The plan was straightforward: I’d drive with a girlfriend from my Colorado home to St. George, Utah, for a few days of hiking, spa treatments, and pool time at a desert resort. My husband would pick me up in our RV, and we’d set off on an 18-day road trip in Nevada and California while my friend drove back to Colorado on her own.
Alas, the day before my husband and I were set to meet up, while he was already on the road, I got this text message: “Please start thinking about a plan B. [The RV] died.”
That jolted me out of massage-induced bliss quickly!
RVShare To The Rescue
After learning that it would be at least a week before our dated-but-beloved Class A motorhome nicknamed “BB” would be fixed (the fan blade broke off and put a hole in the radiator), I immediately went into research mode.
I did not want to scrap my carefully crafted road-trip itinerary. We had campground reservations at coveted sites in and around a handful of different national parks, and I had little interest in canceling those and trying to rebook later in this summer (If I even could — it’s a busy summer for our national parks!).
I began poring over websites for RV peer-to-peer rental platforms as well as commercial rental fleets. I figured if I could salvage even part of our road trip with a rented RV, I’d rather dish out some unexpected costs than face the disappointment of returning home with our bags still unpacked.
Running searches for available RV rentals between Green River, Utah, and Las Vegas, Nevada, I found pickings were quite slim. If we had a truck to tow a camping trailer, we may have had more options, but I was looking at driveable Class A and C rigs. Interest in RVing has exploded since the pandemic began, and it shows no signs of slowing down — indeed, inventory in my neck of the woods was quite low.
After messaging a few RV owners on RVshare and learning that their rigs were actually booked or out of commission, I landed on one that sounded perfect for our needs: parked in St. George, a 25-foot 2008 Class C was available on the dates we wanted to travel. I cut down our 17-night trip to 12 nights, chopping off a few of the destinations we’d planned to make a loop that began and ended in St. George, Utah.
I messaged Rob, the Class C RV owner, and he said he could have the rig ready to go in 24 hours. Hooray!
Picking Up Our RVshare Rental
While BB was at the mechanic’s, my husband moved the bulk of our packed stuff from the broken-down RV into the car we were planning to tow on this trip (Thankfully we did have my Honda with us, otherwise this plan would not have worked so seamlessly!). We had trash bags filled with clothes, a cooler full of food, and other key items we wanted to have on hand for our trip in our rented RV.
In our packed-to-the-gills little car, my husband picked me up from my hotel, and we made our way to meet up with Rob and his RV. He and his family were still putting the finishing touches on readying it for us — changing the oil, fixing a wobbly dining table, and otherwise cleaning it up; he was planning on having a week or so to get it ready for renters once he’d listed it. Little did he know there’d be a couple with an RV vacation emergency who’d need his RV ASAP!
We were quite a sight as we pulled our bags and boxes of stuff out of our Honda and into the RV that was parked next to a home in a quiet subdivision. Thankfully, we’d worked out a plan with Rob that allowed us to park our car in his RV spot at the side of his house while we traveled (we didn’t have the ability or desire to tow our car).
Rob gave us the lay of the land with this RV — how the tanks worked, where the spare tire and jacks were stored, how to turn on the pump and hot water heater, and how to unfurl the manual awning. We noted some of the RV’s blemishes so we wouldn’t be responsible for damage afterward, and we made sure we had info on the standard rental insurance that RVshare required we pay for.
After that, we were able to hit the road!
Driving, Sleeping, And Eating In An RVshare Rental
It didn’t take long for my husband to adjust to driving a 25-foot motorhome versus our 32-foot RV. After all, he reports, the Class C is smaller and drives more similarly to a car than our Class A.
I will say, we’re used to a bigger bedroom area, where we can walk around our bed (as opposed to it being up against the side of the rig) — but we made the space work and we slept just fine.
The bathroom in this Class C was also tiny — my 6-foot-2-inch husband especially lamented the lack of elbow room in there! However, Rob did note in his RVshare listing, “The bathroom is a smaller space that will take some getting used to if on longer trips,” so we knew what we were getting into.
Rob supplied cookware for us, which was great. In fact, that was one thing I investigated up front. Before making the booking, I asked questions via the RVshare online message portal about what sort of kitchen supplies were included. Rob was kind enough to snap a photo of the goods — everything from a frying pan and measuring cups to a can opener and spatula — so I’d know what we’d have on this trip.
He also let us know that bedding, towels, dishcloths, and silverware were stocked in the RV, but not cups, plates, or bowls — so we picked up some disposable items to bring with us for our meals.
Tips For Renting An RV From RVshare
Keep Communication Lines Open
I think this rental went swimmingly because I asked questions about the vehicle and the renting process before and during our trip. Similarly, Rob asked us up front about our itinerary — if we’d be staying mostly in RV campgrounds or boondocking. Rob also checked in with us halfway through the trip, just to see how it was going. I appreciated that I could contact Rob at any time with any concerns.
If You’re New To RVing, Ask For Guidance
I’m thankful my husband is an experienced RV owner who knows his way around emptying and filling water and waste tanks and can troubleshoot mechanical issues along the way. But if you don’t feel fully comfortable operating an RV when you pick up your rental, ask for detailed instruction from the owner, who can share some of the RV’s particular quirks as well.
Treat Your Rented Vehicle As If It Were Your Own
I was a little nervous renting an RV from a stranger, namely because I didn’t want anything to happen to it on our 1,600-mile road trip! We took care to keep it clean and, of course, locked it whenever we left it parked somewhere we weren’t.
A Successful Road Trip With RVshare
I’m so glad we were able to salvage the bulk of our planned summer road trip. My husband and I had a ball driving a loop that hit overnights in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, Pinnacles National Park, and Yosemite National Park.
We did some spectacular hikes in the parks, and we appreciated our quiet campsites to return to at the end of busy days of sightseeing (Indeed, those national parks were crowded!). Equally enjoyable were some off-the-beaten-path finds.
For example, while parked at our campsite outside of Kings Canyon National Park, my husband realized there was a winery located just across the road. We traipsed over to the boutique Delilah Ridge Winery to sit under a canopy in the owners’ backyard for a tasting and thoroughly enjoyed our samples, buying two bottles. We gorged ourselves on a filling and varied charcuterie board while chatting with owners Stacey and Kirsten, who are originally from Colorado, where we live. I love serendipitous encounters like that!
I’m thankful for memories made and especially grateful for the peer-to-peer RV rental service RVshare for saving our summer road trip. That said, here’s hoping our RV BB doesn’t break down again anytime soon.
RVshare is the world’s first and largest peer-to-peer RV rental marketplace. With thousands of satisfied customers and a broad inventory ranging from travel trailers to luxury motorhomes, RVshare has the perfect RV for your vacation, tailgate, or temporary lodging needs.