Gigi Stetler, an RV Expert, Gives Tips, and Advice on Renting RVs
By Quinn He
As summer sets in, one style of vacation is still plenty attractive in the midst of a pandemic. RV renting may be even more popular now than in previous summers.
With many hotels and vacation spots still closed, and with the severe social distancing necessitated by the COVID virus, the prospect of traveling around the country with the family packed in an RV is becoming more and more popular.
Renting an RV for the First Time
But renting an RV for the first time can seem like an overwhelming process.
What should I look for? How do I know if I’m renting the right vehicle? What kind of fuel do they run on? Certain steps can be taken before the renting process that can save you from a headache later on.
After planning your destination, now comes the tricky part, deciding on an RV. The easy part is deciding where you want to go, and while choosing the RV can be difficult, it can be a fun and rewarding experience once you know what to look for.
Do Your Homework
Gigi Stetler, an RV expert, gave some insightful knowledge regarding RVs. Maybe “RV expert” isn’t the right word. RV extraordinaire, RV connoisseur no, RV master, either one of these titles can be used to describe Gigi Stetler’s vast knowledge of RVs.
Gigi has been working in the RV business since 1986 as a salesperson at a dealership and, very quickly, being promoted to Manager, General Manager, until graduating to owning her own RV dealership in 1999.
Decades in the RV business make Gigi the one person to trust when talking shop about RVs. Gigi had one valuable piece of advice to give to new time renters:
“The first thing to do before you even venture to start looking for an RV is to write down on a piece of paper your exact needs, family size, how many people you’re sleeping, are you towing something and your budget?”
“Just give yourself guidelines,” Gig summarizes. Whether renting an RV, a first-timer needs to know the logistics of their journey and have a foundational understanding of what needs they will want when going on an RV trip.
If you don’t go to a dealership knowing at least your basic wants and needs, “you’re leaving yourself vulnerable to a salesman to sell you whatever he wants to get rid of off the lot,” Gigi remarks.
Do your homework and figure out what your needs are so a slithery salesman can’t rent you something you won’t need.
RV dealerships offer many of the various different types of RVs
Types of RVs
Once you know where your vacation destination will be, choosing the type of RV is one of the most important aspects of a trip. Many types of RVs serve certain needs with some resting in high price ranges than others.
Some common types of RVs are Class A Diesel Motorhomes, Class A Gas Motorhomes, Class C Motorhomes, Class B Motorhomes, and various types of towable campers.
A Class A RV can fit 4-8 people comfortably.
Class A Diesels are usually the top of the line luxury motorhomes you see cruising on the open road. These types of behemoths are for a committed cross-country traveler who wants to travel in style, luxury, and comfort.
They are the iMac Pro of RVs, expensive and luxurious, but fully equipped for someone who knows how to use it. They cost many thousands of dollars and are the most comfortable way to RV.
Class A Gas RVs are more common but still fall on the luxurious side of RV renting, AKA the pricier side. They provide a lot of space for multiple people. An RV like this is also best for users who would spend longer durations in the vehicle.
Class B RVs are better known as camper
vans. Sitting slightly larger than a cargo van, these camper vans are some of the most accessible vehicles for first-timers because of their smaller size.
The interior cabin is designed to fit a plethora of amenities to make calling a van home easier.
A Class B van is more attractive for users who desire to take trips to more mountainous regions or urban areas, as the smaller frame makes it easier to maneuver.
A Class C RV is one of the more common models since they are moderately sized with enough room for a family or two. Class C’s have a notable overhang over the main cabin of the RV for extra storage or sleeping space.
These are essentially more compact versions of a Class B RV, housing the same amenities like a kitchen, bathroom, and shower.
Aside from these mainstream motorhome styles, towable RVs again come in many shapes and sizes and each one serves a different purpose for the user. Some can haul motorized vehicles like motorcycles and dirt bikes while others act as external storage areas.
The various RV types all serve some different needs compared to other models. The level of comfort seems to be the factor that changes the most. It’s important to figure out what your needs and wants will be and applying that to specifications on the various models.
When RVs are owned, you have the freedom to travel whenever you like.[/caption]
If You’re Renting…
When you’re renting an RV of any type, you’ll still need to take care of the RV while it’s in your possession, but general maintenance and commitment won’t be something you’ll have to deal with.
When you rent, you must keep in mind that some dealerships won’t let you take their vehicle on your grand cross country road trip to San Francisco if you’re renting out of Boston.
This is a huge factor to take note of and should be heavily considered when looking for RV rentals.
Whether renting or buying, it’s important to note a commercial driver’s license is not required to operate those monstrous Class A RVs that are the size of a bus. It all depends on what you’re comfortable driving with.
When you rent, make sure oil and the rest of the fluids are all full and possibly stocked in the vehicle so nothing comes up as a surprise down the road.
Once You Get Over the Hurdles, It’s a Rewarding Experience
Renting an RV is not a simple task that can be done on a whim. Picking the home you’ll be living in for an extended vacation should be a similar process as to purchasing or renting a place to live.
Like any big purchase, a lot of research has to be done to ensure you get the best possible product for you. Hundreds of websites, blogs, videos, and forums are dedicated solely to life in an RV.
Gigi Stetler reminds us that, “it is a very complex industry to begin with but is a lot of fun once you get past those things.”
Rent an RV from RVshare.com, Similar to the Airbnb of RV rentals
RVshare.com offers an easy way to find the right RV for you. The company is the first and largest peer-to-peer RV rental marketplace in the U.S and Canada. With more than 100,000 vehicles available, RVshare’s wide and diverse inventory ranges from affordable travel trailers to luxury motorhomes.
Whether it’s a weekend of camping or a cross-country tour of national parks they have the right RV for your family’s trip. If a renter wants the comforts of home while getting up close and personal with the beautiful world around them, an RV rental is the best place to start.
In addition to offering a unique travel experience, RVshare provides RV owners in North America the opportunity to turn their RV into a second income.
They bring RV renters and RV owners together. RVshare allows for RV owners to generate revenue on an otherwise unused vehicle. Most RVs are used only 2 weeks out of the year so that leaves a whole lot of weeks available for owners to earn money.
This post was sponsored by RVshare.com but the opinions are the author’s own.