Do we rent one?

If your question is not about figuring out what is most cost effective in the long run, but is about peace of mind, I like the idea of renting a truck.

For one thing, you can choose a truck size to fit the job. Also, if there’s any type of mechanical problem, a good rental company will get you a replacement.

And it’s fun to drive a different vehicle and know that you don’t have to worry about its maintenance. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t treat a rental carefully. I mean that all that stuff is taken care of by the rental company.

Maybe you don’t normally take long drives in your truck and prefer to use it for local driving, hauling or whatever.

Maybe it would do absolutely no harm to your own truck but maybe you don’t want to use it for this particular purpose.

Do what feels right.

If you can fit all of the people and cargo in the vehicle you own, I would use what you have. A long highway trip is not going to do any harm to it, and may in fact do it some good if it normally just sits around or gets taken to the grocery store and back. Mileage should not be as much of a worry factor in people’s minds as it seems to be, as long as the vehicle is mechanically sound and reasonably maintained. My sister and her fiance catch a lot of flak from his parents for using their personal cars rather than rentals for going up north to see friends every month or two. Their reasoning is ‘high mileage’ on the cars. They have a 2002 Grand Am and a 2002 Grand Prix with 112,000 and 104,000 miles, respectively. The trip is 75 miles each way. I don’t see the logic in it. I wouldn’t hesitate to take my rusted out 1990 Buick Skylark on a cross country trip, but I am very familiar with it and know it wouldn’t give me any trouble. It might not hurt to have a pre-trip inspection done on the truck before the trip by a qualified mechanic. This normally runs less than $100, plus any repairs, if any, that need to be done.

I always rent when taking road trips over 400miles round trip…why? PEACE OF MIND! I’ve done it personally alot and never once had a problem…I am paying for the PEACE OF MIND! Plus it has allowed me to test drive makes and models which I eventually buy…from Enterprise!

For the same reason, PEACE OF MIND, I will take my own vehicle on longer trips. I know mine has had the oil changed on time and other maintenance done as needed. Rental companies put all sorts of limits and caveats in their contracts. Sure, unlimited miles but don’t go out of this limited set of states. Extra charge if more than one person is going to drive, etc.

I trust my car over a rental any day.

rwsmith, what class of vehicle do you rent for your trips, compact cars, sedans, passenger vans, pick-up trucks? Perhaps there is a price difference between what you rent, and what the OP is considering renting?

When you rent a car for a vacation, you can find pretty good deals for unlimited mileage and a low daily rate. When you rent a large SUV or passenger van, the cost can double or triple. You are either choosing to ignore important details of this discussion or comparing apples to oranges. I don’t know which.

Ranck makes a good point. A long trip at highway speeds is the easiest wear your car will experience. It puts far less wear on your vehicle than driving it around town in stop-and-go traffic. I suppose if you neglect your car, renting one for a vacation would give you some of the peace of mind others get by taking good care of their cars.

Honestly, it comes down to personal choice.

For me, I would need to determine several things:

Is my vehicle up for the task?
How comfortable is my vehicle to carry 4 passengers?
Can my vehicle carry all the cargo, and people at teh same time.

Being in a vehicle for 15 hours straight taxes the mind as much as the body.
The vehicle used needs to be comfortable for everyone, otherwise it will be very unpleasant.

Now, unless you have a Super Duty Crew Cab type of truck, which is capable of holding 4 people in a reasonable amount of comfort, you might want to consider doing this trip in another type of vehicle. You wouldn’t want to do this trip if your vehicle is a 4 cylinder Toyota Tacoma with a King Cab.

Next up, how much stuff do you need to carry, and can your truck handle it all?
Chances are, renting a trailer, and towing it with your truck will be the best best.
It’s a lot easier to stuff everything you need into an enclosed trailer, than it is to try and carefully strap it down into the open bed on your pickup truck.

The U-Haul trucks, 14’ and above, say they are capable of carrying 3 adults, but how comfortable is that actually going to be? You might want to check that out ahead of time.

As for wear and tear on your truck, if its a truck with a timing belt that needs to replaced every xx,xxx number of miles, I can sort of understand your reservations. You probably wouldn’t want to use that truck on this type of a trip, anyway.

Good luck.


Hi Linda, Are your children little or bg. My BIG college age children came back home on Amtrak!!! They brought suitcases and bikes and all manner of things. They LOVED the trip! Remember not to be a slave to them when they get home. Bye!