"Review of my cruise-america hire"
Everything went well. It was a great rental. Brand new tires, pots , pans. ...
With 122 rental locations, Cruise America RV is your go-to place for Class C motorhomes. 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 pick up 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 duck 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".
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.
Delving into the fleet, Cruise America RV rentals offers 4 different RV categories— Compact, Standard, Large 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 awning but you can provide you 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).
The Standard is a 25' motorhome with a sleeping capacity of up to 5.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 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.
A step-up version, the Large motorhome can now sleep 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.
The Compact RV is distinct in its own ways. 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. This shorter and narrower RV is easier to maneuver and park, plus better gas mileage! However, this can be rented out in limited locations only.
The Truck Camper, on the other hand, exudes a rather unique design, but is the only vehicle on fleet without an electric generator. 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 an internal access, you need to step outside before you can eat your meal or sleep in the bed.
The Cruise America rentals include the three insurance coverage: SLI up to $1,000,000, vehicle loss or damage of $1,000 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.
Many bad feedback about incompetent service and sub-standard vehicles appear to overshadowed 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 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 trip.
Above all, renters considering Cruise America RV might need a dose of patience and understanding for a more convenient US vacation.