RVing 101 - RV Renter's Resources

Everything You Need to Help While You’re Getting Started

Picking up your RV
Helpful hints to ensure your RV Rental vacation is a successful adventure.
Getting to know your RV

Are you ready to tour the roads and highways of North America in your Cruise America RV rental? Before you do, view our rental orientation video. This instructional video will show you the "ins and outs" of an RV rental. Allow your family and travel companions to ride in comfort. Discover the nuances of our RV rentals and learn about the unique benefits of Cruise America's cabover motorhomes. View the video above.



Get a Jump on Your Packing with Our RENTER’S KITS

Vehicle Provisioning Kit

$110 each


  • Broom
  • Can Opener
  • Carving Knife
  • Coffee Cups
  • Colander
  • Cooking Fork
  • Cooking Spoon
  • Cookware
  • Dinner Forks
  • Dinner Knives
  • Dinner Plates
  • Flashlight
  • Mixing Bowl
  • Paring Knife
  • Soup Bowls
  • Soup Spoons
  • Spatula
  • Steak Knives
  • Tea Kettle
  • Teaspoons
  • Tumblers

Personal Kit

$60 each


  • Bath Towels
  • Dish Towel
  • Pillow
  • Pillowcase
  • Sheet
  • Sleeping Bag/Comforter
  • Wash Cloths

More Resources to Help You Along The Way


Our Renter’s Assistance Guide gives you tips on safe driving, entering and leaving campgrounds, and operating your RV. You will receive a copy before you leave the rental center. If you wish to review it beforehand, we have provided a copy in PDF format.

The guide is also available in several languages, select from your preference below:



Download from the App StoreDownload from the Google Play Store
Cruise America RV App is the only RV travel app dedicated to RV travelers and Cruise America customers. Now, you can quickly get helpful information and troubleshoot issues you may have, all with the push of a button.


Campground Finder

Need help finding the perfect place to park your home away from home? We have several resources to help you start planning your next adventure.

Having Some Trouble on the Road? Check Out Our Troubleshooting Videos

By plugging the RV into a 120V power source at a camp ground, or running the onboard generator, you may run the air conditioning, microwave and electrical outlets.

Your motorhome has two 12V batteries. The primary battery, located under the hood, provides power to the ignition system. The secondary battery powers the motorhomes amenities.

With your campsite water hookup, you’ll have an unlimited supply of pressurized fresh water for bathing, washing and toilet flushing.

The dump hose is used for removing waste water from the motorhome when the storage tanks are full. Purpose built dump stations can be found at camp sites and truck stops on your route.

If the primary battery under the hood is low on power, you may have trouble getting the engine to start. If the engine won’t turn over, there is an Emergency Start button to the left of the steering column.

The air in the vehicles furnace is heated by burning propane gas. A blower, pulling power from the 12V auxiliary power, then circulates the air.

The generator is designed to provide 120V electrical power when an external power supply source, such as from a camp ground, is not available.

All vehicles have a 120V power outlet in the bathroom and kitchen. These can only be used when connected to the camp ground power supply, or when the generator is running.

To use the rooftop air conditioning, you must either be connected to a campground power supply, or run the onboard generator.

All of our motorhomes come equipped with a shower. Turn on the water heater on the control panel, 20 minutes before use.

Review our Frequently Asked Questions

You may cancel your reservation up to 7 days prior to the pick-up date and you will be refunded your reservation down payment. With less notice and with all one-way reservation cancellations you will forfeit your reservation down payment. For areas where special events (Burning Man, music festivals) occur if you cancel within 45 days prior to the pick-up date you will forfeit your reservation down payment.

We have a listing of all of our motorhome rental centers on the web site. Use this link to access the “Rental Centers” page. On the map, choose the state which you would be renting from and you will be given a list of all rental centers in that state. The listing includes the direct address and telephone number of the rental center.

Pets are welcomed at Cruise America. Customer agrees to clean up after their pet and return unit in same condition as received, or be subject to a cleaning fee up to $250.

No, Cruise America does not offer bike racks for sale or rental. Bike racks are readily available at several retail outlets, e.g., Walmart, REI, Sports Authority, etc.

For your peace of mind while traveling, Cruise America rentals include coverage’s in three areas in excess of minimum automobile coverage’s against third-party required by law. The details are contained on the Rental Agreement. Below is an outline of the coverage’s

  • Supplemental Liability Insurance (SLI) provides you supplemental liability insurance up to $1,000,000 for USA rentals (Not valid in Mexico).
  • Responsibility of up to only $1,500 for Vehicle Loss or Damage per occurrence provided you abide by the Terms and Conditions of the Rental Agreement, report promptly in case of accident of vehicle damage, and avoid prohibited vehicle use.
  • Expense reimbursement plan up to $3,000 in the event of mechanical breakdown requiring service times.

We do allow towing with all sizes of our motorhomes. Towing is not allowed with Truck Campers. The motorhomes are only equipped with a receiver hitch, so you would need to provide your own tow bar. No towing apparatus or hook-up services are provided under any circumstances. Customer must declare intention to tow prior to departure and warrant that towing weight is within 2,500 lb. tow weight restrictions. A $25 per night towing charge will be imposed. Cruise America provides no collision or liability coverage for damage to the towed object or for third- party injury inflicted by the towed object, under any circumstances.

The staff at the rental center will be glad to direct you to the closest shopping center, fueling facilities and waste treatment center.


No. We suggest you bring a canopy if you need shade or check with the RV park if you are staying in one.

Because regulations and laws covering the automotive rental and vehicle leasing industries vary, Cruise America has a company-wide policy that neither it’s employees nor its dealer agencies will donate vehicles or rentals.

US registered RVs may enter Canada and return to the US and Canadian registered RVs may enter the US and return to Canada without problem. One way rentals between the two countries are not allowed. Canadian residents are not allowed to rent a US registered vehicle in the US and enter Canada. Residency is based on the primary renter.

Yes. Coverages are invalid if problems occur in the following areas and all recovery expenses are at the renter’s own cost. Violations of these restrictions void damage waivers and the renter will be held liable for all vehicle damages including to tires, towing charges and other related expenses as a result of a breakdown associated with operating in these areas.

Alaska, Yukon and Northwest Territories, & Newfoundland

Travel on all public and/or numbered roads is permitted. Travel on non-public roads, unpaved back roads, trails and the like – commonly called logging roads or on any surface subjecting the vehicle to unreasonable damage or road hazard is prohibited. We reserve the right to restrict travel, dependent on current road conditions.

Death Valley

Vehicles may be operated with EXTREME CARE in Death Valley and other desert areas during the months of July and August. In Summer, renters visit these areas at their own risk and Cruise America will not be held responsible for extraordinary vehicle recovery and other charges. During certain periods these areas are not habitable and could pose a danger to the driver and passengers.


Due to restrictions on vehicle heights, propane gas and parking, vehicles with propane are not permitted in Manhattan and are not permitted to travel through any underground or underwater tunnels.

Cruise America does not allow travel into Mexico.

There is tax on the rental charges and any kits you order. The generator fee is $3.50 per hour and will be collected upon return of the rental. Customer agrees that he will return unit in the same condition as he received it (excluding normal wear). A fee of up to $250 will be charged if the interior of the vehicle has not been cleaned. Damages or loss of equipment will be paid for by the renter. Holding tank must be emptied prior to return of the vehicle or be subject to an additional dump charge of up to $50.

There is a nominal Environmental Fee. The Environmental Fee is designed to offset a wide range of environmental expenses (direct and indirect). These expenses include but are not limited to all costs associated with the proper disposal of oil, filters, tires, batteries, and shop waste.

We are sorry but our motorhomes are not to be used for carrying person(s) whose medical well-being depends on the motorhome's systems.

Rental prices, policies and conditions are subject to change without notice. Rentals are subject to the Terms and Conditions of the Rental Contract, a copy of which is available by writing to

Cruise America
11 West Hampton Avenue
Mesa, AZ 85210.

We are happy to make some changes to your current reservation, however the change may require a rate adjustment based on current rates in effect at time of change. Changes are subject to current availability. No changes will be permitted to a reservation once the cancellation deadline has passed.

Name changes to reservations are not permitted. Reservations are non-transferable. The person that made the reservation must be present at pickup and possess a valid credit card and driver's license.

Parking at some centers is very limited. Call your rental center in advance to see if they can accommodate you. If you are allowed to park, it is at your risk entirely.

Sorry, storing items on vehicle roof or exteriors is not permitted.

We do allow towing with all sizes of our motorhomes. Towing is not allowed with Truck Campers. The motorhomes are only equipped with a receiver hitch, so you would need to provide your own tow bar. No towing apparatus or hook-up services are provided under any circumstances. Customer must declare intention to tow prior to departure and warrant that towing weight is within 2,500 lb. tow weight restrictions. A daily towing charge will be imposed. Cruise America provides no collision or liability coverage for damage to the towed object or for third- party injury inflicted by the towed object, under any circumstances.

We are sorry but our motorhomes are not to be used for ambulatory purposes.

Often this is not a problem, but again, check with your rental center. Anything left at the rental center is at your own risk.

One Way reservations are available between most rental centers by advance reservation only and are subject to availability and some restrictions.

Drop fees may be increased or decreased based on pick-up or drop-off location, dates and vehicle availability. Upon confirmation, the $300 reservation down payment is not refundable.

Each year Cruise America provides thousands of one-way rental opportunities for our customers. With more than 120 rental locations in the US and Canada, we are able to approve a greater number of one-way rentals than our competitors and will do our best to fulfill as many of your requests as possible.

However, in as much as we would like to approve all requests, we must also maintain a minimum number of vehicles at each location to provide for local customers. That said, when a one-way approval potentially causes a location to drop below their minimum fleet, we will likely be unable to accept the request.

Please understand, our policies are in place to allow us to accommodate as many of both local and one-way customers as possible. Thank you for your understanding and for considering Cruise America.

You must arrange your own transportation to and from the airport. You may call the rental center where you are picking up for recommendations of transit options.

All you need is to be 21 years of age or older and possess a valid driver’s license and a major credit card. No special endorsement is needed. Temporary licenses are not accepted. All drivers must be present, listed on and sign the Rental Agreement and will be bound by Terms and Conditions of the Rental Agreement at vehicle pick up.

No. Please plan to bring your own car seats and/or cribs.

No, but we rent 2 types of packages for bedding and cookware. (Advanced Reservations Required)

  • The Personal Kit costs $60 per person, for the duration of the trip. It includes a sleeping bag or comforter, pillow, pillowcase, flat sheet, bath towel, washcloth and dishtowel. All items must be returned at end of trip.
  • The Vehicle Provisioning Kit costs $110 per vehicle, also for the duration of the trip. It includes a flashlight, can opener, broom, spatula, cooking spoon, cooking fork, coffee cups, tumblers, plates, soup bowls, silverware, tea kettle, colander, mixing bowl, and a cookware set. All items must be returned clean at end of trip.

Cruise America’s RVs are not equipped with TVs.

Cruise America will provide a familiarization tour (approximately 30 minutes to one hour) which is required to acquaint the customer and drivers with the operation of the vehicle before departure. You may prepare for your vacation by viewing the Renter’s Orientation Video.

We only accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and in the U.S., Discover Card. We do NOT accept stored value/prepaid/gift cards for the estimated rental charges or security deposit at the time of pickup. For a payment method to qualify for rental, it MUST bear an imprint of the customer's name that matches the driver's license and be a valid credit card or, in the U.S. only, a debit card with a Visa or MasterCard logo. We cannot accept Debit cards or The Discover Card in Canada.  The cardholder must also be present and listed on the contract as the primary renter or additional authorized driver. Stored value/prepaid/gift cards may be used for payment ONLY upon the return of the vehicle. Payment by check or cash is not accepted.

Cruise America does not traditionally support sponsorships. For information on community relations opportunities within the Phoenix area, please email your request to the Cruise America Marketing department at marketing@cruiseamerica.com .

Cruise America's prices fluctuate based on season, location, and availability much the way airline prices fluctuate. In general, the earlier you book, the lower the price. All of the prices and terms for motorhome rentals can be found on our web site. Use the On Line Reservation System to determine the cost of your desired rental.

You can also check out this helpful article "How Much to Rent an RV?"

Campground rates vary based on time of year and what facilities they offer. Generally you can expect to pay between $10 and $50 per night.

Check out our RV Park Finder page to search for campground costs. 

For information on all of the specials Cruise America is currently offering, please check out our Hot Rental Deals section of this web site.

Motorhomes handle much like a car, especially the “C“ class which has a van chassis.

Yes, however, in locations with harsh winter weather, our motorhomes are “winterized” from approximately mid-October to late March. This means we have completely drained the water and holding tanks. This will prevent the tanks and pipes from freezing and bursting. If you chose to have your rental motorhome “de-winterized” (so that you can use your sink, shower, and toilet) it may cost up to $40. You will need to exercise extreme care while traveling in a “de-winterized” motorhome during frigid weather. You will need to run the heater at all times to protect the tanks and pipes from freeze damage, or in extreme cases you would need to put RV Anti-Freeze in the water and holding tanks (by doing so, you may not use any water systems). If the pipes or tanks were damaged from freezing, it is considered negligent damage and you will be responsible for the full cost of all repairs. If you have any more questions on the rental policies during winter, please contact the rental center where your trip would originate. They can provide you with specific information.

No, we do not recommend this. It is difficult to know if the water is potable when you fill the tank at a variety of locations. We recommend you use bottled water for drinking and cooking. The water from the tank is fine for washing and bathing.

The customer is responsible for checking engine oil, fluids, and coolant levels at each refueling, as well as reporting mechanical failures immediately. Instructions and procedures for maintenance expense reimbursement are provided at rental. Customers may be held responsible for mechanical damage due to negligence in vehicle operation or failure to provide normal maintenance.

Yes. The generator charge is $3.50 per hour as determined by an installed running time meter. You can save on this expense by staying in locations that have electrical hookups and not leaving the generator running when you are not in the vehicle. Most motorhomes based in the United States and large size motorhomes in Canada are equipped with generators. A generator is only needed for the coach air conditioner, microwave and electrical outlets. A generator is not necessary for normal vehicle operation and is subject to frequent service interruption.

We do not have ladders on the RV for safety reasons and to prevent damage to the motorhome.

The Compact motorhome can hold a family up to 3, the Standard motorhome can hold a family up to 5,  the Large can hold a family up to 7 maximum and the Truck Camper motorhome can hold a family up to 3 for traveling.

Cruise America wants you to have an enjoyable and safe vacation experience. Part of that experience is getting the right vehicle to meet your needs.

We realize that our customers use our vehicles for many purposes. Some examples:

  • As a comfortable means of travel not sleeping in them
  • For “spare bedrooms” and not drive them.
  • For on-site hospitality at special events like automobile races.
  • As mobile offices.

The possible uses are as numerous as your needs.

In addition to many uses, there are a myriad of Federal, State and Local ordinances they may restrict the use or may be in conflict.

Lastly, there are no universal standards that apply to Recreational vehicles.

We understand the confusion these situations create. Therefore, Cruise America recommends the following:

  • Never exceed the maximum capacity as posted in the actual vehicle you will be using. Maximum capacity includes the vehicle, all fluids, all occupants and their gear.
  • All passengers should use the provided seatbelts. The total number of seatbelts will vary according to the vehicle and according to the floor plan of the actual vehicle you are using.
  • Child safety seats should be used where applicable. the installation and use of these seats should follow the recommendation of the child seat manufacturer.
  • Overhead areas designed only for sleeping should not be occupied while the vehicle is in motion.
  • The vehicle should be properly secured prior to travel. This includes locking the doors and dead-bolting them where applicable. Stow the entry step and secure the outside compartments.

We ask that you use good judgment and prudence in your decisions.

You Are Required To Comply With Applicable Law

At Cruise America, we strive to make sure everyone’s rental experience as easy, safe and stress-free as possible.

The following products and services are available at all locations for our drivers and passengers with disabilities.

  • Visually impaired passengers can travel worry-free just make an advance reservation; arrive with a licensed driver at least 21 years old and you’re on your way.
  • Hand Controls - Enables drivers to accelerate or brake using a hand-controlled device. Please specify left or right hand operation when making your reservation. A steering wheel spinner or hand knob is not available.

To ensure availability, products and services should be reserved thirty (30) days in advance by calling our reservation department at 800-671-8042.

Please check the specific location for hours of operation. 

Rental Centers are closed on Sundays and Holidays and no departures or returns can be scheduled on these days.

Cruise America's Reservation Department is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Similar to a hotel, the Rental Day is based on number of nights the vehicle is used. Each night constitutes a rental day.

Upon confirmation, a $300 reservation down payment is charged to your credit card. This deposit will be applied toward your rental charges. A minimum security deposit of $500 and estimated rental charges are payable at departure by credit card. Personal checks and debit cards without a Visa or Mastercard logo are NOT accepted. For certain rental applications, (examples: Burning Man, Bonnaroo) deposits may be increased at Cruise America’s sole discretion. Credit card deposits are processed at departure. Upon return, all extra charges, if any, are balanced against the security deposit and a credit or check issued to cover the refund.

Notice: Estimated rental charge prepayment may be required in full in advance for special rental events, such as music festivals, auto race events, and gatherings in remote areas, at Cruise America’s sole discretion.

We will make every effort to provide the customer with the model requested. We reserve the right to substitute models of similar or higher grade. Should a model of lower grade be offered and accepted, liability will be limited to refund of price differential between model paid for and model taken.

The vehicle is overdue after 11:00 AM on the date of return. A fee of $25 per hour will be charged for each hour you are late. Please notify the rental center if you will be late in returning.

No refunds will be made for early returns or late pick ups.

Cruise America provides a 24-hour toll free travelers assistance line to help you get back on the road as soon as possible.

An estimated mileage charge will apply to your rental. The charge will be a per night charge based on 100 miles for a local rental and 250 miles for a one-way rental. The rate is 35¢ per mile. At the end of the rental you will be refunded for any excess mileage charges, or be charged at the rate of 35¢ for additional miles in excess of the estimated mileage. Cruise America does reserve the right to modify the estimated mileage charge based on the type of rental.

In Canada, the nightly charge will be 160 kilometres for a local rental and 400 kilometres for a one-way rental. The rate is 35¢ per kilometre.

All booking requests of 4 or more vehicles are considered a Group Booking and must be approved by Cruise America prior to rate confirmation and cancellation terms. Please note that the Group Booking Policy mentioned here shall apply even if all bookings are NOT made on the same booking date. Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns with regards to this policy. No exceptions please.

A partial list of commonly found facilities would include: electric, water, sewer hook-ups, washer, dryer, swimming pool, playground, BBQ pits, on-site convenience store.

Our web site lists all of the types and sizes of vehicles we rent. All of our vehicles are listed under the category: “Our Vehicles”.

Vehicle departure time is normally between 1:00 PM and 4:00 PM. Vehicle drop off time is normally between 9:00 AM and 11:00 AM only. Returns after 11:00 am may be subject to a late return fee of $25 per hour.

Please contact your departure rental center the day before departure date to arrange a pick up time.

Cruise America will make a reasonable effort to contact guests after departure if they have left any belongings on the premises or in the vehicle. We will ship items back at owner's expense. If we are unable to reach the guest(s), the items will be placed in our Lost & Found. Any items that remain in the Lost & Found will be donated to charity or discarded after 60 days. To inquire about a lost item, please submit a lost and found claim HERE