Can You Rent a Camper Van In New York City?

As the camper van market continues to boom, the diversity of people trying to live the #vanlife is also growing. Now camper lovers are popping up everywhere, even the opposite of the great outdoors; New York City. As most New Yorkers can hardly handle parking a car in the city, a camper seems nearly impossible. So, instead of owning one in the city, renting a camper van in New York City makes far more sense. 

rent a camper van in New York City instead of owning one like these campers did.
RVs parked next to a river | Patrick Pleul/picture alliance via Getty Images

Why rent a camper in NYC? 

Owning a camper van in NYC without a proper place to store it would surely end in utter disaster. In NYC, parking is a luxury, as is owning any kind of camper. So unless a would-be camper has serious cabbages to burn, renting a camper van in NYC is clearly the more practical option. 

For the reasons previously listed, there aren’t major stores of rental vans ready to roll, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get your hands on one. In fact, Outdoorsy and Escape Campervans both service the New York metro area. 

Rent a camper van in New York City with Outdoorsy

The Alabama made Storytellers 4x4 Camper with a couple leaning against it at sunset
Storyteller 4×4 Ford Transit camper van | Storyteller

Outdoorsy is an RV and camper van rental service that works like Airbnb. This peer-to-peer rental service allows you to rent a camper directly from the people who own them. Despite the many challenges of owning something so cumbersome in NYC, Outdoorsy shows plenty of good options from owners in all five boroughs. 

Like Airbnb, you can add certain filters to find the right rig for whatever adventure you have planned. Most rentals charge by the day, and some have mileage limits. 

Escape Campervans means what it says

A rental camper van sits in a desert style area with a red chair sitting next to a campfire that recently went out.
Camper van | Getty Images

Another good option for renting a camper van in New York City requires leaving the city. As will all car rentals, all New Yorkers know that you have to go to New Jersey to rent cars and not get hosed. Escape Campervans understands this, which is why it is located just across the Hudson River in Jersey City. 

Unlike Outdoorsy, Escape keeps camper vans on hand, ready to roll for any weary New Yorker to snatch up and head north. Although it’s not technically NYC, this location only requires a short train ride from Manhattan to access the fleet. 

Where to take a camper van rental in New York

Many people don’t understand that while NYC is a massive city with nothing in the way of camping to offer, within an hour’s drive of Times Square (depending on traffic), you can be well into the Hudson Valley. This area is beautiful, tranquil, and deeply endowed with all the camping, hiking, and scenic drives you could ever want. 

Travel a couple of hours further north, and you pass through the Catskill mountains and end up in the Adirondacks. These are a wild and wonderful range of mountains that will make you completely forget the world’s greatest city is a short day trip away. So, not only is renting a camper van in NYC possible, it is something everyone should try. 

As the camper and RV markets continue to grow and diversify, we will see more urban adoption along the way. Don’t let the city stop you from leaving and seeing its wild backyard.

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