Motorhome holidays – discover the USA and Canada in a real SUV
Ah, the open road, thousands of miles of tarmac stretching out in front of you from one side of the continent to the other, and everything you need packed in the back of your very own motorhome – it’s road trip time! Motorhome holidays are the best way to see the ‘real’ America and Canada. In fact, it’s such a cool thing to do that Americans do it too. Self-drive motorhome holidays in the USA are a great way to explore all those little off-the-beaten-track towns and the fabulous countryside, meet real Americans, and stop off at roadside diners where the piles of pancakes are truly epic.
Here’s what you need to know about motorhome hire in the USA and Canada, with a few tips on where to go.
A ‘mini-Winnie’ or a full-on touring bus?
Motorhome hire in America is practically a religion. The pioneer spirit is still strong, only today instead of covered wagons and a team of mules, you’ve got a home on wheels powered by a Chevy V8 short block. While you may have a bit more luxury than those original ‘Stampeders’, the spirit of the open road and the desire to look beyond the next horizon is still a powerful motive for exploration. However, instead of circling the wagons at the end of the day, with motorhome hire in the USA and Canada, you simply pull into a park, hook up the electric, and settle in for the night. Let’s take a quick look at the kind of thing you can expect when you hire a motorhome:
- Detroit muscle – if you’re hauling several tons of RV around the USA, you need something under the ‘hood’ that’s man enough for the job. Even the smallest 2/3-berth RVs have a V8 engine growling away, powerful enough to drag you up one side of the Rockies and back down the other, or across the wide-open plains of Kansas. They’re thirsty, though, so expect to make quite a few petrol (or ‘gas’) stops along the way.
- Auto, not ‘stick shift’ – the vast majority of RVs are automatic, so you’re not forever changing up and down through the gears. That makes driving them much easier and less tiring, which is important because you’re going to be doing a lot of driving!
- Keeping you cool – Larger RVs are fully air conditioned, which if you’re travelling through the Nevada Desert, the dusty roads of New Mexico, or going wild in the Mojave, you are definitely going to need. A trip to Death Valley is much nicer when you can step back inside a nice, cool RV after you’ve finished sweating outside.
- All mod-cons – RVs literally are a ‘house on wheels’. Even in a small 2/3-berth version, you’ll have cooking facilities, a toilet, a shower, a microwave, stove, and even a fridge. Level up to a monster V12 7-berth leviathan and you’ll get all of that plus a bit more. A three-ring hob makes cooking a Sunday roast on the go a real option, plus you get queen-sized beds to stretch out on at the end of the day.
Never driven a motorhome before?
Wow, they’re big. Seriously. If you think a seven-seater SUV’s a handful, you wait until you step into one of these beasts! Don’t worry, though, because they’re surprisingly easy to drive (and US roads are very wide). You’ll also get a full ‘orientation’ when you pick up your motorhome, and you’ll even get a manual. Don’t read it while you’re driving though…
Right then. We’re off!
But where? Which way? North America is a big place. If you decide to add in a hop over to Canada on your self-drive motorhome holidays, then it gets even bigger. Here’s a few suggestions:
- Route 66 – You can’t book motorhome holidays in the USA without at least hopping onto the 66 at least once. Known as the Will Rogers Highway, the Mother Road, or, rather quaintly, the ‘Main Street of America’, the 66 runs from Chicago to California, right through the centre of the country. Actually, Route 66 doesn’t technically exist anymore and is now made up of a series of segments of the interstate highway system, but you’ll still see plenty of signs to keep you on the right road. From Chicago to St Louis, Springfield (no, not that one…) to Tulsa and Oklahoma City, you’re on the ultimate journey through the beating heart of America. Journey’s end will take you past the Grand Canyon and into Las Vegas, and finishing off in California’s southern tip and Los Angeles. This is definitely a trip where you’ll need to share the driving, as the distances involved are colossal (you’ll suddenly realise just how big the USA actually is).
- The Pacific Highway – from the California border with Oregon and all the way down to Orange County, California, the Pacific Highway is a truly awesome road trip to base your motorhome hire USA trip around. It’ll take you along some fabulous coastal roads and through two of the biggest tourist hot-spots on the West Coast (San Francisco and LA). Along the way, you’ll spot whales migrating off the coast of California, stop at some of the best surfing beaches in the world, and catch some fabulous sunsets every single day.
- The Lobster Trail Downeast Maine – Coastal Route 1 takes you along the glorious eastern coast of the USA, a road trip that’s often overlooked in favour of Route 66 and the Pacific Highway. But if you want to see New England in the fall, or taste lobster fresh from Long Island Sound, this is the trip to do.
- Blue Ridge Parkway, The Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina – we’re heading south, y’all, for a 469 drive that takes in some of the best National Parkland in the USA. Start at Front Royal in Virginia and then just keep climbing up through the mountains for some of the best camping and hiking trails on the entire continent.
Motorhome hire in the USA is a great way to see America at its rawest and most authentic. Dodge the theme parks and find your own adventure by firing up a real SUV, complete with its own kitchenette, shower, and satellite TV.
Get your motor running and head out on the highway by picking out which motorhome will be partnering you on your adventure, with our selection of RV’s below.
C19 RV Motorhome
C19 Sleeps: 2 adults and 1 child.
Length: 20-21ft (6.1-6.4m)
Ford V8 engine, automatic transmission, cruise control, power steering and ABS brakes. AM/FM stereo sound system, air-conditioning.
Kitchen and bathroom: washbasin, shower, toilet, water heater, heater, kitchen sink, stove, microwave and fridge. Queen-size cab-over bed, living room couch.
Call to book:0203 668 8011
C25 RV Motorhome
C25 Sleeps: 3 adults and 2 children
Length: 24-25ft (7.3-7.6m)
Ford V8 engine, automatic transmission, cruise control, power steering and ABS brakes. AM/FM stereo sound system with CD player, air-conditioning. Kitchen and bathroom: washbasin, shower, toilet, water heater, heater, kitchen sink, 3 cooker burners, microwave and fridge with freezer compartment.
Queen-size cab-over bed, permanent queen-size bed in rear of vehicle and dinette bed/couch.
Call to book:0203 668 8011
C30 RV Motorhome
C30 Sleeps: 4 adults and 3 children
Length: 29-30ft (8.8-9.1m)
Ford V10 engine, automatic transmission, cruise control, power steering and ABS brakes. AM/FM stereo sound system with CD player, air-conditioning throughout vehicle. Kitchen and bathroom: washbasin, shower, toilet, water heater, heater, kitchen sink, 3 cooker burners, microwave and fridge with freezer compartment.
Queen-size cab-over bed, queen-size bed in rear of vehicle, dinette bed, and pull-out living room couch.
Call to book:0203 668 8011
1. Driver Requirements
RVs are available if you are at least 21 years of age and hold a valid driver’s licence. There is no charge for an additional driver. However, they must sign the rental contract.
2. Security Deposits
You are required to leave a credit card deposit of $500 (US$/CA$) at the time of pick-up (for payment by any other method the deposit amount will be $1,000). The deposit needs to be guaranteed with an authorisation on a credit card. This deposit is automatically released upon completion of the return contract, provided the vehicle is returned clean inside, undamaged and on time.
3. Pick up/Drop off
Pick-up time is from 1.00pm onwards – guests must call the rental centre on the morning of their departure day to confirm pick-up time. There is no refund available for late pick-up or early return of the vehicle. Unless agreed by prior arrangement with the rental office, clients will be charged a minimum penalty of US$25/CA$30 per hour for any returns after 11.00am on the day of return.
You can pick up your vehicle from destinations across North America. At the end of your holiday, you can either take your vehicle back to where you picked it up or, if you requested a one-way rental, you can leave it at a different destination.
You are responsible for maintenance whilst travelling (coolant, oil, tyre pressure), as well as reporting mechanical failures.
5. Vehicle Support
You are ensured peace of mind with a dedicated roadside assistance service, should you break down.
6. Familiarisation & Planning
When you pick up your motorhome you will receive a full orientation of the vehicle, and will be shown your maintenance and usage responsibilities.
Orientation consists of a video introducing the concepts of motorhome use, as well as a walk around the motorhome with a qualified instructor.
Operator manuals are provided.
You can request a one-way rental at the time of booking, one-way drop-off fees are payable locally and are subject to change. Please call for current fees applicable.