Adventure is Calling!
It sounds like the open road is waiting for you. It’s time to get out there and see what there is to find! There are so many options for traveling. You could fly from airport to airport and stay close to city centers. You could pack up in your car and bring along a tent, or secure hotels for every night. But if you really want to capitalize on the freedom of travel, renting an RV may be the best choice for you – a class B RV, specifically!
With an RV, you can go anywhere on the map. There’s no need to worry about finding a place to stay for the night, a meal, or even a bathroom. Your needs are met by your vehicle and you are ready for anything.
There are three different types of RVs to consider for your rental. There is the Class A, which is your classic, large and boxy motorhome that looks like a bus and has all the amenities packed inside you could ever want. There’s the Class C, a model moderate size recreational vehicle that still packs a lot of punch. And then there’s the Class B.
If you’re familiar with the #vanlife photos on Instagram, then you know what a Class B RV is. These are often called campervans. You can look at them as oversized vans that you can usually stand up inside (depending on the van and how tall you are).
These represent the smaller RV class, but depending on your needs they are perfect for those looking for something versatile. With these vans being just large enough to meet your needs, they get you on the road in the most compact and affordable option. Don’t let that fool you though! They can still provide the features that equate to bringing your home along with you when you hit the road.
The Size of a Class B Van
Campervans are the smallest models of motorhomes, but their size makes them easier to drive, park, and saves you money on gas. However, even though these vehicles are on the smaller side for motorhomes, they are still large vehicles.
To provide some context, most Class B RVs are between 17 and 19 ft long but you can find campervans that are 22 or 14 ft. They typically sleep one to four people. Four people may be comfortable for a weekend trip, but more than a week might be pushing it! If you do go for a week, you had better get along very well with your tripmates!
Class B RVs are usually 8 to 9 ft wide and 7 to 9 ft tall, which means clearance shouldn’t be a problem in most circumstances. Make sure you know the height of your vehicle and be mindful if you are ever driving on side country roads where you will sometimes find lower bridges.
To compare, a Class A RV is the largest model type. Many of Class A vehicles are 40 ft long and over 13 ft high. In a Class A RV, driving down city streets can be tight and stressful. Finding parking is a challenge that needs to be mapped out ahead of time. With a Class B, you should be able to park in the backs of most parking lots. And while driving in the city will take more consideration than if you were driving a sedan, it is still much simpler than driving a motorhome twice the size.
The Features of Class B RVs
Campervans have a smaller space, but they are designed with a focus on the best use of that space.
They will come with a small refrigerator that is often tucked under a counter. They also have cooking facilities, like a stove top and microwave, but rarely an oven. Check out our article on good eating for tips on what to eat while you’re on your RV adventure! And once you’ve done that, check out the top 8 small cooking appliances you’ll want to bring along.
The living space is most limited. It’s common to have a dinette table or a couple of chairs, but not both. You might find that the dinette seating in some vans can convert to a bed, which is a perk. Some smaller campervans won’t have space for either.
Storage space is a lot more limited in Class B RVs, so many people will add storage to the roof of the van. If you do this, make sure you know your new height level before you hit the road.
Some Class B RVs will have a freshwater tank and a self-contained toilet, but not all models will have this feature. Size is the biggest factor here. Many Class B RVers prefer not to have a toilet because it takes up a lot of space that could be used for gear, while others prefer to have in onboard. The fewer the stops, the better!
The Cost of Your RV Rental
How much will trying #vanlife cost you?
There are a few factors that will affect your average costs for an RV rental. First, the location will play a major role. When you are someplace where RVing is popular, like Arizona, there will be a lot of supply and that will drive the price down. It also matters how new you want your RV to be, how many reviews the vehicle listing has, and how many features and what size the motorhome is. The more your RV offers, the more it will cost.
Standard RV Rental Costs
All of that being said, on RV Share, renting a campervan will cost you between $75 to $200 a night for a Class B rental that is ten years or older. A newer model will run between $200 to $350 a night. Book an RV through RVshare and save hundreds of dollars on travel costs!
There will also be additional costs – some of them are optional and some are mandatory. For mandatory costs, you will need to think about things like deposits and insurance. Your rental may have the option to pick up insurance at the time you rent. If not, you will need to secure vehicle insurance while you have the rental. Don’t forget this step!
There are two kinds of deposits you’ll need to think about, the first one being the reservation deposit. To hold your rental, the company will ask for some money upfront, but this will be put toward the total of your rental bill. The other kind of deposit is a security deposit to protect the owner against damages and should be refundable at the end of your rental, assuming you return the vehicle in good shape.
While gas mileage in a Class B RV will be much better than in a heavier RV, it is still not as great as a sedan, so plan to spend more on gas during your travels.
Optional Add-Ons to Your Rental
Sometimes when you go to rent an RV, there will be optional items you can add on. If you’d like to rent a cooler or camping chairs, these might be things you can pay a little extra for and have come with your vehicle. Some will even have the option for the campervan to come stocked with food! Bonus, right?
Tips for Driving Your Campervan
Remember the first time you drove a car? The nerves? The excitement?
If this is your first time driving an RV, you may have very similar feelings to that experience. If you could go back in time, you’d tell yourself to relax, right? Stay calm and keep your head about you. You will be okay! The same advice applies here. Stay calm, review your safety tips, and pay careful attention to what you’re doing. Be aware of your surroundings and know the size of your vehicle.
Pay Attention to Your Turns
A Class B RV is longer than you’re used to, so it is important to take turns slowly and mindfully. When you are driving a larger vehicle, it’s important to think more about your turns. You need to take them slower than you would in a vehicle to avoid tipping over. This is less of an issue in a Class B than one of the larger models, but when you’re driving at high speeds, this is still a safety issue you need to keep in mind.
Always use your mirrors so you know what’s around you. It’s very important to be aware of not only your vehicle but everything around your vehicle. Check your mirrors constantly as you drive.
You will need extra distance to come to a full stop. This is because your vehicle has more weight to it. Keep a greater distance between the nose of your RV and the car in front of you so you have time to stop and begin slowing down sooner than you’re used to for red lights.
Parking a Campervan
To make things easier on yourself, follow the tip of backing into your campsite or other parking spaces when you can. This way when you leave, you’ll only have to go forward.
When you park, make sure you can clearly see your surroundings. If you need to ask for help, do so! If there isn’t anyone around to help you, don’t be afraid to get out of your vehicle and look around. It’s better to spend a little extra time doing things right.
Most of all, enjoy your RV rental while you have it! Drive safely and pull over often to take advantage of scenic viewpoints.