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11 min read

    11 min read

    Ever thought about hopping into an RV, taking your bed, kitchen, even bathroom with you on the road and stopping in beautiful locations like national parks, wineries, and more? You may have thought it was just a dream, given the cost of recreational vehicles (RVs) – but think again. Senior RSG contributor Paula Gibbins shares her review of RVShare, how it works, and how you can get started with them.

    Quick summary:

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    Sometimes you just need to get away from it all! But how can you, with COVID and avoiding people? Enter RVShare!

    With RVShare, you can rent an RV—of basically any size you can ever want—and go camping, exploring, relaxing. If you’ve been looking for a fun and safe escape, RVShare is your answer.

    RVShare review

    What is RVShare?

    RVShare is a way to rent RVs—anything from affordable pop-ups to luxury motorhomes. With your rental, you even get 24/7 roadside assistance.

    They offer pet-friendly RVs and ones that can be delivered to your door so you don’t have to go anywhere to pick it up. Going to a park with an RV is typically an affordable way to go, with average per-night costs depending on if you need water and electricity hook ups.

    On their site, you can find RVs for under $100 per night. You also have the choice of an RV with a trailer or fifth wheel that you tow yourself or a Class A, B or C motorhome that you drive directly.

    How RVShare Works

    You can search by state for RV rentals near you. From there, you can filter down to what kind of RV you’re looking for, how quickly you want to be able to book it (Instant Book is an option for some or you have to wait for the owner to respond), cancellation type and more.

    You can review all available RVs in your area to find the one that you want and in your price range.

    One thing to watch for right now is availability. Some RV owners are not renting out their vehicles due to COVID-19. Be sure to double check that they have the dates you have in mind available before falling in love with the RV you want to rent.

    The RVs I checked out gave base rates for nightly, weekly and monthly rentals and one even offered premium rates for the Labor Day weekend. If you’re planning on traveling for a holiday, expect to pay a little bit more.

    The RV owners can even outline how much mileage is included per night and how much it’ll cost you if you go over that amount. One I found gave 100 miles a night included and charged $0.35 per mile for each excess mile.

    Some also have a stipulation where they require a minimum number of nights to rent. The average I saw was 3 nights minimum required number of nights to rent.

    RVShare review

    Base rates don’t appear to cover the liability-only insurance, which is an added daily expense, as well as a security deposit that should be refundable assuming you return the RV in the condition it was rented out in.

    Each owner also chooses their cancellation policy. The available options are Standard, Flexible and Strict. Be sure to read the cancellation policy before booking, just in case something comes up at the last minute.

    When I searched for RVs near me in Minnesota, the website also came up with helpful suggestions and tips for exploring the state in an RV. It provided links to popular state parks, RV parks and campgrounds, as well as tourist attractions someone exploring the area might want to check out.

    Note: Not sure where to take your RV? Check out HipCamp, which has thousands of available sites for camping, glamping and yes, RV parking too!

    One RV I came across specified that you’re not allowed to drive it. It’s specifically to be rented at its current site. However, it also included the rental of a boat to be used along with it.

    This particular RV is parked along a river and offers plenty of opportunity for getting away without actually going anywhere. Just be sure to read all the fine print before booking. Know what you’re getting into.

    RVShare review

    RVShare Cost/Price

    In the Minnesota market, I found 6-sleeper popups for as low as $70 a night all the way up to a 6-sleeper Class A for $600 per night. The owners can choose the cost per night, week and month, but typically you’ll see more basic services for cheaper and higher-end RVs for more.

    Let’s look at that cheapest option I found:

    Cheapest option: $70 per night, $450 weekly or $1,250 monthly for a 2007 popup folding trailer that sleeps up to 6. They do not offer delivery. It includes a range (stove), kitchen sink and roof air conditioning. It is pet-friendly, smoke-free and you have to be at least 25 years old to rent with a minimum of 3 nights on the rental.

    A mid-level option I found was a 2016 Travel Trailer for $100 nightly, $600 weekly or $2,000 monthly that sleeps up to 8. It also did not offer delivery. The RV includes a microwave, range (stove), kitchen sink and refrigerator. It also includes a shower, bathroom sink and toilet, hot/cold water supply and roof air conditioning.

    Plus, this rental includes a CD player, DVD player, TV and AM/FM radio. It is pet- and smoke-free and you must be 25 years or older to rent. This one does not have any availability shown until January 2021, which makes me assume they are keeping it safe during COVID-19 and not renting until the new year.

    And, out of curiosity, I wanted to see what the most expensive model offered. It’s a 2000 Class A motorhome for $600 a night, $3,200 a week or $15,000 a month with a $5,000 refundable security deposit that sleeps up to 6. It’s pet- and smoke-free and you just be at least 25 years old to rent.

    It features a range (stove), kitchen sink, microwave and refrigerator. It also has a toilet, shower and bathroom sink, roof air conditioning and hot/cold water supply. For entertainment, it offers a CD player, DVD player, TV and AM/FM radio.

    It also has an electric generator with up to 2 hours per night usage included in the rental. Excess generator usage comes at $10 per hour.

    The owner does not offer delivery and has a minimum of 3 nights for rental. Honestly, it was spacious, but not necessarily worth at least 3 times the amount of any other rental I came across. There was no star rating on this one, so my assumption is no one has tried renting it yet, likely because of the high price tag.

    RVShare Referral Code

    Some owners may offer discounts on their RVs, especially if you end up booking for a while (a long-stay-type discount) or if you are renting an RV during off-peak times. Make sure to sign up with our referral link for any future discounts!

    Other Apps like RVShare

    RVShare is not your only option if you’re not finding something you like. Below we’ll compare RVShare to similar apps and websites.

    Some options include Harvest Hosts, which offers rental space at wineries, farms, breweries, museums and more. They boast free overnight stays at over 1200 locations across North America, including locations in Canada and Mexico.

    Outdoorsy is another option that offers rentals of motorhomes, travel trailers, campervans and popup trailers.

    RVShare vs. Harvest Hosts

    To take advantage of Harvest Hosts, you need to become a member. Membership includes an online directory of hosts that will allow you to access to park overnight for free (though supporting them in some way is preferred as a thank you). You’ll also have access to an interactive map that lets you search hosts by state, locations or routes.

    Harvest Hosts does not appear to rent you the actual RV, it just offers you a free spot to park it for the night and some fun areas to explore nearby. Keep in mind, you’re also only invited to stay at one location for 24 hours. After that, you’ll be expected to move on to another host location or elsewhere where you’d be expected to pay.

    Not all host locations offer water or electricity; the main draw is simply a free spot to park your RV. The cost of a membership is $79 per year with a 3-month 100% money back guarantee.

    When I clicked to learn more about signing up for membership, I was shown a code for joining at a discount:

    RVShare review

    It offered me 15% off the cost of my annual membership when using a code at sign up. It gave me 15 minutes to use it before disappearing.

    In order to join, you must have a self-contained RV with a toilet, water tank and inside cooking facility. No tents are allowed on Harvest Host properties.

    Basically, Harvest Hosts is a great thing to combine with RVShare. Rent an RV from RVShare and travel/park at a Harvest Host location to find new places to explore and have a free spot to spend the night.

    RVShare vs Outdoorsy

    Outdoorsy is more closely related to RVShare in its objective and what you can do with the service. On their homepage, enter where your vacation or adventure is starting and the dates you’re looking to rent. From there, it compiles your rental options.

    Overall the options available are pretty comparable to RVShare. You have the basic campervan up to 10-sleepers and larger. I even found some crossover between the two. There were some RVs available to rent on both RVShare and Outdoorsy.

    One notable difference is that Outdoorsy does offer a referral bonus. Use your referral link and your friends/family will get $50 off their first trip and you’ll get $75 off your next one. If your friend/family decides to list an RV for rental, you’ll earn $100.

    Similar to RVShare, on Outdoorsy, the owners pick the price and the rules as far as allowing pets and smoking. It also offers rental fees for daily, weekly and monthly rentals, the security deposit for each and a minimum for the number of days rented.

    Note: Something to keep in mind for both sites is that owners can tack on an owner’s fee that they collect for the check in/check out process and anything else they want to throw in there. It can drive up the rental cost significantly, but is listed in the agreement before booking, so be sure to check for that before clicking to book.

    RVShare Alternatives

    Maybe RVing isn’t your thing? Or you’re not ready to rent with RVShare. Here are a few other options for getting away from it all—that won’t break your budget if you plan it right.

    As mentioned above, consider combining RVShare or Outdoorsy with Harvest Hosts, to get a free spot to park your RV for the night and a fun adventure you maybe wouldn’t have planned otherwise.

    You can also consider Airbnb to get away or go someplace new, typically for less than what you’d pay for a night’s stay at a hotel. Airbnb has also started hosting experiences, so you can fully immerse yourself in the culture of where you’re staying or try something new.

    Camping is another fun thing to try out, even without an RV. Most campsites offer cheap rental spots if you’re camping using a tent instead of an RV since you won’t need any hookups and won’t take up as much space.

    Use HipCamp to find campgrounds near where you want to visit and see what they have to offer. Also, if you visit the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for the area you’re visiting, they should have information for you about campsites, cabins and other lodging options.

    If you’re looking for something new to do, you can even explore Groupon getaways to see if there are any deals to take advantage of. Some deals may require you to be a member while others are available for anyone.

    If you could use a getaway, you’ve got a lot of options to choose from. Have fun, be safe and explore.

    Have you ever rented an RV? Do you currently own an RV or would you want to own one? Let us know about your favorite getaway location!

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    -Paula @ RSG

    Paula Gibbins

    Paula Gibbins

    Paula Gibbins, a graduate of Augustana University, Sioux Falls, is a part-time rideshare driver and a full-time proofreader. She is based in Minneapolis/St. Paul. In her free time, Paula enjoys reading, playing board games and participating in trivia nights.