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Old 12-05-2011, 07:28 AM   #1
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Rental Questions from Newbies

We are about to check off the "Motorhome" section of our bucket list but wish to start the effort by renting a Class A and seeing if the experience is right for us. We have the rental location (midwest), the proposed vehicle (Tiffin Allegro 35'), and a proposed 3-4 week trip through the Dakotas, Wyoming, Montana etc ending up at out nephews graduation from the USAFA in Colorado Springs in late May.

Would you experienced users mind putting yourselves in our situation and providing a list of questions we should ask the rental company before we head off. What things would be a must if, like us, you were absolutely brand spanking new to RVing and venturing out for the first time. We've taken the first steps by joining this forum, purchasing theNextExit and researching sites on RV Park Reviews. Joining us in this adventure are our two adult female yellow labs (one of the reasons we are excited about traveling by RV).

Everything welcome! (Your thoughts on Class A vs Class C. insurance, separate maintenance service agreements, Satellite/cable TV - we'll let in-motion TV slide for now-, best places to rent a car since we probably won't be towing this time, must stuff to take with us that the rental companies don't provide etc etc)

Thanks for your help and hope to see you on the road!

(retired 10 years in Hilton Head, ex at&t, golfer)
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Old 12-05-2011, 08:13 AM   #2
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Some thoughts:

Ask the rental company for a list of items onboard the RV so you can make a shopping list well in advance. Build in some time nearby the rental pickup location to then go shopping and get familiar with all systems.

Make sure that all mechanical systems of the rig are operational. Learn how to check all fluids, tire pressures, etc. Tires in good shape?

Who handles road service if you break down or get a flat?

There are lots of RV camgrounds around your home, near HHI. I'd visit one or more, ask the owners/operators if it's OK to drive thru. Might even talk to the front desk folks, they might be RV'ing workampers who can share their experiences with you and answer any questions. Be prepared for lots of opinions....

Watch someone set up at a site, back in/out. Hookups for elec and water. No substiture for having seen it done before you do it the first time.

We rented multiple times before buying.

Go slow and have a great trip.

jack
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Old 12-05-2011, 08:24 AM   #3
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Welcome to IRV2 and good luck on your trip!
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Old 12-05-2011, 08:56 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackrobinryan View Post
Some thoughts:

Ask the rental company for a list of items onboard the RV so you can make a shopping list well in advance. Build in some time nearby the rental pickup location to then go shopping and get familiar with all systems.

Make sure that all mechanical systems of the rig are operational. Learn how to check all fluids, tire pressures, etc. Tires in good shape?

Who handles road service if you break down or get a flat?

There are lots of RV camgrounds around your home, near HHI. I'd visit one or more, ask the owners/operators if it's OK to drive thru. Might even talk to the front desk folks, they might be RV'ing workampers who can share their experiences with you and answer any questions. Be prepared for lots of opinions....

Watch someone set up at a site, back in/out. Hookups for elec and water. No substiture for having seen it done before you do it the first time.

We rented multiple times before buying.

Go slow and have a great trip.

jack
Great advice Jack. The only thing I might add is to rent the movie "RV" with Robin Williams. It will give you an insight of what NOT to do
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Old 12-05-2011, 09:15 AM   #5
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Welcome to IRV2. I would bet you buy something when you get back from your trip, because I think you will love the freedom and RV gives you when traveling. Especially taking your dogs with you. Maybe if you pick up the rental a couple days before taking your trip and camping at a local CG so you can practice. When we bought our first RV, we camped 10 miles down the road. Make the rental agent go over everything until you feel comfortable. You have a wonderful trip planned. I know you will enjoy it and Congratulations to your nephew. Enjoy, Relax and Happy Travels!!
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Old 12-05-2011, 09:19 AM   #6
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Oops, forgot! We have used Enterprise in the past. They will deliver car to the campground and we ususally dropped it off on our way out of town. Now that we tow, we don't use them as much, but check out their website and any special programs they might offer.
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Old 12-05-2011, 11:09 AM   #7
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We rented an RV in the mid 1990's in San Diego and were overall very pleased with the RV. The only drawback was they walked around the RV with a video camera as we were filling out the rental agreement - then when we got back they said there were new scratches that had to buffed out - looked at the video for comparison and billed me X$ for X hours. I should have washed the RV and made sure there were no scratches, etc. before I took it back. Incidentally, it was never driven off the highway except to go into the RV parks.
Safe Travels
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Old 12-05-2011, 12:52 PM   #8
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Have them explain how the systems work, such as the fridge, furnace, AC units and the generator. Unless you know, have them explain how to dump the holding tanks. Getting that wrong can be rather distasteful to say the least.
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Old 12-05-2011, 01:58 PM   #9
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My questions, above the normal...
How do you dump this?
How do you fill it up with water?
Where is the electrical?
Where is gas tank?
How do i turn on the Generator?
How do the levelers work?
How do the slides work?
How does the awning work?
Other than those few questions -
Mine would be along the lines of roadside assistance, and insurance, and like 1ciderdog was saying, make sure you document EVERY little scratch, blemish, nick, pit, scuff, tear, rip, mark, etc. etc... I've heard horror stories - Also, when you take delivery, make sure it hasn't been freshly washed (meaning that it is still dripping wet) because water will hide scratches and if you can't see them you can't document them... So make sure it is dry...
There are so many questions you'll have once you leave the rental lot, you should download the iRV2 app on your smart phone so you can ask us... The best piece of advice i've ever heard is to video tape the inspection and delivery instructions from the lot, just in case you miss something they say...
And lastly, if they offer insurance that covers EVERYTHING its well worth it... If you're not used to driving a bus daily, and take out a gas pump, or even just scratch it in some silly way, you'll be covered and i'd rather pay up front oand not worry than have to ben dover after words...
I think renting the movie RV is also a great idea... becasue you can see exactly what NOT to do, and all the mistakes you SHOULDN'T Make...

"Give me all the insurance you got, cause i'm gonna see if this baby can fly!!" Can't remember which comedian has this in one of their bits, talking about renting a car...

Anyway, becareful going over the hills in Colorado when you get here, and honk when you go through Denver!!!
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Old 12-05-2011, 02:10 PM   #10
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I was at a dump station at the Laguna Seca racetrack in California waiting for three girls who were ahead of me to dump their waste tanks. They thought you just got close to the square concrete drain area and pull the plug. They didn't attach the sewer hose. Guess what. One of them got hit directly. There was some LOUD screaming going on for a while.

I didn't know they were going to just pull the handle as I would have told them to hook up the drain hose.

So. Find out how to drain the waste tanks. Priority One.
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Old 12-05-2011, 05:19 PM   #11
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I have rented several motor homes in the past and have always gotten thorough instructions on all the major items. Rental companies, and even individuals that rent, want your experience to be great and take the time to make sure it is. And in the case of individuals renting they don't want phone calls at all hours of the day and night, but don't hesitate to call if you need to. At least that has been my experience.
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Old 12-05-2011, 05:47 PM   #12
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Other than the great advice you have already gotten here... All I could add is re: safety.
A MH full of fresh water, fuel, gear, and passengers is a very, very heavy vehicle traveling down the road. The highway stuff is pretty easy to get comfortable with as long as traffic is moving hwy speeds. Be very careful and alert in construction zones, as well as traffic jams due to accidents and such. Driving through town is a whole nuther kind of careful. I can promise you, that soccer mom doesn't care that you can't stop on a dime, and will cut you off and take any space from in front of your rig. (you will immediately appreciate the skills of a trucker) Be patient and and take your time in traffic and you will do fine. Leave yourself plenty of space and always leave yourself an "out". I try to drive for the comfort of my unsuspecting passengers that aren't looking and don't have a steering wheel to hold on to. It also makes for less stress when things aren't sliding off of countertops and flying out of cabinets.
My $.02
Happy trails!!!
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Old 12-05-2011, 10:51 PM   #13
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Welcome to the forum pessman. All the above is good advice. Take your time, enjoy yourself. Don't forget the camera so that you can take lots of pictures to remember the journey by.
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Old 12-06-2011, 06:52 AM   #14
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As South Carolina IS one of those states requiring an "extra" license for anything over 26,000 lbs, be sure and check the weight (GVW). It would be a shame to purchase all that insurance only to find it "null & void" due to not being properly licensed.
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