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Timothy Sanchez
I am an entrepreneur who is building a sustainable remote income through entrepreneurship for my wife Laurie and I that does not restrict us to a specific geographic location. Future telecommuting and virtual working road warriors free to roam while living and working in a motor home.

Cruise America RV Rentals – review

By Tim Sanchez

My wife Laurie and I had never traveled nor stayed in a motor home before we decided to take a long RV vacation. We are nearing retirement age and have been tossing around the idea of buying a motor home and traveling all around the country while working remotely on the road. Our first step in the decision making process for our dream adventure is to determine if we even like being in a Motor Home.

We got two weeks off work and planned to rent a motor home. I checked out the rvshare.com site. That is sort of an air B and B for privately owned RV’s. I looked at a few models and read the descriptions and restrictions and looked at the photos and I saved a few possibilities. Then I saw a link for Cruise America RV Rentals And Sales. I consumed their entire website and I was sold. Everything about their operation was professional and very well thought out and to me prices seemed very reasonable. I booked their largest motor home, 30 feet long powered by a Ford E 450. For a small additional fee we rented kitchen supplies and cookware, linens and towels. It was worth it since everything we bring has to be barged over and back to and from our home on Catalina Island.

When we arrived at Cruise America the day of pick up, we were met with very personable and friendly staff who helped us through the rental process very quickly and efficiently. We loaded up and were on our way in less than 2 hours.

Everything in our RV worked perfectly, we had no problems whatsoever. If we did have a problem we were supplied with all of the information we need to resolve it. They allow us to make minor repairs on our own if needed and they will reimburse us for what we fix.

We drove a route through the national parks of Southern Utah and Northern Arizona. We stayed at 8 different RV Parks in two weeks. Moving the motor home, set up and take town was easy and problem free.

At the end of our trip the check In Process was a little hectic since many people return on Mondays. Although hectic it was well organized and efficient. They were patient while we unloaded our personal belongings of which we brought more than was necessary. I am a chronic over-packer. We thoroughly cleaned the inside of the motor home because that is how we do, we like to show respect for other people’s property. We emptied the grey and black tanks and filled the gas and propane tanks, therefore our full deposit was returned. Their inspection took only a few minutes, I signed the final receipt and we were on our way.

We rented the largest motor home they have, 30 feet. It was roomy for 2 people so we felt right at home. It sleeps 7 but I personally would feel confined if there were more than 4 people unless everyone could spend a lot of time outside. Our trip was in the fall and it was cold outside so if 7 people were huddled in there to stay out of the cold it might be a little cramped. The refrigerator was a really good size and we were able to eat almost all of our meals in the motor home.

In summery our two week rental of the RV from Cruise America was a very good experience. The cost was reasonable, the rental ended up averaging about $100.00 per day. We traveled 1400 miles and spent about $480.00 in gas. We stayed in nice full hookup RV Parks every night at an average of $50 per night. It would be easy to boondock camp, (without hook ups) 2 out of 3 nights or so and save rv space fees as long as you manage your holding tanks and water supply. Many regional parks, state parks and some national parks allow RV’s to camp with no hook ups, and they have restrooms, showers and water available for use. So boondocking is totally doable. You may, however need to use the generator in the RV and that costs $3.50 per hour plus the gas you use from the motor homes gas tank.

I strongly recommend Cruise America and rental motor home vacationing. If you think you would enjoy motor home travel then just do it, you will love it.

Tim and Lauries RV Experiment Wrap up

Tuesday November 6, 2018

Winding down our vacation we hightailed it from freezing at the Grand Canyon to Palm Springs on Friday morning , November 2 for a taste of warmth for a couple of nights. We spent Saturday playing tourist sort of, we rode the famous tram up to the top of Mount San Jacinto and enjoyed the views for a couple hours. Then we went down and caught the new Bohemian Rhapsody movie at an IMAX theatre. I have always loved the music of the band Queen. It was a great movie, the actors did a great job of emulating the band members especially Freddie Mercury and Brian May.

Since we did not have any other transportation except for the motor home, we used Uber to get around Palm Springs. When we buy our motor home we will make sure it has the towing capacity to pull our Toyota 4Runner behind it so we can get around more easily from our camp sights. Either that or we will buy a smaller car to tow, but either way you have to have a tow car if you do the Motor Home thing otherwise you will be stuck at the campground or will need to pay for a lot of taxi and Uber rides.

Sunday morning we moved to Featherly Wilderness Preserve in Anaheim. We stayed at Canyon RV park backed up to the edge of the Santa Ana river. Epic site! Canyon park is a hidden jewel next to Green River Golf course it gets two thumbs up from me. The only drawbacks are it is expensive, $75 per night, you can hear ambient freeway noise even though there is a massive sound wall and they don’t have WiFi. It is still worth the visit.

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We spent some time organizing and cleaning the RV Sunday night because we planned to return it as early as possible Monday morning. We drove it back to Carson and got there around 10:00. We learned that it is pretty hectic on a Monday morning with many people returning at the same time. We were not as ready as we would have liked to have been. They were very kind and patient while we packed up. Next time we will stop somewhere and pack everything up and transfer it to our car before we pull into the Cruise America lot. We returned the motor home clean and full of gas, propane and the holding tanks were empty. Our full deposit plus a little extra was refunded to us because we filled up what should be full and emptied what should be empty, our refund was $578.00. The total cost of a 15 day rental ended up being $1500.00 or $100.00 per day plus our fuel and campground fees. It was totally worth it. Our trip was unforgettable and so enjoyable we would recommend it and we would definitely do it again except I think we will buy our own motor home now.

Our assessment is without a doubt, RV life is for us. This is what we want to do long term someday.

Now we are home and it is time to get back to building my business.

Please continue to follow my blog by clicking the link ; keep up with the progress of my entrepreneurial pursuits on the road to becoming independent and free from employment.

Day 12 travel day to Palm Springs

Friday November 2 2018

With about a seven hour drive ahead of us, we battened down the hatches once again and tore out of the Grand Canyon like a herd of turtles. We stopped in Williams Arizona and had breakfast in a classic Route 66 diner then drove pretty much solid until we reached our campsite in Palm Springs. Laurie read a book to me the whole way as we like to do. She is reading a great book “ The life and legacy if D. M. Renton.” He was an amazing entrepreneur that built many homes in Pasadena and then built much of the city of Avalon between 1919 and 1936. He was the kind of forward thinking and resilient kind of business man that sets the standard for successful entrepreneurship .

It’s not much of an RV site but at least we finally can enjoy a warm night! We sat outside until 10:00 pm talking and sipping scotch, it so pleasant. Tomorrow is really our last day of real vacationing then we have to start getting ready to return the rental motor home on Monday.

what kind of adventure can we find in Palm Springs? We shall see.

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Find more photos and stories on:

Lauries Instagram at Laurelavalon and Lauries Facebook

Tim’s Instagram at Timothysanchez7528 and Tim’s Facebook

 

RV adventure day 11, Grand Canyon

Day 11 Thursday November 1, 2018.

Overnight temperatures were around 25 degrees. We have been hunkered down in our motor home for much of the second week of our trip. It was very cold at Bryce Canyon, rainy at Powell and really cold at Grand Canyon. Note to self, perhaps we should plan on early to mid October for this trip rather than late October. The first week was perfect weather and Zion National Park is hands down our favorite spot on this trip.

In spite of the cold, the Grand Canyon is spectacular. I’ve seen the photos but they don’t compare to seeing it in real life. We went to the visitors center and looked at the displays about the history and geological make up of the canyon and we watched a couple of great informational movies in the theatre there. Then we set out on a 3 mile hike along the rim from the visitors center to the village. The trails into the canyon are extreme and after the hike we did in Fairyland at Bryce Canyon I did not feel up to punishing my body again on this trip so we stayed on the rim which is pretty level. We will plan another longer trip to the Grand Canyon in the future to take the burrow rides through the canyon, or take 5 days to hike and camp. We saw an advertisement for river rafting trips through the canyon that look pretty good too.

At the end of our hike we stopped at a really cool art studio with some great lookout spots. About that time I hit the wall. I did not sleep well the night before and for some reason I was overcome with exhaustion. I have been doing a lot of hiking and walking and physical activity for an old fat man. I repeat , I have to lose 50 lbs and get into shape again, what good is working out a great retirement plan if you are too unhealthy to enjoy it. I am committed to the idea that the number one investment to make for the fourth quarter of your life is investment into your health and well being. That being said, we had pizza and beer for dinner! LOL……. Well we are on vacation and we have been eating really healthy for most of it. My extreme fatigue got the best of me, I weakened and had pizza; it didn’t help me fell better either. Lesson learned.

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We got prepared for another sub freezing night, I unhooked the water lines and put them away. We could not sit outside to enjoy the evening so we stayed indoors again, watched TV for a bit and went to bed at 8:00 pm. We realized that we are tired of being cold. We are supposed to stay one more night at Grand Canyon but we decided to bug out early and go somewhere warm; Palm Springs.

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Lauries Instagram at Laurelavalon and Lauries Facebook

Tim’s Instagram at Timothysanchez7528 and Tim’s Facebook

 

RV trip day 10 to Grand Canyon

Day 10 Wednesday October 31

Travel day. Powell to Grand Canyon

Staying at Wahweap campground was really nice, I would totally return to this site. I learned a valuable lesson, however; getting phone and internet service is not always possible while traveling. Well if you are just trying to use your phone alone. The phone signal is very weak here and the free WiFi that the campground supplies is even weaker. For someone who is a road warrior, trying to work remotely while traveling, you must invest in some technology that will enable you to get internet anywhere. There are many options for that and the really good ones are expensive. I will soon be writing a review of what I learn after researching internet options for life in an RV.

After we packed up and pulled out of our camp site, we stopped at the main Lake Powell Resort. There is a big lobby with a couple restaurants, a gift shop and a reservations area for lodging, rentals and tours. Their free WiFi is a little bit better, so we sat in a lounge for about 45 minutes and caught up on some of our online pursuits. Then we hit the road heading toward the Grand Canyon.

The trip to Grand Canyon was about 3 ½ hours for us. We stopped at a vista point and had lunch, veggie sandwiches, then went to check out the view of the little Colorado river gorge. The entire way from Powell to the entrance to the national park is on Navajo land. Every view spot is lined with their little trinket stands and they are trying to sell you their tourist trap souvenirs. They try to tell you that they make their jewelry and pottery themselves by hand. Then you go down the line and the next stand has identical items that they also claim to make themselves. Hmmmmm; amazing how they can make such perfect matches with so many different people hand making these items.

We got to the Grand Canyon village around 3:00 pm, pulled into our camp site and there were 3 elk sitting right next to our site. They hung around and foraged near our motor home all afternoon, they are like pets around here. They are huge though, the size of a small horse.

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The south rim village has a free bus service that runs year around and is very convenient. There are also well maintained foot and bike trails everywhere so you can walk to a lot of the attractions. It is about a 5 minute walk to the visitors center and 7 minutes to the rim of the canyon from our campground.
We took the bus into the village to have our first dinner out since we started our trip. It was terrible. I will be going back to making my own food from now on. But on the bright side, we were able to get a quick overview of the area while we rode the bus back and forth so we are ready for our big Grand Canyon adventure to start tomorrow.

Tim and Lauries RV Experiment day 9 lake Powell

Day 9 Tuesday October 30, 2018

The weather turned, when we woke up in the morning it was blustery. Cloudy and a little windy with light sprinkles of rain. We had a boat tour on Lake Powell scheduled for 1:00 pm so we had to plan for possible inclement weather.

It was an odd morning though. Our camp site pretty much straddles the state line, I think that when we are in the front half of the motor home we are in Arizona and when we are in the back half we are in Utah. Laurie and I can be in the same vehicle and be in two different time zones. In fact our phones keep switching back and forth all day long, one minute we look at the phone and it says one time, the next minute it is an hour different. I kept getting an hour older then an hour younger over and over again. We had to walk over a mile to go to the marina for our tour, we were planning to leave at 11:45 am, but we were not sure what time to go by. It was so confusing. I had to make an embarrassing phone call to the marina and ask them what time zone they are in. The man understood my dilemma, it is a common question for him. It is probably on his list of stupid questions that tourists ask. We do the same thing on Catalina Island; we keep stupid question lists like “ Is there water on the other side of the island too?” “Do you accept United States currency here?”

We walked on a one and a quarter mile nature trail that starts just behind our space and leads to the marina. It was very a very pleasant walk. We boarded the boat and it took us by the dam and into two narrow canyons of Lake Powell. They provided us with headphones that had a recorded narrative about the lake and history and geology; it was basic information but interesting for sure. The weather held up for the most part; there were some scattered sprinkles and it was windy and cool but not too uncomfortable.

When we returned to the RV the sky started turning all sorts of ominous colors as the sun set. We could see for miles and miles across the desert and the large puffy rain clouds dropping black lines of rainfall in the distance looked like giant jellyfish in the sky. Right after the sun set it started pouring rain and continued for about an hour. It was exciting and soothing at the same time hearing the raindrops on the roof of the motor home.

We had dinner, watched TV on our iPad for a while and went to bed at 8:00. We are heading out tomorrow to make our way to the south rim of the Grand Canyon. We are so excited! Neither Laurie nor I have ever been to the Grand Canyon, we will spend three nights there.

Find more photos and stories on:

Lauries Instagram at Laurelavalon and Lauries Facebook

Tim’s Instagram at Timothysanchez7528 and Tim’s Facebook