Looking for a new and unique way to travel that doesn’t include a flight?
Love the outdoors and looking for a little bit of an adventure that doesn’t break the bank?
Then renting a campervan for your next road trip may just be what you are looking for.
Renting a campervan is a great way to experience the world around you. Heck, it’s a tiny house on wheels! Can it get much more fun than that?
We loved our campervan road trips so much that we bought our very own small campervan!
Check out this post to read why we loved renting a campervan for our outdoor adventures and why we think you will too!
Why We Fell in Love with Van Camping Road Trips
It Makes Camping a Breeze
We love the outdoors and camping, but camping can be a huge uncomfortable pain in the ass.
Setting up and taking down a tent and campsite is a lot of work.
Don’t get me wrong, tents are pretty easy to set up these days. But it still takes work to set up the tent and get your sleeping arrangements all prepared. And let’s not even talk about taking it all down and packing it back up again in order to hit the road again the next morning. What a pain!
Imagine simply rolling into your campsite at any time of day without having to think about setting up camp. With a campervan, it doesn’t matter if it’s dark or you’re exhausted from your daytime adventures. All you have to do when you get to your site is get your chairs out, start a fire, and boom! You’re camping!
For more info on what to pack, check out our detailed post on what to pack for your camping road trip.
You Can Cover a lot of Ground
Because you don’t have to set up and take down your campsite each night, you can easily move from one campsite to another every night. When you’re ready to leave, you just get in the van and drive away!
We love this as it allows us to cover a lot of ground on our vacations, which is essentially what a road trip is all about—seeing as much as possible.
Adds Flexibility to a Vacation
In the same way a campervan allows us to cover a lot of ground on a road trip, it also allows us to be really flexible when looking for available campsites.
By not having to set up and take down a campsite, we can stay somewhere different each night.
In both of our campervan road trips, it was difficult to find open campsites for multiple days in a row. By having a campervan, we were able to be flexible and stay at different campgrounds and sites each night.
This flexibility really paid off in the Canadian Rockies where campsites were already picked over six months prior to our trip. We were able to find a beautiful lakeside site that was open for one night only. If we would have been tent camping, there is no way we would have reserved a site for one night only and would have missed out on the gorgeous site.
Makes Camping Possible When You Fly to Your Destination
If you love camping and want to camp when you are miles and miles away from home, renting a campervan can help you make it happen.
Camping requires a lot of gear. So if you want to camp in a place not close to home you either have to bring your stuff with you on a plane or rent equipment upon your arrival (including a car).
Renting a campervan makes camping away from home a breeze and a great option because you get a car rental and camping equipment in one!
You Can Cook a Meal Anywhere
When we first rented a campervan for our Canadian Rockies adventure, one of our favorite things was that we could cook a meal anywhere because our kitchen traveled with us.
Campervans typically come with a portable stove and all of the cooking utensils you would need on your adventure.
This flexibility of being able to cook a meal anywhere allowed was especially important in the Canadian Rockies where parking lots fill up quickly each morning.
It was fun to roll out of our campground while it was still dark and get to the parking lot of our first adventure of the day. In the parking lot, we were then able to make our coffee and breakfast to get us ready for the day and fuel up for the hike ahead.
It’s also an amazing experience to be able to pull over anywhere and eat your lunch. You just never know when you are going to come across that perfect lunch spot with a scenic view while on your road trip.
Get to Stay Close to the Action
This is important when you are exploring places like national parks.
Renting a campervan allows you to stay within the confines of the park instead of outside of the park. This can save you a lot of travel time.
When we visited the Great Smoky Mountains we rented an Airbnb outside of the park. While we loved this experience, we had to drive an hour or more each day to get to the places we wanted to see within the park. And we didn’t even get to one end of the park because of the long travel times.
In contrast, for our trip to the Canadian Rockies, we stayed at campgrounds within the park and spent way less time traveling to our morning adventures on most days.
Don’t Have to Learn to Drive (and pay for) a Large Vehicle if Renting
Campervans are just what they say they are—a van you can camp in.
And because they are simply a van, they are pretty easy to drive both in a city and on the open road. We love that we can easily park in small spots and not have to worry about getting stuck somewhere!
RV rentals are typically more expensive than a campervan. For example, the cost of renting a compact RV in Calgary, CA for 7 nights was about $1600 versus the $1041 we paid for a campervan. The RV does have more space and a bathroom on board, so if that is important to you the extra cost may be worth it.
How Much Does Renting a Campervan for Your Road Trip Cost?
There are many variables to consider when thinking about how much a campervan road trip is going to cost. The main costs of any trip are transportation, lodging, food, and entertainment.
The beauty of renting a campervan is that your transportation and lodging costs are mostly covered by the campervan rental expense. You will still need to pay for campsite fees if you choose to stay at campgrounds during your trip. Therefore, you may be able to save some money on lodging and transportation overall.
We have also found that our food and entertainment expenses are reduced on campervan trips. The campervans we rented had built-in refrigerated drawers that were big enough to hold a lot of food that needed to be kept cold.
We love to spend as much time as possible outdoors, so many of our meals are eaten out of the back of the van so that our time is spent hiking and exploring our surroundings. Making our own meals and spending a lot of time hiking help us keep our trip expenses lower than a typical trip to explore a city.
To give you an idea of how much we spent on our two campervan adventures, here’s how much our lodging and transportation cost for both of our campervan trips:
The Canadian Rockies – 8 days/7 Nights
Campervan Rental: $1041
Campground Fees: $171
Total: $1212 = $173/night
North Shore Along Lake Superior in Minnesota – 5 days/4 nights
Campervan rental: $622
Campground fees: $132
Total: $754 = $188.50/night
Where to Rent Campervans
More and more campervan rental companies seem to be popping up. The two we used were:
North Campervans – Calgary, CA
Voyager Campervans – Minneapolis, MN; Nashville, TN; Austin, TX; Phoenix, AZ; Portland, OR
Both of these companies were great to work with and we couldn’t recommend them enough. We liked the van we rented from Voyager Campervans so much that we are looking at purchasing the same model we rented from them.
Check it out here:
Other campervan rental companies throughout the US and Canada include:
Escape Campervans – Locations across the US and two in Canada
Jucy (mini)RV – San Francisco, Las Vegas, Los Angeles (Worldwide locations also)
GOCamp – User-Owned Rentals in Denver, San Diego, Los Angeles, Bay Area, Seattle, Portland, and Bend
Outdoorsy – User-Owned rentals throughout US
You Got This
If you are looking for a fun adventure, then renting a campervan may be just what you are looking for.
It’s a fun and unique way to travel and experience the world around you.
We have absolutely loved our campervan adventures. They have allowed us to truly experience the places we have visited with ease and flexibility while providing us fun and dry place to sleep.
A tiny home on wheels is about as perfect as it gets.