Renting an RV can be a great way to explore the great outdoors and spend time with friends or family while having the comforts of home with you. If you’re a responsible adult and want to experience the open road and natural wonders of the world with an— what’s holding you back?
If you’re under 25 years old, the answer is likely your age.
At 21 years old, you can finally buy alcohol, tobacco, and many other things that are forbidden to children and even young adults, but are you old enough to rent an RV?
The answer is: maybe, it depends.
It largely hinges on the state you live in and the company you’re renting from. While all states allow you to rent a car at 21, some states have requirements when it comes to renting larger vehicles like large passenger vans, buses, or RVs.
Even if your state allows you to rent at 21— or even 18— that doesn’t mean that a rental company will be willing to let you drive their vehicles. Many companies may have a hard and fast rule that they won’t rent to people under 25, even if they are legally allowed to. This includes peer-to-peer RV rental platforms such as Outdoorsy.
Another common tactic among car and RV rental companies is to charge extra fees to renters under 25. This can come in the form of a daily surcharge, additional insurance requirements, required waivers, prior authorization from the renter, or a combination of those factors.
LEARN THE RV RENTAL BASICS
Is it your first time renting an RV? Learn the basics of what you should do before, during, and after your rental in our first-time renter’s guide.
You might hear that number and think it has to do with the often-stated research saying that the adolescent brain keeps developing until around age 25. This likely has an impact on the decision but is not the direct cause of this age requirement. Rather, it is a financial decision based on crash statistics.
According to the AAA Foundation’s research, the number of car crashes per 100 million miles driven goes down consistently with age up until the 70-79 year old range. Drivers between 16 and 17 years old are almost twice as likely to be in a car crash as drivers ages 18 to 19. While those first few years do see the most crashes and the biggest improvement, drivers between ages 25 and 29 are far less likely to get into a crash than drivers under the age of 25.
Preventing younger drivers from renting their RVs just means that companies are less likely to have to repair one of their vehicles, or worse, risk being found responsible for a crash that injures or kills a renter.
To offset the added risk they take renting to a young driver, liability fees and added insurance prices are typically applied when companies rent to drivers under 25.
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Assuming you’re 25 and older or have taken the necessary steps to rent an RV younger, what other requirements are there?
Typically, there’s one main requirement: a valid driver’s license.
You will also have to check your state laws to see if you need a special driver’s license to drive a motorhome. In most states, your ordinary driver’s license will allow you to drive a motorhome, but some require additional licensing depending on the size of the RV you want to drive.
Some states require an endorsement or a different class of personal driver’s license for driving vehicles weighing over 26,000 pounds or measuring over 40 feet long, and some states will require you to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL) for vehicles that big. If you’re renting a trailer, camper van, or even a Class C motorhome, you won’t have to worry about this. However, if you want to drive some of the biggest and best motorhomes money can rent, you might want to check licensing requirements in your state, even if you are 25 or over.
Rental insurance for your RV may also be on your mind.
Luckily, many rental companies and peer-to-peer platforms like Outdoorsy offer comprehensive policies for renters. Outdoorsy says this on their website:
Generally, no. We offer industry-leading insurance for the rental period in part because your personal insurance will almost never cover you for an RV rental.
However, if you are renting a trailer or camper, you’ll need to be sure that the tow vehicle is insured. Most states require some form of minimum liability insurance for any vehicle on the road.
INSURE YOUR RV
Are you an RV owner looking to make money off of your rig when you’re not exploring? Learn more about Roamly— insurance coverage for owners who want to rent out their RV.
Did you know you could save an average of 35% compared to other insurance companies by getting a comprehensive plan with Roamly? This insurance company was created by passionate RV owners,so they know exactly the type of coverage you need for your RV. No more paying for expensive features you don’t need.
Additionally, Roamly doesn’t stop covering your RV if you decide you want to rent it out on peer-to-peer networks like Outdoorsy. That means you can make extra money when you’re not using your RV.