Apart from any IdeaMerge discount,
the prices and policies
presented on the IdeaMerge Website match the prices and policies of our
vendors. You aren't paying extra by going through IdeaMerge
in fact you may be paying less.
IdeaMerge facilitates the whole rental process, presenting
a single total cost you can count on and
acting for you as an accessible resource
and, if necessary, as a mediator.
With a foot naturally in the vendor's camp, we carefully
manage expectations so that the entire rental experience is maximally enjoyable
for all involved.
flex rates / standard rates
El Monte RV offers two types of rates: flex rates and standard rates.
The El Monte RV flex rates are available only to customers who do not reside in the USA;
i.e. only to those persons whose drivers license and passport (or other appropriate documents) show they reside
outside the United States of America (that is, outside the USA, its territories, embassies and military bases).
The El Monte RV standard rates, in contrast, are available to all clients, regardless of residency.
The IdeaMerge online reservation software uses geo-sensitivity technology to present to you upfront the best El Monte RV rates which most likely apply to you.
Moreover, during the optional extras selection step our software requires you to enter a selection which informs us regarding your residency.
That residency statement, as it were, overrides said automatic geo-sensitivity.
If you thus state that you will upon the pick-up occasion present proper documentation to El Monte RV showing that you do not
reside in the United States of America (including its territories, embassies and military bases), the IdeaMerge
software will — based on that statement and on the optional extras you select — present to you a total rental price figured according to the rate type which
is the best deal for you: either flex rates or standard rates.
If, on the other hand, you state that you will present yourself to El Monte RV as a resident of the United States of America (including its territories, embassies and military bases),
the IdeaMerge software will determine your rental price according to standard rates only.
If a client who has booked flex rates does not upon the pick-up occasion present to El Monte RV the appropriate documentation showing
that s/he resides outside the USA, El Monte RV of course reserves the right to then rebook the rental using standard rates
and the associated policies and optional prices and to charge the client for the difference between the
total price based on flex rates and the total price based on standard rates.
pricing and payment options with IdeaMerge
Please click here for an explanation of our excellent pricing and payment options.
reservation and booking
In accord with the automobile rental industry standard,
reservations may be made for a vendor's particular vehicle category
(what we might call a vendor's "group") only, not for a specific vehicle.
Which is to say,
although the various images, model numbers and vehicle specifications presented
throughout the IdeaMerge motorhome rental pages — especially on the
vehicle-specification pages — are carefully selected to accurately
and precisely indicate the vehicle that you will get, the vehicle model
(and layout) you get might not be identical to what is indicated by said
In the very unlikely event that
a vehicle in the reserved category is not available upon the pick-up date, the
rental company reserves the right to substitute a comparable or larger vehicle
with the same equipment and the capacity to accommodate the number persons you have delineated (in terms of, say, adults and children) as being in your party. In this case there will be no additional charge for a larger
vehicle. However, the higher ancillary costs associated with a larger
vehicle such as ferry charges,
tolls, and fueling costs are to be borne by the customer.
Of course IdeaMerge will not charge your credit card unless the vendor you select does have availability in the
particular vehicle category you select.
After you place a complete online reservation request with IdeaMerge (i.e. including your credit card details), IdeaMerge will straightaway query the vendor.
If a vehicle in the selected vehicle category of that selected vendor is indeed have available, we will immediately book the rental with that vendor and charge your card —
binding you per the cancellation policy noted below. Either way, we will then inform you as soon as possible,
often within an hour but most certainly within 24 hours
(or perhaps 48 hours if you enter the reservation request on a Friday or Saturday,
since the booking facilities of some vendors are closed on weekends).
However, if upon receiving a one-way rental order this vendor sees that they would need to send a
driver to the return location to relocate the vehicle back to the pick-up depot or to another depot,
they likely will not agree to book the rental unless the customer agrees to pay a "recovery fee"
in addition to the normal one-way fee.
Similarly, if upon receiving an order this vendor sees that they do not have the requested vehicle type available
at the pick-up location for the requested time period but that they do have it available at another location,
they might offer to specially move such vehicle to the requested pick-up location for the rental.
In such a case, this vendor would not agree to make the booking unless the customer agrees to pay a special
"import fee". Such fee is non-refundable in the event of cancellation. For one-way rentals
the import fee would be in addition to the normal one-way fee but would incorporate any recovery fee.
The USA rental motorhomes presented on this Website are designed to
safely transport the number of occupants which equals the maximum number
of sleeping places stated as characterizing the vehicle.
To transport in such motorhome
more than said maximum number of people is to risk violating traffic
safety laws in this respect and, due in part to the cumulative weight of the
passengers, causing mechanical failure or accidental damage to the
vehicle and injury to the occupants and other persons. The
rental client (i.e. the customer) will be held fully responsible for
such damages and injuries. Of course all driver's seats and front
passenger seats of these vehicles have safety belts, and these devices
should be worn whenever the vehicle is in motion. Although many motorhomes
accommodate passengers in places where safety belts are perhaps not
required by law (e.g. at the dining table), any safety belts present in the
rear area are at least significant of a recommended rear seating position.
Rear occupants of a moving motorhome should oblige
themselves — and any rear occupants dependent on them —
to sit in such places only and to use appropriately the seatbelt gracing such
seat. Riding in a place which is not equipped with a safety belt increases
the danger of injury to one's self and others.
We require the aforementioned downpayment and prepaid balance because the vendor
imposes a schedule of considerable cancellations fees. Necessarily reflecting that schedule of fees,
our cancellation policy is as follows:
The tax is determined according state and city in which the pick-up occurs:
7.00% at Albuquerque,
6.00% at Atlanta,
11.50% at Baltimore,
1.50 % at Birmingham,
6.25% at Boston,
6.00% at Chicago,
10.00% at Dallas,
4.00% at Denver,
7.00 at Jacksonville,
8.10% at Las Vegas,
8.75% at Los Angeles,
7.00% at Miami,
8.00% at Myrtle Beach,
12.25% at Nashville,
7.00% at New York / New Jersey,
9.75% at Oakland,
6.50% at Orlando,
17.55% at Phoenix,
7.73% at Reno,
7.75% at Sacramento,
16.10% at Salt Lake City,
7.75% at San Diego,
8.75% at San Francisco,
7.00% at Savannah,
17.20% at Seattle/Tacoma SEA,
14.60% at Seattle/Vancouver YVR,
7.00% at Tampa,
8.10% at Tucson, and
10.00% at Washington, DC.
Of course the IdeaMerge online reservation software
includes the tax in the total cost it computes.
Certain fees imposed by state governments might apply, depending on the pick-up location.
The IdeaMerge online reservation software incorporates these fees into the total price
presented to you.
rental durations of 41 or more nights
After the 40th night of a rental, the customer becomes responsible for any necessary regular maintenance
such as oil changes and tire replacements. The customer must pay for such maintenance if it is necessary.
No refund will be given for those costs.
pick-up & return constraints
The minimum official rental durations:
Clients are allowed to pick-up the rental vehicle on the day
their flight arrives — but only if the client calls El Monte RV
at tel. 800 367 6507 upon that arrival and arrives
by his/her own means at the rental depot no less
than one hour before the depot's official closing time. El Monte RV does not
provide transfer service in connection with same-day flight arrival.
Similarly, other clients who provide their own transportation to the rental
depot — i.e. who do not take advantage of El Monte RV's
transfer shuttle service — must call El Monte RV at
tel. 800 367 6507 between 8:00 am and 9:30 am on the morning of the pick-up day,
this to learn precisely when the vehicle will be ready that afternoon;
such clients must arrive at the rental depot no less than one hour before
the depot's closing time.
Customer vehicles cannot be stored at the rental depot without
prior authorization from the depot's rental manager; and nominal
charges apply, typically US$ 5 per night.
Towing is allowed with non-one-way rentals of the
C25, CS25, C26, CS26, C28, CS28, AS32, AF35 and AB35 El Monte RV vehicles,
but a 3000 pound maximum weight applies (therefore most cars are
prohibited; small utility, motorcycle and single axle enclosed trailers no
larger than 5 feet by 8 feet are usually less than 3000 pounds).
Only one object may be towed at a time and the combined length of motorhome and object being towed cannot exceed 65 feet.
The towing surcharge is US$ 10 per night
(with a US$ 100 minimum). The vehicles have a
2 inch x 2 inch square receiver mounted to the rear. However, El Monte RV
neither carries nor provides nor installs a towing hitch nor assists
clients in this respect.
There are different plug-styles for electrical hook-up; 2-prong, 3-prong and 4-prong systems exist.
This feature varies year by year, model by model and manufacturer by manufacturer.
As the specific vehicle to be received is not assigned until the day of scheduled pick-up,
the clients will need to find out at the counter what plug-style is in place on their assigned unit.
Only then should one acquire an adaptor.
El Monte RV provides no insurance to cover towed items.
Standard shuttle transfer:
The shuttle service is available at Dallas, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York, Orlando, San Francisco
and Seattle/Vancouver YVR only.
This shuttle service costs US$ 15 per person per direction,
but for rentals commencing after October 2011 it will be free of charge.
Note: At Seattle/Vancouver YVR depot the service is available in connection with
Vancouver YVR airport area hotels only (not with the Seattle area and hence not
with Seattle/Tacoma SEA airport), and there is a
US$ 6 fee per person to be paid
(in US$ cash to the US government) at the
(Due to increased security and traffic, delays crossing into the USA
are possible. El Monte RV is not responsible for refunds of any type as a
result of border delays.)
The client opting for this service must call tel. 800 367 6507 no
later than 9:30 am the morning of motorhome pick-up, this to
schedule transfer and the precise pick-up time.
The shuttle arrives between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm
(or at the Vancouver airport area about 12:00 noon) at designated hotels only.
Transfer from the rental depot following the return occasion occurs
between 9:00 and 13:00 (9 am and 1 pm), although at the Seattle/Vancouver YVR
depot the shuttle departs about 11:00 am;
these return transfers typically stop at the airports as well
as at the airport area hotels.
Delays may occur during peak season and certain holiday periods;
no refunds are given for transfer delays.
Transfers are provided as a courtesy and are not financially negotiable
or refundable. Transfers to the rental depot may occasionally be subject to
restrictions or limitations beyond El Monte RVís control. In
such circumstances, transfers may be the financial and logistical
responsibility of the renter.
priority am departure (PAD):
This option guarantees a departure-ready motorhome by 11:00 am,
this for a one-time surcharge of US$ 65.
However, the PAD surcharge does not include any applicable shuttle charge.
PAD departure must be booked at least 7 days in advance and
is available at Dallas, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York, Orlando and San Francisco only.
The PAD shuttle service is restricted to those hotels
as PAD shuttle hotels by El Monte RV. Upon arriving at the hotel,
clients should call tel. 800 337 2199 for recorded detailed instructions.
To meet the shuttle, clients must be at the designated point mentioned.
The PAD shuttle typically arrives between
7:15 am and 8:00 am, although it may need to arrive as early as 6:45 am.
There are no refunds for PAD surcharge if El Monte RV does not receive
PAD hotel information 7 days prior to pick up.
Luggage capacity of the El Monte RV shuttles is of course
limited and may require clients with excess luggage or oversized items
to store and later retrieve them from their hotel.
Typically the complimentary luggage capacity is
in accordance with the airline regulations: two suitcases weighing
no more than 50 pounds (23 kilograms) plus two pieces of hand luggage
Note: for motorhome travel soft-sided or collapsable bags are
the best sort to use.
Vehicle pick-up (or return) is not possible directly at locations
other than the depots.
The depots are closed during certain holidays, which are accounted for
by our online reservation software.
The depots are open for standard pick-up
MondaySaturday from 13:00 to 16:00 (1 pm to 4 pm);
and Sunday from 13:00 to 15:00 (1 pm to 3 pm);
except Albuquerque, Atlanta, Baltimore, Birmingham, Boston, Chicago, Denver*, Jacksonville, Miami, Myrtle Beach, Nashville,
Phoenix, Reno, Sacramento, Salt Lake City*, Savannah, Seattle/Tacoma SEA, Tampa, Tucson, and Washington DC,
which are closed all Saturdays and Sundays and are only open for standard pick-up MondayFriday from 13:00 to 14:00 (1 pm to 2 pm);
and except Dallas, New York / New Jersey, and Seattle*/Vancouver* YVR*, which are closed Sundays;
and except Oakland, which is closed Saturdays during October–March;
and except San Diego, which is open for standard pick-up MondaySaturday from 13:00 to 14:00 (1 pm to 2 pm)
and Sunday from 12:00 noon to 13:00 (noon to 1 pm) and is closed Saturdays during October–March.
However, as described above, Priority AM Departure (PAD) is available only at certain depots and facilitates pick-up
between 8:00 am and 11:00 am for a surcharge of US$ 85.
In all cases clients must call ahead to El Monte RV,
as described above, to learn precisely the time the vehicle will be
ready for them. Clients must arrive at the rental depot no less than one hour before
the depot's closing time. Clients should allow 1–2 hours after arrival
for vehicle orientation and rental contract processing.
The depots are open for standard return
MondaySunday, 9:00 am to 11:00 am,
i.e. mornings; this with the weekend-wise exception
of the other depots which are noted above as being closed Saturdays and/or Sundays.
Recall as well, transfer from the rental depot following the return occasion occurs
between 9:00 and 13:00 (9 am and 1 pm), although at the Seattle/Vancouver YVR
depot the shuttle departs about 11:00 am.
A vehicle cannot be dropped off later than 1 hour before or anytime outside an El Monte RV rental depot's official hours of operation.
The New York / New Jersey depot is closed Sundays and Saturdays during October–March.
The Oakland and San Diego depots are closed Saturdays during October–March.
The Seattle/Vancouver YVR depot is closed Sundays and Saturdays
and is closed every day the last full
week of January through the last full week of February.
During October–April this depot closes an hour early; therefore the
standard pick-up window becomes 13:00 to 15:00 (1 pm to 3 pm).
A non-standard return time (i.e. an afternoon return) entails an
extra night's worth of cost.
The vendor imposes the standard pick-up and return times such that most vehicles can be prepared
during regular business hours and delivered to a client on the same day that
the vehicle is returned by the previous client. Thus the vendor doesn't lose
out on renting that vehicle for that night.
The IdeaMerge software accounts for non-standard return times.
A fee of at least US$ 50 per hour applies to unauthorized late return of the
vehicle. Authorized extensions of the rental duration are those
which occur at least 48 hours prior to the scheduled date of return.
El Monte RV is not responsible for items left in the motorhome after
the client returns the vehicle and departs. El Monte RV will not mail
such items to the client; instead El Monte RV reserves the right to
donate or dispose of such items as it sees fit.
When you pick-up the vehicle,
and regardless of which IdeaMerge pre-payment option you choose:
IMPORTANT: Canadian residents are not permitted by Canada to rent a motorhome in the USA
to travel in Canada. A similar restriction applies to Mexican residents renting in the USA and
wanting to travel in Mexico.
The engine fuel tanks are typically full upon the pick-up occasion and are
generally meant to be returned with the same measure of fuel in the tank as was present upon the pick-up,
If upon the return occasion the engine fuel level is lower, the client will be charged for the
difference (at a premium compared to market prices).
The water tank, propane tank,
and any toilet chemical repository will be full upon the pick-up occasion; but you will not be
charged if they are returned less than full. No refunds are given for
unused water, propane and toilet chemicals
By the way, the client is responsible for checking all vehicle fluid levels
at each refueling during the rental. Refills of all these fluids
— except of course the engine fuel and the propane (LPG) — will
be reimbursed by El Monte RV upon the return occasion if the client presents
receipts for such.
In connection with the El Monte RV flex rates,
i.e. the rates available only to customers who do not reside in the USA;
i.e. only to those persons whose drivers license and passport (or other appropriate documents) show they reside
outside the United States of America (that is, outside the USA, its territories, embassies and military bases):
In connection with the El Monte RV standard rates, i.e. the rates available to anyone, regardless of residency:
Included by default with all rentals is El Monte's "On the Road Support Helpline",
tel. 800 367 4707, effective in the USA and Canada 7 days a week,
6:00–18:00 hours (6 am to 6 pm) PST during Monday–Saturday,
7:00–16:00 hours (7 am to 4 pm) PST Sunday.
Voicemail is available outside these hours but not during these hours.
El Monte RV provides free storage of luggage at the rental depot
(but at the client's risk).
Again, for motorhome travel soft-sided or collapsable bags are
the best sort to use.
All the vehicles have an
automatic transmission, dash and roof
(110 V) air conditioning, stove burners, microwave oven, sink,
refrigerator, freezer, furnace, toilet, generator
and 110 V hook-up.
Included in the preparation fee are the first tank of propane,
the first supply of toilet chemicals and toilet paper, a water hose,
sewer hose, leveling blocks, and the final cleaning of the outside
of the vehicle.
Also included are the operator's manual (in English and German) and
— per request upon the pick-up occasion —
a regional campground guide and KOA discount card (giving customers a 10% discount).
Map booklets (including directions to the nearest supermarket and fuel stations)
might also be available as such, but this is not guaranteed.
The vendor provides free storage of clients' luggage at their depots
(but at the clients' risk).
age and license(s)
The client (contract signer and co-signers) and any drivers must be a minimum of 21 years of age
(except at the New Jersey / New York depot, where the minimum is 25 years)
— there is no maximum age limit. Each driver must have
a valid driverís license from country of residence.
If the license is not from the USA, the driver must present a passport as well.
The license must not expire during the rental period. An international driverís permit is
recommended, though not required.
(Regarding such permits, see the country listings posted on the New Zealand Automobile
Basically an IDP is a means by which police in a foreign
country can know in terms of translations in nearly a dozen
that your domestic driver's license is indeed recognized as being valid by
the proper authorities in your country. (See the
excellent article at
The local office of your auto club (AA, AA, RAC, ADAC, etc.) sells IDPs for
about US$ 20. If you need an IDP, take
your license, two passport-sized photos and the requisite cash to the club office. (Though for about US$ 6 the
club may snap Polaroid photos for you.) If you
plan to operate a motorcycle, be sure to have the auto club certify your
qualification to do so.
Web searches will bring up a host of Websites selling documents that conform
to the model delineated in annex 10 of the United Nations Convention on Road
Traffic (1949); but according to Article 24 of that convention,
a truly valid IDP is one which is "issued .. by the competent authority of
another Contracting State or subdivision thereof, or by an association duly
empowered by such authority ...."
Good news: In the USA the standard domestic drivers licenses of foreign states
are, in connection with foreign tourists, considered equal to a standard USA
Therefore the foreign drivers license allows the holder to drive the same
range of vehicle types as does a USA license. This means, for instance,
that the 3500 kg permissible-weight constraint that applies to European
Union licenses in Europe is effectively raised in the USA to match the
USA standards, which are invariably so high that all the vehicles
represented on IdeaMerge's USA "Rates & Reservations" page may be driven
by a standard-European-drivers-licensed client.
(See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Driver's_license and, say,
Due to the great length of the AE40 motorhome type, a driver must possess a valid Class B or Class A license (or the foreign equivalent)
to drive that vehicle. The standard Class C USA license is not legally sufficient to drive vehicles whose length is 40 feet (12.192 meters) or more.
In the event of a mechanical breakdown requiring the vehicle to be in repair for more than 12 hours, El Monte
RV will refund lost-use rental charges only. El Monte RVís maximum liability shall be for the refund of nightly
rental charges or fractions thereof. No claims for rental car, hotel, telephone, etc, will be accepted.
The term breakdown as used above does not refer to the vehicle's
air conditioning, plumbing, refrigerator, microwave, other appliances,
slide-out functionality, automatic step, awning, radio, CD player,
TV/VCR/DVD, generator, and cruise control, among other functionalities not
essential to travel.
In the event of a mechanical problem requiring repairs under US$ 75 clients will be reimbursed upon presentation
of receipts and any replaced parts. For needed repairs over US$ 75 clients must call El Monte RVís On the Road Support Helpline
for prior authorization. A toll free number is provided for assistance with problems,
questions, etc: tel. 800 367 4707.
See our El Monte RV "Insurance"
page for details concerning the included insurance and assistance.
In the event of an accident, the customer must obtain a local police
report as provided by the attending police officer investigating the accident.
The client should notify the El Monte RV pick-up depot
about the accident as soon as possible. On said accident report
the client should make a full, written report including the other
party's name, address, phone number and driver's license information. The client
should submit that form to the pick-up depot within 24 hours of the accident. All documents
relating to the accident should include a police report number or other
pertinent identifying number. Insurance coverage may be void if these
measures are not performed.
parking tickets, etc.
Upon returning the vehicle the client should report and pay to the vendor
all parking/traffic/toll-road violations
(and the documentation thereof; i.e. the ticket itself) levied on the vehicle or driver
during the rental.
Per such violation unreported on that occasion, the vendor will levy upon
the client an administration fee of up to US$ 250 — this in addition to the fine
itself. The vendor takes these fines and charges and fees very seriously,
so you are advised to be forthcoming in this respect upon returning
toll road system in the Florida Keys
The Florida Turnpike Enterprise operates an all-electronic open road
tolling system on the southern 47-mile stretch of the Turnpike, from US1 in Florida City to
the Miami-Dade/Broward County line. There are the following options for payment to travel on the Turnpike: