Cruise America RV Rentals Review

Rated 1.8 / 5 from 6 reviews

Editors Review

Our Latest Trip In A Cruise America RV


With 122 rental locations, Cruise America RV is your go-to place for Class C motorhomes across the USA. As you might expect of such a large company they are criticised in some online reviews but generally, they offer a solid package. And when you control 52% of the RV rental market in the USA, you must, generally be doing something right -yes?. My last experience with Cruise America was in a rental doing a big lap of national parks around the Grand Canyon region, so, we picked up in Las Vegas. Personally, I can't fault the staff, the pickup process or the vehicle for the trip (ok some drawers opened on sharp corners but I am used to that so I just used the duct tape I always carry to tape them shut - so technically I can fault them). But the RV was in pretty good shape and everything worked. The real test of any RV rental company comes when something goes wrong, like a break-down of flat tyre, and that didn't happen to us. But overall, if someone asked me if I would recommend Cruise America, the answer would have to be a resounding "yes".

About Cruise America RV Rental

With the most amount of locations of any RV rental company in the USA (daresay the world) Cruise America RV is a standout from other RV companies. Their rates vary depending on the season, locations as well as availability. For the convenience of the renters, the company has one-way rentals and several rental deals like discounts on mileage, one free night, factory delivery specials and more. However, they do not offer pick-up and drop-off service so you need to arrange your own transportation to and from the airport or hotel. Even with their jumbled reputation, one good thing about this large rental entity is they welcome pets in their Cruise America range.

Fleet 

Delving into the fleet, Cruise America RV rentals offers 4 different RV categories— Large, Standard, Compact and Truck Camper. For 2 to 3 persons, you can either choose the Compact RV or Truck Camper.  The 5-berth Standard RV and the 7-berth Large RV are somehow similar to each other, from the vehicle facilities to camping essentials. They largely differ in the layout, with the latter offering more space. 

All motorhomes are automatic transmission equipped with standard facilities except for television sets, cooking and dining utensils and bedding. So, either you bring your own or rent out a package from them. The units do not have an awning but you can provide your own canopy if you want. 

As with most RV rental companies in the USA, nearly every part of the rental is quoted as a separate line, no real "all inclusive' package exists like is the norm in Australia, New Zealand, and the UK. But all that will show up when you are looking at pricing so if this concept is new to you, don't worry. 

A generator comes standard with nearly all vehicles too, you just have to buy the usage if you want it. (Note: in my last trip, I found myself at RV parks most nights, if this is your plan, don't pay for any generator usage up front, just pay for usage by the hour as you will rarely use it).

Vehicles

Large

A step-up version, the Large motorhome easily sleeps up to 7 people and provides upgraded features like added huge window at the back and sofa sleeper at the living room. Because of the extended length, the rear area is all for the private bedroom with heaps of storage areas. Uniquely, the bathroom comes with a separate shower and toilet, which are both situated just before the rear bedroom. Other sleeping places include the dinette, sofa, and cab-over. Just like a traditional RV, this one has a kitchen―but a well-equipped one!

The Large motorhome is a classic favorite among families who want to have the comfort of a walk-through. Yep, you can easily move from the front seats to the living room without going outside the unit. And if you have extra things or sports gears, then you can store them in the large, exterior compartment. 

Standard

The Standard is a 25' motorhome with a sleeping capacity of up to 5. So, for small families who just want enough space, then this is a great deal! This automatic transmission with Ford V-8 chassis engine is a traditional family motorhome featuring sleeping areas in the rear and cab-over. The dinette also becomes a single bed to cater to an extra passenger. The L-shaped kitchen is located near the entry step while the bathroom with shower & fresh water toilet is placed at the rear side. 

Just like the Large motorhome, there's a storage compartment for your other stuff. But of course, not that big compared to the larger unit. And instead of a sofa sleeper, this one provides a small chair. 

Compact

The Compact RV is distinct in its own ways. It may be a shorter and narrower RV but it comes with all RV essentials. The unit itself is very easy to maneuver and park, plus better gas mileage! It accentuates a fascinating rear kitchen layout and back bathroom. Hence, leaving the living/ sleeping quarters a bit spacious even with its limited length at 19'. Yes, this is a rather small motorhome but the layout is practically designed to meet all comforts of a larger RV. 

Aside from the cab-over bed that sleeps two, a convertible dinette allows a single bed for an extra passenger. However, this can be rented out in limited locations only. So, you need to verify with the company first. 

Truck Camper

The Truck Camper, on the other hand, exudes a rather unique design. Compared to all other units on offer, this is the only RV that takes you to the open roads―literally! This Ford F150 XLT SuperCab with 5.0 Liter V8 engine is also an automatic transmission, which means it is a breeze to drive even if it can only be hired in extremely limited locations such as Henderson in Las Vegas, Newark in San Francisco, Delta in Vancouver and the like. 

Unlike other units, this 3 berth motorhome does not have internal access, so you need to step outside before you can eat your meal or sleep in the bed.  Plus, it is the only vehicle on the fleet without an electric generator. But all these lacking features make this a ruggedly perfect unit for offroad adventures.  
 

Insurance

The Cruise America rentals include the three insurance coverage: SLI up to $1,000,000, vehicle loss or damage of $1,500 per occurrence, and expense reimbursement up to $3,000 for mechanical breakdown. During vehicle pick-up, a minimum security deposit of $500 plus estimated rental charges.

Reputation

Many bad feedback about incompetent service and sub-standard vehicles appear to overshadow the positive reviews, even though few RVs serve its purpose to some renters. With a seemly skeptical reputation, it is best to comprehensively check the vehicle prior to jumping to your road trip as there numerous issues about a breakdown during the trip. Further, it would be difficult to reach them for roadside support based on previous renters who waited for a couple of hours for assistance. Aside from the RV check-up, make sure to verify your booking, including your insurance coverage, to avoid problems after the trip. 

Summary

Above all, renters considering Cruise America RV might need a dose of patience and understanding for a more convenient US vacation. 

Anything Else Worth Knowing

When you hire a motorhome from Cruise America RV, then this means you are renting from a very popular RV company, with branches all over the world. The company is not your simple, local business, rather it's a large entity that has been in the industry for more than four decades. Plus, their rental fleet is custom-manufactured RVs that are designed to cater to families of different sizes and budgets. And did I forget to re-mention that these motorhomes are all pet-friendly? Yes, sir! 

In comparison to other large RV corporations in the USA like Road Bear, El Monte, and Apollo RVCruise America is certainly a name to consider, especially for families and pet-owners. 

From the Agency

No word from this agency yet. Come back and see if they checked in soon.

Pros

  • Several branches (122 rental locations)
  • Well-designed RVs
  • Pet-friendly

Cons

  • Many negative reviews about customer service
  • Unreliable roadside support
  • Limited RV for rent

Facilities

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Write Your Own Review

Tell the world about your experience renting from this company
M. Fowler - avatar not loaded
, United States
1 Review

"Broken water system + Truck Stop toilets + KOA showers = Cruise America Nightmare!"

  • Reviewed 2 months ago

We rented an RV in Dundee, IL to drive to San Francisco to close up my apartment at the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak. Our plan was to drive 700 miles per day, get in and out of San Francisco in a couple of hours and drive back home. We packed all of our own food and planned to sleep and shower in the RV to limit our contact with other people. When we got on the road we realized that the water system was broken. When we turned on the pump, water sprayed out the bottom of the vehicle, and water began pouring out from under the sink cabinet inside the RV. We could not run water, flush the toilet, or shower for 7 days. Instead, we had to use the bathrooms at truck stops along the highway and shower at the KOA parks we stayed at each night. This was not only unsafe but utterly disgusting. I contacted traveler services when we discovered the water system was broken and they offered to make an appointment for us at a service center. They told us it could take a full day to repair assuming they have the right parts. We decided to just press on since we were on a tight schedule and didn't want to stop and risk being in contact with other people more than we had to.

When we returned the vehicle the rental dealer washed his hands of the problem and told me I had to contact customer service at Cruise America corporate. I submitted a request via their website on 4/7. They finally replied on 4/21. Their offer was a $100 gift certificate for a future rental. I reminded them of the awful experience we had and the told them I was not interested in a gift certificate. I refund commensurate with the inconvenience we experienced. Here's the response:

"We understand that you are requesting monetary compensation for your experience, but we need to be open and honest in advising that this is not something we would be able to offer. While researching this case, we found that you contacted our traveler’s assistance department who offered to locate service at a repair shop, but service was refused. The fact that we were not given the opportunity to resolve the problems does affect the compensation that we can offer. We also reached out to the East Dundee office with regards to this matter. They advised that they attempted to replicate the problem with the water pump when you returned the vehicle, but they were unable to do so and it functioned normally. While we certainly gain nothing from negative attention, we understand that you are within your rights as a consumer to share your experiences. We truly do want you to rent with us in the future, and while we would not be able to offer monetary compensation, we would like to revise our offer. We would like to extend an offer to send you a gift certificate with a value of $150.00 as opposed to the amount of $100.00 that we offered previously. Our gift certificates are fully transferrable and can be freely gifted or sold, so they still have value even if you do not intend to utilize the certificate yourself. If you accept this offer, please let me know in an email response."

Beware of this company. They rent old, rusty, broken down rubbish, charge a premium price for it, then take no responsibility and call you a liar. Run away.

1Service 1Mechanical 3Interior 1Value
L. Watkinson - avatar not loaded
, Germany
1 Review

"Horrific..."

  • Reviewed 6 months ago

HORRIFIC... never ever book to go with Cruise America! Everything that could go wrong with the camper did, almost all of the campers we saw (over three different offices in California) were shocking quality and falling apart (which does not reflect the €1200 for two weeks price). We had to exchange a van, that was in even more shocking quality and then the furnace broke in a -5 degree snowstorm on Thanksgiving and after the FIFTH time of me complaining during a two week holiday, the senior customer complaints manager James’ solution was ‘drive to the nearest Walmart, 40 miles away and buy some space heaters.’ With no all the phone lines, internet out of action, in a snowstorm of maximum 5mph and on Thanksgiving.

Customer service: shocking, price and quality: shocking, David Elsary, the manager of the Los Angeles office is incapable and sexist, never spend any money ringing Traveler Assistance - they will not help or listen to you. Oh and for fun, every Camper van is covered in free advertising for Cruise America so despite them ruining our holiday, we were a walking billboard for them. AVOID AT ALL COSTS!

1Service 1Mechanical 1Interior 1Value
D. Carvalho - avatar not loaded
, United States
1 Review

"Cruise America RV Rental - Bedbugs Ruined The Trip"

  • Reviewed 11 months ago

Rented an RV from Cruise America in NJ to travel across the country with my wife and 2 baby girls (2 year old and 2 month old). They didn't properly clean the unit. It has bedbugs on the bed in the back, we had to cut our trip short and my wife and I went to the urgent care with allergic reactions. The company proceeded to tell us there was nothing in the RV, that we were to blame for bedbugs, and offered no real assistance. We arrived in California and waited 5 hours for a manager or anyone to call us to figure out what to do next - the call never happened and we had to leave riddled with bite marks and had to throw out half of our stuff in the garbage as we were afraid to bring anything back home with us. Cruise America told us they could only refund us the days that weren't used which wasn't remotely close to the amount of money we spent on the trip itself and all the things we've had to throw away. Absolutely awful experience. It's been a month and we have yet to receive a call or anything from this company to help us. it's absolutely ridiculous.

1Service 1Mechanical 1Interior 1Value
No name - avatar not loaded
, United States
1 Review

"Horrible Experience"

  • Reviewed 1 year ago

We rented an RV to travel from CO to CT. The RV rental they gave us was all beat up. Duck taped side mirrors, Duck taped sky light over the bed, etc. 2 days into our trip the transmission dies. Customer service was no help. We spend the day at a repair shop while they ignored our calls and where figuring out what to do. One of their options was drive 5 hours south of where we wanted to be in a rental car. On top of it all. They were supposed to pay the repair shop for diagnosis and we ended up paying. They say a replacement RV is on the way and will be here in 7 hours. I’m still waiting. I’d never rent or recommend Cruise America.

1Service 1Mechanical 3Interior 1Value
A. Morales - avatar not loaded
, United States
1 Review

"We rented a 25-foot Cruise America RV to drive from CA to NC."

  • Reviewed 1 year ago

We rented a 25-foot Cruise America RV to drive from CA to NC.

To my surprise the vehicle was old – front and back bumper was dented and the interior was nasty. It had approximately 100k miles.

It started off well but got progressively louder over-time. Almost sounds like a loose belt or whistle blowing - I am not a mechanic but I know when something does not sound right. The vehicle was very noisy – beyond the point to where you can’t even have a conversation with the person sitting next to you. It only handled well at 45-50 mph.

We got pulled over in Tennessee and North Carolina because we had 4 months expired tags on the vehicle. I managed to explain what we were doing and what happened on both occasions and was let go with a warning. Tennessee state trooper nearly searched the vehicle with his canine and told me the vehicle’s registration is expired and that it was their problem, not mine. The state trooper interrogated both me and my wife… it was very embarrassing and stressful.

Antonio with Management will not help us out and he is forcing us to drive an unsafe vehicle over 5 hrs away to another state when they have other drop-off points that are much closer.

They hesitated to even show me proof the vehicle was registered and I had to ask for it multiple times.

Why they would release a vehicle in this condition was beyond me!

They are also extremely rude and are not on your side, they are only worried about their own pocket books and the contract. No apology was ever issued or a valid explanation of how this happened. Not even a worthwhile discount.

Now I am forced to drive an unsafe vehicle with expired tags 268 miles away across state lines with the risk of getting pulled over again. They did send me proof of registration after I asked for it but that still does not help the situation. After looking at the registration they had sent, it was valid 2 days after we picked it up.

If you are considering a rental, I would suggest demanding a newer vehicle and make sure registration is all up-to-date, better yet stay far away and choose a different company, a company that cares about your safety and a company that does not lease out unregistered vehicles.

1Service 1Mechanical 1Interior 1Value
T. Ahern - avatar not loaded
, Australia
1 Review

"Review of my cruise-america hire"

  • Reviewed 3 years ago

Everything went well. It was a great rental. Brand new tires, pots , pans. Sheets pillows and doonas were nice. Plenty of hot water. Lots of miles on the clock but the RV didn't really seem to show badly for it. Recommended

5Service 5Mechanical 5Interior 5Value