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 > Western USA 2013 plans

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wintersun

Monterey

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Posted: 08/20/12 04:08pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I searched all over for a 4WD truck and camper setup in the USA and could find no place renting one. You can rent Class A, B, C motorhomes and travel trailers but that is it.

You can find 4WD trucks with cabover campers for rent in Canada and I have done this with an outfit based in Calgary. Saves time and cost overall is a wash in flying to a destination and doing 90% of your traveling at your desired destinations. The rentals are ready to go with everything but food and the President's Choice stores in Canada are better than anything in the USA.

The President's Choice stores combine the best of a Costco, Trader Joe's, and supermarket, all into one. You can make one stop and have everything you need for your trip. This type of hypermarket started in Canada and appears in the USA with rarity with top quality generic items which also started with this company more than 25 years ago.

If you are set on doing a trip in the USA then a Class C is your best bet and check out places where you can do day rentals of motorbikes, ATV's, and 4x4's.

btggraphix

Golden, CO

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Posted: 08/20/12 04:35pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hey wait - I didn't realize the ExPo will be near Flagstaff; I thought it was down near the Mexico border in previous years and they were going to stay there. Maybe this year we can make it. Hmmmmm.....food for thought.

sundowners

suffolk UK

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Posted: 08/20/12 05:36pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi Steve
we saw a lot of rented 4x4 truck-campers in Canada and Alaska, but don't know where they were hired from (we believe some were from Washington ??)-------------truck campers are quite rare further South------at least we didn't many.
I think a compact size would be more important than 4x4-----but, of course, it depends where you want to go---and the weather!!!!!!
I think the only 4x4 camper we saw in 17,500 miles was a German Unimog!!---the Americans don't go for off-road vehicles like the Aussies do!!!!
Seems a crime to go for such a short time---but that beats NOT going-----trouble is, there is sooo much to see in US you couldn't see it all in a lifetime
We WILL meet up----somewhere !!!
Nigel & Pamala------sunny Stratford Upon Avon

sabconsulting

High Wycombe, UK

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Posted: 08/21/12 02:08am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wow, thanks for all the input guys (including the PMs I received).

donn0128: Yes, when we have searched we found little other than regular size class C motorhomes - if we have to get one of those then so be it.

Fandango6: Haven't had a chance to watch that Iceland video yet - I'll take a look when I get home and show Sally

Lots of stuff: Thanks for the link (haven't had a chance to watch the video yet) - CruiseAmerica's small class C (SRW) looks quite nice, but it is actually more expensive to rent than their regular size class C (which in turn is the same price as their large class C) - though that is something I will probably have to just accept - the more popular size RVs are bought in large numbers and so I guess that brings their rental cost down.

Jimh425: Very good point about 4x4 (not needing it). We were driving our TC over the British Army's training ranges again last weekend. The tracks were rutted and stony, but too hard and grippy to use 4x4 (would have just caused transmission wind-up). I actually used 4x2 low ratio to keep the speed really low - with an auto transmission like US rental RVs have high ratio 4x2 would have been fine. Just needed some ground clearance.

Dakonthemountain: Many thanks for the kind offer - We've yet to work out an itinerary and where we will fly into (LA, Phoenix, Denver, SLC???). You're near San Bernardino aren't you?

kitesurfer: Now, I do like the look of those little campers - that is exactly what I was thinking about above - don't need 4x4, but good ground clearance is far more useful. That is an interesting option, though they are around the Bay area aren't they, so probably a bit too far for us as a starting point (we've also travelled around that area in previous years). Still an option though. I hope your buddy has success with these as it is nice to see someone offering something different to the regular class Cs.

Seldomseensmith: Hi Eric - we would love to meet up, especially since we will be virtually in your back yard (as I think you pointed out before). Good find - a company that actually rents a TC - wow. We'll definitely check that one out. Plus I'll chat to Felix too.

Eugarps: Thanks - yes when I've looked in the past it seems strange that Canadian companies rent TCs yet US ones don't. Maybe different market economics. Thanks for the link - worth a thought.

btggraphix: That is exactly what I was thinking - outfitted 4x4 van or Tiger. Colorado is definitely on my wish list - we've never been there or done the Rockies. Definitely up for a beer if in your area (I get your fridge reference ).

wintersun: Thanks for doing a search for us - good suggestions, never heard of Presidents Choice stores before.

sundowners: Yes, we will eventually bump into each other - stop by if you pass Wycombe.


Overland Expo (according to their Facebook page) will be May 17-19 in Flagstaff next year.


It would be nice to use the trip to do a loop of the Rockies as we have never done that. One option would be to fly into Denver and rent there. Maybe head for Flagstaff via Utah in one direction then back through New Mexico to cover the most ground.

Steve.


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JumboJet

Tontitown ARKANSAW

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Posted: 08/21/12 07:14am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Here is a story for you - just in case. I was cooking dinner on the grill while at Ruby's Inn Campground near Bryce Canyon, Utah. A Cruise America Class C is heading into the camping spot next to mine and I hear this squeak, squeak, squeak as they are rolling along. I say to myself, "they have a flat tire".

Sure enough, I get down and look and the right side inner dual tire is flat and smoking. As the driver emerges from the vehicle, I tell him he has a flat on the inner tire. He said that while they (A young couple from England) were in Colorado they had heard a "boom' and stopped and checked the tires which were all still inflated. He did not know that the rear axle had FOUR wheels and tires! They had driven several hundred miles on a flat tire.

So, if you rent a Class C, count the tires before you start out!

Fly into NW Arkansas, pick up your rental, and my wife and I will travel with you in our TC.

sabconsulting

High Wycombe, UK

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Posted: 08/22/12 01:34am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

JumboJet wrote:

Here is a story for you - just in case. I was cooking dinner on the grill while at Ruby's Inn Campground near Bryce Canyon, Utah. A Cruise America Class C is heading into the camping spot next to mine and I hear this squeak, squeak, squeak as they are rolling along. I say to myself, "they have a flat tire".

Sure enough, I get down and look and the right side inner dual tire is flat and smoking. As the driver emerges from the vehicle, I tell him he has a flat on the inner tire. He said that while they (A young couple from England) were in Colorado they had heard a "boom' and stopped and checked the tires which were all still inflated. He did not know that the rear axle had FOUR wheels and tires! They had driven several hundred miles on a flat tire.

So, if you rent a Class C, count the tires before you start out!

Fly into NW Arkansas, pick up your rental, and my wife and I will travel with you in our TC.


I met up with an old friend last night and we were talking about renting RVs. He said he rented an RV and it was really difficult to control - it was squirming all over the road. he struggled to drive it for 40 miles. He took it to a garage and when they checked everything they found one of the inner rear tires was completely flat! - Funny to hear a similar story from 2 different ends on consecutive days

Thanks for the offer, though I think Arkansas might me a bit too far as a starting point

Steve.

joerg68

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Posted: 08/22/12 04:29am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi Steve,

we rented a 25' Class C from Cruise America back in 2008. Picked it up in Phoenix, returned it in San Francisco.

Be aware that the rental may not include anything that usually goes insaide a camper: no sheets, cups, plates, ... Some of it can be rented with a separate "kit" for extra money. Still no washing detergent, coffee maker, etc... we had to buy a lot of stuff in the US and eventually dump it before we returned the RV.

The RV was in mediocre shape with >70k mls on it. I had to push the staples of the inner walls back in every nigth as they tended to come loose throughout the day. And the whole experience is very noisy; you don't get that in a TC.

Before we returned the RV, we spent several hours cleaning it, as numerous instructions inside kept telling us to do. It earned us a comment by the local staff on return: "Oh, you cleanded it?!??!"...

But, there really is no alternative, unless you follow the suggestion by Eugarps and rent in Canada.

Wishing you lots of fun,
Joerg


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silversand

Montreal

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Posted: 08/22/12 05:24am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Steve:

You pose a great question: where to rent a 4x4 live-in vehicle, or offroad-grade camping trailer in the US.

I'm a long-time Forum member over on the Expedition Portal, and have been looking there as a potential 4x4 rental resource (the people who own Expe Portal are the same group putting on the Overland Expo get-together at Flagstaff).

From time to time, Expe Portal members ask about 4x4 vehicle and trailer rentals (in the USA, latin America and abroad), and the consensus in the case of the USA is to look in the Moab, Utah area (the most likely place this kind of market would exist). Unfortunately, the major rental players in Moab (Martyn of Adventure Trailers, and Kurt, of Cruiser Outfitters) say the market may not be there (in any volume) to undertake such a venture. They, apparently, are not dismissing the possibility of doing this in the future (Adventure Trailers already ventured into this rental market at one time, but pulled out). My thought was for you to rent a Jeep Rubicon and Adventure Trailer-type of rig, if a Sportsmobile 4x4 van genre couldn't be rented...Sportsmobile is just about the only player in the camping Van 4x4 genre in North America Sportsmobile. Sportsmobile also sell used 4x4 units, too (usually an option for Europeans coming over here for 1, 2 or more months, then they sell it before flying home).

I think that the financial barrier against renting something off-roadable enough to withstand varied user experience and survive, is the enormous cost of a near "bullet-proof" vehicle (like a Sportsmobile, that can easily cost in excess of $90,000 ~ $100,000). Here are some used Sportsmobiles and Sportsmobile-like vehicles in California: link-->

The only other option you have is the Calgary, Canada truck camper rental (way too far for just 2-week visit), or someone on this Forum willing to rent you their Tiger 4x4 privately...

Cheers,
Silver-


Silver
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JoeChiOhki

Sauvie Island, OR

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Posted: 08/22/12 12:03pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Go big, ROLO your rig to the US .


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sleepy

Oak Ridge,Tennessee

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Posted: 08/22/12 06:58pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We travel quite a bit and talk to about everybody...

We have stayed in the huge parking lot at the "Wild Horse Pass Casino" in Chandler, AZ (south Phoenix)... And seen a lot of Europeans there.

We have visited with a lot of people from France and Germany. Many of them buy used Class A's or C's... use them 6 months, store them and come back a year later... travel another 5 or 6 months, etc... eventually they sell at market price.

Some of them might be willing to rent their RV to you for a few weeks. The time of the year that you are interested in is probably a time that they might be going home.
Their Rv's seem to be in decent shape.

Is there away to to contact them through some of the European forums with offers to rent one of them?.


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