Camping is the ultimate vacation when you rent the camper from Oakdale’s not-so-secret treasure: Fractional Toys, a supplier of outdoor recreational toys.
Yes, we are bragging about ourselves! But it’s totally backed up by our testimonials.
With everything from tiny teardrop models to huge pull-behinds, our recreational rental fleet has something super fun and functional for every price point. Plus, with generators available for rent and many camper rentals coming with a water heater, you’ll be ready to take to the outdoors in comfort and luxury!
Spend the night close to your outdoor getaway of choice and wake up right there, ready to embrace the action. If you’re truly itching for motorized fun, check out our ATV and snowmobile rentals. Our recreational rental services have everything you need for an alternatively cozy and action-packed winter getaway.
Now then… a few tips for those of you who are renting a camper for the first time!
Motorhome or Camper?
If you’re a first-time camper, you may not know that motorhomes and campers are not necessarily the same thing. Though they share similarities, they have a few distinct differences. Knowing the difference is important when choosing your home away from home.
Campers are tow-behind, which means they hook up to a vehicle with towing capabilities. They’re smaller and lighter than motorhomes since they have no engine. A pro of a camper is that you will also have a vehicle if you plan on going anywhere while leaving the camper behind.
Motorhomes are just that – they’re campers with the engine and driver’s cab. They’re larger and heavier but can be easier to park in your campsite because you don’t have to mess around with turning and backing up a long trailer.
Both are great options depending on your plans, so you’ll want to decide what kind of trip you’re taking before choosing a camper vs. a motorhome.
Know How to Haul Your Camper Safely
Whether you’re bringing along the aforementioned extra snowmobile and ATV rentals or not, if you’re taking a trailer or camper with you, one thing’s for certain: You’ll need to know how to haul it.
Because your vehicle is so large in weight and size, handling it will be tricky when a camper is added on. If you’re unsure of the terminology between campers, trailers, motorhomes, and popup campers, check out our blog that clarifies these terms.
Don’t panic – you haven’t even gotten behind the wheel yet! You’ll need to learn to watch for other drivers, who behave differently around large vehicles than small ones. With our tips below, you’ll drive safely with your added load in no time.
Pay Attention to Blind Spots
Before you head out for real, have a partner or friend walk around your camper rental. See anything unusual?
That’s a trick question: You’ll see a lot less! Larger vehicles or vehicles hauling trailers have larger blind spots, so always remember this, especially if you suspect someone might be tailgating you.
Many other drivers who have never hauled before don’t know that blind spots increase in volume, so those who share the road with you may not give you your due space.
Learn How Much Longer It Takes to Stop
This is a no-brainer, of course, but it’s all too often forgotten in the heat of the moment. Plus, Minnesota is well-known for its icy roads, so we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention this.
Your vehicle is bigger now and far less agile than it used to be. While you can easily learn to compensate for this, if you aren’t giving the road your full attention, it’s easy to slip into autopilot and drive as if you weren’t hauling anything.
Be mindful and remember: Stopping takes time!
Take a Few Practice Runs
Consider adding a day or two onto your recreational rental to learn how to haul it. Nothing ruins your vacation fun like encountering hauling problems!
Set yourself up for success and take a few short drives before you leave with your trailer in tow. You’ll get a better feel for your vehicle’s new weight and maneuverability.
Know How to Legally & Safely Park Your Camper
If you are planning on traveling, you need to know how to legally and safely park your camper or motorhome. It’s not true that you can park and set up anywhere you want. Many places have restrictions on where and how parking spots are used.
The last thing you want is your camper or motorhome hauled away by a tow truck! Check where you can park along your travel route to ensure you don’t run into any problems with authorities.
Places that you can legally park usually include campgrounds, truck stops, and some casinos. Campgrounds are the preferred location since you can plug into the power there, but if you’re stuck somewhere, consider a truck stop with adequate lighting or a casino parking lot.
Plan a Stress-Free Camping Experience
Aside from learning how to haul, a little pre-trip planning is helpful outside of that if you're looking to have the best camping experience ever.
While our recreational rentals are so luxe and modern it can be tempting to drive off into the sunset immediately, please do the following beforehand.
Research Your Campgrounds
If you want to avoid camping with no facilities, avoid rustic campgrounds. When you’re planning on your campgrounds, make sure you look for modern campgrounds with amenities such as electricity, water, and sometimes even Wi-Fi.
You can also find campgrounds with “pull-through spots” where you can easily park your camper or motorhome without too much backing up. Some RV campgrounds also have concrete slabs where you can park, which makes it much easier to level your camper for the stay.
You’ll need to pack many things for a good camping trip. When renting a camper or motorhome, make sure you check what is included in your rental in terms of supplies. You can cross those things off your list.
The top two include appropriate food and clothing. Not packing food ahead of time means you’ll spend more money traveling to a grocery store or eating at a restaurant. As for clothing, always check the weather and remember that sleeping in a camper or motorhome can be much colder at night than you might expect, so pack accordingly.
Don’t forget about personal care products. Shower products, toothbrush and toothpaste, deodorant, etc. are all important for a camping trip. If your motorhome or camper does not have a shower, make sure you bring shower shoes, like flip flops, for taking showers.
In addition, soaps and other cleaning supplies are good for keeping your rental camper or motorhome clean while you’re staying in it.
Estimate Gas Costs
Camping on a budget is entirely possible. One of the ways to help with costs is to estimate your gas costs before you head out. While it may be impossible to guess exactly how much you’ll pay for gas, given that you’ve never hauled before, just know that it will probably be more than you would pay without a trailer.
Set aside much more than you think you’ll need, or use an online tool to get a benchmark cost.
Bringing a Pet? Be Prepared
Does your dog have separation anxiety? Is your kitty a hair too scratch happy? Perhaps it might not be the best to bring them on the trip.
While we at Fractional Toys are perfectly happy to allow pets in our trailers when the rental cost is paid, we ask that our trailer rentals and camper rentals come back in as good a condition as they came.
If you do plan on bringing your pet, make sure you plan ahead. Pack enough food, waste bags, and whatever else you can bring to make your pet feel comfortable. Also, check before you go that your pet is allowed in the campgrounds that you’re staying at.
It’s important to ensure that your pet does not disturb the other campers, particularly at night, by barking or whining. Most campgrounds require dogs to be on a 6-foot leash to keep that in mind.
While traveling, make sure to stop regularly for potty breaks. Dogs typically need a potty break three to five times daily and shouldn’t go more than six to eight hours without a break.
Also, be aware of your animal overheating, such as excessive panting, heavy breathing, weakness, agitation, or a bright red tongue.
Give Yourself an Itinerary
There’s no use driving willy-nilly, as you could incur extra charges if your rental isn’t returned on time. Plus, with an itinerary, you’ll experience everything your dream camping trip entails. Plan your stops ahead of time to make the most of your vacation.
As we mentioned previously, you can stop and park your camper or motorhome in a few different spots, such as casinos, truck stops, or campgrounds. If you plan for how many hours you can drive in a day, check for these locations along the map to know where you will set up. Speaking from experience, setting up a camper at night is not a fun time, so plan for hitting your final stop for the day before the sun goes down.
If you need some help, here are a few great places to visit with our camper rentals!
Use Campsites Courteously
Avoid any issues with campgrounds and protect our beautiful outdoors by learning how to use a campsite courteously.
The main things to know include:
Keeping your pets under control. Always keep Fido on a 6-foot leash, avoid situations where the dog will be stressed or start barking, and make sure you keep your dog hydrated.
Don’t get too noisy, especially at night. Many campgrounds have curfews or quiet hours, so ensure you keep the noise level to a minimum during those times.
Use local firewood in your fires. In many cases, it is illegal to transport firewood due to diseases that can be transferred. Also, if bugs are living in the firewood that you leave in your trailer, guess who will come out to play while you’re driving? (Again, speaking from experience.)
Do not burn trash, especially cardboard. It’s rude to leave your garbage in fire pits when you leave, so clean up after yourself.
Make friends with your neighbors. This is the best way to ensure you’re not disturbing anyone by getting to know who is camping next door.
Stay Toasty Warm With a Camper Rental From Fractional Toys
Our rental fleet is just waiting for you to take it for a spin! For more information, give our Oakdale location a call at 651-340-0937 or our Coon Rapids office at 763-406-2488.