This site is amazing, thank you to all the contributors for the excellent advice.
We are a family of 4 (two children - 5 and 8) from the UK, planning a trip late July and August 2012 for 5 weeks. We have our flights booked into and out of Phoenix and are in the process of route planning. We were fairly sure that we were going to book an RV for 30 days, leaving a few days either side to chill and acclimatise, from Cruise America in Phoenix and have the rough idea of a route taking in GC, Bryce, Zion, Canyonlands, Tetons, Yellowstone etc. Although we are a little anxious about the RV being somewhat cumbersome, the benefits seem to outweigh the disadvantages in terms of convenience and lifestyle for the children. Approx 15 years ago we did a similar although shorter road trip by car into and out of SF and stayed in a different place every night - while this was fine for us, I think it would be a nightmare for the children and organising/repacking the suitcases every day would be hideous. So the RV choice seems a good one. But the sensibleness of this decision really rests on whether the RV is a good one - clean and functioning correctly. The upside of motel accommodation being that if it is bad you can leave in the morning and try somewhere else.
We were keen on Cruise America as they are a large company and hopefully better able to cope with the current economic climate - both in terms of having a modern fleet and also still being there in August 2012, but we have recently come across a lot of fairly damning reviews - the content of which could seriously mar the trip. There also doesn't seem to be many other options in Phoenix.
My question is - does anyone have current/recent experience of renting from Cruise America in Phoenix? Does anyone have any advice on how to ensure RV that we are allocated is a good one? Anyone done both RV and motel/car with kids have a view on which is most successful?
I'm sure we will have many other questions as the planning continues but there is still so much I have to read on this site that I'll do that before I post them.