“I’m so jealous. You are living my dream.”
We must have heard that sentiment at least 100 times as we traveled across the country over the last nine months. And, yes, we feel grateful that we took the leap late last fall and bought a 2017 Thor Gemini at Camping World in the Spokane Valley.
But you don’t have to buy -- if you’re thinking about jumping into the RV lifestyle, we highly recommend renting first. Whether it’s a point-to-point trip, or a quick weekend getaway, there’s something that should match up with everyone’s desire to live the RV dream.
Just note that it’s best to get those reservations dialed in as soon as possible with the busy summer season approaching.
Here are some of the top rental options in the Pacific Northwest:
We love Seattle-based Peace Vans, which specializes in vintage VWs. Not only do you get to drive a retro-cool rig, the Peace Vans team sends its customers down the road with everything you need, including a Coleman stove for cookouts.
Another Northwest company offering van and RV rentals is Road Trip Oregon in Portland. It’s perfectly situated for Spokane residents who want to take a trip to the Oregon Coast in an RV, as we did last year.
CanaDream offers a variety of vehicles at its various locations, from Class B vans to big rigs. We drove a roomy Class C last spring during a hot springs tour of British Columbia, and really appreciated the comfy cabin. The only issue turned out to be the sky-high prices for fuel up north of the border. Still, in the end, it was cheaper than staying at resorts and hotels, and offered the opportunity to hang out in beautiful outdoors locations.
Outdoorsy is the RV equivalent of Airbnb, allowing owners to rent out their vehicles to complete strangers knowing that the organization is covering insurance for both parties. That means consumers have a vast selection of makes and models, ranging from bare-bones to ultra-fancy, and everything in between. Spending $200 a night for a deluxe Sprinter van might sound like a lot... unless you consider that could accommodate a big family and the beloved doggy, too. RVshare offers a similar service.
We spotted a whole bunch of Escape Vans around the country, especially at national parks. At Yellowstone, we visited with a couple of Aussies who picked up the beautifully painted vehicle in Seattle and were planning on dropping it off in Los Angeles before flying home. They were loving the freedom it allowed to explore out-of-the-way places.
The same point-to-point options are available for Cruise America, which has RV rental operations in the Spokane Valley and North Idaho. And Eastside RV Rentals in Spokane also offers a number of options for regional road-tripping.
Iceland by RV?
We’ve been talking about our next big adventure -- why not explore Iceland in an RV? We have several friends who’ve toured the spectacular island nation -- including former Spokane residents Ted Barnwell, Virginia de Leon, and their children Zane and Zola. So far, we’ve found a few rental companies that sound promising, including KuKu Campers, Campervan Iceland and Snail Motorhome Rental.
This week’s Going Mobile question
Have you traveled around Iceland in an RV? Email us your story at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to share your advice.