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Old 12-16-2015, 02:13 PM   #1
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Model: 2015 Challenger 37ND
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Trip to Charleston complete

Just completed an 850 mile 5 night round trip to Charleston SC.

420 miles each way. Average speed was 64 MPH with average fuel consumption of 8.77 MPG. I did not tow a car this trip and used Enterprise rental instead.

I used the inverter the entire trip and the generator got 1.5 hours of run time yesterday for the coach AC because the sun coming in heated up the living area. Had to keep the critters cool.

No handling issues. One hand on the wheel the entire trip to include passing and being passed by trucks and going over the I-526 bridges.

No slide problems.

Two issues:

I had are a small water leak around the bathroom window during a heavy rain. This will be addressed by the dealer during the warranty visit in January.

The Axxerra radio continues to loose power while driving. This also will be addressed by the dealer during the warranty visit in January.

One necessary mod before summer will be roller shades on the driver's and passenger's side windows. When travelling north and south the sun coming in the upper portion of the side windows can be brutal. Also when travelling east at sunset, the sun reflecting off the driver's side mirror will kill the eyes. Lesson learned here is don't travel east at sunset.
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Old 12-16-2015, 03:05 PM   #2
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Morning Dave,
Congrats on an enjoyable trip. 8.77mpg thats outstanding, hope mine keeps creeping up (only 7.5mpg at present).
Just a thought... how about using sheets of the slap on/peel off green plastic tint that pilots use on the side windows.
I have a real problem with all the interior light reflections driving at night, looking into films that are non reflective like they use on picture frame glass etc.

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Tex
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Old 12-16-2015, 03:49 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Texan View Post
Morning Dave,
Congrats on an enjoyable trip. 8.77mpg thats outstanding, hope mine keeps creeping up (only 7.5mpg at present).
Just a thought... how about using sheets of the slap on/peel off green plastic tint that pilots use on the side windows.
I have a real problem with all the interior light reflections driving at night, looking into films that are non reflective like they use on picture frame glass etc.

Rgds
Tex
RAF (Ret).
I haven't thought about the film. The issue with me is the upper part of the windows where the majority of the sun comes in is already heavily tinted. With the lower part I am limited on what I can do because of Virginia's window tinting laws.

One thing I noticed after turning the coach around last night is the reflection of the dash board in the mirror and that created an issue backing the coach into its spot on the side of the house after dark. I have read on other forums where folks used a matt or flat finish, non-satiny, cloth on the dash board to minimize the reflection in the mirrors and windows. Before my next trip I plan on going by JoAnn fabrics and see if I can find something that will fit the bill and try it out.
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Old 12-16-2015, 04:02 PM   #4
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how about a trip report on Charleston? Where did you stay, etc...?
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Old 12-16-2015, 04:15 PM   #5
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Dave,
What is the rationale behind renting a car instead of towing? Does your mileage drop enough when towing that this is economical?

Also, on the reflection from the dash, I remember many, many years ago my father took felt that exactly matched the color of the dash of the car and glued it in place just because of the reflection in the window at certain times of the day. It certainly helped and he was able to get it to conform almost perfectly to dash. As I recall, it looked okay.
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Old 12-16-2015, 04:35 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by blw2 View Post
how about a trip report on Charleston? Where did you stay, etc...?
Check the camping pics thread post number 104 on the last page.

Camping Pics/Show your rig
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Old 12-16-2015, 04:56 PM   #7
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Dave,
What is the rationale behind renting a car instead of towing? Does your mileage drop enough when towing that this is economical?

Also, on the reflection from the dash, I remember many, many years ago my father took felt that exactly matched the color of the dash of the car and glued it in place just because of the reflection in the window at certain times of the day. It certainly helped and he was able to get it to conform almost perfectly to dash. As I recall, it looked okay.
Car rental.

My daughter works for Enterprise so I can get a full size car with all insurance for approx. 100.00 per week.

During my trip in October I had a hickory nut crack the windshield on the rental. Had I been driving my car it would have cost me more to replace the windshield than it did to rent the car for the week. As it was I gave them the keys and asked for my ride back to the campground and then politely bid them a pleasant evening.

In Charleston, the Enterprise is now open on Sunday so there is no longer the no weekend pick up or return restrictions in place.

I may tow whenever we go to the sticks or on trips with multiple stops but lately I found the convenience of Enterprise to be worth the money. After all, it is less work for me during setup and tear down which means more pleasure time.
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Old 12-16-2015, 05:06 PM   #8
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In the past when we have rented we were able to make a quick stop at the rental place prior to the campground (and again stopped off at the rental place just after leaving the campground). That made it really easy to rent and not have to worry about Enterprise picking us up and dropping us off.

Of course, very few places you'd like to camp at, though, have a car rental agency close enough that you could do such a thing. (In this case the airport happened to be "on our route" so we just stopped at one of the airport rental car places. Which was kind of an advantage of the Axis as I don't think some of the larger units would have been able to park where we did to get to the rental agency.)
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Old 12-16-2015, 05:30 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by JamieGeek View Post
In the past when we have rented we were able to make a quick stop at the rental place prior to the campground (and again stopped off at the rental place just after leaving the campground). That made it really easy to rent and not have to worry about Enterprise picking us up and dropping us off.

Of course, very few places you'd like to camp at, though, have a car rental agency close enough that you could do such a thing. (In this case the airport happened to be "on our route" so we just stopped at one of the airport rental car places. Which was kind of an advantage of the Axis as I don't think some of the larger units would have been able to park where we did to get to the rental agency.)
My daughter just walked in the door and according to her there is no limit to the distance Enterprise will drive to pick up or drop off a customer. The issue is which office gets the assignment.
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Old 12-16-2015, 06:22 PM   #10
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Hi again, just to clarify...
The pilot type film/plastic, is a fairly stiff sheet of green or amber tint that is meant to be re-positioned on the cockpit window as needed (very low tack) not a regular car type film tint (18" x 10" square).

The non reflective film is permanent and totally transparent (goes on the inside) but gives the glass a matte non reflective finish.

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Old 12-16-2015, 06:52 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by dstankov View Post
Car rental.

My daughter works for Enterprise so I can get a full size car with all insurance for approx. 100.00 per week.

During my trip in October I had a hickory nut crack the windshield on the rental. Had I been driving my car it would have cost me more to replace the windshield than it did to rent the car for the week. As it was I gave them the keys and asked for my ride back to the campground and then politely bid them a pleasant evening.

In Charleston, the Enterprise is now open on Sunday so there is no longer the no weekend pick up or return restrictions in place.

I may tow whenever we go to the sticks or on trips with multiple stops but lately I found the convenience of Enterprise to be worth the money. After all, it is less work for me during setup and tear down which means more pleasure time.
Thanks for the information. It just does not seem economical to me to NOT take my toad along. Even at $100 which is a good price I doubt if I would spend that much in extra gas due to towing. And it takes us less then 10 minutes to hook up the toad and about 7 minutes or less to unhook it. I would guess that the rental paper work probably takes almost that much time. Plus, I spent money on a Jeep and Blue Ox to enable me to tow so I'm going to tow. I guess this is just another case of personal preference.
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Old 12-17-2015, 02:42 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by dstankov View Post
My daughter just walked in the door and according to her there is no limit to the distance Enterprise will drive to pick up or drop off a customer. The issue is which office gets the assignment.
I would confirm this with the local branch before your trip. That has not been the case in my experience. Some of their locations will only go 5 miles. And many of their locations are closed on sundays and have limited hours on saturdays.
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Old 12-17-2015, 03:15 PM   #13
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I would confirm this with the local branch before your trip. That has not been the case in my experience. Some of their locations will only go 5 miles. And many of their locations are closed on sundays and have limited hours on saturdays.
Since Enterprise has made a change to the management their business model is changing. One of the things happening is they are moving towards all locations being open on weekends, to include Sundays. Right now some larger offices are open because they have the staff required to operate seven day operations. In my area alone 2 local offices, one 6 miles away and the other 12 miles away, have both went to a 10 AM - 3 PM Sunday schedule within the last 6 months.

For my North Carolina rental in October they came 32 miles to pick me up and drop me off. Charleston was 9 miles each way and North Carolina in March was 26 miles each way. In March the local office ran out of cars and had to move my reservation to the office 26 miles out.

You are correct, however, that a call prior to departure to confirm the reservation as well as the address for the pick up is a good idea. In October the Enterprise driver showed up at the campground 2 hours early and we were still an hour away from the campground.

I have not given up on towing, I'm just being a little more selective on when I tow.
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Old 01-01-2016, 03:44 AM   #14
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Tow or no?

We are considering an extended RV vacation of 6-12 months. To tow, or not to tow, that is the question.

There are plenty of pluses to NOT towing, but are they outweighed by the pluses?

Cost of gas, is the least of the cost, and the least concern as well. Safety, is the paramount reason NOT to tow.

With the availability of ZIP cars, UBER, LYFT, and traditional rental cars, we think towing is going to become to be seen as unnecessary.
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Old 01-01-2016, 03:57 AM   #15
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In many cases the mpg of the RV + Car isn't much different than the RV alone. Since the RVs already get pretty dismal mileage as it is adding a car (especially a small one) only drops it a few ticks if any. You can always drive a little slower as well to gain those few decimals of mpg back.

In addition there is the plus of having your car with you; not some stinky rental; not some Uber or Lyft driver you know nothing about...

Also you have to consider the destination as well: Is it a good location for driving your own vehicle? (Like going to DC you really don't need a car with all the public transit available.)
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Old 01-01-2016, 12:32 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by winder1 View Post
We are considering an extended RV vacation of 6-12 months. To tow, or not to tow, that is the question.

There are plenty of pluses to NOT towing, but are they outweighed by the pluses?

Cost of gas, is the least of the cost, and the least concern as well. Safety, is the paramount reason NOT to tow.

With the availability of ZIP cars, UBER, LYFT, and traditional rental cars, we think towing is going to become to be seen as unnecessary.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamieGeek View Post
In many cases the mpg of the RV + Car isn't much different than the RV alone. Since the RVs already get pretty dismal mileage as it is adding a car (especially a small one) only drops it a few ticks if any. You can always drive a little slower as well to gain those few decimals of mpg back.

In addition there is the plus of having your car with you; not some stinky rental; not some Uber or Lyft driver you know nothing about...

Also you have to consider the destination as well: Is it a good location for driving your own vehicle? (Like going to DC you really don't need a car with all the public transit available.)
I was thinking along the same lines. It majorly depends on where your travels take you AND on how much you like to stay around the RV site vs going and touring. Also if you stay at places where you can walk or bike lots of places... or if you stay only short stints at RV parks and campgrounds so that you do your grocery shopping and touring while en route in the RV.

I would say that more than the fairly insignificant decrease in fuel economy while towing, I'd guess that other costs would come more into play. Insurance on the TOAD, wear and tear with tires etc. would tip the scales more
and if you only rarely needed transportation those saving would likely outweigh the inconvenience and costs of rentals, taxis, etc...

But it's hugely a personal style thing...
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