Uhaul vs. The Playa

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Uhaul vs. The Playa

Postby FrostyMan » Fri May 29, 2009 5:24 pm

Has anyone ever rented a Uhaul, or something similar, and brought it to BM? I was thinking I might pack all my camping gear in a suit case and fly to Reno. Then rent a truck there. I could buy supplies in Reno and once I get to the playa I'd have a shade structure all ready to pitch a tent in.... :roll: Plus it would provide a place to hide from the dust storms. Do you think they would go ape shit if I brought it back covered in dust? I wonder how much it will cost for an entire week? Anyway, if anyone has done it let me know how it went. Thanks
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Postby AntiM » Fri May 29, 2009 5:37 pm

We took uhauls the first couple years. They're ovens! I'd hop in and grab stuff out of the bins and hustle back out. Our open flat utility trailer is a much better choice. Dust storms? Meh, get dusty.

From Utah it was $250 or so for the week, but I don't really recall.
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Postby Sham » Fri May 29, 2009 5:43 pm

I have packed all my camping gear in two large suitcases--tent, sleeping bag, clothes etc. I make lists of things I will need to buy in Reno before I get there and simply check off the list as I go. I have rented large Explorer type vehicles in the past and the size was fine, but this year I am renting a mini-van for the trip. I guess I could even sleep in that if I had to, but my little Charlie Brown tent works great!
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Postby gaminwench » Fri May 29, 2009 6:01 pm

from what I've gathered from posts on this board, U-haul is not playa friendly...if you go that route, don't tell them where you're going, and plan to clean the truck before you return it...good luck!
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Postby AntiM » Fri May 29, 2009 6:16 pm

We told our local guy we were going to NV to go antiquing. He had no clue what Burning Man is, and we hosed out the trailer, no problem.
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Postby Thecatman » Sat May 30, 2009 5:32 pm

In 2007 I attemped to rent a Uhaul trailer from the dealer in Carson City and they asked what I wanted it for. I told them the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth and they would'nt rent me one. I went to a dealer in Reno and was asked the same thing and I told them I was going camping. They couriosly asked where and I said the Black Rock Desert, which was the truth and I got one from them. :D I did'nt mention Burning Man. 8) I washed it and rinsed it out and they were OK with it when I returned it.
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Postby **burn** » Sat May 30, 2009 5:47 pm

We had friends rent a trailer - they do get hot as hell.
I remember that there was an online discount they would not honor in person, so check the internet for specials.
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Postby oneeyeddick » Sat May 30, 2009 5:59 pm

But a tarp and use the U-haul as the center pole for the tent you can make out of it, that will stop it from being an oven.

They are great to get out of the dust in , be sure to take it to a car wash and spray out the inside before you return it.

We used an enclosed trailor for 6 years this way.

It was cheaper if you don't return it to the same u-haul store you rent it from.
We have an obligation to make space for everyone, we have no obligation to make that space pleasant.
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Postby mdmf007 » Sat May 30, 2009 7:24 pm

Get their "Walk away damage waiver insurance as well" Worth the extra money.
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Re: Uhaul vs. The Playa

Postby Elderberry » Sat May 30, 2009 7:35 pm

FrostyMan wrote:Has anyone ever rented a Uhaul, or something similar, and brought it to BM? I was thinking I might pack all my camping gear in a suit case and fly to Reno. Then rent a truck there. I could buy supplies in Reno and once I get to the playa I'd have a shade structure all ready to pitch a tent in.... :roll: Plus it would provide a place to hide from the dust storms. Do you think they would go ape shit if I brought it back covered in dust? I wonder how much it will cost for an entire week? Anyway, if anyone has done it let me know how it went. Thanks


We rent a truck from U-Haul in L.A. every year. NEVER tell them you are going to take it to Burning Man. They will NOT rent to you. We sweep it out and return it, They ask if we went to BM, we say no, they charge us $100.00 extra for cleaning. We pay and go.

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Postby Dustdevil » Sat May 30, 2009 8:33 pm

If you were to fly into Oakland or SF instead there is a Budget dealer that is very BM friendly. He offers 20% discount if you say it is going to BM. Also for an extra $99 bring it back as dirty as you like. Just don't hurt it. He is always on the BM resource list when it comes out. If you like I can find a name and phone number. Further to drive than Reno, but no worries about you destination. He told me last year he rented 71 trucks going to BM from the Bay Area.

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Postby Dr. Pyro » Sun May 31, 2009 7:19 am

On a related subject, the AVIS dealership in downtown Sacramento is very burner friendly. His name is Steve Gatkin and is the owner. He too will give you the best deal of any of the majors and time was, if you had a Costco card you got an additional discount. Tell him Doc Pyro sent you. You can email me at james.jacoby@wellsfargoadvisors.com if you want his number and I will help make it work. This is an excellent way to go if you're flying into Sacramento rather than the Bay Area.
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Postby JulzQ1 » Wed Jun 17, 2009 10:48 am

U-Haul has been extremely negligent in regards to customer safety!! If you google around, you'll see they've been sued countless times for faulty equipment.

In 2002, friends of mine were coming back from Burning Man when the tire on their U-Haul trailer burst. Their SUV flipped multiple times on the interstate. Two of them have sustained permanent injuries from the accident.

I posted articles from the L.A. Times about the accident and the subsequent lawsuits, as well as others who have sued. In my friend's case, U-Haul "lost" evidence and dragged out their investigation. They eventually settled.

I would never rent from them knowing what I know about what they did to her. Ugh. Horrible company.

http://articles.latimes.com/2007/jun/26 ... /na-haul26
http://articles.latimes.com/keyword/u-h ... tional-inc
http://www.uhaulsafetyalert.org/UHaul_Victims.htm
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Postby Dustdevil » Wed Jun 17, 2009 10:57 am

What Julz said is not an exageration. I recently testified as an expert witness against Uhaul. They released a truck knowing the brakes were spongy. The brakes failed and the driver sustained permanent back injuries. Yes, we prevailed.
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Postby Token » Wed Jun 17, 2009 11:01 am

Yeah, Uhaul sucks for anything but local use.

I remember a long thread with some great towing and trailering information in it about this when the LA Times article came out, right here on Eplaya.
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Postby oneeyeddick » Wed Jun 17, 2009 11:44 am

I used a uhaul trailor for 6 years straight. I was fine and the cheapest.

Having a tire blow out is not considered faulty equiptment, a tire could blow out on ANY trailor.
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Postby JulzQ1 » Wed Jun 17, 2009 12:00 pm

You have to read the story I posted to understand the severity of what happened. It wasn't just that a tire blew out. An excerpt from it reads:

" She and Aguilar each sued U-Haul, contending that a worn tire on the trailer suddenly deflated, causing the trailer and the Explorer to veer to the left. Koloszar's suit also named Ford Motor Co., asserting that the SUV's instability contributed to the crash.

In a deposition, a U-Haul manager acknowledged that the trailer should never have been rented because there was almost no tread in the middle of one of its tires. Even so, U-Haul denied this caused the wreck, citing a police report that Aguilar allowed the Explorer to drift and then overcorrected the steering.

Soon after the accident, a plaintiff's expert got a brief look at the suspect tire and rim. U-Haul said it stored the components at a company shop in Bakersfield, with a sign saying they should not be disturbed.

But in August 2005, after months of requests by the plaintiffs' lawyers to examine the parts more thoroughly, U-Haul reported that they had vanished.

"As to the tires, wheels and/or rims," a U-Haul lawyer said in a letter, "I am told that they are missing in action."


It's because they were lax about checking their equipment, and would rent to people, who would then get into wrecks b/c of their negligence. Then they would "lose" the evidence of their equipment (not just in my friend's case). That's cool if you want to rent from them, things like this are definitely more uncommon than common, I really just wanted to bring up the story in case people hadn't heard about it.
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Postby oneeyeddick » Wed Jun 17, 2009 2:24 pm

U-haul doesn't rent trailors to anyone with a Ford Explorer anymore, because of thier poor towing ability.
This example is still merely the result of a flat tire, and if the tread was bad on the tire, then the person who rented it should have made them change it before taking it off of the lot, BEFORE signing the OK on the bottom of the page.
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Postby JulzQ1 » Wed Jun 17, 2009 3:04 pm

Uhhh, so it's the responsibility of the person renting the vehicle to make sure every single thing on their vehicle or trailer is in perfect working condition?? There's a lot of things that can go wrong with a vehicle. A company has to make sure their fleet is in relatively good working condition. Why was a trailer rented in the 1st place with tread so low? That's called lazy, negligent, corporate fuckery. Next time someone from the B.M community gets killed and/or maimed from a shoddy rented vehicle, I'll make sure to tell them it was up to them to make sure they were 100% safe. :roll:
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Postby oneeyeddick » Wed Jun 17, 2009 3:18 pm

Radical self reliance starts at home.
Making sure that tires have tread is important on your own vehicle as well as any rented trailors.
The person that rents a trailor is right there with the ONE person that hooks it up to thier vehicle, checks the lights, PUTS A CHECKMARK IN THE BOX WHERE TIRES ARE LISTED, chain hookup, equiptment shape, any dents, etc.etc.
It is up to the rentor of the trailor to be on top of it as well as the person renting it to that person when the transaction happens.
There is no corporate fuckery here, just a poor job of inspecting the trailor on both the renter and the yard guy that went over it with him/her.
I ALWAYS made sure the equiptment I was renting was in proper shape, and I also made them give me a spare tire(it did cost a rental fee), and I made sure the tread was good on that also.
Please denote that Explorers are infamous for being a pisspoor choice of a vehicle for pulling trailors.
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Postby Elderberry » Wed Jun 17, 2009 3:28 pm

We've rented trucks and trailers from them (U-Haul) for the past several years. First, they don't rent to burners (only speaking from my experience with Los Angeles dealers), so you need to lie to them from the start; which I am sure would not bode well in a lawsuit should there be any accident with their vehicle as it was returning from the event you weren't supposed to go to to begin with.

Last year they gave us a truck with just shy of 200,000 miles on it, if memory serves--any way it was a real piece of crap. After we got it off the lot and back home, we started checking it over and found that it had a break light that wasn't working. So we took it back and they couldn't get it fixed to our satisfaction and decided to give us another truck.

This truck had about 65 miles on the odometer (brand new) and worked great. However had we had to drive the first truck, I'm sure we would have had problems along the way.

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Postby ibdave » Wed Jun 17, 2009 4:34 pm

JulzQ1 wrote:Uhhh, so it's the responsibility of the person renting the vehicle to make sure every single thing on their vehicle or trailer is in perfect working condition?? There's a lot of things that can go wrong with a vehicle. A company has to make sure their fleet is in relatively good working condition. Why was a trailer rented in the 1st place with tread so low? That's called lazy, negligent, corporate fuckery. Next time someone from the B.M community gets killed and/or maimed from a shoddy rented vehicle, I'll make sure to tell them it was up to them to make sure they were 100% safe. :roll:


Shit happens... It really sucks when it does. That being said, I have to go with oneyedick here. I have rented and towed many times. I also have been to BM 12 years and have seen many scary situations from people towing, overloading and just fucked up driving skills. I'm not making any comments about those in the story, just from my own comments. :shock: :roll: :!:
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Postby Dustdevil » Wed Jun 17, 2009 4:50 pm

I think it is unreasonable to make the generalization that the tires were worn out. Most tires that come apart have tread life remaining. The amount of tread remaining is not an indication, good or bad, of the condition of the cord body. If the tire had been run low on air or run with too much load by the prior renter, there could easily be damage that is not visible.

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Postby oneeyeddick » Wed Jun 17, 2009 4:54 pm

Good point, and with that said, most uhaul trailors that show up at BM are overloaded and beyond thier weight capacity also.
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Postby ibdave » Wed Jun 17, 2009 6:54 pm

oneeyeddick wrote:Good point, and with that said, most uhaul trailors that show up at BM are overloaded and beyond their weight capacity also.


excuse me for pointing out that your saying the same thing in a different way right after I point it the same thing in just 1 word....

thank you, my work is done here...

* wonders off to giggle about getting in early*
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Postby oneeyeddick » Wed Jun 17, 2009 7:05 pm

Why you little diet Pespi addicted worm, don't make me screw the lid back on your wormhole.

I was also going to post about most people not having the weight properly centered over the axles, but you might have said that too, but in a different way of course, so I just backspaced it instead.

At least my sentence structure was proper.

TOP THAT !!!

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Postby ibdave » Wed Jun 17, 2009 7:14 pm

oneeyeddick wrote:Why you little diet Pepsi addicted worm, don't make me screw the lid back on your wormhole.

At least my sentence structure was proper.

TOP THAT !!!


Well you force me to play my hand I guess. I did go back and spell check for you the last to time....

:wink: :wink: :wink:

Thanks to firefox..
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Postby oneeyeddick » Wed Jun 17, 2009 7:26 pm

WELL !!!

You should have left it on........ :wink:
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Postby chiefdanfox » Thu Jun 18, 2009 12:17 am

I rented a gravel-ready uhaul open 4X6 trailer last year. Perfect. It was bent, ugly, I had to make the lights work in the yard, the customer service agents all had epiphanic tattoos. Hayward, CA rocks.
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Postby StarShineScars » Thu Jun 18, 2009 9:03 am

Personally I would advise against renting a U-Haul. What people are saying about faulty equipment is pretty true. I worked for them doing emergency roadside assistance. I realize that since I did this I heard the worst of it, but most of the places don't check the equipment thoroughly before it goes out. There were about 100 people working there each shift 24hrs a day every day dispatching mechanics and we were busy all day long. When you do break down if it is in a remote area (which for some reason always seems to be the case) you call in and get to sit on hold forever. Then because it's remote they may only have one mechanic in the area who will only work 9-5. I've had people who were stuck at their trucks overnight because there was no one to come out there and get them. There were even several people who got towed back to a U-Haul dealer, got a new truck and broke down about 50 miles out. Just from my experience working there I would only rent for in town (which seems to work great), but wouldn't take the truck out to BM.
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