Rent an RV … before buying


RV rentals are popular with people who are thinking about buying a recreation vehicle, but first want to experience the lifestyle before rushing out and spending thousands of dollars.

Alison and Dave Perea of Girdwood, Alaska, like the benefits of RV travel but are not quite ready to retire and don’t want the worry about storing or maintaining a motor home.

They decided to simply rent an RV when they want to vacation travel over long distances for an extended period of time.

On one recent excursion they flew into Los Angeles and rented a 24-foot Apollo RV class C motor home near the airport. Their itinerary included traveling the southwest for six weeks before returning the RV to an outlet in Las Vegas.

“The motor home had everything in it you could want and the living room slide out really expanded the space,” said Dave Perea.

“We like camping,” added Ali Perea, “but with the luxury of a good bed and shower. This does not mean we didn’t sleep out under the stars on occasion, but with the RV we could come in out of the snow.”

The Pereas’ rental costs ran about $50 a day, plus taxes, mileage, fuel and camping fees. The motor home averaged about 10 mpg. “Renting works for us now,” said Ali Perea, “but when we finally retire for real, we will purchase our own RV.”

The RV rental business is a $350 million industry, which continues to grow, according to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association. There are more than 460 national chain outlets and local RV dealerships renting RVs.

Rates vary by season, region and unit size. The cabover Class C motor home is the most common rental model because it can sleep a lot of folks. However, one can also rent larger class A motor coach, or towable travel trailer or popup tent trailer.

Julianne G. Crane

Photo: Dave and Alison Perea of Girdwood, Alaska, and they rented class C motor home at Nevada’s Valley of Fire State Park  – (Julianne G. Crane)

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