So you’ve decided to go to Burning Man and are now considering your accommodation options. You have come to the right place. Let’s take a deep dive into all things RV and Burning Man.
By the end of this post, you will be up to speed and in the know about:
- Pros and cons of taking an RV to Burning Man
- How much it costs to rent an RV; delivery vs pickup
- Where you can get RVs from
- How to prepare your RV and yourself for taking an RV to Burning Man
Let’s get into it!
Pros and Cons of renting an RV for Burning Man
How much does it cost to rent an RV for Burning Man?
RV rentals for Burning Man can be quite costly. However, you can either get it delivered or you can pick it up from the rental company.
The delivery rates range from $5500 to $10000+ depending on what type of RV to want:
- Basic smaller RV rental: $5500-$7000
- Travel trailer rental: $7000-$8500
- Fifth wheel rental: $8500- $10000
- Luxury RV rental: $10000+
- Class A rental: $10000-$12000
If you pick it up, the rates are usually a bit more affordable, but you will have to pay for the extra fuel, so it might balance out.
For pickups, RV rentals cost between $100 and $200 per night, depending on where you get your RV. That works out to $800 – $1600 for eight nights. (These prices were taken from RVshare.com)
if you don’t live too far away from the pickup point, it makes sense to pick it up. If it’s going to be a long drive to pick it up, you might want to go with the delivery option since the fuel cost of picking it up will probably balance out with the extra delivery cost.
Where can I rent an RV for Burning Man?
There are many places and companies based in different locations where you can get an RV for Burning Man. Here are a few:
- RVshare is a website where owners of RVs put their RVs up for rent.
- You can also get an RV for burning man from RV Fun Rental
- Go to Sharemycoach for some excellent options for around $12000, including delivery.
How to prepare my RV for Burning Man?
So you’ve decided to go with an RV, but now you have to prepare it for the elements of the Black Rock City! Here are a few essential tips on how to dustproof your RV and prepare for living the van life for a week!
Before and during Burning Man
1. Get it checked/Make sure everything works
Getting your RV checked before Burning Man is always a good idea. The last thing you want is to break down on the way. So you should specifically test your grey and black water tanks. They should not leak!
2. Tape it up
Tape every opening, join, entry point, and anywhere with rubber seals or a space with electronics or appliances protruding from a hole. (Anywhere that dust can get in). The playa dust is especially harsh on rubber.
The best thing to use for this is exterior painter’s tape. Make sure it is the exterior one because the interior one doesn’t hold up, and might peel. Don’t use duct tape (or gaffer tape if you are from across the pond) because these don’t hold up well against the heat, and it peels off, leaving a sticky residue that is very difficult to get off.
3. Cover your vents and electronics
You can use a bandana, damp towel or any piece of cloth to tape over your vents for that extra layer of protection to keep cool. You can also save power on the AC this way.
Bring extra air filters for the inside of the van so that when you leave, you can change them and have clean air for part of the drive back.
To keep the temperature bearable in the van, cover all windows either with curtains that you keep closed or with Sunshades, and take along a reflective visor to place on the dashboard for the duration that you are there.
6. Use one entry and keep windows closed
Try to only use one entry point and keep the windows and other entry points closed. This helps keep out the dust and minimises the chances of a gust of wind blowing a whole lot of dust into the van.
7. Use a mat and dust off your feet
Most dust gets into the van from people’s feet. To minimise this, keep a mat or some AstroTurf on the ground outside your van, and tape something to wipe your feet on, on the steps. You could also keep a small broom by the door to brush off any dust outside.
8. Fill up with fuel
RVs guzzle fuel, so try to fill up with gas as close to Burning Man as possible, but be aware that the nearest gas stations to Burning Man often run out with so many people filling up.
To avoid getting into a situation where you run out, fill up in Reno or one of the bigger cities on the way to Burning man and then again beforehand. If you have space, it may be wise to take a spare jerry can of fuel with you for emergencies.
9. Learn about your RV and bring minor spares
It’s a good idea to know how to do minor repairs, bring a small toolkit, and know-how everything works. However, you don’t need to be a certified mechanic, so let YouTube will lead the way.
Even if you jot down a few key things to remember, or at the very least, bring the instruction manual along. It will not be fun if you accidentally run the battery flat during the week or end up with other avoidable issues.
10. Bring a bucket
Make sure you have containers for your grey and black water to run into and/or to use for the evaporation tank.
11. Get roadside assistance
This is super important. You don’t want to break down and have to fork out a large amount of cash at the end of the week to get the RV towed if something goes wrong.
After Burning Man
Clean, clean, clean
After Burning Man, getting the RV cleaned as soon as possible is essential. That playa dust is stubborn, and the longer you leave it on, the harder it is to get it off.
If you want to protect your RV for future use (or get your deposit back), clean EVERYWHERE. Every nook and cranny. Vinegar water does an excellent job of cutting through the playa dust, and an air compressor is also super helpful for stubborn dirt.
You should get the RV checked after Burning Man, whether old or new. The Nevada desert can do a number on the vehicle, so it is important to ensure everything is still in working order.
Read next: Alternate festivals to Burning Man
The bottom line is: Fill up, tape up and wash up! Fill up with gas before you leave, and ensure you have enough gas for the trip. Tape up every single possible dust entry point. Wash your RV as soon as possible and as best as possible after Burning Man.
I hope this answered most of your questions about RVs and Burning Man. For more information on taking your RV to Burning Man, check out these RV Guidelines on the Burning Man website.