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Old 09-29-2015, 04:26 AM   #1
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Rental Class A

Before spending a few hundred thousand, we think we should rent a unit to try out. We are focused on buying late spring of 16.

We are in Texas, and I haven't found a rental at a "fair" price. I have a very hard time paying $800 to $1k a night for 3 nights in a 8 year old unit that isn't even on my list to look at!

Am I just weird or am I missing something? Any insight?

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Old 09-29-2015, 04:46 AM   #2
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We thought about renting first too, but never did it.

I think the idea of renting first is to check out the RV lifestyle more than anything else. A bad experience in some rental coach could put you off something you may really enjoy.

Renting seemed to us like staying at a Motel 6 in Metro Detroit so we could get an idea of what the Sheraton in Maui will be like if we decide to go there.

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Old 09-29-2015, 05:21 AM   #3
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Most rentals seem to be Class C units, many made specifically for the rental market. Still, I think you can get some insight into your own preferences by renting a larger Class C, and probably at about 25% of the cost of your Class A rental. Many interior features and components will be nearly the same (if not identical) to what you will find in a basic Class A. Design of the rental units seems mostly focused on maximizing sleeping capacity, while most DPs are made for two people who share a bedroom. Sleeping, cooking, eating cleaning, and relaxing will be similar in either unit. The driving experience is tremendously different, and you can get a general feel for DP driving by test driving one or more at a dealer. In many places, this requires a different class of driver's license before you can operate the vehicle. As your focus narrows to a specific set of features, you'll want to drive something more like what you're buying.

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2000 Holiday Rambler Endeavor 40PBD
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Old 09-29-2015, 08:14 AM   #4
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I'm not surprised that renting for a few nights costs that much. It should get better (per night) if you rent for a couple weeks or a month, though. The rental rates give you some insight into the true cost of owning a Class A!

I too am skeptical that renting gives much feel for the real thing. At best it lets you experience some of the lifestyle differences, e.g. obtaining a campsite, being on your own rather than room service & restaurants, etc. At worst, you get all the hassle of prepping for a short trip and little of the benefit of having your own home-on-wheels tailored to your needs.
Gary Brinck
Former owner of 2004 American Tradition
Home is in the Ocala Nat'l Forest near Ocala, FL
Summers in Black Mountain, NC
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Old 09-29-2015, 11:16 AM   #5
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I do not agree with the poster about class c giving you an idea. If you are considering a diesel pusher the driving and riding experience is going to be totally different. Just going down hills with a DP and jake brake is going to be so much better.

Before you look at how well you like a DP have you checked out the cost of ownership. Have you priced tires. Did the math on fuel cost. for example I get about 5 miles per gallon with my DP. If I do a 1000 mile trip each way that is going to be about 400 gallons of fuel at right now around 2.50 per gallon I have paid as much as 4.50 a couple of years ago. even with the lower prices that is going to be 1000.00 in fuel. Freightliner dealers that I have seen charge 125.00 per hour for any work they do. Rv places charge about the same from what little i have had done. If you can do your own repairs that will not be an issue if not figure it in. Tires are from around 600 to 800.00 each x6 or 8 depending on whether or not you have a tag axle. I am not trying to discourage you but just pointing out some of the expenses. If they will work for you then just pay the money and rent a class A because really what is 3,000 if you are looking at paying several hundred thousand based on your decision.
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Old 09-29-2015, 11:18 AM   #6
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If you have never camped in a campground there might be some point in renting. If you are an experienced camper my thought is to buy a beater to figure out the rest then trade it on what you want. You really do not get the issues until you do it. How you deal with the tradeoffs is what makes the market so diverse. Few, if any, people get exactly what they want. The rest of us are constrained by how to get what we need into a box we can afford and want to drive around. ;-)
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Old 09-29-2015, 11:55 AM   #7
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Unless you would be renting a coach that is very close to what you are interested in purchasing then IMHO you are wasting your time and money.
First you need to know if the RV lifestyle is even what you are going to interested in and any RV would give that base information.
You need not start out with spending hundreds of thousands in a class A coach. I would wager the majority started out with a used RV then moved on and upward. Buy smart and you can deal smart.
Don and Nancy
[2014 40QBH Phaeton, 2015 Buick Enclave, 2yr old sisters Sara n Kaycee, Havanese, Two Segways
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Old 09-29-2015, 09:04 PM   #8
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I have the same issue you express. I did find a site rvshare.com . It looks better but I have no experience with it.
Looks like you can pick one more like you would want. And prices vary since you are renting from an individual.
I am still a few years away.
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Old 09-29-2015, 09:23 PM   #9
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We rented a Class C for two weeks through Cruise America. We caught a good deal with them; paid for one week and got one week free. It was a great experience. First of all, my DW lost most of her RV anxieties. She came home a believer in the RV lifestyle. Second, we knew that a Class C was not for us. We spent the next 3 or 4 years looking at Class A's, both new and used. We ended up buying a used 31' unit and used it for 2 years.

After those 2 years, we learned what we liked and didn't like, what we wanted and didn't want in a coach. We bought a new coach and it really fits our needs and lifestyle. We've taken a couple of month long trips and have a 4 month trip planned for this winter.

Had we not rented first, we most probably would not have the coach we have today. Yes, we didn't rent a Class A, but the Class C showed us that we enjoy the RV lifestyle. For us, it was worth the money.
Bill Lubben
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Old 09-29-2015, 09:24 PM   #10
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My wife insisted we "try it" by renting first. I resisted doing the rental thing for several years - simply because we were too far away from what our target time to purchase. But, last fall - roughly a year and half before her anticipated retirement - I finally agreed to rent.

Being that our "going in" mindset has always been that we were going to look for a DP ... there really wasn't any option to rent anything close to what we were truly in the market for. We ended up renting a gas powered Winnebago Vista 32 and taking a weeklong trip (roughly 800 miles) around lower Michigan last fall. It was NOT cheap ... a "weekly" rental (Monday morning pickup - Monday morning return) ran roughly $2,200 for the base rental fee, liability insurance, damage waivers and glass insurance. We rented thru a large multi-location RV dealer that has a couple of locations in our area.

Disregarding how expensive it was - our rental experience was pretty good. Weird as it sounds - the fact that it was cold and rainy the entire week was actually a good thing. We stayed in a different state park every night ... we got a feel for what living in a coach's close quarters would be like - and had a ball doing it. My wife loved the view as we moved about.

Three months later - we purchased our first coach - a 2012 HR Endeavor 43 DFT and are slowly but steadily making the transition to what we expect will be full time / near full time.
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Old 09-29-2015, 09:56 PM   #11
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Rental Class A

Three years ago, Before buying a Class A DP we rented a 32' class C for 10 days from Portland, Oregon to Oakland, California. 1,100 miles. They needed the RV repositioned and we paid $7.95/Day ($79.50 total plus gas)!

Drove down the Oregon, California coast. Great trip. But the howling of that gas engine up front going up steep hills made me sure we wanted a diesel pusher...
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Old 09-30-2015, 05:17 PM   #12
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Unless you are willing to pay the high rent price, I recommend you try the life style by:
1. renting a Class C and travel to a couple of close by RV parks. If you are still into the lifestyle, then
2. go to a dealer and test drive several Class A diesel pushers.

You will notice the difference from the Class C immediately with the improved ride. You will also notice the huge improvement of interior comfort.

Good luck
Bob & Joan Alexander, 2010 Tiffin Phaeton 36 QSH, 2013 Jeep Wrangler (toad)
Lobo & Juniper (woof, woof)
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Old 09-30-2015, 07:04 PM   #13
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We had a very good friend give us his Winnebago Journey to use for almost two weeks to see if we would like the RV lifestyle and experience. It was like a dope pusher giving us free dope. I was instantly hooked and started looking for my next RV fix. I bought a DP a few months later and have never regretted it. I love the lifestyle and the people associated with it. Rent if you can, but having a good friend to loan you his, is the best way to go. 😎

Randy W
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Old 09-30-2015, 07:38 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Iwillbeit View Post
We had a very good friend give us his Winnebago Journey to use for almost two weeks to see if we would like the RV lifestyle and experience. It was like a dope pusher giving us free dope. I was instantly hooked and started looking for my next RV fix. I bought a DP a few months later and have never regretted it. I love the lifestyle and the people associated with it. Rent if you can, but having a good friend to loan you his, is the best way to go. 😎

Randy W
HI Friend ,wonder if i could ask you a favor

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