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  1. Default Planning a road trip with friends, help please?

    Hi, I was hoping some of you great people could give me and my friends some advice. We're thinking about a trip from Boston to Tennessee to go to Bonnaroo (a three day long music festival). There are 10-12 of us interested in going. My first question is do you suggest renting a 12 seater van, or using a couple of cars? We'd bring tents for camping, so sleeping in the vehicle wouldn't be an issue. However, we would be able to use our own cars, so renting a van would be pricier. Another factor is we're all under 21. Would it be possible for a parent to rent the van and then have us use it, or does that break some laws?
    Secondly, if we have 12 people, how much would you expect the trip would cost per person? We would all be splitting the cost evenly, and we'd be trying to keep it as cheap as possible, with camping, food from grocery stores etc.

    Thanks for any advice, this place is great.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default economies of scale

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Being under 21, renting a 12 person van is going to be out of the question. I don't think you'll find anyone who would rent a specialised vehicle like that to someone under 25, much less 21, nor would they allow someone under those ages to be an authorized driver.

    No, you can't just have a parent rent the car. Unless you are listed as an authorized driver, you would be breaking the terms of your rental agreement. Basically, in a legal sense, you'd be driving a stolen car.

    Pretty much your only option will be to use the cars you already have.

    In terms of costs, having 10-12 people isn't going to be much of a cost saver. After you get beyond the 4th person, you start repeating expenses - you need another car, another tent, more food, etc. Without knowing the details of how you will travel, its tough to nail down a good estimate, but this thread should help you build a budget.

  3. Default

    If you do find someone who'll rent a van to you, you're going to have another problem: 12-passenger vans pretty much don't exist. Realistically, you're probably talking about a 15-passenger van.

    Even if you can find someone who'll rent to under-25s, only one person's name will be on the lease. When my husband rents a car (which he does fairly often for business), he never puts me on the lease because there's an extra fee for an extra driver. And if someone other than the driver has a wreck, you could be on the hook for the repairs.

    Those things have two problems:

    1. They are extremely dangerous. I didn't know this until a couple years ago when I was in charge of rounding up transportation for a scout troop, and one option I investigated was renting two of these vans -- wow, did the parents (and my own husband) let me know in a hurry that these things are traveling death traps! After that, I started noticing that all the church youth groups and small sports teams who have horrific wrecks are in -- you guessed it -- 15-passenger vans. They are really something to be avoided.

    2. You're going to need significant storage space for 12 people's luggage plus camping equipment, and 15-passenger vans have basically NONE. The space behind the back seat could hold -- maybe -- two medium duffles and a couple sleeping bags wedged in on top. Some luggage could go under the seats, but that's it. Your only option would be to get the type of van that has a roof rack (meaning that your luggage would be difficult to access, yet still relatively unsafe every time you leave the van unattended), or you could rent a small luggage trailer to tow behind, which would impair your mileage.

    A rented van doesn't look like it's going to happen.

    Your own cars, while that's not as nice as driving all in one vehicle, is more realistic.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default I'd take several cars

    I totally disagree that it would be nicer to all be in the same vehicle. The advantage of taking several cars is that people can change who they're traveling with. If tensions rise between Sally and Sue, one of them can switch with somebody and go ride in another car. You might have one car where people would rather talk, another where they want to listen to loud music and sing, etc. I just think more than one car works well.

    I'd get a few inexpensive FRS radios so you can talk to each other, have at least one cellphone in each car so you can communicate if you get out of radio range, and enjoy the caravan.

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