If you’ve been on social media at all within the last few years then the van life movement shouldn’t be a surprise to you. It seems like so many people are deciding to embark on a nomadic adventure. This post seems even more appropriate now that the coronavirus has impacted travel and more people are seeking RV’s as a new way to travel. If you’ve been itching to try the van life on for size but aren’t quite ready to sell your house, downsize, quit your job and live out of, well, a van, how about trying it on for size for a weekend? In this post we talk about some of the benefits of renting before going all-in as well as some of the best campervan rental companies out there.
Oh and if you need road trip ideas, start here: 7 Best Long Weekend Camper Van Road Trips in the US.
During our travels we have seen these vans on numerous occasions and they always catch our eye because of the unique, brightly colored artwork on them. If you plan on taking lots of photos and Instagramming about your journey, this might be the perfect vehicle for you based purely on the artist element that the van will add to your pictures. In addition to being photo-op ready, this company is also the largest campervan company in the United States. They currently have 12 locations across the United States and two more in Canada.
Cities you can rent their camper vans in: Vancouver, Calgary, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Denver, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Miami, Atlanta, New York
If you’re flying into Denver, Salt Lake City or Las Vegas and want to take an epic road trip, consider going with Native Campervans. They’ve dubbed each of them The Biggie (a 136” wheelbase Ram Promaster with a high roof), The Smalls (a Ram Promaster City) and The OG van (a Dodge Caravan). One of the things we really like about Native Campervans is that their logo is pretty low-key.
Cities you can rent their camper vans in: Denver, Salt Lake City and Las Vegas.
We recently had some first hand experience with sCAMPer. We took their Van 4 out for a few nights in the Asheville area and we loved it! (You can read more about their company and our adventure here.) They have a fleet of five vans with a soon-to-be sixth van on the way. Some of them, including Vans 3 and 4, are outfitted with a Wayfarer Conversion Kit. Their vehicles are super clean and are fun to be in. They come with all the things you need for an adventure so that you can maximize your adventure. In addition, their customer service is excellent. We accidentally left some clothes in the van and they made sure everything got back to us. Can’t recommend this company enough.
Cities you can rent their camper vans in: Atlanta and Asheville
This isn’t a camper van rental company. In fact, Cruise America RV Rentals doesn’t even rent camper vans. But we put them on our list because what they lack in camper vans, they make up for in locations in North America. In fact, they have 126 locations in the United States, including Alaska, and even have some locations in Canada. The number of locations is nice because, for an additional fee, you can make a one-way trip and leave your camper at a different site than the one you picked it up from. This makes picking up and dropping off a lot easier, especially for those of you who hate to backtrack.
There are four sizes to choose from: a large RV, a standard RV, a compact RV and a truck camper. If you’ve been to any national park in the last few months, chances are you’ve seen these campers. While the logo makes it obvious that you’re renting, the fun you’ll have while using it comes at a fraction of the cost of buying and owning an RV.
Cities you can rent their camper vans in: San Diego
Where are my vintage van fans? I know you’re out there. We’ve both got huge crushes on anything that includes the word Vintage and VW. When we heard about this company we got super excited. Why? Because you can enjoy a VW van without the headache, heartache and hassle of actually owning one. Read: you don’t have to deal with it when it breaks down. You just get to have fun. Sounds like a win-win if you ask us. They’ve got vans going all the way back to the 1960’s.
Cities you can rent their camper vans in: Los Angeles
If you’ve been in a National Park out west in the last couple of years, chances are you’ve seen one of these purple and green vans. Jucy started in New Zealand but has outposts in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and San Francisco. All of their US vans are mini vans. The Trailblazer has a “pop up penthouse” on the top so that you can sleep additional people. The Wavefarer does not.
Cities you can rent their camper vans in: Las Vegas, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Canada, New Zealand, Australia
This company, Outdoorsy, is like the Airbnb for RV’s and camper vans rentals. They have all kinds of rigs. It’s easy to go down the rabbit hole when looking at their site because they have a lot of unique vehicles on their site with tons of pictures. A 1967 blue and white Dodge van with a pop top caught our eye as did a VW van called Cream Puff. A quick search of our own city, Asheville, brought up over 300 vehicles to choose from. Definitely give them a look if you are interested in renting a camper van and you’re not near a major city on the west coast.
Cities you can rent their camper vans in: Asheville, Atlanta, Austin, San Francisco, New York … and that’s just the beginning. You can rent from Outdoorsy pretty much all over the United States and Canada.
7 Camper Van Rental Companies That’ll Give You a Taste of Van Life Recap
So the good thing about wanting to try out van life is that you’ve got options. If there is a downside, it might just be having to return the rig of your dreams after your weekend adventure is up.
Additional Camper Van Resources
Authentic Asheville is a team of two, Caroline Whatley and Erin McGrady. We’re freelance writers, photographers and web designers and are currently accepting new projects.