Mercedes camper van rentals grow in popularity
In recent years, campervan and RV rentals have increased substantially.
According to Outdoorsy.com, the peer to peer RV rental service:
Over the last two years, Class B rentals have seen substantial acceleration on Outdoorsy.
Class B’s and Campervans currently represent the highest rental frequencies per unit out of any of the rig types on Outdoorsy.
And with all that industry growth, the most popular campervan models have come to light, and Mercedes camper van rentals are definitely near the top of the list.
In this post we’ll cover the biggest concerns and questions people have about renting a sprinter camper van such as availability in your areas of travel, Class B license requirements, how much it costs to rent a Mercedes RV, and much more.
Mercedes Sprinter Campervan: Not your fathers RV
While the days of the 40 foot highway behemoth are far from over, smaller, easier to drive, simpler campervans are gaining in popularity.
Here are just a few reasons why renting a sprinter camper van is such a popular choice…
- Roomy: The high roof Sprinter platform offers full head height to stand up, ample floor space to move around with enough room left over for necessities like a portable toilet and shower, a comfortable bed, and often an indoor kitchen.
- Easy to drive: If you can drive a pickup truck, you can feel totally comfortable renting a sprinter camper van.
- Maneuverable: Unlike a massive Class A, you can park a Mercedes Benz Sprinter at the campsite, and on many city streets, with no hassles.
- More choices of where to camp: Mercedes camper rentals can be parked on RV slabs with full hook ups, at basic tent sites or in free, distributed camping areas.
- Fuel efficiency: Imagine buying fuel for a vehicle that only gets eight to twelve MPG! That’s what class A drivers have to face when budgeting for their vacations.
- The Mercedes Benz Sprinter, with it’s powerful, efficient diesel engine, can average over 18 miles per gallon!
Why renting a Sprinter camper van is brilliant vacation planning
Like everyone else, when I plan a vacation, I cycle through the usual list of issues:
- Should I rent a car, or rely on Uber? Should I learn the buses, trains and subways?
- Should I pay top dollar for a nice hotel near the center of town?
- What’s my food (and time) budget to eat in restaurants 3 times a day?
- I want to see some sights that are outside of town. How will I get there?
- Do I need to pay a tour company or hire a guide and go on their schedule?
I find it remarkable that all one need do to eliminate that list of concerns is rent a Sprinter camper van.
The convenience of renting a Sprinter camper van
Imagine waking up in a comfortable bed and walking 4 steps to turn on the coffee pot.
You open the sliding door to let in the fresh air of the camping area, toast some croissant in the fully stocked kitchen. Or cook some bacon and eggs, or maybe grab a bowl of granola and yogurt…
Over a relaxed breakfast, you plan a hike that’s just a short drive from your campsite.
Later, you’ll drive into town to catch a band at a local venue, or just relax around the camp fire.
Rent a Sprinter camper van for ultimate travel freedom
Whether you’re used to car camping, pulling a trailer or staying in random motels, the decision to rent a Mercedes camper van will be a real eye opener.
The ability to make vacation decisions on the fly will allow you to really explore and experience any area you want to see.
Explore wherever the mood takes you
Renting a Sprinter camper van means experiencing travel destinations without the burden of a strict itinerary.
For example, maybe you plan to see a museum in town, but then, a fellow camper tells you about a great hiking trail in the area that you don’t want to miss out on.
There’s nothing stopping you from driving to the trail in your Sprinter.
Eat, rest… any time, any place
One of the truly great things about Vanlife is having your home base with you at all times.
After that hike, you don’t have to drive back to a hotel right away to get cleaned up, rest, eat. Relax at the trail head, take a nap, have lunch, decide where the next adventure lies.
Some Sprinters include a full kitchen. At the very least you’ll have campsite cooking equipment.
What will you do with the money you save by not eating at restaurants?
Renting a Sprinter is so convenient that once you’ve done it, you may never stay in a hotel again!
Cost of staying in a hotel vs renting a Sprinter van
Hotel costs are often thought of only in terms of the price of the room. In reality, staying in a hotel includes many hidden expenses.
Here’s a partial list…
- Car rental fees plus fuel, or taxis and other public transit fees
- Time and money spent going from your hotel to vacation activities, and back to your hotel
- Paying a tour company to drive you to the sights, and going on their schedule
- Time spent hassling with baggage, elevators, checking in/out…
- The cost (in time and money) of parking your rental car
- The cost of extra beds (or worse, rooms!) for your family
- The exorbitant cost of room service and eating in restaurants
So the decision to rent a Mercedes camper van instead of staying in a hotel goes far beyond the obvious adventures you’ll have, it’s just a brilliant financial choice.
Do you need a special license to drive a Class B RV?
The short answer is no, you don’t need a special license to rent and drive a Class B Sprinter camper van.
While many states require special licensing to drive Class A RV’s, Mercedes camper van rentals are small enough that a special license is very rare.
But don’t take our word for it, head on over to this page on Outdoorsy where they’ve done the hard work of uncovering all the RV license requirements by US state.
How much does it cost to rent a Mercedes RV?
Sprinter RV’s are available in a wide range of designs, sizes and layouts, and the range of rental prices reflects that.
Again, keep in mind that you won’t have to include some of the most expensive aspects of travel in your budget like car rental, restaurants and all the costs associated with hotels.
Factors that impact the cost to rent a Sprinter camper van
Depending on the area you search in, you’ll find a variety of amenities in campervan rentals. Here are a few factors that decide the cost per night of rentals:
Location: The per night cost to rent a Mercedes camper van will be higher in very popular vacation areas.
On the other hand, there are some great bargains on rentals in areas that are less popular or away from major metropolitan areas.
Living amenities: A basic van with a bed and some simple campsite cooking gear will typically cost less per night than a maxed out custom build with a full kitchen, shower, AC…
Size of the van: More sleeping spaces can mean a higher per-night rental cost.
Even a van designed to sleep two, but with lots of extra floor space, can command a higher per-night fee.
Some more factors that can impact price include amenities like an awning, 4×4 drive train, solar power and other energy features.
Here’s an example of a very nice Sprinter camper van rental
This gorgeous build commands a higher price because it’s located in a very popular destination, and is very well appointed for camping.
I love the low roof with pop top because it allows you to drive a “normal” sized van to get from A to B and then open it up like a Swiss Army knife of camping glory.
At the time we published this post, the per night cost to rent this campervan was two hundred ninety nine dollars.
Not to beat a dead horse, but compare that to the long list of hidden costs of even the most modest hotel… It’s a great deal, in any town, let alone San Francisco!
Calculating the cost to rent a Mercedes camper van
Here’s a list of fees and charges to consider when renting a Sprinter camper van.
Every rental will be different, so please take some time to peruse the listings (below) to get a feel for the ultimate cost of your camper van rental.
The listings will include the fees for each van.
- Rental fee per night: Between $80 and $300 per night, depending on amenities.
- Fuel: Of course this will vary based on how much you drive your rental.
- Mileage charges: Most listings include a daily allowance with a low fee if you go over.
- Damage protection: Optional.
- Trip insurance: Optional.
- Cleaning fee: Ranging from $10 and up, depending on the vehicle.
What are the cons of renting a Sprinter van?
Okay we’re obviously sold on Mercedes camper van rentals. But everything has some downsides.
Here are some things to consider before you rent a Sprinter camper van.
- While it’s not a huge RV, If you’re skittish driving vehicles larger than your car, maybe travel with someone who’s okay driving a larger van, or consider a smaller van such as a low roof Sprinter, VW or Mini campervan.
- A 170″, extended wheelbase Sprinter campervan will be a challenge to park in a larger metropolitan downtown area with a lot of traffic. If you’re planning to visit larger cities, consider a 144″ wheelbase Sprinter. Or, if you need the larger Sprinter, I suggest you bring bicycles, park outside of town and cycle in to see the town.
- A full size Sprinter will sleep up to six people, but it will be snug. If you’re traveling in a large group, consider renting two vans or biting the bullet and getting a Class A.
- Total location freedom can become a problem if you let it. As mentioned in our van travel mistakes post, take the time to plan some major trip highlights before starting your campervan rental adventure. Otherwise you may spend your whole trip staring into Google maps instead of enjoying your destination.
Rent a Mercedes camper van near you
Below are active listings of Mercedes camper van rentals in your area.
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