Campervan Rental Frequently Asked Questions

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Hello future road trippers, Bakpak Dave here. I am super excited to provide you with detailed info about a campervan road trip! I am covering a few different categories, so you can click on one of the links below to jump ahead or just read the whole darn thing. As always, if you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me at usarentals@bakpakguide.com

Selecting the Right Campervan

Q: What are my campervan options?
A: It all depends on where you want to pickup/return the campervan.

For rentals from/between Los Angeles, San Francisco and Las Vegas, your options are the Mavericks, Ventura or Champ campervans.

For cross-country rentals between New York/Miami and Los Angeles, San Francisco and Las Vegas you can choose between the Mavericks and Minivan rental.

And for any rentals to/from Denver or to/from Seattle, the Mavericks campervan is your only option.

Q: Am I limited to 100 miles per day of driving?
A: No way Jose, that would be highway robbery (ha ha). Your total miles allowed equals 100 times the number of rental nights. So if you rent for 10 nights, you get 1000 miles to drive however you like. 50 one day, 500 the next. You can also add extra miles packages including 200 miles/day ($12-15/night) or unlimited miles ($19-25/night). Or you can pay 25 cents for each mile driven over what is included in you rental.

Q: How many travelers can travel (eg be seated) in campervan?
A: Good question. The Mavericks and Champ campervans and the backpacker minivan can seat 5 travelers, the Ventura seats 4 travelers.

Q: How many travelers can sleep in campervan?
A: Another good question, you're on a roll. The Mavericks, Ventura and Champ campervans can comfortably sleep up to 4 travelers. The Champ includes a second bed in the daily rate, while the Mavericks and Ventura campervans require the optional rooftop sleeper to sleep four travelers for an extra fee.You can also rent a 2 person tent with the Mavericks and Ventura.

Without the rooftop sleeper, the Mavericks can sleep up to 3 (cozy) and the Ventura 2. The backpacker minivan can sleep 2 travelers in the back with the seats folded into the floor (the minivan does not include a bed - you can buy an air mattress or use sleeping bags/mats).

Q: I am traveling for over a couple of months, what is your recommended campervan?
A: For long term travel, I recommend the Mavericks campervan and for those on a tight budget, the backpacker minivan.

Q: The Mavericks looks to big to drive, is it?
A: The Mavericks is my favorite campervan and it is larger than a regular car but it is very easy to drive. You will get used to the size very quickly and become a pro. You will be impressed with its power too.

The Ventura and Champ campervans are regular minivans converted to campervans and super easy to drive but have less height and space inside.

Q: I am looking for a more luxurious campervan but still a good price, what have ye?
A: I would recommend the Champ campervan. It offers competitive rates and lots of luxurious and cool features that make your experience even better. Let's start with a key that can open either of the side doors and the back hatch automatically. If you're making a getaway, then as you are approaching the Champ, just click a button and the doors open. Do the same to close them. The Champ also includes switches that work with the second battery. You can turn the fridge, inside lights and USB charger on and off with the flick of a switch just behind the front seats. There are also small side windows in the back that offer the opportunity for a cool breeze on a hot summer night.

Q: Are there any plain campervans without artwork or branding?
A: There is only one rental operator that offer plains campervans but I don't book them (ask me why if you want). BUT I can tell you that you are not at risk safety wise for having a painted/branded campervan. MORE importantly, those who say they don't want a cool artwork or branded design end up falling in love with it. It becomes part of the family. It's nice to have a new family member. You will miss your family member when you return the campervan. Take lots of pictures!

Campervan Features/Operation

Q: Can I hookup a campervan at a campground?
A: The short answer is no you cannot. Campervans are do not have electrical hookups like RVs do. However, if you rent a Mavericks or Ventura campervan, an adapter cable is included so you can plug a power strip (also included) into the campground hookup and power your laptop/devices and a space heater in winter.

Alternatively, the Champ campervan has a number of 12 volt outlets located inside that are powered by a second battery.

You can always buy a power converter that plugs into the 12volt outlet and power small electronic devices such as you phone or laptop.

Q: How does the kitchen work?
A: The kitchen is located at the back of campervans and includes an always on fridge powered by a dual battery (which is powered by driving and the solar panels) as well as a propane stove, cooking/eating utensils and a pump sink which you can use to wash the dishes (dishwasher not included but if you take me on your trip, I'd gladly take on dish duty).

The minivan does not include a kitchen.

Q: Can I use the Air conditioning while I sleep?
A: The air conditioning can be used when you are driving like in standard car. It cannot be used overnight. We recommend keeping the windows open and dressing in lightweight sleeping clothes - or better yet, nothing at all - if you are with a partner. Your mom probably won't appreciate it though.

However, you can run it for a short while with the engine running to cool down your campervan, just be mindful of other campsites and travelers.

Q: How can I play my music?
A: You can connect your iPhone, android phone or mp3 player to the campervan stereo system with an auxiliary adapter which you can buy for $5 at pickup. The stereos are NOT blue tooth compatible.

Q: How can I charge my phone/laptop?
A: You can charge you devices using a 12volt car charger for your phone in the Mavericks and Ventura campervans and with the Champ via USB as well.

You can also buy a power converter that plugs into the 12volt outlet and power small electronic devices such as you phone or laptop.

Q: Do I need to rent a GPS?
A: I definitely recommend having a GPS whether you rent one or use google maps on your own smart phone as long as you have mobile data.

Route Planning and Miles

Q: Do I need unlimited miles?
A: That's a good question and it really depends on how many miles you will drive. Miles driven over what is included are charged at 25 cents per mile plus tax. Unlimited miles cost $19-25/night extra and 200 miles is $12-15/night extra. So you have to figure out the breakeven point on paying per mile and paying for unlimited or 200 miles. If you're not sure, let Bakpak Dave help you figure it out. Just email me at usarentals@bakpakguide.com

Not sure how many miles you want to drive for your trip - no worries. I suggest you use www.googlemaps.com to plot your general route and it will tell you total miles.

Q: Where can I sleep outside of campgrounds?
A: Also known as free camping, we have a whole free camping article dedicated to free camping.

Q: Is it safe for girls to travel alone?
A: Yes it is, with the same caveat I would recommend for girls (or anyone) traveling alone anywhere in the world which is follow your instincts and your gut.

Q: Can I travel to Canada?
A:  Yes, you can travel into and out of Canada with campervans. Just make sure you have the required visas, if any, to enter Canada and back into the USA.

Q: Are there any places I can't go, eg travel restrictions?
A: Yup, there are so make sure to read the rental terms and conditions carefully.

Generally Driving on unpaved roads (excluding county and state maintained roads), dirt roads, restricted areas and 'off road' areas is not allowed which includes dunes, Salt plains, beaches, riverbeds, logging roads, forest trails, dirt trails etc.

Additionally, the following places are not permitted:

Alaska; Mexico/Baja California; Hawaii (if it ain't obvious); Death Valley between May 1 and September 30; Burning Man festival without paying the BM fee and indicating at booking you would like to attend.

Q: Uh, why can't I go to Death Valley between May and September?
A: I know you really, really want to go to Death Valley, I get it. But it is one of the 3 top hottest places in the world during summer. Like melting tires on pavement hot. If you were to go, any insurance on your campervan would be void and you would not be covered for breakdowns/road service. It would be an out of pocket expense. You can't even drive through the national park roads.

If you really want to go to Death Valley (and really enjoy it), go before May 1 or after September 30.

Q: Why is there a Burning Man fee?
A: If you've ever been to the BM festival, you know that the desert dust is fine and gets into everything including your knickers and the crevices underneath the bed and in the kitchen. There is also more risk of damage at BM. So the BM fee covers the extra risk as well as time to deal with the mess when you return. Now, I know what you are thinking, what if I don't mention I am going to Burning Man. Yeah, lots of other travelers have thought that too but the desert don't lie baby. Be a good citizen of this world and pay up the fee and have an awesome time.

Q: I am debating between renting a car and buying a tent/staying in cheap motels hostels OR renting a campervan. What are your thoughts?
A: This is a very good and common question. There are a few ways to look at it. What is most important to you? budget? the experience? will you be wanting to camp all the time or just sometimes? Shoot me an email if you have questions about this.

Quotes/Pricing/Booking

Q: What do you mean by a "No Hidden Costs" Quote?
A: Exactly that. All costs included and/or excluded are shown on your quote. There are never any hidden fees or booking fees. Read more about a No Hidden Costs Quote.

Q: I need help comparing different quotes I got, what can I do?
A: Quotes can be hard to evaluate sometimes because some companies have hidden fees and do not disclose them or show it as separate parts payable up front and at pickup. Please read my article on comparing campervan rental quotes for more info.

Q: Who the heck is Bakpak Dave?
A: Bakpak Dave is the most awesome dude in the whole world. OK, maybe not but he is one cool guy who is here to help you experience his country and have the Great American road trip adventure. Why work with Dave? You can read the in depth reason here:  Why Book with Dave or just know that Bakpak Dave will review your quote and make recommendations on the best options for your trip. He will do his best to save you money and offers peace of mind that you are getting a good deal and a quality vehicle.

If you were on the road and have an issue, who ya gonna call? Your agent in Düsseldorf or Byron Bay? Heck no, you're gonna call Bakpak Dave who lives in Los Angeles and has a red phone line direct to the President!

Q: Are there any fees for being under 25?
A: For campervans and RV rentals, there are no fees for being under 25 - how awesome is that? For the minivan rentals, there is a an extra nominal fee built into the rates depending on your age 21, 22, 23 or 24. It is much lower than what major car rental agencies charge though.

Q: How far in advance do I need to book a campervan?
A: That's a good question. Summertime availability gets down to the Limited spot on the meter by the end of April. If you are looking to go to/from New York, Miami, Seattle or Denver, availability is always limited as less vehicles are available at these locations so its always good to book as soon as you are ready. On the West Coast, best availability is usually in Los Angeles, followed by Las Vegas and then San Francisco.

Q: Can I change my dates once I have booked?
A: You can always change dates subject to availability but there may not be a refund if the trip is shorter or if the booking value decreases. It really depends and always best to make changes at least 30 days prior to pickup.

Q: What are the cancellation fees?
A: The specific fees vary by rental operator but generally if you cancel more than 30 days prior to pickup, there are no fees beyond the booking deposit you paid. For the Mavericks and Ventura, it is no more than $200. For the Champ campervan, it your booking deposit paid and for the minivan it is $300.

But any cancel fees you pay for cancellations over 30 days prior to pickup can be saved for a year and applied to a future booking of the same or greater value.

Under 30 days, the penalties increase fast because someone else who may have wanted to book, may have lost out. Please refer to the specific cancellation policies in the terms and conditions you have received with your quote.

Insurance

Q: Insurance, what the heck is it all about and do I need it?
A: Insurance is all about risk and the money you are willing to pay to avoid it. So it's kind of a personal decision. The longer your rental, the more expensive it gets for the risk you are covering. You can get the full insurance lowdown here.

I hope this helps. I look forward to booking your great American road trip adventure for you!
Bakpak Dave

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