Three Big Ideas To Consider Before Renting an RV
Renting a motorhome, travel trailer, or RV can be a great way to experience the camping lifestyle. However, it is an excellent idea to complete some research so you can set your expectations to ensure you will enjoy the camping experience. In the past, we would recommend renting an RV to potential Bowlus buyers to see if they like the “lifestyle.” However, today, there is more to consider before forging ahead with a rental experience. Although the upside of renting includes testing the lifestyle and ease of returning it as dirty as you’d like at the end of the experience, realize it is not comparable to experiencing a Bowlus. We know this because our owners consistently tell us about their rental experiences. Their rental experience gave them a window into the camping experience; however, it didn’t take long for them to realize the units they rented just did not measure up. We even have more than one Bowlus named after a rental trial run that often was a “disaster” except for the fact the couples and families realized just how much they loved the camping experience. So what are the three big ideas to think about before you book your rental?
Sure, everyone has a five-minute fantasy of driving some big rig across the country. Driving an RV should never be a case of “go big or go home” because you may just get so far and be very fearful of the trip back. Anything over 26 feet or 4500 pounds will severely restrict your ability to drive, park, enjoy National Parks, camp, etc. You don’t want to hate the experience, and it’s a guarantee you will once you add in some high winds, poor driving conditions, heavy traffic, and limited camping locations due to your oversize. However, if you are convinced this is what you want, why not try to rent one for a weekend or even go for a test drive so you can see for yourself before committing to a cross country dash in a rolling hulk. Hit a busy highway or have a desire for a Michigan’ u,” and you’ll soon understand why we put so much into the design of the Bowlus as it is a delight to drive and handle.
Know The Rig
There is nothing complicated about traveling in an RV, motorhome, or travel trailer. Still, there are pertinent things you must understand, like hooking up to electrical and sewer lines, operating the control panel, etc. If you aren’t listening, or skip the instructions, you will spend way more time trying to figure things (more often than not in the dark) out than you saved by skipping the intro. Realize the person you have rented it from may not have had time to service it correctly (especially during the summer), so check tire pressures be aware of gas mileage, so you are not stuck somewhere in 107-degree heat. Realize you are using the same black hose as the person before you. The shaky hygiene requirements of a stinky slinky may make you feel queasy. Realize what you thought would be an excellent layout for the four will turn into the night after night of musical beds when no one wants to sleep in “grandma’s attic.” If being transactional and charging laptops etc. is essential, then get a clear understanding of what you have rented may be more like a rigid tent than be remotely in the same league as the Bowlus.
Know Thyself (and those traveling with you)
Remember this is supposed to be fun. So realize that hijacking/hogging the trip with a schedule of what you only do or what you wish to do may not be fun for the “others.” Think about how to make the decisions and the experience inclusive. Imagine how you’d like to remember the trip. So plan the trip accordingly. Rental RVs aren’t like a Bowlus with extended power to go anywhere, so clarify the capabilities you are renting. You may want more privacy than a KOA can deliver, so a rental may simply be not for you. If you have trouble sleeping, know that a rental RV will have a questionable mattress, sheets (and towels). So if that is important, bring along something you’d enjoy, but you will still be traveling with those rental sheets. Think about the bed configuration and how it will impact sleep. At a “certain” age crawling over each other to get to bed (and out of it in the middle of the night) tends to lose its allure. So in advance, talk about how that will impact your happiness. Possibly most importantly, think about your cleanliness standards. Today, this is the big one. Nothing is more upsetting than knowing you are not in a clean environment. Just realize you may have to clean up after someone else’s trip before you go thoroughly.
Just think of the last car rental you had, maybe it was ok perhaps not. You’re not staying at the Four Seasons when you rent an RV. Someone has either done it quickly once over or “Task Rabbit-ed” it avoiding items like cleaning the AC vents, checking for entry of vermin, etc. So be prepared to dawn the gloves and mask if you want to have it of a standard you are comfortable in for you and your family. The same applies to the black tank and the odor of an RV. For some, it just puts a “cloud” over the entire trip, which is why a Bowlus isn’t comparable. It is due to our own experiences and those of our owners why we’ve thoughtfully designed for your complete comfort and safety. Sure some call us fanatical about making sure you will have none of these problems, but when you have high standards, you just know what is essential. When thinking about a rental in today’s environment, consider what you are willing and unwilling to put up with. The truth is a rental RV is just not for everyone.