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Author Topic: First Timer, Renting.  (Read 4159 times)

JasonV

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First Timer, Renting.
« on: March 20, 2005, 11:10:57 AM »
Good day.  My wife and I have been discussing getting into RVing.  We are a fairly young family living in California with two daughters.  There seems to be a lot of opportunity out there to get out and see the west.  Take the kids, leave the cell phone and internet behind, enjoy some country and eachother.  We have an occasion to try it out coming up, and I have deciided to rent for a three day trip with just the wife and I.  I know nothing about this, so this will be a trial before we take the whole family out and have a vacation with the kids go awry.

We have a 24 ft Class C reserved from a "national" rental company.  But, yesterday after visiting a local dealer, I think the wife is having second thoughts.  After touring some new RV's we took a look at a used one similar to what we are renting.  I know its the salesmans job to create doubt about a rental, and try to sell a new one, but we're atleast a year away, and I want to be sure before I invest.  And with the depreciation, new just isn't for us.  So, while taking a look at this used one, it was clear, it was not in too good of shape.  And, quite frankly, it stunk like, well you know. . .  I am not sure if the black tank needed a dump, or if someone was in it dumping if you will, as the bathroom door was locked.

So, my question is what do I expect from this "national" rental company?  Will it be clean?  Is everything going to work right?  Shoud I continue to pursue this rental or should I look to another local outfiit?

I would really like this to go well, and I need to put my wife at ease.  I can still back out of the rental and not lose anything as we are not scheduled for atleast another three weeks.

Thanks for any advice.  Feel free to email; vagim@sbcglobal.net

Jason

Ned

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Re: First Timer, Renting.
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2005, 12:40:22 PM »
Jason,

Our first motorhome experience was in a rental some years ago.  We rented a 24' type C, as you are, and toured southern CA for a week.  It was fine for the two of us, but can get a little crowded with a family of 4.  It should be tolerable for a 3 day trip.  As in any rental, go over the entire vehicle and make a written note of anything that isn't working or shows any damage.  If any needed item, like an applicance, isn't working, have them fix it before you leave.  If the vehicle isn't to your liking, have them find you another.

I think you will enjoy your all too short vacation and will be ready for more.  Where are you planning on going for your trip?  You can't see too much of the west in just 3 days and we may have some suggestions for you to maximize the use of your limited time.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

caltex

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Re: First Timer, Renting.
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2005, 01:44:29 PM »
Jason,

We rented motorhomes several times last year before purchasing one.  The objective was to get a better idea of what we liked and determine what was really important to us in an RV.  We tried both gas and diesel, and different floor plans. The rentals were clean, everything worked and the learning experience was well worth the rental fee, since the results of the trials were key in the final selection of what to buy.  I would second the idea that you check out the RV with the representative before driving off, just as you would do when renting a car.
Robert

JasonV

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Re: First Timer, Renting.
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2005, 02:09:25 PM »
Thanks for the information.  It is definately a short trip.  We are going to the Jimmy Buffett concert in Santa Barbara with some friends that have a class c.  We will be staying at Carpenteria State Beach and using a taxi to get to and from the concert.  Just going to hang out on the beach, visit, eat, drink, relax.  Go to the concert and then head for home.  If this trip goes well, I plan to take the whole family to the central coast for at least a week this summer.  Then maybe try a rental again next year and see how things go, maybe buy late next year.  We are in the central valley so getting to just about any part of California is pretty easy. 

I have pretty much decided that a 29 ft is the best for us.  Having a fully walkaround queen in the back with a privacy door is the way to go.  The kids can hop in the overhead and we won't have to bust down the dinette or couch each night.  If we do a family trip this summer, it'll be in a 29.  Slides aren't that important to me.  Price and condition are more important.

Thanks and hopefully the thing will be clean.  I think cleanliness is a big deal killer. Since this organization is a "national" rental I would like to think they will do a good job.

Thanks, if you have anything to add.  Please do.

Jason

DonJordan

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Re: First Timer, Renting.
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2005, 04:06:02 PM »
Thanks for the information. It is definately a short trip. We are going to the Jimmy Buffett concert in Santa Barbara with some friends that have a class c. We will be staying at Carpenteria State Beach and using a taxi to get to and from the concert. Just going to hang out on the beach, visit, eat, drink, relax. Go to the concert and then head for home. If this trip goes well, I plan to take the whole family to the central coast for at least a week this summer. Then maybe try a rental again next year and see how things go, maybe buy late next year. We are in the central valley so getting to just about any part of California is pretty easy.

I have pretty much decided that a 29 ft is the best for us. Having a fully walkaround queen in the back with a privacy door is the way to go. The kids can hop in the overhead and we won't have to bust down the dinette or couch each night. If we do a family trip this summer, it'll be in a 29. Slides aren't that important to me. Price and condition are more important.

Thanks and hopefully the thing will be clean. I think cleanliness is a big deal killer. Since this organization is a "national" rental I would like to think they will do a good job.

Thanks, if you have anything to add. Please do.

Jason

I think that you are definitely on the right track.  Renting before buying is the smart approach for anyone who has no previous experience with RVing.  We have had mixed results with our rentals but none were from national chains.  Our best experience was with a 24' class C which was nice and clean and had no problems.  So, I guess my advise would be to stick with one of the national chains, inspect the unit carefully before driving off, and make them correct any obvious defects before you leave.

Have fun - your trip to Carpenteria State beach for the Jimmy Buffet concert sounds great!  ;D
Don Jordan.

Karl

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Re: First Timer, Renting.
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2005, 01:12:00 PM »
Hi Jason,
Glad you found us. There's many centuries worth of members experience here; use it so you don't have to make the same mistakes we did.
Quote
Thanks and hopefully the thing will be clean. I think cleanliness is a big deal killer. Since this organization is a "national" rental I would like to think they will do a good job.
Jason, you wouldn't rent a hotel room that hasn't had the sheets changed, the carpeting vacuumed, or the bathroom thoroughly cleaned; there's no reason you would or should accept a rental that isn't up to the same standards. Your options are simple - tell them to give you a different unit, or go somewhere else - and let us know who gave you the bad service so we can steer others away from them.
Karl (Cheesehead) Kolbus   Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting "...holy cow ...what a ride!"

Ron

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Re: First Timer, Renting.
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2005, 02:32:16 PM »
Jason,

Glad you found us.  Souds like you are on the right track by getting a rental and trying it on so to speak.  Karl has made a very good point and I would not accept anything less than kleen.  I would suggest inspectoing the unit before showing any money.  Welcome and Hope we can help by answering your questions.
Ron & Sam-home is where we park it. Currently located   HERE

dneighbo

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Re: First Timer, Renting.
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2005, 05:19:46 PM »
I have pretty much decided that a 29 ft is the best for us.  Having a fully walkaround queen in the back with a privacy door is the way to go.  The kids can hop in the overhead and we won't have to bust down the dinette or couch each night.  If we do a family trip this summer, it'll be in a 29.  Slides aren't that important to me.  Price and condition are more important.

We have two daughters and a son.  I had RV'ed growing up and we decided to go for it rather than rent as we knew the personality of our family.  We bought used via private party a 30' Class C and are loving it.  We have already taken two weekend trips and are ready to blaze the trails on a 15 day wild ride.

We actually found a perfect setup for our family (might not be for your family).  Instead of a Queen/King in the back room.  There is a bunk bed and a dinette.  That has a privacy door.  This is great for us as the kids have their own "room".  We have a Queen overhead we enjoy and our own couch and dinette.  This works out well because we can put all three kids down to bed in the rear room and shut the door.  Then my wife and I can stay up and enjoy the rest of the RV w/o having to worry about waking the kids.  Works well when driving as well because the back dinette has seatbelts and such.  Generally all the kids sit in the far back and read or play games at the dinette and it is quiet blissfull driving for dad. :)

Carl L

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Re: First Timer, Renting.
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2005, 11:22:02 PM »
Quote
So, my question is what do I expect from this "national" rental company?  Will it be clean?  Is everything going to work right?  Shoud I continue to pursue this rental or should I look to another local outfiit?


If you are talking Cruise America or El Monte Rents, you should expect a fairly new, clean, santitary unit in good mechanical shape.   Certainly you should inspect the beast upon delivery, including a nose survey, and demand any make goods on the spot.   I make a point of querying folks renting from those two firms and the reports are uniformly good.

Now as for your dealer, I am surprised that they are offering a unit like the one you describe.   It is a fairly simple matter for a dealership to clean up and santize a used unit being offered for sale.   Frankly the best you are going to get from a dealership, is the unit when it is 'on the floor' so to speak.   I would be suspicious of the agency.   Either they are gaming you with a horrible example or they do not know the difference between sanitary and otherwise.
Carl L/LA   [Forum Staff]  KI6SEZ

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