Already own an SUV or truck? A travel trailer rental might just be the best option for you. In fact, many RVers consider travel trailers to be among the most convenient types of RVs because they can be detached at your destination, freeing you up to head into town in your own vehicle. Bonus: You’ll also save on fuel costs.
But don’t rule out travel trailers just because you have a smaller car — depending on size, some models can even be towed behind your hatchback or sedan. Before you rush into a rental, though, there are few factors you’ll want to consider. Read on to learn more about the logistics of renting a travel trailer.
Travel Trailer Rental Prices
First things first: How much does it cost to rent a travel trailer? Your total cost will depend on where you live, what type of model you’re looking for, how far you’ll be traveling, and what time of year you’re planning on renting the trailer. But generally speaking, you can expect to pay anywhere from $100 to $300 a night as a base fee, not including mileage and other fees.
Those extra costs can add up, though. Make sure to ask about the mileage fee and any cleaning fees, security deposits, dump fees, pet fees, and charges for use of the generator. If you’re not careful, those extra charges can add up fast.
Looking to rent a travel trailer for a month? See if you can find a dealership that will cut you a monthly rate so you don’t get stuck paying 30 days of a nightly fee.
Tips for Renting a Travel Trailer
Picking the Right Size
Looks can be deceiving — while travel trailers appear fairly compact, many of them can actually sleep four to six people. Some larger models even have enough room for up to 10 travelers. Think about how many people you’ll be traveling with and set some realistic expectations for how much space you’ll need. Solo travelers may be just fine in a 12-foot teardrop trailer or another small travel trailer rental, but those same models could be a totally cramped nightmare for a family of four.
Some travel trailers can be longer than 30 feet. But while you’ll have more space, you’ll also have a tougher time driving and parking the thing, especially if there won’t be another adult on the trip to guide you. For that reason, it’s advised that solo travelers stick to something smaller.
And remember: Just because travel trailers are designed to be towed behind your vehicle doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to test your car’s limits in doing so. When looking at rentals, you’ll want to pick something slightly below your vehicle’s maximum towing capabilities. Picking a travel trailer that’s too heavy will not only slow you down out on the road, but it can also be a waste of fuel and put a lot of stress on your vehicle. So choose wisely.
Maneuvering a Travel Trailer
Travel trailer owners will tell you that backing out of parking spaces and campsites can be one of the trickiest parts about renting a travel trailer. For your first few travel trailer rentals, it may help to have a second adult get out and communicate with the driver via phone to avoid any fender benders. Luckily, many campgrounds have pull-through campsites that don’t require you to use reverse — as the name implies, you just pull straight through.
Sometimes, you can’t avoid backing out, though. Reversing the trailer won’t be second nature until you’ve done it a few times, but you can make it a bit easier on yourself with this simple trick: If you put your hands on the bottom of the wheel and turn left, your trailer will go left. Turn the wheel right, and it goes right.
You’ll also want to be mindful of the extra length behind you. Give yourself more room than you think you need when passing other vehicles.
Most importantly, realize that the point of your vacation is probably to take it easy, right? Embrace life in the slow lane and give yourself plenty of time when coming to a stop. If you wanted to go fast, you would have rented a sports car.
Once You Get There
Roll out the welcome mat (literally!). Bringing a small doormat with you is a great way to make sure your travel trailer stays clean and free of dirty footprints while you’re at your campsite.
Other knick-knacks you don’t want to forget? Scissors, plastic baggies, bandages, a flashlight, and a lighter always come in handy and don’t take up much space. You might also think about taking along a small camping grill for burgers and hot dogs.
For the truly hardcore, experienced RVers often recommend bringing along leveling boards, which are used to make sure your travel trailer can stay at an even level even if your campsite ends up being slanted. You can also buy plastic wheel chocks to keep your trailer steady if you’re parked on a hill. If you’re just taking a short trip, these things probably aren’t necessary but, hey, it never hurts to be prepared.
Where Can I Rent a Travel Trailer?
OK, so you’ve made an informed decision that renting a travel trailer is the way to go and now it’s time to start hunting. There are plenty of options for finding vacation trailer rentals in your area, the most obvious of which is to find a local RV dealer. RV dealerships get points for convenience and selection, meaning you should have a good range of models to choose from in whatever price range you’re looking to spend. Depending on the dealership, you may also be able to access their roadside service or customer service center if you get in a jam while on your trip.
Another option is to check out peer-to-peer rental sites, where you can connect with actual RV owners looking to rent out their travel trailers. Because there’s no middle man, this can often be a cheaper way to reserve a trailer for your next camping adventure. It takes a bit more research, but better deals can be had if you’re willing to dig a bit.
No matter what you end up choosing, renting a travel trailer is a blast and gives you tons of options for campsites. So pack up the car, hitch up the trailer, and hit the road with confidence. Bon voyage and safe travels!