle)/Motorhome: 3 classes that range in size and amenities, where vehicle and accommodations all in one enclosure.  
Class A: Are the big rigs
Class B: Campervans
Class C: Mid-sized 

Where can I rent an RV?

  • local dealerships
  • Rental Business (such as Cruise America) 
  • Sharing Economy, Peer-to-peer platforms (that operate similar to Airbnb* or Turo*) are RV Share or Outdoorsy*
    Note: Airbnb also has Yurts, covered wagons, and RV as an accommodation type.  

What to look for when renting an RV?

1. Unlimited Mileage or cost per mile along with other potentially hidden fees (kitchen items, bedding, cooler, insurance, generator usage). 

2. Sleeping arrangements: do you want to be folding down the table every night to have someone sleep?  Getting out of a bunk in the dark unfamiliar place to go to the bathroom might not be ideal for young kids. Be aware of your needs and size.  Just because it claims it can sleep 10, doesn’t mean I’d recommend it.

3. Features  My non-negotiable for our first renal was a back up camera.  Determine what aspects will help you have the best experience on the road.  Is it a first aid kit?  Night lights?  If it’s not listed as the host if they would include it.    

4. Drop off/Pick up times or delivery fees

5. Weight and towing capacity: Make sure to include the collective weight of the humans riding in it.  

6. READ THE REVIEWS.  Always do this, if there are no reviews you are taking a much greater risk.  I have learned so many things by thoroughly reading the reviews to understand other customer’s experiences.  

7. Communicate with the host/owner.  The more clear you are on the front end the better the experience will be on the road.  It’s not annoying, it’s making sure it’s a good fit for both parties.  

General Planning for RV Trips

Where are you going to park it?  Not only to sleep but also knowing the limitations of the attractions you plan to visit (example: National Parks space to turn around).  Some parking lots are more RV friendly than others.  

Time and speed you travel with a RV is much slower than car.  Average gas mileage is 9-15/mph. 

Storage Capacity, you might want to rethink that large hard-sided suitcase for everyone’s clothes.  Hangers a a good add in and collapsible containers.  

There are more people on earth camping now than ever before.  It may require early planning.  Please be respectful and while enjoying the beautiful scenery, be responsible and pick up after yourself.  

Key Takeaways and Resources

1. Camping takes you out of your normal environment allowing you to stretch and be safely uncomfortable.  

2. What is your icon for adventure?  

3. The spectrum of camping can be broad.  Choose the entry point that works best for you.

4. Camping creates the opportunity for forced together time just by they nature of proximity.  Close quarters inside, but outside the door, the possibilities are endless.

5. Sometimes magic is in the dirt.  Life can be dirty and messy so having experiences that aren’t prim, proper, and perfect are healthy life lessons.

6.  Rentals are a great way to test the opportunity.  It gives you the try before you buy experience over and over without the responsibility of maintenance and storage.

7. There are hidden fees to dig into beyond the rental price including mileage, inclusion of items, insurance, and generator usage.

8. Reviews from customers are a goldmine of information.  Read the reviews to inform insider tips and experiences.  Help yourself and future customers by leaving specific written reviews about your experiences.  

9. Ask Questions.  Anything from clarification of fees, layout, cleaning expectations to location and route recommendations. Be clear up front so you have a good experience on the road.

10.  Book Sooner than later.  The earth is seeing record numbers of people camping which looks to be a trend that will continue through summer 2021.  Below are links to resources cited in the podcast, some include discount codes to help you save money on your first rental experience.  

AirBnB: $65 off your first booking.  They have accommodations that include stationary Yurts, Covered Wagons and RVs that might be worth exploring.  

Outdoorsy: $50 off your first rental.  Peer-to-Peer platform.  

RVShare: Peer-to-Peer platform.  I do not have any discount codes to share yet with this platform.  

As always, please considering 

Joining the Ordinary Sherpa Facebook Group to ask questions or share additional thoughts: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ordinarysherpa/

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Subscribe to this podcast and if you feel compelled, leave us a review: ‎Ordinary Sherpa: Family Adventure Coaching and Design on Apple Podcasts

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All of the links can be found on our website: https://ordinarysherpa.com/join 

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