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  1. Default One Way RV or Motorhome recommendations?

    Hi my friend and I are traveling to the States for a three month road trip across the width of the country and we were looking for recommendations for the best company to use? We are thinking of starting off around the California area and finishing in New York starting at the beginning of April.

    We have heard horror stories about El Monte and also the 'agency' Motorhome Republic so if anyone has any suggestions that would be fantastic.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,509

    Default

    Welcome to RTA!

    First question is -- are you super interested in the RV "lifestyle", or is it because you think it will be your least expensive option? If the latter, realize that by the time you pay the rental, the extras that you'll want, the mileage, the extra fuel that an RV will guzzle, and the overnights, you are better off in less expensive motels, or (if budget is truly an issue) camping in a tent. When my husband and I priced a motorhome rental a couple of summers ago, it was around $1000 PER WEEK, and that didn't include mileage yet or a one-way drop off fee.

    If you really want to travel in an RV, there are other places to rent from: Cruise America and Camping World RV Rentals come to mind. Just bear in mind that if you are going to be traveling in a lot of cities, or seeing a lot of national parks, an RV is a lot of brawn to park and often commands higher parking fees.


    Donna

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    12,992

    Default

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    El Monte, along with cruise America and camping world are really the big three when it comes to RV rentals in the US. All three are pretty reliable companies, and I would look closely at the "horror stories" and see what the actual problems were. Many times the negative reviews of these companies stems from people who don't know how an RV is supposed to work, rent one without really understanding what goes into an RV trip, and have unrealistic expectations.

    I've never heard of motor home republic, so I can't comment on them, although if they are an agency then I'd guess they probably use one of the big three.

    If you have your heart set on doing a one way trip, then the big three may be your only real option. However, if you are planning on being on the road for three months then you might consider doing a loop trip where you start and finish at the same place. That could save you a lot of money, especially with the very high one way drop fees you'll generally find with RV rentals.

  4. Default

    Thanks, yes we have priced everything up, rental, gas, unlimited mileage package etc..... its the 'experiencing the place on the road' that we are interested in, not just the cheapest option at all. We are looking at a C27 or similar so it really isnt that unmanageable to get around and park in.

    The horror stories are about old vehicles that have faults.... and the sites say up to 2006 model in age which really isnt very new for something they are charging top dollar for to cruise around..................
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 10-04-2016 at 07:36 AM. Reason: inline quote not needed here

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,697

    Default Why not do a round trip ?

    With 3 months available [wow an RV is gonna cost a small fortune !] have you considered doing a round trip. It would save you quite a bit in one way drop off fees compared to a 'local' rental and could save you money on flights, especially flying to the east coast if you are from London as your board name suggests. Most of the main companies are pretty reliable but as with all transport, sometimes you get issues that disrupt your trip and bad reviews can follow. The one thing I would say is to inspect the home in detail before driving off in an excited rush, it can save headaches further down the road. As a big fan of RV trips in the USA we have always found Cruise America to be very competitive and they often have deals on for advanced bookings for the following Spring/Summer through the quiet months of winter. The CA homes are usually quite 'well used' and come with a few dents and dings, but mechanically sound in our experience and fairly clean. Also note that April and into May in the mountains can be cold and have limited access due to winter snow accumulation.

  6. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Southwest Dave View Post
    With 3 months available [wow an RV is gonna cost a small fortune !] have you considered doing a round trip. It would save you quite a bit in one way drop off fees compared to a 'local' rental and could save you money on flights, especially flying to the east coast if you are from London as your board name suggests. Most of the main companies are pretty reliable but as with all transport, sometimes you get issues that disrupt your trip and bad reviews can follow. The one thing I would say is to inspect the home in detail before driving off in an excited rush, it can save headaches further down the road. As a big fan of RV trips in the USA we have always found Cruise America to be very competitive and they often have deals on for advanced bookings for the following Spring/Summer through the quiet months of winter. The CA homes are usually quite 'well used' and come with a few dents and dings, but mechanically sound in our experience and fairly clean. Also note that April and into May in the mountains can be cold and have limited access due to winter snow accumulation.
    Lots of good advice there thanks.

    Its the WEST coast we are hitting first. And there are places we are zig-zagging across the states to visit rather than a round trip as that wouldnt take all those places in. What we have is a budget idea of up to $10k for the RV and mileage so we are ok for money as a few quotes have been coming in below that...... not concerned about having to pay a one-way premium thats understandable. However its the availability thats more of an issue and most important.. the unknown standard of the hire/rental company.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,697

    Default

    Its the WEST coast we are hitting first.
    Yep I got that. All I was saying is that with a round trip you could save money flying to the east coast while avoiding some possible weather restrictions in the mountain areas of the west, especially if you plan to explore National parks such as Yosemite and Yellowstone etc.

    And there are places we are zig-zagging across the states to visit rather than a round trip as that wouldnt take all those places in.
    Not sure I follow and that's why I suggested a round trip. Often a lot of Zig zagging adds many miles where as taking a north and south route each way usually reduces the amount of Zig zagging and you actually pass through many more different places. Of course it's your choice.

    What we have is a budget idea of up to $10k for the RV and mileage so we are ok for money as a few quotes have been coming in below that.
    It's obvious that you are doing your homework and it's a great way to travel, but don't forget that you also need to budget for fuel at a return of 9mpg and I would average $30 -$40 per night for camping fees. From my experience I would say the true cost of having an RV for 90 days with dropping it off across the country would be more like $15000 [PLUS]all in.

    However its the availability thats more of an issue and most important.. the unknown standard of the hire/rental company.
    As mentioned, you shouldn't have a major problem with a big company. If you hire a private vehicle through an agent that can often save money, you run the risk of an older vehicle and no immediate back up if you have mechanical issues.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    12,992

    Default

    I understand that you are asking about the rental companies, but as Dave and I have both mentioned, it really is worth spending a bit of time considering doing a loop trip. Not only could it save you money, it likely won't add many, if any miles, and being that you want to travel in spring, it could actually make it easier to see the places on your wish list.

    On top of that, doing a loop trip could increase your options in terms of what rental companies you can use. If you want to do a one way trip, as has been mentioned, you'll probably be limited to using one of the big 3. However, be aware, if you use a smaller company that doesn't have locations all over the country, make sure to find out what they do if you do have some sort of breakdown far away from their office.

    I have never used El Monte myself, and I'm sure there are people who have been given an RV that was in poor shape, but when I've read negative reviews of RV rentals, many, many times the problems are rooted in customers who have unrealistic expectations about what goes into an RV rental, and aren't interested in spending the time in learning how to properly operate such a machine (Many of the complaints tend to be about the fact that it should take at least a few hours to pick up the RV and/or they don't take the time to properly go over the RV when they pick it up, and discover "problems" while on the road. There are also often complaints about "hidden fees" to cover camping supplies, which again are common and should be known by people who properly research their plan before renting an RV).

    Having said all that, all you can do is look at the reviews and judge for yourself. If you have specific concerns, like with the age of the Rental RV, it would make sense to contact the rental office directly to go over any specific concerns you have before committing yourself to the rental.

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