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Advice for first-time campervan renters: insights from a seasoned explorer

Embarking on a campervan adventure offers an unparalleled sense of freedom and connection with nature. As a seasoned traveler who has rented campervans countless times from various rental shops across different countries, I understand the thrill and excitement that comes with this unique mode of travel. However, renting a campervan for the first time can be a bit overwhelming without proper guidance. 

In this comprehensive guide, I will share my invaluable experience and insights to help first-time campervan renters make the most out of their adventure.

Research and plan ahead

Before you set off on your campervan escapade, thorough research and planning are essential. Start by identifying your preferred destination, route, and the duration of your trip. Carefully consider the time of year you plan to travel, as it will influence weather conditions, campsite availability, and rental prices.

Choose the right campervan

Selecting the perfect campervan is crucial for a comfortable and enjoyable journey. Determine the number of travelers in your group and ensure the chosen vehicle has adequate sleeping space, seating, and storage capacity. Additionally, consider the amenities you need, such as a kitchenette, bathroom, and heating or cooling systems, depending on the climate you'll be exploring.

Recommended article: Ask the experts: getting advice from rental shop staff

Compare rental shops with

Not all campervan rental companies offer the same quality, equipment and service. Take the time to compare different rental shops, reading reviews from previous customers, and ensuring they have a positive reputation. Opt for a reputable rental company with excellent customer service and well-maintained vehicles to avoid any unwanted surprises during your trip.’s quality score of every rental business can help you decide for an offer. The score is based on customer reviews of previous renters, so it’s a guidance to find a campervan rental shop that other renters had a good experience with.

Familiarize yourself with the campervan

Upon receiving the campervan, take the time to familiarize yourself with its features and functions. Check the vehicle for any existing damages and ensure all safety equipment is present and functional. Ask the rental staff for a thorough walkthrough, including how to operate the amenities and how to deal with common troubleshooting scenarios.

Practice driving and maneuvering

If you're not used to driving large vehicles, practicing beforehand can significantly boost your confidence on the road. Get accustomed to the campervan's dimensions, turning radius, and reversing capabilities. Additionally, be mindful of height restrictions in certain areas to avoid getting stuck or damaging the campervan unintentionally.


Pack smartly and efficiently

Space in a campervan is limited, so pack only the essentials. Create a checklist of necessary items such as clothes, toiletries, cooking utensils, and camping gear. Opt for multi-functional items to save space, and pack strategically to avoid unnecessary clutter during your journey.

Plan your campsites in advance

While spontaneity is part of the adventure, it's prudent to have a general idea of where you'll be camping each night. Book campsites in advance, especially during peak seasons, to secure a spot at your preferred locations. Utilize camping apps or websites (e.g. park4night) to find suitable sites with facilities that suit your needs.

Respect nature and local regulations

As you explore new territories, it's essential to leave no trace and preserve the natural beauty for future generations. Follow the "Leave No Trace" principles, pack out your trash, and be mindful of local rules and regulations regarding camping and parking.

Recommended article: Adventuring responsibly: leave no trace and sustainable practices for equipment rentals

Plan for weather changes

Weather can be unpredictable, especially when traveling to diverse regions. Be prepared for changes in temperature, precipitation, and other weather conditions by packing appropriate clothing and gear. A first aid kit and emergency supplies should also be on your checklist.

Embrace flexibility and enjoy the journey

No matter how much you plan, unexpected situations may arise during your campervan adventure. Embrace flexibility and approach challenges with a positive attitude. Remember, the journey itself is an integral part of the experience. Enjoy the freedom, breathtaking landscapes, and unforgettable moments that campervan travel offers.

Personal advice: prioritize safety and double-check insurance coverage

As someone who has rented campervans numerous times, I can't stress enough how crucial it is to prioritize safety during your journey. Before embarking on your adventure, ensure the campervan is in excellent working condition. Check the tires, brakes, and other essential systems. Familiarize yourself with safety features, such as fire extinguishers.

Equally important is to double-check your insurance coverage. Verify the extent of liability protection, and consider additional options like Collision Damage Waiver and Supplemental Liability Insurance. These precautions will give you peace of mind and safeguard against unexpected expenses in case of accidents or damages.

Remember, investing time in safety and insurance measures ensures a worry-free and enjoyable campervan experience.


Renting a campervan for the first time is a thrilling and memorable experience that will undoubtedly leave you with a profound appreciation for travel and nature. By following this comprehensive guide, compiled from my own experiences of renting campervans in different countries, you can ensure a smoother and more enjoyable adventure. Embrace the road ahead, immerse yourself in the wonders of the great outdoors, and savor every moment of your campervan journey. Happy travels!

About the guest post author:

Hey there, fellow wanderers! I'm Carter, a true-blue kiwi from the stunning lands of New Zealand. You can usually find me cruising around our beautiful country in my trusty campervan, exploring every nook and cranny that Aotearoa has to offer.

Besides my beautiful home, I've roamed through breathtaking landscapes around the world, from the icy wonders of Iceland to the red deserts of Australia. I've racked up countless miles, experiences, and unforgettable memories.

I'm all about embracing the unexpected and following the road less traveled. But, don't worry; I'll also guide you on how to plan like a pro and ensure your campervan journey is nothing short of amazing.

When I get that itch for international adventures, I rent campervans locally wherever I go. Over the time I have rented countless campervans all over the world and have had very mixed experiences. Starting with finding a trustworthy rental company in a foreign country to understanding the local rental ecosystem and how things work locally.

Recently has been a great help with that, granting me the best deals wherever I go. It's like the ultimate camping gear genie!

If you're ready to hit the road, is your ticket to the best camping experiences. Trust me, you won't regret it! Happy camping, fellow adventurers! 🚐✨


Also read:

Why you should rent equipment for your next adventure

Beginners guide to camping and camping equipment

19 simple tips for your winter camping adventure

Mastering campsite etiquette: being a responsible camper

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