Travel Tuesdays: NEVER Rent an RV from Cruise America

 June 24th
If you read my blog regularly, you know I'm all about positive ideas, news, and information. I never bash businesses or books or anything else here. That's not how I operate.

This was a tough decision, but today I'm making an exception because I hope to save others from our horrible experience.

We rented an RV from Cruise America for a 5 week cross country trip with our farthest location being the Grand Canyon. This is the trip of a lifetime that required a significant amount of saving to make it happen. We've had nothing but escalating difficulties since we left just 8 days ago.

We started out on June 23. On June 24th, the RV made a terrifying, loud sound while we were on I-90 west of Syracuse. Horrible sounds continued as we barely managed to get off the highway to a truck stop. We called their "24 hour customer service" line and were told to expect a call back. After 1 hour, there was no call so we called back. We were told someone would call us "some time today." Luckily, my husband was able to locate a campground nearby so we "limped" into that campground for the night.

The next day we spent hours at a truck repair shop waiting for information. They wouldn't return our calls or the calls from the repair place. They wouldn't escalate our calls to a Manager. FINALLY they got us a replacement RV and comped us 1 day, even though we lost 30 hours of irreplaceable time.

June 28
So, back on the road we went. On June 28th the "new" RV overheated and shut down on a bridge over the Mississippi River. There was only one lane and no shoulder because of construction and miles and miles of traffic behind us. After multiple starts and stops, we barely got enough power to crest the bridge and coast down the other side without power steering.

Same deal with customer service except this time the representative argued when we told him that, no, we couldn't just try to drive it 7 miles to a repair shop. When pressed, my husband told the agent that a police officer told us we could not try to drive anywhere else. Agent's response? "Is the cop a mechanic?" No. He's just the guy who's in charge of road safety who forbid us to try driving anywhere else because it was a safety hazard. (Seriously... we blocked multiple intersections, etc. just trying to get safely off the road). What did they do for us? Paid for a hotel up to $120 and comped us 2 days. We were stranded with no vehicle or food so we had to pay for meals even though we had food in the RV.

And finally to today. Yes, a third breakdown. This time on a busy, dangerous highway with massive
July 1
tractor trailers passing inches from our RV. And the RV wouldn't restart, so we couldn't get off the highway.

Cruise America always answers the phone with "Are you in a safe location."  No! Yet, we sat on the highway for more than an hour WITH NO CALLBACK from Cruise America.  The police called a tow. When Arrow Towing arrived, I called Cruise America back and they ARGUED about letting the company tow us. So even though the tow guy had us hooked up, we couldn't leave the unsafe highway.

Luckily, Arrow is a good company and our driver Adam (Thank you, Adam.) agreed to take us to safety and deal with money later. (After he towed the RV, he waited while we gathered enough belongings for the night and then he drove us to a hotel.  Everyone we've interacted with EXCEPT Cruise America has been so helpful to us. Even the lady at the front desk apologized for our misfortune.  Cruise America? Not so much).

So here we are, stranded in a hotel in Omaha, with no vehicle and most of our stuff still in the RV. We told Cruise America we do not want the RV back. We're done. They just need to get us home. Their response... they threatened us with breach of contract. Seriously.

Oh, and did I mention our young kids have been with us through all of this? Cruise America does not care that our children's lives were at risk.

Thank you for reading my rant. I promise you all of this is true. I hope you tell everyone you know to never do business with Cruise America.

As you know, we've traveled pretty widely in the developing world- the Philippines, Niger, India, Ecuador, Morocco, Peru, etc. and also in England and Italy. We have NEVER had this kind of experience. We had a flat tire on a crowded bush taxi in Niger for crying out loud and all we got was good cheer, camaraderie, and combined problem solving. With Cruise America, all we've gotten is people hiding behind a script. It's completely unacceptable.

And now, I have a favor to ask... I know most of my readers don't comment or share my posts (but Google Analytics tells me you're reading...). Will you please share this post via all of your social media networks? I hope to prevent anyone else from our misfortune. BUT... I also hope some pressure will help us.