Rental Cars___CLeaning?

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Rental Cars___CLeaning?

Postby Dooka » Wed Apr 03, 2013 5:10 pm

Hello! Well looks like this year I'm going to have to make this trip quick unfortunately. So I have to fly in and fly out.
I'm looking to rent a rental car.
Any suggestions, out of Reno Airport?
Also what about cleaning? I don't know if I will have time to clean due to schedule, and some people tell me if there is a drop of dust you get a charge. I called Dollar Rental and they said $240 cleaning charge.
Any one have any inout on past experience with this?
The money, i know it will cost, I just want to know what to anticipate.
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Re: Rental Cars___CLeaning?

Postby Savannah » Wed Apr 03, 2013 5:19 pm

There are lots of tricks on this board already.

Enter cleaning a rental car eplaya into google. Adding "eplaya" to any Google search will usually get great results.

Select More results from eplaya.burningman.com ». Threads with more posts are usually more helpful, but not always.

. . . Feel free to introduce yourself in the "Introduce Yourself" forum.
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Re: Rental Cars___CLeaning?

Postby Sham » Wed Apr 03, 2013 5:31 pm

My best advice to you is to use a rental company that you always use. They all have frequent rental programs. #1 Club, Emerald Club etc. My feeling is that would rather not screw a person who rents cars from them on a regular basis. With that said, you should still clean the car before you return it. Run it though a car wash at very least. If you keep the doors shut during dusty times on the playa, the interior will stay somewhat dust free. Try your best not to look like a burner when you return the car, and drop your luggage off at the terminal before the car is dropped off. These are all signs that the rental companies look for when they are returned.

I pack a microfiber cloth with me and do a once over on the entire car before dropping it off. So far I have avoided fees. I also take lots of pictures before the car is returned just in case there are disputes or questions. In addition, if you have a problem when the car is dropped off, take pictures right there and include the license plate. A small amount of dust will not show up in the photos and you will plenty of ammunition for a dispute of charges. Most important, don't make a scene at the airport--you don't want them to remember you or the return.

Oh, and WELCOME TO EPLAYA!
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Re: Rental Cars___CLeaning?

Postby Celery (Jamey) » Wed Apr 03, 2013 5:58 pm

I spent 4 hours washing and cleaning my rental in my sisters driveway (the driveway still had playa on it when I was back in February), including washing the motor, and then I ran it through 2 car washes before dropping it off...there was still playa coming off in the drip lines.
One thing I saw here that I would recommend you do first, before you clean the inside...open all the windows and put the vent fan on high!
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Re: Rental Cars___CLeaning?

Postby trilobyte » Wed Apr 03, 2013 6:17 pm

Please do everything you can to treat your rental with care, clean it well yourself and don't take a high cleaning fee as some kind of justification for getting it as dirty as you can (to get your money's worth or something like that). The companies set the fees high as a deterrant in hopes that you'll do your best to avoid them, and if they keep getting hit with cars that get trashed on the playa, they'll eventually decide not to rent vehicles to people participating in the event.

Give yourself additional time coming off the playa to get the job done right. You and your other passengers need to get someplace and get showered and changed into clean street clothes before taking the vehicle to get cleaned thoroughly (or cleaning it yourself), but if you plan it right you can pull it off fairly easily. Book the cheapest hotel you can find for your exodus date, and then shower/change there. There are plenty of other tips on the boards, feel free to take a look and find ways to keep the mess to a minimum. Good luck!
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Re: Rental Cars___CLeaning?

Postby VultureChow » Wed Apr 03, 2013 6:24 pm

Upholstery and engine. I rented last year and my last meal before I left reno for the playa was at a sushi bar. The gent dining next to me turned out to the manager at one of the rental places. He told me to make sure the upholstery and engine were clean.

Sure enough, when I turned it in, aside from quizzing me on what I did (when he asked how the festival was, I told him the ribs were delicious. There was a rib cookoff in town) he hit the seats to see if dust came up, and popped the hood. He looked really surprised.

I also left my dust covered bags back at the hotel and then took the shuttle back. All I had was a small carry-on, and I was dressed in business casual clothes.
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Re: Rental Cars___CLeaning?

Postby NikkiG » Wed Apr 03, 2013 6:39 pm

We are in the same boat. I'm flying in and out early too. Keep me posted with your discoveries, and if you want to share resources let me know.
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Re: Rental Cars___CLeaning?

Postby VultureChow » Wed Apr 03, 2013 6:51 pm

Also, if you have one, make the reservation with an Amex card. Much more cardholder friendly if there is a dispute.
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Re: Rental Cars___CLeaning?

Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Apr 03, 2013 7:36 pm

trilobyte wrote:Book the cheapest hotel you can find for your exodus date, and then shower/change there.

There are also truck stops that have showers, if you prefer. I'm not sure that it's significantly cheaper than a hotel room...
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Re: Rental Cars___CLeaning?

Postby Savannah » Wed Apr 03, 2013 7:57 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:
trilobyte wrote:Book the cheapest hotel you can find for your exodus date, and then shower/change there.

There are also truck stops that have showers, if you prefer. I'm not sure that it's significantly cheaper than a hotel room...


Brief research suggests a truck stop shower averages $10 or $12. I believe it; 'cause we've seen certain Reno hotels go for $27 at a steep discount, and I have stayed at a non-discounted fleabag motel in central Oregon for $40, so to remain competitive, a truck stop shower would need to be a reasonable price, otherwise folks would just go to motels . . .
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Re: Rental Cars___CLeaning?

Postby danibel » Wed Apr 03, 2013 8:16 pm

Sorry you have to rent a car. I have done that twice and the cleaning is a bitch. Definitely keep the car closed during the burn. Clean towels or something to put your feet on when you are driving out may help. I paid extra to have the car wash company run the car through twice. Buy some armour leather cleaning wipes. I don't know why, but they really get rid of the last dregs of dust on the dash and other plastics.
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Re: Rental Cars___CLeaning?

Postby TT120 » Wed Apr 03, 2013 8:17 pm

I ran my truck through the car wash 5 times in a row and still had Playa coming out from the little cracks and crevices where the water dripped from. I still smell Playa whenever I turn on my AC. You're going to have to find the time to wash the hell out of that car.
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Re: Rental Cars___CLeaning?

Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Apr 03, 2013 8:44 pm

And if you use the ac, have it on recirculated air. I'd say don't use it at all, but if you're caught in an 8-hour entry or exit line, that might not be possible.
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Re: Rental Cars___CLeaning?

Postby maladroit » Thu Apr 04, 2013 12:22 am

Virgins in the car? Try to keep the playa out? Fuggedabowdit. Greeters will make sure the car is nice and dusty on the inside.
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Re: Rental Cars___CLeaning?

Postby dragonpilot » Thu Apr 04, 2013 10:58 pm

maladroit wrote:Virgins in the car? Try to keep the playa out? Fuggedabowdit. Greeters will make sure the car is nice and dusty on the inside.


True this. Last year I told my virgins they were going to get a good dusting so when we got up to Greeters they leaped out of the RV naked to go thru the greeting ritual and dust angels. A couple of handfuls of baby wipes later, they were all clean before getting aboard for the trip into camp...viola`!
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Re: Rental Cars___CLeaning?

Postby BBadger » Thu Apr 04, 2013 11:32 pm

The first year we rented a minivan, and were not that diligent about keeping ourselves out of there with dust, etc. We'd even have the trunk door open for shade. When we got back, we took 2-3 vacuum cleaners and sucked every last bit of dust we could find from every nook and cranny in the car while also whacking the upholstery to stir up any dust that may have been around. No problems with them taking it back.
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Re: Rental Cars___CLeaning?

Postby maladroit » Thu Apr 04, 2013 11:53 pm

dragonpilot wrote:
maladroit wrote:Virgins in the car? Try to keep the playa out? Fuggedabowdit. Greeters will make sure the car is nice and dusty on the inside.


True this. Last year I told my virgins they were going to get a good dusting so when we got up to Greeters they leaped out of the RV naked to go thru the greeting ritual and dust angels. A couple of handfuls of baby wipes later, they were all clean before getting aboard for the trip into camp...viola`!


That...is genius. Literally at the very moment they step onto the playa, they've been stripped of all dignity and coated in dust. Then, butt-naked, they are made to sponge themselves off using baby products, while enduring the mocking of Greeters about not wanting to get dust in the RV (despite the fact that it's YOU who doesn't want the dust, and the mocking just rolls off your grinning countenance, encouraging them to get those baby wipes up in the cracks too).
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Re: Rental Cars___CLeaning?

Postby kiss-o-matic » Thu May 16, 2013 5:18 pm

Not sure if you'll have time, but the van I rented lasted year was TRASHED. I took it to a car detail place. They told me I had to get the deluxe (which was $100, and seemed quite fair, honestly) and then I wound up tipping the guy a $20. They knew I had been to the Playa when I showed up, and the guy that did my car shared with me the 3 year stint in Nevada prison he did for possession. :|
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Re: Rental Cars___CLeaning?

Postby pink » Mon Jun 10, 2013 7:16 am

The rib cookoff is an annual event on Labor Day weekend in Reno. If you've got the car & yourself cleaned up good, it's a perfect response to any probing questions about where you've been!
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Re: Rental Cars___CLeaning?

Postby Drawingablank » Mon Jun 10, 2013 7:50 am

Since the dust will find its way inside no matter what you do - I find the single best thing you can do to prevent hassles on the interior is to cover all the upholstery with bed sheets.

On our vigin year we had a different approach - hit the greeters station fully clothed then just stripped down before reboarding.
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Re: Rental Cars___CLeaning?

Postby marcgorcey » Mon Jun 10, 2013 10:45 am

We cleaned our rental, paid the Turtle Wash folks $100 deluxe, took pictures of the (pristine) car prior to returning and STILL got dinged with a ~$250 fee.

I tried to dispute with my credit card - and somebody from Visa Gold told me to take all my pictures, document everything etc. etc. and FAX it to them, which I did. My follow up call to VG resulted in the question " Why did you do that ? If the rental company disputes it then there's nothing we can do anyway."

I'm going to talk to the car rental manager this year to stop this nonsense from happening.
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Re: Rental Cars___CLeaning?

Postby kiss-o-matic » Tue Jun 18, 2013 5:16 am

marcgorcey wrote:We cleaned our rental, paid the Turtle Wash folks $100 deluxe, took pictures of the (pristine) car prior to returning and STILL got dinged with a ~$250 fee.

I tried to dispute with my credit card - and somebody from Visa Gold told me to take all my pictures, document everything etc. etc. and FAX it to them, which I did. My follow up call to VG resulted in the question " Why did you do that ? If the rental company disputes it then there's nothing we can do anyway."

I'm going to talk to the car rental manager this year to stop this nonsense from happening.


Where'd did you rent from? I got one from a major place (Budget?). It was trashed. Even had standing water in the place where the seats lower down to flatten out the bed. The guy spent about an hour on it. I tipped him a $20. Never heard anything. Then again, I never really checked my credit card statement. :/
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Re: Rental Cars___CLeaning?

Postby PL_FL » Wed Aug 07, 2013 6:34 pm

Anyone else hearing these nasty stories about rental companies making people sign "no 'off-road' driving" forms, or $2500 fees?
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Re: Rental Cars___CLeaning?

Postby theCryptofishist » Sat Aug 10, 2013 12:36 am

I don't know the details, but those sorts of stories have been going around for years.
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