It has long been a dream of mine to hit the road and head off into the sunset in my very own campervan. Sadly, I still don’t own one. Instead, I am relegated to renting them when I can. One of the best rental companies Los Angeles has to offer in this realm is RoadSurfer Camper Vans.
I have tried various other companies in California and even though they all have good qualities, the number one thing that sold me on the RoadSurfer camper is their beautiful vans with no mileage limits. Often campervans have limited mileage, which means that you can’t go very far, or if you do, you then have to stay put once you have reached your destination. For me, this defeats the purpose of having a campervan as I want to explore and be able to come and go as I please without constantly worrying about mileage.
On our recent Redwoods Road Trip up the coast of California, we put the RoadSurfer van to the test! Below is our review of the van and why your family will love this road trip companion!
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
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What is a Roadsurfer Camper?
Roadsurfer is a German company with an extensive network of campervan rentals throughout Europe. In 2022, Roadsurfer opened its first US location in Los Angeles, bringing their much loved vibe across the pond. Their near to LAX based hub makes it super easy for both locals and out of town visitors to rent a van for their California adventure.
And of course, we might be a bit biased, but California is one of the best locations for road tripping as you can find somewhere to go all year long! From desert escapes in Joshua Tree to a variety of beautiful California ocean getaways along the Pacific Coast Highway.
Roadsurfer offers 2 models of camper vans in the Los Angeles location. The Couple Condo or the Roadhouse XL. For our adventure, even though we are only 2 people and could have used the Couple Condo, we decided to check out the XL version as it is the best option for most families.
This XL camper was still only 22 feet long making it super easy to drive and park in most places. This van is considered to be a Class B RV, but rest assured you do not need a special license to drive a Class B RV rental vehicle.
For me, the van drove much like my regular SUV, just a bit higher off the ground. I could occasionally feel the wind a bit more than I might have in my car, but it handled the curvy roads up and down the coast like a dream. It comes with all the perks you might be used to in your own car or other rentals like a backup camera, bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and many places to charge your devices including wireless charging!
Ins & Outs of Renting a Roadsurfer Camper
The benefits of renting a Roadsurfer camper over regular tent camping is the comfort and convenience, hands down. While it is cheaper to tent camp, I will attest that having the RV in the cold and rainy areas along the coast of California was a much appreciated plus. We didn’t have to worry about whether it was going to rain or if the fog would make everything wet because everything we needed was right inside the van.
Additionally, we loved having the the ability to be flexible traveling where we wanted with no set plans. We stayed at a HipCamp spot, regular state park campgrounds as well as tried our hand at wild camping off the roadside!
Having the campervan really offered such a unique camping experience that now we are spoiled and want one even more!
Roadsurfer camper van prices fluctuate throughout the year based on the demand. Rates for the Couple Condo start at $159 per night while the Roadhouse XL starts at $169 per night. During peak summer or high demand days, you can expect to pay around $250 a night.
In addition to the nightly rate, there is a service fee of $149 charged per rental which is added to the total price.
What this includes is unlimited mileage, space for 2 (Couple Condo) or 4 (Roadhouse XL), camping gear such as table and camp chairs, and a kitchen box with cups, plates and cookware needed during your adventure.
As they are still new in the US, you can often find a discount code on their website that will help reduce the cost. Definitely sign up to their newsletter so you can keep up with any specials they are running. (Right now, they have a summer deal for both their US rentals and their European rentals).
Extras Available for Rent
There are a few extras also available for rent with your campervan hire if needed. These include bedding for each person on your trip. This includes a flat sheet, duvet and duvet cover and pillow.
Each rental comes with 2 camping chairs and a camp table to sit outside, however you can rent additional chairs and a table if more are needed.
Lastly, you can also hire a bike rack to add to the back of the van so that you can bring your bikes with you for the journey.
Additional Costs Apart from Rental Fees
In addition to the cost of the van itself, it is important to know that you will incur a few other additional costs during your rental. This includes things like refilling the propane tank and emptying the dirty water and wastewater. All of these things must be done before returning your van or else you will be fined a lot more than the cost to do this on your own!
From our experience, refilling the propane can cost anywhere from $15-25 dollars depending where you go. Additionally, you will need to visit a dump station to dump the grey water tank and toilet waste. Some places are free, but more often than not you will be required to pay. This can run up to $40 per dump station.
Rental Days & Customer Support
Currently Roadsurfer is closed on Sundays and holidays which means vans cannot be rented or returned on these days. This is important to be aware of when planning your camping holiday.
Additionally, at the time of our rental, there was not a convenient system of customer support for non-emergencies while on the road, as they are still working out the kinks on being based on two continents. The station team where we picked up the van were great, but unfortunately there is no way to contact them while on the road. Instead, you are directed to email the main account, which states that it could take a few days to get a response from. There is an emergency roadside assistance number, but for the non emergencies, there isn’t a clear way to contact people in real time.
While we did not have any problems ourselves while out on the road, in returning the vehicle we had an issue refilling the propane tank and could not get in touch with anyone to discuss what we should do. I have great hope that this will work itself out quickly as they further establish their team in the United States.
Let’s Look Inside a Roadsurfer Camper Van
Ok, now that we have gone through the nitty gritty of how to rent a van, how much it will cost and what extras you should budget for, we want to share the super fun bit.. the inside of the van!
Check out this video my son made while we were on the road in our Roadhouse XL.
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What to Expect Inside a Roadsurfer Camper Van
A Roadsurfer camper van is around 22 feet long, but they sure pack in the features. In our campervan, we had a large bed that could be folded up in the day to provide more inside space to get into the cabinets, or you could leave it folded out if you didn’t need much space or access to the things below.
We also had a small, but functional kitchen space with a 2 burner stovetop, a mini fridge and a microwave. Across from the kitchen is the small bathroom with shower and toilet. I will admit it isn’t always pleasant to have the bathroom door closed while going to the restroom as the space is tiny, the door does close and you have space to still sit comfortably. And how amazing to not have to go outside in the middle of the night!
Across from the kitchen is a small table with a 2 seater bench. The front seats can also turn around to face and use this small table as a dining area. Since we were just two people, we often only swiveled one chair and left the driver’s seat in driving position.
Apart from the “household” functions that we needed each day there was also a TV (which we never even turned on!) and a ton of storage. We managed to fill it up with food, pots and pans, clothes and more, but we brought a lot since we are locals and could drive it all to the rental pickup.
There is also a manual pop up roof on top that sleeps two more people. My son loved climbing up to that area to have his own personal space at camp.
List of Amenities
There are so many amazing amenities and various features to these RV campervans. I thought I would list them out for ease with a few notes as well.
- Toilet and shower (both indoor and an outdoor shower – great for beach camping to wash off the sand)
- Mosquito nets for the back door and the side door (you can leave these on for your whole trip which makes it easy to stay bug free!)
- Magnetic and/or velcro window coverings for the night
- Electric powered sun awning
- Manual pop-up roof sleeping area on the Road House XL van
- Off grid power supply plus hookups (we never used the hookups and never ran out of power in a week)
- Solar panels
- Tons of electrical outlets throughout the van
- Decent space in the kitchen to prep and cook meals
- Included Kitchen box (small pots/pans, mixing bowl, dishes for 4, plus plastics for kids)
- Extra rental options – Bedding, Bike rack
- Many vans come with a hitch if you have your own bike rack
- Camping table plus 2 camping chairs are also included
- Van is equipped with both air conditioners and heaters
Being Off-grid in the Roadsurfer Campervan
One thing that we absolutely loved about our Roadsurfer van was that throughout our entire week of camping, we never had hookups and we never needed them! I cannot tell you the specifics of how our campervan had power every day, but it was amazing. We used our heater when it was cold out (through the propane tank), we washed dishes multiple times a day, we took showers 2x (with one water tank refill at a campground) and used our toilet many many times. Even though we didn’t camp at places with hookups, we were totally self sufficient which was an unexpected bonus to our rental.
The water refill is super easy and we did it at the local campground using the included water storage bucket. We also emptied our waste at a campground pit toilet when we were not near to any dump stations. Being able to just pull out the ‘cassette’ and dump was super convenient.
Note: we did not use the air conditioner during our trip as it was nice and cool out at night. With the nets and the screens on the back windows, you can easily keep a window open at night. If you have electrical hookups at your campsite, you can run the AC all night long. However, if you are like us and off grid, you can use the generator for about 2 hours of cooling.
Tips to Enhance Your RV Camper Van Trip
As this was our first larger size RV camper van rental, we weren’t quite sure what to bring with us or what would be provided. In hindsight, there are a few things I would have changed. Below I list some things we would do again and others we would change to help you make good decisions in planning your own RV trip.
1. Limit Driving Distances
If we were to rent another Roadsurfer camper van, I think that I would not drive as far as we did in the short amount of time that we had. I wanted to maximize our time and the free mileage, but we drove way too much. It would have been better to just stay put in places longer.
2. Bring Your Own Bedding
During our trip, we rented our bedding from Roadsurfer, which was great. But to save money, I would bring our own bedding next time. While their bedding was comfortable, I could have easily just bought a queen sheet and our duvet and pillows from home to save money. If I were flying in, I would consider bringing (or buying) a fitted sheet and using our sleeping bag/quilts which fold up small.
3. Bring Lightweight Camping Chairs
During our trip, it rained almost every night so we didn’t get to utilize the included camping chairs like we had envisioned. Even though they were super comfortable, during the day they were a bit cumbersome in the back of the van. While our backpacking chairs are not as comfortable, I would probably bring my own smaller lightweight chairs and leave the bulky ones behind if given the option to save space in the van. Again this is me, coming as a local. When flying in, you will be happy to have the included chairs! And, if you plan to camp off grid a lot, you will want the included chairs/table much more than if you are camping at established campgrounds every night.
4. Bring Kitchen Supplies
One of the things I did do and would repeat was bringing my own kitchen supplies. Obviously if you are flying from out of town, this is not a good option, but for locals who have specific pans they know and love, you might consider bringing it! While the kitchen box is quite inclusive of items you would most likely need, I am glad I brought my large pan (which granted was probably too large for the tiny stove top) and my favorite egg pan. I also brought a cheese grater, peeler, spatula and tupperware bowls for extras. Many people may not cook as much as we did, but we were trying to save money where we could and that meant eating at “home” as much as we could. We made breakfast and dinner every day and usually made lunch in the van as well.
5.Bring Cleaning Supplies
One of the things I was glad that we brought and that I would recommend to others is to bring a few kitchen size garbage bags. We hung ours on the side of the kitchen with our dish towels. It was so helpful to have a few of these to collect our trash and food waste every day. Additionally having a roll of paper towels and a few hand towels was great. We used them to clean up spilled water when we left a pot on the stove and took off driving (oops! lesson learned), used them to dry our hands and to clean up the kitchen as needed. Additionally, our van did not have a small hand broom. We were told they normally do come with one, but I would bring one just in case next time as we really needed it to get out the miscellaneous dirt and sand that followed us in.
Road Trip Routes to Consider
While one of the only restrictions is that you cannot take the vans to Death Valley in the summer, you are free to explore as your heart desire. Our dream route is driving up the California PCH like we did on our adventure. Another great road trip route to consider would be to the area around Zion, where there are so many cool and unusual camping spots to explore. You could also recreate our favorite Arizona-Utah road trip in the campervan. You can have so much fun researching the best places to stay or wing it until you roll up on the perfect spot!
We absolutely loved our Roadsurfer camper van rental and would highly recommend it for your next summer road trip. For families that are new to the outdoors or just looking for ease and comfort, having a Roadsurfer campervan will make your trip really stand out. We drove the van from Los Angeles up along the west coast to the Oregon border and back down with ease. The van drives much like a bigger SUV making it super easy for anyone to handle. It had everything we needed. Having the bathroom and shower were game changers for us and was exactly what we have been longing for in our outdoor adventures! While it’s not a necessity, it was a nice option to have.
We have looked at so many companies that rent campervans, but what sold us on Roadsurfer was that they allow unlimited mileage. This meant that we could plan the trip we wanted to take without worrying about extras such as daily mileage limits. We cannot wait until we can hit the road again in another Roadsurfer camper van.
Have you rented a camper van before? What is holding you back?
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