If you are a first-time RV renter and are looking to know all about the importance of the RV departure document, you have found the right place to be.
RV departure document is usually signed electronically or on paper, at the time of RV pickup. Once the RV renter gets a walkthrough by the RV dealer (or the RV owner, as the case may be), the renter is required to take a quick look at the RV and note down any issues or problems as pre-existing conditions in the departure document.
Do Not Be In A Hurry When Completing The RV Departure Document
In most cases, RV renters are about to begin their vacation, it is likely that family members are eagerly waiting, RV renter is likely to be in a hurry and may casually sign the document, banking on his/her trust for the RV renter. But it is not advisable to compromise or cut short your time given for completing the details in the RV departure document.
When the RV is returned, and there happens to be any damage – whether caused by the renter or pre-existing (by earlier renters), the onus of the damage lies on the renter in case such damage was not documented in the RV departure document. Hence, it is important to note down all issues and concerns (even minor ones) in the RV departure document.
Types of RV Departure Document – Paper and Electronic
There are a couple of different types of departure documents.
Outdoorsy has a fairly advanced RV departure document which is largely electronic wherein at the time of departure, the RV owner is required to upload pictures of the RV which show the existing conditions of the RV. However, Outdoorsy requires pictures of only the exterior of the RV.
We advise you to upload both – exterior and interior pictures of the RV, especially in areas where there are wear and tear. At the time of return, if there is an insurance claim, Outdoorsy will require the pictures at the time of pick-up and return for comparison.
RV share has a hybrid documentation type. They allow both, picture uploads as well as paper documents. The best-case scenario for an RV renter is to note down any faults on paper as well as electronically.
Cruise America and local dealers usually rely on paper RV departure documents. You will have to note down any problems and faults on the same. At the time of return, these documents are referred to.
3 Types of RV Return Scenarios | Importance of RV Departure Document
What are the different circumstances under which RV return may take place and what implications does the RV departure document has on these situations?
1. No Damage To RV – Simple Return
In this case, the RV is returned to the same person who was present at the time of departure. There is no misunderstanding or issues. The return process is fairly smooth and straightforward, panning over just a couple of minutes. This is usually the case for the majority of RV Renters.
2. Honest Misunderstanding At The Time of RV Return by RV Owner
For instance, there could be any damage that was pre-existing at the time of your RV rental. But neither the RV owner nor the renter looked at it and it doesn’t get noted down in the RV departure document.
In this scenario, the RV owner looks at the damage, and likely holds the renter responsible for this damage. In this case, pictures, videos, and points noted earlier in the RV departure document would be of great value. Bringing the pre-existing damage to the notice of the RV owner will help the RV renter absolve of any liability with respect to the same. In most cases, the RV owners are honest and they will honor such evidence, hence closing the issue for good.
If RV Owner does not agree then Outdoorsy and RVShare will review such evidence and will likely rule in favor of the renter. In the case of CruiseAmerica and local RV Rentals it depends on the manager and depending on his/her professionalism it could go either way.
3. RV Rental Companies that Exploit/Gouge Innocent First-Time RV Renters
There are quite a few RV rental companies whose business model includes charging excessively at the time of RV return. In most cases, these are local RV rental companies that charge for any pre-existing damage. There are many instances when this has happened, in such cases, you could find yourself looking at charges ranging from a few hundred dollars to $1,500 or more, depending on what your RV insurance deductible is. In such a scenario, the evidence that you have regarding the pre-existing conditions is of extremely great value.
EndNote – Be Cautious | Contact Us for Help If Needed
To conclude, it is important to note that as a first-time RV renter, you are documenting the RV departure document for the first time in your life but the RV rental company does it day in and day out. Hence, it is in their vested interest to not explain to you the damages and things to capture prior to renting the RV.
We at RvRentalguru.com have our vested interest in educating the new renters and minimize any kind of issues disputes at the time of RV return. We strongly recommend you to be detail-oriented, and not rush through in the case of RV departure documents. Take your time to note the damages via pictures, videos, etc., upload them so that there is electronic evidence of the same.
If you do face an issue when you feel that the RV rental company or RV owner is fraudulently charging you or claiming that it is you who is responsible for the damage, feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com. We will try our best to intermediate and help you, and make it known to the RV rental company that such kind of behavior would affect their online reputation, not only on Google but on websites such as ours on which a lot of new RV renters rely on making a decision about RV rental companies.