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Open Roads Forum  >  General RVing Issues

 > Our first, and last, TT rental experience

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mkenyon2

Lebanon, PA

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Posted: 09/29/21 10:13am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'll post a tl;dr; list below with a summary of our troubles. But here's our story.

We used to tow a Coleman popup, but lately we've been renting cabins. We wanted to get back into having our own RV, and figured renting would let us get our feet wet. So, we reserved a trailer and a spot at a state park. The rental was bought new at the start of the season, and would be sold as used at the end of the season. A 21' Apex Nano.

About a week before the rental, I called with a few questions to make sure I'd have what I needed. WD hitch and ball, check. Correct dates reserved, check. Pickup 9AM on our first rental day, check. That was the big one. They open at 9, and we wanted to pick it up early, so we could load our stuff and get to the campground before dark.

We show up at the rental place about 9:05 AM, the 3rd of 4 families there to pick up at 9 AM. We were in line as we heard the 1st family get told, 'Oh, you needed to call in to set up your pickup time. We'll have that ready in 15-20 minutes.'

I nervously look at our paperwork. I know I had called in, but was it recorded? Our paperwork said 12:00 PM pickup time! [emoticon] By the time it came to our turn, we knew what to expect. 'Sorry, this pickup time reservation is new this year and we're still getting it sorted.' Well, you've had all summer?!

So we wait. And wait. And wait. Family #2 was the first out of the parking lot. At 10 AM. Family #1 and ourselves were leaving around 11:15. (Boy, was the garage guy upset when he was told we'd need a WD hitch... which we had reserved and paid for months earlier.)

They had done a walk-through at the rental place, but it was quite rushed... as they 'weren't used to all these folks picking up at 9 AM'. I wanted to do a thorough walk-through, but that wasn't to be. We tried to note anything damaged or out of place, like the one cabinet door hanging off the hinge, or the blinds that were busted, or missing laminate on some of the trim. But they were in a hurry.

So... now we're on the road, back to our place to load up. We get into our driveway, slide out the slide-out (we hadn't done that during walk through) and realize there is dog food under the slide-out and pet hair EVERYWHERE. (We don't mind dogs, but if we're told it's been cleaned, it should be clean.) My wife got to work cleaning the trailer (another 45 minutes) while I went to work figuring out why the fridge was beeping. I have pictures of what was cleaned, and it was filthy.

As for the fridge, it was warm, since it hadn't been running. (wasn't ready for 9AM pickup) This particular fridge will 'run' on battery, but only if it has a propane flow for backup. I don't tow with propane tanks open so it was beeping at us to let us know it still wasn't running. So, I finally get it starting to cool down, but now we realize it will be hours till the fridge is ready to use. Okay, we have a backup electric Coleman cooler we had gotten ready just in case. Store the food in that and run it in the truck of the DC power.

We finally get loaded, on the road, and to our campground. Back in, and start levelling. The last jack to stabilize... damaged! (again, rushed walk-through) Played with it a bit, and got it down, but I don't know it actually did much, it still felt loose. And by now of course, it's getting dark.

So, Monday, our first day, was a bit stressful.

We get into camping, go to cook... and the only ventilation is the windows. The vent in the roof has a fan that works, but the crank handle to open the vent, not supplied. The outdoor cook stove? Not supplied. The rental place keeps them so that at the end of the season they can sell the camper with all the add-ons intact.

PS Do all RV AC units sound like a jet engine the entire time they run?

Wednesday or Thursday I attempted to figure out why the black water tank was smelling (we had used it a bit, but mostly the camp bathhouse). Emptied the tank, yet still saw stuff just below the toilet. Using a stick, I cleared the clog that we'd towed with us from the rental place. Ah, so you are supposed to see clearly way down the pipes.

Thursday evening my wife goes to start dinner, notices a puddle under the sink. The PEX fittings were leaking. Called the after hours number, left a message, and the fella told us somebody would come out the next day... at some point.

The next day, at 7 AM, we wake up to a call from the service guy, he was on his way. Prompt service, the leak got fixed... but 7 AM on my vacation? One more note? Under the sink was a panel that was loose. It looked like it had been pulled off prior to our rental, and we had pointed it out during the walk-through. Well, this panel is right where you'd need to look to figure out where the leak was coming from!! [emoticon]

After that, Friday went pretty well. The weather got colder, so we nervously tried the furnace. It worked, but we didn't turn it up too high. Saturday was colder, we turned the furnace up... and it wouldn't work at all. Checked if we had propane and yes, we did. Check the 12V fuse, it was still good. Shut the furnace and thermostat down a while to reset it, and got it working a little more, then it conked out again. So, that was it. They had given us an extra day for the rental cause of the leak, but we took it back Sunday AM (our original return day) cause we were just done.

So... will we rent again? No, and definitely not from this place. Time to start looking for something of our own so that we can make sure it has what we expect. For now, we're trying to brush ourselves off and hopefully, laugh about it. Hope you had a good chuckle too. I really wonder what some of those other folks that rented the same day went through. [emoticon]

TL;DR; (Too Long, Didn't Read)
- Had to wait 2 hours at the rental location for the Trailer
- Had to clean the 'cleaned and inspected' trailer before loading
- Damaged levelling jack
- Fridge not cooling
- Water Leak
- Clogged black tank line
- Missing parts (ie. vent crank handle, outdoor stove)
- Furnace didn't work


MK out of PA and My Wifey
TV: 2011 Ford F150 SuperCrew 4WD (V6 3.5L/213)
Trailer: 2013 Heartland Trail Runner 25 SLE

We've only camped in 2 states? Quick, pack the trailer we have to CAMP!


rk911

DuPage County

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Posted: 09/29/21 10:20am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

either a very poor inspection upon delivery from the factory to the dealer or it had been rented to others and never inspected upon its return. and this is why we will never rent, loan or allow anyone else to use our RV for any reason.


Rich
Ham Radio, Sport Pilot, Retired 9-1-1 Call Center Administrator
_________________________________
2016 Itasca Suncruiser 38Q
'46 Willys CJ2A
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& MaggieThe Wonder Beagle

jdc1

Rescue, Ca

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Posted: 09/29/21 10:32am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There again....you get what you pay for. A $7.25 minimum wage isn't going to buy much.

DrewE

Vermont

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Posted: 09/29/21 10:33am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It sounds like a not good experience at all, and I feel for you there. The rental place is clearly letting lots of things fall through the cracks...or wide crevasses, in this case.

That said, I don't think the fridge difficulties are really the fault of the rental place. A two-way fridge needs either propane or 120V AC to operate; and if you have neither, there's no physical way it can cool. If you want it to cool while underway, you need to have the propane on, which is what most, or at least many, people do. (The 12V power is simply for its control electronics; the propane burner--or 120V heating element--is what actually operates the cooling unit proper.)





valhalla360

No paticular place.

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Posted: 09/29/21 10:52am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Be firm when renting about checking it out. When we do a rental car, we go around with our phones taking pictures and we note damage even if they say it's minor and not worthy of noting. If they challenge us, we switch to video and have them repeat that on video.

That likely would have turned up most of the issues that you mentioned.

It sounds like they tried to address issues once they were made aware of them. It would have been nice if the unit was in perfect shape but back in real life...


Tammy & Mike
Ford F250 V10
2021 Gray Wolf
Gemini Catamaran 34'
Full Time spliting time between boat and RV


dedmiston

The West

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Posted: 09/29/21 11:41am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

That sounds horrible. I don't blame you for being upset.

I have to give you a hard time for the fridge though. Go ahead and turn on the LP while you tow. That's the only practical way to cool the fridge and keep it cold.

I drove a friend/coworker to El Monte RV when she was renting a Class C for a cross-country relocation (long story). I was prepared to help her with the walk through since she had never used an RV before. I was actually pleasantly surprised with the good job they did with her on the walk through.

I have a hunch that not all rental outfits are created equal.

Sorry you had such a bad experience. Other than that, did your family enjoy the experience? Do you think you're ready to re-enter the arena and buy an RV?

Oh also, I think you're lucky that the mobile tech contacted you bright and early to get a jump on the job. You could have had to blow a day sitting around waiting for the tech to arrive.


2014 RAM 3500 Diesel 4x4 Dually long bed. AISIN trans & 4.10 rear. B&W RVK3600 hitch • 2015 Crossroads Elevation Homestead Toy Hauler ("The Taj Mahauler") • Hooligan #3

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afidel

Cleveland

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Posted: 09/29/21 12:14pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

dedmiston wrote:

That sounds horrible. I don't blame you for being upset.

I have to give you a hard time for the fridge though. Go ahead and turn on the LP while you tow. That's the only practical way to cool the fridge and keep it cold.

I drove a friend/coworker to El Monte RV when she was renting a Class C for a cross-country relocation (long story). I was prepared to help her with the walk through since she had never used an RV before. I was actually pleasantly surprised with the good job they did with her on the walk through.

I have a hunch that not all rental outfits are created equal.

Sorry you had such a bad experience. Other than that, did your family enjoy the experience? Do you think you're ready to re-enter the arena and buy an RV?

Oh also, I think you're lucky that the mobile tech contacted you bright and early to get a jump on the job. You could have had to blow a day sitting around waiting for the tech to arrive.


Agreed 100% about El Monte RV, I'm not sure I would have ended up jumping into this lifestyle if their service hasn't been so great. They made the rental experience great.


2019 Dutchman Kodiak 293RLSL
2015 GMC 1500 Sierra 4x4 5.3 3.42 full bed
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Super_Dave

Harrisville, UT

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Posted: 09/29/21 12:23pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My wife was recently diagnosed with cancer so we have decided to sell our 5th wheel and try Airb&b trips versus RV rental.


Truck: 2006 Dodge 3500 Dually
Rig: 2018 Big Country 3155 RLK
Boat: 21' North River Seahawk


rk911

DuPage County

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Posted: 09/29/21 12:31pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

sorry to hear that, Dave. Hope she will be OK going forward. good luck with AirB&B some of the towns in my county have banned AirB&B and Vrbo because of out-of-control parties.

Krusty

Calgary, Alberta,Canada

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Posted: 09/29/21 12:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Still better than a good day at work!!


Krusty
92 F-250 4x4 460 5spd 4.10LS Prodigy
97 Rustler RT190
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