7 Best California Van Rentals for Your Next Surf Adventure

Are you planning a trip to catch some waves in California?

California van rentals can vary depending on the size and type of van you need, as well as the rental period. On average, you can expect to pay between $50 and $100 per day for a standard van rental.

If you want the freedom and flexibility to hit all the best surf spots, California van rentals might be just what you're looking for.

California van rentals are a convenient and comfortable way to travel and explore the Pacific coast, all while having your own home on wheels.

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7 California Van Rentals: The Ultimate Guide

There are lots of different types of California van rentals out there, with a wide range of layouts and amenities.

You can find custom camper vans that have all sorts of special features like luxe interiors, outdoor or indoor showers, bathrooms, recessed lighting, solar panels, and special gear storage.

Some California van rentals vans even have pop tops or high tops that can provide extra space or an additional bunk bed.

When it comes to camper van rentals in California, you have plenty of options to choose from.

From sporty off-road adventure vans to retro VW buses to fully-equipped luxury camper vans, there's a camper van to suit every style and budget.

California is home to a wide range of camper van rental companies that cater to surfers of all skill levels. From sporty off-road adventure vans to retro VW buses to fully-equipped luxury California van rentals, there's something to suit every taste and budget.

Below, we'll introduce you to 7 of the top California van rental companies in California and give you an overview of their fleets, prices, and policies.

Whether you're looking for a bare-bones rental or the ultimate glamping experience, you'll find something to suit your needs.

1. Aiyre Pacific Camper Vans

What I like about Aiyre Pacific Camper Vans is, their camper vans have no external fixtures or markings, making them perfect for stealth camping and avoiding unwanted attention.

Aiyre Pacific Camper Vans is a top choice for surfers looking for a reliable and comfortable rental in California. Their fleet includes a range of 2018 and 2019 Dodge Grand Caravans, which offer a smooth and quiet ride with great features like a strong AC, cruise control, and even a built-in GPS in some cars.

aiyre california van rentals

The company prides itself on delivering exceptional driving comfort and reliability, with a focus on avoiding breakdowns and delays. In the unlikely event of a problem, they have a network of repair and replacement locations across the country to ensure you stay on the road.

In terms of comfort and space, Aiyre Pacific Camper Vans has you covered. The cabin features a full-size bed with memory foam mattresses, fresh sheets, and a warm comforter, as well as ample storage space under the bed. The bed folds down in seconds to reveal 2 passenger seats, so you can sit and get dressed without having to exit the car.

The van also comes equipped with a set of window covers and a front curtain for complete privacy and light blocking, ensuring you'll get a great night's sleep.

When it comes to amenities, Aiyre Pacific Camper Vans has everything you need for your adventure. Each rental comes loaded with a full set of fresh linens, a shade canopy, folding chairs, a table, an icebox (cooler), a camp shower, towels, and a full set of kitchen items, including a propane stove, pots and pans, a cutting board, and all the cutlery, cups, and plates you'll need.

Plus, the company offers 150 free miles per day (that's 50% more than the industry standard) and competitively priced unlimited miles packages, so you can explore as much of California as you want without worrying about extra costs.

Aiyre Pacific Camper Vans also stands out for its convenient pick-up and drop-off locations, which are available 24/7 from dispatch points just minutes from major airports in cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego.

Finally, Aiyre Pacific Camper Vans is a member of STI – Sustainable Travel International, and they offset the carbon emissions from every mile driven in their vans, making them a carbon-neutral choice for environmentally conscious surfers.

2. Cabana: California Van Rentals

If you're looking for the ultimate luxury camper van rental in California, look no further than Cabana.

These vans are like mobile hotel rooms, packed with high-end amenities like indoor and outdoor showers, an outdoor kitchen, a fridge, a toilet, a smart TV, a memory foam mattress, and even a closet. Plus, all of Cabana's rentals come with unlimited mileage and cleaning fees, and they're even pet-friendly, so you can bring your furry friend along for a small additional fee. And when you book with Cabana, you'll get access to their tailored trip planning service, which creates a custom itinerary just for you, complete with route planning, campsite bookings, and recommendations for activities.

3. Escape Campervans

With a range of custom, hand-painted California van rentals to choose from, you'll be able to find the perfect fit for your trip.

Whether you're a couple looking for a cozy getaway in the Santa Cruz, or a family of five in need of some extra space in the Big Sur, Escape Campervans has a van for you.

Each van comes equipped with a sink, refrigerator, and stove, so you can enjoy all the comforts of home while on the road. Escape Campervans has been serving adventurous road trippers since 2009, so you can trust that they know what they're doing.

Plus, with locations in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Las Vegas, you'll be able to start your trip from just about anywhere in the state.

4. Outdoorsy

Outdoorsy, the largest peer-to-peer RV rental marketplace in the United States, is a great option for those looking for California van rentals for your next surf adventure.

Offering a diverse selection of stylish and unique vans, Outdoorsy is sure to have a rental that fits your specific needs. Whether you're interested in a vintage Airstream, a toy hauler, a fifth wheeler, or a Class A, B, or C RV, Outdoorsy has it all. In addition to its impressive fleet, Outdoorsy also offers the added convenience of a fully insured platform that is easy and safe to use, with no membership fees of any kind.

So if you're planning a trip to California and want the freedom and flexibility of a van rental, be sure to check out Outdoorsy's extensive selection.

5. The Camper Cartel

The Camper Cartel offers luxury California van rentals for those looking to elevate their road trip experience.

With a focus on re-imagined van life and a modern design aesthetic, The Camper Cartel's rentals provide the perfect balance of adventure and comfort. From the thrill of discovering new places to the returning comfort of a considered interior experience, The Camper Cartel helps make your road trip a journey to treasure. Whether you're a seasoned adventurer or just looking to escape the city for a while, The Camper Cartel has the perfect van rental for you.

So pack your bags, hit the open road, and let The Camper Cartel help you indulge in your wanderlust.

6. Travellers Autobarn

Travellers Autobarn offers a variety of California van rentals and RV rentals in the United States, including locations in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and San Francisco.

They cater to budget-conscious travelers and offer a range of vehicles to suit different needs, including minivans, hi-top campervans, and Kuga campervans. Their vehicles come equipped with various amenities, such as microwaves, fridges, sinks, and USB ports, and some even have solar panels and lights. Travellers Autobarn also offers long-term rental discounts and includes unlimited free miles with all rentals.

Whether you're looking to embark on a budget road trip or simply want to travel and explore the US in comfort, Travellers Autobarn has a California van rentals or RV rental option for you.

7. Vintage Surfari Wagons

Vintage Surfari Wagons is a California-based company that specializes in providing vintage VW Camper Van rentals for epic road trips.

For over 17 years, they have been at the forefront of vintage VW bus rental services, offering an intimate knowledge of the region and a deep understanding of what it takes to keep these vehicles running smoothly. They are dedicated to helping their clients experience the most unique vacation of their lifetime and aim to provide a taste of the local culture and environment.

With a commitment to excellence and a passion for adventure, Vintage Surfari Wagons is the perfect choice for anyone looking to embark on an unforgettable road trip through California.

The benefits of California van rentals for adventurous surfers

Are you planning a surfing trip to California and considering the best way to travel and stay?

Renting a camper van might be the perfect solution for you!

California van rentals offer a variety of benefits for surfers, including the ability to travel to remote surf spots, ample space to store surfboards and gear, the flexibility to change plans on a whim, and the convenience of not needing a special license or training to drive them.

Ability to travel to remote surf spots

One of the key benefits of renting a California van rentals for a surfing trip in California is the ability to travel to remote surf spots that may be difficult to reach by other means. California is home to many world-class surf breaks, but many of them are located in remote areas that are not easily accessible by car or public transportation.

With a camper van, however, you can easily access these hard-to-reach spots and enjoy the thrill of surfing in some of the most beautiful and secluded locations in the state. You can pack all of your gear and supplies into the van and hit the road, without having to worry about finding a place to stay or the hassle of packing and unpacking each time you move to a new location.

Whether you're looking to surf at iconic breaks like Mavericks or Trestles, or you want to explore more off-the-beaten-path spots, California van rentals gives you the freedom and flexibility to travel wherever the waves take you. And with everything you need right there in the van, you can focus on what really matters: catching the perfect ride.

Space to store surfboards and gear

One of the main benefits of renting a camper van for a surfing trip is the ample space it provides to store all of your surfboards and gear.

This is particularly important for surfers who have multiple boards and a lot of equipment, as it can be difficult to find a safe and secure place to store these items while on the road. With a camper van, you'll have plenty of room to pack everything you need for your trip, including your surfboards, wetsuits, towels, and sunscreen, so you won't have to worry about finding a place to keep these items safe and secure.

Additionally, the storage space provided by a camper van allows you to pack all of the other things you'll need for your trip, such as clothes, toiletries, and any other personal items, so you can focus on enjoying your surfing adventure without worrying about where to keep your belongings.

Flexibility to change plans on a whim

One of the great things about renting any of these California van rentals is that it gives you the freedom to change your plans on the fly.

If you're surfing somewhere and the waves aren't ideal, or you just feel like exploring a new area, you can easily pack up and move on to the next spot. With a camper van, you don't have to stick to a fixed itinerary, and you can go wherever the waves or your curiosity takes you. This flexibility is especially appealing to surfers, who may want to chase the best conditions or explore new breaks. And because you have everything you need with you in the camper van, you won't have to worry about packing and unpacking or finding a place to stay.

You can simply hit the road and follow your nose wherever it takes you.

You don't need a special license or training

Because they're relatively small compared to traditional RVs, a regular driver's license is all you need.

This makes them a great option for people who may not have a commercial driver's license or who don't feel comfortable driving a larger vehicle. Plus, California van rentals are generally easy to drive and maneuver, so even if you're not used to driving something bigger, you shouldn't have any trouble getting the hang of it.

All you'll need is a good map (or a GPS) and a sense of adventure!

California Van Rentals: Camper Van Basics

Definition and explanation of what a camper van is

So, what exactly is a camper van?

In simple terms, a camper van is a small motorhome that is equipped with various camping and living features. These features can include a small kitchen, fridge, bed, storage space, and a range of other amenities.

And because they're relatively small compared to traditional RVs, you don't need a special driver's license to operate them, and they're easy to drive and maneuver.

Camper vans are also known as Class B RVs or Class B motorhomes, and they typically range in length from 19 to 24 feet.

They're designed to pack as many features and amenities as possible into a compact space, making them a convenient and comfortable option for travelers.

Comparison of California camper vans to RVs

Camper vans are often compared to RVs (recreational vehicles), but there are some key differences between the two.

RVs are much larger than camper vans and often come with more amenities and features, such as multiple beds, a full-size kitchen, and a bathroom with a shower. Because of their size, RVs typically require a special driver's license to operate. Camper vans, on the other hand, are smaller and easier to drive, and you don't need a special license to operate them.

Another key difference between camper vans and RVs is the level of customization that is possible. Many California van rentals offer a range of options and upgrades, so you can choose the features and amenities that best suit your needs. This can include things like luxe interiors, outdoor or indoor showers, solar panels, special gear storage, and more. RVs, on the other hand, tend to be less customizable, so you're stuck with the features that come with the model you choose.

Camper vans are a great option for travelers who want the convenience and comfort of a motorhome, but with a more compact and agile vehicle.

They offer a lot of flexibility and freedom to explore, and they're perfect for surfers who want to hit the road and chase the waves.

Tips for renting a van in California

If you're planning a surfing trip to California and you're thinking about renting a camper van, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

Research and compare rates

One of the keys to finding the best deal on California van rentals is to do your research and compare rates from different companies.

It's important to consider not only the price, but also the size of the van, the age of the vehicle, the amenities it offers, and the location. By shopping around and comparing rates, you'll be able to find the best deal and make sure you're getting a good value for your money.

It's also a good idea to check out online reviews and ratings to get a sense of the quality of the rental company and the condition of their vehicles. This can help you avoid any unpleasant surprises and ensure that you have a great experience on your surfing road trip.

Finally, don't forget to factor in any additional fees or charges that may not be included in the initial price, such as insurance, taxes, or mileage fees.

By being thorough and doing your homework, you'll be able to find the perfect California van rental for your surf trip at a price that fits your budget.

Consider the size and type of van that will best suit your needs

California van rentals come in a range of sizes and styles, so it's important to choose the one that will best suit your needs.

If you're planning to travel with a group of friends, you'll probably want a larger van with room for everyone. On the other hand, if you're traveling solo or with just one or two other people, a smaller van might be more practical. In addition to size, you'll also want to think about the type of van that will best suit your needs.

For example, do you want a retro VW bus or a more modern, sporty van?

Do you want a van with a pop top or a high top for extra space, or do you prefer a more streamlined design?

Make a reservation in advance, especially during peak surfing seasons

Making a reservation in advance for California van rentals is especially important during peak surfing seasons, as these rentals can be in high demand.

By booking ahead of time, you can ensure that you get the van you want and avoid any last-minute stress or disappointment. This is especially true if you are planning to travel during the summer months or any other time when surfing conditions are optimal. By making your reservation early, you can focus on the fun aspects of your trip, like packing your surfboards and wetsuits, rather than worrying about securing transportation.

Keep in mind that it may also be more difficult to find a camper van rental on short notice, as many people book them in advance to secure their spot for popular surfing destinations.

Must-visit surf spots in California

Some of the best longboard waves in the California can be enjoyed on a surfing road trip, and if you're planning a surfing trip to the Golden State, you won't want to miss these must-visit locations. Renting a camper van is a great way to fully enjoy these spots, as you'll be able to sleep right next to the waves and wake up ready to catch the best breaks of the day.

San Onofre State Beach: San Diego County, California

San Onofre State Beach is a great surf spot located just three miles south of San Clemente, and it's known for its friendly, laid-back atmosphere.

It's one of the top five most-visited state parks in California, and it's a popular destination for surfers of all skill levels. The waves are long and peeling, with consistent swells, and the water is usually clear and warm.

In addition to great surfing, you'll also have the opportunity to spot whales, dolphins, and sea lions just offshore.

If you're planning a surfing trip to San Onofre State Beach and you're thinking about California van rentals, you'll have the option to RV camp at two of the three main surfing locations. The convenience of having your van close at hand can't be beat – you'll be able to park your van right by the beach, making it easy to grab your surfboard and hit the waves whenever you want.

The San Onofre – San Mateo Campground is the more luxurious option, with RV hookup sites (including electricity and water), a dump station, hot indoor showers, flush toilets, and year-round camping. The San Onofre Bluffs campsite is a little more basic, with no RV hookups but a dump station, cold showers, and chemical toilets.

Either way, you'll have the convenience of having your van close at hand, and you'll be able to enjoy all that San Onofre has to offer.

San Elijo State Beach: Encinitas, California

San Elijo State Beach is a great surf spot located just off of Pacific Coast Highway in Encinitas.

It features great waves and oceanfront campsites, making it an ideal destination for surfers who want to be close to the action. The fall is a particularly good time to visit, as the waves are at their best quality.

TIP: If the beach gets too crowded during your trip, you can easily drive your camper van to surrounding spots like Swami's Beach or Cardiff Reef for the day.

After a great day of surfing, we highly recommend relaxing by the fire pit at San Elijo State Beach. Just make sure you buy your firewood locally, as firewood brought in from other areas is not permitted at any California state beach.

It's the perfect way to end a perfect day of surfing, and you'll have the convenience of having your camper van close at hand to provide all the comforts of home.

Jalama Beach: County of Santa Barbara, California

Jalama Beach is a bit off the beaten path and can be a breath of fresh air for those who don't like battling crowds to catch their waves.

Primarily visited by locals, visitors can enjoy the small-town feel and endless waves, which offer the best swells in fall and winter. If you're looking for a more laid-back surfing destination, Jalama Beach is the perfect spot.

After an early-morning surf session, be sure to head to the general store for the world-famous Jalama burger. The full menu includes homemade clam chowder, chili verde, and Aunt Ruth's Raw Apple Cake, so you'll have plenty of options to fuel up after a day in the water.

The campsite at Jalama Beach offers partial RV hookups, with electric only. But the overall campsite is well-equipped, with picnic tables, a playground for the kids, flush toilets, hot showers, and a dog-friendly policy.

Pismo State Beach: Oceano, California

In addition to amazing surfing, the great thing about Pismo State Beach is how close it is to local amenities.

While you could always drive your camper van to get around town, there is also a handy trolley service that makes it easy to explore the area. And there are four restaurants within two blocks of the campground if you want to stretch your legs and enjoy some local cuisine.

Before you go, be sure to check the surf report and forecast with Surfline to get the most out of your day on the water. Pismo State Beach is known for its long, mellow waves and consistent swells, making it a great spot for beginners or intermediate surfers. And if you're looking for a little extra adventure, Pismo Beach is the only state beach in California that lets you rent and ride ATVs right on the beach. It's the perfect way to add a little excitement to your surfing trip.

FAQs

Can I rent a 15 passenger California van rentals?

SIXT's California branches offer a range of 12- and 15-seater vans from popular auto brands such as Chevrolet and Toyota, providing ample legroom and storage space for large groups. With these vans, travelers can have a comfortable and convenient vacation without the need to split up their party or worry about lack of space for their belongings.

How much is are California van rentals compared to an RV?

In California, the cost of renting an RV typically ranges from $75 to $250 per night, depending on the size and type of vehicle. Small trailers and campervans typically cost between $75 and $150 per night, while larger trailers and motorhomes can cost $100 to $250 per night. However, if you plan to rent an RV for a longer period of time, such as a week or a month, the daily cost can average out to be less than $60 per day.

How old do you have to be to rent an RV in California?

For most California van rentals, you must be at least 21 years old to rent an RV. Additionally, you'll need to have a valid credit card in your name for the deposit. Please note that some rental companies may have an upper age limit of 75.

What is the difference between a 12 passenger van and a 15 passenger van?

In California, 12-seater vans typically have three rows of seats, while 15-seater vans have four rows. It is important to note that the passenger count for both types of vans includes the driver, so a 12-seater van has a total of 12 seat belts, including the driver's seat belt. On the other hand, a 15-seater van has a total of 15 seat belts, including the driver's.

Is it cheaper to travel by RV or stay in hotels?

California van rentals can often be more cost-effective than staying in hotels.

In fact, according to research by Condor Ferries and TripSavvy, you can save anywhere from 20% to 60% on travel costs by opting for an RV rental over more traditional vacation accommodation options. This is due in part to the fact that RVs provide a convenient way to transport yourself and your belongings from place to place, eliminating the need for costly flights or rental cars, and also allowing you to cook and eat meals in the RV rather than dining out at restaurants.

Whether you're a solo traveler, a couple, or a group of friends or family, an RV rental can be a budget-friendly way to explore California and all it has to offer.

Can you sleep in an RV in California?

Sleeping overnight in your RV is allowed in California's rest areas, but you must be inside your vehicle while doing so. It's important to note that you are not allowed to stay beyond 8 hours at these locations.

How old do I have to be to rent a van in California?

You must be at least 21 years of age to rent a van in California. Some rental companies may have an upper age limit of 75.

Do I need a special license to drive a van in California?

Most rental companies will require that you have a valid driver's license and a good driving record. If you plan to drive a van that is larger than what you are used to driving, you may need to have a special endorsement on your license.

Can I take a van rental on a road trip in California?

Yes, many California van rentals are perfect for road trips. Just be sure to check the rental agreement and make sure the van is allowed to be driven out of state. You may also need to purchase additional insurance coverage for the duration of your trip.

How much does it cost to rent a van in California?

California van rentals can vary depending on the size and type of van you need, as well as the rental period. On average, you can expect to pay between $50 and $100 per day for a standard van rental.

Do I need to purchase insurance for California van rentals?

Most rental companies will require you to have insurance coverage for the van while it is in your possession. You may be able to purchase insurance through the rental company, or you can use your own personal car insurance policy. Be sure to check with the rental company to see what insurance options are available.

Can I bring my pets with me in a van rental in California?

Some California van rentals may allow pets in their vans, but it is important to check with the company before making any arrangements. There may be additional fees or restrictions for traveling with pets in a rental van.

Can I rent a van with a manual transmission in California?

It is possible to find van rentals with manual transmissions in California, but they may be limited in availability. Be sure to specify your preference when booking your rental to ensure that you get the type of van that you need.

Are there any restrictions on where I can take California van rentals?

There may be some restrictions on where you can take California van rentals. It is important to check with the rental company to see if there are any specific geographic restrictions in place. You may also need to purchase additional insurance coverage if you plan to take the van out of state.

Can I rent a van if I don't have a credit card?

Many California van rentals require a credit card for the deposit on the rental. If you don't have a credit card, you may still be able to rent a van if you can provide a cash deposit or have a debit card with a Visa or Mastercard logo. It is best to check with the specific rental company you are considering to see what their policies are.

Can I rent a van if I have a DUI on my record?

It is possible to rent a van in California even if you have a DUI on your record, but it may be more difficult and may come with additional restrictions or requirements. Some California van rentals may not rent to individuals with DUIs at all, while others may require a longer rental period or may charge higher insurance rates. It is best to check with the specific rental company you are considering to see what their policies are.

Can I rent a van if I don't have a lot of driving experience?

Most California van rentals require renters to have at least one year of driving experience, but some may have stricter requirements. If you don't have a lot of driving experience, you may still be able to rent a van, but it may be more difficult and you may be subject to additional restrictions or requirements. It is best to check with the specific rental company you are considering to see what their policies are.

Can I take a van rental on a long road trip?

Yes, many California van rentals allow you to take their vehicles on long road trips. However, there may be additional fees for one-way rentals or for driving the van a certain number of miles. It is best to check with the specific rental company you are considering to see what their policies are.