Rent a Motorhome, Your Complete Guide to All Types of Motorhome Rentals

Family kayaking at lake with motorhome rental parked in background

You don’t have to be royalty to rent a motorhome…but if you feel like a king cruising down the highway in your castle on wheels when you do, I won’t blame you.

You might even have an epiphany and say to yourself “now this is the way traveling should be!”

When you have all the comforts of home just behind your captain’s chair, you’ll also start to wonder why others stay at hotels while you just bring the hotel room with you.

Everything you need, wherever you happen to be. Now that’s the beauty of RVing.

Topics I’ll cover in this article include:

  • Motorhomes Defined
  • Motorhome Rental VS. Travel Trailer Rental
  • Motorhome Rental Types
  • Choosing a Size
  • RV Boondocking Features to Look For
  • Where to Rent a Motorhome

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Motorhomes…Just What Are Those Things?

Class C Motorhome on winding road through foggy forest
Class C Motorhome (Mini-Motorhome)

Just what is a motorhome? Well, it can be defined as a recreational vehicle which is self-propelled. That is, it features its own engine and drive train, unlike a travel trailer which requires a tow vehicle.

When you rent a motorhome, here is what comes standard:

  • Cooking appliances
  • Refrigerator
  • Heating and air conditioning
  • Self-contained waste water plumbing
  • Fresh water tank and plumbing with faucet, sink, and shower
  • Propane gas supply
  • 120-volt AC electrical system
  • 12-volt DC electrical system
  • Sleeping areas
  • Hot water heater

Rent a Motorhome, or Rent a Travel Trailer?

If you just can’t decide whether to rent a motorhome or a travel trailer, I’ll list the benefits of each one here.

Motorhome Rental

  • No tow vehicle needed.
  • The living space can be occupied while traveling, unlike a trailer.
  • Easier to back up.
  • No hassle of hitching and unhitching, unless towing a dinghy vehicle.
  • Living space is accessible from the driving space (which is nice since you don’t have to step outside to get a cold drink from the fridge, or use the restroom – especially nice if it’s raining outside!).
  • For those not experienced towing trailers, a motorhome can be easier to maneuver.
  • More available to rent than a travel trailer.

Travel Trailer Rental

  • Those who rent a motorhome will have to tow a vehicle (dinghy) for auxiliary transportation. A trailer can simply be unhitched and the tow vehicle used for transportation.
  • Driving space is separate from the living space. You get more variety and don’t have to sit in the same seats used while driving.
  • Has more livable space than a motorhome of the same length.
  • Wider variety of floor plans.
  • Has propane cylinders that can be removed and taken to a filling station, whereas the motorhome needs to be driven to a filling station.
  • Simpler to level, unless you have a motorhome equipped with an automatic leveling system.
  • Typically less expensive to rent.

Motorhome Rental Types

Class A Motorhomes

The Class A Motorhome is a full-size motorhome constructed on its own specially designed chassis. It may have a gasoline or diesel engine. Some can be the size of a large bus with a “basement” area for storage. Slide-outs are common and add even more living space when extended.

Class A Motorhome at campsite with green grass and trees
Roadbear RV Class A motorhome rental at campsite

The Good:

  • More living and storage space than a Class B or Class C.
  • Excellent view of the road thanks to the expansive front windshield and high driving position.
  • Typically has larger fresh water and waste water holding tanks which is fantastic for RV Boondocking.
  • Usually equipped with a powerful built-in generator which is also great for RV Boondocking.

The Bad:

  • More costly to rent and operate than a Class B or Class C.
  • Due to it’s larger size it’s not as maneuverable or as easy to park.
  • Less available to rent than a Class C Motorhome.

Class A Luxury Motorhome Rentals

Want to go BIG? It won’t be cheap, however if you want 1st class comforts, then a Class A Luxury Motorhome Rental is your royal chariot. When you rent a motorhome with features like these, a hotel room…is…well…just a room:

  • Washer & Dryer
  • Dishwasher
  • Ice Maker
  • Garbage Disposal
  • Trash Compactor
  • GPS (Global Positioning System)
  • Satellite TV
  • Flat Screen TV and Entertainment Center
  • Automatic Leveling System
  • Quadruple Slide-out Rooms
  • Enormous “Basement” Storage Areas

Class B Motorhomes (Camper Vans)

The Class B Motorhome uses a van chassis and body. The roof has been raised so that walking around inside the motorhome is possible.

Class B Motorhome on crowded city street
Class B Motorhome (Camper Van)

The Good:

  • Less costly to operate than a Class A or Class C Motorhome.
  • Its small size makes it perfect for sightseeing or visiting the city. With a Class B you can go virtually anywhere.

The Bad:

  • Has a small propane tank, small freshwater tank, and small wastewater tank, which means that RV boondocking is usually limited to a few days.
  • Storage is limited. Finding enough room for more than a few days provisions is a challenge.
  • Small living space; however, for 2 very close people it can work.

Class B Motorhome VS. Van Conversion

If you’re scouting out camper van rentals, be aware that a van conversion is not a true RV. Typically you will find comfortable seating and possibly a place to sleep. However, you won’t find a kitchen or bathroom in a van conversion. The Class B, however, is a true RV and will have these features.

Class B Motorhome Standard Features

  • Small kitchen
  • Bathroom with toilet and shower
  • Convertible seating-to-sleeping area
  • Refrigerator
  • Stovetop
  • Microwave
  • Possibly a generator

Class C Motorhomes (Mini-Motorhomes)

The Class C Motorhome is built on a van or truck chassis that already has the cab section installed. The driver’s area is identical to that of a van or pickup truck. The “home” is then built behind and around this cab section.

Class C Motorhome at sand dunes with night sky
Roadbear RV motorhome rental at Kelso Dunes, Mojave National Preserve, California

This is the most popular type of motorhome to rent. It has a cab-over area that is used for sleeping, storage, or as an entertainment center. Some Class C Motorhomes can be very luxurious with features similar to pricey Class A Motorhomes.

The Good:

  • Easier to drive & maneuver than a Class A Motorhome.
  • Less costly to rent and operate than a Class A Motorhome.
  • More available to rent than a Class A or Class B Motorhome.

The Bad:

  • A cab-over bed usually requires climbing up a ladder. However, many have a rear bed, which is on floor level.
  • You may feel you’re driving a van when cruising down the road in a Class C. It can be easy to forget your height, length, and width – so keep that in mind while traveling. Don’t try something silly like going through the drive through at McDonald’s! You’ll be in for a big surprise!
Family enjoying life in a class c motorhome
Class C Motorhome interior

Choosing a Size

When you rent a motorhome, deciding just how much motorhome you need can be tricky. Answering a few questions will help narrow down your field of choices.

How many are in your group?

You will want to rent a motorhome with:

  • A suitable sleeping area for each person
  • A seatbelt for every passenger
  • Adequate storage space for everyone’s gear

What types of places do you plan to visit?

  • Big Cities? Will parking be available for a “big rig”? Consider a smaller motorhome which will be more maneuverable and easier to park.
  • Tight Campgrounds? Some campgrounds have restrictions on length & width of the unit. Some may also have tight turns and overhanging branches. Researching the campgrounds you plan to visit will help you decide on the right sized motorhome rental.

What is your comfort level?

The larger the motorhome, the more comfortable it will be, right? For living perhaps…but how comfortable will you be behind the wheel of that 40 foot long Class A Castle on Wheels? Driving anything that substantial can be intimidating – and if it is, you may want to rent a motorhome that’s a bit smaller.

RV Boondocking

No campground hook-ups? Who needs them? You are self-contained with an RV. However, I recommend renting a Class A or Class C motorhome if you plan on RV boondocking, as opposed to a Class B motorhome (camper van).

Class C Motorhome at lake with people taking kayak to water
RV boondocking with a Class C Motorhome

Advantages of a Class A or Class C Motorhome when boondocking:

  • They have large freshwater and wastewater holding tanks. These will need to be filled/emptied eventually and the larger they are the less often you’ll have to do so.
  • They have a built in generator. This will allow you to run many appliances, like a microwave, TV, computer, heater, or air conditioner. It will also charge the motorhome’s batteries, which is crucial if the motorhome is not equipped with solar panels (unlikely on a motorhome rental).

Where to Rent a Motorhome

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