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Working remotely from an RV: Step two: Learn what RV is best by renting

In last week’s article, I outlined a critical first step as you consider working remotely from your RV. That first step was to practice “living small.” By living in just a small portion of your current living arrangement, you can get an idea of what it may mean to work remotely from a van or RV. If you successfully practiced living small and are ready to take the next step, here it is: Rent the kind of camper you think may work best for your remote working situation.

Why renting before you buy is an important step in working remotely from an RV:

  • Less costly. Renting an RV or van requires a significantly less monetary investment than actually buying a rig. Shelling out cash for a van or RV can set you back financially. It’s a cost that you want to avoid until you are absolutely certain that remote working is for you.
  • Test out different vehicles. Renting before you commit to buying an RV means you can try out a variety of campers until you find the one that’s just right for you. You don’t want to purchase a van only to discover that there’s just not enough room for you and your dogs, right? I suggest you plan to rent a few different types of vans or RVs until you find the best one.
  • Learn basic RV tasks: Renting allows you to learn and practice the actual mechanics of living on the road in an RV. You’ll learn how to fill/empty tanks, choose campgrounds and boondocking locations, balance work and down time, along with experiencing a host of other activities that accompany working remotely. You may decide that keeping up with the necessary camper maintenance just isn’t for you. Better to learn that now than after you’ve made an expensive purchase.
  • Find your preferred lifestyle: You may discover that a small van works best for you because when not working you’re outside hiking, sightseeing, and exploring. Perhaps you’ll learn that you prefer cooking on an actual stovetop rather than an open campfire, so your “must-have” list will include some kind of cooktop. Plus, if you’ll be working remotely from an RV, you’ll want to make sure there’s a good space to do so. Only by living the lifestyle will you be able to identify your working, eating, sleeping, and relaxing preferences. It’s much better to learn these things before you make a purchase that may disappoint you.

How to rent a camper

You can use dedicated online sites to find a rental unit that fits your needs as well as your budget. Do your research! Not all rental companies are the same.

Here are a few of the more popular camper rental companies: Outdoorsy, Cruise America, RVshare, RVnGO, and Escape Campervans. There are others, of course. Take your time to research the one that’s best for you.

As you rent

No matter what or how you rent, plan to be deliberate in taking notes. Is the bed too short? Make a note of that. Need a shower on board? Write that down, too. It may help to get a notebook. Label sections with headings like: kitchen, bath, bedroom, etc. When you discover, for example, that you have very little room for Kitty’s litter box, jot your observation down in a section labeled pets. If the foam mattress makes for great sleeping, note that, too.

After renting

Planning to work remotely from an RV is hard work in itself! But you’ll be very glad you tried a rental before making a purchase.

When you return from your rental trial, take time to go back through your notes. They will prove invaluable to you as you take the next step toward working remotely from an RV. (Watch for that next step in an upcoming article.)

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Adriana Saling
5 months ago

I have tried the different websites for rentals and prefer RVnGO. Their pricing and insurance is a lot more transparent, and there are no added fees by the company and the customer service has been better.

Dan
6 months ago

Are there really that many different models to choose from in the rental business? From what I’ve seen you only get what is offered and it’s not very diverse.

Warren G
6 months ago
Reply to  Dan

Quite a bit of variety on owner rental sites like Outdoorsy.

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