Are One Way RV Rentals Worth It?

Are One Way RV Rentals Worth It?

One-way RV rentals are becoming a popular vacation option.

By driving to a destination and flying back, families can potentially save $100+ nightly on hotels and dining expenses. This option also works when moving cross-country, foreign visitors, and business trips.

Why are one-way RV rental prices more affordable than a round-trip excursion? Although it often costs more to take this transportation method, you can leisurely go in one direction while coming back home in a hurry.

Most agencies charge a “one-way drop fee” of $250 to $700, which is why it tends to be more expensive than a round trip. 

If you are moving to a different state, driving a one-way RV rental lets you make multiple stops without the stress of finding places to stay.

You can potentially see twice as much, travel further, and do it without rushing until that last day when you need to fly back.

Best Vacations to Try with a One-Way RV Rental

If you’re thinking about a one-way RV rental for an upcoming vacation, several unique road trips across the United States can make it a memorable experience.

One of the best options is the Pacific Coast RV trip. Start this journey up by the Canadian border in Washington. Head down to Whidbey Island, take the ferry across to the Olympic Peninsula, and drive to Forks. From there, you can follow the same highway all the way to the Mexican border.

You’ll have thousands of miles of ocean coastline to enjoy along the way. Some of the stops you could make include Long Beach, Big Sur, and Astoria.

Another option is to take the traditional East Coast RV trip. You can start anywhere in New England, driving through cities like NYC, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, and Charlotte. You can stay along the coast, get into the Appalachians, or reach the warm Florida sunshine.

One of the best stops along the way is the historic beaches in Maryland and South Carolina.

If you prefer a cross-country trip, why not visit some of the best National Parks in the United States. One of the most popular trips is to start at Yosemite in California, drive east to the Grand Canyon, and then see Mesa Verde.

Head north through the mountains to see the Black Canyon. Once you reach Grand Junction, CO, go west to see the five parks in Utah. Don’t forget about Great Basin National Park in Nevada!

Head north from there to reach Yellowstone before continuing to see Glacier National Park.

One Way RV Rental

Best Tips to Follow When Renting an RV

If you’ve never rented an RV before, this traveling method is one of the best experiences you’ll ever have. It allows you to avoid the stress of travel deadlines while accessing some of the most beautiful corners of the world.

Even when an RV park charges you to stay, the cost is approximately 50% of what you’d pay for a hotel in the area.

With all of the lingering issues involving COVID-19, a one-way RV rental can significantly reduce your exposure risk.

You’ll even have more flexibility when managing your schedule.

These tips can help you to get the most out of your investment without compromising the fun you’ll have during your trip.

1. Always Plan Ahead

Before starting your one-way RV journey, it helps to think about the vehicle type you’ll want to rent. You can also look at the places to stay on your trip. This process makes it easier to create a travel budget, find activities, and prepare meals. When you have a complete itinerary to follow, you’ll get the most value from this rental.

2. Find Your Comfort Zone

Traveling by RV is a different experience. Some people don’t like the idea of having a seatbelt placed on a bench chair by the table. If you need to use the bathroom along the way, what the vehicle provides can take some time to get used to using. When someone is uncomfortable with the details of the trip, it might be better to look for alternative transportation options.

3. Choose Enjoyable Destinations

The best reason to invest in a one-way RV rental is that you get to go almost anywhere you want. It could be the beach, a national park, or a luxury resort. Most destinations have something for everyone to enjoy, although a few of them are not always kid-friendly stops. When you find adventures that everyone can agree upon, the trip will be that much better.

4. Think About the Fees

The rental cost of your one-way RV trip is only the first expense you’ll need to consider. Every agency that offers vehicles requires a security deposit upfront before it gets released to your custody. You’ll need insurance, out-of-state fees might apply, and some companies offer extra amenities at an additional expense.

Is it helpful to have a generator, kitchenware, linens, and extra supplies while driving? You might find some of these costs are cheaper if you buy the items yourself. 

5. Explore the Experiences

If you want the traditional RV experience, consider stopping at a KOA that accommodates the vehicle size you’re renting. When you want something independent and modern, look for off-road options that can take you to some fantastic sights. Most state and national parks offer campgrounds with reservations that open 6-12 months in advance. 

You can even choose to stay in a Walmart parking lot to save some money. It’s all about what experiences you hope to have during your travels.

6. Get Used to the Gas Prices

RVs pull a lot of weight. That means your fuel economy will be terrible during your one-way trip. There’s nothing you can do about this expense unless you decide to plan your vacation during the winter months when prices are usually a little lower.

Some strategies exist that can help you maximize the gas mileage you can achieve. It also helps to pull into a station a little off the main highway if you want a more budget-friendly experience.

7. Practice Driving First

The biggest mistake drivers make when renting an RV one-way is treating the vehicle like any other automobile. Most rental locations will let you take a test drive before you start exploring the open road.

If that option isn’t available, you might consider taking a test drive at a local dealership. The RV community is one of the friendliest groups of people you’ll ever meet, so don’t be afraid to ask questions when you pull in for the evening.

8. RV Hookups Aren’t Difficult

If the driving doesn’t stress you out, the chances are that hookup management keeps you up at night. Your one-way rental agency can walk you through the steps to follow to ensure your water, sewer, and electric work as intended.

You can practice the hookups at your first stop if you’re not feeling confident. If you’re unsure of the process, ask for help! Blowing out the electrical system or causing water line failures are expensive lessons to learn.

The wastewater task is never a pleasant one. If you have someone who offers dump services, it might be worth the expense to have them do it for you.

9. Stock Up on Groceries

The easiest way to save money on your one-way RV rental is to make meals in the vehicle. Unless you’re renting something small, it should come with a refrigerator. When you use the electrical hookup or have a generator, the food stays edible. Stop at local grocery stores to grab the snacks, ingredients, and meal prep items needed for breakfast, lunch, and dinner on the trip.

That doesn’t mean you must ignore every restaurant along the way. You might want to stop at a favorite place. It helps to plan that experience ahead of time so that you know what to expect.

After All of This Planning, You’re on Your Way!

Before you drive the RV away from the rental agency, take pictures of the vehicle’s condition. It helps to document inside and out to compare what the internal inspection noted. If your efforts miss something that gets caught later, you could be on the hook for a significant expense.

It helps to run a video around the entire RV before stepping inside to show off everything. When you have a newspaper with the current date on display, that step provides evidence that you aren’t falsifying the file data for the content.

Please remember to review the insurance requirements you’ll need for your trip. Some drivers assume that their current automotive policy covers them with this rental, but that isn’t always the case. 

Unless required by law, you don’t need to take the default policy from the rental provider. Several companies provide the coverage you need at highly competitive rates. It helps to shop around for the best deal so that you’re not overpaying.

When you’re in an RV, the world opens its doors to more exploration. A one-way rental is worth it for that experience. 

Andy Beckman

Andy and his wife Niki had their twins Adilynn and Archer, in 2014. By 2017 the whole family was camping. It is a great way to unplug from the daily grind and focus on what it means to be a family. They started a YouTube channel in early 2020 and enjoyed creating content that new RVers find useful.

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