Cruise America RV Rentals Review

Rated 1.9 / 5 from 10 reviews

Editors Review

Last updated: 19th May 2021

Cruise America RV continues to be expanding its accessibility among US travellers. They now have 129 rental locations across different states in the country. With their growing reputation, they have carved a name in the RV rental industry. As you might expect of such a large company, they are criticised in some online reviews. But in general, they still offer a solid package. 


Cruise America RV is your go-to place for Class C motorhomes across the USA. They are undeniably one of the top RV hire competitors that control 52% of the RV rental market in the country. Accordingly, they must generally be doing something, right? Let's get to know more about this famous company through the detailed information below, along with my personal experience of one of their units. 

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 as to 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 services 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 the unit inclusions. They largely differ in the layout, with the latter offering more space. All motorhomes are automatic transmission and are 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. Another thing to consider is that the units do not have an awning, though you can provide your personal canopy if you want. 

On the bright side, a generator comes standard with nearly all vehicles. 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). 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. 

Vehicles

Large

Cruise Large RV

A step-up version of the traditional motorhome, this model easily sleeps up to 7 people and provides upgraded features like added huge window at the back and sofa sleeper in 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. And of course, this one has a kitchen―but a well-equipped one!

Because of its e 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 gear, then you can store them in the large, exterior compartment.

Standard

Cruise Standard RV

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 such a great deal! This automatic transmission with a Ford V-8 chassis engine is a traditional family motorhome that features sleeping areas in the rear and cab-over. The dinette also becomes a single bed to cater to an extra passenger. On the other hand, its L-shaped kitchen is located near the entry step while the bathroom with shower & freshwater 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

Cruise Compact RV

The Compact RV is distinct in its own ways. It may be shorter and narrower than most RVs but it comes with all travelling 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, 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. The only downside of the Compact is that it can be rented out in limited locations only. Therefore, you need to verify with the company first if you're interested renting the model.

Truck Camper

Cruise Truck Camper

The Truck Camper, on the other hand, exudes a rather unique design. Compared to all other vehicles 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 models, 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 off-road adventures. So, if you wouldn't' mind these exclusions, this is the perfect unit for adventurers like you. But just like Compact, this is only available at certain locations. 

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

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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
K. Hudson - avatar not loaded
, United States
1 Review

"Learned alot"

  • Reviewed 3 months ago

As far as clean it was ok but dash rattled a lot the radio was awful the side mirrors rattled so much u could barely see something with a/c leaked and the refrigerator didn’t work we spent about $4,000.00 won’t recommend.

5Service 5Mechanical 5Interior 5Value
J. Frank - avatar not loaded
, United States
1 Review

"HORRIFIC EXPERIENCE"

  • Reviewed 3 months ago

On June 5th 2021 we rented a 25’ RV from Capitol Rentals in Carlisle, PA. When looking at the pictures for the RV online and then actually seeing the RV in person, the pictures are VERY DECIEVEING. They do NOT accurately represent the size or elegance of the RV being rented. I have enclosed a comparison of the pictures online compared to what it looked like when we actually picked it up. In turn, upon picking up the RV we were very astonished to see how small the RV actually was and how lacking the amenities were. The personnel that rented us the RV did a very good job of showing how everything was accessible on the RV as far as gas, electric hook up and sewer drain lines, HOWEVER he failed to notify us, as did your website, that the RV air conditioning only cools the RV to 10-15 degrees cooler than what it is outside. Also, he failed to show us how to move the dining room table to a bed for which I had to call customer service before I was made aware of either. We had people that had taken off of work to enjoy the vacation that we had set out to embark on so changing RV’s at this point was not optional. Upon getting to our destination on Florida, which was a whopping 100 degrees somedays, the air conditioner stopped working properly around Wednesday June 9th. Even for it only being able to cool down the RV 10-15 degrees from what it was outside, it was not blowing any cool air out AT ALL. So on Wednesday June 9th, we had called the Traveler’s Assistance number to try and get some maintenance on the RV for the air conditioner to see if it was working properly. We were told that the issue was noted and that we would receive a call back to direct us to a service station in the area that could help us address the issue. 3 days later we still received no call back about service and had to end up buying fans for the RV and running the engine just to get some cool air circulating. Because of this issue we had to leave our destination 2 days earlier than expected which we have been told we can not get refunded for those non-used days. In addition to the above mentioned issues, there was hair in the shower upon going to use it for which we have photographs of and the outside of the RV had seemed that it was never cleaned prior to out use. The whole RV seemed like it was not looked over properly or explained properly before use or we would have NEVER rented this unit. In response to this I feel that it is your duty to reprimand the rental place through which you contract and to reimburse us for pain and suffering due to your lack of consideration for your renters. Whatever you can do to rectify the situation would be very much appreciated possibly in the form of some type of partial reimbursement. I DO NOT want a credit or anything of the sort towards another rental as I will NOT be renting from your company again in the future.

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

"RV Rental from HELL!!!"

  • Reviewed 4 months ago

RV RENTAL from HELL
Rented an RV for 10 days. Looked beat up but swept. Had to make a trip back the first day because the unit was missing its window screens. During the drive to NY, discovered the locks on the cabinets above the futon and dinette were broken, so the cabinets were flipping open--HUGE safety issue with 2 little kids in car seats in the dinette! My husband had to use safety wire to keep them closed so we could finish the drive. Once at the campground, we had to scrub the inside of the RV because it was filthy. We found metal shards, bits of sharp metal screws and broken washers all over, in the furniture/couch/dinette, on the floors, in the cabinets, under the futon. Upon further examination, the panels around the futon and dinette had been partially and fully ripped off and just propped/shoved back on, leaving exposed screws. Someone had noticed in the past because they taped OLD DIRTY BANDAIDS on exposed screws in the dinette. The panel under the futon literally fell on my feet when I lifted the cushion to make the bed. And the bedframe had been ripped from the wall! There were metal shards and bits of broken screws, used medical masks, old food bits, and splinters in the storage under the futon and in the lower kitchen cupboard. We had 10 days' food in the freezer/fridge, only to realize that the freezer/fridge was dead from the start. We were told it would take time to come to temp, but turns out it was missing the wire that controls temp and never ran at all. So ALL our 10 days' food defrosted and lots of food rotted.
Cruise America corp help line tried to help, saying we had to swap units, and the original location would refund the lost time/gas/mileage, the trip back to swap, $50 for a cooler and $20/day for ice. But no other franchise owner would take a non-functional unit in return for a rentable one, except for the original renting location--Cruise America Lake Hiawatha. So we had to drive 10 hrs round trip back to Lake Hiawatha to swap the unit, using a full tank of gas, mileage, and tolls. 10 minutes into the drive back to NJ to swap the unit, the "check transmission" light went on! I called to confirm the swap, and Abril said that while they "fully maintain" the units, their turn-around is often so fast that they don't really have the ability to check anything beyond tank status or really do a full clean.
Joey (manager) and Abril did a walk-thru of the non-functional unit with me and said, "This NEVER should have left the lot. I am so sorry." Abril said that they would process what refunds they can upon return, but any additional would need to be run through corporate, but she would speak with her district manager to confirm how to do it.
So we completed our trip and went back today to Cruise America Lake Hiawatha to return the unit and receive our credit. The owner ACCUSED my husband of doing the damage himself. He said, "I find it puzzling that panels were falling off... I think you pulled them off yourself." We had been in contact with Cruise America (corporate) multiple times/day for the whole trip to resolve the issues, and corporate told us that Lake Hiawatha would refund us for all the lost time, gas, mileage, tolls, cooler, and ice.
BUT the owner initially refused any refunds, and when my husband refused and said that was inappropriate, he offered a credit for a single day's rental rate. And then charged us $100 extra because we were over the intended mileage--BY THE EXACT AMOUNT OF THE TRIP REQUIRED TO SWAP. They told my husband to sign the contract and a "Resolution Agreement" stating we would not take any further claims against Cruise America. Which we wouldn't sign. The owner told us he wasn't budging. My husband said it isn't right and he would call our credit card to stop payment, to which the owner said, "Take it up with your credit card company then!" I would NEVER recommend renting with this location. RUDE, awful service, and they let dangerous units leave their lot, letting families unknowingly put kids in their UNSAFE RVs.

1Service 1Mechanical 1Interior 1Value
J. M. - avatar not loaded
, United States
1 Review

"If you have any other option, go with that!"

  • Reviewed 11 months ago

By far the worst experience EVER. There was a carbon monoxide leak in the vehicle (as confirmed by the local fire department,) and we couldn't get in touch with anyone from Cruise America for almost the entire week we were on our road trip. This includes calling their supposedly emergency number.
After dealing with that our entire trip (having the fridge and heat off, so that the CO leak didn't kill us,) we returned the vehicle and got charged for the repair man that the company finally called to come out and fix the leak.
Aside from that, there was a water leak and cracked windshield, so the vehicles are in really terrible condition.
If you can find pretty much ANY other company or individual to from whom to rent, I highly recommend you do that.

1Service 1Mechanical 2Interior 1Value
M. Fowler - avatar not loaded
, United States
1 Review

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

  • Reviewed 1 year 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 1 year 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 2 years 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 2 years 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 2 years 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 4 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