Just because you don’t have a ton of money or a giant truck doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy all the perks of the RV lifestyle. One of the most affordable ways to start your next adventure is to rent a pop-up camper and hit the road.
Renting is growing in popularity every year, and it’s not hard to see why. It’s affordable and opens up the RV lifestyle to everyone!
But is renting a pop-up camper right for you and your family? We’ll go over everything you need to know here to help you make your decision. And at the end of the guide Rent a Pop Up Camper, we’ll give you our choice for the best website to rent your pop-up camper on so you can plan your next adventure!!
Is a Pop-Up Camper Worth It?
Pop-up campers are by far the cheapest type of RV you can purchase. Even better, they’re lightweight, so you don’t need a massive truck to drive one. Still, you won’t get as many features as larger RVs offer, so it really depends on what you’re looking for in order to decide if a pop-up camper is worth it or not.
If you’re more interested in the adventure itself and less interested in how you’re doing it, there’s no doubt that a pop-up camper is the way to go.
While new pop-up campers can cost up to $25,000, it’s not hard to find a decent pop-up camper for closer to $2,000 if you don’t mind purchasing a used one.
While these RVs won’t have a ton of luxury features, they offer more than enough for you to take a trip across the country without having to worry about where you’re going to be spending your next night.
So, is a pop-up camper worth it? If you’re looking for an adventure without breaking the bank, the answer is almost always yes!
Should You Rent a Pop Up Camper or Buy?
Even if a pop-up camper is the cheapest type of RV you can buy, that doesn’t mean they’re cheap. In fact, a typical pop-up camper costs anywhere from $10,000 to $25,000 new.
When you consider that it only costs between $50 and $100 a night to rent a pop-up camper, that means you’ll have to use your camper anywhere from 150 to 325 times before you’d spend enough to purchase a pop-up camper.
While you’re going to spend a little extra money on taxes and fees when you rent a pop-up camper, you’ll be saving on maintenance costs and other fees.
Also, since you’ll be able to use a newer style camper every time you rent one, you’re not only saving money, but you’re also getting the latest and greatest style with every trip.
With those numbers, it’s not hard to see why more and more families are ditching buying their own pop-up camper and choosing to rent one instead.
What Is the Cheapest Way To Rent an RV?
The cheapest way to rent an RV is to rent a pop-up camper. Pop-up campers are cheaper to both purchase and rent compared to other RVs. But once you’ve narrowed down your selection to a pop-up camper you still need to determine the most affordable way to rent one.
If you’re looking to rent a pop-up camper, the best route to take is a rental website like RVshare.com or Outdoorsy. These sites use people that already own an RV or pop-up camper and let you rent them at a price. While the site does take a cut – they also ensure that everyone is protected.
This means protection for both the person letting you use their RV or pop-up camper and for the person renting as well. Another advantage to using a site like RVshare.com is that they offer 24/7 roadside assistance whenever you rent an RV or pop-up camper through their platform.
This means if you do rent a faulty RV or pop-up camper, you don’t have to worry about towing costs or anything like that. These sites also ensure that you have adequate insurance. That way, if you get into an accident, you’re covered.
While we like RVshare.com, there are other sites out there that offer similar services for similar prices.
Tips to Save Money When Renting a Pop-Up Camper
If you’re looking to rent a pop-up camper, there are several things that you can do to lower your rates. For starters, you should look at their weekly and monthly rates. While pop-up campers are already relatively cheap to rent, most sellers will offer a discount if you rent them for an extended period of time.
Another factor you need to look into is summer vs. winter rates. Many sellers will offer discounted rates if you’re looking to rent the RV during the offseason, which is a great way to lower your rates further.
Finally, make sure you book early. Not only does this increase your chances of getting a lower rate, but it also ensures that you’ll have your RV on the days that you want it. Just be sure to check out the cancellation policies and pickup and drop off times when booking.
Can You Rent a Camper on Airbnb?
Absolutely! While Airbnb is known for allowing people to rent out properties, they actually let you rent out your RV on the site too! Even better for those looking to rent an RV, they have a search feature that allows you to exclusively look for RVs.
There are a few drawbacks if you’re looking to use Airbnb to find your next RV, though. For starters, they don’t let you filter by RV type. That means if you’re looking exclusively for a pop-up camper, you’ll have to search through every other type out there.
Furthermore, each owner sets their own rules for their rental, which means you have to check the fine print on each listing. In fact, some listings won’t even allow you to drive the RV, and it’s nothing more than a place to crash for the night in a select location!
Can You Live in a Pop-Up Camper Year-Round?
Yes, you can, but you should be aware of some of the limitations and drawbacks when you start. First, not every pop-up camper has air conditioning or heaters, so you’ll need to find ways to keep everything comfortable.
Furthermore, you’ll need to find somewhere to power up unless you have strong enough solar panels to keep everything charged – and even then, you should have a backup plan just in case.
Moreover, you need to consider several basic amenities like clothes washing, going to the bathroom, and potentially cooking and storing your food.
While each pop-up camper offers its own array of amenities, they usually don’t have fully functioning bathrooms, and they never have washer/dryer hookups.
Living in a pop-up camper year around is possible, just make sure you do a little more research before you start. And if you’re planning on living in a pop-up camper, it makes more sense to purchase your own than rent it.
How Long Do Pop-Up Campers Last?
Most pop-up campers last anywhere from 10 to 15 years. This is an important consideration when you’re trying to figure out if it’s worth buying your own camper or if you should stick to renting them out.
Another consideration that you need to keep in mind is the maintenance costs that come with owning your own pop-up camper. While pop-up campers are significantly cheaper to maintain than other types of RVs, they’re not free.
Some costs that come with maintaining your pop-up camper include tires, batteries, the roof lift system, and general cleaning and maintenance.
Is It Cheaper To Rent an RV or Stay in a Hotel?
There are several different factors that go into this. For starters, it depends on where the hotel is. If you’re looking to head to Los Angeles, it will be cheaper to rent an RV and stay outside the city.
But if you’re comparing a brand-new Class A to a hotel in Utah, the Class A is probably going to be more expensive. In addition to the RV cost, you need to keep in mind several other fees.
For starters, you’ll typically have to pay insurance, taxes, and service fees. You’ll have to pay taxes and service fees at a hotel too, but the insurance is an extra cost.
Furthermore, you’ll have to figure out where you’re going to park your RV and pay those fees too. Finally, you’ll have to pay for the gas and transportation costs for your RV. These costs vary wildly by the type of RV you have, but it is a cost nonetheless that you need to consider.
Types of Pop-Up Campers You Can Rent
If you’re looking to rent a pop-up camper, there are several different styles that you can choose from. We’ll highlight the three most common here, so you have a better idea of what you’re looking at, whether you plan to rent or purchase a pop-up camper.
Soft-top campers are the lightest of the bunch, so if you’re towing your camper with a full-sized sedan or a smaller SUV, this is what you’re looking for. Soft-top campers have a canvas roof, which makes them lighter, but they also don’t usually have as many amenities.
Another perk is that they’re usually a little cheaper – whether that’s renting or buying. Finally, they’re the easiest type of pop-up camper to set up, and they don’t usually require any fancier equipment like a roof lift system.
Hard-Roofed Tent Camper
Hard-roofed tent campers have a fiberglass roof that covers the main living area. Often the sleeping areas will still only have a canvas top, and all the side walls are made from canvas too.
Hard-roofed tent campers have a few more amenities than soft-top campers, and some of these campers will even come with a shower. Moreover, they typically come with some sort of kitchen setup, which allows you to have a little more luxury on your next camping trip.
But the biggest perk that most hard-roofed tent campers offer is a roof-mounted air conditioning unit. If you’re camping in warmer locations, this is a huge perk – but it does add a bit of weight to the overall camper.
These pop-up campers provide the most protection from the elements. A-frame campers have hard sides and a hard roof, but the roofs are slanted to form an “A” shape. While this gives you extra protection, they cost you a ton of headspace when you’re inside.
Furthermore, because of their limited size, they don’t offer the same amount of space as most pop-up or hard-roofed campers. And because they have less space, you’ll likely have fewer amenities too.
However, A-frame pop-up campers are usually extremely easy to set up as long as everything is working correctly. Typically, all it takes is the click of a button to raise or lower the camper when you get to your destination.
Pop-Up Campers vs. Other RV Rentals
If you’re looking to rent an RV, a pop-up camper is far from your only option. While there are plenty of advantages of going with a pop-up camper, they are not ideal for everyone. We’ll go over some of the advantages and disadvantages here.
Advantages of Pop-Up Campers
By far the most significant advantage of either purchasing or renting a pop-up camper is the cost. While most other RVs cost anywhere from $100 to $300 a night on average, you can find pop-up campers for as little as $50 a night.
But the advantages go beyond that. If you’re looking at towable RVs, pop-up campers are as light as they get. So, if you have an SUV that can tow things, the chances are that you’ll be fine renting a pop-up camper. Meanwhile, if you’re renting a travel trailer or a fifth wheel, you’ll need a larger truck to get the job done.
Despite the lower cost and lower weight, pop-up campers still offer more features than most Class B or Class C RVs. You can find pop-up campers with full kitchens and bathrooms, and they’re at a fraction of the cost of the Class B or C RVs that offer these features.
Another perk with a pop-up camper compared to drivable campers is that you usually don’t have to pay mileage fees on pop-up campers. Unlike campers that you drive, the owners of pop-up campers rarely care how far you drive it, so you’re not capped on how far you can take a pop-up camper.
Finally, while you don’t get a ton of privacy in a pop-up camper, you do get separate sleeping areas in most of them. This is a significant difference from many other small RVs. It’s also precisely what you want if you’re out camping with your children.
- Lower cost compared to other RV rentals
- Lighter weight than other RV rentals
- More amenities than many Class B or Class C RVs
- Provide a glamping experience
- Smaller than other RVs – which opens up more camping options
- Most offer multiple sleeping areas
- You don’t always have to pay mileage fees
Disadvantages of Pop-Up Campers
While pop-up campers are a great choice, they’re not perfect either. For starters, they’re still a towable RV, so if you don’t have a vehicle with a hitch that can handle the weight, you’re still out of luck. From there, pop-up campers don’t offer as many amenities as travel trailers, fifth wheels, or Class A RVs.
But the more significant drawbacks are those that you’ll notice on a daily basis. For instance, you’ll have to set up and teardown a pop-up camper every time you move. From there, even with separate sleeping areas, there’s no real privacy in a pop-up camper.
Finally, there’s not nearly as much protection from the elements in soft-top or hard-roofed campers. While you’re not going to blow away in typical storms, that doesn’t mean you’re not going to feel the wind when you’re inside.
- Require a vehicle with a hitch that can handle the tow weight
- They don’t offer as many amenities as bigger RV rentals
- You feel windy days
- You have to set up and tear down every time you move
- Less privacy than larger RVs
Best Sites to Rent a Pop-Up Camper
Whether you’re sold on pop-up campers and don’t want to buy one or you want to give it a try before you purchase your own, renting a pop-up camper is a great choice. But it’s just as crucial that you use a site that will give you a good deal and a hassle-free experience.
That’s why we took the time to break down the three best sites that you can rent a pop-up camper from.
RVshare.com is our top choice – but barely since Outdoorsy also offers a great rental experience. While Outdoorsy offers slightly lower prices on most rentals – RVShare.com offers slightly more mileage included in the price.
You’re getting an RV to drive it somewhere, right? RVShare.com offers tons of features that protect both the owner and the renter. They include an insurance fee right into the price of most RVs and allow you to search by the type of RV that you’re looking for. It’s a user friendly site that will help you find the RV you want to take on your next trip.
Outdoorsy and RVShare.com are similar in almost every way – the most significant difference is that most rentals on RVShare.com include 250 miles free per day while listings on Outdoorsy usually cap the mileage at 175 per day.
So, if you’re looking to rent an RV for a more local destination, Outdoorsy is fine, but if you’re going to do a lot of traveling, RVShare.com is probably a better choice. Like RVshare.com, Outdoorsy offers insurance and protection for both the RV owner and the renter.
Finally, Outdoorsy allows you to filter out your search results by your location and the RV type. This makes it far easier to find exactly what you’re looking for without searching through tons of irrelevant listings.
Yes, Airbnb has options for you to rent an RV. And yes, they allow users to specifically search for RV listings on the website. But, if you’re looking to travel in an RV, Airbnb isn’t the best choice.
That’s because while they allow you to search specifically for RVs, they don’t let you to narrow it down past that. That means you’ll be sifting through Class A listings mixed right in with pop-up campers. Furthermore, not as many people use Airbnb to list their RV compared to other sites.
Making matters worse for renters, each owner sets their own requirements for their RV, and you can’t even drive or move a lot of them. Because of this, Airbnb is an excellent choice if you’re looking to stay in an RV once you get to a location, but it’s not so great if you want to travel across the country in an RV.
Whether you’re just looking to try a pop-up camper or you’ve decided you don’t want to commit to a purchase, renting a pop-up camper is a phenomenal way to travel the country without spending a ton of money on hotels.
Even better, since you’re not driving a pop-up camper, mileage fees seldom apply, which allows you to save even more money.
Renting RVs is gaining popularity by the day, so whether you’re looking to rent yours out to others or take a rented pop-up camper out for a week or two, nothing is stopping you!
What are you waiting for? Rent a pop-out camper today and try something new!