Katie Duncan
by Katie Duncan
Posted July 1, 2020

RV there yet? See what’s waiting for you on Outdoorsy.

More and more people are choosing RVs as their travel method of choice. RVs allow campers to take in the locations they visit by putting them right next to the action. If you’re thinking of planning an RV road trip, but aren’t sure where to start, you’ve come to the right place! We’ll break down some of the most important first steps of your trip, including choosing the right RV, renting it, and planning your trip. Buckle up! 

1. Choose Your RV

Choosing the right RV may be the hardest part of the whole trip. With so many selections to pick from, it can be a little overwhelming at times. To help you out, we’ve broken down the different types of RVs and what questions you should be asking in order to select the right one.

RV Types

Not all RVs are created equal. The first thing that you’ll want to decide on is what type of RV you’ll want for the trip. Let’s take a look at your options!

Class A Motorhome

Image Source: camperguide.org

This is what many people think of when they hear the word RV. The Class A motorhome is the largest option and ranges anywhere between 29 to 45 feet long. They typically come with bottom storage, slide-outs, full kitchen and bathroom, multiple awnings, and a queen-sized bed.

Class B Motorhome

Image Source: airstream.com

Class B motorhomes are commonly referred to as campervans. These are the smallest of the three motorhome options, as campervans are exactly that— vans. Some may have a small toilet and kitchen area, but many only include a bed and living space.

 

Class C Motorhome

Image Source: thervnomad.com

Even though Class C comes after B alphabetically, it’s actually in between Class As and Bs in terms of size. These can range between 21 and 41 feet but are built on a van or truck chassis. They usually offer many of the same amenities as a Class A. 

Camper Trailer

Image Source: thedyrt.com

Camper trailers are towed behind a truck or SUV. They can be as small as a tiny teardrop pop-up or bigger than 30 feet. Amenities depend on how large the trailer is. 

Fifth Wheel

Image Source: roadslesstraveled.us

These are similar to a camper trailer, but differ in how it is towed. Instead of being towed from a hitch on the bumper, fifth wheels connect with a special hitch located in the bed of a truck. Because of this, fifth-wheel trailers are usually taller and longer than traditional camper trailers. 

The Right RV for First-Timers

There’s no one “right” RV for everyone. To help yourself make the right choice for your RV road trip, answer the following questions:

  • How many people will you be traveling with? Some large Class A motorhomes can sleep more than ten. Others, like Class B motorhomes or small teardrop campers, are more suitable for two people.
  • Where will you take the RV? Do you plan on staying in large RV parks or want to camp in smaller places off the beaten path? Some campgrounds have size limits, so you always be sure to check with all the campgrounds you plan on stopping at. 
  • What amenities do you need? The answer to this question will be informed by the previous question. Do you plan on camping in RV parks and campgrounds with water, restrooms, and more? If so, having an on-board restroom and kitchen may not be as big of a necessity. However, if you plan on boondocking away from civilization, these may be a must-have. 
  • What will your daily itineraries look like? Some RV trips involve setting up camp and traveling away from the campground for sightseeing. Consider how you’ll travel to other destinations. Packing up your motorhome every day can be exhausting, leaving some to prefer tow-behind campers that can be left at the campsite while you take your truck or SUV out. 
  • Do you have a vehicle that can tow? If you drive a sedan, you’ll likely need to rent a motorhome or a small, lightweight camper. 
  • How comfortable are you driving an RV or pulling a trailer? If it’s your first time, we recommend starting small. Many RVers feel that driving a motorhome is not as intimidating as towing. 

These questions should help you narrow down your search to a certain type and size RV. 

2. Rent Your RV

Using a rental platform like Outdoorsy is easy. To start, simply visit the Outdoorsy website and browse the selection of RVs. You can narrow your search by type, so this is where your research from earlier will come in. Because RV owners from around the country rent out their RVs on the platform, you’ll find a wide range of choices as well as RV rental prices for every budget.

Find an RV that works for you, and simply book it, much like you would a hotel. It’s that easy! Many RV owners can even deliver the RV right to your door if you’re within a certain radius. If you have questions or issues, you can contact the RV owner or Outdoory’s support staff that is available 24/7.

van crossing bridge over body of water

3. Plan Your Trip

Once you’ve got your RV picked out, you can start planning the details of the trip! We’ll leave this part up to you, but here are a few general RV travel tips for beginners. 

Need some ideas? Outdoorsy’s Road Trip Guides will make planning a breeze.

RV Travel Tips

Two of the most important things you can do as an RV renter is 1) make sure you fully understand how to operate your rig and 2) plan what you can. 

Understanding Your Rig

Once you have your RV picked out, do a little research. Be sure you fully understand all aspects like hitching, unhitching, fueling up, and setting up camp. Oftentimes, there are a few steps involved, so don’t be afraid to ask questions. This can save you some headaches on your trip. 

Plan What You Can

Prepare what you can before you leave. Take a practice drive around your neighborhood to get familiar with the handling and controls of the RV. Look at what you’ll be eating, how often and where you’ll stop for gas and rest, and sights to see along the way.

You may be tempted to be spontaneous on this trip, but especially for first-time RVers, it’s important to do your homework and research ahead of time. 

Hit the Road

RV picked out? Check. Rig rented? Check. Planned, packed, and ready? Check. Now it’s time to hit the road! 

Katie Duncan

Outdoorsy Author

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