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FAQs: What To Know Before Renting A Campervan

What make & model are your campervans?

We currently have 4 models in our fleet:

These are among the most economical in North America and are easy to drive and park.


How far in advance should I book my campervan?

Escape is typically one of the first companies to fill up. Even in the low season, our vehicles are in high demand. It is advisable to book your van prior to booking airline tickets. For the high season months (March 15 – Oct 15), it is advisable to book a few months ahead and in the low season at least a couple of weeks. If you are not that organized, contact us anyway as things can always change at the last minute and you could get lucky!

Because of our flexible cancellation policy, it is advisable to book as early as possible to ensure availability and lock in the lowest rates.


How much does it cost to rent a campervan?

Our daily rates fluctuate according to a variety of factors, including van model, demand, time of year, depot location, and length of trip. You can get a quick quote on our website or contact our reservations team.


What equipment comes with the campervan?

Escape includes the following free of charge with every campervan rental (varies slightly for our Jeep Camper and Santa Cruz). 

  • Convertible bed fit out / “dining room” area with storage space
  • Kitchen fit out with sink, refrigerator, and stove (must purchase propane separately)
  • Dual battery system with solar panel
  • Road Atlas and Escape Plan Guidebook

We have bedding sets, kitchen kits, propane, and other Extras available for rent.

Read about our campervan packing tips.


What is the cancellation policy?

Standard Policy

  • If you cancel your booking within 5 days of receiving your confirmation, we will refund your deposit in full ($200 US / $400 CAD). NOTE: This does not apply to pickups within 14 days of booking.
  • If you cancel more than 5 days after receiving confirmation, we will keep your $200 US / $400 CAD deposit on hold for a future reservation. Please note, your $200/$400 CAD credit must be used within one year from your cancellation date.
  • If you cancel within 14 days of pick up, you will be charged 20% of the total value of your trip on top of the deposit.
  • If you cancel within 2 days of pick up, or if there is a no-show, you will be charged the full balance of your rental.

COVID Cancellation Policy 

This applies if the trip was booked after March 11 and by June 30, 2020.

  • If the confirmed campervan is cancelled at least 7 days prior to the pick up date, we will refund your entire $200 ($400 CAD) deposit and you will not incur a penalty.
  • If the confirmed campervan is cancelled within one week of your pick up date, we will save your $200 ($400 CAD) deposit for a future trip.

Can I do one-way trips?

Yes! You can travel round-trip or one-way between our 12 depot locations across the US and Canada. One-way fees vary.

Note: We are only able to allow one-way-trips within countries. For example, you can do a one-way trip between Vancouver and Calgary and vice versa, but you cannot pick up in Seattle and drop off in Vancouver. You can, however, pick up in Seattle, drive into Canada, and then drop back off in Seattle (or any other depot in the US).


Can I rent extra items?

Yes! We rent out bedding sets, kitchen kits, picnic tables, snow chains, GPS navigation, tents, sunshade awnings, solar showers, child seats, and more. You can see a full list of our campervan accessories available for rent.


How do I secure a campervan booking with Escape?

You may use our website or call our reservations department at 877-270-8267 opt 1 (US) or +1 (310) 672-9909 opt 1 (international) to get a quote or a booking request. There is a link inside the quote that says “Click here to turn your quote into a booking request.” The link is valid for 5 days. Once you submit your booking request, our reservations team will get back to you within 24 hours as to whether or not it has been approved. Your booking is not confirmed until our reservations team has approved it. Do not book any flights or campgrounds until your request has been confirmed.

Once it has been approved, Escape will charge a $200 USD ($400 CAD) deposit to reserve your campervan. The balance is not payable until you collect your campervan (many companies require full payment 4 weeks prior to travel). Read our full Rental Requirements for more information on booking a campervan. 


How will I get by without a bathroom in the campervan?

While our Big Sur, Mavericks, Jeep Camper, and Santa Cruz models don’t have bathrooms, our renters do just fine using campground facilities and public restrooms, and practicing Leave No Trace principles when dispersed camping. It is a matter of your own comfort level, but the freedom that campervan travel gives you compared to RVs is worth it for many!


How many people can travel in the camper with me?

  • Big Sur: Seats 5, sleeps up to 5 (2-3 in queen bed, 2 in rooftop sleeper if added).
  • Mavericks: Seats 5, sleeps up to 5 (2-3 in queen bed, 2 in rooftop sleeper if added).
  • Santa Cruz: Seats and sleeps 2 (1 double bed).
  • Jeep Camper:  Seats up to 5 (designed for 2) and sleeps 2 (rooftop sleeper).

Seating is according to how many seat belts are available in each vehicle. You can always add the rooftop sleeper (Big Sur and Mavericks only, standard on Jeep Camper) or bring along our ground tent accessory to sleep more people. Bedding kits are available for rent to accommodate the number of people in your party.


Can I buy the van?

We occasionally sell our more “experienced” campervans—fit out, paint job, and all! Learn more about our used campervans for sale listed on our website, or contact vansales@escapecampervans.com to inquire about buying a campervan. Sign up for our email list or follow us on social media for the most recent updates.


Is the kitchen unit for sale?

We do not sell any of the individual components of our campervan fit out. We do, however, occasionally sell our campervans. Learn more about our used campervans for sale listed on our website, or contact vansales@escapecampervans.com to inquire about buying a campervan. Sign up for our email list or follow us on social media for the most recent updates.


Am I insured for 3rd party injury or damage?

For US rentals:

The daily rate includes 3rd party minimum liability coverage to the levels set by the individual states. If your own travel insurance does not include liability coverage to $1,000,000 USD, we can offer this to you for an additional $13.99/day.

For Canadian rentals:

Supplemental Liability Insurance cannot be offered on Vancouver and Calgary rentals. However, the minimum liability insurance provided for rental vehicles in Canada covers $1,000,000 CAD worth of third-party damage (a much higher number than minimum liability insurance provided in the USA).

Learn more about our campervan insurance options.


Will my own car insurance or credit card cover my insurance on the campervan during my trip?

If you are a U.S. or Canadian resident with a valid driver’s license from either country, and you have auto insurance or credit card insurance that provides full coverage for rental vehicles (including minivans), you MAY not have coverage for our campervans. It is because they might be considered “modified,” or “conversion,” vehicles,  or “recreational vehicles.” We recommend reading the fine print of your policy, and checking with your own insurance company or credit card provider prior to picking up your campervan. If you decline our CDW and/or SLI options, your credit card will be charged for the cost of any and all damages at return, and you will need to make a claim through your own insurance company for reimbursement. Generally, they don’t seem to cover it, but some do! Escape Tip: after 11 years of experience, we have found that about 99% of of the time, auto insurance and credit card insurance policies do not cover modified or conversion vehicles. 

Learn more about Escape’s insurance options.


What is the minimum number of days that I need to rent an Escape campervan?

The minimum rental requirement will range from 3 to 14 days, depending if you are doing a round trip or one-way and from what depot location(s). Get a quote to learn more.


What are your office hours and when can we pick up and drop off our campervan?

Office hours

Open 7 days/week.

8.30am – 4.30pm

Closed Christmas, Memorial Day, Labor Day, New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving, and Independence Day.

Pick up

You can collect your campervan between 1 pm and 4 pm. If you cannot arrive at our depot location by 4 pm (pick up process takes approximately 30 mins), you will need to reserve a pick up for the following day. Please allow enough time to clear customs, collect your luggage, arrange transportation to our depots, etc. in order to pick up your van by 4 pm. We do not offer after-hours pick ups or drop offs.

Phoenix and Miami pick up times must be arranged 48 hours prior to campervan collection.

Drop off

You can drop off your campervan between 8:30 am and 10 am.

Like a hotel, we charge by the night and not the drop off day. Vehicles must be returned by 10:00 a.m. on the agreed drop-off date. A full-day rental charge will be applied once the vehicle is more than 1 hour late. By contacting the reservations department, you can request a drop off as late as 4 pm. This will incur an extra day charge.


Do I have to choose all my accessories, mileage, insurance, etc. when I book or can I do it later?

You can choose all of the above either when you book or at pick up. Note that once these have been chosen at pick up and you drive away in your campervan, you cannot go back and change them.


Where can we pick up our campervan?

You can pick up and drop off your campervan at any one of our 12 campervan depot locations across the US and Canada: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City (coming soon!), Phoenix, Seattle, Denver, New York, Miami, Vancouver, Calgary, and Portland. Round trip and one-way available!

Please note that if you pick up in the US, you can not drop off at a Canadian location, and vice versa. You CAN, however, drive and explore across the border, as long as you return in the same country. 


Can I pick up my campervan early?

We operate like a hotel, with check-in (pick up) in the afternoon from 1-4 pm and check-out (drop off) in the morning from 8:30 – 10 am. Contact us if you would like to request an earlier pick up time. Note that it’s rare that we can accommodate early pick up times in the summer.


Do all drivers need to be present at the time of pick up?

YES. All drivers must be present at the time of pick up to present their physical driver’s license and to sign the rental agreement. Electronic versions of the driver’s licenses are not sufficient.

If you want to add another driver after pickup, you will have to stop back by one of our depot locations in order to present their driver’s license and have them sign a new copy of the rental agreement with you.

Read our full Rental Requirements.


Do I need a driver’s license to rent a campervan?

YES. All drivers are required to have a valid driver’s license from his or her respective country in hand at pick up in order to rent a campervan (no print outs or electronically scanned copies are allowed). An International Driver’s License cannot be accepted in place of a driver’s license from your respective country. Please bring your driver’s license with you to pick up, otherwise you will not be able to rent!


Are my credit card details safe?

We maintain reasonable administrative, physical and technological measures to protect the confidentiality and security of personal information you submit on or through this site, including credit card details. Unfortunately, no website, server or database is completely secure or “hacker proof.” We, therefore, cannot guarantee that your personal information will not be disclosed, misused or lost by accident or by the unauthorized acts of others.


What’s the best way to contact Escape?

In order to reach the right people to answer your question, please utilize the form on the Contact Us page of our website.

Contact during regular business hours:

Contact after hours (urgent inquiries only) and 24-hour Roadside Assistance: Call either number above and select option 3.


Do I need to have a credit card in order to rent a campervan?

Yes. Similar to a hotel, we require a credit card to be left electronically on file during your rental for incidentals (debit cards and Maestro cards are not accepted). The credit card holder must also be the primary renter, who is responsible for signing the agreement. We can switch the primary renter at pickup if need be. Payments may be split between guests on multiple cards.

You may pay for your rental by credit or debit. We accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover. We do not accept cash or virtual credit cards (e.g. Apple cards).


Is there a charge for additional drivers?

There is no additional cost for up to 4 drivers. All drivers MUST be physically present with a valid physical driver’s license (not an electronic copy/print out) at the time of pick up.


What age do I need to be to rent an Escape campervan?

You must be at least 21 years of age (at the time of pickup) with a valid driver’s license to rent an Escape campervan. Unlike many other campervan companies, Escape does not charge a young driver fee.


What about traveling with small children?

As the rear seat has 2 secure 3-point seat belts where child seats can be securely fitted, we have had many happy young families travel with Escape. We also supply child seats and booster seats as Extras for $30 to save you from having to bring your own.


Do you ever offer deals or specials?

Yes! Visit our specials page, subscribe to our email list, and follow us on social media for the latest updates. We also have a Facebook Group you can join and opt into notifications for relocation specials and last-minute deals so you never miss out on the cheapest rates!


Can you help me plan my trip?

Our Adventure Specialists are happy to provide local tips and advice at pick up, along with our very own “Escape Plan” Guidebook. The guidebook is packed with useful information, from use of the campervan to trip itinerary ideas and dispersed camping tips.

You can also visit our Itineraries and Blog for useful resources from us, as well as past renters.


Should I book campsites in advance?

This is a matter of preference. If you will be traveling between June and September, it’s always a good idea to book several months in advance for the more popular destinations (sites for the summer in Yosemite Valley are usually sold out around January/February, for example). You can pre-book campsites at the following links:

  • Reserve America is the biggest campground management/booking site in the US. It’s utilized for all national and state parks nationwide.
  • Recreation.gov is another federal government site to assist with bookings.
  • Hipcamp and Campground Views are like Airbnb for campgrounds and are great for finding unique private sites and experiences.

At the same time, many past renters have gotten by for an entire summer without booking or paying for campsites at all! It all depends on your comfort level. Here are some blogs with great tips for finding where to camp:


Can I sleep anywhere or do I have to stay in a campground?

The beauty of traveling in an Escape campervan is the freedom it gives you to get off the beaten path and find camping on the fly. Our campervans fit in most tent sites, so you don’t need to pay more for an RV site unless you want an electric hook up. (You’ll need to double check individual policies for private campgrounds).

You also have the option of “free camping”—also known as dispersed camping, pirate camping, boondocking, etc. Unless stated otherwise (usually a sign that says “No Camping” or “No Overnight Parking”) it’s legal to sleep in your vehicle within federally designated lands. Read our Dispersed Camping 101 guide, and remember to always practice Leave No Trace principles.


Will we be warm enough in the winter?

We have an Electric Kit available with heater and extension cord that you can turn on during particularly cold nights if you stay at a campground with a hookup. We also offer a Winter Bedding Upgrade kit featuring an extra warm Rumpl puffy blanket, two rubber hot water bottles, silicon funnel, and handwarmers for those extra cold days.

You can also turn on the heat in the van itself for 10 minutes to warm up as well. Pack layers, and remember you can always drive your “home on wheels” to warmer places if it gets too chilly!

We also offer snow chains and ice scrapers for rent, which are highly recommended if you expect to be heading into colder destinations.


How much storage space is there for luggage?

Travel light if possible—it’ll make your life easier! We recommend bringing soft-sided bags instead of hard cases as it makes it easier to maximize storage space. If you can’t fit everything in, we can store bags in a secure lock-up at select depots free of charge. If you plan on leaving any items at our depots, please contact us first to confirm that the depot you’ll be picking up or dropping off at has the ability to do so.

Note: because the Jeep Camper has a custom-built rear kitchen, storage is limited to the back seats and floorboards of the vehicle. Please keep this in mind when traveling with more than two people!

Read a past renter’s blog on “51 Van Life Tips” for more tips on packing, organization, and storage space in our campervans.


Can I bring my pet with me?

We charge a $150 non-refundable pet fee (up to 2 pets allowed). There is no charge for service dogs with the appropriate documentation. No pets are allowed during the months of July, August, and September.


Can I bring a campervan to a music festival?

Yes! Campervans are a great way to experience music festivals. Note that certain festivals, like Burning Man, have specific requirements and fees. Visit our festival camping page for full details.


What options do I have for extra or unlimited miles?

A mileage deposit is required for every rental and any miles over 100 miles per day cost per mile.*  The deposit and the per mile rate is charged according to your van model.

Santa Cruz & Mavericks: the $29/day deposit covers 100 miles per day, averaged over your trip. Excess miles are charged or unused miles are refunded at $0.29 cents per mile.

Big Sur (US): the $32/day deposit covers 100 miles per day, averaged over your trip. Excess miles are charged or unused miles are refunded at $0.32 cents per mile.

Big Sur (Canada): the $41 CAD/day deposit covers 150 kilometers per day, averaged over your trip. Excess kilometers are charged or unused kilometers are refunded at $0.28 CAD per kilometer.

At drop off, if you have driven less than the amount covered by your deposit, you will be refunded at the corresponding mileage rate. At drop off, if you have driven more than the amount covered by the deposit, you will be charged for excess miles at the rate that corresponds with your vehicle model.

*Applies to bookings made on or after June 8, 2020 in the US and July 7, 2020 in Canada. 


Where am I allowed to drive?

Our campervans provide accessibility that many larger campervans and RVs can’t. However, there are still limitations that we can’t avoid due to safety, legal, and logistical constraints. These include:

  1. Death Valley National Park: We STRONGLY urge you NOT to go to Death Valley between May 1 and September 30. Temperatures in Death Valley in the summer months can reach 130°F (54°C). Our Roadside Assistance and insurance WILL NOT cover you if your van breaks down in Death Valley during these months. You will be liable for the full value of recovery and damage to the vehicle. If you decide you have to go no matter what, then we strongly advise not driving the vehicle between 11 am and 5 pm during peak sun hours.
  2. Mexico, Alaska, Yukon and Northwest Territories, and Newfoundland are strictly prohibited. We cannot provide Roadside Assistance, nor does our insurance cover renters in these regions, among other reasons.
  3. Burning Man: If you plan to go to this festival, please let us know in advance. We’ll need to remove the van from our rental fleet for special post-burn grooming in order to adequately prepare it for the next renter. The grooming fee for this is US $1,000. Do not try and hide the fact you have been to The Playa. Fees of up to US $2,000 will apply for failure to notify Escape.
  4. Driving on unpaved roads (excluding state- and county- maintained roads), dirt roads, restricted areas, and ‘off road’ areas is not in compliance with Escape Campervans insurance and other vehicle warranties. If you get stuck, you are responsible for any expenses related to getting the van back to paved roads.

If you have any questions about safety, road rules, and our terms and conditions, please do not hesitate to contact us.


What happens if I get into an accident?

We provide Roadside Assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! In the unfortunate event that you get into an accident or have an issue with your campervan, contact us as soon as possible at 877-270-8267 (US phone) or 310-672-9909 (International Phone), option 2. We also provide instructions on what to do in your Escape Plan Guidebook, which comes in all of our campervans.


Can I drive through Canada?

Yes! Unlike some companies, Escape allows you to travel to every state in the US and most parts of Canada for no extra cost. Our 24/7 Roadside Assistance is available in the US and most parts of Canada should you require assistance. Read our Rental Requirements for full details on where you are allowed to drive in our campervans.


Can I drive through Mexico?

No. Our campervans are not allowed into Mexico for insurance purposes.


How old are your campervans?

Our fleet is among the newest of any budget fleet in North America.

  • Santa Cruz: average age of 2016 with a 2019 refit.
  • Big Sur: average age of 2016 with a 2018 refit.
  • Mavericks: average age of 2012 with a 2012+ refit.

All our campervans are serviced to a high standard every 5000 miles.


Do you offer bike racks for rent?

We no longer offer bike racks for rent, but we do have some great solutions if you plan on bringing or renting bikes during your road trip!

  1. Get yourself a Mavericks or Big Sur with a rooftop sleeper – The bikes fit inside the van easily with front wheels off, this keeps them safe and away from the elements. And you have the sleeper for a room with a view and a cool breeze. Please bring a tarp or ask us for an old blanket – helps keep the grease off of our cushions and keeps the van tidy!
  2. If you don’t get a sleeper, just make sure you have a good lock for your bikes as you would need to leave them outside the van at night while you sleep with the bed folded down.

*Please note: some of our vans have permanent roof racks, however, attaching any bike racks, storage racks or any type of 3rd party equipment is at renters risk and voids any type of insurance that you may have with Escape Campervans. The racks are intended for equipment supplied and installed by Escape Campervans only – rooftop sleepers, bike racks for Burning Man only.


Can I tow something behind the van?

For insurance reasons, we cannot allow you to tow anything behind our vehicles.


Do all models have stereos?

Most campervan models have aux inputs, CD players, and AM/FM stereo (most newer models have Bluetooth capabilities as well). To run your iPod or MP3 player through the stereo, you should bring an auxiliary cord to plug into the front face. These are available as Extras to purchase from our depots for $5 if you don’t have your own.


Who paints your campervans?

We employ a range of talented artists, many of whom have achieved international acclaim. Each artist has his or her own style that adds to our unique fleet. If you are visiting our Los Angeles Escape depot in the winter and spring, you may see our artists in action. Learn more about our campervan artists.


Can I request a certain van design before pick up?

As campervans are coming in and out of our depot locations from all over the country every day, it is extremely difficult for us to guarantee a certain van design prior to pick up–especially during peak times like summer, holidays and festival weekends. If there are multiple vans that are clean, serviced, and available for your route and dates, our depot managers will do the best they can to get you in a van you love. 

All our campervan artwork is happy, creative and friendly. We are proud to have long-standing relationships with professional street-artists who love what they do. We do not have political, aggressive, or offensive designs on our vans. 


I don’t want to draw attention to myself. Do you have any plain campervans?

We do not offer plain vans. We have 600+ vans in our fleet, and each one is hand-painted and unique! Our renters typically experience positive interactions with other travelers and locals via the artwork (it’s a great conversation starter for making friends on the road). Learn more about our campervan artwork.


What are the public facilities like in America?

Campsites in America vary from minimalistic tent sites with fire pits and outhouses to fully-powered sites with access to kitchens, TV and entertainment rooms, hot showers, and more. Prices range from approximately $5 to $25+ per night.


What is the price of fuel in the United States?

The price of fuel is constantly changing. As a general rule, it’s approximately one-third of the price of fuel in the UK or Europe. Gas is currently at a 5-year low in the US and in many states it costs less than $2.50/gallon. As there is 4 liters/gallon, this means you only pay 50 euro cents/liter or 0.41 GBP/liter! Here is a link to current fuel prices in the US.


How far can I travel on a tank of fuel?

Each of our models has a different sized tank. Depending on the model, driving terrain, and your driving style, you can travel up to 600 miles (approximately 1,000 km) on one tank! See the specs on each model from our Campervans page.


Do I need an International Driver’s License to rent an Escape campervan?

Those without a US or Canadian license do not need an international driver’s license to drive in the US and Canada. However, it can be helpful to have one as it can simplify things if or when you are pulled over by a law enforcement officer.

Note that all drivers are required to have a valid driver’s license from his or her respective country in hand at pick up in order to rent a campervan (no print outs or electronically scanned copies are allowed). Please bring your driver’s license with you to pick up, otherwise you will not be able to rent!


Can I park my personal vehicle at Escape’s lot during my trip?

We cannot allow personal vehicles to be parked at our lot during your trip, as it violates our insurance terms.

We recommend Lyft, Uber, taxi, or other public transit options to get to our depots. Please refer to our individual depot locations pages for directions. If you prefer to drive your own car, most of our depots are located near airports and long-term parking areas. You can also check out www.way.com/parking to see if there are other options nearby.


Are the campervan transmissions manual or automatic?

We provide automatic transmission campervans. If you have not driven an automatic before, don’t worry as it’s very easy and we will give you a quick lesson before departure.


Which side of the road do you drive on in the US and Canada?

We drive on the right-hand side of the road. For more information, click here for US and here for Canada.


How do I get a SunPass Toll Card for Florida?

The State of Florida no longer utilizes manned toll booths on their highways. A camera takes a photo of the vehicle license plate and mails the bill to the owner of the vehicle (in this case, Escape Campervans). It is impossible to pay these tolls in person! The tolls, additional charges, and delinquency fees can quickly cost you hundreds of dollars in unexpected trip expenses.

To simplify this process, the Miami Escape depot offers each renter a Florida SunPass as an Extra for $15. If you’re driving through (or dropping off) in Florida, we HIGHLY recommend you purchase a SunPass immediately upon entering the state. This pass, synced with your credit card, will ensure your compliance with the new Florida tolling system procedure. Each time you pass a toll station, the charge will simply be applied to your credit card – no hassles, no late payment charges, no worries.

How it works:

  1. Purchase a SunPass upon entering Florida (CVS Pharmacies or Publix Supermarkets typically have them) or pick one up from the Miami Escape Depot
  2. Go online and add a credit card to the SunPass account
  3. Enjoy your trip
  4. Make sure you remove the SunPass at the end of your adventure

What currency do the Vancouver and Calgary depots use?

Both of our Canadian depots, Vancouver and Calgary, use Canadian dollars (CAD). All prices are displayed in CAD. The Canadian depots also use kilometers instead of miles.


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