I admire families who own tents and actually use them. In my mind, I’d love to be that family. But we aren’t, and we won’t be — probably ever. While I LOVE being outside with my family, hiking, exploring, fishing, and swimming, I also really love beds and toilets. More importantly, I require just a bit more space between myself and the critters that come out at night than a tent provides. Judge me if you must, but I’ve found a solution that works well for my family: RV rentals.
Planning the ultimate Texas road trip this summer? Or is your camping style more “Troop Beverly Hills” than “Survivor”? Read on for tips for RV rentals.
Where to find an RV rental
A quick Google search for RV rentals will yield quite a few results. My two favorite sites for RV rental options across the country are:
They feel very VRBO or AirBnB in style, in that you can search by your dates, location, price range, number of people, etc.
Set-Up and Delivery
Both sites also offer set up and delivery options, which is a great way to go, whether your car doesn’t have adequate towing capacity or you simply lack the confidence of towing an RV to your destination. Set up and delivery are provided for a fee, based on the individual owner and the distance from the origin to the campsite.
We chose this option for a trip in October and enjoyed being able to meet the owner and have him walk us through all the ins and outs of our home away from home, including hearing his personal tip on how best to keep the toilet clean. (Hint: it involves a strip of toilet paper in the toilet before you go.)
Tow your Own
If you do choose to tow your own, these sites offer a lot of useful filters to help you find the right size RV for your vehicle but pay attention to mileage fees. Some allow a certain number of miles per day, with charges per mile beyond that limit, others simply charge per mile.
Average Cost to Rent an RV
According to Outdoorsy, the average nightly cost for an RV rental starts at $50-175 a night, depending on the type and size of camper you’re looking for. This price is usually lower for weekly, or monthly rentals — if you’re feeling extra adventurous!
There are other fees to consider besides the actual RV rental itself, including:
- Campsite reservations (these vary depending on the park)
- Cleaning fees
- Tank (holding and/or sewage) dump fees
- Mileage fees
Some owners sweeten the deal by offering certain amenities included in the price of their RV rentals, such as bikes, kayaks, camp chairs, or even firewood. Some also offer special add-on amenities, such as s’mores nights, where they provide the s’mores essentials for a small fee.
One amenity my family enjoyed was the outdoor Blackstone griddle that was included with our camper. We cooked everything from eggs and bacon to sausages and hot dogs on it outside without having to make a campfire or use the RV kitchen as often.
Linens are another amenity to check on when you’re booking. Some owners provide sheets and towels, while others don’t. Some provide sheets, but no pillows. Check the fine print or contact the owner directly when it comes to linens to make sure you’re prepared when you arrive at camp.
What to Pack
Ultimately what you pack is determined by your family and their individual needs, but here are some essentials that you’ll want to bring along to enjoy your RV experience:
- Table cloth for outdoor picnic tables
- Toilet paper (RV-friendly)
- Paper towels
- Basic cleaning supplies
- Hand soap
- Dish soap
- Kitchen utensils (check with your RV owner to see what is provided)
- Trash bags
- Paper plates
- Zip-top bags
- Extra blankets
- Table and camp chairs (if not included in rental)
- Playing cards and board games
If you’re like me, and you love getting outside with your family but aren’t quite ready to commit to a tent, or plan to see ALL of Texas this summer, consider RV rentals. For my family, it’s become one of our very favorite ways to spend a long weekend, because we all win — my kids come alive exploring nature, and I sleep easy (in a bed!) knowing that all of that nature is safely outdoors.
If you’re ready to take the plunge on an RV rental and need ideas of where to go, check out this post on Texas State Parks.