Guide to RV trailers

Should one of these be your next hotel room? Find your camper style

airstream rental

Photo by Thomas J. Story

Airstream

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.

More: Explore the coast in an Airstream

tiny trailer

Teardrop

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.

VW bus

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.

rv travel

RV

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.

pop-up tent trailer

Pop-up trailer

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): TowTally Camping in Northern California, Camper & Trailer Outlet in Southern California, Adventure Camper in Colorado and Wyoming, and RV Northwest in Oregon. Find more at RVRentalsOfAmerica.com.

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