Van and RV rentals are surging, and it’s easy to understand why. With many concerned about the safety of hotels and other lodgings, so-called COVID campers offer more control over indoor environments. If you’re interested in giving vanlife a try, follow these insider tips for safely hitting the road.
Tips for RV First-Timers
We asked Jeff Cavins, CEO of peer-to-peer rental company Outdoorsy, what newbies should look out for.
- “The greatest barrier for first-timers is the mental hurdle of driving an RV. Schedule a walkthrough and take it on a test-drive.”
- “Ask your RV owner for intel on less traveled stops and check websites like Harvest Hosts and Campendium to find dispersed-camping locations.”
- “Map out the route using the app AllStays, and make sure the roads don’t have low-clearance bridges or tunnels that may require extra guidance or special permits.”
- “We’ve instituted increased cleaning standards for owners, so get in touch to hear about them firsthand. One of the benefits of a peer-to-peer platform is that you get to talk with real people.”
How to RV with Kids
Taking the family on the road right now is easier than you think. Follow these tips from Karen Akpan, who’s been traveling full-time with her son since March.
“Find family-friendly parks in your destination using the website RV Parky, which allows you to filter by amenities such as a pool and playground.”
“If money’s tight, consider a peer-to-peer RV-rental site. But check that the company offers video-call walk-throughs, no-contact transfers, and transparent host-cleaning guidelines.”
“Make sure to rent the right-size vehicle for your family, with enough seat belts and sleeping space for everyone. Most Class-C RVs have a bunk room in the front and a bedroom in the back, which makes it easy to separate kids’ and adults’ sleeping areas.”
“Pack easy-to-wash clothing, comfortable camp chairs, and an outdoor cooktop to avoid setting off sensitive RV fire alarms—and because it’s fun.”
“You can still take advantage of grocery delivery services even if you’re mobile. Have Instacart delivered to locations along your route, or order ahead at Costco.”
“Pack plenty of masks, sanitizer, and Lysol wipes—kids go through them faster.”