One might be the loneliest number, but when it comes to travel, three can definitely be the trickiest. It might seem like accommodations from hotel lodging to restaurant seating are made for multiples of two, but when it comes to renting an RV, there are plenty of options for traveling with a group of three.
What to Look for in a Three-Person RV
The good news? Unlike having four passengers, you can still get away with renting a smaller RV or even a travel trailer. First, consider who your travel buddies are. A mom traveling with two small kids or three college friends might need less privacy than two parents traveling with their teenager, for example.
Once you’ve figured out how many beds you’ll need and how much privacy you’re willing to sacrifice, it’s time to decide which type of three passenger RV rental to get. A Class B RV or campervan is ideal if you’re new to RVing, since their smaller size makes them easier to maneuver. But sleeping quarters will be tight — in most cases, you can expect to sleep just a few feet away from each other on side-by-side twin beds and a pullout sofa, or even a dinette area that converts into a bed.
Those looking for more space might try to find a small Class C RV. Many Class C motorhomes have a sleeping area above the bed of the van, making it a good option for travelers with different sleep schedules or those looking for separate “bedrooms.”
If you’ve already got an SUV or truck, you might also consider renting a small travel trailer or camper trailer. These RVs can be towed behind your vehicle and since you’ve only got a group of three, you can easily fit in the SUV or truck on the way to and from your camping destination.
How to Find a 3 Passenger RV Rental
Traveling with a trio means you have lots of options for a three person RV rental. If you’re flexible on the type of model you want, your best bet is to search for dealerships in your area and then get a few quotes before making a reservation. Don’t forget to ask about mileage and extra fees when comparing rates, as most RV rental companies tack on a half-dozen different charges by the time you get your final bill.
If that doesn’t work, or if you’re interested in potentially saving hundreds of dollars, you might also try peer-to-peer rental sites. Peer-to-peer sites use the Airbnb model to connect consumers directly with RV owners, who often can get you a better price because they don’t have any overhead. If you’re traveling during the off season, your chances of negotiating for a good deal with the owner are even better. Since the RV would otherwise be sitting in their driveway, many owners are willing to rent it out on the cheap to make some extra cash.
3 Berth Motorhome Hire
If you’ve never taken an RV trip before, it doesn’t hurt to brush up on some of the lingo. In the RV world, “berth” is just another word for how many sleeping spaces there are in any given RV. So a 3 berth RV hire is the same thing as a RV rental for 3 people.
A word of advice: When calling around, don’t cheat yourself by asking for an RV that fits two people with plans to squeeze another in. To make sure your RV rental sleeps 3, it’s best to be upfront about how many beds you’ll actually need. While it’s possible to throw an air mattress on the floor at a hotel, the same trick doesn’t work in an RV because of the tight quarters and space economy. Do yourself a favor and find a rental that can actually accommodate three people — you’ll thank yourself later.
Tips for 3 Passenger RV Rental
Finally ready to hit the road? Not so fast. If you’ve got the time, it always makes sense to do a test run first, especially if you’ve never driven an RV before. Before you do that, though, you’ll need to figure out who the driver will be. Decide if you’ll be rotating between the adults onboard or if one person will be the designated driver for the entirety of the trip.
Some other things to do before you leave: Get a tour of the RV and ask for help operating the generator and emptying the holding tank (also known as your toilet). It’s boring, yes, but understanding how these things work will save you major headaches down the road. Be sure to check if your RV rental comes with things like linens, dishware, and utensils — and ask if there’s a fee associated with using them.
If you’re traveling with kids, you might want to think about giving them a job. Having a task at hand, whether it’s helping with navigation or bagging up snacks for everyone, helps to keep them from getting bored during long drives while also giving them a sense of empowerment and responsibility. Adult travelers who won’t be driving can be given jobs, too: It can be as simple as searching for restaurants or gas stations along the way or finding the perfect podcast to pass the time.
If possible, designated navigators should look for routes made for RV travelers, which will take into account any overpasses or tunnels along the way. Remember that RVs are slow-moving gas guzzlers, so factor in extra stops for fuel along the way and don’t be disappointed if the trip takes longer than your GPS expects it to.
Need to stop for a nap or just to stretch your legs for a bit? Many Walmart locations welcome RV travelers with open arms, so it’s a good bet if you’re traveling in cities with small gas station parking lots and no rest area in sight. Plus, it’s always fun to talk to other RV travel groups and maybe even get some advice on campgrounds and sightseeing.
All said, renting an RV for three people is not much different than renting an RV for two — you just have to be smart about finding the right one. When in doubt, choose something with a bit more space than you think you’ll need. After being cooped up on the road all day, you’ll appreciate having a comfortable space to spread out and get some Z’s. By the time your trip is over, you’ll be relaxed and ready to return to the real world.