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Thursday, June 16, 2016

Rent A Recreational Vehicle This Summer?

Above, rental units at El Monte RV in Van Nuys. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Summer vacation season has started and families are hitting the road to visit beaches, state parks and national parks. The national parks will be busy this summer as 2016 marks the centennial of the National Park Service and they will be celebrating accordingly.

If you do not own your own RV, but want to try out the "RV lifestyle", then renting one is an option to consider.

As this is the peak summer travel season, many rental companies will have their units already booked. But, you may get lucky if someone cancels at the last minute.

But, this is just to give you an idea on renting an RV. Personally, my family only rented a 16' travel trailer back in 1975 and went to Mesa Verde National Park with it.

The two bigger RV rental companies are CruiseAmerica and El Monte RV. Amber and I saw a lot of rental motorhomes from both companies last year in Yellowstone. I paid a visit to El Monte RV today in Van Nuys, California as I was in the area. Earlier today, I was putting the tire and windshield covers on The Beast and my neighbor came over and inquired about RV renting. I told him what I knew about it and said I would stop by El Monte RV to get him some information. (I gave him the information just minutes ago.)

El Monte RV in Van Nuys rents out Class C motorhomes (those are the ones built on van chassis with a cabover bed). They also have two Class A RVs (those are the big bus ones). Their rates begin at $250/day for the Class Cs and up to $600/day for the Class As. The Class C motorhomes range from 25' to 28'. They also have small travel trailers for rent.

Before renting a motorhome, check with your auto insurance carrier first to see if they would cover it. If not, El Monte RV will provide limited insurance coverage at $30/day. They also charge for miles in "blocks". For example, a "block" of 100 miles will cost $29. They also have a $.32/mile rate.

If you want them to dump the holding tanks after you return the unit, they will charge a dumping fee of $25. Dumping holding tanks is not difficult, provided you have a dump station available to use. You may want to do it yourself and save the $25.

Before renting a motorhome, consider the dates you want to rent one. They said that things slow down considerably in September. Generally, the smaller units are booked up first to September.

Additionally, El Monte RV also sells former rental units. I saw a Class C for $29,000 on their lot.

For more information from El Monte RV, their toll-free number is (800) 337-1630. Their website is www.elmonterv.com.

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