Can you lease an RV? (A helpful guide)

In this article, we will discuss: Can you lease an RV? We will explain the conditions behind an RV lease and discuss costs and important steps to take to ensure successful leasing. 

Can you lease an RV?

Of course, you can lease an RV just as you would lease a car. There are several conditions you must meet, however:

  1. Driving license: The driving license must be appropriate according to the type of motorhome to be rented. In the event that it is a vehicle less than 3,500 kilos, a type B license will suffice. Otherwise, you will need the C card. If you are not a resident of the United States, the driving license must be an international driving license or approved for driving in the country.
  1. Minimum period: Most companies will request a minimum period of lease days. It is mainly due to the expense of the vehicle’s own maintenance and revisions that must be made between one rental and another. Unless otherwise stated, the mileage is usually unlimited.
  1. Making a reservation: When making the reservation, the vast majority request that 30% of the total rent be paid. This means that this forecast should be taken into account if the rental is made well in advance.
  1. Deposit: Like any other rental, a deposit is required when taking the vehicle. The deposit may vary depending on the model of the motorhome chosen. An average amount of deposit could be between 600 and 1000 dollars.

The method of payment of the deposit is usually the credit card and once the vehicle has been delivered, this amount will be reimbursed to the chosen card.

  1.  The return: The RV must be returned in the same conditions in which it was rented. If there is any alteration or damage, it could affect the deposit itself that has been reserved.

It is essential to know what the rental price includes and what does not. For example, one of the biggest doubts is fuel, which is not usually included. Check the rental contract about the fuel conditions. The document must specify what the price per litre is if it is delivered with less fuel than it had.

  1. Motorhome rental taxation: One of the common questions is what happens if you rent a motorhome as a self-employed person. What must be clear in these cases is whether it is your main economic activity or not. This means that, if it is used as a means of obtaining income, then yes.

What to pay attention to when leasing an RV

The selection criteria for an RV lease are not exactly the same as for a purchase. Here are the main points to consider:

  • Number of approved places: you cannot take as many passengers as you want on board a motorhome. Depending on the number of seat belts on board, you may only travel with 4 or 5 people. Other, rarer vehicles can still travel with 6 or 7 people. What is certain is that large families will have a harder time finding.
  • Number of beds: in general, it corresponds to the number of places with the registration certificate. Look in particular at the number of beds already ready, which do not require handling. Permanent rear beds, bunk beds, alcove beds or drop-down beds require no storage effort before going to bed.
  • Size: A more compact motorhome is easier to drive, that’s obvious. But it is less easy to move inside, and it will more likely be necessary to manipulate the benches to convert them into sleeping places. On the other hand, the number of places is not really linked to the length of the motorhome.
  • Age of the vehicle: this is especially important if you are renting it to an individual (because professionals offer recent vehicles). What has changed the most in 15 years is driving comfort. Diesel engines have evolved, as have driving aids and other reversing cameras.
  • Motorization: between diesel and gasoline, you won’t have to choose. All motorhomes run on diesel (with the exception of a few compact vans). The auto box is rather rare, but there are some. The most common engine is the 130 hp Fiat, Ford or Citroën. 

The power is sufficient almost everywhere, but it also does not allow Formula 1 acceleration: most motorhomes weigh 3.5 tonnes, which is no small feat.

What budget for leasing an RV?

Depending on whether it is high or midseason, the price is not the same. To keep in general terms, let’s say that rental costs between $80 and $180 per day, depending on the RV (its age, location, etc.), the rental company and the time of year. A very wide range. 

Here are the average costs of renting a camper van:

  1. Prices per day for 2, 3 and 4 seater RVs:
  • LOW season from $98
  • MID season from $125
  • HIGH season from $45
  1. Prices per day for  2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 seat RVs:
  • LOW season from $105
  • MEDIUM Season from $135
  • HIGH season from $165

Tip: Check what equipment is provided with the RV lease. If you need bicycle racks or child seats, ask your rental company. Most will be able to provide it to you (not always for free…).

 The same goes for the folding table and chairs. Kitchen utensils, crockery and household equipment are usually provided automatically. It even happens that some basic ingredients (coffee, oil, salt and pepper…) are already in the cupboards. Sheets and towels, on the other hand, are more often the responsibility of the tenant. 

In general, remember that rental companies are used to answering questions relating to equipment and accessories. They will provide you with a detailed list of available accessories.

Handing over the keys and return of the RV

No surprise: an RV rental works like a car rental, with inventory and keys being handed over on departure. At this stage, pay close attention to all the hirer’s indications. To make sure you stay focused and don’t miss half of it, take notes. And make yourself well explained, in particular:

  • emptying and filling with water, as well as additional equipment (pipes, fittings, etc.).
  • the control panel (it’s embarrassing to call the rental company back when the panel beeps at two in the morning)
  • gas (as well as heating-water heater and refrigerator)

Final tips

Onboard an RV, storage space is limited (the payload too). So only take care of the essentials. Plan to shop on the road and live simply. The myth of the motorhome operator travelling with a month’s supply is a legend. Bring clothes that are easy to wash and dry quickly. 

Last tip: prefer travel bags to suitcases: they are less bulky once the clothes are in the closets.

Do you have any questions or thoughts about the content? Let us know!

FAQ on Can you lease an RV?

How many years of license do you need to rent a motorhome?

You need at least two years of licence to rent a motorhome. The minimum rental of the motorhome will not be less than three days, having unlimited mileage. The tenant must be at least 25 years old to rent a motorhome. He must possess and present a valid driving license.

What do you know about renting a motorhome?

Before renting a motorhome, review these points:

  • Take into account how much space you need. 
  • Compare prices.
  • Check the equipment included. 
  • Check the validity of your driving license. 
  • Learn how to maintain your caravan. 
  • Find out about the “excess or excess” you pay and how to reduce it. 
  • Practice and measure it.

How much does it cost to rent a caravan?

In the middle season, the average rental price of an average vehicle up to 5 days would be about 734 dollars and 4,358 dollars for more than 16 days. In high season the average rental price of an average vehicle for up to 5 days would be about 1,350 dollars and dollars for more than 16 days.

What does it take to drive a motorhome?

Most of the motorhomes on the market weigh up to 3,500 kg of MAM (Maximum Authorized Mass), so a type B license will suffice to drive them. For vehicles with a GVWR greater than 3,500 Kg, a type C license is required.


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