Larger models have more elbow room, more beds, and more storage space. They also are a little trickier to drive and park. We recommend getting the smallest vehicle that will comfortably accommodate your group. Bigger is not necessarily better.
We use a variety of vehicles from different suppliers to accommodate different situations, there are a lot of factors in choosing the best RV rental for your vacation scenario. The information below is representative of typical vehicles in each class and will probably not be exactly what you receive.
The Class C motorhome is the most popular rental RV for many good reasons. Most are built on a Ford E-Series chassis. You’ve probably driven one of these trucks before. Besides the ubiquitous “15-passenger van”, they are also the foundation for delivery trucks, airport shuttle buses, small moving vans, and ambulances. If you are comfortable driving a full-size SUV or pickup truck, it’s not a very big step up to a Class C motorhome.
Sleeps from 2-5 in 3 Beds
Our favorite model for couples or small families is a Class C in the 21-25 foot range. These compact rigs are small enough to allow access to the cozy, uncrowded campgrounds we prefer, yet they have the same basic amenities as the larger models. The tradeoff is a little less storage and a master bed situated in a corner with walls surrounding the head and both sides of the bed. You have to climb in over the foot of the bed, and changing sheets can be a chore. Unless you have limited mobility, though, the extremely efficient use of space compared to a walk-around bed makes it a worthwhile compromise.
The relatively short wheelbase simplifies maneuvering in tight spaces. Sleeps from 2 to 5 in 3 beds: the master bed at the back, the big loft bed over the cab, and a convertible dinette bed, usually best suited for under 6-footers.
Sleeps 4-7 in 3-4 Beds
If you have 5 or more passengers, you’ll want the additional sofa-bed offered by these longer units. It also has a “real” walk-around bed in the full-width rear bedroom. Because of its length, some smaller campgrounds will be inaccessible, and finding a parking place in the supermarket lot in town becomes a little more challenging. (Just pull straight through and use two head-to-head spaces.) But we take that into consideration when choosing your accommodations.
Don’t let the huge outside dimensions of a Class A motorhome fool you into thinking that this is the right “rig” for a large family. Class A’s do not have the big queen-size “cabover” bed found in the Class C.
Some of the new Class A’s have a queen bed that drops from the ceiling above the front seats, solving this problem. See the video, below. Driving one of these beasts takes a little getting used to. The driver is at least 6′ above the ground and sits against the left wall of an 8-foot-wide vehicle, resulting in a tendency at first to drive with right wheels over the line. Class A’s are ideal for 2 or 3 people willing to stay on the beaten path, using mostly commercial RV parks rather than public campgrounds.
On the other hand, once you’ve reached your destination, all that glass and the wide-open interior make it more homelike than a Class C. That’s why “full-timers” tend to prefer them. Visibility while underway is also excellent for driver and passengers and the interior is very bright. For extended journeys, the holding tanks are about twice as large (80-100 gals), allowing you to go without a resupply for 3-4 nights, or more with short showers. The auxiliary battery bank is generally larger to allow running lights, water pump, and furnace fan for longer before needing to plug in to utilities or start the engine to recharge.