It’s been a long, rainy, and cold spring but summer has finally arrived—or so we can only hope! Whether you want to head to the coast for some beach time, be dazzled by a kaleidoscope of mountain wildflowers in bloom, make a long weekend of a concert at the Gorge or winetasting in Yakima Valley, or connect with friends and family across the country, a travel trailer or RV is a great, affordable way to go!
The open road is stretched out before you, and you and your family can spend an awesome week away in just about any part of the country. But it shouldn’t be just about the destination; getting there should be at least half the fun. That’s why renting an RV from RVshare is a great alternative to hectic airports and increasingly expensive airfare, plus the cost of hotel rooms and eating out. Bring a home away from home with you is a wonderful alternative that the whole family can enjoy.
Bring your own (pet-friendly) hotel
Accommodations at popular summer holiday destinations can be expensive. Instead of spending hours searching online for affordable lodging, you can reserve an RV, take the whole family on a long road trip, and bring your “hotel” with you. If your family includes four-legged members, you can choose to bring them along and save hundreds on pet sitting or kennel fees.
Living the RV life is a great way to put a little distance between you and the world and still travel safely. Pull up at a campsite in a national park, and tuck into comfy beds for the night. Park at the beach and cook dinner in your own kitchen. Drive across the country without ever stopping to use public restrooms. Just remember, like hotels, reservations are a good idea at popular RV campgrounds.
Is it expensive to rent an RV?
The average price of an RVshare rental is $150/night. Older motorhome rental prices start at $100 a night, travel trailers as low as $50 a night. (Newer RVs start at $200/night for motorhomes and $125 for trailers.) Compare that to the cost of plane tickets plus hotel accommodations. Think about the money you’ll save cooking in your camper rather than dining out. The benefit to your bank account is obvious.
By renting an RV, you eliminate the expenses of airfare, hotel rooms, and eating out (though you can still choose to visit all the local “diners and dives” you find along the way). The views and freedom to set your own schedule each day? Priceless. To save even more, use these tips when searching for a rental:
- Be flexible with dates
- Avoid holidays and peak seasons
- Find an RV with unlimited mileage and generator use
- Negotiate with owners on rates
- Rent longer for cheaper nightly rates
- Don’t get a bigger RV than you need
What if I have never driven an RV before?
There are three classes of RV: Class A, Class B, and Class C. If you’re an RV novice, the experts at RVshare recommend looking for a Class B or Class C motorhome. For anyone who has driven a traditional vehicle for years, Class B and C are much more natural to drive than the larger, more bus-like Class A RVs.
What if I want to use an RV for lodging but not drive it?
You can take your hotel with you, or you can have your hotel come to you! According to RVshare, it’s not uncommon for people to request RV deliveries. RV delivery is convenient whether you’re:
- Nervous about driving one and would rather have it brought to you
- Testing out “living small”
- Are staying at a campsite and want shelter
- Planning a large event and need places for people to stay
- Are looking for temporary housing, perhaps while your home is under construction
- Want to stay in a trailer but don’t have a truck with which to tow it
- Having a backyard camping week with the kids
- Are attending a festival and need affordable lodgings for a group
Peer-to-peer rentals like RVshare have plenty of options for RV delivery; you just have to do a little extra digging. The process is very similar to renting an RV that you plan to drive, except you don’t have to get behind the wheel. The owner will bring the RV to the location for you. Once there, they’ll set it up and show you how all the systems work. They’ll hand over the keys, and the RV is your new home for the duration of your stay.
Should you buy an RV, or should you rent one?
One of the best reasons to rent an RV is that it’s an affordable vacation choice, with a range of options and price points to fit any budget and travel style.
Let’s face it, buying an RV is expensive – especially if you go for the high-end luxury vehicles that allow you to travel in comfort. A travel trailer or motorhome will cost you anywhere from $10,000 to $300,000 – and then you have to maintain it once you own it.
A much smarter option for the casual vacationer is to rent an RV. If you later decide you do want to own one, you’ll have a much better idea of what to look for.
Choosing an RV is like booking a vacation home
In many ways, booking an RVshare rental is just like organizing a stay in a vacation home.
Plug-in your dates, price range, and location. Then filter results by the type of RV (drivable motorhomes vs. towable travel trailers and popups) or the amenities you need (number of beds, pet-friendly, specific kitchen amenities, etc.). The owner will make sure the RV is neat and clean before your stay.
Benefits of RV travel
RV travel has always been a convenient way to roll your vacation transportation and lodging into one. With more people able to work remotely, traveling without using paid vacation days makes spur-of-the-moment road trips much easier.
No need to bother with flight delays and lost luggage at the airport. No sweating over fiddly tent setups and primitive cooking conditions at a campground. You can skip the uncomfortable or noisy motels, bad or over-priced road food, and emergency bathroom breaks at dodgy gas stations in the middle of nowhere.
The benefits are magnified for travelers who still aren’t comfortable in crowds and want to maintain social distancing practices – especially if they haven’t been vaccinated. Because of this, RV travel has been steadily rising in popularity since 2020.
With an RV rental, you have your own self-contained unit for traveling, sleeping, eating, and using the bathroom. That means you can avoid crowded rest stops on your road trips.
You won’t need to wear a mask when you travel or worry about washing your hands all the time.
You can bypass hotels with elevators and communal facilities and pass up unmasked indoor restaurant dining. You can cook with groceries you brought from home. Or enjoy takeout in your comfortable RV dinette.
Planning for your RV getaway
Once you have chosen your perfect camper at RVShare, you need to reserve your camping spot. You’ll want to reserve in advance because camping is still a hot trend for vacations this year. Some campgrounds are limiting campers and selling out from high demand. Full hookup sites (those including electric, water, and sewer) often sell out first at many campgrounds.
To reserve a site, visit campground reservations sites such as ReserveAmerica.com, which has many state parks and private campgrounds, or Recreation.gov, which is used for reservations at our many Federal lands, waterways, and monuments—roughly 4,200 facilities and activities and over 113,000 individual reservable sites across the country.
When booking a spot, you’ll need to know the length of your rental camper and what types of hookups it has. For example, if you’re renting a high-end RV, you might need a 50-amp electrical service and room for a 30-foot camper PLUS slide-outs.
You’ll also want to map out acceptable overnight parking places before you go. (Did you know that Walmarts, truck stops, and casinos are among the places that welcome RVs?)
Where can you travel in an RV?
You can take your RV anywhere you’re willing to drive to from your home, so the options, both near and far, are abundant. You can choose to drive or tow your rental or find a delivery and setup option to have your home-away-from-home waiting at the campground or RV park of your choice.
National parks: National parks and other nature-based destinations are extremely popular year-round. Families want a 360-degree view and space to roam and explore. The great outdoors is the perfect place to social distance. The areas near national and state parks are typically flush with campgrounds that welcome RVs.
- RVshare reports that the top national park destinations for RVers are Yellowstone, Arches, Grand Canyon, Zion, Great Smoky Mountains, and Glacier National Parks.
- Closer to home are Rainier National Park and Olympic National Park. Take a swing around the Washington Peninsula and visit coastal campgrounds along the way.
- Enjoy wine tasting in Eastern Washington, along the Columbia River Gorge, Oregon’s Willamette Valley, or head to Napa in northern California.
- Of course, many Northwesterners simply like to getaway to hike or fish and enjoy wildlife in our National Forests and Backcountry locations.
Special events: Plan your trip around a sporting or cultural event. Some events that are popular among RVers include concerts, rodeos, state fairs, food festivals, and heritage tours.
Waterways: Top spring and summer vacation destinations often include a stay at the ocean, a lake, or on a river. RVshare maintains a list of some of the best waterfront RV campgrounds and Campgrounds and RV Parks on the Pacific Coast Highway, or you can search for sites with hookups near your preferred destination.
Family visits: If haven’t seen your family for a couple of years, a visit to your relatives might be in the cards this summer. Bring your RV lodging with you so you can socialize outdoors and not have to crowd into spare bedrooms and sleep on floors. Just be sure to check rules about acceptable places to park an RV in your relatives’ neighborhood. Some cities and communities have restrictions on RV parking.
Road trip: Got lots of time? Plan an epic coast-to-coast road trip around the United States in a recreational vehicle from RVshare. Visit “diners & dives” and iconic attractions across the country or crazy ones, like the last Blockbuster Store (Oregon), Mystic Hot Springs (Utah), Musical Highway (New Mexico), or Two-Story Outhouse (Wyoming).
Own an RV? Put it to work in the off-season and boost your income.
Don’t let your RV sit idle in storage this season! List it on RVshare and help ensure that families, medical professionals, and others have a home away from home this season – all while earning some money for you.
Still need convincing? Check out the video below!
Need ideas for an RV getaway or vacation? Check out these ideas on our website:
- Most amazing natural wonders in Washington State
- Best summer vacation ideas in Washington State
- Where to watch wildlife in Washington State (free!)
- Guide to Washington State Wine Growing Regions
- 10 scenic drives for Washington State fall color
But wait, there’s more!
- Find free and cheap things to do every day: Greater Seattle on the Cheap event calendar.
- Still more ideas for frugal fun: Greater Seattle on the Cheap home page.
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