This note is intended for those who are interested in more info on the RV rental process.
After arriving at El Monte RV, the first step was to watch a 15-20 minute video detailing the various features and functions of the RV and describing all of the things you need to set up and or monitor when using the vehicle. Here we learned about such pleasant topics as black and gray water - what are they and what to do about them, how to use and monitor the generator, water pump, water heater, using hookups or boondocking (running under your own power and holding tanks) and switching between the two.
The next stage was completing the rental contract process - lots of initialing and signing. The good news El Monte had all of our contract info as we had specified. The bad news was that we needed to make some modifications. One was to add more prepaid miles that we had originally estimated. Once we got into the depths of planning the trip it turns out we needed about 50% more miles. It is, of course, cheaper to prepay. Another issue is insurance. Unlike rental cars where many credit cards offer either primary or secondary coverage along with you personal auto insurance, RVs are considered specialty vehicles and neither our credit cards nor auto policy offered coverage. This meant signing up for the various liability and vehicle damage coverage offered through the rental company, adding substantially to the rental costs.
Also, when you rent an RV, you are getting the vehicle only. This means no kitchen pans or utensils, no bedding or towels, no dishes or glasses. All of these are add-on items, or you must bring/buy your own. We did a little of both.
Finally, once the contract is completed - and paid - it is time for a vehicle walk though with our rental agent. This was close to an hour long process where she reviewed everything in the video but on our actual vehicle, demonstrated in detail, and answered questions.
Overall, the staff at El Monte was very thorough and professional, and we felt much more comfortable starting out as a result