So you are not ready to jump full force into the RV camping lifestyle just yet? Or you are on board but your spouse just isn’t quite there yet. How can you try it before you buy it?
Try before you buy
Yes, it’s true you can rent an RV to head out camping before you decide to buy one. Some people even rent them for years knowing they only take a few trips a year. It is easier for them to rent than it is to pay on something that they use less than a handful of times every year.
What to consider when renting an RV
Us we like to have our own camper but for those that are thinking about renting here are the top things you need to consider:
Understand how the bathroom system works in the rig you are renting. Nothing like filling the black tank on the first day only to not understand how you get rid of it. There are lights, smells, hoses and chemicals involved when it comes to going to the bathroom in an RV. Make sure you understand all of these things BEFORE you take the rig out.
Make sure you realize how big you are, meaning how long and how wide your rig is. For us and our fifth wheel, once we are hooked up we are two feet shorter than a semi-truck. Honestly, we are basically a semi going down the highway. It is not always easy to change lanes, make turns, or back that thing up. Be sure you understand how tall and how wide you are before taking off. That also includes understanding how wide you are when it comes to having any slides out on a camper. This will make a difference in the site you choose.
You will have to keep the road rage to a minimum. You will inevitably be driving slower, people may honk at you, get used to it. Slow down, keep your temper in check and just remember you are heading out on an adventure and they are most likely going to work.
Bring your own cleaning supplies. You should ask before you rent an RV what supplies are provided. More times than not you are supplying everything so be sure not to forget the cleaning supplies. Things like Clorox wipes, hand sanitizer, dish soap, etc.
You have to batten down the hatches so to speak. There have been so many camping trips where a rainstorm will kick up in the middle of the night and we have our awning out on the camper or a pop-up tent over the table. If you don’t tie these things down they are sure to blow away. There have been good awnings ruined because of a bad wind storm.
You may have a tendency to overpack, it happens. You think you are going to need all this stuff. Truly you just need clothes, stuff to clean yourself and clean up after yourself, stuff to eat with and things to have fun with. That’s it! Oh and don’t forget about things for the dogs.
Don’t rush anything! Add in some extra time to your schedule and be sure to go slow when backing up, setting up and tearing down your campsite. There are many steps involved and if you do them all the time they become easy but for someone renting an RV a few times you should go slow and go through each step. It is not a fun time if you pull out and your electric cord is still plugged into the campsite.
Having the camper level is an absolute must! It can’t be “just about right!” This isn’t the time to just say “that will work…” It won’t work, especially if you have slide-outs. Everything needs to be level. Most rigs these days can either auto-level themselves or you can bring a little level with you to make sure you get your rig just right.
Don’t panic! If you hit something or scrape something just remain calm. Make sure you got the insurance when you rented the rig and just be honest about the situation you are in.
Lastly, keep in mind the camping community is generally made up of awesome people who are ready to help if you need it. I cannot tell you how many people have asked us for help over the years or how many we have asked for help. We have never had a bad issue either way. We all understand and are ready to help if you need it.
Don’t limit yourself, especially this year, on an amazing vacation in an RV. Getting yourself, the kids and pets out into nature can be one of the best experiences you will ever have. It may even spark you to get your own camper.
So get out, rent the RV and get camping!