If you’re in the mood to get outdoors but want more than just the bare necessities of camp life, consider using RVShare.com to find an RV or travel trailer rental for your next adventure.
Establishing an account and making a reservation for an RV is straight forward but knowing some of the caveats in advance will be useful in being fully preparing for your upcoming trip.
RVShare Insights For Renters
Much like renting from Airbnb, RV owners set their own rates, availability, security deposits, cancellation policies as well as the distance you can travel with the RV. With that being said, hosts are usually equally excited about your trip and will go out of their way to make my rental experience enjoyable.
I recommend booking in advance so you can have a wider selection of RV’s to choose from. Obviously, summer is the busiest travel season for outdoor recreation so don’t wait until the last minute. One feature you can take advantage of when booking early is the option to make payments towards your reservation. Check the details of the listing to find out if the RV owner is offering this. If it’s not available, you can always send a direct message to inquire about automatic payment plans.
RVShare provides 24/7 emergency roadside assistance with every booking. This is assessed to the reservation price as a Service Fee, which protects you on the road if you’re unexpectedly faced with a flat-tire, lock-out or need a tow while you’re traveling. Fingers crossed you’ll never need it!
All renters are responsible for purchasing insurance for the RV itself. The amount is based upon the type of RV you rent and number of days you’re renting.
If you’re not certain about driving an RV or towing a travel trailer, search for stationary rentals where the RV is already hooked-up on the owner’s property. No towing, no worries, just arrive.
You can also search for RV listings in which the owner brings the RV or trailer directly to you and completes the hook up. This way you can avoid hauling the rig if your vehicle is underrated or if you’re like me and just want to relax already!
If you’re traveling to remote areas without Wi-Fi, you can reserve a Skyroam hotspot which is mailed to you directly from RVShare.com before your trip. I personally have not used this, and honestly can’t say I would considering how refreshing it is to disconnect. For those who prefer to have internet, you can try it for $10/day. You’ll receive unlimited data for up to 5 devices. When you’re done, simply mail it back in the provided pre-paid envelope.
Tips For Hauling A Travel Trailer
In order to be certain your vehicle is ready to haul a travel trailer, review the following:
- Gross towing weight (GTW) – only tow what your vehicle is rated for. This information can be found in your owners manual or sometimes inside the driver’s door.
- Wiring System – find out what type of wiring harness/plug is installed on your vehicle. For many vehicles, a 4 Way Flat Plug may come standard. You can locate this under the bumper, near the hitch. A wiring adapter may be necessary depending on the type of plug on the trailer. Be sure to ask the owner if it’s not mentioned in the listing.
- Drawbar, Pin & Ball – This is a critical component to the towing system. The drawbar is the metal bar that connects from your vehicle’s hitch to the tongue of the trailer. Some RV owner’s will provide this, but on occasion, you’ll need to acquire a drawbar with a rise or drop if your hitch doesn’t line up with the trailer. Also check to see what size ball the trailer tongue requires. Be sure to have a pin or a lock.
- Safety Chains – Normally, the owner should provide you with the safety chains as it’s illegal to tow a trailer without them! These cross from the trailer to the vehicle’s hitch to prevent the trailer from separation in the event the hitch connection fails.
Preparing For Departure
Check the listing to see if the owner provides linens, towels and if they have a stocked kitchenette. In my experience, RV owners offer extra amenities, so you’ll find many rentals with everything you’d need while out on the road. Some will even stock the fridge or pantry upon request.
Before you can utilize the rig, the RV owner will meet with you to conduct the initial walk-through and provide you with information on how to safely operate the RV as well as checking the taillights are operable. Don’t hesitate to ask the owner questions!
After completing the walk-through, hook up the trailer to the hitch, attach the safety chains and perform a lighting check. You want to ensure your RV or trailer is visible to other drivers on the road. Then take the rig for a test drive in the immediate area before departing to get a feel for accelearating, braking and turning.
A good host will point out any pre-existing damage and record this on their Departure Form during the walk-through. Be sure to document any additonal damage you notice before signing the Departure Form!
Return location and time is pre-determined during your booking process. If you’re running late, just give the owner a call (if you’re able to). Otherwise they may charge a fee for a late return.
If you left with a full tank, return it on a full tank to avoid additional charges.
Depending on the RV listing policy, you may be responsible for dumping the black tank (septic waste). Please only do so at a designated facility! Check out RV Dump Station to find a location near you or ask the RV owner.
Upon return, the owner will complete the inspection and your security deposit will be refunded to you provided the RV is returned in the same condition received. If you have a great host, be sure to give them some positive feedback on their listing!
Don’t forget to leave no trace at your campsite and happy exploring!
The Wildside Society