If you’re planning for an RV rental, you must be looking for the best RV rental company for a smoother experience. There are a number of companies offering RV rental services across the country but Outdoorsy and Cruise America are the names at the top. In this discussion, we’ll take you through the details of these two through differences i.e. Cruise America vs Outdoorsy, so you can make the right choice to experience the best RV trip.
Outdoorsy and Cruise America are two of the leading RV rental businesses. Cruise America is a traditional brick & mortar rental company that allows you to book an RV at their office, on their website, or using their 800 support number. Outdoorsy is a premier peer-to-peer RV rental company that enables you to make an online booking at their website and iPhone/ Android app, and book a rental RV. Let’s dive deep to learn more about the services of Outdoorsy and Cruise America.
Also Read: Factors to Consider While Renting an RV
Differences between Outdoorsy and Cruise America – Cruise America vs Outdoorsy
No doubt, both Outdoorsy and Cruise America are renowned names in the industry and thus, creates confusion to choose the best. We’ve done a very detailed evaluation of the services, offerings, and other comparable parameters to help you compare the two. Let’s compare Outdoorsy to Cruise America and check out the differences, so you can make a better choice.
1. Business Model and Mode of Booking
Cruise America has a traditional business model wherein you can visit an office, their website or can reach them at the support number 800 to make a booking. On the other hand, Outdoorsy has a millennial business model where almost all the business processes are app and website-driven.
2. Options to Make a Choice on RV Models
Cruise America has select standardized RV models (Small, Medium, Large) that makes good business as standardization helps in easier maintenance & cost savings. However, Outdoorsy has a wide range of offerings and is particularly useful if you need some very specific layout (bunk beds).
Also Read: Best RV Rental Companies in USA
3. Lightly used RV – Maintenance Concern
Outdoorsy RV owners are private owners who are likely to rent their RVs selectively and are also likely to have newer RVs. This may be particularly important if you have a tight vacation plan and need RVs with minimal maintenance issues and miles. This is not the case with Cruise America. Thus, Outdoorsy win the Cruise America vs Outdoorsy battle in this aspect.
4. Flexibility in Pick-up/Drop-off Hours
With Outdoorsy you deal with individual RV owners who are likely to be more flexible on early pickups and late evening or Sunday drop-offs. Cruise America works on traditional office hours i.e. Monday to Saturday with Sundays and Holidays off. Outdoorsy RV owner’s flexibility may not only save your money but can also enable you to return the RV on Sunday afternoon and get back to work Monday morning instead of having the need to take Monday morning off just to return the RV back to the Cruise America office.
5. Deductible Insurance Options
Cruise America provides a zero deductible insurance option that implies that for genuine damage claims you don’t need to pay anything. Outdoorsy provides various levels of insurance options, however, even in their best insurance option, you will end up paying a $1000 deductible. If you are a first-time renter, this would be an important factor as this could mean a difference between a peaceful RV trip or paying the deductible and perhaps hating RV rental trips for the rest of your life.
Read our previous blog to know about the RV Rental Insurance.
6. One Way RV Rentals
If you are traveling one way then it is likely that only Cruise America will provide you an option. With Outdoorsy, it is very unlikely that a mom-and-pop RV can rent you the RV and have the logistics to get the RV back to home-town. You may have heard about Cruise America one way RV rentals, which will cost you lesser. These are as good as they sound, providing you and your family’s holiday schedule aligns perfectly with Cruise America’s schedules and plans.
7. Cancellation Policy
In most cases, Cruise America will allow you to cancel the rental RV just 7 days before your pick-up date. You will pay almost no cancellation policy. Outdoorsy has multiple levels of cancellation policies, the most flexible policy has a 5-day cancellation requirement and you still have to pay service cancellation fees.
Read More: RV Rental Cancellation Policy
8. Reservation Down payment
Cruise America charges the least down payment, about $300, of all major rental companies. Outdoorsy requires at least 25% of the rental amount as a down payment. If you are renting for a week then your overall rental may be about $2000 which means about $500 down-payment
9. Reviews of RV Owners and Vehicle
With Outdoorsy, you can get insights on the RV owner as well as the exact vehicle you are going to rent. In most cases, the reviews are very detailed and will give a reliable indication of what kind of RV owner and vehicle you will be traveling in. With Cruise America, you usually get a review of the rental facility, not the specific vehicle or employees you will be dealing with.
10. RV Orientation – Point of Contact
With Outdoorsy you deal with an RV owner who wants you to enjoy your trip and also get his/her RV back safely without any damage. With Cruise America, you are deal with an employee who may not enjoy giving orientations and may just rush through it or ask you to watch a video.
11. Cost Negotiations
Outdoorsy RV owners are open to negotiations particularly during off-peak days/season and for renters with long-duration trips. If you have some flexibilities to offer to the RV owner e.g. long rental, pick-up or drop-off over weekdays, or booking during the non-peak season then you can request the RV owner for benefits like free additional miles, early/late pick-up or some additional generator hours. Outdoorsy RV Owners will be much more open to your offers.
12. Pet Policy
Cruise America has a consistent pet policy that is applicable on all the rentals i.e. you can bring your pet at no additional charge as long as you return the RV in clean condition. Outdoorsy pet policy varies from each RV owner, each RV owner may set their own pet fees. Along with the fee, you must know about the preparations you need to do to travel with your dog in RV, as specified by the RV rental company.
13. Towing Policy
Cruise America has a consistent towing policy with a modest per day additional fees, Outdoorsy towing policy varies by each RV owner. If towing is important for you then perform a detailed analysis and discussion with the Outdoorsy RV owner before you book the RV.
14. Vehicle Pre-check
With Cruise America, you can walk into the RV rental office and check out the RV before you make any booking. While with Outdoorsy, you are allowed to exchange messages with the RV owner only on the Outdoorsy platform. You cannot call/ meet the RV owner and can’t have a look at the RV before you book that.
15. Last Minute Cancellation Risk
Imagine a situation where the RV you rented is damaged by a previous renter and needs repairs before it can be rented again. With Outdoorsy, you will deal with an individual RV owner who will need to take the RV to a local RV dealership that will repair his RV. On the other hand, Cruise America is more likely to have an in-house service technician who can repair the RV for your rental. In the event that the RV cannot be repaired, it is likely that Cruise America will find a spare RV for you and perhaps give you some free upgrades.
Have got more questions? Read our previous blog where we have answered all the frequently asked RV Rental questions.
Outdoorsy Vs Cruise America – Which One to Choose?
As you observed in the above Cruise America vs Outdoorsy comparison, Outdoorsy provides you with a wide range of RVs to choose from, so you can make a fair choice. You can not only look at the RV owners’ reviews but also get a detailed review of the particular RV that you plan to rent.
With Outdoorsy, you have to deal with a private RV owner who most likely rents their RV selectively and takes great care. On the other hand, if you prefer to walk into a regular rental office and rent one of the standard models RVs then Cruise America will be a great option for you.
So, at some parameters Outdoorsy wins the Cruise America vs Outdoorsy battle while for other parameters, Cruise America wins. So, it is totally your choice which one you want to go for on the basis of the facilities and features you’re looking for. Hope the differences above will help you make the right choice and you will have a fantastic trip!