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simpler and sleeker than RVs

Motor vehicles equipped with the amenities of home have been around for more than a century, although some landmark moments are more dubious than others. Scroll through the gallery for a brief evolution of the motor home.

Pictured: A modern Mercedes Sprinter van by Roadtrek offers luxury features. less

Motor vehicles equipped with the amenities of home have been around for more than a century, although some landmark moments are more dubious than others. Scroll through the gallery for a brief evolution of the . moreCar maker Pierce Arrow unveils the Touring Landau at Madison Square Garden in New York. The vehicle, widely considered by historians as the first motor home, features a backseat that unfolds into a bed, a sink behind the chauffeur and, remarkably, a chamber pot. less

Car maker Pierce Arrow unveils the Touring Landau at Madison Square Garden in New York. The vehicle, widely considered by historians as the first motor home, features a backseat that unfolds into a bed, . more

Photo: Pierce Arrow Factory PhotoDutch importer Ben Pon sketches the first Volkswagen van (not pictured), essentially a box on a Beetle chassis and motor. The VW Type II bus was introduced two years later, the first of many models that were well suited for tight budgets, camping buffs, do it yourself mechanics and several generations of hippies. less

Dutch importer Ben Pon sketches the first Volkswagen van (not pictured), essentially a box on a Beetle chassis and motor. The VW Type II bus was introduced two years later, the first of many models that . more

It doesn't take a full tank of gas between here and a state or national park to see that the once simple motor home has, well, evolved.

All the comforts of a Paris apartment, more electronics than on the and, in some cases, they have grown seemingly long enough to land a Cessna on top. RV rental market, however, is opting for smaller and, in most cases, simpler.

In New Zealand, Australia and some European countries, it's nearly impossible to drive for more than five minutes without seeing one. Camper vans have come a long way from the 1960s

Modern day "Type B motor homes," which is the category these fall into, use automotive manufactured vans or panel truck shells that drive more like the family car, yet still offer comfort on the road. And travelers who want the agility of a car, the ability to park the vehicle anywhere and decent gas mileage are increasingly turning to camper vans.

Next gen travel is sleek and lightweight, whether your transportation has wings or wheels. All the "necessary" extras of last gen's behemoth motor homes can be left at home with your fifth pair of shoes and the hardbound books. But while minimal may be in, camper vans don't take away all the items you need to have a good (and safe) time.

Road trippers know that skipping the rental car plus hotel combination can mean reduced expenses, but for first timers, discerning the value requires wading into a sea of confusing add ons and other choices that have the potential to ruin a vacation. Take a step back, and follow this primer on the Goldilocks "just right" travel companion.

Size doesn't always matter

As with choosing a type of hotel, travelers looking at camper vans have very different requirements. A couple who will be doing a lot of driving between destinations may not need as much space as a large family that values downtime at the campground at the end of each day. One of the most basic distinctions for these vehicles is size, and to some, that matters far less than how you're going to use the tool.

One reason some balk at these alternatives to motor homes is that unless you're willing to splurge for a larger luxury vehicle, most camper vans are sans toilet. But park your knock off van cleef and arpels alhambra ring van in a site at a campground with bathroom and shower facilities, and you're set. According to the , there are more than 16,000 public and privately owned campgrounds nationwide. Many campgrounds can be extremely basic; however, there are full service campgrounds that even include playgrounds, game rooms, snack bars and swimming pools. A few luxury RV resorts throw in tennis courts, golf courses and health spas.

They're also much easier to find than in the past, when vehicle campgrounds were only at the far edges of metropolitan areas or near state and national parks. Go far afield, and you still may have difficulty scaring up a space, but if you keep to major tourist routes and popular destinations, there's usually a place to park your ride. Remember, however, that campgrounds fill up just like hotels so plan in advance if you're traveling during a region's high season.

Options for additions

Just like rental cars, there are plenty of opportunities for add on charges when renting a camper van. While there are per day or per week rates for many of these rentals, including items added at no charge, you'll want to keep your eye on the deposit requirements when reserving. Some have reservation deposits, taken at van cleef flower ring knock off the time of booking (but before confirmation of availability), that go toward the total payable. Security or cleaning deposits can add as much as $2,000 to the amount accessed on your credit card, so keep that in mind if you're budgeting spending money. The amount is refunded less any damage, loss of equipment, cleaning, refueling, extra days, or extra mileage fees.

Your pet pal is more than welcome in rental vans, just as long as you mention it in advance. Others just require a deposit that's refundable if nothing is damaged. Lack of advance mention may result in a higher cleaning charge when rental staff notices all the holes Fluffy chewed in the passenger seat.

Pots, pans and dishware come standard with many of these rentals, as do picnic supplies, like an external table or cooler. But what if you need a bottle opener, or prefer a coffee press? Some vans include towels, sheets van cleef ring price knock off and blankets, but others charge extra. What about a child seat? Take a look at what's included, what's extra, and what's simply not available.

Also check on the mileage allowance. Is it enough per day to get you where you're going? Some vans come with 100 miles per day included in the price. Others offer packages with rates that vary depending on the number of miles you plan on driving. Extra miles can range from 25 to 39 cents per mile. Don't get caught spending on extra mileage when an advance analysis of your itinerary may steer you to a company that has the plan you need. Depending on the type of vehicle, they get an average of 18 to 24 miles per gallon. or Canadian resident and have auto insurance that covers rentals and you have full coverage (liability, comprehensive and collision), provide that information to the company before the rental; otherwise you will need to purchase their insurance coverage, which can range from $9 to $18 per day. If you rely on insurance provided by credit card companies for car rentals, ensure that the insurance also covers van rentals, as many do not.

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