The amount of awe-inspiring locations that you can reach within a few hours from Phoenix is insane — Joshua Tree, Saguaro National Park, The Grand Canyon… the list goes on!
Stretches of easy-coasting highway, soaring mountain peaks, and a massive desert easily make Arizona one of the best places in the US for a road trip.
And what is the best way to road trip the land of the free? On an RV, obvious-ly! Renting one will give you the luxury of your own time, being able to stop where you feel like and sleep anywhere you want — it’s the best way of immersing yourself in this natural scenery.
But if you’ve never driven one before, it can seem a bit daunting at first. Don’t worry, though, we’re here to help you out.
In this guide, we’ve gathered all the tips and tricks for RV rentals in Phoenix. We’ll run you through the best way of getting your hands on one, how much it’s going to cost, and all the nice places you can take it to.
Read on, fellow friends!
Where to Rent an RV in Phoenix
If you’re craving adventure, an RV road trip might just be what you need. But knowing where to start and how to work out all the details can be tough — especially if you’ve never done anything like it before.
How do you even find one in the first place? RV dealers can be found all over the States, but the thing is: they don’t have the best reputation. The paperwork, the hidden costs, the overly-complicated jargon… it’s a pain in the ass.
And that’s enough to put you off your search for a rental RV in Phoenix. Before you even began! But it doesn’t have to be such a painful process. Hold tight, amigos, ’cause today we’re going to change your life.
Outdoorsy – Airbnb for Vanlifers
Let us introduce you to Outdoorsy and the wonderful world of Airbnb for RV-lovers.
Usually, the physical spots where you can get rental RVs in Phoenix are nothing but trouble. Good thing we have the internet, though!
At Outdoorsy, you’ll be greeted by a well-designed site with all the options you could wish for. They cut out the middleman, which means you’ll be renting an RV directly from their individual owners.
And why is that so important? Because it’s a real person who loves their RV and takes good care of it, which means they’ll probably want you to do the same and have an awesome time in it!
The site is straightforward, just like searching for a flat on Airbnb. You just enter the dates, your budget, and your location. A little scrolling and swiping and you’re ready to go.
Once you’ve found an RV that fits the bill, you can read through previous reviews to get an understanding of the RV. You can also get in contact with the owner with any questions, plus you can keep in touch while you’re on the road in case anything comes up.
If you’re looking for RV rentals in Phoenix, Outdoorsy is definitely worth your time. The prices are usually lower when compared to heading straight to a dealership — plus, you get to rent somebody’s much-loved holiday home. It’s a win-win!
The Perfect RV for Adventure
For the ultimate adventure on the open road, this Phoenix Rental RV ticks a lot of boxes. Clean and well looked-after, there’s enough room inside to sleep up to six people comfortably. It’s a great choice for a family, but you could also use it as a couple; there’s plenty of space for you both. Even though there’s a lot of room, it’s compact enough to manoeuvre around the boondocks and on smaller roads. Inside, the modern interiors come with a queen-sized bed, a fully equipped kitchen, plenty of storage, and even an entertainment system. Perfect for making memories together on the road.
- Fully equipped kitchen
- Easy to manoeuvre
- Top pick for first-timers
RVshare – More of the Excellent Same
Alright, Outdoorsy is a good place to start, but there’s another site you can use to search for Phoenix Rental RVs. With a similar service and a wide range of sick rides, RVshare is another great website for your research.
There’s not a huge amount of difference between them: both are reliable and connect you directly with private owners and their RVs. People who actually care about your trip and your enjoyment — unlike those pesky dealers!
Once again, all you have to do is enter your budget, dates, and location. Sift through the RVs on offer and off you go.
One of the first things you might notice when searching is that RVshare does have fewer listings on offer. That’s not to say that the selection is limited — just that Outdoorsy has a much wider selection.
But RVshare does take the win on a very important matter: the drop-off service. Any RV you like, no matter where in the States it might be, can be delivered to your door by the click of a button.
They also have a pick-up service, which means you can road trip across the country and not worry about driving back just to return it!
Their team handles all the behind-the-scenes, so you don’t have to worry about it. You might find it in a few Outdoorsy listings, but it’s at the discretion of the owner, who would have to provide the services themselves. RVshare makes it a standard for every RV listed.
Both sites are reliable choices for rental RVs in Phoenix, and each will have its own unique selection of vehicles. We recommend a quick look through both, but if you just want to go from A to B, definitely check RVshare first!
Top Places to Go With an RV Near Phoenix
By now, you’re probably set on where you can find your RV rental in Phoenix. With that out of the way, it’s time for some road trip inspo!
There are a lot of cool places you can visit in Phoenix, but the secret here lies in the number of parks and forests at easy reach. You could easily take a trip out every weekend and find something new every time…
From world-famous locations to more off-the-beaten-path hideaways, there’s a new adventure waiting for everyone who loves nature as much as jamming out on the highway. We’re starting with some glorious NPs.
Best National Parks Near Phoenix
Those who live in Phoenix are some pretty lucky bastards. There’s a ton of awesome nature to hit up — and all so close by, too. If you haven’t tried out an RV road trip in Arizona before, this is your time to do it!
Wide-stretching desert landscapes, vast national parks and even towering alpine mountains — don’t get overwhelmed just yet.
Here are some of our favorite spots for RV road trips from Phoenix:
Located just west of Tucson, Saguaro National Park is less than a two-hour drive from Phoenix and is ideal for a first-time RV trip. It’s an impressive 92,000-acre portion of the Sonoran desert and is home to its namesake cacti — the largest in the States.
It’s separated into two districts: the TMD in the west, with its huge forests of saguaro cactus; and the RMD to the east, where you’ll find bears and cougars in the amazing sky island. Breathtaking in every sense of the word! RV camping in the park itself is not possible, but there are numerous campsites around the area.
Gila National Forest is set around a five-hour drive from Phoenix, over the state border in New Mexico. It’s a lesser-known slice of scenery comprising 3.3 million acres of forested hills and magical mountains. Because of the rugged terrain, much of the forest is practically untouched, so you can enjoy the hot springs and deep canyons in peace. You’ll find 20 campsites suitable for RV camping in the area.
If you’re craving complete isolation from the city streets and human life, this is the perfect destination for your Phoenix road trip. Drive less than five hours from Phoenix and you’ll find yourself in one of California’s most charming state parks. It’s the largest in the state and a place to discover a world of total and utter bliss. Desert terrain, dramatic badlands, and deep canyons… if this is your kind of thing, you can book one of the many campsites available and let all this beauty sink in.
Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua Tree is one of the most iconic national parks in the US. It’s famously known for the spectral, twisting forms of the Joshua trees and it’s one of those places that you should visit at least once in your life.
Wanna know the best part about it? It’s only a 3.5-hour drive from Phoenix! And the drive couldn’t be easier, all you need to do is cruise straight along route 10 all the way from the city to the park.
You can even break it up with a stop at Kofa National Wildlife Refuge, about halfway through. It boasts its very own beautiful landscape and is a destination in itself — you can even spend the night and go on little hikes.
Once you arrive at Joshua Tree, stretch your legs and indulge in its caucus-strewn lands. The park is made up of two distinct ecosystems — the Mojave and the Colorado Deserts. The stark landscape here is littered with harsh rocky formations and strange-looking plant life, a sight you must witness!
Camping in the Joshua Tree is a pretty straightforward affair, with the choice of one of nine campsites. You can select the type of terrain that better suits your style — from rocky outcrops to more sheltered sites.
You might not always be able to find electric hookups, but with scenery as beautiful as this, who needs to charge their phone anyway? Go off-grid and try one of the many hiking trails and rock climbing courses in the park.
THE Grand Canyon
Alright, fellas, let’s talk about the ultimate road trip destination. Grand Canyon National Park is only around a three-hour drive from Phoenix, but we’ve got some ideas for you to break this journey up and get even more out of it.
We recommend heading out of the city on Route 87 — this way, you can make your first stop off at the rugged beauty of Tonto National Forest. RV camping is available here if you want to stay the night, or you can opt to get back on the road and cruise to your next stop.
As you drive past the magnificent mountains, you’ll catch a glimpse of Mazatzal Peak before you arrive at the lush and verdant lands of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest. Home to over 400 species of wildlife, this is a very refreshing place to take a break if you’re traveling during summer.
From Apache-Sitgreaves, you can drive a little more and take a break in Flagstaff to discover this famous town. Close by, the Walnut Canyon is an easy pitstop and you can even visit the ruins of Sinagua cliff dwellings.
And then, friends, it’s onwards to the world-famous Grand Canyon itself. Yes, you’ve made it all the way here and you deserve it!
It’s worth noting that it might not be easy to rock up at the park with your RV. Campsites are usually booked weeks, or even months, in advance. This will require you to plan in advance, but even if you don’t, you’re still likely to find somewhere to stay the night (just maybe not at the best ones).
You have a selection of RV campsites that are close enough to the entrance, but far enough that you can usually find a space to camp on the spot. We recommend calling ahead anyway, just to make sure.
Once you park it up, it’s time to get started with your Grand Canyon itinerary and enjoy the magnificence of this natural world wonder.
Best Places to Visit in the RV Rental Phoenix Area Mega-Map
Want to get your head around all these awesome destinations? Click the map below for some Google Maps magic, and you can start mentally planning your RV wanderings!
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Planning Your RV Rental Phoenix RV Road Trip – Tips and Advice
It’s always a good idea to get to grips with how much a trip is going to cost. Rental RVs in Phoenix don’t need to cost the earth, and you’re going to have options no matter how small your budget is.
You may also want a few tips and tricks for driving your new ride — and catch up on the laws of the road while you’re at it!
Planning a Trip Budget: Prices for RV rental Phoenix’s RV Rentals, Parks, and Campsites
The price of renting an RV in Phoenix can seem confusing at first. Besides the varying price tags that come with different makes and models, there are extra factors that come into play here. Just think of it like renting a car, booking a plane ticket, or even a hotel room for the night.
And just like all those things, the time of the year will affect how much you have to pay. Simply put, you can expect higher prices in the height of summer. If budget is an issue, consider renting in Autumn — it’s a beautiful time to enjoy national parks and it’s usually way cheaper!
Another factor that comes into play is the size and age of the RV — the bigger the RV and the newer the model, the more you’ll have to fork out.
To show you a little more on how much you should expect to budget for your trip, here’s some more in-depth pricing:
|Range||RV Rental (per day)||Campsite/Park (per night)||Food and Drink for One (per day)|
|Budget Holidayer||$68-$105 (Trailers to smaller Class Cs/Bs)||$0-$20||$5-15|
|Treat Yo’Self||$120-$260 (Class Cs/Bs to smaller Class As)||$20-$35||$20-45|
|Luxury Living||$240-430 (Class As and luxury RVs)||$40-60||$50+|
And don’t forget to factor rental insurance into your budget either! It may be expensive, however, not all insurance companies are created equal.
RentalCover.com has got your back. Their policies include all the common damages and come out cheaper than what you’ll get at the rental desk
RV Packing List
Packing for a road trip is something you should take very seriously. Especially when an RV is added into the mix!
Yours is probably going to come equipped with a lot of goodies that are helpful on the road, but there are a few other items we think are essential for any RV trip you plan to take.
And as an added bonus, here’s some excellent backpacking gear that our Broke Backpacker team adore. Suited for any trip… with or without wheels!
First Aid Kit
Even if you don’t plan on doing anything too extreme on your trip, you never know what could happen. Cuts, bruises, scrapes, third-degree sunburn: a first aid kit will be able to handle most of these minor situations.
Active Roots Water Bottle
Always travel with a water bottle! They save you money and reduce your plastic footprint on our planet. AR bottles are tough, lightweight and insulted. That way, you can enjoy a cold, hot, or room temp beverage no matter where you are on the planet!
Petzl Actik Core Headlamp
Every traveller should have a head torch! A decent head torch could save your life. When you’re camping, RVing, or just heading into the woods, a top-quality headlamp is a MUST. The Petzl Actik Core is an awesome piece of kit because it’s USB chargeable—batteries begone!
Active Roots Microfibre Towel
I dunno what to tell you—microfibre towels are the tits! They’re so compact, they dry lighting fast, and they’re just a real multi-purpose tool. Never go adventuring—on or off-world—without one!
Active Roots Camping Hammock
Hammocks are always practical: they’re lightweight, cheap, strong, sexy (chicks dig hammocks), and allow you to pitch up for the night pretty much anywhere. The Active Roots Camping Hammock is one of the best on the market and most importantly… it’s cheap!
Hanging Toiletry Bag
Oh man, hanging toiletry bags are a ridiculously efficient bit of gear for any travels. They keep all your unmentionables organised and they can be used anywhere—just hang it up and you’re good to go! When you start living the RV-life, you’ll never look back on the hanging toiletries game.
Tips for Renting an RV in RV Rental Phoenix
As you might have figured already, getting behind the wheel of an RV is a bit different than cruising around in a compact car. If you’ve never done it before (or if you’re feeling a little rusty), it’s a good idea to drive it around the block so you get used to the feeling.
We’ve put together some useful advice and information about navigating the world of RVs before you head off:
- Get an RV that suits you – Choose your RV wisely: if it’s your first time, don’t get talked into renting some huge truck when you’re only just figuring out how these things work!
- Go at your own pace – Besides risking yourself and others with an accident, rushing to reach a destination is just unnecessary stress. Have a plan, but leave some time for improvisation — enjoy the journey and don’t make it about beating the clock or ticking destinations off!
- Keep away from cities – You might find yourself taking a route through one, but it’s best to avoid cities altogether. Avoid the traffic and draining all your money by sticking to more remote camping locations. Be sure to read up on parking rules if you do have to stay in one!
- Make sure you confirm your booking – Once you have found the RV of your dreams or booked a camping slot in a hot-ticket site, it’s always better to double-check on your bookings. Sometimes the unexpected does happen, and a call might save you a lot of trouble.
- Try and keep to a budget – When you’re on a road trip, it’s easy to go wild and blow your wallet. Draft out a daily budget and stick to it in order to avoid finding yourself out of cash — but save some room for some unplanned epicness as well!
- Watch out for add-ons – It’s easy to miss important information when your excitement gets in the way. Be sure to always read the small print, no matter who you rent an RV from. Ask questions if you must!
- Be a good camper – Different campsites will adhere to their own rules. Make sure you are considerate of other campers also using the campsite; there may be rules about noise after certain times at night, and specific ways to get rid of your waste before you leave the site.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions – Before and after. Note down the owner’s number and give him/her a call in case anything comes up. It could be something as little as not knowing how to switch on the AC, but it will be annoying to get stuck in that position.
Staying Safe in Your Rental RV
You can be master of the road in your tiny little car, but that doesn’t you should have the same confidence driving one of these monsters around…
There are a couple of things you can do to make your trip smoother. One is to key yourself in on how to drive an RV safely. Two is to make sure that it’s insured!
Shoutout from Will – The OG Broke Backpacker: Have fun on your backpacking adventure, but please do consider getting insurance—take it from someone who has racked up tens of thousands of bucks on an insurance claim before, you may need it.
Obviously, your RV is going to need insurance, but make sure your person is insured too! Travelling without insurance could be risky. Presenting The Broke Backpacker’s go-to Insurer—World Nomads!
Getting an estimate from World Nomads is simple—just click the button or image below, fill out the necessary info, and you’re on your way!
Not sold on World Nomads? The check out our roundup of the top insurance providers for travellers and see what floats your boat!
Your Phoenix RV Rental is Waiting!
That’s all there is, guys. We’ve tried our best to give you all the tools and insider information we have. Now it’s your time to use it wisely.
You’re lucky to have this opportunity ahead of you and we really hope you make the most out of it. Road tripping from Phoenix is a blast and a lot of people would die to come and witness these landscapes themselves.
There’s a destination to suit everybody’s taste, in and around Arizona, so pick your spots and hit the road. There’s a high chance you’ll fall in love with the world of caravanning, so hopefully, this trip is just the beginning!
Most of the RV campsites here can be found online and can usually be booked in advance — we recommend you to do so, even if just for a few spots and not the whole trip.
And if you’re still feeling a little unsure about finding an RV rental in Phoenix, just browse through Outdoorsy or RVshare while you have your morning coffee. It’ll spark your imagination and have you book your trip before you even know it…
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