Good Sam RV Travel Guide & Campground Directory
RV Rentals a Popular Travel Option
Why Should I Rent an RV?
Remember the last time you spent the night away from home? Did you enjoy a peaceful evening with the kids, perhaps taking time for a swim or a walk and then retreating to watch a family movie on your VCR? How about supper? Was it prepared to your liking when you wanted it? Were you able to relax, knowing you had control of your schedule and could be spontaneous with your plans?
If this scenario appeals to you and you don't already own an RV, perhaps your next overnight family vacation should be in a rented RV. When you rent an RV, you have the convenience and flexibility to make your own travel schedule. You are also able to avoid many of the classic travel problems: lost luggage, overbooked hotels, delayed or canceled flights, or costs that grossly exceed estimates.
In a recent study by the University of Michigan Survey Research Center, RV owners cited comfort and convenience, freedom to go where and when they wanted and overall value as the top advantages of RV travel.
For families traveling with children, these benefits help make a vacation more enjoyable. In fact, 92 percent of parents who own an RV said RVs are the best way to travel with the family, according to a study recently conducted by Louis Harris and Associates for Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA).
Currently, more than 400 national rental chain outlets and local RV dealerships nationwide offer state-of-the-art, late model year vehicles for rent. The nation's largest rental company, Cruise America Rentals, based in Mesa, Arizona, has more than 100 rental centers throughout the United States and Canada. Local dealers in the rental business also offer rental fleets of five to 50 vehicles and a growing number of campground operators now offer on-site rentals.
Driving an RV requires no special license and is easier than most newcomers think. Automatic transmission, power brakes and steering are practically standard equipment in today's vehicles. With proper attention to the difference in vehicle size, height and weight, experienced car drivers will find it fun and easy to take the wheel of an RV.
According to the Recreation Vehicle Rental Association (RVRA), the rental segment of the RV market is booming with more dealers entering the business annually. And, according to a recent University of Michigan survey, greater industry growth is expected as consumer demand for RV rentals continues to grow.
More than 20 percent of all vehicle-owning households surveyed expressed interest in renting an RV for a vacation in the near future. Travel agencies are responding to this demand by including RV rental information in their customer brochures. Travel trailers, folding camping trailers, truck campers and conversion vehicles are now available at most rental outlets, yet the motorhome remains the most popular rental model, accounting for 90 percent of all RVs rented.
Depending on the season, motorhomes rent from $70 to $170 per day. Truck campers and travel trailers average $50 to $120 per day. Because of the growing consumer demand for RV rentals, advance reservations are recommended.
RV rental dealers offer their customers instruction in operating rental units. For an additional fee, some also provide housekeeping packages that include linens, cookware and other necessities for life on the road. Larger dealerships operate an extensive emergency repair network and a toll-free renter's assistance and information number.
Tour packages that include services such as airline and railway connections for fly-drive and rail-drive plans, one-way packages, off-season rates, vacation planning, guided escort tours and campground discounts also are available from some rental dealers.
Once the vehicle and destination have been decided, you also select your campground. A weekend spent at an RV resort offers swimming, tennis and sometimes golf by day, plus an inviting agenda of social events. At small remote campgrounds, you'll find the quiet of nature and the convenience of RV hookups for power and water.
In addition to allowing non-owners to experience RV travel, rentals help prospective buyers determine which type of unit best suits their needs and helps current RV owners decide if they want to upgrade. They also are the answer for those who already know and enjoy the RV lifestyle but do not have enough leisure time to justify purchasing a unit.
For More Info
A helpful resource for locating RV dealers who rent units or RV parks and campgrounds with on-site rentals is Woodall's Go & Rent...Rent & Go. The first part of the guide has been designed to provide you with on-site rentals - including park trailers, cabins, tents and lodge rooms - at parks and campgrounds in North America while the second part lists over-the-road rental from Class As to mini-motorhomes to travel trailers to van conversions to even some pop-ups.
Woodall Publications has been involved with the RV industry for more than 60 years. President Linda Profaizer says publishing Go & Rent...Rent & Go has been a dream-come-true of hers because it helps meet the need for those who would like to take an RV on a trial basis before making a big investment.
"Our goal is to make it easy, fun, and economical for you to enjoy the lifestyle that is popular with millions of North Americans," she said.
For further information, vacationers interested in renting an RV locally may also consult the yellow pages under "Recreation Vehicles - Renting and Leasing." For nationwide RV information, a copy of "Who's Who in RV Rentals" can be ordered from RVRA for $5. Rental Ventures, a 28-page, full-color guide to renting an RV in North America, is also available for $3. Both publications can be purchased for $7.50, which includes first-class delivery. Send requests to RVRA, 3930 University Dr., Fairfax, VA 22030; 800/336-0355.