RV Rental Iowa
Find the perfect RV rental in Iowa, IA. Simple, easy and fully insured.
RV Rental Iowa: Motorhome, Camper, & Trailer Rentals IA
Iowa is quintessentially American. Many people have fond feelings for the beautiful Hawkeye State. Whether you fell in love with its scenery through movies like “Field of Dreams” and “The Bridges of Madison County,” you’re a politics junkie interested in the proving ground for presidential hopefuls, or you just love state fairs (who doesn’t?), Iowa has something for you.
If you’re looking for the perfect American road trip, exploring Iowa by RV should be part of your itinerary. When you rent an RV in Iowa, you can take scenic drives, enjoy camping and fishing spots, and tour the state’s cultural icons. We’ve put together this comprehensive guide to Iowa RV rentals to help you plan your journey.
Popular RV Destinations in Iowa
Effigy Mounds National Monument
The ancient inhabitants of the Midwest left behind several fascinating monuments, but Iowa’s Effigy Mounds truly stand out. These enigmatic animal shapes are North America’s answer to Peru’s famous Nazca lines. Archaeologists still don’t know why the Moundbuilder culture drew images of bears, birds, panthers, bison, and other animals onto Iowa’s rolling hills, but one theory is that they worked as signposts to demarcate hunting grounds.
We may never know the truth, but we do know that Effigy Mounds National Monument is an enchanting destination that will stay with you long after you leave. Start your journey from the nearby town of Harpers Ferry.
Grant Wood Scenic Byway
Grant Wood is best known for painting “American Gothic,” one of the most recognizable and frequently parodied paintings of all time. Now, you can drive the Grant Wood Scenic Byway and see for yourself the scenery that inspired him. Starting in Bellevue at the eastern tip of Iowa and running west to Stone City, this legendary drive comes alive with colors every autumn.
Along the way, you’ll pass a wealth of natural and historic sites. The Anamosa State Penitentiary Museum will chill your blood with stories about notorious criminals, especially its most infamous inmate, John Wayne Gacy. Just a little farther on, Maquoketa Caves State Park will keep you exploring for hours.
Whenever you want to rest, you can enjoy delicious meals and taste local wines along the route.
Cedar Rock State Park
In the late 1940s, Lowell and Agnes Walter decided to invest their fortune in a summer home near Independence, Iowa. They reached out to none other than America’s greatest architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, and gave him total freedom to design every aspect of their house.
Today, you can see Wright’s work for yourself. Step into the living room that defined the midcentury style, and don’t forget to sign the guestbook, which the Walter estate has kept continuously open since 1950. Once you’ve seen the house, you can explore the 426 acres of forest and grassland that it sits on.
Events and Entertainment in Iowa
Iowa’s music festival scene is exploding, and there’s no better time to explore it. Kicking off in June with the Big Country Bash in Saint Charles, Iowa’s festival season has something for everybody.
If you’re part of the old school crowd, check out the alt-country and blues music at Sioux City’s Saturday in the Park or the Country Thunder Festival in Forest City. Those who like more modern music can hit up the 515 Alive festival in Des Moines to enjoy metal, hip-hop, and EDM acts. And if you’d rather relax, head over to Jerry’s Farm in Lone Tree for the Camp Euforia fest.
Iowa State Fair
Held for 11 days every August, the Iowa State Fair is Iowa’s largest annual event. What began as a celebration of Iowa’s agriculture has grown into an international sensation and the defining, unmissable pageant of the American midwest. How many other state fairs can say they’ve inspired a novel, three movies, and a Broadway musical?
The fair’s attractions include its iconic butter sculptures, which always include a cow alongside some other cultural icon; past honorees have included Elvis Presley, Tiger Woods, Harry Potter, and Laura Ingalls Wilder. Women from all over the state compete for the title of State Fair Queen. And of course, you can’t miss the food, as Iowa’s culinary adventurers outdo each other with strange and delicious creations.
Iowa has no professional teams in the major sports, but Iowans make up for that with passionate support for college teams. The University of Iowa Hawkeyes have taken national championships in football, wrestling, field hockey, and track, and both their men’s and women’s basketball teams have made it to the Final Four.
Iowa State University is no slouch either. The Cyclones are famous for their football rivalry with the Hawkeyes over the Cy-Hawk trophy and for their Farmageddon battles with Kansas State, which have been going on for more than 100 years. Both the academic football and basketball seasons are lively times to be visiting Iowa.
Campgrounds and Parks in Iowa
Adventureland Resort Campground
Adventureland is Iowa’s biggest theme park, featuring roller coasters, games, and a full water park at Adventure Bay. There’s a ferris wheel, two main streets, and even a circus. With enough to do for days, you’ll definitely want to camp out to get the full experience.
Fortunately, there’s a great place to do just that: Adventureland Resort Campground right next door in Altoona. This campground and RV park has a pool and playground of its own, plus showers, Wi-Fi, and a dog park. Full hookup spots are only $35 per night during the park season, but be warned that they fill up fast.
On-Ur-Wa RV Park
Located in Onawa on the border with Nebraska, On-Ur-Wa RV Park lives up to its name by being an ideal stepping stone for points farther west. If you’re planning to extend your RV adventure into the wild west, this is the campground for you. It’s also great if you want to drive the Loess Hills Scenic Byway, play golf at the Onawa Country Club, or enjoy the widest main street in America.
You’ll find pull-through RV sites with full hookups, showers, and Wi-Fi, plus laundry and even a selection of local wines for sale. On-Ur-Wa is also a Good Sam campground, so members of the world’s largest RV lovers’ organization can get a discount.
This campground has been rated the best RV park in Iowa for five years running by Trailer Life magazine, and it’s not hard to see why. When you park your motorcoach in this shady grove just a mile and a half from Interstate 80, you’ll enjoy a peaceful stay in sparkling-clean facilities.
Amenities include a grocery store with firewood, free Wi-Fi, showers, a swimming pool, a playground, a dog park, and a rec room. It also offers weekly and monthly rates and Good Sam discounts. It’s our favorite jumping-off point for exploring downtown Des Moines, which is only 15 minutes away.
RV Storage and Dump Stations in Iowa
While planning your Iowa adventure, it’s good to know about some other services the state offers RV travelers. If your RV has an onboard bathroom, you need to know where you can responsibly get rid of your waste.
And while you’re exploring the country in your RV, you may want to visit family and friends, stay in a hotel, or otherwise take a break from the motorhome life. RV storage facilities are a great solution for keeping your RV safe until you’re ready to set out again.
Some of the best RV storage sites in Iowa:
- Highline Storage in Des Moines
- Oak Crest Storage in Iowa City
- Elite Self Storage in Sioux City
- Green Acres in Cedar Rapids
Some of the best dump stations:
- Walnut Woods State Park in Des Moines
- West Liberty RV Park in Iowa City
- R Campground in Mason City
- Great Western Park in Council Bluffs
1. What are RV rentals?
Not everybody is able to own an RV outright, and not everybody wants to. The good news is that renting an RV for one trip is easier than ever. You have the option of choosing a corporate renter like Cruise America, renting through a network like RVshare, or renting directly from the owner.
2. How Much are RV rentals?
It depends on how long you want to use the RV and how long a trip you intend to take. RV rental companies typically charge both a per-night fee and a per-mile fee, plus some extras like a gas tank deposit. Private owners might do things differently.
Smaller trailers and campervans usually cost between $75 and $150 per night, while large trailers and motorcoaches cost a bit more, from about $100 to $250. Per mile charges tend to sit between 25 and 50 cents. Keep in mind that you can save money by renting for weeks or months at a time.
3. Do I need to be a certain age to rent an RV in Iowa?
The minimum age to rent any vehicle in Iowa is 21. Beyond that, RV companies aren’t consistent: RVshare does not allow anybody under 25 to rent an RV in Iowa, while Cruise America rents to anyone 21 or older who has a valid license. We recommend checking with your chosen company if you aren’t certain.
4. Do I need insurance when I rent an RV?
Yes, you are required to have proof of insurance in the vehicle with you at all times. Rental companies offer insurance along with the contract, while private renters can temporarily add you to their policies.
5. Do I need to return my rental RV with a full tank?
It’s the polite thing to do. However, whether you’ll be penalized for not doing it varies from renter to renter. As always, communicate if you’re not sure.
6. Are RVs pet-friendly in Iowa?
If you have a pet who’s very tolerant of new places and confusing motion, RVing with your animal friend can be a wonderful experience. Many of Iowa’s best RV parks and campgrounds have dog runs attached.