San Diego RV Rental, California USA
Compare & Book Campervan Hire & Motorhome Rentals in San Diego CA
Looking to rent the perfect motorhome or RV in San Diego? You’ve come to the right place. We’ve years of hands-on experience and in the following few pages, we’ll provide a simple, hassle-free guide to everything you need to know about hiring or renting a motorhome in and around San Diego. Whether you’re travelling alone or with your family, on a road trip with your friends, or you just want to discover something brand new, we’ve got it all covered.
We’ll start with the practical stuff, the Top RV Rental Companies in San Diego and what’s the best RV, or Motorhome, for your needs; here we’ll list the best motorhome rental companies and the location of their depots, so you can spend less time comparing prices and rates from a bunch of unknown San Diego motorhome rental companies and more time planning that Pacific Coast Highway scenic drive!
Similarly, we’ll recommend some first-class campgrounds in and around San Diego and what they have to offer for you and your crew. We’ll take into consideration travelling companions (if any) -couples, mates, kids – because not everyone wants water slides and spas, but they may well need them to be pet friendly.
Finally, we’ll round everything off with top sights to visit, unmissable things to see both in and out of San Diego, with a scenic drive or two thrown in. You never know, the road trips taking you to and from San Diego may be the best part of your self-drive vacation. There’s only one way to find out…
Top RV Rental Companies in San Diego
Motorhome or RV rentals in San Diego can be broken down into two specific types of vehicle. Class A Vehicles are more likely to be referred to as ‘RV’s’ and resemble a bus or a coach. They’re also inclined to be larger and more opulent than a campervan or motorhome.
Class C vehicles have a more traditional cab-over style and are typically referred to as ‘motorhomes’. Unlike Class A/RV’s, the living or sleeping part of a Class C motorhome are likely to be structures permanently attached to the bed of a pre-existing vehicle, such as a pick-up truck or van.
In San Diego, there are plenty of rental companies providing motorhomes and RV’s, but not all motorhome and RV rental companies are equal. See below for recommended companies that could see you getting your dream motorhome or RV, perhaps saving you more than a few bucks in the process.
Last but by no means least, we’ve also provided some essential information about taking your San Diego RV out of the USA and into Mexico. Check that part carefully because if you don’t have MALI and you fancy seeing Mexico, you’ll be eating your burritos and quesadillas at the border!
With a depot in Santee, conveniently located close to San Diego International Airport, El Monte are on hand to provide you and your crew with the perfect Californian motorhome rental.
El Monte have two types of rental to choose from, one Class A and one Class C, and both are designed to carry a maximum of 6 to 7 passengers, including the pilot. With easy access to National Parks and Historic sites, pick up your motorhome rental from El Monte in San Diego and begin your ultimate California road trip.
A few feet shorter than the Class A on offer at El monte, San Diego, but you can get as many as 7 of you into this more traditional cabover style of motorhome. It’s fully self-contained with a bathroom, kitchen and even comes with a free generator.
If you’re looking for a luxury RV rental in San Diego, it probably doesn’t get much better than this Class A offing from El Monte. It sleeps 6 with a load of space to spare and pretty much comes complete with everything you’d expect from a five-star hotel.
San Diego RV Rental Depot: El Monte RV Rentals, 8665 Mission Gorge Road, Santee, CA 92071, USA.
Located about 21 miles/34 kms from San Diego International Airport (SAN) or 17 miles/27 km from downtown San Diego.
El Monte San Diego office hours:
- Monday to Friday: 9am to 4pm
- Pick Up: between 1pm and 4pm
- Drop off: between 8am and 11am
- Saturday & Sunday: Closed
Included with Standard Rate:
- 24-hour assistance
- 0-2 years old
One of the biggest rental outfits in North America, Cruise America in San Diego is both close to San Diego International Airport and downtown San Diego. With three motorhomes to choose from, Cruise America San Diego RV rentals may just have the ideal motorhome rental for you, your family, friends and the perfect Californian scenic drive. Their range of Class C machines can accommodate as many as 7 passengers, but as little as 2 if you fancy something smaller and more compact.
Despite the rather misleading ‘RV’ that features in the names of all three of their motorhome models, Cruise America, San Diego have a three top-spec, walkthrough motorhomes that come with a bathroom, shower and, this could be the deal breaker for some, are all pet friendly.
San Diego RV Rental depot: Cruise America, 8637 Troy Street, Spring Valley, CA 91977, USA.
Located about 14 miles/23 kms from San Diego International Airport (SAN) or 10 miles/16 km from downtown San Diego.
Cruise America San Diego hours:
- Monday to Saturday:
- Pick Up: 1pm to 4pm
- Drop off: 9am to 11am
- Closed Sundays and Public Holidays
Included with Standard Rate:
- 24-hour assistance
- 0-4 years old
Travel to Mexico from San Diego in my Motorhome or RV Rental
You’ll need to check if your preferred motorhome rental agency in San Diego even allows you to cross the border into Mexico. Assuming they do (most don’t!) you will need the following documentation:
- Proof of citizenship for U.S. and Canadian tourists (e.g. valid passport and government-issued birth certificate)
- Automobile insurance from a Mexican company*
- Government-issued tourist card
- Entry permit at an INM office
- Motorhome/RV rental documentation
*your U.S. insurance IS NOT valid in Mexico so you’ll need Mexican Automobile Liability Insurance (MALI) which can be purchased online or from your motorhome rental agency if applicable. NOTE: You cannot purchase MALI in Mexico, it needs to be purchased BEFORE you enter the country.
Mexico and the Top RV Rental Companies in San Diego
Travel is permitted at client’s own risk and only with the purchase of El Monte RV’s Mexico Auto Liability Insurance (MALI), available at all southwest El Monte locations. However, there is no reimbursement for repairs, lost use or deductibles for damage when in Mexico.
Cruise America does not allow travel into Mexico!
Top 10 Attractions near San Diego
How did we decide which top 10 attractions near San Diego made it on to the list below? Firstly, we tried to choose the best place from each genre of attraction, whether it be a national park, an area of outstanding beauty, a place of cultural significance, for example, or even just a great nearby city that deserves your time.
Sure, there will always be disagreements over which is the best place to visit in your San Diego RV Rental, so why waste time? Just check-out the places we recommend and enjoy.
Joshua Tree National Park
It’s actually more like a gnarly yucca plant, but this acclaimed palm is the star attraction of the Joshua Tree National Park, or a total of 790,636 acres crossing both the Mojave and Colorado desert. Note ‘desert’ with regard to its size and plan this one in advance.
Campgrounds book out early, especially in Spring and Summer; as well as weekends year round. There are limited places for RV rentals and Camper Vans.
When renting a motorhome or RV in San Diego, ensure you are permitted to cross the border into Mexico and on into Puerto Nuevo. Known as the Lobster Capital of Baja (California) it has almost 40 restaurants bursting with the most amazing seafood found anywhere in the world. Simply delicious.
It may not appear to be the most remarkable place to visit in California, save one fundamental aspect that’s going to thrill stargazers and astronomers alike, Borrego Springs had been designated an International Dark Sky Community by the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA). A decillion stars await at nightfall…
California is rich with great USA scenic drives, which makes picking one out even more of a challenge. Sunrise Highway from Interstate 8 to Highway 79 takes you to the pine-studded hamlet of Mount Laguna, a beautiful rustic town that’s as much fun leaving as it is arriving.
Stay at the campground at Mount Laguna pet friendly recreation area, a great spot for hiking and birdlife.
Well known for its surf and stunning beaches, but also famed for its many art galleries and all-year-round sunshine, Laguna Beach is an eye-popping coastal drive and less than an hour and a half away from your designated San Diego motorhome rental depot, but you’ll wish it was longer.
You’ll see things you’d expect in Los Angeles -movie landmarks, great beaches, venues, bars etc- but it’s also fantastically diverse with different parts of town serving-up delicious food and/or culture to locals and tourists alike.
A mandatory US road trip destination and one of the greatest cities in the world.
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
California’s largest state park, Anza Borrego Desert State Park, is 600,000 acres of desert terrain, featuring a wild, beautiful landscape populated by canyons, palms and miles of tranquillity.
Make sure you check out Richard Breceda’s huge metal sculptures close to Borrego Springs, they complement the landscape perfectly.
Go further downtown LA in your San Diego Motorhome rental and you’ll hit Pasadena. Famed for the Rose Bowl and the Rose Parade, locals will gladly tell you it’s so much more and boast of amazing sushi, cool microbreweries and maybe the best music festival you’ve never heard of.
Everyone knows about the Coachella Festival, the amazing Aerial Tramway and maybe the less-well-known Modernism Week, but Palm Springs is also about fantastic restaurants, art galleries and areas of incredible, diverse beauty. Prioritize the waterfall oasis at Tahquitz Canyon and witness flowing water in the middle of the desert.
Rent a motorhome in San Diego, head north to the hills of Lake Poway and discover the tranquillity and natural recreational delights of this beautiful part of California. This is all about stunning hiking trails, boating on the glassy lake and sitting on the famous potato chip rock.
Beaches, Boutiques and Balboa Park
San Diego is a favourite not only of retirees, surfers, water babies and families of the US Navy; but also of San Diego RV rental campers. They are looking for a more relaxed atmosphere, after coming down from the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles. For others who fly into San Diego International Airport first, picking up a motorhome rental in San Diego is the most convenient way to enjoy SoCal (southern California); since the urban area sprawls from the coast to the fringes of the desert to the east.
USA San Diego motorhome rental companies Cruise America RV Rental, Compass Campers and Monte RV Rentals operate out of the vicinity of San Diego International airport and along I-5, where you can pick up your unit after booking it online, to obtain the best deals on San Diego RV rentals, motorhome hire and San Diego campervan hire to explore California by motorhome rental. You can snag the best deals during the “May gray” or “June gloom” season, but anytime is the best time to rent a motorhome in San Diego as cloudy skies often yield to sunny days five miles inland.
Due to its location, San Diego boasts of impressive beaches. These are both ideal for swimming and surfing and even clothing-optional beach bumming. The Point Loma-Ocean Beach area offers not only convenient camping sites for your motorhome rental or campervan hire, but also stunning views of the city skyline and the Pacific coast. If you want to camp on your RV inland, there are also plenty other parks that parallel I-5.
If you want to combine shopping with general beach-going; the Mission and Pacific Beaches immediately north offers a well-deserved retail therapy; plus some thumping nightlife and incredible bar and restaurant scene. The upwardly mobile of San Diego live in La Jolla for its scenic coastlines, secret coves, and breathtaking cliffs (and the aforementioned clothing optional beaches); without being too far away from swanky shops, restaurants and cafes.
Balboa Park is un-missable, if only by its sheer immensity. At 1,200 acres, the park is home to dozens of city museums, gardens and amusement rides; as well as the world-famous San Diego Zoo.
Heritage and Hops on RV Rentals in San Diego
Two miles south and situated along the bay is the downtown area; brimming with attractions you can get to on a discount using the Go San Diego Card. The card gets you on an express lane; and admits you free of charge to all Balboa Park museums, and Legoland and SeaWorld in downtown, among others.
The Spanish missions in San Diego gave birth to California as a state. You can drive your San Diego RV rental or campervan hire to the Old Town to see their legacy in well-preserved mission-era buildings and icons.
For a taste of modern San Diego California; Gaslamp Quarter in Downtown and Pacific Beach are famous for bars and restaurants, serving the products of the city’s respectable and growing community of craft breweries. You would want, of course, to drink moderately, if you plan to go north to Los Angeles, or make a day-trip border crossing to Tijuana, Mexico.
Best Campgrounds & RV Parks near San Diego
No Californian RV adventure is properly complete without stopping off at a campground, it’s as much a part of your USA road trip as paying for gas or singing along to the radio. Below we’ve taken out the hassle of finding great places to stay, to refresh, recharge, even play, before heading off again.
Santa Fe Park RV Resort
5707 Santa Fe Street, San Diego, CA 92109
You could be forgiven for stopping off at Santa Fe Park RV Resort and just staying there for the rest of your self-drive holiday in California. Full hook-up spaces, heated swimming pool, spa, gym, there’s even a TV lounge with huge TV for a movie or two.
Mission Bay RV Resort
3205 CA-75, San Diego, CA 92155
Overlooking the shores of De Anza Cove, Mission Bay RV Resort provides easy access to the sandy beach and the cool water and, if you’re in command of a big RV (like 45 feet long, big), they’ve got that covered too. For everyone else, expect full hook-ups and fantastic views.
San Diego RV Resort
8904, 7407 Alvarado Road, La Mesa, CA 91942
No less than 172 full-hook ups and boasting facilities that justify the ‘resort’ in San Diego RV Resort, the site overlooks a palm-filled landscape and it’s right next to the San Diego Trolley, great if you fancy a day away from the freeway. Its pet friendly too.
Admiral Baker RV Campground
2400 Admiral Baker Road, San Diego, CA 92124
A more traditional campground in which to rest and relax is the Admiral Baker RV Campground. Free of any gimmicks and cheap in comparison to its contemporaries (the site is owned by the military) this is great for those who just want a good night’s rest without the fuss.