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Old 08-08-2022, 04:24 AM   #1
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TOAD / Car rental

We're headed out later this month and have unfortunately not yet found a toad. Question - Has anyone had the experience of reaching your destination and renting a car to use while there? Are there Car rental companies that would deliver (and pick up) at a campground or do I just need to make a plan to stop by a rental to pick up when I arrive in t he area? Thanks!
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Old 08-08-2022, 04:44 AM   #2
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We did the rental car / uber / shuttle bus thing for the first 20,000+ miles and 5 ish years of our motorhome travels, before switching to dragging a TOAD. It was reasonably doable, though we do have a smaller 28 ft class A coach, not so sure if I would try it in say a 33-34+ ft coach though. There are compromises needed, planning stops that are in some way accessible, skipping out of the way places without RV parking, etc. As to rental cars, we rented though Enterprise a few times, they will generally come pick you up, but be aware that you can wait hours for them to come get you, and if they are short staffed they may not offer pickup (this was pre-covid, not sure about current policy). If you don't have half a day to kill, I would suggest picking up the rental car at their office. Again a lot depends on where you are traveling, as even if rental cars are technically available, cost are insanely high in some places, for example in 2019 we rented a car in the Texas hill country for I think 6 days for about $500 including taxes, fees, etc. Later than same year we took a trip from Louisiana to the Grand Canyon, spending 3 days in Santa Fe, NM and in Page, AZ along the way. In Sante Fe we used Uber, which worked well, except sitting around for well over an hour to get a ride back to the RV park once as the Uber drivers kept canceling on us. In Page we ended up driving the coach everywhere we needed to go, which meant packing up and leaving the camp site each day for a 16 mile round trip drive into town (we did a half day float trip down Glen Canyon, and a Antelope Canyon tour while there) as car rental prices were insane, with even an economy car going for over $300 per day before fees and taxes (captive audience, only 1 car rental company at the airport).
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Old 08-08-2022, 05:07 AM   #3
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Pretty expensive
Get a used CRV, Jeep Liberty cheap
Use it as a TOAD
Even an old 5 speed Escort
Chevy Spark too
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Old 08-08-2022, 06:05 AM   #4
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toad vs car rental

we have a class c and use enterprise rental. they pick you up and take you back to campground. very happy with enterprise.we DO NOT own a towable toad so would have to purchase one, plus all the extra expense of an additional vehicle. overall initial cost to us would be $18000 to$22000 plus insurance, maintenance, and storing an additional vehicle at home. we spent around $1500 to $1800 orly in rental, a no brainer. can rent for 10 yrs compared to purchase. works for us.
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Old 08-08-2022, 06:13 AM   #5
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toad vs car rental

Enterprise great co. They pick you up and return you to campground. We do not have a toable toad so not willing to spend $18000 plus for one. Yrly car rental about $1500 to $z1800 yrly. A no brainer
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Old 08-08-2022, 07:22 AM   #6
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I used to do the rental car thing when I was driving OTR. Usually Enterprise. Yeah. I had to plan/call ahead. Only did it a couple times a year when I would layover for a few days or was broken down. I did break down once in rural Kentucky and couldn’t get a cab, Uber or rental to come pick me up. Spent 3 days in the sleeper watching Tv. Thankfully I had direct tv.
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Old 08-08-2022, 08:44 AM   #7
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When we rented a motorhome, we weren't allowed to have a towed, so we rented a car at a destination. Keep in mind many places you may want to go may not have any car rental places anywhere close. You may be limited to only going to areas where you can rent a car easily, or be forced to drive the motorhome everywhere. Driving the MH everywhere means you have to break camp, then setup again every time you go somewhere and that can be a hassle.

When we first bought our MH we didn't have our car setup for towing yet and just drove behind a couple times. Not great, but it worked until we got setup for towing.
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Old 08-08-2022, 10:45 AM   #8
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Buying a TOAD does not have to cost a ton of money, last summer we bought a cheap basic TOAD for $2,500 which I found listed on Facebook marketplace about 75 miles away from home. I spent about another thousand fixing it up, replaced cracked tail lights, installed new front springs and shocks, added a working car stereo,... It was a one owner 2007 Toyota Yaris with manual transmission and about 215,000 miles that has been used for TOAD duty its entire life, it has its share of small dings, and it is a very basic car (manual windows and locks, etc.), but has worked great, we have dragged it around about 4,000 miles so far, and it has been driven about 10,000 miles in the last year. In fact I have been using it as a daily driver while gas prices have been so high as it gets about 40mpg, also my son used it to commute 100 miles per day for about 6 weeks after his car was in an accident and was waiting to be repaired.
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Old 08-08-2022, 01:58 PM   #9
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Word of caution, however.

There still is a rental car shortage although it's getting a bit better than it was last year. No matter, some parts of the country are worse than others as it pertains to how easy or difficult it is to reserve a rental.

It is also MUCH more expensive to rent a car now than it was in 2019 before the pandemic hit. I read that a car that you could rent for $51 a day in 2019 is at least $98 now ...if you can even get the car you want. That's another sacrifice to keep in mind --you may need to settle for a car you wouldn't necessarily like to drive which could also add to the expense.

You may also want to check with Enterprise --and also Avis and there may be a few others that have limited pick up and delivery-- to confirm if they are still doing so at all locations as during the pandemic, I heard that they curtailed that service at some locations.

I once talked with a guy who was a manager at an Enterprise location and he told me that local management and employees hated the pick up and delivery service that the corporate heads mandated they offer at all their locations. He told me that they often just told people that they didn't have the car they wanted or didn't show it in their inventory if if was too inconvenient for them to offer the delivery and pick up service.

Not only that, but I believe you have to be a reasonable distance to an Enterprise location in order to take advantage of the delivery and pick up service. Some RV parks or campgrounds may be in the "sticks" and they most likely will not drive an hour or more to deliver and pick up a car.

Summer is at least winding down so by the time you get out there and need the rental, things will be better than they are now but just be cognizant of the situation and the current state of the rental car industry as it might force you do find other alternatives at the spur of the moment ...maybe like ride share, etc.? But again, not all RV parks and campgrounds will be within even a Uber of Lyft service without having to pay exorbitant prices for their travel time.

Best of luck ...but yeah, if you can find a used toad, it will be less stressful I'd imagine to have a toad with you in these times.





eta: I was going to say to check the iRV2 classifieds as there may be something for sale that is already set up for towing but I see that you must already be doing that because I noticed an inquiry you made back in the middle of July about that Honda Element. Keep checking as you never know if something else will pop up for sale that you might be able to jump on quickly.

A nice little Fiesta was just listed yesterday but it's in California ...HERE
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Old 08-08-2022, 02:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harrell View Post
..........Question - Has anyone had the experience of reaching your destination and renting a car to use while there? Are there Car rental companies that would deliver (and pick up) at a campground or do I just need to make a plan to stop by a rental to pick up when I arrive in t he area?....
In Palm Desert Enterprise sent a courtesy car to pick me up, take me to their rental office where I picked up the car. Then returned the rental car to their office and they drove me back to my campsite.
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Old 08-08-2022, 02:30 PM   #11
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Around my neck of the woods they won’t do the pick up anymore because lack of employees. Call ahead to make sure they still do this. If so, it’s easier to rent a car than tow it.
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Old 08-08-2022, 02:37 PM   #12
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Can’t a small car be picked up used for a few thousand at most? I wouldn’t think you would need to spend $18k unless you only want new. I’ve towed a old 1997 escort and it worked just fine. Just put it up on a tow dolly.
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Old 08-08-2022, 03:51 PM   #13
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Having shopped for a cheap TOAD a year ago, I can tell they are out there, but you may have to shop for a while to find a good / cheap one. Most of the ones I would consider were in the $5,000 - $7,000 range which is not bad if they are already set up for flat towing, but if not that is another $2,500+ expense as a DIY project, and probably $4,000 to get a shop to install a base plate, tail light wiring and braking system. It took about 2 months of nearly daily shopping online on facebook market, craigslist, as well as watching the listings here and I think at RV trader to find one I wanted within a circa 150 mile radius. The 07 Yaris we ended up buying is a little more dinged up and had a few more miles at 215K than I would have liked, but it being one owner with extensive maintenance records almost all work done by the local Toyota dealership, along with its $2,500 price (asking was $3,000 but it had been listed for 2 weeks when I saw it) went a long ways. Other cars set up for towing that I considered in my self imposed sub $7,000 budget were a couple of older 90's Jeep Wranglers (the ones I saw in person were in poor condition), a couple of Suzuki 4x4's (Sidekick, Samurai, etc.) from the late 80's /early 90's which were older than I wanted to consider, as well as a couple of Fiat 500's and a Mini Cooper.


p.s. searching online listings for TOAD's is the hard part, I found keywords like blue ox, dinghy, TOAD, motorhome, baseplate, towbar, etc. were helpful.
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Old 08-08-2022, 04:07 PM   #14
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Over the years, we have found Enterprise to be a mixed bag.
Some locations will pick you up, and return you to a campground. Others do no provide that.
Some will let you return the vehicle after hours, and use a key drop box. Others will not.

One location we used contracted with a local 'taxi' service to drive us from the RV park to their office, and at their expense.....because they didn't have a car available until the next day.

And we have arrived at an Enterprise office to find they did not have the type of vehicle we had requested. More than once. Wasn't a big deal to us.
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