Although you can choose to travel using your own vehicle or a rental car, there are few adventures as memorable as those shaped by a campervan. You’ll sleep in comfort, park with little effort and see pockets of the world that might otherwise be inaccessible. As you search for the right campervan, you’ll find any number of platforms or models that resourceful rental companies have turned into gear-packed mobile Airbnb rooms. Although most rental campervans are clustered on the West Coast, Florida and Northeast, Outdoorsy has allowed anyone with an operational vehicle to rent their campervan on their website.
This poses both an opportunity and a problem since it has expanded inventory, but it has also introduced vehicles into the market that might not be suitable for anything by a short-distance, short-duration rental. As much as possible, we’ve done our best to showcase campervan rental companies that are established and rely on dedicated mechanics to service their vehicles. On the far side of the spectrum, one can find campervans on Airbnb that come with “portable pee jars” and other funky amenities.
We have a unique perspective since we have owned and managed our own campervan rental company. We know what goes into restoring vehicles, preparing them for rental and maintaining them. With that in mind, we recommend that you use our national campervan directory to help narrow in on a few good options. And, below is a suggested checklist:
- Check out their website so you can evaluate their pricing, vehicles, customer reviews.
- Make sure you know who services their vehicles and what that person’s qualifications are.
- What type of lead or prep time do they use prior to placing a vehicle in their rental pool.
- How do they support you if your vehicle breaks down and does your itinerary allow you to stay close to the airport or place of departure the day before you leave?
Hope for the best, but plan for the worst. With pricing, make sure you understand that most campervan rental companies will charge you for extra gear, mileage and for any damage you do to their vehicle. When evaluating campervan models, we prefer newer Mercedes Sprinters or Ram Promasters. Ford vans typically do well and you will find any number of other different options in this rental space. If you’re committed to a VW Westfalia or bus, be extra focused on the condition of the vehicle. Where possible, rent from a larger company that maintains their vehicles with dedicated mechanics who have extensive experience fixing VW campervans.