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  1. #1

    Default RV rental advice

    Hi everyone. Just seen this site and it looks like an absolute trove of advice.

    My wife and I have decided to sell up and put our careers on hold for a few years to travel the world next September.

    Can anyone give me some advice on the cheapest place to hire an RV from for six months (as there are only two of us, we don't need one the size of a railroad coach, but we do want some level of comfort ie aircon, fridge, double bed and shower)?

    We want to keep the cost down as much as possible so that we can travel longer - the idea being to spend a year in the US then move around Europe, Aisa and Africa (VISAs permitting!).

    I understand that hire taxes vary from state to state, so any advice on where to pick up an RV from would be great, as we're flexible.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Québec, Montreal, Arizona, California, France
    Posts
    761

    Default RVs ABCs

    Greetings Durham Red and welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forum!
    Can anyone give me some advice on the cheapest place to hire an RV from for six months (as there are only two of us, we don't need one the size of a railroad coach, but we do want some level of comfort ie aircon, fridge, double bed and shower)?
    I have very limited knowledge of the RV business but I think this article about RV renting might be exactly what you are looking for. Read these few basic comparisons between different types of RV to help you make the right choice. Also, have you considered time-sharing?

    The Editor of this site and his family lived on the road in a huge RV for quite a while. I'm sure he'll be happy to share some tips with you.

    Gen

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Six months of travel

    Quote Originally Posted by Durham Red
    My wife and I have decided to sell up and put our careers on hold for a few years to travel the world next
    September
    Sounds like a perfect time to be a nomad!
    Can anyone give me some advice on the cheapest place to hire an RV from for six months
    You have heard the expresssion: "there is no free lunch"? It really applies in terms of RV rentals -- don't look for a cheap deal for RV rentals -- six months of travel is four months longer than the typical RV ever travels in America. You will want something that is dependable if you are traveling that much. You mentioned one year in the USA -- how are you getting a tourist visa for that long a period?

    Mark

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Editor
    how are you getting a tourist visa for that long a period?

    Mark
    Mark

    I have researched this and have found that I should be able to get a six month VISA without to much of an interrogation from the embassy in London - if I can prove that we will not work or try and settle illegally in the US, I should be able to get a longer VISA. As I can prove that I will be returning to my employer (a UK law enforcement agency) upon my return and will have $250,000 in my account, to suggest that I won't try an find work in the US, I am quite hopeful.

    If you don't suggest an RV for such a lengthy period, what low cost/convenient/flexible options remain?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Just not a cheap one!

    Quote Originally Posted by Durham Red
    I have researched this and have found that I should be able to get a six month VISA without to much of an interrogation from the embassy in London - if I can prove that we will not work or try and settle illegally in the US, I should be able to get a longer VISA. As I can prove that I will be returning to my employer (a UK law enforcement agency) upon my return and will have $250,000 in my account, to suggest that I won't try an find work in the US, I am quite hopeful.
    That is good to know. I knew about the six month visa -- it was the "traveling in the USA" for a year that surprised me.
    If you don't suggest an RV for such a lengthy period, what low cost/convenient/flexible options remain?
    I guess I didn't make that clear -- Six months is an ideal time to use a RV -- my point was, don't get a CHEAP RV. You will need something that will keep going for the duration. The links that Gen provided above are excellent and represent the best information out there. The one I would add is to read this report from Mark Helmlinger, print it out and take it with you when you rent your RV!

    Mark

  6. #6

    Default

    Thank you. That's very helpful. RV's are a rarity in the UK (probably because of the small size of Britain) so I know next to little about them or which ones are any good.

  7. Default

    There was a similar topic kicked around on here quite recently, having to do with someone wanting to rent a SUV I believe.

    A couple of slightly tangential things that were kicked around might be worth thinking about.

    1) Do you need a full scale RV? BIG RVs cost more to rent than smaller vehicles, down to SUVs or cars. They may also be harder to maneuver and find places to park or camp. As a random comment, you might look at some RV web sites and see what range of vehicles are available, and use that to help guide what you want to rent.

    At the lower end of RV spectrum are some camper vans -- basically a modified van, with a bed and possibibly a stove and refridgerator inside. (Class C? RVs?) Below that are.. a standard van or min-van which can be used to sleep in (will need a comfortable pad to sleep on, a camping stove, and an ice chest), a SUV or other vehicle that will be used to carry gear, but that you plan on tent-camping from.

    2) Do you want to use the same vehicle everywhere? Depending upon the city you may be able to use public transportation -- Washington DC for example, has a great public transportation net. You might be able to save some costs by turning in the vehicle and basecamping out of a hotel or the like, and then traveling to your next destination by train or plane and getting a new vehicle there. That will be more difficult if you go for a large RV though (I suspect fewer places will rent them), but you may not want to maneuver a large RV around major cities on crowded streets anyway.

    3) Depending upon your comfort level and needs, you may consider buying a vehicle and reselling it at the end of your stay, particularly if you are going to be here at least 6 months. That has pros and cons -- you'll be risking the outcome at the end since there is no guarantee of a resale price, you'll need to take ownership of the vehicle and responsibility for maintenance, insurance, and every thing else while you own it, and you'll need to tie up substantial funds for a limited period of time to own the vehicle. There were different opinions about this, and everyone's comfort level and applicability of this option is different.

  8. #8

    Default

    I can't thank you all enough for your advice and help. This really is a very user-friendly forum.

    Larisson - Thanks so much for your suggestions - and the time you have taken to pass them on. Your idea of doing sporadic rentals interspersed with rail travel is a real tempter.

    Admin - When you read replies from admin, you know you're getting sound advice. Thanks again.

    We don't fancy backpacking because of the amount of gear we would have to lug around with us to maintain a comfortable lifestyle; though rail travel does appeal if you have trains with beds??? (again, England is too small to have sleeper trains).

    In essence driving a portable home around seems the cheapest option, and it is advice on the cheapest comfortable class of vehicle that I am after.

    Our only firm requirements for a vehicle (because we have to do the legendary Route 66, California Coastal Route, etc, etc) is a bed, fridge, and AIRCON (we're used to cold and rain in England!!!).

  9. Default Cross country vs local RV rental

    When you're looking to rent an RV for your trip you can save money depending on what type of trip you're looking to take.

    For one way trips where you pick up and drop off in different locations your going to want to look into using a company like Cruise America or El Monte. They have pick up and drop off locations in major cities through out the US and you'll be able to get the best deal on one way trips using one of the big fleet companies like this.

    If you're planning on picking up and dropping off the RV in the same location you'll want to check out private peer-to-peer RV rentals. You can rent directly from private owners, you'll tend to get a nicer RV than you can rent from the big fleet companies and you'll probably save some money on your rental.

    But like I said it really depends on what type of trip you're going to take. I hope this was helpful.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 06-05-2016 at 03:53 PM. Reason: New members may not post off-site links

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Nice to see.

    Hi rvtripper, and Welcome to the Great American Roadtrip Forum

    It is great to see you jump in with your first post to give advice to another roadtripper.. However this thread is a decade old, and the trip no doubt has been completed.

    the only issue with peer to peer rentals can be the nation wide support required in case of breakdown, or other event. Still, it may be something others might want to look into.

    Lifey

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