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Friday, April 3, 2009

The ins and outs of renting an RV with Pauline Frommer


  1. "Trailer Villages"?

    Pauline, they usually have motorhomes, and other kinds of campers, in them.

    "Trailer Village" sounds like a gathering of semi-homeless people in trailers, possibly in the 1930s.

    "RV Park" or "Campground" is the much more commonly used expression for facilities that provide a space for RVs, for overnight, or longer-term, stays.

    This is also not to be confused with a "Trailer Park" which generally provides permanent locations for fixed-position house-trailers, and often tends to be more down-scale and less scenically located.

  2. We rented from CampUSA ( in south Florida and had a great experience. We have rented several times from them and will continue to do so. The first trip was 3 week long trip in a ~25 foot Mini-Winee, the type with a bed over the driver seat. We drove this from Florida up to Canada with 2 kids, wife and dog. At the time the kids were 18 months and 3 years old. This was a great experience that the kids still talk about the trip 5 years later. Most of our trips are to Disney ( and the Orlando area, Disney has a great camp ground. For a really great trip, get a golf cart with a 8 year old son and you will not even need to go to the parks.
    The CampUSA people are great, there are no hidden fees, although I recommend paying the $35 “holding tank emptying charge” I have no idea where to dump this, I’m certainly not carrying 5 gallon bucks of crap into the house to empty the tank. We did not have any cleaning charges nor did we wash the outside of the units. When we brought the unit back we took all the garbage and other junk out and dropped the keys in the box. I would imagine if you brought back a pigpen they would certainly charge to have it cleaned. What else would you expect?
    They will go over every bit of the unit with you and a DVD camera noting any little scratch, mark, or stain, if there are any. They are very methodical even pointed out a little scratch in the counter top that I did not even see; this way we both know how the unit went out and how it came back. I have never had anything to dispute, however it sure makes me feel comfortable knowing that there is a video reference we can always go back to.
    The units we rent have been very clean and well maintained, as I understand it these are all privately owned and maintained. This may be the best of both worlds, privately owned with all the amenities and dealing with a reputable company. I am not sure I would rent directly from an individual owner, just seems too much to risk. The El-Monte and other ‘franchise’ units have “Rented” plastered all over them like the RV movie with Robin Williams. Not to mention very plain and sterile.
    The people at CampUSA gave me driving instructions that included going with me down the FL Trunpike and back to make sure I was comfortable driving it. It seems as though they do this quite often and as mentioned in the video, they do not want the units coming back damage either. We have rented from the 25’ all the way up to the 39 foot bus type. All of them are very easy to drive, we stick to the right lane at 55 mph and enjoy a nice relaxing trip, and after all, we are on vacation! Our favorite unit is the Damon Challenger (hope the link works). The kids love the bunk beds and satellite TV while we drive down the road.
    Every different unit we have rented they go over every feature and provide instructions on how to use them. The units we had are all self leveling, just push a button and stay still for 30 seconds, its pretty cool actually.


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