Renting a camper in the USA is a great way to kick off your next trip. Camper trailers offer renters a number of unique advantages and options that make them particularly well-suited for certain trips and itineraries. To understand why a camper trailer rental may be the right choice for you, and — more specifically — which camper to rent and how to save money on such rental, let’s take a look at the basics of the camper trailer market.
Securing a Cheap Camper Rental
A camper trailer hire doesn’t have to be expensive. Prospective renters may find that their initial search yields camper trailer rental prices that would unnecessarily stretch their trip budget, and as such, they may feel as though they must avoid renting a camper. In reality, however, there are a number of ways to minimize the cost of renting a camper.
- Rent an older camper — the older the camper is, the cheaper the daily rental rate will be. If you decide to rent an older camper, however, be sure to assess the condition of the camper beforehand, either through a personal inspection or via online customer feedback and reviews.
- Wait for seasonal discounts — prices tend to rise during holidays, weekends, and high season periods. To save money on your camper rental, book your reservation for a period of low demand.
- Consider a peer-to-peer rental — the best camper rentals are no longer limited to traditional dealerships. Peer-to-peer rentals give prospective renters access to thousands of listings around the world, and the ability to directly rent from individual RV owners. Prices tend to be significantly lower as well.
- Pay for RV club membership — RV clubs frequently offer members discounts and deal packages at partnering dealerships, supply shops, campgrounds, resorts, and more. Though membership does require a payment, usually, this cost can be easily covered by your eventual savings.
Finally, if the rental price is still a bit high, you may want to consider negotiation. Though RV dealerships can be notoriously difficult when it comes to negotiation (many will not be amenable to negotiation), individual RV owners on peer-to-peer platforms are often willing to negotiate the price down a bit, so long as they feel that you are a serious candidate for the rental.
Different Types of Camper Trailers
You have many different options when it comes to renting camper trailers, from truck camper rentals, to small camper rentals, to travel trailer rentals, and everything in between. Whatever you choose, you’ll want to carefully consider all the available options so that you are empowered to make an informed decision that suits your needs. After all, the best camper rental is the one that brings “you” the most joy.
Truck campers are modified pickup trucks that have a “cab” segment that functions as the living area, or RV trailer. This segment is attached to the bed of the truck. Though truck campers tend to be a bit small, they are lightweight and maneuverable, and extremely versatile. Truck campers, unlike most other RVs, can even be used off-road, if necessary, making them an excellent choice for a more exploration-oriented RV trip, or for a trip where you are certain that you’ll be boondocking (and therefore away from well-worn roads and infrastructure).
Teardrop trailers are the smallest campers available, with most measuring in at less than 12’ in length. They lack all supplementary facilities entirely, save for a few cabinets for storage and a bed. Teardrop trailers are just one step up from traditional tent camping. Though they may seem rather unattractive as a rental choice, you should consider a teardrop trailer if you are going on a solo trip and would like to travel light, as teardrop trailers are extremely lightweight, easy to hitch to your tow vehicle, and can be used in combination with traditional tent camping and hotel lodging to make your trip more varied.
Fifth Wheel Trailer
Fifth wheel trailers are the largest campers available. They are double-deckers, with some reaching over 45’ in length, at the top-end (sleeping up to 12, comfortably, with some configurations capable of sleeping up to 14). Fifth wheel trailers are premium, for the most part, and as such they feature luxury amenities such as high-end furnishings, private bedrooms and sleeping berths, bathroom facilities, climate control, media centers, kitchen equipment, and more.
When renting a fifth wheel trailer, make sure that you have a pickup truck tow vehicle. The unique shape of the fifth wheel trailer prevents any other tow vehicle from being used.
Travel trailers are quite diverse, as a subtype. Though they are not double-deckers, they can range anywhere from around 25’ to over 40’ in length. They also vary in terms of their amenity offerings and luxury furnishings. As such, you can find a large travel trailer that is suitable for sleeping up to 10 passengers, but that is fairly basic in terms of its furnishings and amenities. You can also find a compact travel trailer that can only sleep up to 4 passengers, but that is a premium model with high-end furnishings.
Pop-up campers — otherwise known as folding campers — are a compact, lightweight, and interesting option that may be suitable for a specific segment of budget renters. While hitched to the tow vehicle, a pop-up camper is folded down into an easily maneuverable shape. When unhitched and setup for camping, the trailer folds out and expands into its larger configuration. In order to have this pop-up functionality, however, the trailer makes use of a hybrid canvas structure. As a result, it is less resistant to extreme weather conditions, such as snow. Be wary of renting a pop-up camper for a trip where you might have to deal with snow!
Pop-up campers are among the cheapest camper rentals, but may be limited in terms of amenities. Most modern pop-up campers feature basic toilet and shower facilities, however, and may even feature a few appliances.