Yes, You Can Rent a Camper Van: 10 Ways to Escape the House This Summer

Summer is officially here, and it’s time to break out of the monotony of four walls and catch that cool breeze on an open road. One exhilarating way to accomplish that is with a camper van. Whether you are planning a trip to one of the many wondrous national parks in America, an epic cross-country tour, or just a weekend in the nearby forests or hills, these camper van rental companies may help you get out of the house and out on the road.

VanCraft

Pickup Location: Oceanside, CA

Started by Nathan Doody and Derek Mason in San Diego, California, VanCraft offers an all-inclusive package for its long- and short-wheelbase Sprinter camper van rental options. Both are fully self-sustaining on solar power alone; the long-wheelbase model sleeps up to six people while the short-wheelbase sleeps four. The rental package includes unlimited miles, cookware, a bedding kit, camping gear (including camp chairs, outdoor rug, shovel, shower mat, and first-aid kit), and, for cooler weather, sleeping bags are available upon request. A roof-top tent is also available. Depending on the camper van size and the duration of your trip, there are four pricing brackets with rates ranging from $159 to $199 per night.

Outdoorsy

Pickup Location: Nationwide

Founded in 2014 by Jeff Cavins and Jennifer Young, Outdoorsy is known as the “Airbnb of RV rentals,” offering 11 camper types in two primary categories: towable and drivable. This peer-to-peer service has established an expansive marketplace that allows you to rent camper vans, trailers, fifth wheels, and motorhomes from nearly anywhere United States. One advantage of Outdoorsy is that some rentals give a discount for weekly and monthly rentals. A moderately equipped camper van with a rooftop tent, such as this humble 2016 Ford Transit Connect, can go for as low as $90 per night. Digging through Outdoorsy’s camper van listings, we found some interesting options, including a 2019 Hymer Aktiv 1.0 Loft, a 2015 Winnebago Travato 59G, and a 2019 Winnebago Revel Sprinter 4×4.

Escape Campervans

Pickup Location: Select cities in the U.S. and Canada

Launched in 2009 by New Zealander and surfer Rob Mewton, Escape Campervans boasts an inventory of over 600 vans, each of which is individually hand-painted by local artists. Three of Escape’s van-based models include the “Big Sur” (Ford Transit 350), “Mavericks” (Ford E-150), and “Santa Cruz” (Ford Transit Connect). The Big Sur camper van can sleep up to five people, features a convertible queen bed, kitchenette with pull-out stove and refrigerator, and an optional rooftop sleeper. Rates vary based on destination and duration; a 14-day rental of the Big Sur van from Los Angeles to Seattle, Washington, has a daily rate of $95.

The Camper Cartel

Pickup Location: Topanga, CA

On the more premium end of things, The Camper Cartel rents out two Ford Transit camper vans dressed up and fully equipped with the essentials for life on the road. The two camper vans currently offered are the “California Classic,” with a rate of $350 per day, and the “Topanga Tourister,” at $275 per day. Going rates are slightly higher in the June-through-October season, and there is a three-day rental minimum. These vans convey luxe and rugged personalities, have beautifully finished interiors, and can sleep two people comfortably. Both are solar-equipped, have a full set of camping gear, and, best of all, unlimited miles. The Camper Cartel also donates one percent of the proceeds of each trip to charity.

Native Campervans

Pickup Location: Denver, Salt Lake City, and Las Vegas

With every rental, Native Campervans includes 100 free miles per night, standard insurance coverage, and you can add additional drivers to your booking free of charge. Kitchen equipment, camping furniture, and a bedding kit are also covered.  Native Campervans shows its fun side with the nicknames of its four-van lineup, all hip-hop-inspired; our favorite is “The OG” (Original Gangster). The OG is a 2015 Dodge Grand Caravan that sleeps two and is the most affordable of the rental options. Do note, however, that there is a three-night minimum, a $60 cleaning fee, a $300 reservation fee (later credited to your balance), and a $1,000 security deposit is required.

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