This RV rental company wants to make it super-easy to get out in nature this summer.

By Paul Brady
Updated August 07, 2020
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Talk about good timing: The upstart RV rental company, Blacksford, is making fleets of cool vehicles available to road trippers this summer, just in time for high season at national parks and other outdoor escapes.

The company has an all-inclusive pricing model for its smaller-sized RVs, with rates starting at just $199 a day, says founder Jonathan Distad. Blacksford offers a variety of Winnebago vehicles, which are based on the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and popular with the #vanlife set. (They are also easier to drive than super-sized rigs.) They come with just about everything you need, including fuel, cooking supplies, bedding, Wi-Fi, and (in some RVs) a power generator. Renters also get unlimited mileage, liability insurance, and a national parks pass that covers entry fees.

Courtesy of Blacksford

First launched in 2019, Blacksford now has locations in Bozeman, Montana, and Las Vegas, Nevada, both gateways to famed outdoor recreation areas, including Yellowstone and Grand Canyon national parks. More locations, in Denver and other cities, are in the works. Critically, Distad says, Blacksford operates at airports, unlike other RV rental firms that are located far from the arrivals hall.

“Why Uber with kids, luggage, and everything just to get your RV?” asks Distad, in an emailed statement. “We greet you at the gate, load your bags on our carts, onboard you virtually so you don't have to spend hours getting to know your RV, have 24-hour roadside assistance, and have a great lounge for the kids to hang out while we get you all sorted in the RV.”

Courtesy of Blacksford

While the service is pitched as all-inclusive, all that hands-on service and convenience do come at a price: A search for a week-long rental in Montana in early August shows a Winnebago View available for $6,291. The 28-foot vehicle can sleep five, and everything is included. Meanwhile, another RV rental firm, Cruise America, offers its five-passenger, 25-foot RV for $3,300 a week, including extras like mileage, bedding, cooking gear, and more. (Cruise America does charge for generator rentals and additional mileage, and the exact specifics of each package are not identical.)

But Blacksford has one other sweetener that differentiates it from the competition: The company offers a GuidePost trip-planning tool that helps you figure out where to go, which campsites are ideal, and pointers on making the most of your RV rental. If this summer is your first time renting a rig, that alone might be worth the price of admission.