How RVshare Saved My RV Road Trip in California National Parks
The plan was simple: I was driving with a girlfriend from my Colorado home in St. George, Utah, for a few days of hiking, spa treatments, and swimming at a desert resort. My husband would pick me up from our RV and we were off on an 18 day trip to Nevada and California while my friend was driving back to Colorado on her own.
Alas, the day before our date, my husband and I, when he was already on the road, received this text: “Please start thinking about a plan B. [The RV] deceased. “
It quickly made me come out of the happiness induced by the massage!
RVShare to the rescue
After learning that it would take at least a week before our dated but beloved Class A motorhome nicknamed “BB” was repaired (the fan blade broke and drilled a hole in the radiator), I immediately went into search mode.
I did do not want to ditch my carefully designed road trip itinerary. We had booked campgrounds at coveted sites in and around a handful of different national parks, and had little incentive to cancel them and try to book later this summer (if I could even, c is a busy summer for our national parks!).
I started to research the websites of peer-to-peer RV rental platforms as well as commercial rental fleets. I figured if I could recoup even part of our trip with a rented campervan, I would rather pay some unforeseen charges than face the disappointment of coming home with our bags again. unpacked.
While researching available RV rentals between Green River, Utah, and Las Vegas, Nevada, I found the choices to be pretty slim. If we had had a truck to tow a camping trailer we might have had more options, but I was looking for Class A and C platforms that could be driven. Interest in motorhomes has exploded since the start of the pandemic, and it shows no signs of slowing down – indeed, inventory in my part of the country was quite low.
After messaging a few RV owners on RVshare and learning that their rigs were in fact reserved or out of service, I landed on the one that seemed perfect for our needs: parked in St. George, a 2008 C-Class of 25. feet was available on dates. we wanted to travel. I reduced our trip from 17 nights to 12 nights, cutting off some of the destinations we had planned to do a loop that started and ended in St. George, Utah.
I texted Rob, the owner of a Class C RV, and he told me he could have the rig ready to go in 24 hours. Hooray!
Pick up our RVshare rental
While BB was at the mechanic, my husband moved most of our packed things from the broken down motorhome into the car we planned to tow on this trip (Luckily we had my Honda with us, otherwise this plan wouldn’t have worked so perfectly!). We had trash bags full of clothes, a cooler full of food and other key items that we wanted to have on hand for our trip in our rented motorhome.
In our packed little car, my husband picked me up from my hotel and we made our way to Rob and his motorhome. He and his family were still putting the finishing touches on his preparation – changing the oil, fixing a wobbly dining table, and cleaning it up differently; he planned to have about a week to get it ready for the tenants once he listed it. Little did he know there would be a couple with an RV vacation emergency who needed their RV ASAP!
We were quite a sight when we got our bags and boxes of things out of our Honda and into the motorhome which was parked next to a house in a quiet subdivision. Luckily, we had a plan with Rob that allowed us to park our car in his RV spot next to his house while we were traveling (we didn’t have the ability or desire to tow our car).
Rob gave us the layout of the land with this motorhome: how the tanks worked, where the spare tire and jacks were stored, how to turn on the pump and water heater, and how to deploy the manual awning. We noted some of the motorhome’s imperfections so that we would not be liable for any damage afterwards, and made sure we had information about the standard rental insurance that RVshare required us to pay.
After that, we were able to hit the road!
Drive, sleep and eat in an RVshare rental
It didn’t take long for my husband to adjust to driving a 25ft RV vs. our 32ft RV. After all, he reports, the C-Class is smaller and drives more like a car than our A-Class.
I will say we’re used to a bigger bedroom, where we can walk around our bed (instead of being against the side of the platform) – but we made the space work and slept really well .
The bathroom in this C class was also tiny – my 6ft 2in husband particularly lamented the lack of elbow room! However, Rob noted in his RVshare listing: “The bathroom is a smaller space that will take some getting used to on long journeys,” so we knew what we were getting into.
Rob provided us with cooking utensils which was great. In fact, this is something that I investigated from the start. Before making the reservation, I asked through the RVshare online message portal about what kind of kitchen items are included. Rob was kind enough to take a photo of the merchandise – everything from a frying pan and measuring cups to a can opener and spatula – so I would know what we would have on this trip.
He also let us know that bedding, towels, tea towels and cutlery were stored in the motorhome, but no cups, plates or bowls. So we picked up disposable items to bring with us for our meals.
Tips for renting a motorhome from RVshare
Keep the lines of communication open
I think this rental went well as I asked about the vehicle and the rental process before and during our trip. Likewise, Rob asked us in advance for our route – if we would be staying primarily in RV campgrounds or boondocking. Rob also checked in with us halfway through the trip, just to see how it went. I appreciated being able to contact Rob anytime with any concerns.
If you are new to a motorhome, ask for advice
I am thankful that my husband is an experienced RV owner who knows how to empty and fill the water and waste tanks and can fix mechanical issues along the way. But if you don’t quite feel comfortable driving a motorhome when you collect your rental, ask the owner for step-by-step directions, who can also share some of the particular RV quirks.
Treat your leased vehicle as if it were your own
I was a little nervous renting a motorhome from a stranger, not least because I didn’t want anything to happen to them on our 1,600 mile road trip! We took care to keep it clean and of course to lock it whenever we left it parked in a place we weren’t.
A successful road trip with RVshare
I’m so glad we were able to recoup most of our planned summer road trip. My husband and I had a blast driving a loop that hit overnight in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, Pinnacles National Park, and Yosemite National Park.
We did some spectacular hikes in the parks, and enjoyed our quiet campsites to come back at the end of busy days of sightseeing (indeed, these national parks were packed!). A few off-the-beaten-path finds were just as nice.
For example, while parked at our campsite outside of Kings Canyon National Park, my husband realized there was a vineyard right across the road. We went to the Delilah Ridge Winery boutique to sit under an awning in the owners’ garden for a tasting and really enjoyed our samples by purchasing two bottles. We gorged ourselves on a plentiful and varied deli board while chatting with owners Stacey and Kirsten, originally from Colorado, where we live. I love chance encounters like that!
I am grateful for the memories created and especially grateful for RVshare RV rental service for saving our summer trip. That said, let’s hope our RV BB doesn’t break down anytime soon.
RVshare is the world’s first and largest peer-to-peer RV rental market. With thousands of satisfied customers and a large inventory ranging from travel trailers to luxury motorhomes, RVshare has the perfect RV for your vacation, tailgate, or temporary accommodation needs.