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Renting an RV

If you are considering the purchase of an RV but are unsure of what type, style or other factors, renting an RV may be the way to go. Are you considering full-timing in your RV or just using it for your annual vacation? Would you use the RV for frequent weekend excurtions or just once or twice per year? Renting might be the answer for you!

Renting an RV - 10 Things You Need to Know
By Erika Widmer

Renting an RV is the best way to explore Canada and United States. It is possible to rent an RV year round, for a day, week, month or even longer. If you are planning to rent an RV the following are ten things you need to know:

1. Choosing the Size and Type of RV

There are several different RV types. The most common is the motorhome, generally speaking, the larger the unit, the more space, privacy and comfort it will afford its guests. If you are planning to stay at one place for a long time and would like some luxury it would be a good idea to rent a Fifth Wheel. This will enable you to park your trailer and have the ability to use the truck for daily excursions. If you are planning to move around, drive on rougher roads or are travelling in Northern Canada or Alaska a camper would be a great choice. Your decision will depend on how many people are travelling, where you will be going and also your budget. Take your time deciding because your choice may make your holidays the most memorable ever or you will be so miserable you will never want to look at another RV again. Once you know which unit you would like to rent, visit your chosen RV rental office and check out the motorhome or trailer to make sure it will meet your expectations.

2. RV Rental Companies

Shop around, shop around, shop around. Check out as many rental companies as possible. When looking at prices make note of what is included in the daily, weekly or even monthly price. Some rental companies may have packages that include all mileage, kitchen kits and insurance. The only thing you have to pay for is gas. Others may give you a daily rate that includes just that, the daily rate. You will have to pay more for everything else. Take your time calculating all aspects of the rental price. Also, it doesn't hurt to haggle the price, you may be able to get a better deal than listed especialy if you are traveling during low season.

3. Reserving Early

If you are traveling during high season and you know which RV or trailer you would like to rent it is a good idea to book your RV early. You will be able to secure the RV you want and you may even get a better deal. Many companies offer discounts for reserving a few months ahead of your travel date.

4. Basic Set Up

When you are going over the RV features and basic set up make sure you check the leveling system and gauges. Gate valves for emptying grey and black tanks should close all the way and work smoothly without sticking. You don't want to be splashed by a bit of sewage when the dust cap is take off. Adjust mirrors to needed position and check to see if they are firmly mounted and that they can be adjusted to needed position. Make sure everything is in proper working condition.

5. Insurance

RV rental companies are specialists in the business and offer reasonably priced, comprehensive insurance plans. Purchasing insurance coverage is a good idea and will help ease any concerns about driving an expensive motorhome or tailer. A second option may be auto insurance, speak to your insurance agent to find out if you are covered for the motorhome you want to rent.

6. Being Safe on the Road

Pick up your RV early. Drive it around a few blocks and test all the features yourself. You could come across a problem the mechanics may have missed. If this is the case you still have time to swap the motorhome for a new one instead of finding out 300 miles into your trip.

7. Kits

There are many different types of kits depending on the rental company you choose. They could be called by any one of these names; housekeeping kits, kitchen kits, personal convenience kits, vehicle supply kits among others. If you are flying to a city where you will be renting an rv and the only items you are bringing with you is your camera, personal items and clothes make sure you purchase all the necessary kits. Some rental companies may even supply a flashlight and axe for the campfire. They may also rent camping chairs, barbecues, bicycles, TV, DVD and other items to add to your fun.

8. Campgrounds and RV Parks

Canadian and US campgrounds offer camp sites ranging from back-to-nature basics in a wilderness setting, full facility campgrounds for RVs, quiet scenic camping sites, or RV parks with full resort facilities and amenities for families with children. When selecting an RV campground, it is important to plan ahead. Otherwise, you could arrive at your destination, only to find no place to stay. During peak season it is rare to find a campground without reserving. It is a good idea to purchase a couple of campground guides. They will give you information about fees and facilities.

9. Alternative Transportation

Unless you are pulling a trailer that you can unhook from your car you may need to plan for another way of getting around when you finally arrive at your destination. It may be enough to pack a couple of bicycles, there are moreand more foldable bikes on the market that are comparable to regular bikes. They are easy to store and fun to ride. A lot of experienced motorhome travelers tow a small car or bring along a small motorized scooter. Enjoyment of your vacation may depend on how you handle transportation needs once you park your motorhome at a campground or rv park.

10. Secure your Load

Make sure everything in your trailer is put away in cabinets and whatever is not in cabinets is safely tied down so it can't move. Checking the fridge is a good idea to make sure there is nothing that will spill or be thrown around during the trip. You wouldn't want to get to your destination and find a fridge full of broken eggs or spilled milk. Not a fun way to start your trip.

Happy Travels!!

E. Widmer is an entrepreneur and an avid rv'er.

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