Overland Vehicle Rental Guide: Campervans, Trucks, and Motorcycles

Compiling an overland vehicle rental guide is a challenging objective, primarily because the term “overlanding” has gotten a bit muddy, and I quickly found myself wondering what the most accurate definition is. I chuckled when my initial search led me straight to the Overland Journal podcast and Scott Brady’s discussion with Matt Scott about the definition of overlanding.

I learned that the term overland originated with Australian shepherds who tended their sheep and cattle across the land. And while there are many different modes of transportation across the land: by foot, bicycle, and on horseback, in the case of overlanding as it’s most often used, we’re talking about vehicle-dependent travel. In the podcast, Scott points out some important distinctions, specifically the elements of adventure, remote destinations, and a self-supported approach. The length of the trip and elements of cultural enrichment can further qualify a particular journey as overlanding. It quickly became apparent to me, given the above distinctions, that overlanding doesn’t necessarily need to take place on dirt or even involve 4WD. An adventure should really take into consideration the whole of the trip before being qualified as ‘overlanding’.

Because overlanding encompasses a spectrum of experiences, terrain, and circumstances, an overlanding vehicle should be chosen based on the demands of the adventure at hand. If you’re planning on a primarily pavement-bound trip, then perhaps a campervan or RV rental would be the best choice. But if you intend to explore an extended dirt track through the mountains, then a dual-sport bike or 4WD truck would make more sense. Therefore, I’ve broken down the following article into three main categories of overland rental vehicles: RVs and Campervans, 4WDs, and Motorcycles.

 

This list is not exhaustive: if you have additional suggestions for reputable companies you have rented from, please feel free to share them in the comments section below.


 

Overland Vehicle Rental Guide: RV or Campervan for Overland Travel

RVs and campervans are some of the most comfortable vehicles out there when it comes to overland travel. They have many of the same amenities that we enjoy at home, like on-demand hot water, AC electricity, heating/cooling, and regular-sized beds. But more isn’t always better. In exchange for comfort and space, you may give up agility, speed, and driving comfort. Have you ever piloted a 27-foot-long vehicle down a winding canyon road with blind corners? Ultimately, your comfort on any given trip depends on how well you match the vehicle to the task at hand.

 

If comfort is paramount to your trip, consider an RV.

If a more agile and capable vehicle is needed, consider a campervan

 

RV and Campervan Overland Vehicle Rental and Booking Services

 

Outdoorsy

Like Airbnb for vehicles, Outdoorsy was founded in 2014 and has quickly become one of the best-known platforms for renting RVs and campervans in the United States (including Alaska). Their website and app have useful filters that allow you to locate RVs and campervans based on location, price, capacity, amenities, and more. User reviews are helpful and can also be used as a filter. Their interactive map makes it easy to see how close (or far away) your prospective rental vehicle is. www.outdoorsy.com

Pros

  • Free roadside assistance
  • 24/7 customer service
  • Vehicle delivery available
  • Wide variety of vehicles available
  • Live online assistance

Cons

  • Only available in the US

 

RVshare

If you are specifically looking for an RV, RVshare.com is a great place to start your search. With both trailers and coaches available, filters make searching easy, and an interactive map shows you where rental vehicles are located in relation to you. Vehicle delivery is available for a fee. www.rvshare.com

Pros

  • Helpful information for those that are unfamiliar with RVs
  • Live online assistance
  • 24/7 customer service 

Cons

  • Requires you to create a user profile
  • Only available in the US

 

Campanda

Berlin-based Campanda got its start in 2013, acting as a booking platform to connect tenants and lessors of RVs and campervans. If you are looking to travel outside of the United States, Campanda offers over 26,000 RV and campervan rentals in 42 countries, including Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Austria, Portugal, the UK, and beyond. www.campanda.com

Pros

  • Available in many countries
  • Eight portals in five languages
  • Some rentals may be taken across borders

Cons

  • Customer support only available via email
  • Roadside assistance and insurance varies w/ vehicle and needs to be organized/confirmed directly with the vehicle owner

 

Cruise America

If you’ve done any traveling in the US, it’s likely that you’ve seen a few Cruise America RV rentals out on the road. With 132 rental centers between the United States and Canada, Cruise America has over 4,000 RVs in their fleet. They’ve been around since 1972 and are the nation’s largest RV rental company. There are four rental options starting with a truck camper (sleeps three), ranging all the way up to a 30-foot RV that sleeps seven. www.cruiseamerica.com

Pros

  • Widely available in the US
  • Cruise America smartphone app (google, apple)
  • 24/7 customer service
  • One-way rentals available
  • Insurance included for free

Cons

  • Only four vehicle options
  • No 4WD or AWD options
  • Some basics cost extra (i.e. kitchen kit)

 

Native Campervans

With rental locations in Las Vegas, Denver, and Salt Lake City, Native specializes in campervans. Their rentals include the OG, a converted Dodge Grand Caravan; the Smalls, a converted Ram ProMaster City; the Squad, a Ram ProMaster 136-inch low-roof; and finally the Biggie, a Ram ProMaster 136-inch high-roof. A Deals section on their website offers discounted one-way rentals. www.nativecampervans.com

*We have personal experience with this one – check out this Fall Colorado campervan trip in Native’s Biggie campervan.

Pros

  • Ready for a trip with all the basics (cutlery, pots/pans, bedding)
  • Compact vehicles are easy to drive
  • Upgraded winter packages available
  • 24/7 roadside assistance included
  • Pets allowed
  • Online campervan intro/tutorial videos

Cons

  • No 4WD or AWD options
  • No bathroom solution

 

Indie Campers

Another campervan and RV rental company operating primarily in Europe, Indie Campers offers a selection of vehicles from Fiat, Mercedes-Benz, and Volkwagen. Indie Campers got their start in Portugal, and now they are the largest campervan and RV rental company in Europe, with over 1,200 vehicles available to rent in over 40 locations, including Portugal, Spain, France, Germany, the Netherlands, England, Scotland, Ireland, Switzerland, Belgium, Italy, Croatia, and Iceland. www.indiecampers.com

Pros

  • One-way rentals available between any of their hubs
  • Additional gear available (bikes, surfboards, WiFi hotspots, GPS navigation)
  • Booking team can help you plan your trip
  • Pets allowed
  • Roadside assistance included
  • Live online customer service
  • 24/7 customer support
  • AWD vehicles available

Cons

  • Insurence and service fees are considerable (additional 50%+ of base rental price)

 

Escape Campervans

The Escape Campervans model was initially launched in New Zealand in 2003. After building a successful business renting vans to travelers, founder Rob Mewton brought Escape to the United States in 2009. But Rob wanted more than success; he wanted his business to stand out. That’s why instead of leaving their vans that boring factory white, Escape Campervans hires artists to paint their vehicles with eccentric, bold imagery. www.escapecampervans.com

Pros

  • Leave No Trace partners
  • Affordability
  • 4X4 Jeep Sahara available
  • Cold-weather gear available
  • Pets allowed, 24/7 roadside assistance

Cons

  • Some basic necessities cost extra, no bathroom

 

Yescapa

This peer-to-peer RV rental platform (they claim to be the largest in Europe) has over 8,500 RVs, campervans, and campers available in a variety of countries. An easy-to-use website and dedicated smartphone app make booking a rental vehicle easy. Yescapa operates out of the UK, France, Italy, Spain, Sardinia, Portugal, Germany, and Antigua. www.yescapa.com

Pros

  • Has smartphone app (google, apple)
  • Includes trailers and 4WD options
  • Insurance included with bookings
  • 24/7 roadside assistance
  • Pets allowed

Cons

  • No immediate phone support – email only

 

Basecamper Vans

This Salt Lake City-based van rental company has a fleet of campervans, including the ProMaster, ProMaster City Wagon, ProMaster City, Chevy Express 2500, and Chevy Express 1500 AWD. One of their most unique offerings, the personal shopper, can purchase your list of needed gear and food and have it ready for you when you pick up your van, saving you days of effort (this service costs extra). www.basecampervans.com

Pros

  • AWD option
  • Affordable base pricing
  • Personal shopper can purchase food and gear for your trip (saving you time)

Cons

  • Kitchen kits and bedding cost extra
  • Very high Utah state taxes (17.25%)
  • Rentals are not authorized to use Forest Service or BLM road

 

Casavan

Operating exclusively in Turkey, Casavan has rental hubs in Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Antalya, Dalaman, and Bodrum. They offer Iveco RVs as well as Fiat campervans, depending on the needs of your trip. www.casavan.com

Pros

  • Database of Turkish camping locations on website 

Cons

  • No pets
  • Website lacking information regarding insurance and roadside assistance
  • Website booking portal is confusing

 

 Jucy RV rentals

Jucy got its start in Auckland, New Zealand, back in 2001, and since then, they have expanded to offer 4,000 rental vehicles in Australia, New Zealand, and the United States. Their signature green and purple campervans are designed and upfitted in-house in either their NZ or Los Angeles locations. Jucy offers two vehicles: the Wavefarer and the Trailblazer, both of which utilize a Dodge minivan chassis. 

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Sleeps 4 in a small footprint
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Pets may be allowed on a case-by-case basis

Cons

  • No toilet
  • Some basic necessities cost extra
  • Insurance/roadside assistance details not clear on website

 

4WD Overland Vehicle Rentals

More often than not, overland adventures require you to leave the pavement at some point, and in those cases, having a 4WD vehicle can be crucial. A capable 4WD not only increases your margin of safety in remote, rugged areas, it expands the possibilities of overland travel. But choosing 4WD can mean trading capability for comfort. Is it worth it? That all depends on where you want to go. One thing to keep in mind with overland vehicle rentals is that they are often not technically allowed to be taken off road. This may seem counterintuitive to their stated purpose, but for insurance reasons, this is a gray area that should be clarified with your chosen overland rental or booking service.

 

If off-highway performance is crucial for your overlanding objective, 4WD is a must.

 

4WD Overland Vehicle Rental and Booking Services

 

Pacific Overlander

Operating out of Las Vegas and San Francisco, Pacific Overlander supports overland adventures in the Western United States with their fleet of 4X4 vehicles. They offer Toyota Tacomas, 4Runners, Jeep Rubicons, and Schutt Industries off-road trailers. Guided trips to iconic US destinations are available. www.pacificoverlander.com

Pros

  • Most camping equipment provided
  • Airport drop-off/pick-up available
  • Personal vehicle insurance may be enough to cover rental
  • Additional insurance available
  • One-way rental available
  • All rentals include roadside assistance
  • Personalized travel itineraries available

Cons

  • Bedding not included
  • Some parts of website not working

 

Colorado Overlander

With a fleet of Toyota TRD Pro vehicles, Colorado Overlander, who operates out of Glenwood Springs, is conveniently located right off I-70. They specifically chose the TRD Pro platform and kept their fleet stock (except for rock sliders and a few other accessories) so that any mechanic who is familiar with Toyotas can perform work should it be needed during a rental. All of their vehicles come outfitted with rooftop tents and the necessities for an off-highway adventure. www.coloradooverlander.com

Pros

  • Premium TRD Pro vehicle trim
  • Basic camping gear provided
  • Website has trip ideas with routes and itineraries

Cons

  • Bedding costs extra
  • No bathroom solution

 

Cypress Overland

Cypress Overland was established in San Francisco after the founders experienced the joys of 4X4 travel on their honeymoon in 2017. Their overland rental company offers three capable 4WD vehicle platforms: the Toyota FJ, Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro, and Jeep Rubicon. www.cypressoverland.com

Pros

  • Basic camping gear provided,
  • Airport pick-up and drop-off available
  • Concierge service can help plan a route and itinerary
  • Tacoma and Rubicon are lifted
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Roadside assistance included with all rentals

Cons

  • Bedding costs extra
  • No bathroom solution
  • No pets 

 

Overland Discovery

Overland Discovery operates out of Denver (with a new location in Phoenix coming in 2021) and offers a wide selection, including Jeep vehicles, Dodge campervans, and RVs. Their mission is to make “outdoor travel easy, approachable, and exciting.” www.overlanddiscovery.com

Pros

  • Leave No Trace partners
  • All necessities provided
  • Wide selection of vehicles
  • Website has great trip ideas

Cons

  • Roadside assistance costs extra
  • No pets 

 

TopoTerra

While most overland rental and booking services generally just offer vehicles, Topo Terra does things a little bit differently. This Southern California-based adventure company rents overland-ready 4×4 vehicles from Toyota, Jeep, and Mercedes-Benz. But what makes Topo Terra stand out is that they also rent off-road trailers, stand-alone rooftop tents, stand-alone outdoor gear packages, and coming soon, OHVs including dirtbikes and side-by-sides. www.topoterra.com

Pros

  • Some vehicles may travel to Mexico and Canada
  • Rental delivery and pick-up available
  • Pets allowed 

Cons

  • Roadside assistance costs extra

 

Taylor’d Overland

Taylor’d Overland is both an overland rental and booking service as well as a full-service overland equipment and vehicle store. They offer Jeep Rubicons and two models of high-clearance trailers from Off Grid Trailers for rent. Vehicle pick-up and drop-off takes place at their Hudson Oaks headquarters in Texas. www.tailordoverland.com

Pros

  • Rentals include a lot of extra camping gear
  • 200 miles driving allowed per day

Cons

  • Bedding costs extra
  • Only one vehicle rental option 

 

Titus Adventure Company

Titus Adventure Company, based out of Denver, has a fleet of Toyota TRD Offroad vehicles, all of which have been upgraded with off-road equipment. Whether you rent their 4Runner, Tacoma, or Sequoia, your vehicle will come with rock sliders and skid plates. Both the 4Runner and Tacoma TRD Offroad have Toytec 2.5-inch lifts with upgraded suspension components. www.tacrentals.com

*We have personal experience with this one – check out this in-depth article about TAC’s sustainable approach to Overland rentals.

Pros

  • Carbon offsets provided by Titus for all trips
  • 20 percent discount offered to electric vehicle owners
  • $10 donated to local non-profit organizations for every vehicle rental day
  • Most necessary camping equipment provided free
  • Additional equipment available
  • Pets allowed
  • Travel on marked 4WD roads is allowed
  • Unlimited daily miles

Cons

  • Bedding costs extra

 

4X4bnb

Utilizing the 4-door Jeep Wrangler as their vehicle of choice, 4x4bnb was started by a pair of Airbnb superhosts that love camping and jeeps, and thought to themselves, why don’t we combine all three? The result is an overland rental service based out of Tucson. www.4x4bnb.com

Pros

  • Camping gear includes bedding
  • Goose Gear CampKitchen
  • 24/7 roadside assistance
  • Website offers trip/route ideas

Cons

  • No bathroom solution
  • No pets

 

Rugged Van Rentals

Based in Denver, Rugged Van Rentals offers Chevy Colorado pickups and Chevy Express 15-passenger vans with 4WD conversions. Both their trucks and vans have 3-inch lifts as well as rooftop tents, and both can be outfitted with various racks to accommodate kayaks, bicycles, or ski gear. www.ruggedvanrentals.com

Pros

  • Trucks and vans have a 3-inch lift
  • Rooftop tent can be swapped for bike rack or cargo box or kayak rack
  • Vans have true 4WD
  • Vans can accommodate up to 10 bikes with optional bike rack on roof
  • Pick-up and drop-off offered anywhere in Denver
  • Pets allowed

Cons

  • Bedding not included
  • Roadside assistance costs extra

 

UT Overland

Located in Draper, Utah, (just South of Salt Lake City), UT Overland rents Jeep Rubicons and Toyota FJs complete with rooftop tents, kitchen setups, and a variety of other camping gear. www.utoverland.com

Pros

  • Online customer service via Facebook Messenger
  • Jeep Rubicon is very capable 

Cons

  • Off-grid power option costs extra
  • Roadside assistance costs extra
  • No pets allowed

 

Motorcycle Overland Rental and Booking Services

The motorcycle is one of the most minimalistic overlanding vehicles, and thanks to its tiny footprint, agility, and off-road performance, it is also one of the most capable. These are just a few of the reasons so many people choose motorcycles for long-distance adventuring. If you are newer to riding motorcycles but want to start taking some longer tours, there are a lot of great resources on ExPo, like how to prepare for an adventure ride. And there are quite a few motorcycle rental companies offering bikes that are outfitted for an adventure.

 

Colorado Motorcycle Adventures

Located in Denver, Colorado Motorcycle Adventures rents KTM, BMW, and Yamaha motorcycles for touring on the pavement or dirt. If you are hitting the road for a longer adventure, they have a slew of accessories available like hard-sided and soft-sided panniers, tank bags, dry bags, GPS units, and more. www.coloradomotorcycleadventures.com 

Pros

  • Delivery available
  • Custom route suggestions offered free
  • Luggage storage available at rental facility
  • Guided tours available

Cons

  • Cancellations within 30 days of trip result in forfeiture of entire rental cost (60 days for groups of 4)

 

Motodiscovery Rentals

Based in Grand Junction, Colorado, Motodiscovery has a fleet of Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki, and KTM bikes for rent. They also offer small group rider immersion courses if you are a beginner looking to learn the ins and outs of riding on and off road. www.motodiscovery.com

Pros

  • Personal vehicle storage onsite during rental
  • Accessories available 

Cons 

  • Rental process requires submitting a form prior to being able to reserve a bike

 

Elephant Moto

Official BMW Motorrad partners, Elephant Moto, operates in Colombia and Costa Rica, where they rent the BMW R 1200 GS, F 800 GS, and F 700 GS. www.elephantmoto.com

Pros

  • On- and off-road training available
  • Will price match in Colombia
  • Top or side cases included 

Cons

  • Website has limited information
  • No safety gear available for rent

 

MotoRoads

Another BMW Motorrad partner, motoroads.com rents many different styles and makes of motorcycles in a surprisingly large variety of European locations. You will need a driver’s license and a motorcycle endorsement to rent anything larger than 125cc. www.motoroads.com

Pros

  • Many rental locations across Europe (including Thailand and India)

Cons

  • Rental terms vary with location
  • Website has limited information
  • Riding safety gear not available to rent at all locations

 

Ride Adventures

Because of Ride Adventures’ central location in the Pacific Northwest, they are a reasonable jumping-off point for motorcycle tours in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Canada, and California. Reserve online and pick up your rental bike at the RDM airport in Bend, Oregon. Ride Adventures rents Yamaha, KTM, and Honda dual-sport and sport-touring motorcycles. www.rideadv.com

Pros

  • Tours available across multiple continents
  • Rentals available in other countries
  • Website has a lot of information
  • Soft luggage and tank bag included 

Cons 

  • Rental process requires submitting a form before being able to reserve a bike

Recommended books for Overlanding


Overlanders' Handbook: Worldwide Route & Planning Guid...
by Chris Scott
From $19.31
Tortillas To Totems (every Day An Adventure Book 4)
by Sam Manicom
From $9.99

Matthew Swartz is originally from Connecticut and currently lives in Denver, Colorado where he passionately pursues rock climbing, trail running, and skiing. Matt’s love of travel has inspired him to through-hike the JMT and part of the PCT, bike across the United States, and explore the West coast of South America from Ecuador to Patagonia. Matt and his partner Amanda have also travelled across much of the Western US in their 1964 Clark Cortez RV, which they lived in, on the road for the better part of three years. Matt has worked for the USFS as an Interpretive Ranger and Wildland Firefighter and Matt's photography and writing has been published in Rova Magazine, the Leatherman blog, 'Hit The Road' by Gestalten Publishing, and Forbes.