Whether you’re looking for a relaxing weekend in the woods or a weeklong exploration of national parks, an RV rental might be exactly what you need. But did you know that there’s an Airbnb for RVs, where you can find RV rentals by owner?
There are several rental sites that make it easy for renters to search for available campervans and RV rentals by owner. If you’re considering a unique outdoor experience for your next vacation, consider venturing into the world of vanlife!
Is There an Airbnb for RVs?
If you’re new to the renting RV game, then you’ll be happy to know that there are several RV Airbnbs where you can rent an RV directly from the owner.
These RV rental companies make it easy for first-time drivers to experience what life is like in a motorhome without the commitment of buying one. Not to mention, heading out on the open road with a cool RV rental is one of the more unique ways to travel, and you’re guaranteed to find an RV for rent that will suit any travel style.
There are a few different players in the RV rental marketplace, like Outdoorsy and RVshare. While both companies have different rentals available in the United States (just like Airbnb), there are some slight differences to consider.
Outdoorsy is one of the largest and most trusted companies if you want to rent an RV. Considered the best Airbnb of the RV world, Outdoorsy is ideal for both new and experienced motorhome travelers. Their easy-to-use website has millions of rental listings including campervans, RVs and trailers.
Also, the RV rentals on Outdoorsy are privately-owned vehicles only.
RVshare is another company like Outdoorsy that connects RV owners with renters. I haven’t personally used RVshare, but I’ve heard great things and urge you to check them out, too.
You can read about my full experience and Outdoorsy review here. That trip was one of the most memorable experiences I had last year!
Search for RV Rentals by Owner
One of the best search features of Outdoorsy is the ability to browse through the online marketplace of vehicles based on different criteria, like price, ratings and instant book. You can also search by vehicle class, amenities or length, which is perfect if you have a certain RV rental in mind.
Just use the widget below to browse your location:
If you want to book a trip with Outdoorsy, use the promo code TRAVELFREAK at checkout to save $40 off your next rental.
Airbnb RV Rentals: What to Expect
In choosing your RV rental, make sure you read the details of your rental. Just like with Airbnb, you’re renting a vehicle—or “property”—from an individual person. So the same level of due diligence is required. Make sure you fully vet the listing, and look for highly-rated vehicles with a lot of positive reviews.
Top Tips for Renting an RV Airbnb Style:
- Don’t book vehicles that don’t have reviews yet, unless you’re willing to take the chance that things might not go as planned.
- Listings that are available for “Instant Book” are great, too, because you can make the booking immediately without having to wait for approval from the RV owner.
- Similar to Airbnb, most rentals require a security deposit, which will be an additional upfront cost to your reservation. This deposit is, of course, refunded when you return the rental. It’s just like placing your credit card on hold at a hotel for incidental expenses.
- Double check any restrictions, including limits on the number of people and how many miles per day you get for driving around, whether pets are allowed, if the camper is festival-friendly, etc.
After securing your reservation, you’ll arrange a time to exchange keys with the RV owner. This is a similar procedure to renting an apartment with Airbnb. Some people offer drop-off and pick-up within a certain radius (including the airport!), while others will ask you to come directly to a mutual meeting spot.
You’ll want to handle all communication with the owner directly through the chat feature on the website. Outdoorsy will handle all the paperwork—including driver’s license verification.
If the owner asks for any personal information, do not give it to them. This was a problem I ran into when renting from Outdoorsy, and I had to politely decline their requests and let them know that all paperwork was handled through the platform.
I think this was mostly a lack of knowledge about renting on the owner’s part.
On the day of your trip, you’ll meet the RV owners for the pick-up. They will most likely give you a walkthrough of the RV rental and have you perform a renter vehicle inspection (just like renting a car!). You’ll also need to sign a contract and renter return form to note your mileage, generator, and water tank usage.
Once everything is signed, you’ll be given the keys and the green light to start your unforgettable RV adventure!
Is it Cheaper to RV or Stay in Hotels?
The cost of an RV can be cheaper than a hotel or Airbnb, but not always. The price of RV rentals are set by the individual RV owners, which means the cost per night of your RV rental will vary depending on location, type, and amenities.
However, the same goes for any Airbnb rental or hotel. You can save big bucks by sleeping in a shared dorm hostel, or you can splurge on a luxury resort with ocean views. The cost of a hotel per night will also depend on different contributing factors.
But the biggest variable that could affect the price of your RV rental is gas. Generally speaking, RVs use way more fuel than a normal car or SUV, which means you could burn through a ton of money if you plan on driving long distances.
You should ask the RV owners if they charge extra for additional miles. Your RV rental may have a restriction on the number of miles you can drive per day. If you go over, then you’ll be subject to anywhere from $.10 to $1 per mile extra.
On the other hand, most RVs come equipped with kitchens, so you can prepare your own meals. If you plan on cooking during your trip, you’ll save cash instead of eating at a restaurant three times a day like you would when staying in a hotel.
If you rent an RV, it’s also important to factor in additional costs, like generator usage. And if you’re staying on a campground site, you’ll need to consider the per night camping fees. Parking in a campground can cost anywhere from around $10 to $30 dollars per night.
For many rentals, there might also be extra add-on charges for optional equipment and cleaning. These additional charges add up and contribute to the overall cost of your RV rental. It’s just like Airbnb where you pay a cleaning fee to the owner.
At the end of the day, an RV rental can be cheaper—but it isn’t a guarantee. By choosing an affordable vehicle, cooking your meals and not going over the daily mileage limit set by the owner, you could save more money compared to staying in a hotel.
So, How Much Does it Cost to Rent an RV Airbnb?
Generally speaking, smaller and older RVs will be considerably cheaper than the new modern ones. The only exception is if you rent a vintage campervan, like a Volkswagen Westfalia or an Airstream trailer. These RV rentals are often in high-demand and can cost twice as much as a normal RV.
Like with accommodations, the cost of your RV will also depend on where you’re renting. Costs in California can be considerably higher than Utah, for example.
Let’s look at a few different examples of how much renting an RV costs.
California – In general, you should expect to pay between $60-100 USD/night (per person) for an RV rental in California. For example, a vintage Volkswagen Westfalia will run you about $400/night for four people. A swanky Winnebago for three will cost up to $250/night, while a converted SUV for two might cost you around $120/night.
Utah – If you’re renting an RV in Utah, you should expect to pay between $36-80 USD/night per person. For example, an ordinary van-turned-campervan goes for $120 USD/night and a fully loaded RV for five people will cost about $179 USD/night. On the higher-end side of things, a Winnebago Era for three people starts at $240 USD.
Colorado – If you want to rent an RV in Colorado, expect to pay between $30-75 USD/night per person. You can tour the mountains in a Volkswagen Westfalia for $225 USD/night for four people, or you can get cozy in a tow-trailer for $120 USD/night (also for four people). But if you want to do some serious adventuring, you can rent everything from custom sports campervans to converted Jeeps for between $185-300 USD with up to four people.
Hawaii – On average, you’ll pay between $45-60 USD per night per person for a campervan rental in Hawaii. A sleek converted campervan for two people will cost from about $149 USD per night, while a more rustic version of the same campervan goes for about $117 USD/night. A more luxurious, roomy RV with a full bathroom that can sleep five people comfortably costs from $219/night.
Thanks to all its listings (and its variety of listings), Outdoorsy makes it easy to find an RV rental to fit your budget.
Can I Make Money Renting My RV?
Similar to renting out your apartment on Airbnb, you can also rent out your RV to other travelers and road-trippers and make money in doing so.
Owning an RV can be very expensive, and you can help subsidize the cost if you make your RV available for people to rent when you’re not using it. Airbnb works the same way: if you have empty rooms in your house, you can make money on that available space by renting to owners.
If you haven’t rented out your vehicle before, it might, at first, feel strange to have someone living and driving your RV. However, Outdoorsy offers comprehensive coverage to protect RV owners. Not only do they do full DMV background checks on the person renting your vehicle, but they also include liability insurance for every RV rental.
Outdoorsy is Airbnb for RVs
Whether you’re a first-time driver or an experienced road-tripper, Outdoorsy is a great option for RV rentals. And if you’re used to rental sites that work in a similar fashion to Airbnb, then you can easily take your next vacation on the road.
Operating in over 14 different countries, Outdoorsy has millions of vehicles to choose from. Whether you’re looking to get a retrofitted school bus, a vintage campervan or a luxury Class A motorhome, you’re guaranteed to find something that sparks your interest.
In fact, Outdoorsy’s customer service is one of the best in the business. All renters get access to 24/7 customer service and roadside assistance hotline. Those are just a few reasons why they’re considered the premier Airbnb of the RV rental world.
If you want the freedom to travel on your own time, set up camp surrounded by nature, and cook up your own gourmet sunset meals from a camp stove or fire, and RV rental will get you there!
NOTE: I’ve partnered with Outdoorsy to provide you with a $40 discount! Just use the promo code “TRAVELFREAK” at checkout!