Author Topic: Renting a van to transport bicycles  (Read 2225 times)

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Offline Bouke6708

Renting a van to transport bicycles
« on: September 08, 2010, 10:47:25 am »
Has anyone information on renting a van to transport our bicycles on some distance? On our US Civil War Tour - see my post, latest reply August 29 - we would possibly cycle towards Nashville, renting a van there, ride through parts of Tennessee to Chattanooga and take our bicycles with us. Does anyone have some experience with this? Can you suggest car rental firms whom we might address? Any information on this subject would be very welcome.

Bouke de Vos, Wageningen, Holland

Offline Galloper

Re: Renting a van to transport bicycles
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2010, 03:28:28 am »
In my experience most towns will have several rental options.   U_Haul is probably the most common for van hire but do you actually need a van, you may find an SUV will suffice and it will be a lot more comfortable.   I was able to get my Surly and all baggage into the back of a Hyundai SUV without any difficulty and without needing to remove wheels etc.   Plenty of room for a couple of bikes.   I've had good experiences with U-Haul, Enterprise and Alamo over the years.

Costs are calculated differently.   In addition to a daily charge, U-Haul also charge mileage.   Enterprise had a higher daily rate but didn't charge mileage.   Where you may encounter a larger cost is if you rent the vehicle from one location and return it to another, you will then be charged a fee based on distance.   You may also find that, in some cases, rental companies will charge extra if it's returned in a different state.

You should be able to get lots of information from the various company's websites.

Offline rvklassen

Re: Renting a van to transport bicycles
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2010, 07:00:15 am »
I believe there is a small subset of rental companies that will also rent a bike rack with a car rental.

Offline indyfabz

Re: Renting a van to transport bicycles
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2010, 07:30:35 am »
Agree about looking into something other than a van.  Either an SUV or a "crossover" SUV or even a regular car depending on how much stuff you have and whether you mind taking off wheels.  I have an old four-door Mazda Protege.  With both wheels off, my girlfriend's small road bike fits in the trunk.  With my front wheel off, my large road bike fits in the back seat.  And there is still room left over for some gear.  But if you have longer wheelbase touring bikes, you might need an SUV-type vehicle.

Offline whittierider

Re: Renting a van to transport bicycles
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2010, 11:07:11 am »
I looked into it a couple of years ago, and I believe it was Enterprise that would rent you a full-size (not mini) van for $100 (probably $99.95, but I round) per day.  It was for carrying a lot of people, so I didn't ask about whether they would rent it with some of the seats out.  I have a 15-passenger van that's great for carrying things.  With more vertical room inside, it's easier to move around when you're packing stuff.  I would not want an SUV myself.

Offline Bouke6708

Re: Renting a van to transport bicycles
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2010, 12:51:12 pm »
Thanks a lot for all the informations. It will help us. If we won'nt rent a van or a SUV we might take the Greyhound bus. Does anyone have experience with them, with your bicycle on the bus? Do you have to pack your bike in a box?

bouke devos

Offline Turk

Re: Renting a van to transport bicycles
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2010, 12:53:22 pm »
See this thread:

http://www.adventurecycling.org/forums/index.php?topic=7678.0

This person took Greyhound and he gives lots of info. I've taken Greyhound before, but not with a bike. It's usually not exactly a country club-like atmosphere.

Offline valygrl

Re: Renting a van to transport bicycles
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2010, 06:14:38 pm »
Hey, Greyhound is not like the bus in a lot of other countries. 

In the USA, only people who can't afford other methods of transportation (and bike tourists :)) ride Greyhound.  You'll be sharing the bus with some normal poor people, but a lot of crazy alcoholics and drug addicts.  Don't do it if you don't have to.  And yes, I'm speaking from experience.

You do have to box your bike, and though the web site says they sell boxes at the bus station, they often don't. 

ANother option is to try renting a U-Haul (or Ryder, etc.) one-way truck or van.  These companies are for people moving or hauling stuff. 

I've done one way car rental, U-Haul, bus, and getting offered a ride.  Bus is the worst. 

Offline staehpj1

Re: Renting a van to transport bicycles
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2010, 03:47:02 am »
You'll be sharing the bus with some normal poor people, but a lot of crazy alcoholics and drug addicts.
Between my family and I, we wound up sitting next to some "interesting" characters almost every time we used Greyhound.  These characters included drunks, a pimp, and newly released convicts on their ride home from prison.  I don't especially recommend the Greyhound, but it usually does result in a good story.

Take the Greyhound.
It's a dog of a way to get around.
Take the Greyhound.
It's a dog gone easy way to get you down.
(from the Harry Chapin tune)

Offline litespeed

Re: Renting a van to transport bicycles
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2010, 08:28:06 am »
The only way to transport myself and my bike one way that I have found is U-Haul. Everyone else makes you bring the vehicle back to the point of origin. I just ask for the smallest thing they have. They used to have little Toyota vans but apparently they are no longer available.

If you do use U-Haul, carefully check the van for dents or any damage, cleanliness, fuel level, etc. before signing for it. Some of the yards are pretty lax about such things. I got a truly dirty van with a faulty fuel gauge in Moab UT.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Renting a van to transport bicycles
« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2010, 09:10:47 am »
The only way to transport myself and my bike one way that I have found is U-Haul. Everyone else makes you bring the vehicle back to the point of origin. I just ask for the smallest thing they have. They used to have little Toyota vans but apparently they are no longer available.

If you do use U-Haul, carefully check the van for dents or any damage, cleanliness, fuel level, etc. before signing for it. Some of the yards are pretty lax about such things. I got a truly dirty van with a faulty fuel gauge in Moab UT.
Check the prices against the rental car places for one way rentals.  I have found way better rates from rental car places than I have from U-Haul and by a pretty large margin.  When we rented one way from Portland OR to Newport OR (in 2007) I think the price quoted for the smallest U-Haul they had on hand was 2.5 times what Enterprise charged us.  My experience is limited and it may vary regionally, but do check prices first.