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imagardener
post Sep 25 2011, 08:30 AM
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What? Rent an RV? Why? (is that what you're thinking?)
Well before we bought our RV we wanted to rent one because we'd never driven one and didn't know anyone that owned one.

CruiseAmerica is where we rented and had our our first RV experience 5 years ago. It was horrible. The RV was old, not clean and the "check engine" light came on when we were far enough away from the rental company to be obnoxious, they wanted us to drive to get it repaired during our weekend rental, no thanks. Since CruiseAmerica is a nationwide franchise this is not a condemnation of all CAmerica locations but we rented in Estero FL just north of Naples and south of Ft. Myers.

The only good thing that came out of that horrible rental was while staying at a campground (Periwinkle Park in Sanibel FL) we met some people driving a Roadtrek van and they showed us their unit and we liked the size. We ended up buying a similar conversion van and have been happily RV'ing for the last 4 years.

BUT...we live in SW Florida and would love to skip the 4-5 days each way travel time to get to California or Utah. In short we'd love to find a great RV rental in California or Utah or Colorado, etc.
And even better would be if they rented conversion vans like ours.

Internet searches don't come with many trustworthy reviews. I was thrilled to find a conversion van rental in St. George Utah, yippee, and then my husband looked and they don't appear to have air-conditioning units other than in-dashboard. What? We're planning to be there in the height of summer. Please don't tell me we don't need A/C. We did a 7,000 mile trip to that area in 2010 (NE Utah, NE/NW New Mexico, N Arizona) and we sure did need A/C.

Any suggestions with personal recommendation is welcomed!
And bad reviews are also informative. I'm going to post second message right after this with my review of a rental RV we just did in Anchorage AK (didn't want to drive there from Florida either lol).

Thanks for any/all replies

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chowhound
post Oct 2 2011, 09:18 PM
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I am sorry to hear you had a bad experience with CruiseAmerica, I have only rented an RV one time, several years ago. That is the RV rental company I used. I rented it to visit the giant redwoods in California. It was a fairly new class C that slept 8. We had 6 adults and two children. We picked it up in the San Fernando valley (outside Los Angeles). We were given a walking tour of the vehicle (how do you do this) type of tour, signed our papers and were on our way in about an hour and a half start to finish. It was stocked with everthing but food and clothing. We loaded suitcases stopped at walmart on the way out and were set. We had no problems with the vehicle for the week we used it. Return was easy, they simply checked gas and a walk through and credited the credit card for the deposit.

Shortly after this experience we purchased our first RV and haven't rented one since. I can understand your reluctance to drive to California (4 or 5 days, I believe you said) but I would tell you there is a lot to see between here and there no matter where you are coming from, and the amount you save on airline tickets and RV rental will buy alot of gas or diesel and pay for the Cgs along the way.

If you just can't take the time then perhaps fly and rental is the way to go, in which case I personally had no complaints with CruiseAmerica in Southern California.
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