RVing took off like wildfire in the aftermath of the COVID pandemic. People wanting to take vacations without getting too close to others were more than happy to rent RVs for cross-country trips and week-long stays in public campgrounds. A few years later, people are tiring of RVs. So why not rent overlanding vehicles?
According to a recent piece in the Wall Street Journal, renting an overlanding vehicle is very possible. Rental arrangements are similar to those normally associated with RV rental. The big difference is this: an overlanding vehicle can take you places you’ll never reach with an RV.
Two Distinct Ways to Travel
RVing and overlanding represent two distinct ways to travel. The RVing lifestyle puts equal weight on both travel and destination. And in many cases, the destination matters more. Some RVers consider the travel portion a necessary part of the equation, but it is the destination they are after.
Overlanding is just the opposite. Destinations do not matter as much as the journey to get there. And for most overlanders, that means skipping the highways and byways. Overlanding means driving your vehicle in remote places normally off-limits to cars, trucks, and RVs.
It’s like Camping – Sort Of
The designers of the Rollercam brand of cam straps are avid overlanders themselves. That seems fitting given the fact that their cam straps are a favorite brand among overlanders. At any rate, they describe overlanding as sort of like camping but with an extra twist.
Pitching a tent in a public campground is technically camping. So is hiking into the wilderness and sleeping under the stars. Overlanding is a bit different in that you carry everything you need in your overlanding vehicle. So unlike tent camping or hiking into the woods with a backpack, you can actually carry many of life’s luxuries with you.
Overlanders cook on portable stoves. They carry battery-operated lamps, solar charging stations, power tools, small electronics, and so forth. As for sleeping arrangements, that depends on the vehicle.
Sleep Inside or On the Roof
Some overlanding vehicles are set up for sleeping inside. Perhaps a dining table or sofa will convert into a bed. Other vehicles are designed with platform tents mounted on top. You actually sleep on the roof of your vehicle in a tent that is protected against critters and ground moisture by being elevated.
There are those overlanders who just carry regular tents with them. They pitch their tents on the ground. There are others that sleep under the stars or hang makeshift lean-tos off the backs of their vehicles. Whatever works best is best on any given evening.
More About Renting a Vehicle
Since this post is about renting an overlanding vehicle, there are some key things you should know. First, vehicle rental doesn’t necessarily mean all the equipment comes with it. You may have to supply your own dishes and cooking utensils. You might have to supply your own tarps, cam straps, lamps, and folding chairs.
Also pay attention to insurance provisions. If the rental company offers a minimal amount of insurance at no extra cost, what does that insurance cover? It might be in your best interests to add comprehensive insurance.
Lastly, make sure you and the rental agent do a thorough inspection of the vehicle and agree on its condition before you take possession. You do not want to be charged for damage you didn’t cause.
If you like the great outdoors but you are getting tired of RVs, consider renting an overlanding vehicle. You might discover that overlanding is your favorite way to travel.