If you’ve looked enviously at those tricked-out camper vans laden with bikes and kayaks heading out for some fall fun after a long, hot summer, you don’t need to drop tens of thousands of dollars to join them.
Sure, there are plenty of RV rental companies out there. But finding a small camper van that’s compact, smartly appointed, and ready to go is more challenging.
Enter roadsurfer (yes, lowercase), a Germany-based RV/camper van rental start-up that recently opened a Los Angeles location after much success in Europe. Within its first five years of operation, roadsurfer expanded into 12 European countries, including Italy, France, the Netherlands, the UK, and Spain, with more than 50 stations. As of 2023, the fleet comprises more than 5,000 vehicles of different models and makes.
In operation since 2016, they are now Europe’s leading company offering small camper vans for individual road trips. Roadsurfer also developed the “roadsurfer spots” app to book unique private camping areas all over Europe, though that’s yet to come to the US.
Why consider a roadsurfer rental on your next European trip or a long weekend drive up the California coast? The attractions include unlimited miles, a free second driver, flexible change/cancellation options, and a kitchen box and camping table/chairs.
They have new vehicles, which are small and designed for maximum flexibility on Europe’s small roads and on narrow village streets. These aren’t the behemoths that you see on American highways. They sleep two or four people, including a shower, toilet, AC/heating, stove, microwave, and refrigerator. Seating areas can easily be converted into a comfortable double bed.
The company opened its branch in Los Angeles in 2022, and its vans offer pretty much what they provide in Europe: unlimited miles, a free second driver, and a complete kitchen box (bedding and bike racks are available for an additional fee). Vans can sleep two or four people, including a shower, toilet, AC/heating, stove, microwave, and refrigerator. Their vans are small, compact vehicles for maximum flexibility.
They offer two models built on the Dodge Ram van base in the US. The Couple Condo is a Class B RV Rental for Two and has two sleeping berths, a kitchenette, an extra-large bathroom with a hot water shower and toilet in the rear, and an outdoor shower. It also has a 190-watt solar panel. You can escape the heat on those last hot days of the season with a stationary air conditioner. The rates start from $155 per night.
They also offer Road House XL Class B RV Rental for Four with four sleeping berths, a pop-up roof, a spacious kitchenette, and a bathroom with a hot water shower and toilet to provide comforts like a large motorhome but in a van-sized space. This one also comes with a 190-watt solar panel and parking air conditioning, which provides cooling even when the engine is switched off. Prices start from $165 a night.
Need inspiration? Roadsurfer suggests renting your van in LA and heading up Highway 395 for an extended weekend, going to Mammoth Lakes or Lake Tahoe, or taking the Tioga Pass into Yosemite National Park.
If a fall trip to Europe sounds like the way to go, road surfer suggests flying to Germany and driving the German Alpine Road, considered the country’s most beautiful road. It runs 280 miles from Lake Constance to Königssee and can be easily explored on a five-day drive.
If you don’t mind driving on the other side of the road, consider flying to Scotland and picking up a roadsurfer in Edinburgh. Then head east along the M9, continuing to Loch Lomond, going north into the Cairngorms Mountain range, and returning south via Balmoral, the Crown’s Scottish vacation home.
Visit roadsurfer for more details.