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How to rent an RV

RV rental an intimidating idea? Don't worry, it is fairly easy to rent a motorhome, fifth wheel or travel trailer. More than 400 national rental chains and local RV dealerships offer state-of-the-art, late model year vehicles for rent. And a growing number of campgrounds offer on-site rentals as well.

These companies do their best to make the RV rental process as easy and enjoyable as possible. But there are a few thing you should know before you sign the contract. Find rental agencies at RVRA.com (Recreation Vehicle Rental Association) or Go RVing.com and find additional companies by doing a Web search.

Here's what you should know before you rent an RV.

A valid drivers license and proof of age are required by all rental agencies. With automatic transmissions, power brakes and steering, RVs are easier to drive than you might think. The Rental companies also give inexperienced drivers tips and test drives before they head out onto the open road. And even though they are BIG compared to anything else you may have driven you'll soon get comfortable in the driver's seat and find it an enjoyable experience.

Motorhomes are the most popular rental model, especially Class C motorhomes; however, Class A motorhomes, travel trailers, fifth wheels, folding camping trailers, truck campers and conversion vehicles are now available at many rental agencies.

Rental costs are dependent on the size, type and age of the RV, the season that you want it, the length of time you will rent it. Generally, motorhomes rent from $100 to $250 per day and truck campers and travel trailers average $50 to $120 per day.

There are other charges in addition to the rental fee.

Some RV rental companies include insurance in the rental prices but others do not.

There is a charge for mileage over the daily allowance. The daily allowance is usually 100 miles per day. The cost for additional mileage is around 30 to 40 cents per mile.

There is usually a generator fee of around $3 per hour.

Rental companies often have a minimum age for the primary driver. One national agency requires the primary driver to be 25 years old. This company also charges extra for each person under 25 years old who will be driving the RV. It's always a good idea to check before renting if you have any young drivers.

Most RV rental companies provide "housekeeping" packages (dishes/pots/pans) at nominal fees. One company charges $85. Most require you to bring your own bed linens and will supply you with bed sizes in advance. But some dealers rent these as well. A 'Personal Kit' would include a sleeping bag or blanket, pillow, pillowcase, flat sheet, bath towel, washcloth and dishtowel. Approximate cost is $35 per person, for the duration of the trip. All items must be returned at end of the trip.

You should always get a list of all items included in either the housekeeping kit and personal kit. You'll want to know what your paying for and if everything you'll need will be included. And, you'll need to know what you will be responsible for returning with the rental RV.

You will be required to make a deposit against damage. This is usually a $500 charge on a credit card. It will be refunded if you return the RV in good condition but you should plan ahead to have a sufficient credit limit for both the deposits and what you plan to charge on your trip.

You may also want to read: Why You Should Rent an RV - Save Up to 50% or More on Your Next RV Rental

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