Ever wonder what it would be like to take an RV trip across America? Maybe it’s something you’ve thought about doing since you were a kid, or perhaps it’s a recent travel fantasy. Whatever the case, you’re ready to pack your bags, plan out a route, and rent an RV to travel the USA.
No matter whether you already live in the US or whether you’re traveling from abroad, hopping in an RV is one of the best ways to explore America. And since there are campgrounds inside national parks, on pristine beaches, nestled in the mountains, and out in the desert, you’ll see every terrain the country has to offer from the closest possible vantage point.
Ready to plan your trip? Here are a few things you should know before you RV USA.
Rent a RV in the USA
The good news is that almost anyone can rent an RV in the USA — all you need is a driver’s license and a credit card to make your reservation. Most RV rental companies accept foreign driver’s licenses, so even if you’re traveling from a different country, you should be able to find a dealership that will allow you to make an RV reservation. (Typically, you’ll also need to provide your passport.)
Some companies require drivers to be 25 years old, so if you’re between the ages of 21 and 24, you’ll need to call around to a few different rental places to ask what their policy is. Other than that, there usually aren’t any other restrictions for renting an RV, since most states don’t require you to have a special license for a US RV rental.
Rent RV USA Prices
The cost of a USA RV rental will vary significantly depending on several factors. First, consider what time of year you’ll be traveling. Summer tends to be peak RV season, so renting a camper from June to August is normally a bit more expensive than renting one in the spring and fall months. But don’t try to rent an RV in the winter just to save money. Unless you’re experienced at driving large vehicles in the snow and on ice, it can be difficult and even dangerous to make a snowy trek in a motorhome. (Plus, many campgrounds shut down for the winter anyway.)
How long you’re planning on renting an RV also determines how expensive your trip will be. Most USA RV rental companies charge a nightly or weekly rate, but if you’re traveling for several months, check and see if you can find a place that will rent to you by the month, which could potentially save you hundreds of dollars.
When searching for a dealership or rental company, be sure to check out USA RV rental reviews to see what other customers are saying. It’s important to find a company with good customer service as well as roadside assistance so you can get help if you have a maintenance issue while out on the road. Although everyone hopes their trip will go off without a hitch, it’s a good idea to plan for emergencies so you can jump into action if a crisis presents itself.
If you’re looking to rent a USA RV cheap, you may want to check out peer-to-peer rental sites, which connect RV owners with people looking to rent RVs (kind of like Airbnb, but for RVs). Because you’re renting directly from an RV owner, you can generally get a better rate than you would at an RV dealership, and you’ll have a better chance of finding rentals in smaller and mid-size cities. As a bonus, many RV owners are happy to give you tips and tricks for your travels and are great for getting recommendations on the best route to take or lesser known stops you can take along the way.
Exploring the USA in a RV
Now to the fun part: planning your trip! The toughest part about figuring out the best RV route in the US is not so much deciding where you want to go, but narrowing it down to a few reasonable picks. If you’ve only got a week, don’t fool yourself into thinking you’ll be able to plan a grand cross-country road trip. Be realistic about how much time you can dedicate to your trip and give yourself enough time to actually enjoy the sights once you get to your destination. It’s no fun rushing from place to place!
To start, why not add a few national parks to your route? The US has 59 national parks, meaning you’re virtually guaranteed to find one no matter which part of the country you’ll be driving through. Recreation.gov can help you find campgrounds at parks and forests and has valuable information for RV travelers.
The internet is brimming with RV travel guides from experienced RVers and many of them are region-specific so you can find guides for, say, New England RV routes or California road trip destinations. For more help cruising USA in an RV, it may be helpful to join an RV membership site, which offers maps and discounts at campgrounds. Some of them even have free routing services that allow you to type in your starting point and destination and have a preplanned route sent to your email address.
Although it sounds spontaneous and fun to just wing it, it’s in your best interest to start planning early and make advance reservations at campgrounds, since many of them book up fast (especially in the busy summer months). USA RV rentals are a hot commodity, so you’re more likely to snag the best deal by reserving an RV and planning your trip a few months ahead of time.
Wherever you’re traveling, though, you’re sure to have a great time. RVing is a great way not only to see the country, but to meet some really great people along the way. The RV community is a group of helpful, friendly people who are generally very accommodating and welcoming. If all the other advice fails you, say hello to your fellow campers and don’t be afraid to ask for help.