10 Surprises from my First RV Rental

I’ve spent hundreds of nights in a sleeping bag. Most of these were sleeping “under the stars,” and a few dozen were inside a tent. Many of my best childhood memories involved campers and trailers. But I have never owned or rented a motor home until this week.

I learned several things from my “maiden voyage,” almost all of them positive. For those who are considering an RV rental vacation, you may be able to benefit from my experience. Here’s what I learned:

  1. Renting an RV is cost-effective if you only camp once or twice each year.

    With the cost of ownership and maintenance of a small motorhome or trailer, it’s likely that renting will save you money. At the price of my 4-day rental, I could take about 50 vacations before I would match the amount spent on a new RV. And that doesn’t factor-in the cost of storage, maintenance or interest on a loan. Furthermore, by renting, rather than buying a motorhome, I can drive one of the latest and greatest models every time I vacation.

  2. The rental process is easy.

    I expected the rental process to require a long orientation and a ton of paperwork. As it turned-out, I was handed the keys within 30 minutes of walking into Nielson RV Rentals.

  3. Driving an RV isn’t much different than driving a large family vehicle.

    I didn’t have to take a class or get a special license to drive a “Class C” motorhome. I simply hopped in the driver’s seat and shifted into Drive. Backing-up made me a little nervous at first, but the large side-mirrors and the rear-view camera quickly gave me confidence that I could back-out safely. I also found that most tourist spots provide oversized, pull-through parking spots, so reverse was rarely used. Uphill travel was only slightly slower than driving my own pick-up truck. City traffic wasn’t much more nerve-racking than usual, although I was thankful for southern Utah’s relatively wide streets and light traffic.

  4. Today’s RV’s are roomy!

    – Based on my childhood experiences, I braced myself for “camper-claustrophobia.” It never came. In fact, I found that every square inch of space was put to good use, and there was more of it than meets the eye. Once we arrived at our camping spot, we were able to gain several square feet of living space with the push of a button. Our 24’ Coachman Freelander featured a slide-out wall which significantly opened up the walkway in the high-traffic cooking/ dining section of the RV.

  5. Those tiny RV bathrooms are engineering marvels!

    When I glanced into the bathroom area, I wondered if showering would be as uncomfortable as it looked. I was shocked to find that every bathroom feature was designed so well that it was actually quite comfortable. The shower door slid smoothly to the side, and entering was very natural. The shower was small but incredibly efficient, the water was warm and comfortable, and the water-pressure was no different than home.

“Rental Surprises” will be continued in my next post. For now, take a look at available models and dates for your Nielson RV rental!

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