by Chris

What information do you need to rent a Dragonflyvan?

When contacting Dragonflyvans about a rental via email, be sure to include the following information:

• Name (first and last)

• Address

• Insurance carrier and policy number
• Credit card information

• Intent of use (basic itinerary)

• Pickup and drop-off dates

• First and second choice of van, subject to availability (see Our Vans for descriptions and photos)


It is the renter’s responsibility to check with your insurance carrier to find out if your coverage extends to our vans (which are not RVs). STOP!  This where you don’t “Slack” and pick up the phone and contact you insurance provider before you continue.  When you provide the statement of compliance when filling out our rental form,  and you rent with us,  you are held accountable.  If you find out your insurance does not cover you after an accident you will still be financially responsible for damage or replacement of the vehicle.  We want to avoid this before it becomes a legal issue and ugly.  Our goal with this is for you, the user, to have this information before contacting us. NOTE: Under all circumstances you must have and carry a full-coverage policy. There are NO exceptions.

Do you offer one-way rentals?

No. Also, the vans are not available for cross-country excursions, trips to Burning Man, or travel to Alaska.

How do we meet you to pick up/drop off the van?

All vans are located near the terminal of the Missoula International Airport and must be returned to the same location – no exceptions. We will arrange with you a time to meet there between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. (seven days a week, including holidays), to pick up the van. We will sign the paperwork and do a quick review of the vehicle and answer any questions you may have about our Orientation Video that you watched prior to arriving. Vans must be picked up only by the person or persons who made the reservation and for whom insurance policy number and info are listed on the departure document. A convenience surcharge of $20-$100, depending on time, will be charged if you need to pickup or drop off your van outside our business hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Please plan your flights, etc. accordingly.

How do your rates calculate?

Our “nightly” rates are calculated on a 24-hour basis, meaning we make note of the time you pick up your van and expect you back on or before that time on the day you drop it off. If you drop off the van after the pick up time on your return day, you will be charged a pro-rated hourly rate based on that night’s daily rate. Example: If you are 3 hours late on your return day, and the nightly rate for that day was $215, then your additional charge would be $215/12=$17.92 x3 = $53.76. Often times flights and arrival/departure times can be unusual. We will try to accommodate your situation the best we can, however, due to the nature of our business (not like hotel or rental car) our vans require a great deal of attention and time to make ready between rentals (typically 2-3 days), so we must be firm regarding this rule.

Can we go outside of the service range specified in your Terms and Conditions?

Typically no, however, as a return customer, we sometimes allow for an increased range depending on target location. In addition, if you have a specific location you are trying to get to and we OK it first, then we can work something out from there. The reason is that due to high demand, and the ‘nature of our beasts,’ we have carefully chosen a limited-access area as described in our Terms and Conditions. We like to inspect and service our vans as much as possible, so we have designed our service area to allow for a reasonable number of miles “spent” by each customer and between services – this is 29+ years of Vanagon ownership talking.

What happens if we damage the windshield or headlights?

All damages to the van, including glass chips, dings, etc., are the renter’s responsibility. Rock chips to the windshield and headlights, if they can be repaired, will be repaired at the expense of the renter. Should the rock chip be in the driver’s field of vision while driving, the windshield will need to be replaced at the renter’s expense. Chips too large to repair or cracks in the windshield will require replacement of the windshield, at the renter’s expense. Non-repairable damage to one or both headlights will cause it (them) to be replaced at the renter’s expense as well. You may want to ask your insurance company about your coverage for such damage.

What’s your deal with the strict rental rules? Are the Westfalias really that valuable?

Yes, really. Click here to see for yourself. Most folks don’t fully recognize the value of these rare vehicles, which would greatly help them to evaluate what Dragonflyvans is doing and why the Terms and Conditions and FAQ are so serious. This small fleet of Westfalia campers is not only a unique colleciton of classic vehicles, but it’s also the sole means by which I support my family, so its protection and preservation is of highest importance to me.

Are all the vans the same?

Yes, all the vans are 1986-1987 Volkswagen Westfalia Weekenders. The only differences within our vans come in the way of color, transmissions (automatic or manual), power steering or not, and the pop top tent (3-window or one-window). The vans we rent are Weekenders and DO NOT have the sink, stove, and refrigerators that Westfalia Full Campers do.

Do I get to choose which van I want?

Unfortunately, no. Because we do everything ourselves (bookings, pickups/dropoffs, mechanical repairs) and because things beyond our control happen during the season, we’re not able to guarantee that any particular van will be available and ready for use on a specific day, though we will do our best to honor requests for a specific transmission or van choice. I personally clean and recondition each van and do a complete mechanical inspection before every rental, so, availability of any one van depends on its return condition and time needed to make it ready for rental.

Why Weekenders and not Full Campers?

Many reasons – the first of which is that Full Campers have on-board grey water, fresh water, propane, etc. Because of these qualities, most National Parks recognize full campers as RVs and regulate them to RV slips, which is not ‘camping’ by definition. In addition to the RV status of a full camper, our clients would also then be required to procure RV insurance to operate our vans.   Weekenders are free from these issues. Not to mention most of the Full Camper equipment is badly outdated and works only in argument. AND lastly, we are really not that interested in folks cooking up 5 pounds of bacon inside our vans. 😉

What happens if we breakdown outside of your 100-mile roadside-service range?

Once outside of the 100-mile radius the van is wholly the users responsibility. Regardless of the issue it is the clients responsibility to return the van back to Dragonflyvans at the Missoula Airport (or to the nearest repair facility). Once a diagnosis is made, only then can we determine who is responsible for costs accrued by transport of the vehicle in question. NOTE:  We strongly urge our clients to have AAA, both while in a Dragonflyvans Weekender and for your own vehicle. Until a diagnosis is made, all costs will be born by the user. Should the diagnosis be seen as operator error or misuse, all costs for the return of the vehicle will be born by the user/renter. Should fault/issue be found due to maintenance or oversight by the provider/Dragonflyvans, the renter will be reimbursed for remaining rental days not used, and tow/transport cost will be born by Dragonflyvans. From the point of failure, it is the responsibility of the user to make arrangements for their own transportation and accommodations. Note: Electrical issues are not seen as a maintenance issue as their failure cannot be determined or diagnosed before failure. We are not responsible for part manufactures and their warranties.

  1. What is included in the price?
    $1,675 is a great value and all inclusive price. You get all the gear and provisioning you need, free van propane and free 2 propane bottles for the grill and basic insurance. And we provide ~800 additional miles free (~$200 – $400 other van rentals charge).

We believe this one price is easier. And, when compared to the nickel and dime add-ons of our competitor our price is lower and gives you more leeway to go and travel without worrying about added costs.

  1. What gear comes with the van?
    Everything, including the kitchen sink! Vans come with sink, refrigerator (poor), two burner stove and 10 gallons of water and a full tank of propane. Provisioned gear includes kitchen ware, silver ware, pots/pans, frying pans, plates/mugs/glasses, linens or sleeping bags & pillow for 2, peeler, cork screw, kitchen towels, dish soap, folding table, table cloth, Coleman Eze up, containers/storage, 50+ quart cooler, Coleman Road Grill, 2 tanks of grill propane, first aid kit, matches/starter, shovel and Maine Snow & Nealy Axe.
  2. What is in season” What is out of season?
    In Season – May 20th to Sept 30th. Closed all other times.
  3. What if the van breaks down on my trip – road assistance?
    We will either refund remaining days rental or provide a substitute replacement van. We encourage you to get or have AAA Plus Road Assistance.

If you are way far away you pay any towing fees and charges.

We will fix it if possible — We will make arrangement to fix things via phone and/or tow it to the nearest garage for us to walk them though any diagnostics and fixes.

  1. What needs propane?
    The two stove burner inside the van kitchen and the Coleman grill
  2. How does the electric plugin work?
    The van has regular “home” outlets (120v) inside. Campsites have to offer electrical service; so most likely you need to be in a State or National Park or a private KOA-type camping site. Simply connect a power extension cord (heavy duty) and you have power inside the van.
  3. Why do I need insurance?
    These are vintage, restored vans and are rarer. They are expensive to repair. If you damage the van or are in an accident, you are responsible for all damage. Our basic insurance only covers ~$16,000. You will have to pay for all other damage above what our insurance provider will pay. We verify your coverage when we contact your insurance agent.
  4. What cleaning do I need to do upon return?
    Basic dusting, floor, kitchen, upholstery and all kitchen ware and dishes, etc. Additional cleaning fees may be charged for excess dirtiness. An example might be ground in gum, candy and food into the carpets, seats, beds and similar items.
  5. Why 60-90 minutes to check in?
    It is complicated. This is a hotel and vintage van and a kitchen. We inventory all gear with you and walk you through how to use all the items. You set up the canopy, the popup, swing tables, portable tables and a couple other camping gear items (stove and grill).

In addition we walk you through all the van/automobile basics including shift pattern, emergency brake location, jack, special placement to jack, spare tire mechanics, oil stick, coolant location and a host of other vehicle related items.

It is a standard as well so we expect to take a 5 minute drive with the dedicated drivers to ensure they indeed can successfully drive a standard shift and clutching.

  1. Does the rental price include roof racks accessories for a canoe or kayak?
    Yes, with additional arrangements and added fees made for the racks, kayaking and canoe outfitting.
  2. Are dogs allowed?
    Yes with special pre-arrangements and fees.