We know. Sometimes you want to camp or travel to a beautiful destination, but you don’t want to deal with the hassle of bringing your own camper and gear. Or, maybe you don’t have an RV but would love to vacation in one. (Without the “adventure” of driving it across the country or navigating hairpin mountain roads, of course.) Thankfully, there’s a way to enjoy the camping life even if you don’t have all the necessary equipment.
In the past decade, vacation rental sites like Airbnb have exploded in popularity. With a few mouse clicks, you can book a house for a family reunion, a condo for a girlfriends getaway, or a cabin for a summer vacation. But these sites also offer much more than standard vacation accommodations. Most allow you to search by destination, amenities, or occupancy but you can also search for more unique rental properties. Airbnb has a category called “unique stays” where you can search for anything from a treehouse to a castle!
Castles are hard to come by, of course, yet one type of accommodation you’ll find in nearly every state are campers—from Airstreams to caravans. There are campers you can rent and tow but there are also many stationary campers that are set up in scenic spots. All you have to do is show up! (And pack a few things of course.)
Here are some tips for renting a camper on a vacation rental website:
1. Determine if the rental is for the use of the camper only or if it’s a stationary camper that includes the campsite. You don’t want to show up for the weekend and then realize you have to tow the camper somewhere else!
2. Scope out the location. In addition to looking at the listing’s photos, read the description to understand the camper’s location. Is it in someone’s backyard or driveway? Is it located within an RV park or off the grid in a national forest?
3. Assess the camper’s size and sleeping arrangements. Make sure the size of the camper is a good fit for the size of your group. A listing may say it sleeps four but will two of those people be sleeping on tiny cot-sized beds?
4. Consider the amenities. Some rentals include things like sheets, pillows, and towels, and some don’t. It’s best to know this ahead of time.
5. Check out the kitchen. Find out if the camper includes refrigeration and other kitchen essentials including pans, utensils, and a coffee maker.
Whether you dream of spending a week in a classic Airstream under the desert sky or a weekend in the forests of the Great Smokies, you’ll likely find something online for your next adventure. Here are some of our favorites on Airbnb.
7 Cool Camper Trailers to Rent
This cheery vintage camper in the forests of the Smoky Mountains offers a throwback camping experience with a touch of glamping. The restored 1959 Shasta camper comfortably sleeps two and includes vintage linens and china, electric lights, a propane stove, and heat. Bathroom amenities include an outhouse made from reclaimed poplar and leaded glass windows plus a bath house with a claw-foot tub and solar shower. In the morning, wake up in this charming camper trailer rental to a breakfast that’s delivered to your camper door and includes coffee and tea, homemade bread, and fresh eggs from the local chickens.
At Whistler’s Knoll Winery outside Hortonville, Wisconsin, you can enjoy outdoor living and try your hand at working among the vines. While certainly not required, guests of the winery’s 25-foot camper are welcome to work in the vineyard or in the property’s gardens. When you’re not doing that, you can explore the trails that wind through 16 acres of countryside or make friends with the hosts’ flock of heirloom chickens. The outdoor amenities include patio furniture and a firepit.
For a unique camping experience, consider this camper on an eco-friendly urban farm in Michigan. The shabby chic camper is in the hosts’ back garden and within walking distance to Ferndale, a quirky artistic community. Morning coffee and a homemade breakfast treat are included with each stay, as well as the use of bikes to explore the surrounding community. Guests are also invited to help themselves to the farm’s fresh herbs, flowers, and greens during their stay.
It’s difficult to visit Colorado and not spend some time enjoying the outdoors. Get close to nature—and amazing mountain views—at this Airstream near Durango. Set on 35 acres, this campsite offers plenty of space to relax or roam.There are also outdoor amenities to enjoy such as a large deck, patio furniture, grill, and firepit plus complimentary coffee, local beer, and s’mores fixings. Inside the camper there’s a king-sized bed, fold-out sofa, kitchen, TV, shower, and composting toilet.
This beautifully restored Airstream in the Texas Hill Country is retro glamping at its finest. Situated on 10 acres along a creek, this rental has vintage charm with modern conveniences. The camper’s cozy interior features an antique queen-sized bed, kitchen, and sofa. Outside you’ll find a patio (complete with string lights), grill, fire bowl, private outdoor shower, and hot tub! Explore the creek or head into nearby Wimberley (just 3 miles down the road) to shop and do some sightseeing.
If mountain living is what you’re after, consider this quaint caravan-style camper near Leavenworth, Washington. Perched among granite outcroppings, the site offers convenient access to The Enchantments, a popular section of the Cascade Range. The tiny camper includes two bunk-bed-style double beds, a pair of chairs, and a miniature woodstove (only 6-inch logs can fit inside!). The outdoor space takes advantage of the landscape with a sitting area, firepit, and two-person hot tub.
This Flying Cloud Airstream just outside Joshua Tree National Park offers 1.5 acres of desert landscape and mountain views for you to enjoy. (Including some incredible stargazing opportunities.) The camper can sleep up to four and includes all the comforts of home: a well-stocked kitchen, gas stove, microwave, refrigerator/freezer, shower, toilet, stereo, and two TVs. Outdoors there’s a gas grill, comfortable patio furniture, and festive string lights. And when you want to explore further afield, Joshua Tree National Park is just ten minutes down the road.
Interested in planning your own glamping trip? Check out our recent post on the 12 items that turn a camping trip into a glamping trip!