For those of you who may not know, RV stands for a recreational vehicle. An RV is a ‘home on wheels’ designed to bring you from one location to the other in comfort. It is usually equipped with a small living room, a bedroom and a kitchen. This is different from a camper van, which is mostly smaller in size. The benefits of RV travel are many! Go with a partner, group of friends or Fido, you get to linger longer at a scenic area, cook your own food, fish or hike within steps from your campsite. Enjoy the flexibility in your travel as you decide on the spot whether to stay, shorten or extend at any location. There’s also less stress when it comes to packing your luggage and deciding whether you should bring that board game or not. It’s also a great way for families to gather together and enjoy some quality time over a campfire. Ready to rent? In this article, we will look into two popular RV rental services - RVshare and Outdoorsy, where you can rent directly from RV owners.
Selection of RVs
It’s important to choose the right RV depending on whom you’re travelling with. There are also different types out in the market - diesel- or gas-powered, towable types like the fifth wheel camper, toy haulers, travel trailers and more.
On RVshare, you can sort by price, type of class, towable RV and even a ‘keyword’ search bar if you’re an RV expert looking for a specific model for your holiday. You can also turn on the 'instant book’ option if you need to confirm an RV immediately without waiting for the owner to respond. In fact, the listings also show you the number of people it can accommodate and some owners offer delivery.
Outdoorsy offers basic filters such as dates, number of guests, price, and vehicle type, as well as providing a ‘more filters’ tab for you to narrow your search based on amenities (like air conditioner, heater, TV/DVD, washer/dryer, extra storage etc.). You can also choose to view the listings based on the rating given by previous renters. The website’s interface is similar to Airbnb so if you’re used to that, it should be familiar to navigate.
It’s important to have the cost you have to pay stated upfront so you won’t be in for an unpleasant surprise at the checkout page or worse still, at the end of your trip when you have to return the RV. For RVshare, apart from the ‘per night’ prices stated on the listing page, you will also have to pay for the cost of RVshare Rental Insurance which will differ based on the kind of RV you rent. Trailers’ charges start from 9.95 USD and motorhomes’ start from 19.95 USD. For more information, please refer to their official website.
Outdoorsy too has a very straightforward insurance protection scheme. In fact, there are only three packages to consider and they are named ‘risk taker’, 'essential’ and 'peace of mind’. The three packages provide different collision coverage, liability coverage and additional services and you may read more about it on their website.
Did you know that renting an RV uninsured is illegal? Just as with almost everything, if anything happens, payment will be required for the damages caused. There are two major insurances you should know about - liability insurance and RV rental insurance. Liability insurance is usually provided by the rental company which includes roadside assistance should you encounter breakdowns on your journey. On top of that, it’s important to get RV rental insurance and most rental companies offer that. If not, you may purchase it from a third party.
RVshare rental Insurance is offered to owners at no cost. They are provided with up to 1,000,000 USD in liability coverage as well as comprehensive and collision coverage for the value of their RV up to 200,000 USD. Thus, if you rent from a listing that has active RVshare rental Insurance, the insurance is automatically included in the rental quote to you. The said insurance covers both domestic and international renters.
As for Outdoorsy, there are different coverage for vehicles listed in the US, Canada and Australia. In the US, they are backed by one of the world’s best insurance companies, Liberty Mutual. Any renters travelling or owners based in the US can rely on Liberty Mutual for protection of up to a million USD in liability insurance as well as physical damage protection alongside others. Those in Canada are supported by legal liability for damage, injury, or death up to 5 million per event backed by Aviva. While those in Australia will be backed by CGU and can enjoy legal liability for damage, injury, or death up to 35 million per event. For more information, please refer to the Outdoorsy website.
In the previous paragraph, we briefly mentioned that liability insurance usually includes roadside assistance. This is important as you will definitely appreciate a helping hand should there be difficulties encountered during your journey. RVshare can be reachable through phone, 24/7 chat, and email. Re-booking by RVshare’s dedicated team is also available if you’re faced with a situation where the owner of the RV has to cancel the listing at the last minute.
On the other hand for Outdoorsy, RV travellers throughout the US and Canada can get assistance by calling 1-877-250-6731 to be connected to a network of 40,000+ roadside assistance providers. Outdoorsy’s RV Technical Assistance is available 24/7, 365 days a year. Should there be a need to dispatch a mechanic to your location, it can be arranged at no extra charges. But there might be costs incurred for on-site repairs.
Payment & delivery
Renting an RV for an extended period of time means you will be paying quite a substantial amount of money upfront. With secure payment offered by RVshare and Outdoorsy, you can have a peace of mind. Every rental booked through RVshare’s secure payment system is backed by a 10,000 USD peace of mind guarantee. It’s also good to know that if you’re booking more than 30 days before the chosen start date, you’re allowed the option to make two separate payments. But if you’re reserving an RV within 30 days of pick-up, then you will have to make full payment upon checking out.
As for Outdoorsy, it has a system to hold the funds and only releases them to the owner after a 24-hour window period. If your rental is within 14 days, you will need to pay the reservation deposit or the 100% rental amount. Both rental companies provide delivery options for greater convenience and Outdoorsy even offers setup services if you choose to rent with them.
We all know sometimes plans don’t act in our favour and schedules change in a flash. Thus, it is good to familiarize yourself with the cancellation policies available. Both Rvshare and Outdoorsy provide their users with three different kinds of cancellation policies.
For Rvshare, RV owners have the choice to select one of the three schemes - flexible, standard and strict. The flexible policy allows renters to receive the full refund of money minus the RVshare service fee if your rental is up to 30 days or more before your selected start date and 50% refund of money minus the RVshare service fee if your rental is within 30 days from the selected start date. The flexible policy allows renters to receive only 50% refund of money minus the RVshare service fee if your rental is within 14 to 30 days before your selected start date and there is strictly no refund within 14 days of rental. Lastly, the strict policy will allow absolutely no refund within 30 days from the rental start date.
Outdoorsy has also three standardized policies but differ very much in terms when compared to RVshare. The flexible policy refunds the reservation deposit (25% of full trip cost) and full rental amount (minus fees) if a booking is cancelled more than five days prior to the start date. In the event of a booking being cancelled less than five days prior to the start date, the reservation deposit will not be refundable and a partial refund of only 75% of the full rental amount (minus fees) will be issued. The moderate policy does not refund the reservation deposit (25% of full trip cost) and a partial refund of only 75% of the full rental amount (minus fees) will be given if a booking is cancelled more than 7 days prior to the start date. If a booking is cancelled less than 7 days prior to the start date, a partial refund of only 50% of the full rental amount (minus fees) will be issued. Finally, the strict policy will take away 50% the reservation deposit (50% of full trip cost) and no partial refunds will be issued if cancelled less than 14 days prior to the start date.
Tried once and fallen in love with travelling with an RV? Some RV rental companies reward users for continuously booking on their website so you definitely don’t want to miss out on the perks you will receive over a long period of time. When you book online via RVshare’s website, you will receive a 5% cashback which you can use to offset your next trip. As for Outdoorsy, a member gets to enjoy various types of coverage from their insurance plans. Whether your vehicle is listed or you are travelling in the US, Canada or Australia, you may be assured as Outdoorsy has raised the bar when it comes to trust and safety. Whether it’s Peace of Mind, Essential, or Risk Taker, you have the choice to select the protection package that best fits your trip.
Pick the right RV rental service
You will be paying quite a substantial amount of money to rent an RV so make sure you pick the right RV rental service that best suits your travelling style. Apart from RVshare and Outdoorsy, there are various brand names available in the market like Cruise America amongst others. If you’re not into peer-to-peer rental platforms and in search of newer RV models, then give Cruise America a try. You can even purchase an RV from their website! They have been around since 1972 and often run seasonal deals so just in case you’re booking during an off peak season, you may want to compare prices among those companies we’ve listed. Have a ripping road trip!
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