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RV Rental or Buy an RV? Which 1 is Best For Your Lifestyle?

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Introduction to RV Rental and Purchasing

row of motorhomes in the mountains

Should you try an RV Rental before you buy an RV? There are two options for enjoying the RV lifestyle, both with advantages and disadvantages. An RV, or recreational vehicle, is a type of vehicle designed for short-term living and traveling. RVs range from small travel trailers to large motorhomes that can be used as full-time homes. When it comes to your RV lifestyle, you have the option of purchasing or renting an RV.

Purchasing an RV gives you ownership over the vehicle and allows you to customize it however you’d like.

Purchasing an RV gives you ownership over the vehicle and allows you to customize it however you’d like. Renting an RV means less upfront costs but also limits your customization options and requires careful research into rental companies since policies and rates vary widely. Ultimately, both purchases and rentals come with advantages depending on your needs so carefully consider all factors before making a decision.

Comparison of Owning or Renting an RV

RV Ownership

Advantages of Purchasing an RV

When it comes to buying an RV, one of the biggest advantages is cost savings. Owning your own vehicle means that you won’t have to pay for the cost of renting an RV or other fees associated with renting. You also won’t be subject to mileage limits and can use your RV as much as you’d like without additional charges. Additionally, owning an RV gives you freedom to customize it however you please—from paint jobs and interior decorating to storage solutions and appliance upgrades—so that it perfectly fits your needs and lifestyle. 

Another advantage of purchasing an RV is the ability to take long trips without worrying about extra fees or having a return date set in stone. With ownership, you can plan out vacations at your own pace with fewer restrictions on when and where you go than if renting an RV. This makes planning trips easier since there’s no need for hurry-up bookings or trying to fit everything into a limited time frame in order to avoid late fees from rental companies. 

If you own your RV, you’re able to make modifications or additions to it for things like accessibility and convenience. Not so with a rental RV.

What to Consider before Buying

Buying a recreational vehicle provides more security since it will always be available when needed instead of relying on availability from rental companies who may not always have vehicles available when required. This ensures that all planned adventures come together smoothly without any surprises due lack of inventory or unavailability after booking has been made. Owning an RV also helps build equity over time so that its value appreciates rather than depreciate like rentals often do after each use making them less valuable over time.

Buying a recreational vehicle provides more security since it will always be available when needed

When considering purchasing an RV, it is important to research financing options and compare rates to determine the best repayment plan. Online resources can also provide helpful advice such as budgeting tips and pre-qualification requirements. Storage capacity should also be assessed, including available space for parking, amenities, and potential rental sites along routes. Large RVs often require more fuel than smaller ones, so it is important to be prepared with extra money in case more gas is needed during trips.

Renting an RV

rv rental - cruise america

Advantages of Renting an RV

When it comes to renting an RV, one of the biggest advantages is the ability to “try before you buy.” This allows you to experience a variety of different types and sizes of RVs without having to purchase each one separately. You can use RV rental vehicles for short trips or extended vacations in order to get a feel for what kind of vehicle would be the right RV for your needs before making a large financial commitment. Additionally, rentals provide flexibility since they allow travelers to book closer to their trip date rather than months in advance like when purchasing an RV. 

Another advantage of opting to rent an RV is that it eliminates maintenance costs associated with owning your own vehicle. Depending on the age and condition of the unit, renters may not have any repair work or service needed while using it so there are no unexpected expenses incurred during travel. All maintenance obligations are handled by rental companies which take care of all necessary repairs as well as insurance coverage should something go wrong during your journey. 

renting an RV eliminates maintenance costs associated with owning your own vehicle

Finally, rentable recreational vehicles come already equipped with all essential items such as kitchenware and bedding so there’s no need for additional purchases prior to departure unless desired by renter. This makes packing easier since everything from cooking utensils down to sheets and pillows is provided reducing time spent researching products and shopping around for supplies before hitting the road. Renters also enjoy accessorizing options such as bike racks or kayak carriers that many owners do not include with their units allowing them additional storage space outside their RV if needed.

What to Consider before Renting

rv rental on campsite - canadream

When renting an RV, it’s important to research the company’s policies and rates, including RV insurance coverage and additional fees for mileage or amenities. Some companies offer discounts if booked in advance. Check the RV for necessary features like air conditioning and kitchen facilities, and inspect for damage prior to taking possession to avoid additional repair costs.

Newer vehicles tend to have fewer issues than older ones that may require more maintenance due to wear and tear. Research the RV’s history and inspect mechanical components like brakes and tires for safety. Proper loading techniques will help ensure stability while driving. Carefully evaluating rental companies and assessing individual units before departure will help ensure a safe journey.

You may be limited to the type of RV that is offered from an RV renter. If you goal is to try out a particular type of RV, you may find yourself limited generally to class C RV rentals with the larger companies like Cruise America or Canadream for Canadian Rentals of RVs. These large companies have an advantage if you only want a one way RV rental because the have branches in a number of cities. Taking a one-way RV rental allows you to see more sights without having to backtrack across the same terrain.

If you’re looking for a small RV rental of a smaller RV, there are a number of booking websites that offer an AirBnB type of service, except for RVs. Companies like RVEzy, Outdoorsy and RV Share all have listings direct from private local owners of units in a range of rental prices.

Environmental Impact – Owning vs. Renting

To minimize the environmental impact of recreational vehicles, it’s important to research eco-friendly models that are becoming more widely available. When purchasing or renting an RV, understanding fuel efficiency ratings, emissions standards, and weight distribution are important factors to consider. By researching green technologies like solar panels or other features, drivers can reduce their RV’s carbon footprint.

By researching green technologies like solar panels or other features, drivers can reduce their RV’s carbon footprint.

Proper weight balance between cargo, passengers and equipment inside the vehicle can also help maximize fuel efficiency, which leads to less emissions being produced over time. Additionally, understanding energy consumption requirements of amenities like air conditioners or heaters within the RV should also be considered since these items often draw significant amounts of electricity even when on low settings. By making informed decisions about the environmental impact of recreational vehicles, drivers can reduce their carbon footprint and contribute to a more sustainable future.

Check Out This Video About Rv Rentals


What are the best companies to rent an RV from?

In the US, the two most know Rental Fleets are operated by Cruise America and Camping World Rentals. In Canada, Canadream is a major operator of rental RVs as is Cruise Canada.

What are the best online websites to use if I want to rent an RV?

Several companies operate Air BnB type websites, except for RV rentals from private owners instead of houses or apartments. The most popular are, and These sites are a great way to compare RV rental prices.


In conclusion, purchasing or renting an RV can be a great way to explore the world and create memories that will last a lifetime. When evaluating the pros and cons of either option it’s important to consider factors such as financing options, storage capacity, rental policies, vehicle condition and safety as well as environmental impact in order to make an informed decision. Purchasing an RV allows for more customization while renting may be more cost effective depending on how often you plan on using it. Whatever your preference is, understanding all aspects associated with both owning and renting recreational vehicles will help ensure that each journey is enjoyable and worry-free!

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