Rugged RVs and trailers let you get off the pavement and over rough 4×4 trails, but they come with a hefty price tag. A new wave of companies in the U.S. rents these rugged campers (and some cool vintage models, too). From modified vans to standalone adventure rigs, these rides will get you into the wilds in style.
Teardrop Trailers — Off The Grid Rentals offers custom-made teardrop trailers and rooftop tent setups. It’s based in Orange County, Calif., and rents to the “family-oriented outdoorsman” who wants to take their weekend car camping to the next level.
The company’s custom Socal Teardrops “Krawler” trailers have suspension and a low-slung body designed to handle rough roads. The rear of the trailer opens to reveal a stove, cooler, or fridge (depending on model), and a storage space.
Interior and exterior have LED lighting powered by an onboard battery. Trailer rental is about $170 per night.
Off The Grid also rents rooftop tents. They set up on your vehicle and are accessed by a small ladder from the ground. Equipped with a foam mattress, all of the bedding stays in the tent when it is closed. They mount to most standard roof racks and rent from $60 a night. Contact Off The Grid Rentals
Badass Adventure Vans — Based in Golden, Colo., Adventure Travel Sports Rentals has Sportsmobiles and Tigers — rugged camper-vans that are accustomed to tackling backcountry roads and trails — as well as Toyota 4Runners to rent.
The vans are outfitted with a few luxuries of home, including a sink, refrigerator, and enough room to sleep four people. A BBQ feast for the first or last meal of the trip is included in the price (four-day rentals start at $1,000). Contact Adventure Travel Sports Rentals
Off-road Luxury — Looking for a little more luxury during your excursion? Tonto Trails offers a guided tour service that will hand pick trip routes for you and prepare cooked meals and cocktails at the end of each day.
Based in Durango, Colo., the company also has a variety of off-road campers to rent — 4×4 Sportsmobile campers and Dodge trucks with pop-up campers — that come stocked with camping gear. They sleep up to four people. Prices start at $2,000 for four-day excursions. Contact Tonto Trails
Gear Galore — Outdoor Adventure Campers offers souped-up Ford Econoline vans. The interior has been converted to include sleeping room for two as well as a small seating area. The rugged suspension means you won’t have to worry on the road less traveled.
Based in the San Francisco area, the company is close to Yosemite, the Pacific Coast, and the whole Sierra Nevada Range. The vans come standard with two hitch mounts for bike racks and a cargo cage up top to stow extra gear. Prices start at $92 a night. Contact Outdoor Adventure Campers
Budget Option – Lost Camper USA rents converted vans at around $55/day. From Dodge Caravans to Ford Econolines, these vans come with storage space and a fold-down bed. They’re not off-road capable as some of the others on this list but will serve as a fine camp or crag basecamp.
Some of the rentals include a fold-up rooftop tent and are great for money-minded families and dirtbags on a budget. Rental pickups are available in San Francisco, Salt Lake City, and Los Angeles. Contact Lost Camper USA
AirStream Rental — Get your fix for the great American road trip with a modern airstream trailer. Available in 23- or 28-foot models, the campers have all the luxuries of a new travel trailer but with the throwback feel and design of the classic Airstream.
The company includes a GMC Yukon Denali to pull it. Locations in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Bozeman, Mont., for pickup. Rates start at $1,900 for three days. Contact Airstream2Go
Vintage VW — Want to relive your hippie-surfing days? Vintage Safari rents its fleet of 12 VW camper buses for trips up and down the California coast.
The VW “Westy” has gained a cult following across the world; these have been restored, can sleep up to four, and they come in a variety of styles to match your personality.
Although the company is based in Los Angeles, the vans can be dropped in San Fransisco. Rates start at $129 a day. Contact Vintage Safari