Thinking of taking a road trip in a campervan, but concerned that a class C vehicle or motor home might be too unwieldy? A small campervan rental could be the perfect solution; especially if you’re looking for a vehicle you can sleep in and more easily maneuver along the way. With so many campervan rental options, where to begin?
The Basics of Renting a Campervan
As a campervan rental company owner, we thought I’d share some tips to help ensure you’re able to find a vehicle that best fits your needs. While my business has focused on renting VW camper vans—VW buses and Westfalias—I’m familiar enough with the details that really matter if you’re renting a campervan: vehicle condition, insurance, functionality, price, comfort level and so on. I’ve also organized my list of campervan rentals by state so you can more easily find the right option. Before jumping to the list of campervan rental options by state (and large city), let us break down the main criteria or considerations you should keep at the forefront of your decision making process.
Before we get into rental details, it’s important to note that camper vans are not RVs. And, as you consider supplementing your camping trip with Airbnb options, you might also want to just take some time to explore various parts of the country (such as New England) via online research. Recreational vehicles (RVs) have larger motors and are typically equipped with living space and various amenities that you would find in a home, e.g. kitchen, bathroom, and sleeping area. Some RVs require a special license to drive and are not easily maneuvered if your end goal is camping or traveling to a location with narrow roads.
Campervans are most often vans that include a sleeping area, and some cases, additional amenities such as a sink, refrigerator or storage. Campervans don’t require a special driver’s license and they’re much smaller than RVs. Many of the campervan rentals on our list have some form of a small kitchen and a bed.
As you peruse our list, keep in mind that not all campervans and campervan rental companies are equal. Some campervan rental companies are large companies with multiple rental locations, others are simply an individual who rents out his/her campervan for extra money. The older are more classic the vehicle, the more important it is that you do your homework when evaluating the rental agency. In most cases, you should consider renting older VW buses or Westfalia from a company that rents only those vehicles and has one or more professional mechanics involved in the ongoing maintenance of the vehicle. If you have kids or expect to arrive at the airport on time with no chance of vehicle issues, be aware that your odds of a breakdown go up significantly when you rent older, antique vehicles. You’ll be trading reliability, comfort and functionality for an experience that is more about aesthetics and being a part of a unique subculture (#vanlife).