The iconic RV isn’t widely available to rent, but Airstreams4Rent.com(from $225/3 nights; you provide the tow vehicle) rents 23-footers, with pickup in Phoenix. And Venice, California’s Restoration Destinations(from $300/2 nights) delivers, sets up, and picks up Airstreams throughout the West. If you’re looking to buy, try the 16-foot Bambi Sport model (from $30,000 used), which an SUV can tow.
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This tiny “RV” is so handleable that, in some cases, it can be hitched to a Mini Cooper. Standard design includes a full- or queen-size bed, kitchen, and cabinets, but custom add-ons get as crazy as espresso makers and solar showers. Teardrops range from $3,500 used to $12,500 and up for custom. Buy or rent them at San Diego’s Little Guy Trailers(from $380/week) or Vacations in a Can(from $175/2 nights) in Penngrove, California.
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VW or camper van
Camper vans, including throwback VW buses, are easy to drive, and you can rent standard campers at most RV dealers for about $1,400 a week. Find VW rentals at Vintage Surfari Wagons(from $750/week) in Costa Mesa, California; at California Campers(from $345/3 nights) in Redwood City, California; and at Westfalia Rentals(from $693 U.S./week) in Victoria, B.C., which also serves Vancouver and Seattle.
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Although not as chic as Airstreams, traditional RVs ooze practicality and are far more available to rent. Cruiseamerica.com, ElMonteRV.com, and GoRVing.com are great resources for finding local dealers. Rent a standard RV for about $1,450 per week. Or buy one starting at $8,000 used to as much as $500,000 new.
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These luxury tents fold into trailers (hence the name), giving you the feeling of tent camping with the perks of an RV. One of our favorite classic styles, the Coleman pictured here, is no longer manufactured but is still available used from some RV dealers; it can be set up in 10 minutes and sleep 4 to 10. The Jayco Jay Series Sport camping trailer (from $6,000) sets up in less than 10 minutes and sleeps 5 to 8. Many RV dealers carry pop-ups to buy (from $3,000 used & from $5,000 new), and these spots around the West rent them (from $325/week):RVRentalsOfAmerica.com, TowTally Camping in Northern California, Camper & Trailer Outlet in Southern California, Adventure Camper in Colorado and Wyoming, and RV Northwest in Oregon.
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Whether perched on a coastal campsite or parked in your backyard as a high-design guest cottage, the Hut will have neighbors gawking. In design, it recalls the work of Charles and Ray Eames; in price tag, the Tesla. The Carpinteria, California–based company uses a Joubert Okoume marine plywood exterior, Baltic birch interior, and a waterproof cotton canvas canopy. Interior lighting, outlets, USB ports, and a full-size futon come standard. huttehut.com; from $63,900; sleeps 2.
Tech specs: A battery that charges while you drive or through solar power, LED lights, USB ports
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With its sleek design and birch interior paired with a heavy-duty axle and off-road tires, the Canyonland Teardrop by Boulder-based Colorado Teardrops offers cozy shelter for the rugged outdoors. The solar-power package includes a 65-watt solar panel that powers the hatchback kitchen galley LED lights, interior cabin lights, and vent fan. From $10,700, solar upgrade $1,100; sleeps 2; coloradoteardropcamper.com.
Rent it: The Basecamp Teardrop (pictured) is available in the Boulder area and includes a queen-size memory foam mattress and an ice cooler, water tank, and camp stove for the galley kitchen. $83/day.
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The Cricket gives you NASA-inspired design with integrated plumbing and electrical and plenty of storage. The standard pop-top comes with space for a queen bed, interior sink, water heater, exterior shower, and battery power to keep you off the grid for up to five days. The new sport edition offers higher ground clearance and a roof rack. crickettrailer.com; from $21,700; sleeps 2 adults, 2 kids.
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The HC1 trailer by Los Angeles–based Happier Camper is built of durable and ultralightweight fiberglass. The interior’s modular cube system allows you to configure your own space; customizations include a kitchenette with sink, stove, and refrigerator. From $15,000; sleeps 3–5; happier camper.com.
Rent it: Available in the Los Angeles area. $125/day.
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Dub Box USA
Remember those VW camper vans so ubiquitous in the 1960s and ’70s? Oregon-based Dub Box USA’s trailer design pays homage to those homely, winning vehicles and adds modern conveniences. The fiberglass-mold trailer comes with a pop-top; a full-size convertible couch; a kitchenette with a two-burner stove, refrigerator, and hot/cold faucet; and an outdoor shower. Options include berths for children, solar panels, and heating. Flooring, paint, fabric, and cabinet finish can be customized. dub-box-usa.com; from $22,000; sleeps 2 adults, 2 kids.
15 of 15Courtesy of Airstream Adventures Northwest
Airstream Adventures Northwest
If Airstreams are your thing and you're ready to take the plunge and buy one, check out West-based Airstream Adventures Northwest for the largest inventory in the country.