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Author Topic: Advice on rentals?  (Read 787 times)

wijames2002

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Advice on rentals?
« on: September 28, 2017, 02:48:49 PM »
My wife and I are retired and really want to see more of the US and would like to purchase an RV. We think we want a C class RV as we are both in our 60's and don't get around very well and my wife can't see herself driving a big A class RV. We've looked into renting an RV for a week to see how we like it but every place we check nead us in Florida want $1300.00 or more plus fees a week to rent. Is there a cheaper option out there to just get a feel for RV'ing?

Tom

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Re: Advice on rentals?
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2017, 03:18:58 PM »
I can't help much with the rental, but ...

Quote
we are both in our 60's... my wife can't see herself driving a big A class RV

I'm 70 and my wife is not far behind. She does 95% of the driving of our class A diesel pusher coach. The way that many class C's are constructed, the transition from the 'cab' to the living area would be tough for either of us to negotiate.
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blw2

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Re: Advice on rentals?
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2017, 03:47:03 PM »
when i checked on rentals several years ago, it was the miles charge that was the killer.

The only think I can think of your purpose of just getting a taste at a low cost, is to rent someplace close to a destination and only rent for a very short time.  Not a full experience perhaps, but it's something.

Another idea.... it seems there are a lot more rentals out west.  Maybe cheaper out there given the volume....and maybe check "off season"
When we were at the Grand Canyon this summer, I was shocked at the number of rentals.

Not a very good picture, but here I am parked at the RV lot in Canyon Village
at the time I took this...8 or 9 out of the 13 RV's that are visible were rentals.  There were more, this was just what could be seen....  I just had to laugh
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Arch Hoagland

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Re: Advice on rentals?
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2017, 06:38:27 PM »
I'd suggest biting the bullet and rent the unit. You will learn a lot of things, especially whether or not you need to tow a car.

As Tom mentioned class C's are a bit inconvenient to get around in.

We travel months at a time and have found our average daily cost is $100 a day. That covers everything...RV park, fuel, food, tours, etc. It does not include the cost of our motorhome, insurance, tags and maintenance.

RVing is an expensive hobby but it beats staying in motels.
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Isaac-1

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Re: Advice on rentals?
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2017, 02:15:38 AM »
I think one of the big mistakes many people make when shopping for a  motorhome is to let fear of driving it influence their purchase decision too much.  This is not to say that a larger motorhome will fit all the places a smaller one will, that is a bit of a different subject.  However out on the open road where the vast majority of the driving is done, bigger can often be smoother and easier, the heavier a motorhome is the less it will tend to be blown around by passing trucks, etc.

As to trying a rental, many people say to rent before you buy, which I think is good advice, if you can find a rental that you will enjoy, most rental coaches are built to sleep as many people as possible at the cost of tiny kitchen and tiny bathroom areas.  Also most coaches built for the big rental companies are very sparse on luxuries and features, under the theory that they need to hold up to rental abuse, and the simpler the operation the better given the minimal orientation and RV training the renters typically get.  So by leaving out features like leveling jacks, it makes the coaches cheaper, more reliable, and easier for the renters to operate, that is as long as they don't mind rolling out of bed during the night.
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wijames2002

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Re: Advice on rentals?
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2017, 09:31:28 AM »
Thanks, good points! Yesterday I was made aware of a motorhome club near me where I may be able to rent one for a couple of days reasonably. I think I'll try that. Thanks again for your answrs

kdbgoat

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Re: Advice on rentals?
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2017, 09:32:18 AM »
I think one of the big mistakes many people make when shopping for a  motorhome is to let fear of driving it influence their purchase decision too much.

As Seilerbird, another member here generally says, "you only drive it 5% of the time, you have to live in it the other 95%". Pretty good advice he gives on this.
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muskoka guy

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Re: Advice on rentals?
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2017, 02:29:31 PM »
If you have never even ridden in one, go to a rv dealer and have them take you for a spin a few different kinds that you might be interested in. This is what they do. Who knows, you might even find one you like, and buy it. At least you will get an actual feel for the size, ride quality, and as Tom says, the ability to get around in each one.

captaindomon

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Re: Advice on rentals?
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2017, 04:12:23 PM »
If you have never even ridden in one, go to a rv dealer and have them take you for a spin a few different kinds that you might be interested in. This is what they do. Who knows, you might even find one you like, and buy it. At least you will get an actual feel for the size, ride quality, and as Tom says, the ability to get around in each one.

This is also a good way to find a dealer that you trust. Do this with two or three different dealers and you may see drastic differences in the way you are treated.

wijames2002

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Re: Advice on rentals?
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2017, 08:44:29 AM »
Sounds good. Have you had experience with major dealers that stood out to you as either being bad or good to deal with?

captaindomon

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Re: Advice on rentals?
« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2017, 11:31:22 AM »
My advice is to go to the ones that focus on what you need, instead of what you can pay. If they focus on monthly payment, credit score, "let's see what you can get approved for" etc, that's a bad sign. If they focus on what your family structure is / how many people you want to take camping, if you are boondocking or going to campgrounds, what kind of sleeping arrangements you want, different options they can add depending on your preferences, etc. they're the best folks to work with. Just my personal advice.

SeilerBird

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Re: Advice on rentals?
« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2017, 11:39:00 AM »
If you have never even ridden in one, go to a rv dealer and have them take you for a spin a few different kinds that you might be interested in. This is what they do. Who knows, you might even find one you like, and buy it. At least you will get an actual feel for the size, ride quality, and as Tom says, the ability to get around in each one.
Even better than that is to go to a few dealerships and take a few different ones out for a test drive. You should find out that the class As are the easiest to drive even though they look the most intimidating. Find a salesman and be honest, tell them you are a newby, never driven one and you want to try out a few to see what you would want to buy.
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sadixon49

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Re: Advice on rentals?
« Reply #12 on: October 09, 2017, 02:41:08 PM »
My advice is to go to the ones that focus on what you need, instead of what you can pay. If they focus on monthly payment, credit score, "let's see what you can get approved for" etc, that's a bad sign. If they focus on what your family structure is / how many people you want to take camping, if you are boondocking or going to campgrounds, what kind of sleeping arrangements you want, different options they can add depending on your preferences, etc. they're the best folks to work with. Just my personal advice.

Very good advice here. I'll add one more. If they're more interested in getting you into what they have on the lot, than listening to your wants and needs, you may want to move on. At a minimum, alarm bells should be going off.
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ronniebellie

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Re: Advice on rentals?
« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2017, 02:59:17 PM »
Try rvshare.com. It's a kind of Airbnb rental service for RVs.

alanbl

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Re: Advice on rentals?
« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2017, 04:16:07 PM »

I'm 70 and my wife is not far behind. She does 95% of the driving of our class A diesel pusher coach. The way that many class C's are constructed, the transition from the 'cab' to the living area would be tough for either of us to negotiate.

I am in a similar situation and left this past Saturday in a rental for a week.  It's a Class C on the Mercedes Sprinter platform which is the closest I could find to the Class B that I'm really interested in.  It's expensive, but I figure worth it for the introductory experience.   But, I'll offer up a few words of advice, especially for a first time RVer/renter like me.  When the rental company shows you around your rig,  make absolutely sure that they demonstrate everything!  I had done a lot of research but several systems were glossed over as if I should just know what to do.  And, I didn't insist that they show me that everything works.  For example:

1.  The TV does not work with a DVD.  I followed the instructions implicitly and I'm not a tech idiot but could not get the DVD to play.  Called the dealer and they eventually said it probably is the HDMI cable.  OK.  Don't you guys check this BEFORE the rig goes out on rental.
2.  I was told and quickly shown that the curtain dividing the driving area from the rest of the rig just goes on by velcro BEHIND the seats.  We looked, but no velcro behind the seats and the curtain was way too large anyway.  My wife finally figured out that it goes across the windshield and then over the passenger and drivers windows.
3.  We paid extra to be outfitted with appliances, dishware, etc.   Well, the cord on the coffee maker was too short to reach the nearest outlet which is over the galley area.   We bought a short extension cord to solve this but again,  doesn't anyone check this stuff?

All pretty minor irritants but I figure for the price I'm paying there should be absolutely no glitches.

On the positive side,  so far we are having a great time! 
----------------------------
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SeilerBird

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Re: Advice on rentals?
« Reply #15 on: October 09, 2017, 04:53:57 PM »
When the rental company shows you around your rig,  make absolutely sure that they demonstrate everything!  I had done a lot of research but several systems were glossed over as if I should just know what to do. 
All pretty minor irritants but I figure for the price I'm paying there should be absolutely no glitches.
And you can whip out your cell phone and video the whole demonstration. :)
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
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Isaac-1

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Re: Advice on rentals?
« Reply #16 on: October 09, 2017, 06:57:21 PM »
It really is surprising how many basic amenities these lower end rental units skip, I was camped next to a couple in a Cruise America class C for the big solar eclipse in Wyoming, and ended up loaning them some spare wood planks so they could get halfway level, not only did cruise america not provide any leveling system (jacks, planks, ramps, blocks, etc.) they did not even have a bubble level mounted inside the RV and had to download a smartphone level app.
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AutumnLief

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Re: Advice on rentals?
« Reply #17 on: October 22, 2017, 06:26:03 PM »
Thanks, good points! Yesterday I was made aware of a motorhome club near me where I may be able to rent one for a couple of days reasonably. I think I'll try that. Thanks again for your answrs

I would rather "invest" $1300 for a week (even a couple times over) before buying something very expensive only to find out it wasn't the right fit for me and my husband.

AutumnLief

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Re: Advice on rentals?
« Reply #18 on: October 22, 2017, 06:28:03 PM »
I am in a similar situation and left this past Saturday in a rental for a week.  It's a Class C on the Mercedes Sprinter platform which is the closest I could find to the Class B that I'm really interested in.  It's expensive, but I figure worth it for the introductory experience.   But, I'll offer up a few words of advice, especially for a first time RVer/renter like me.  When the rental company shows you around your rig,  make absolutely sure that they demonstrate everything!  I had done a lot of research but several systems were glossed over as if I should just know what to do.  And, I didn't insist that they show me that everything works.  For example:

1.  The TV does not work with a DVD.  I followed the instructions implicitly and I'm not a tech idiot but could not get the DVD to play.  Called the dealer and they eventually said it probably is the HDMI cable.  OK.  Don't you guys check this BEFORE the rig goes out on rental.
2.  I was told and quickly shown that the curtain dividing the driving area from the rest of the rig just goes on by velcro BEHIND the seats.  We looked, but no velcro behind the seats and the curtain was way too large anyway.  My wife finally figured out that it goes across the windshield and then over the passenger and drivers windows.
3.  We paid extra to be outfitted with appliances, dishware, etc.   Well, the cord on the coffee maker was too short to reach the nearest outlet which is over the galley area.   We bought a short extension cord to solve this but again,  doesn't anyone check this stuff?

All pretty minor irritants but I figure for the price I'm paying there should be absolutely no glitches.

On the positive side,  so far we are having a great time!

Good post! We will be renting a couple of times before buying and these are great points especially for the uninitiated!

YLBlues

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Re: Advice on rentals?
« Reply #19 on: November 06, 2017, 08:47:45 PM »
We just completed our first RV rental experience, two weeks ago today.  It was a 550 mile round-trip in a 31’ Class C Coachmen.  The time at the destination was 4 nights, but we rented a day before to have time to load it, and a day after based on estimating getting home late.  We were able to bring it back the day we returned, but they don’t refund for that.  The total cost for the rental plus their insurance was ~ $1,500, plus around $210 for gas.  They included 50 miles/night and we bought reduced cost 100 mile packages for 200 miles.

We knew it would have been much less cost to stay at the hotel at our destination, but this would be an opportunity to see if we liked traveling this way (YEP!).  The wife learned she did not like the minuscule counter space in the galley, and we both learned that it was difficult to do anything more that stand straight in the shower...turning was an artistic dance.

Upon returning the unit and without discussing beforehand, the wife wandered into the open door of a Class A on the lot.  We asked to look at a couple of models and they showed us a 34’ and a 38’ “luxury” unit. We are likely to rent at least the 34’ because that is more in line with what we may want in a purchase.  Yes, we got hooked.  Figuring out where the next journey will be, possibly Jan/Feb.

My view is rent at least a couple of times, maybe more.  We found what we didn’t like and that could happen again the next time.  To me this is part of the research or homework that will hopefully prevent future regret in purchasing something that doesn’t fit what we expect. We may spend $5,000 on rentals to end up focusing on the right one for us, instead of wishing we did something different, so saving anguish in the long run.

Isaac-1

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Re: Advice on rentals?
« Reply #20 on: November 07, 2017, 12:54:28 AM »
I hate to say it, but if it is going to be 3 or 4 months before you would have time to use the coach again, there is a good chance you are better off renting vs buying at this point.  Depending on your location, circumstance, etc. the coast of ownership of a motorhome can easily run $200-$400 per month or more, not including any wear based upkeep.  This is only counting things like, insurance, storage fees, registration fees, as well as amatorizing things that age out out batteries, and tires (which need to be changed about every 7 years regadless of miles), if stored outdoors, you would also need to factor in cost of resealing the roof every so often, even if stored indoors there are still such ongoing maintenance costs.
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camperAL

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Re: Advice on rentals?
« Reply #21 on: November 07, 2017, 03:34:13 AM »
Hi wijames2002,

I rented a class c in the fall 2014 from Cruse America for 8 days. First (very important) be sure you ARE insured for that rental. Don't take it for granted. Same if you test drive an RV at a dealership as I found out that I was NOT insured and could have been liable.

There are a lot of items that you don't get in a rental as they keep them basic. TV was one of them on our rental. Also hard to crawl in and out of the bed in a class c. Bathroom was small and door is a foot away from you when you are sitting on the throne. If you get a class c with a slide out in the bedroom, that will be much nicer and more room.

Cost for us was $170 per day (which included rental $120, fuel, LP, and campgrounds) and we didn't drive very far or the milage cost is a killer. I highly recommend going to dealers (and leave your CC and checkbooks at home) and taking a look at the various Class C's and other RV's to get an idea of space and your needs. Test drive is an excellent idea, but if you buy used, you will have to go over the unit and make sure there are not any problems with the unit before purchase.

Here was my rental road trip if you would care to read for more details:

http://www.rvforum.net/SMF_forum/index.php/topic,77624.0.html

Best wishes and do ask questions here on the forum if you have them!
CamperAL (Indiana)
(2006 Coachmen Mirada 290 KS )

wackymac

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Re: Advice on rentals?
« Reply #22 on: November 07, 2017, 05:56:29 AM »
When we bought ours 16 years ago we were looking at class Cs because my wife thought they would be easier to drive.  Then the salesman showed us the "A" that we eventually bought.  Glad we went for the "A".  We still have the same rig.  DW (now 76 years old)  still drives it.  As long as we are on the freeway she doesn't mind driving.  The motorhome has 111,000 miles on it and has been across the US 15 times.
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YLBlues

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Re: Advice on rentals?
« Reply #23 on: November 07, 2017, 09:18:49 AM »
I hate to say it, but if it is going to be 3 or 4 months before you would have time to use the coach again, there is a good chance you are better off renting vs buying at this point.  Depending on your location, circumstance, etc. the coast of ownership of a motorhome can easily run $200-$400 per month or more, not including any wear based upkeep.

Agree Isaac. This time next year we’ll have loads of free time and are preparing and planning for that.

The point I was trying to make is renting a few times will give you much more real life info than you can get by just reading and walking through units on a lot.

Isaac-1

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Re: Advice on rentals?
« Reply #24 on: November 07, 2017, 04:24:40 PM »
One other bit of advice if you have any big trips planned, buy well ahead of time to allow time to find the issues with the coach, and take a few short shake down trips
2002 Safari Trek 2830

 

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