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Pros and Cons of Renting a Campervan in Hawaii

While we think that renting a Campervan in Hawaii is the best way to travel around the Big Island, it’s not for everyone! In this article we list reasons why to and not to choose to rent a Campervan in Hawaii.


A white Ram Promaster 2500 Campervan with the sliding door open in front of Mauna Kea at sunrise.
Sun + Salt Campervan Betty with Mauna Kea in the background at sunrise

Reasons to rent a Campervan in Hawaii


#1: Renting a Campervan is cost effective compared to an Airbnb + Turo rental.

When you rent a Campervan in Hawaii, you combine the cost of your stay and your vehicle into one. At a minimum you’ll spend $150 per night for a low-end airbnb and $100 a day on a car. Why not combine these expenses into one experience that gets you an ocean-front view?


#2: Renting a Campervan gets you ocean-front access for a fraction of the cost.

With a Campervan, you get that ocean-front access that you would have to pay thousands of dollars at a resort to have outside your window. There are tons of spots to park around the island including beautiful, permitted spots with a beach-front view. See this article for some of our favorite places to park right on the water.


A Ram Promaster Campervan with beach chairs set up and doors open parked in front of the ocean at Laupahoehoe on the Big Island of Hawaii.
Big Island Bertha in front of the bay at Laupahoehoe

When you rent a Campervan with Sun + Salt Campervans, we also send you a google map filled with spots available to park overnight.


#3 Renting a Campervan means less time driving and more time playing.

When you stay at a hotel or rent an airbnb, if you want to see the sites all the way around the island you’ll either end up packing up and heading to a new stay every couple of days, or you’ll spend the majority of your time just driving back and forth around the island.

In a Campervan, you can make your way all the way around the island in one fell swoop, parking at new spots and seeing the sites along the way.

#3: Renting a Campervan is an adventure that shows you a more authentic Hawai'i.

Traveling in a Campervan means you get to reach and enjoy the out-of-the way spots and don’t have to leave early to drive 2 hours back to your hotel. Adventuring in a Campervan in Hawaii also means you get to interact with nature and local life in ways that are inaccessible when you restrict your experience to a resort.

High roof van from the Sun + Salt Campervan Fleet with a woman posing in front of the sliding door in front of Mauna Kea.
Bri at sunrise before a hike up Mauna Loa.

I guarantee, you'll experience a different side of Hawaii when you travel in a Campervan.


Reasons not to rent a Campervan in Hawaii


#1: Don't rent a Campervan if you prefer a resort experience.

If you’re coming to Big Island to stay at a resort and sip Mai Thais on the beach every day, then a Campervan adventure might not be the best fit for you. While we think the resorts don’t always represent an authentic impression of Hawaii, sometimes you just want some rest & relaxation. If that’s you, then don’t rent a Campervan.

#2: Don't rent a Campervan if you don't like to plan or travel responsibly.

While it’s totally possible to arrive at big island, pick up a van, and hit the road with zero planning, a little bit of preparation in advance really goes a long way when it comes to your Big Island vacation in a Campervan. We made it easy and wrote an article sharing the few things you really need to think about before coming to the island.

#3: Don't rent a Campervan if you don't feel confident driving a large vehicle.

A lot of the Campervans on the Big Island are extended body, which means you’re driving a big load on the road! These can be difficult to park and they are more conspicuous on the road.

With Sun + Salt Campervans, even if you’re not familiar with driving a van, we chose a vehicle frame that you can feel confident driving. We chose the 136 wheelbase on the Ram Promaster with front wheel drive, which means our campervans, while surprisingly spacious on the inside, are the same size as a standard pickup on the outside. That means you’ll have no problem parking anywhere on the island with easy turns and maneuvering (you’ll be shocked at the turn radius!).


Does renting a Campervan on the Big Island sound like a good fit for you?

Consider renting one with us, Sun + Salt Campervans!


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