I always really liked the Airstream trailers. But I didn’t want to buy an Airstream, only to find out that it wasn’t what I wanted. After all, they are quite expensive and not your average camper trailer!
I think the best way is to rent before you buy. This way you know first-hand whether or not owning an Airstream RV was for me.
How much does it cost to rent an Airstream RV? The average cost to rent a medium-sized Airstream RV is $200.00 a day. This holds true whether you want to rent an Airstream to travel in or whether you decide to rent one at a specific location.
We have rented small spaces and RVs before and it’s just a great way to find out just how small a living space you are comfortable with. For traveling or long-term traveling.
What does an Airstream RV cost to rent by size?
Small Airstreams typically range in size between 16 feet and 33 feet.
The three most popular small Airstream models are the Bambi, the Basecamp and the Nest. Bambi and Basecamp models have the traditional Airstream styling with aluminum clad walls while the Nest models are made from fiberglass.
These smaller Airstreams will usually rent for an average of $150.00 a day. These models are great for one or two adults.
A couple with one small child could also rent a smaller Airstream, but any more than that and they’d have to go with a larger Airstream.
Airstream’s medium-size models range from 19 – 23 feet long. These models include the Flying Cloud and the Safari. Both of these models are aluminum clad. The main difference is the way they are laid out inside.
These models can usually sleep up to five people. Expect to pay about $200.00 a day for a medium-size Airstream.
The largest Airstreams are 33 feet long. These are the Airstream Classic XL models. You can find large Airstreams between 25 to 33 feet in length renting for around $300.00 a day.
This is a great size for people looking to take an extended vacation.
Renting an Airstream on Location VS for Travel
Renting On Location
Renting an Airstream on location is just what it sounds like. You’ll pay to stay in an Airstream that will not move from its current location.
For example, the Airstream your rent might be in an RV park, at a resort, or on a person’s property.
Advantages of Renting on Location
When you rent an Airstream RV that is already set up, you’ll have a lot less planning to do. You’ll already know your location, you won’t have to learn to set up the Airstream, and you won’t have to plan your travel route around towing a travel trailer.
Additionally, you won’t have to worry about whether or not your vehicle has the ability to tow your newly rented Airstream. For example, a 23-foot long Airstream typically weighs 6,000 pounds. You won’t be able to tow this without a large SUV or truck.
The cost of renting an Airstream RV on location is also typically lower. The reason for this is that you don’t have to pay to park the Airstream. This cost is already built into the rental.
I’ve seen prices range from $80.00 a day to over $500.00 a day depending on where the Airstream is parked. The location will tend to dictate the price more than the size or age of the Airstream you’re staying in.
Another area of savings will come in the form of fuel. Your fuel costs will be less because you won’t be pulling an RV behind you on your travels.
Disadvantages to Renting an Airstream on Location
- Less Experience
- Less Flexibility
When you rent an Airstream on location, you miss out on the experience of towing it. This means you won’t get the full experience of owning an Airstream.
Another disadvantage to renting an Airstream on location is that you’ll have less flexibility in where you can use it. You may find that the places you want to go don’t have Airstreams available for rent. Not only this, but you’ll be restricted to just one location for the entirety of your trip.
Renting for traveling
Airstreams don’t always have to be rented on location. You can rent an Airstream from a private renter or a dealer who will let you take it wherever you want. This is great for people that want to get the full experience of owning an Airstream.
As with everything, however, there are advantages and disadvantages of renting this way.
Advantages of an Airstream Rental You Can Travel With
- Full Experience
- Destination Options
If you’re renting an Airstream to decide whether or not you’d like to purchase one, it would be wise to get the full experience. This type of rental option will give you that experience.
You’ll get to see what it’s like to tow an airstream, to hook an airstream up, to empty the tanks, and to live in one. This means that should you decide to buy an Airstream, you won’t have any surprises.
Another advantage of renting an Airstream you can travel with is the fact that you can take it wherever you like. This means you can go to short-term destinations that would be off-limits with an on-location rental.
While the costs of traveling with an Airstream can be higher, they can also be lower. The reason for this is that you’ll have a hotel on wheels that you can use while traveling to your destination.
The money you save on hotels could end up being greater than what you will pay to park your Airstream once you get to where you’re going.
Other Issues to Consider Before Renting An Airstream For Traveling
- Tow Vehicles
- Size Restrictions
- Return Policies
Towing a Small Airstream
Airstreams are much easier to tow than your average camper. This being said, you can’t tow them with just any vehicle.
Not only this, but you’ll want to have a brake controller installed on any tow vehicle that you’ll be pulling an Airstream with. Brake controllers can cost in the neighborhood of $200 – $300 with an installation.
Smaller Airstreams can range from 2,500 to 4,500 pounds. Some smaller vehicles like minivans and crossovers and small SUV’S will be able to tow a small Airstream.
Towing a Medium Airstream
Medium Airstreams will usually start out over 6,000 pounds. You’ll need a larger SUV or a small truck to safely pull these.
Towing a Large Airstream
Large Airstreams can start out at well over 8,000 pounds. For this, you’ll definitely need a large truck or full-size van.
For those of you who don’t have a proper tow vehicle, you can always rent one. Many Airstream rental companies will also offer tow vehicles that are equipped to tow your chosen airstream.
A tow vehicle can cost anywhere from $50.00 to $150.00 to rent per day.
Operating Your Airstream Rental
Do you know how to operate an Airstream?
If not, you’ll want to find a rental company that is willing to run through the basics of hooking up, leveling, and dumping the gray and black water tanks of your rental.
The term “bigger is always better” does not always apply to campers. Some campgrounds and state parks will not allow large Airstreams. Typically anything longer than 30 feet is too long for a national park.
You’ll also pay more to park a large Airstream than you will to park a smaller Airstream. The difference could be upwards of $25.00 a day. Spend a week in a state park and you’ll end up paying almost $200.00 more for your Airstream rental.
All Airstream rental companies will require some sort of deposit. I’ve seen deposits range from $500 – $1,500 a rental. You’ll get this back upon your return, but it’s something to consider.
What happens if you break down on your journey? If your Airstream trailer’s tire goes flat, will you have to change it or will the dealer send someone out?
Either way might work for you, but its best you know this sort of information before you head out.
Most rental companies will insure the RV.
However, does your automobile insurance change when you tow an RV? This is a question you should ask your insurance company in advance.
Keep in mind that towing a camper that is heavier than what your vehicle is rated for can give your insurance company a reason not to pay out anything after an accident.
You may want to ask the rental company what condition the Airstream needs to be returned in. What are the cleaning requirements? Do you need to wash the outside of the RV? Do the tanks need to be emptied? What about the propane?
Washing the Airstream will cost you both time and money. Emptying your tanks will be free in some places and will cost money in other places. Propane usually does not cost much, but it is a factor to consider.
Where to Rent An Airstream RV
Airstream rentals can be found all over the country.
The best place to start is online on websites like Campanda.com and RVShare.com. Another option is to approach a local dealer or even a local Airstream owner.
Expect to start out paying around $200.00 a day to rent an Airstream RV. Just know that this number can go up or down depending on your particular needs.
If you are considering buying an RV, we have put together a list of 14 things to consider before choosing an Airstream trailer.
I have filmed and interviewed tiny house people and RVers since 2011. I love sharing ideas and inspiration about tiny living and space saving furniture. I have completely rebuilt two RVs (vintage & new) over the last couple of years and love to travel for months at the time in our family RV with my wife and our kid.