So what is involved in the process of finding and then negotiating a private handicap RV rental deal that is mutually beneficial for both parties? This article takes a look at the pros and cons of this option to see if it could work out to be the best solution to your problem.
Finding a Suitable RV to Rent
The first step is to go looking for a suitable RV that is owned by someone who would consider renting it to you for an agreed period of time. The best way to do this is to start with the classified section of local publications to see if anyone is actually advertising this service.
The likelihood of such an ad appearing is slim, but you never know what you will find in such advertising media. While you are in that area, you might want to consider placing a classified ad in the wanted section specifically to make it known you are looking for a private RV rental arrangement. This might prove more fruitful.
There are plenty of places you can place a small want ad like this. Online, you could try Craigslist for your local area. The ad itself could look something like this:
"Wanted: Wheelchair accessible RV to rent privately for two weeks starting June 10. Price negotiable. Cash waiting. Call 123 456 789 anytime."
Negotiating a Private Rental Deal
Once you have found a suitable privately owned RV that the owner is willing to rent to you, a mutually agreeable deal needs to be hammered out. Several factors need to be taken into consideration, such as:
- Auto insurance that will fully cover you to drive the vehicle for the stated duration and provide the owner with peace of mind for all eventualities
- Providing proofs of your identity and address
- Providing proof you are suitable qualified and able to drive an RV
- The provision of a deposit to cover the owner for any internal damages
- A legally binding rental agreement between the two parties (may involve a lawyer to verify its legal standing)
There will probably be some minor aspects that will need to be agreed on, like for instance:
- Agreeing the RV is taken and returned with a full tank of gas
- All the internal appliances and lights are undamaged and working correctly
- All fittings, seating, covers, beds etc are undamaged and in good condition
- The RV wheelchair lift is in good working order
- The vehicle is roadworthy and well maintained
- You (the renter) is made fully conversant with the operation of the RV and its features and appliances
Getting to Know the Vehicle
Of course the onus is on you to make sure you get to know the vehicle before you set off on the open road to wherever. You certainly don't want to end up pulling into a camping spot and then have no idea how to operate the shower or hook up the water, electricity etc.
You'll have to spend some time with the owner going over the main points and just making sure you are happy with the operation of all the internal features of the RV from the bathroom fixtures to the kitchen appliances and anything else.
If you are taking the RV during summer, you'll need to know how the air conditioning works and similarly, if you're going during winter, you'll want to be aware of the heating system and how it works.
Driving a large vehicle like an RV is not necessarily as easy as driving your own car. You'll need to make allowances for the greater length, width and turning capabilities along with the basic driving, stopping and parking the vehicle.
Respecting the Vehicle
This probably goes without saying, but one thing you need to remember is that you'll be driving a vehicle belonging to someone else and it's a nice mark of respect to show common decency in treating it like it were your own.
I know of plenty of people who rent cars or vans and drive them like they don't care about the vehicle. I've been a passenger in rental cars where the drivers treat them like junk, screeching tires and driving fast over bumpy surfaces etc. It's not nice, I can tell you!
In the end, if you are lucky enough to have found a private individual who is willing to rent you their handicap adapted RV so you can have that vacation you've been dreaming about, be grateful and make sure you return it in the condition with which you took it. You never know if you'll want to repeat the deal and if the owner was happy with the way you treated their much loved RV, they'll be happy to do it again next year!