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RV travel is a wonderful way to see the country. From National Parks to seashores, and everything in between, nothing compares to an RV for getting in touch with the great outdoors. With all the comforts of home, RVing can be an enjoyable adventure for many families. Want to know how to skip the hotel rooms and experience life under the stars in your very own motorhome? Let this RVshare review guide you!
RVing might not be for everyone, but it’s likely the best way to see much of our country and have quality “unplugged” time as a family. My outdoorsy family of four explored Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks in a motorhome rental from RVshare.
Here’s everything you need to know before renting an RV for your family vacation.
How RVshare Works
RVshare is like the Airbnb of RVs. Renters select vehicles from owners who are renting them to earn extra money during a time when their RV is not being used. Here is how the process works:
- Find an RV – RVshare provides a detailed search database. This allows renters to find the best RV to meet their needs. You can search location, features, type of RV, etc.
- Once you find a motorhome to your liking, you’ll contact the owner to arrange your trip. When you pick up your RV, the owner will give you a tour and a demo on how it works and then it’s all yours.
- Drop off the RV based on the owner’s expectations (typically with gas tanks full and waste tanks empty) and you’re good to go.
The Cost of Renting a Motorhome
The motorhomes we researched on RVshare ranged from $100 a day to $300 or more. When planning your budget, you should also consider campground fees, gas and other expenses. Overall, this is more affordable than renting a car, booking hotel nights, and eating out. Money saving benefits include:
- Your transportation and accommodations are all-in-one.
- You can store food and cook your own meals.
- Campgrounds are much cheaper than most vacation rentals or hotels.
RVshare Provides Worry-Free RV Rentals
I reviewed a number of RV rental companies before choosing RVshare. One of the things I liked best about RVshare is the company’s Worry-Free Rental Guarantee. When you book and pay on RVshare, this guarantee protects your payment, security deposit, and more in case anything goes wrong. Some key features include:
- Dedicated support team via phone, email and chat
- Rental replacement – in case the RV was misrepresented
- Re-booking assistance
- Security deposit protection
- Credit card protection
- 24-hour roadside assistance
You can also purchase RV insurance through RVshare.
Using the RVshare Platform
Using the system at RVshare.com is super easy. We started with the Trip Planner to help narrow down the best options for our needs. They system asks questions about:
- Type of RV you want to rent
- Number of travelers
- Number of miles you plan to travel
- Round trip or one way
- Travel dates
Selecting an RV Class
There are three main classes for self-drive motorhomes.
- Class A are the extra-large tour bus style models. Note: Class A RVs over 26,000 pounds require a special license.
- Sleeper or camper vans make up Class B.
- Class C models come in a variety of sizes between the other two classes. They are smaller than Class A models.
- Towing RVs or travel trailers may also be an option but this requires you to either rent or own a vehicle strong enough to do the job. (Read these tips for towing a trailer if you choose one of those RVs.)
We decided that a Class C RV would fit our needs and planned our road trip to start and end in Salt Lake City, Utah. We were flying in from Boston so we looked at RV rentals close to the airport.
Comparing Features and Add-ons
When you rent an RV, you’ll want to consider what features matter most. Some RV owners provide more add-ons than others. Some charge for these extras; others don’t. You can use the RVshare platform to compare. Here’s what we considered before making our final choice:
- Rental rates
- Communication with RV owner
- Miles allowance
- Vehicle fuel efficiency
- At least three beds (one for mom and dad and one for each teen).
- Included generator hours for heating and cooling
- Outdoor table and chairs
- Charcoal or gas grill
- Extendable living space (also known as bump-outs)
- Linens included
- Fully equipped kitchen
- Appliances like a microwave and coffee maker
RVshare Review – Our experience
After considering all of the above and communicating with a number of private owners, we chose a Mercedes Benz Class C motorhome. The RV was exactly as represented in the listing. It was pristine clean and ready to go. The RV owner, Adrian, was extremely helpful and went out of his way to meet our needs. He even delivered the RV right to our hotel.
Even though my husband has some RVing experience, Adrian took ample time to explain everything we needed to know about operating his motorhome. We reviewed his owners manual and signed off on the final details of our agreement. Adrian also provided us with his cell phone number so that we could call or text with any questions.
Ideally, you’ll want to start in a city with a large grocery chain. This way you can stock up on everything you need before you hit the road. Prices at these stores are far lower than local markets along the way. That said, save some money for special treats and local specialties.
On the Road
My husband did most of the driving and found this RV easy to drive and maneuver. The diesel engine helped save money on gas too. Since we were visiting National Parks during high season, we appreciated that this RV could fit in regular parking spaces in a pinch.
Having camp chairs and a table made it easy to stop for lunch and enjoy nature when picnic tables were not available. Having our own bathroom meant we didn’t need to cater to four different schedules wondering where we’d find the next rest stop. This also helped us avoid significantly long bathroom lines in the National Parks.
The RVshare site offers some great suggestions for finding RV rental sites at some of the country’s top destinations. Since we were visiting National Parks during the high season, we booked our campground sites months in advance.
When choosing a campground, you’ll want to decide what creature comforts are important. Things to consider when researching a campground:
- Availability of RV Hookups – water, electric, and sewage. We always had access to all three but not all campgrounds do.
- Number of public bathrooms and showers
- Laundry facilities
- Camp store and/or on-site restaurant
- Firewood onsite
- Outdoor grill
- Picnic tables
- Swimming pool, lake or beach access
Since our RV owner provided excellent instructions (also in writing), we had no issues setting up or breaking down the motorhome at each campground.
RVshare Review – The Final Verdict
I can’t say enough good things about our experience. I researched a number of RV rental companies and found the value and services provided by RVshare to be the best choice for us. My husband agrees.
We think renting an RV provided a unique opportunity to spend quality time together as a family. We hope to rent another RV sometime soon.
Is an RVshare right for you?
RVing is not for everyone. It’s probably a great choice if you answer yes to many of these:
- You enjoy your freedom – Taking a road tip in a motorhome gives you the freedom to drive wherever you want and stay practically anywhere.
- Tent camping is not your thing – Having a shelter from the elements and climate control was key for our family.
- You want to unplug as a family – While some RV parks have WiFi, we focused on connecting as a family without our devices.
- Repacking annoys you – The luxury of being able to unpack once gave us more time to enjoy our trip rather than unpacking and repacking at every stop.
- You are not a fan of public toilets – Having our own bathroom was key. Restroom lines in some places were outrageously long.
- You want some access to your gadgets – While the focus was to be unplugged, having access to our devices came in handy on long driving days. Our RV provided plenty of outlets.
- You enjoy meeting new people – RV travel offers ample opportunities to meet other travelers. Kids from around the world play together and fellow camper sit around campfires and chat.
I hope my RVshare review helps you decide if renting a motorhome is a good choice for your family. We think the benefits far outweigh any inconveniences (no maid service, shared showers, etc.)
Have you ever rented an RV? Share your experience in a comment.