Cargo Van Rental Anxiety

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NikonKing
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Cargo Van Rental Anxiety

Post by NikonKing » Wed Apr 25, 2018 3:40 pm

Hey there, Burners!

I'm a big believer in being truthful in all things. And so when I was advised by many to NOT disclose my destination as Burning Man to the cargo van rental company I'm using, I decided to follow advice and leave that little tidbit out. But then at the very end of the transaction, they asked me point blank -- is this rental for Burning Man, and I pretty unconvincingly said no.

So now here I am a few days later still thinking about their question. Clearly if I had answered yes, something different was going to happen which would have either led to my reservation not happening, or some substantial costs being added to it. But worse, I'm considering the possibility that if they somehow sniffed out that I'm going to BM, do they have the right to outright cancel the reservation the day I'm picking up the vehicle?? I'm no lawyer but it seems like they could. Or is there a GPS on the vehicle from which they could hit me later with some obscene charges, even if the vehicle comes back pristine?

Now I'm wondering if I should call them back. Admit my true destination, and stop with all this nonsensical anxiety.

Thoughts?

-Bolton

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Sham
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Re: Cargo Van Rental Anxiety

Post by Sham » Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:03 pm

In the immortal words of Richard Nixon, "let me say this about that".
When I land in Reno for Burning Man, I dress in business casual clothes. When I step up to the counter, I tend to play a bit and ask if there is some sort of 60's convention going on in Reno. "Why is everyone dressed like hippies?" No, it's Burning Man this week. Holy crap, is that at a hotel here? It looks like it might be fun.
Rental complete, on to shopping.......

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666isMONEY
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Re: Cargo Van Rental Anxiety

Post by 666isMONEY » Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:05 pm

It would be impossible to disguise that this vehicle was NOT on the Playa, the playa-dust sticks to everything!

Wouldn't doubt they have GPS on the vehicle. Maybe they would just add high security deposit. If you signed a contract attesting that you're not taking it to BRC you could get into legal trouble however, in Arizona you can contest an oral contract. Interested in what others will say.

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Sham
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Re: Cargo Van Rental Anxiety

Post by Sham » Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:10 pm

Let me ask, why a cargo van? A full size sedan would fit all your camping gear and food/water supplies. We've actually had 3 people and all supplies and gear in a full size rental. A cargo van is the size of a living room. :shock:

NikonKing
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Re: Cargo Van Rental Anxiety

Post by NikonKing » Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:15 pm

Sham wrote:Let me ask, why a cargo van? A full size sedan would fit all your camping gear and food/water supplies. We've actually had 3 people and all supplies and gear in a full size rental. A cargo van is the size of a living room. :shock:
Quite right! The cargo van is both my transportation AND my tent. Plus I opted for the “high-top” version in which you can walk around without ducking. Plenty of room for sleeping and storage — and it’s secure.

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lucky420
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Re: Cargo Van Rental Anxiety

Post by lucky420 » Wed Apr 25, 2018 5:23 pm

Where did you rent the truck out of?
Oh my god, it's HUGE!

NikonKing
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Re: Cargo Van Rental Anxiety

Post by NikonKing » Wed Apr 25, 2018 5:31 pm

lucky420 wrote:Where did you rent the truck out of?
San Francisco.

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Sham
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Re: Cargo Van Rental Anxiety

Post by Sham » Wed Apr 25, 2018 5:35 pm

NikonKing wrote:
lucky420 wrote:Where did you rent the truck out of?
San Francisco.
Your dates of rental are a dead give-a-way. The truck rental companies get hundreds (or thousands) of calls to rent box trucks for those boxed in dates.
Have you considered renting a minivan and buying a camping tent? All the way around, it will be hundreds of dollars less.

Edit to add: You might consider reserving a rental car as a plan B. If the box truck rental gets pulled out from under you, the regular rental car or minivan would be a great fall back.

NikonKing
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Re: Cargo Van Rental Anxiety

Post by NikonKing » Wed Apr 25, 2018 5:54 pm

Sham wrote:
NikonKing wrote:
lucky420 wrote:Where did you rent the truck out of?
San Francisco.
Your dates of rental are a dead give-a-way. The truck rental companies get hundreds (or thousands) of calls to rent box trucks for those boxed in dates.
Have you considered renting a minivan and buying a camping tent? All the way around, it will be hundreds of dollars less.

Edit to add: You might consider reserving a rental car as a plan B. If the box truck rental gets pulled out from under you, the regular rental car or minivan would be a great fall back.
That’s a GREAT idea, Sham. Especially since there’s no cost to not showing up for a car rental (with regular vehicles).

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Token
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Re: Cargo Van Rental Anxiety

Post by Token » Thu Apr 26, 2018 4:32 pm

NikonKing wrote:
lucky420 wrote:Where did you rent the truck out of?
San Francisco.
Fuck all that drama.

Call up Hengehold Trucks, I think they are in Palo Alto.

They know and rent for Burning Man and you get the thumbs up, no nonsense treatment.

Reservations open June 1st.

I’m not affiliated with them in any way.

http://www.htrucks.com/burningman.php

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Captain Goddammit
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Re: Cargo Van Rental Anxiety

Post by Captain Goddammit » Thu Apr 26, 2018 6:13 pm

Or use your own truck. That’s what I’ve always done.
I’ve carried many tons of stuff to the playa in trucks that cost less than what most of people pay to rent one.
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Sham
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Re: Cargo Van Rental Anxiety

Post by Sham » Fri Apr 27, 2018 12:00 am

Captain Goddammit wrote:Or use your own truck. That’s what I’ve always done.
I’ve carried many tons of stuff to the playa in trucks that cost less than what most of people pay to rent one.
YES! I bought a used U-Haul box truck and did a full overhaul of it. The truck was $500, so I bought a second one just to have spare parts. The first one made it to the playa several times until I sold it, and the second one was gifted to my local burner group, and I still see it loaded to the top coming to Burning Man every year.

It's seems like Nikon dude is pretty much using this truck as shelter for the week, and it will be traveling mostly empty. A well anchored tent would be my much preferred choice for a bunch of reasons. A rental car is a good place to keep supplies and valuable secured.
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Re: Cargo Van Rental Anxiety

Post by DoctorIknow » Fri Apr 27, 2018 5:50 am

NikonKing wrote:
Now I'm wondering if I should call them back. Admit my true destination, and stop with all this nonsensical anxiety.
If they don't ask you, deliver it clean, which for a new model cargo van will take you the greater part of a day. Powerwashing just the first step. I'm talking Q-tips in the A/C vents, products for detailing, tire shine, and don't forget the roof.

Also, cover the floor in back with a cheap tarp. Tape it down with removable blue tape, which won't stay put most likely, but anything is better as that back mat is a bear to clean.

HOWEVER, if they ask you, say yes, and then ask what the cleaning charge is. At Enterprise, it's $300.

I talked to the manager of a big U-Haul rental in Reno or Sparks, and he told me that burners will drop off a box truck and he'll tell them $700 to clean it. He says half the time they will pay, the others just spend a day at a car wash and detail like crazy.

I now rent the Ford Cargo van from U-Haul from a local (Sacramento) dealer who doesn't care if you go to BM, but they check out the van very throughly when returned. Last year I get a rental with 10 miles on it...I hated that as the clean up was way too intense.

And, make SURE you can drive out of state. There is a story somewhere in eplaya about a burner who traveled out of state, was fined every day for that, and also was SPEEDING and fined for that. (not ticketed, just some gizmo or GPS tracking on the rental. Total bill was something like $3,000.

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lucky420
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Re: Cargo Van Rental Anxiety

Post by lucky420 » Fri Apr 27, 2018 6:14 am

I rent a big truck every year. After the event I take it to a car wash and have it cleaned for about $140, tip included.
Oh my god, it's HUGE!

NikonKing
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Re: Cargo Van Rental Anxiety

Post by NikonKing » Fri Apr 27, 2018 6:38 am

DoctorIknow wrote:
NikonKing wrote:
HOWEVER, if they ask you, say yes, and then ask what the cleaning charge is. At Enterprise, it's $300.

And, make SURE you can drive out of state. There is a story somewhere in eplaya about a burner who traveled out of state, was fined every day for that, and also was SPEEDING and fined for that. (not ticketed, just some gizmo or GPS tracking on the rental. Total bill was something like $3,000.
Thanks, Doc. This was helpful.

Honestly, if I knew for sure that if I called Enterprise Truck Rental today, told them my real destination, and they offered me the truck with an additional $300 cleaning fee -- I'd take that deal just to not have any anxiety about it. Maybe I call them, and speak to a different agent (I remember my agent's name), and attempt a fresh rental with total honesty -- and see what happens.

The good news, I guess, is I can tell you for sure there's no cost to driving out of state. I told them I was going to Las Vegas with the truck and they made no mention of any additional costs. I don't imagine speeding will be an issue for me either.

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Re: Cargo Van Rental Anxiety

Post by NikonKing » Fri Apr 27, 2018 6:39 am

lucky420 wrote:I rent a big truck every year. After the event I take it to a car wash and have it cleaned for about $140, tip included.
Like a truck wash? And then you pay for additional services? Can you give me more information about this? Maybe this is the better way to go.

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Re: Cargo Van Rental Anxiety

Post by Dr. Pyro » Fri Apr 27, 2018 6:49 am

The Budget/AVIS dealership in midtown Sacramento is very burner-friendly. Ask for Steve Gatkin by name. (916) 446-2695. If they say "he's at the other shop" ask for that direct number. If need be, drop my name (Jim Jacoby). Good luck.

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lucky420
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Re: Cargo Van Rental Anxiety

Post by lucky420 » Fri Apr 27, 2018 7:23 am

NikonKing wrote:
lucky420 wrote:I rent a big truck every year. After the event I take it to a car wash and have it cleaned for about $140, tip included.
Like a truck wash? And then you pay for additional services? Can you give me more information about this? Maybe this is the better way to go.
Yes, I’m in Reno. I go to a place that washes it for me. They detail it and actually spray the inside (cab) out with a hose. So it’s a big rental truck the interior is pretty much plastic/vinyl, but I have seen other burners there with car rentals getting those cleaned too. It takes them about an hour to do the truck, but there usually is a waiting line.

It’s either; do it myself (I’m usually to tired and dirty and need to get the truck back that day after I offload at home), pay the cleaning fee to the big truck company (500-700) or have the car wash guys do it for around $140.

It’s prob more $ in the Bay Area but the peace of mind from not being overcharged from the rental company for cleaning is worth it
Last edited by lucky420 on Fri Apr 27, 2018 7:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
Oh my god, it's HUGE!

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Re: Cargo Van Rental Anxiety

Post by NikonKing » Fri Apr 27, 2018 7:28 am

lucky420 wrote:
NikonKing wrote:
lucky420 wrote:I rent a big truck every year. After the event I take it to a car wash and have it cleaned for about $140, tip included.
Like a truck wash? And then you pay for additional services? Can you give me more information about this? Maybe this is the better way to go.
Yes, I’m in Reno. I go to a place that washes it for me. They detail it and actually spray the inside (cab) out with a hose. So it’s a big rental truck the interior is pretty much plastic/vinyl, but I have seen other burners there with car rentals getting those cleaned too. It takes them about an hour to do the truck, but there usually is a waiting line.

It’s either; do it myself (I’m usually to tired and dirty and need to get the truck back that day after I offload at home), pay the cleaning fee to the big truck company (500-700) or have the car wash guys do it for around $140.
Interesting. That sounds way better. So how long are you usually waiting? Since I'm not renting out of Reno, I suppose I could do this back in the bay area with less of a wait. $140, ay? And you've done this how many times? And never an issue?

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Re: Cargo Van Rental Anxiety

Post by NikonKing » Fri Apr 27, 2018 7:28 am

Dr. Pyro wrote:The Budget/AVIS dealership in midtown Sacramento is very burner-friendly. Ask for Steve Gatkin by name. (916) 446-2695. If they say "he's at the other shop" ask for that direct number. If need be, drop my name (Jim Jacoby). Good luck.
Thank you, Pyro. I'm on it...

I'll keep you posted.

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lucky420
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Re: Cargo Van Rental Anxiety

Post by lucky420 » Fri Apr 27, 2018 7:33 am

I’ve done it for the last 3 years, before that I went with a different company that just charged a straight $100 for cleaning. The former company raised their rates so I don’t use them anymore. And in the years before that one I cleaned them myself. Never been charged a cleaning fee, ever.

The waits about 1/2 to 1 hour depending on time of day that I plan to return the truck, then it takes the car wash people about an hour to do. Not bad, I usually take a book or just people watch the other burners...
Oh my god, it's HUGE!

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Re: Cargo Van Rental Anxiety

Post by Jackass » Fri Apr 27, 2018 9:07 am

If you get the truck detailed in SF it will probably cost twice as much or more, than in Reno/Sparks area. That calculation could be applied to pretty much everything but the flight into SFO.

The bay area (SF especially) is ridiculously expensive for damn near everything, you better show up with a well-equipped wallet.
Sooner or later, it will get real strange...

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Re: Cargo Van Rental Anxiety

Post by Ratty » Fri Apr 27, 2018 9:28 am

This is a rental estimate 30 miles away from S.F.
You would be wise to do all your shopping away from San Francisco. Also, be aware that a car window is smashed every 15 minutes in the city. (I made that up but I'm close.)



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Re: Cargo Van Rental Anxiety

Post by Sham » Fri Apr 27, 2018 12:10 pm

You know I love you all to pieces, but we are teetering on commerce. :roll:

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Re: Cargo Van Rental Anxiety

Post by NikonKing » Fri Apr 27, 2018 1:10 pm

Sham wrote:You know I love you all to pieces, but we are teetering on commerce. :roll:
....slowly backing away from the ledge. :arrow:

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Re: Cargo Van Rental Anxiety

Post by Ratty » Fri Apr 27, 2018 3:43 pm

Sorry Sham. I haven't rented anything since 1977 when I escaped a bad marriage. I don't know how foreigners do it. I can barely drag my pile of crap 300 miles. It would be easier if I was flying in from Bali. 2 suitcases. One with clothes and one with food. Stop at Walmart for a cheap sleeping bag and a tarp. Done.

I just looked at the U-haul site out of curiosity. Lets see. So I fly into SFO. Take the Bart to Concord. Uber to the U-Haul. Shop, sleep in the U-Haul. Sight see in the U-Haul. Go to Yosemite in the U-Haul. OK. Maybe not. Go to Tahoe and Reno. Go to Burning Man. What could go wrong???
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Re: Cargo Van Rental Anxiety

Post by Sham » Fri Apr 27, 2018 4:12 pm

Ratty wrote:I just looked at the U-haul site out of curiosity. Lets see. So I fly into SFO. Take the Bart to Concord. Uber to the U-Haul. Shop, sleep in the U-Haul. Sight see in the U-Haul. Go to Yosemite in the U-Haul. OK. Maybe not. Go to Tahoe and Reno. Go to Burning Man. What could go wrong???
Road trips are a blast. This year I'm traveling from the east coast with my art car. 4 fun days of driving. :shock:
Everything will be packed tight, and then the heavy shopping in Reno.

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Re: Cargo Van Rental Anxiety

Post by livinglovingsteph » Wed May 02, 2018 12:47 pm

Oh my goodness the rental anxiety is so real! I rented an RV from Salt Lake City for the burn twice in the past two years, and didn't disclose we were going to Burning Man (I think I said Arizona when they asked...)

Anyway, spent both burns with a little ball of anxiety and guilt in the back of my mind. Would they know we took it to Burning Man? Do they have a GPS on this thing? Can they sue us for anything? What if we don't get the security deposit back? First year we returned it, and there were no questions asked. Phew. The next year... not so much. Despite our best efforts to scrub the RV, I got an email from the owner saying they knew where we had taken it, and that they do not let their RVs go to Burning Man. Because they can tell we really tried to clean it, they only charged a $100 fee. Ok, could have been worse.

This year, I fully disclosed where we intend to take the RV from the owner we are renting from. He was ok with it as long as we paid a slightly higher weekly fee. I'm looking forward to finally enjoying my week without the rental anxiety in the back of my mind! So I guess my advice is, be honest. It's not worth the ball of stress hanging around all week.

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Re: Cargo Van Rental Anxiety

Post by Wigwam » Wed Jun 06, 2018 1:27 pm

Go to Harbor Freight tools. Buy a small utility trailer. Put it together. Build some basic sides for it. Attach it to your car (assuming you're not renting a car). Keep it or sell it when you get home. It's what I did after renting a van for a couple of years. Is it more expensive in the beginning? Yes. Can you use it more than one year? Yes. Just my thoughts.
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Re: Cargo Van Rental Anxiety

Post by Wigwam » Wed Jun 06, 2018 1:29 pm

Also, be aware that a car window is smashed every 15 minutes in the city. (I made that up but I'm close.)

Ratty, Does that mean in an hour and a half, *all* of my windows will be smashed? :roll:
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