The Ultimate Guide to Renting an RV with Outdoorsy • The Blonde Abroad
This post was sponsored by Outdoorsy. As always, thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are entirely my own.
While most of the time you’ll find me traveling internationally, over the past two years I’ve really enjoyed exploring my own backyard and delving into the natural beauty of the United States.
And even if you’re not big on “roughing it” in the woods — glamping is an option. Ever considered glamping in an Airstream?
Outdoorsy offers all types of recreational vehicles, from ones that you can tow yourself to affordable pop-ups to luxury motorhomes. Whether you’re looking to plan a staycation, get off the grid, or have an epic adventure, there’s an RV for everyone.
It was my bestie’s daughter’s first camping trip and we wanted to make it extra special.
While I’m comfortable driving an RV, for this particular trip I really wanted to relax and make it as easy as possible — meaning I didn’t want to go through the complexities of towing a trailer. So we rented an Airstream Bambi and it was delivered to our campsite in Crystal Cove!
We popped popcorn and roasted s’mores over the campfire and ordered pizza for delivery. It was the perfect little trip where some big memories were made!
One of the coolest parts about using Outdoorsy is that many of the vehicles are DELIVERABLE.
Yep. You read that right. We opted for RV delivery, which, in my opinion, is one of the coolest features. If you don’t want to drive a huge RV or you’re just renting one for the night, this is the perfect way to cut out any stress of physically moving your RV and just arrive at it already there.
There’s no need to pack it out or tow it away. That’s a major bonus in my book.
On top of that, Outdoorsy’s site made it extremely easy to find the perfect Airstream. Their site allows you to filter by if an RV is pet-friendly or suited for kids. And since Bailey goes nearly everywhere with me, this feature was perfect for finding a pet-friendly rental.
So, then it was set—we were going to have a dreamy Airstream delivered to the campground we had chosen in Crystal Cove. All we had to do was pack our bags, get Bailey in the car, and drive up the coast!
Here’s all you need to know about renting an RV through Outdoorsy!
What is Outdoorsy?
In a way, Outdoorsy is like Airbnb or VRBO — folks can list their RV for others to use.
For those that love road trips, camping minus the tents, or simply want to try something different, Outdoorsy is a wonderful solution!
Whether you’re getting behind the wheel or staying put for a glamping experience, RVing gives you the freedom to choose where you roam…and stay. From a cliff by the beach to a night in the forest looking up at the stars — dream it, Outdoorsy will help you make it a reality.
How Does it Work?
Outdoorsy allows you to find RV rentals in your local area or at whichever destination you’re traveling to. They’ve got different options available, like Luxury Class A Diesel Pushers, Class B Camper Vans, Class C Motorhomes, and Travel Trailers.
There are over 48,000 listings across Canada, the United States, Spain, Italy, the UK, France, Germany, New Zealand, and Australia—so wherever you want to go, you can find the perfect trailer or luxury motorhome.
I know, that can sound a bit overwhelming but their fantastic filters allow you to search and compare to find just what you’re looking for. Narrow down your search by rental prices, features, reviews, if they allow pets, and more!
Outdoorsy verifies all accounts to keep everything safe. They also offer industry-first rental insurance + 24-hour roadside assistance. So, if anything happens while you’re on the open road — they’ve got you covered.
Bailey loves camping by the beach! Outdoorsy makes it easy to find pet-friendly RV rentals.
What Vehicles + RVs Can You Rent?
Like I mentioned above, you can find so many different options on Outdoorsy: Luxury Class A Diesel Pushers, Class B Camper Vans, Class C Motorhomes, and Travel Trailers.
Essentially what this means is there are RVs you can hitch up to your car and tow, there are ones that are more “plug and play” and ready for use, and those where you can completely DIY your RV experience.
Outdoorsy breaks it down into specifics, in case you aren’t sure about what type of vehicle you’re after.
- Class A: Driver should be comfortable driving something as large as a bus
- Class B: Comparable to driving and maneuvering an oversized van
- Class C: Comparable to driving a truck and popular option for beginner RV drivers
- 5th Wheel: Attaches to a tow vehicle via a gooseneck extension in the truck bed
- Travel Trailer: Trailer options exist for every kind of SUV or pickup tow vehicle
- Toy Hauler: Can be towed by many SUV or pickup tow vehicles
- Popup: Can be towed by ordinary passenger vehicles
Tips for Finding an RV Site
How do you find a place to stay in your RV? Outdoorsy’s website has a ton of inspiration for cool places to stay. While national parks are usually a top option, it can be quite difficult to find availability with short notice.
Check out campgrounds in the area where you’re headed — there will probably be a mix of government campgrounds (national forest, BLM, or national parks) and private campgrounds. Be sure to check Google Maps for more options too!
That said, KOA (Kampgrounds of America) is a wonderful resource to find hundreds of options for private places to stay and park your RV! From back-ins to pull-thrus to 50-amp hookups, KOA offers tons of sites where you can park your rig.
Another great resource to find a place to park your RV is CampSpot.
If you’re looking for a private place to stay and campgrounds aren’t your vibe, Hipcamp offers lots of RV spots too.
Tip for Renting an RV for the First time
Is it your first time renting an RV? Are you a bit nervous and don’t know where to start? Don’t worry — I’ve got your back! Here are a few tips and things to consider when you’re renting an RV for the first time.
Just because you’re in an RV doesn’t mean you automatically have electricity or unlimited water.
It’s really important to look for a campsite that has these types of “hookups”…or not! It’s purely personal preference depending on what you’re comfortable with. You’ll also want to learn how to access the hookups on the RV, which the owner can easily show you.
If it’s just two people and a dog, a smaller RV or camper van is probably all that you’ll need. But if you’re traveling in a group or with kids, you’ll likely want (and need) more space. It’s all about personal preference!
If you’re apprehensive about driving an RV—in my opinion, it’s not as scary as it seems!
I would suggest taking a few practice loops around an empty parking lot so you can familiarize yourself with the size. Class C motorhomes are best for first-timers. They are wider and longer than your typical car.
When it comes to backing up, I would suggest using a spotter — even if your RV has a backup camera.
And then for braking, keep a significant distance between you and the next vehicle. RVs need more time to stop than your average car because they’re heavier.
Trailers can be a bit more of a learning curve when it comes to maneuvering and back up! Be sure that your car has a tow hitch/kit so that you’re able to tow and know the weight limit for your car. Towing a trailer that is too heavy for your vehicle can cause some serious damage!
Learn About Dumping the Tanks
Be sure to learn how to access your blackwater (sewage) and greywater (sinks/showers) lines and where to refill your RV with fresh water from the owner — every RV is a little different. And then you’ll need to dump the black and grey water from time to time!
While this isn’t the most fun thing to do, it’s part of getting out into the great outdoors.
Most campgrounds have on-site dump stations for this purpose. Or you can use SaniDumps and search for the nearest dump station near you.
One of the benefits of us doing delivery and a trailer is we got to skip the cost of gas and the work of dumping—just ask the owner what the rules are for your rental and there’s usually room for some negotiation.
What Trips To Take in an RV
Outdoorsy has a ton of inspiration on their site for trips you can take in an RV!
From planning an epic road trip with the family to a romantic getaway out in nature to sweet staycations — renting an RV is a really cool way to see and stay in different places.
Want to tour California’s national parks while sleeping in an RV? You got it! How about exploring the Pacific Northwest in a cozy van? Perhaps the Southern USA is calling your name and you want to stop at all the delicious food joints along the way?
Are you looking to rent an RV? Where are you planning to go… or stay? 😉
I’d love to hear in the comments below!