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Old 02-14-2017, 12:30 PM
 
Location: Central NY
4,670 posts, read 3,246,905 times
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Earlier I started a thread about "how old is too old" etc. My dream was to travel to parts of the U.S. but was not sure what type of vehicle to use. I have a 2009 Corolla which travels just fine, but am considering a smallish van that I could sleep in. I would need to rent it as I don't need to buy another vehicle.

Can anyone offer me some education on what to get, what I should look for, a cost estimate (do they rent by day?)....... and probably many more questions.

Anything you can share would be greatly appreciated. Thanks..
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Old 02-14-2017, 12:35 PM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
28,501 posts, read 62,182,463 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NYgal1542 View Post
My dream was to travel to parts of the U.S. but was not sure what type of vehicle to use.
I have a 2009 Corolla which travels just fine...
Then stick with it.

Get it serviced, do the brakes and tires etc that are warranted...
and call it done.

Quote:
Anything you can share...
Focus on finding short term rentals or even couch surfing situations
for the weeks/month you'll want to spend in any one place.

Plan the drive between these places carefully and use MOTEL's
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Old 02-14-2017, 03:01 PM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
7,670 posts, read 4,712,277 times
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Whether it's fully self-contained with galley, bathroom, convertible sofa/bed, etc. or simply a conversion van with a bed in the back where the second/third row of seats would have been, either way a rental is going to be pretty expensive. Out here in the West a fully self-contained Class B van rents for $300 to $500...a day.

I think the combo of Toyota and inexpensive motels is probably much more affordable.

But if you actually wanted to rent a very small RV, Cruise America has the 19 foot models that are easy to drive and so cute you want to hug them.

http://www.cruiseamerica.com/rent/ou...ompact_rv.aspx

Those tend to run about $100 per day base rate for a 14 day trip, without mileage. You want to ask about additional charges for mileage and what not.

If I didn't have a van of my own, I'd consider renting one of these. We took one on a four day trip once and it was fine -- by myself I could certainly handle it. You just need to keep in mind the vehicle is considerably taller than what you're used to driving and with side mirrors, probably somewhat wider too.
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Old 02-14-2017, 03:17 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles
3,544 posts, read 2,235,309 times
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I'm considering the same kind of solo travel around the country when I retire. I looked into the whole motor home/travel van thing too. Finally I decided that instead of that I would travel by car and stay in motels, and here's the reason why. I think that that by stopping for meals and walking around a town from the motel it would allow me to really see where it is that I'm visiting. I'm afraid that if I were in a camper van setup I might be tempted to hang out in the camper, eat in the camper and not see that much. Plus the chance that campsites might not be anywhere near the town. I figure that the car will be easier to drive and a nice bed at the end of the day will be a welcome sight. Many hotel/motel chains offer free nights to loyal travelers that you might look into.
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Old 02-14-2017, 03:49 PM
 
Location: Florida
4,365 posts, read 3,702,696 times
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gas milages
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Old 02-14-2017, 04:03 PM
 
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
7,316 posts, read 4,162,308 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrRational View Post
Focus on finding short term rentals or even couch surfing situations
for the weeks/month you'll want to spend in any one place.

Plan the drive between these places carefully and use MOTEL's
Toss in a tent, some basic camping supplies (air mattress, camp stove, folding chair, sleeping bag or blankets and a pillow), and a cooler, and you'll be covered for pretty much any situation. And using a combination of couchsurfing/Airbnb/motels/campgrounds will be a lot cheaper than renting a camper! Not to mention that a Toyota Corolla is a lot easier to drive in a city than a van is.
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Old 02-14-2017, 04:11 PM
 
184 posts, read 218,594 times
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I would go the tent route and keep your car. Check out KOA campgrounds. They have showers, laundry facilities and there are a lot of RV people around. Extremely social. KOA.com

Take a look at getting a carrier, like a thule, for the top of your car. Any time you want you can switch up to a B&B or motel.
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Old 02-14-2017, 04:27 PM
 
Location: Planet Woof
3,139 posts, read 3,509,293 times
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I like the Honda Element, for a purchase. Take out the back seats and you can put a twin air mattress in for sleeping. Sleep in a KOA. Then I'd mix it up with a motel here and there.
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Old 02-14-2017, 04:49 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,592 posts, read 39,962,822 times
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Renting a campervan is VERY expensive. ($800 - $1200 / week)

you can buy very nice ones for $20k and sell them instantly.
or, you can buy older ones for $3000 - $5000.
Roadtrek is ideal, you can find them from $3500 - $120,000

You can 'convert' a minivan ($3000) as a simple camper for a few hundred dollars (for ideas... Look at campervans on "trademe" NZ craigslist)

when / if you hit the road... KOA is VERY expensive and pretty noisy and crowded too.
There are several "free camping in USA' sites, as well as Harvest host / other organizations with affordable places to stay.

Many city parks and fairgrounds in Rural USA have free / inexpensive camping. With a camper van it is very ez to 'stealthcamp' (Free)

If you take the car... Use Hospitality exchange - Wikitravel Free to $20 / night worldwide. Usually if you ask for a camping / RV parking it will be free. I use farms as hosts and they have PLENTY of space, safe and quiet.

There are several sites for 'house / pet / pet sitters' you can usually stay for free. (or even get paid to stay!)

Vans are IDEAL for road trips, as you can nap / stealthcamp, have a ref and stove... and take a bike. Minivans can get 22 - 25 mpg and are very CHEAP to buy, insure, repair... and very ez to resell.
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Old 02-14-2017, 05:36 PM
 
Location: Verde Valley AZ
8,618 posts, read 9,684,845 times
Reputation: 10965
Quote:
Originally Posted by fluffythewondercat View Post
Whether it's fully self-contained with galley, bathroom, convertible sofa/bed, etc. or simply a conversion van with a bed in the back where the second/third row of seats would have been, either way a rental is going to be pretty expensive. Out here in the West a fully self-contained Class B van rents for $300 to $500...a day.

I think the combo of Toyota and inexpensive motels is probably much more affordable.

But if you actually wanted to rent a very small RV, Cruise America has the 19 foot models that are easy to drive and so cute you want to hug them.

Cruise America: Compact RV Rental Model

Those tend to run about $100 per day base rate for a 14 day trip, without mileage. You want to ask about additional charges for mileage and what not.

If I didn't have a van of my own, I'd consider renting one of these. We took one on a four day trip once and it was fine -- by myself I could certainly handle it. You just need to keep in mind the vehicle is considerably taller than what you're used to driving and with side mirrors, probably somewhat wider too.

Thanks for posting that website. I see Cruise America RVs around here all the time and often wondered about them. The cost of a rental isn't that much more than a motel every day and you can save on eating out as well. When I do a long road trip I budget about $100 day just for gas and lodging. I didn't see what kind of mileage they get per gallon so that might add up pretty fast and definitely would be over $100 day. It would be great if two people could share it. I seriously considered buying a camper van but decided against it because I wouldn't use it often enough to be worth it. So, I look at places like Cruise America. Someday...


They DO have some good deals with free mileage too. And one thing sounds like what my ex and I used to do with rental cars...dead heading them to where they belonged. We did a few trips from Phoenix to Las Vegas driving rental cars that needed to go back. And then got one that needed to go back to Phoenix. We just paid gas. Cruise America does that for RVs that need to be brought back to the factory in AZ for refurbishing, etc. and then they need to be driven back. Generous days to get there and no mileage. Sweet! The bad part is that they only go to certain areas/towns etc. but you could sure see a lot of country say, between AZ and FL!
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