How to Rent an RV for a Cross Country Trip

by Christy Bagasao
Seeing the sites from a rental RV is a popular way to travel.

Seeing the sites from a rental RV is a popular way to travel.

A family traveling with an RV can average a savings of over 60% on travel expenses. Saving money is just one reason the popularity of RVing is on the rise. RV travel also provides convenience, healthier eating options, improved pet comfort, and camaraderie with others at RV parks and campgrounds. RV rental allows travelers to enjoy RV benefits without the cost of ownership. Renting an RV for a cross-country trip requires a small amount of research and preparation, but will provide hours of enjoyment.

Research the type of recreational vehicle that would best suit your needs. Consider size, type and amenities, such as the number of beds, storage space and kitchen features. Wander through an RV lot or visit RV forums and information sites for new RVers, such as Newrver.com, to get a better idea of your options.

Determine whether you want to use the RV for a round-trip or one-way. If one-way, contact airlines to determine the cost of a one-way flight home. This will factor into the overall trip cost.

Obtain a list of RV rental agencies. Agencies can be located in the phone book, by contacting local RV dealers, or by using the rental agency search feature offered by the Recreational Vehicle Rental Association. (See Resources)

Request price quotes from different rental agencies or use an online quote tool like the one offered by Cruise America, America's largest RV rental agency. Be sure to ask about insurance, mileage included in the quote, the per mile fee, and the drop-off fee if you plan to travel one way. Ask about hidden fees and extras, such as cleaning fees, costs for bedding or supply kits, and generator usage charges. Ask for seasonal discounts, such as unlimited mileage, no drop-off fee, or a reduced rental rate.

Use a major credit card to pay an advance deposit on the RV you have selected.

Schedule pick-up at the location you have selected.

Pay the remaining estimated rental fee when you pick up the RV. You must show a valid driver's license and meet age requirements (usually 25 years or 21 years with a fee) when signing the rental contract. If the rental agency does not have parking accommodations for your regular vehicle and you are not planning to tow it, bring along an extra driver.

Items you will need

  • Major credit card
  • Valid driver's license

About the Author

Christy Bagasao has been writing since 1991. She is an English and communication graduate of Wisconsin Lutheran College with a year spent at Nottingham University in England. Her work has appeared in such publications as "Forward in Christ."

Photo Credits

  • lake mead national recreation area 8 image by Jim Parkin from Fotolia.com