We are going to England and Europe for a month next September. Does anyone know of where a campervan can be rented for the month. We are looking for a van size vehicle with bed and etc, not a real motor home. Any help would be appreaciated.
The motor caravan, camping car and and camper van rental industry in Europe is large, as affluent urbanites who do RV vacations there are more inclined to rent than buy something they would only occasionally use (more than half of EU owners are retirees). However, the structure is mostly rental operations at individual dealers and dealer networks. Locals tend to rent through a local or regional dealer.
There are a number of booking agencies that arrange rentals (and tours, guided or self-guided) for visitors, so that you don't have hunt down and contact renting dealers. Individual agencies will specialize in handling clients from particular countries (i.e. there are language and cultural expectations). Which booking agency you might approach would depend on where you plan to start and what languages you can use.
Most of the leads I have are for bookings in France and Spain, for French and Spanish language clients, respectively. Those are the languages of my European motorcaravan/camping car magazines I've collected most recently.
You might start with a global rental car agency. I know that Avis CarAway offers camping cars in France, but I don't know what other countries they might have in this part of their business. They do offer one-way rentals. A company called Wild Horizons in the UK serves as rental agent for private owners of motor caravans, if your starting point will be London.
Most rental motorhomes in the EU will be about the size of full-size vans (6 to 7 meters) in the U.S., actually somewhat lighter because of the 3500 GVWR restriction. The different licensing rules in the UK may mean slightly larger rentals are available. While vehicle type and size restrictions on driving licenses in the EU may not apply to you as a visitor, they do determine what the rentaal market offers.
What are considered camper vans in the EU are usually smaller than vans here, many being built on something the size of the VW Eurovan we had here briefly, and others being built on what we would consider a minivan, in most cases a bit smaller than our minivans.
Be prepared for the idea that what you choose to rent may have a manual transmission. Rental agencies may have automatics in luxury cars, and a few in small cars (at a premium) for U.S. visitors, but the van and motorhome chassis are mostly manual transmissions, with auto-shifted manuals just recently introduced on the Ducato (and its French clones).
Some leads, not just rentals but information about where to go:
Le Monde du Camping-Car the best magazine I've found about motorhome life in Europe generally and France specifically. They publish special issues with itineraires for vacances en camping car, which include campground directories for all of France. Must read French.
* This post was
edited 10/30/11 05:15pm by tatest *
We were in Scotland for most of the month of September. We saw many, many rental RV's, most of them what we call Class B's. I wrote down the names of several rental companies and checked them on the internet when we got home. The rental prices were very steep. I threw the list away but I'm sure you could do a search. Another option is to find someone to swap RV's with you. Good luck, lizzie