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Ditch the Hotel, Rent a Camper

Retro charm from three new RV booking companies.


Gone are the days of it being cool for thunderous land yachts to barrel down Highway 1. But since the gas guzzlers have been socially shunned from California road trips, we can’t help but feel something else went along with it—the ability to hit the road with no itinerary. After all, you can just sleep in your ride. Luckily, three California-based companies are renting out campers that are smaller, sleeker, and have their own charm. 

Go minimalist 
Teardrop trailers are like cubbies on wheels, small enough to fit into most single car parking spaces. Sonoma County-based Vacations In A Can rents out three Teardrops—the Chili Pepper (exposed birch wood interiors and a pull-out cooler), the Can ’em Danno (shiny aluminum finish with Hawaiian interiors), and the L’il Bear (oak wood and bear-themed bedding). Each trailer sleeps two adults and can be hauled by most vehicles with a hitch. $175 for two nights (minimum); $80 for each additional night. 

Go retro
Though the image of driving a Volkswagen bus along the coast may bring to mind boring slideshows from your last family reunion, consider this: you can park directly where you want to sleep, with no tents or RV parking spot rentals. Redwood-based California Campers has updated Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalias primed for cruising narrow Highway 1, with a sleeping capacity of four people, kitchenette, 18-21 miles per gallon, and a pop-up roof and skylight for stargazing from bed. From $125/day. 

Go classic
You might have to fly to Los Angeles to pick it up, but it’s worth it for this decked-out silver bullet. Airstream2Go rents out their own fleet of Airstreams upgraded with interiors by San Francisco designer Christopher C. Deam, sleeping up to six people with an equipped kitchen, bike rack, and grills. Plus, a partnerships with outfitter Off The Beaten Path means help avoiding tourist traps on your trip. 
From $3,400 for four days.


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