Exploring Maui in a rental RV is one of the best ways to see and experience the island. We spent over a week on the island in a camper van and had an unforgettable Maui vacation. This post will detail our Maui RV rental experience along with camping spots, tips and recommendations.
If you want to skip all the reading and get right to booking a camper, you can browse Maui RV rentals here.
Maui RV Rental Guide
To see what it’s like renting an RV on Maui, watch our video below. It includes picking up the rental camper at Kahului Airport and our first night beach camping at Papalaua Wayside Park.
The rental RV in the video is “Ho’okipa” from Campervan Hawaii. It’s a fully converted camper van that I refer to as a furnished vacation rental on wheels. The “Maui Wowie” is its twin, with a different name and the same amenities.
There is a toilet, shower, very comfortable bed with a mattress topper, beach chairs, towels, fully stocked kitchen with sink, refrigerator and microwave.
The rental camper even has an A/C for those hot summer days by the ocean and a furnace for the cool mornings at the summit of Haleakalā.
It also comes with a pair of binoculars for wild life viewing and an extensive Maui travel guide.
Prior RV experience is not required to rent a camper on Maui. It was an easy transition for us since we’ve lived out of different types of RVs on the mainland.
Maui RV Rental Tips
Get to know your rental RV. Renting a camper on Maui isn’t like renting a regular vehicle. There are components that you may not be familiar with like the cassette toilet. The rental camper is also taller than a regular vehicle. The last thing you want to do is to drive your rental into a tree branch causing damage to the roof mounted A/C or scratching the solar panels.
Read the rental agreement in detail. This will cover security deposit, insurance, maintenance, condition of rental, responsibility for repair, allowed use of the rental, etc…
Watch the van tour video in the booking e-mail. If you rent “Ho’okipa” or “Maui Wowie”, watch the video and familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of the camper. This will help you have a better experience with your rental RV and prevent any unnecessary damage.
Ideal Time to Visit Maui
We were on Maui mid to late February and the weather was perfect. Mostly sunny days with very little rain.
The weather at the top of Haleakalā is quite different from the beach. Be sure to check the weather and pack the proper clothing for your Maui vacation. You do not want to be in shorts and a tank top at the summit when it’s 40 degrees F and windy.
RV Pick Up at Kahului Airport
Prior to our arrival, we received an email with the pick up time, location and a video walk-through of the rental camper.
A team member from Campervan Hawaii met us at the airport where the rental camper was parked.
We received a detailed camper tour along with a long list of recommendations and a phone number to call with any questions.
Since our flight arrived in the afternoon, by the time we left the airport, stocked up on supplies, it was time to find a camping spot for the night.
Check out the video at the beginning of this post to get a better idea of the RV rental process.
Campgrounds on Maui
There are several established campgrounds on Maui which are described in detail on Campervan Hawaii’s camping page.
The first night we camped at Papalaua Wayside Park which is a short drive from Kahului Airport.
On the drive to Hana, we pulled into YMCA Camp Ke’anae to check it out. It’s a very well kept campground with showers and beautiful views. We found the prices to be quite high for camping on Maui.
There is basic camping at Wai’anapanapa State Park with flushing toilets and outdoor showers.
Kipahulu campground is near Ohe’o or the Seven Sacred Pools. There is no drinking water at this campground so make sure your rental RV is well stocked.
Hosmer Grove campground is a good place to spend the night if you want to watch the sunrise or sunset from the summit of Haleakalā. Being at high elevation, there is a chance the temperature may drop below freezing at night. Make sure you know how to run the heater in your rental RV.
Plan to spend at least one week on Maui. We spent over a week on the island in February and wished we had planned for two to three weeks. Even our two day drive to Hana felt a bit rushed.
Stock up at Costco to avoid those “hurt me” prices on the island. You’ll find local items like Maui Gold pineapple and locally grown mushrooms. When it comes time to fuel up your camper, Costco also has the least inexpensive gasoline on the island.
Drive the Hana Highway. One of the perks of renting a camper on Maui is being able to take your time driving the Road to Hana. Watch our video for some ideas of things to do on the way to Hana including whale watching, black sand beach and roadside fruit stands.
Go to Haleakalā National Park. There are so many reasons to make the trip to this beautiful national park on Maui. Go for a dip in the Seven Sacred Pools, spend a night or two at the campgrounds and definitely drive up to the summit.
Mahalo for reading! I hope you have a wonderful time exploring the island in your Maui rental RV!
Disclosure: Rental van provided for free by Campervan Hawaii. All of the opinions are our own, 100%.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on March 6, 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.