El Monte RV rental burning man - Getting deposits back?

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El Monte RV rental burning man - Getting deposits back?

Postby red arrow » Thu Jun 17, 2010 7:20 am

Hey all

i am renting from el monte this year - last time we used sahara rv in vegas

just wondering if anyone has used el monte before and what their experiences were with regards to the deposit

there are four of us travelling and they want to hold $1000 on my credit card when we get the keys

i can accept losing 250 dollars per person i guess (even tho we intend to clean the rv after) but would rather not lose all this hard earned cash

is there a chance el monte could try and rob EVEN MORE than 1000 usd off my credit card if they felt like it?

i dont really trust them or feel too comfortable about the whole thing.. plus im not exactly rich and will have spent the last 12 months working my bollocks off trying to save my worthless euros to make this trip happen ;/

would be a stinger to come home to a credit card bill with more shit on it
"...but no explanation, no mix of words or music or memories can touch that sense of knowing that you were there and alive in that corner of time and the world. Whatever it meant..." - Hunter S Thompson
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Postby Fire_Moose » Thu Jun 17, 2010 9:06 am

No advise for ya other then go with yer gut.

Personally i have not heard of El monte or know anyone that has used them.

Best of luck getting out there and not coming home to any sad suprises
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Postby AntiM » Thu Jun 17, 2010 9:26 am

we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave. . . .
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Postby dragonpilot » Thu Jun 17, 2010 9:39 am

We used them last year from Seattle. We detailed that sucker before turning it back in...cleaner than we got it. Opened all the windows and doors and blew it out with a Shop Vac in reverse. Each person was assigned a section to clean, including the engine and roof...in less than 3 hours she was spotless. Got our deposit back.

Before you hit the playa, lay down plastic on the floor and toss sheets over the seats. Thoroughly cover the dash. Make sure windows/doors are closed before you go out on the playa. We put down carpet remnants over the plastic to reduce slipping.
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Postby Token » Thu Jun 17, 2010 11:11 am

I've used them in the past. They are fair.

If you bring the RV back as clean as you got it or cleaner, you get your deposit back.

El Monte is one of the very few places where you can tell them you are going to Burning Man and not get gauged on the price. Try to keep it that way by being responsible.

Good Luck.
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Postby peachandpapa » Thu Jun 17, 2010 12:11 pm

Dragonpilot nailed it. Our friends used El Monte last year and they were extremely fair and also had great customer service. When their A/C went down on their way to BM, they stopped at a listed service center and got it fixed for free. After BM, they detailed it and got all of their deposit back plus a rebate for this year for the A/C problem.

Years ago we used CruiseAmerica and just the opposite happened. Horrible customer service. We were stuck on Calif. Hwy 5 out in the middle of knowhere for over 12 hrs. Missed BM that year; lawsuits were threatened before we got back any money.

We are strickly wall tent campers now...and love it!!!
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Postby mdmf007 » Thu Jun 17, 2010 7:43 pm

you can always get a prepaid card for 1010.00 dollars - then there is no way they can go over.

I was able to get "gift visa cards" for my nieces off of my credit card as well. You can call your card issuer and ask - I am sure they have them.
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Postby red arrow » Fri Jun 18, 2010 6:41 am

thanks for the info folks
will just have to keep windows closed at all times and try and cover all the dash board etc with sheets
hopefully we can keep it clean

the last time the thing was wrecked returning it, when i washed the black plastic under the pedals and around the dash board it looked nice and clean when wet but once it dried you could see sand everywhere straight away which sucked
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Postby Dustdevil » Fri Jun 18, 2010 7:31 am

A really good start in cleaning it would be a stop in Fernley just after you leave the Playa. The Blue Beacon truck wash will clean the outside and undercarriage for under $75. It is a bargain. I would budget another 24 man hours to clean the interior and storage bays. At least that is what it took myself and my family to clean one. And we got 100% of our deposit back. We did tape up the weep holes at each window with gaffers tape. (No sticky residue when removed)
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Postby brickmaster » Fri Jun 18, 2010 8:24 am

Out of curiosity red arrow why do ye fly into vegas before hand. Is it just for gambling?

Once I did drive from vegas to reno and it was boring as shit. We also had a slow puncture and none of the gas stations along the route had a working airpump until we reached mono lake.

Surely flights are much more expensive than flying into/out of SF.

And yeah it sucks donley balls that the euro has fallen so much, thankfully we booked flights & tickets back in Jan @1.36 ish
DUB - SFO for €461 and tickets cost us €154 which was good
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Postby Token » Fri Jun 18, 2010 8:43 am

You can book an RV in Vegas or Los Angeles for ~$2000 for 10 days.

The same company, El Monte, is ~ $5000 for the same RV and terms in SF.

It is ~ $6000 in Reno.

Petrol cost LA or LV to Playa and back is ~$700.

It's all about €.
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Postby brickmaster » Fri Jun 18, 2010 9:00 am

Ahh didn't think of that.

We camp every year so its not an issue for us.

And in the past I've been respectable enough looking when I pick up the car so I've never been asked if we're going to BM.
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Postby MistressSybs » Fri Jun 18, 2010 2:51 pm

dagnabbit... I hope we're gonna be ok... we're with cruise america from vegas... =/
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Postby red arrow » Sun Jun 20, 2010 7:47 am

brickmaster wrote:Out of curiosity red arrow why do ye fly into vegas before hand. Is it just for gambling?

Once I did drive from vegas to reno and it was boring as shit. We also had a slow puncture and none of the gas stations along the route had a working airpump until we reached mono lake.

Surely flights are much more expensive than flying into/out of SF.

And yeah it sucks donley balls that the euro has fallen so much, thankfully we booked flights & tickets back in Jan @1.36 ish
DUB - SFO for €461 and tickets cost us €154 which was good


did the vegas-burning man-sfo route in 2008 and enjoyed it

its far cheaper for us to rent an RV in vegas too, plus my mates who are coming would like to have a day or two there to 'see the sights'

i think its pretty cool to experience the contrast between a few days in vegas and then straight to burning man... a sort of intentional culture shock, or something


hope we dont have any problems with the RV cos i know how long that drive is.... we will have max 3 or 4 hours to clean rv after... four of us tho so thats like 16 man hours i guess... hmmm... dont expect full deposit back but would like some of it back
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Postby MistressSybs » Sun Jun 20, 2010 9:12 am

red arrow wrote:
brickmaster wrote:Out of curiosity red arrow why do ye fly into vegas before hand. Is it just for gambling?

Once I did drive from vegas to reno and it was boring as shit. We also had a slow puncture and none of the gas stations along the route had a working airpump until we reached mono lake.

Surely flights are much more expensive than flying into/out of SF.

And yeah it sucks donley balls that the euro has fallen so much, thankfully we booked flights & tickets back in Jan @1.36 ish
DUB - SFO for €461 and tickets cost us €154 which was good


did the vegas-burning man-sfo route in 2008 and enjoyed it

its far cheaper for us to rent an RV in vegas too, plus my mates who are coming would like to have a day or two there to 'see the sights'

i think its pretty cool to experience the contrast between a few days in vegas and then straight to burning man... a sort of intentional culture shock, or something


hope we dont have any problems with the RV cos i know how long that drive is.... we will have max 3 or 4 hours to clean rv after... four of us tho so thats like 16 man hours i guess... hmmm... dont expect full deposit back but would like some of it back


that our plan too... short of the generator rental we should be good...
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Postby Token » Sun Jun 20, 2010 10:21 am

You might be better off being upfront with El Monte. Tell them you will run the RV through a truck wash but that you have limited resources as foreigners for cleaning the inside.

Ask them if they are willing to do a flat fee cleaning service for the interrior.

Still spend the 4 hours cleaning and then see if they can accomodate you. Use that Irish charm and smile allot.
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Postby DUBLINBURNERKAREN » Wed Jul 21, 2010 7:56 am

Hey Red Arrow, we have rented from El Monte too, now I am so worried.

Thing is we are picking up camper on 29th as one of the lads coming with us needs to fly back out home from SF on the 7th, so this means we have to drop camper back in SF on the 5th as the 6th is Labour Day :(

This then means we have to leave the night of the Burn, can people tell me what time they Burn the Man?, drive back to SF - 9 bloody hours and try get it cleaned b4 we drop off b4 11am on the 5th?

This is the situation me and my crew are now faced with, has anyone anytips on what we could do here? To be honest we cannot afford to loose $1000 security deposit at all and need to get this camper back cleaned and looking perfect. any tips would be much appreciated.

Cheers
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Postby red arrow » Wed Jul 21, 2010 8:18 am

DUBLINBURNERKAREN wrote:Hey Red Arrow, we have rented from El Monte too, now I am so worried.

Thing is we are picking up camper on 29th as one of the lads coming with us needs to fly back out home from SF on the 7th, so this means we have to drop camper back in SF on the 5th as the 6th is Labour Day :(

This then means we have to leave the night of the Burn, can people tell me what time they Burn the Man?, drive back to SF - 9 bloody hours and try get it cleaned b4 we drop off b4 11am on the 5th?

This is the situation me and my crew are now faced with, has anyone anytips on what we could do here? To be honest we cannot afford to loose $1000 security deposit at all and need to get this camper back cleaned and looking perfect. any tips would be much appreciated.

Cheers
Karen :)


man should burn at around 8 or 9pm on saturday and could take a few hours

so in a nutshell you want to leave the burning man after the man burns (the night of the best party) then drive to san fran to have it back at El monte before 11am the following morning

this is going to be really tough but not totally impossible

If you leave at midnight, you could drive to sacremento, theres a RV cleaning place there (totally DIY) - you can wash the outside with a hose and they have dumpsters for rubbish too (but not sure if youre really meant to use them...)

we stopped there, and some of us started cleanin inside and some cleaning outside of RV, took round 2 hours in daylight but at night time it would be much harder. to be honest, the thing wasnt totally clean but we did the best we could with the stuff we had (the sand is IMPOSSIBLE to get rid of entirely)

if you drove there directly, waited till sunrise (presuming this place is still open - google RV cleaning places along the route youre taking, the one we stopped at had machines where u put change in and can use the hoover, hose etc, not sure if it was 24 hours tho), washed and cleaned rv, you could then continue to on SF to return RV (90miles) but you will be pushing it really really finely

you need to bite the bullet and be prepared to lose the deposit im afraid, regardless of how much time you have - if you have 5 people in the RV thats 200 bucks each - €156, so its not the END of the world, although it does suck.. if you do your best to clean it you might get some of it back..

as people said earlier, put sheets over the dash board, keep windows closed while on playa.. etc, im even thinkin of tryin 2 get plastic for the couch/beds, cos the amount of sand that ends up inside them is shocking

hmmmm wish i could give you better news or advice but deadlines after burning man do suck (tell me bout it, we left directly after the man burned in 2008 too)
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Postby Bling » Wed Jul 21, 2010 8:18 am

The man burns at midnight on Saturday. What time is your lad's flight on the 7th? Any chance you could leave Sunday morning, get cleaned up and get the trailer cleaned on Monday and return it first thing in the morning on Tuesday?
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Postby red arrow » Wed Jul 21, 2010 8:23 am

didnt know it was midnight when they burned the man! that makes things even tougher...

blings advice is good tho, you can mail el monte and ask them if u can extend the time u have the RV for

thats what i did a few weeks ago and it was no probelm, cost a couple of hundred extra but gives us much more time to relax

can park the RV in walmart carparks too if u wana stay in hotel on the last days of ur rental (u will be sick on the rv by end of the wk) and lots of places in cali have signs up saying no rvs can park here (i think all walmarts are ok to park in tho)
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Postby Token » Wed Jul 21, 2010 8:24 am

Get a big piece of cardboard. Write something like this on it:

Need ride to SF / SFO to catch international flight. Have gas money and will buy breakfast 4 everyone.

Once the burn settles down, usually midnight-ish, have your lad find a yellow (green) bike, grab his backpack and peddle out to the Gate. Hold up sign and catch ride.

The rest of you can party on and take your time.

I wager he will catch a ride in an hour or two.
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Postby Bling » Wed Jul 21, 2010 8:25 am

Good idea, Token. I was also thinking about splitting up the group. TONS of people have to be heading back to SF.
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Postby brickmaster » Wed Jul 21, 2010 8:50 am

I just did a quick search and you can get flights from reno to SFO on the evening of the 6th for $191/€148 (Kayak.com - search for a return flight, its cheaper). That would allow all of you to stay until monday, then return the RV on Tuesday.

We're doing something similar as the GF can't leave Ireland till the 28th so we're meeting her in Reno

There is no point is going all that way (unless you're on a J1 already) to leave early.

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Postby DUBLINBURNERKAREN » Wed Jul 21, 2010 9:02 am

This really is a problem, there is only 3 of us in the camper van, my mate booked it on his card, if he leaves early then it is just us 2 girls driving back to SF that will be tough plus al the cleaning we gotta do too.

if anything is wrong when we drop the camper off, if we were to extend our time, then he will be gone to catch his flight.

He has just emailed me there and said "We stay for the Burning of the Man.........stay there on Sunday night...............then Monday morning, we drive to San Fran. Spend the whole day cleaning it. Then drop back the camper on Tuesday morning. I could try rearrange my flight to wednesday (if available).
Now by choosing this option, it will cost extra for the camper for the extra 2 days. (and probably cost me to change my flight)"

This prob wud be the better thing to do but its costing more but at the end of the day we have more chance of getting deposit back and no rushing :)

Cheers everyone on all the tips and advice u are all so helpful :)
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Postby Bling » Wed Jul 21, 2010 9:09 am

From the other threads on caring for campers that go to Burning Man, you can take some steps to protect it up front that will MARKEDLY cut down on your cleaning time. (Cover the dash and seats with sheets, put plastic on the floor, etc., Keep the door CLOSED.). Have it detailed inside & out--should be closer to 3-4 hours of heavy duty cleaning, not a full day.

I still think if his flight out of SF is in the late afternoon or evening on Tuesday, he should be able to catch it with no problem.
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Postby Fire_Moose » Wed Jul 21, 2010 9:28 am

Damn Dublin, yer hot, you can camp with me.
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Postby Dustdevil » Wed Jul 21, 2010 9:29 am

The best way to start your clean up of the RV is to make a stop in Fernley on your trip back to SF. It will be about 3 miles out of your way. There is a Blue Beacon truck wash there. They charge about $60 to do an exterior and undercarriage wash of your coach. They do a great job. This will leave you with the exterior compartments and the interior to clean. It will save you hours.
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Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Jul 21, 2010 3:15 pm

Man does not burn at midnight. Crowd gathers starting at sundown. Burn is 10ish, I think, after the poi. And depending always on the wind.
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Postby Bling » Wed Jul 21, 2010 3:16 pm

Oh, good! We need to get an early start out on Sunday morning to get our daughter to SLC for a flight back to school. She's missing the first week as it is, and this gives her Labor Day for a little bit of recovery time. So, we were wondering how we'd get any sleep. Thanks for the info!
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Postby DUBLINBURNERKAREN » Wed Jul 21, 2010 4:22 pm

[quote="Fire_Moose"]Damn Dublin, yer hot, you can camp with me.[/quote]

Hey there, thanx very much, i am sure we can meet on the playa, really lookin forward to it now. its my 1st time cant wait :)
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