Each summer our family leaves town for a bit to explore, unwind and enjoy a vacation together. When it came time to plan our trip for our summer getaway for 2020, things were a bit different, thanks to COVID-19. In the past, we have had a good idea for our summer plans well in advance, because I love to plan. This year, I could barely stand not having plans.
WHY AN RV TRIP?
Aaron and I discussed whether or not we should travel during the pandemic, but decided that traveling in an RV would be a safe and fun option. Over the years, we have thought about renting an RV but never went through with planning the trip. We usually opted for road trips and drove one of our cars for transportation.
As I began the research on renting an RV, I found that it was near impossible to find an available rental. I looked into potential rentals in Phoenix and San Diego. Renting an RV has become extremely popular during the pandemic. I knew from the beginning that a Class C RV would be a great fit for us. Not too big and simple for first-time RVers.
When I came across a potential rental, I requested the RV online through Elite RV Rentals. While I waited for the confirmation, I went ahead and booked campsites for our vacation. Thankfully, I received the RV rental confirmation within 24 hours of the request and didn’t have to cancel our campsite bookings. Since we had 6 days with the RV, we decided to stay to explore our great state of Arizona. I was extremely relieved that things were coming together just a few weeks prior to our departure.
Once I knew the trip was a go, I began taking stock of our camping gear and purchased items that we still needed. I made sure that the gear we purchased would be able to be used again during another camping trip. A camping stove was our biggest purchase and I look forward to the next time we use it.
WOULD WE RENT AGAIN?
Now that our laundry is about done and things are put away from our trip I have a little time to reflect on our vacation. I must say that I loved our RV trip! The rental was extremely convenient for our family. We dined out a handful of times and cooked the rest of our meals. We never used a public restroom and the RV was the perfect size for getting around the state of Arizona. I even drove the RV a bit and it was easy to drive. Keep in mind, there wasn’t much traffic around when I was driving, but I did feel comfortable driving the rental. We drove 600 miles and filled up the gas tank 3 times, which was less than we had anticipated.
I would recommend renting an RV through Elite RV Rentals. They were a great company to use for our vacation. If you’re looking into renting an RV, you may also want to check out Outdoorsy and RVShare.
When I spoke to my parents when we got home, they asked if were running out to buy an RV… I don’t see us purchasing an RV anytime soon, but can definitely see us renting again in the future. The convenience of staying at campgrounds with full hookups really allowed us to be comfortable.
Overall, renting an RV cost more than staying in a hotel or renting a home for the week. Even though the RV rental was more expensive, it was well worth it!
WHAT I KNOW NOW
There were definitely some learning curves along our trip. Take a look at a few of my recommendations below:
Reserve an RV sooner than later
Consider staying at a KOA
When looking for an RV rental, make sure to note the allowed mileage
When determining which size RV is right for you, make sure you have ample space for sleeping and that you’re comfortable driving the size that you select. Our RV could sleep 6, there were 4 of us on our trip and I would not have wanted to rent anything smaller.
Keep in mind if you think you’ll need a car to get around or if the RV will be substantial for getting around town. One day I decided it was better to walk to the grocery store than to unhook and set up everything again for the evening.
Take your own bedding, dishes, pots, towels, etc… Many companies will offer packages that include everything you need. I suggest taking your own supplies.
Check with your auto insurance and see if you have coverage on an RV rental. It’s possible to get additional coverage through your rental provider.
Wait for the water heater to warm up the water a bit before taking a shower. (I happened to be the only one that would have cold showers. LOL!)
Plan out your meals and take just what you need. You can always go to the grocery store if you’re running low on supplies. I overpacked when it came to food. I couldn’t believe the amount of food that we brought home.
Condense all of the camping supplies as much as possible. It will make the transition from a packed car to an RV easier. Since we packed up our vehicle and drove to Phoenix to get the RV, we had to be smart about what and how things were packed. You won’t have to worry about this tip as much if you are able to load up at home straight into the RV.
Read more about Kelly’s adventures here.