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How to get a minivan for a full size car price in Denver

How to get a minivan for a full size car price in Denver

Aug 21st, 2012, 01:44 PM
  #41  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 10,106
Actually, I've never seen a single rental car with an alarm, and I don't think they are commonly available.
doug_stallings is offline  
Aug 21st, 2012, 01:46 PM
  #42  
 
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It might just be me, but I couldn't justify spending $295 for a lakeside room with a kitchenette by saying I'll save money on food with the kitchenette. I'd just get a regular room and eat sandwiches for that day if there's a big price difference between kitchenette/non-kitchenette. You're probably going to eat one meal on the road anyway if you're switching rooms every night so that makes it even harder to justify a kitchenette at that price.

But as to your original question, I'd go with the minivan for 17 days.

I know we've discussed on/off-airport rentals from Denver before - are the prices you quote including all taxes/fees? I'm flying out this week and the airport rentals finally match the price of the downtown locations so I'm going with an airport rental to save time and get mileage points with my airline. But even then my car is as much as yours but for half the time.
WhereAreWe is offline  
Aug 21st, 2012, 03:20 PM
  #43  
 
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To Doug. Neither did my own car have an alarm. Just an FYI, as is yours. I thought maybe now some did. My bad, but...
Gretchen is offline  
Aug 21st, 2012, 04:22 PM
  #44  
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We've never been denied a minivan when we've had one reserved, so reading stories of "it happened to me" was very eye opening!

re: leaving stuff in car... we will try to take everything in on nights when it's practical, and take our chances on the other times. Sort of cut our risks in half? haha If cars have powerlocks/remotes, doesn't that arm them? After having a Durango for 12 years, I just realized a few months ago that locking it with the remote arms it, but pushing the lock switch on the door does not (which is what I used to do to avoid the loud beep). I had no idea it even had an alarm.

tracys2cents, AWFUL... well, hard, yes! I'll give you that. We're going into this with eyes wide open and a good sense of humor!

Gretchen, duffel, yes, definitely going to try that. Teens are a 6 ft tall 17yr old son and an average size 13 year old daughter. Yes, they need their space! We're sure hoping the minivan will have captain's chairs in the 2nd row! do they even make bench seats for the 2nd row anymore?

WhereAreWe, the $295 lakeside room decision was a lot more complicated than just kitchenette vs none. Jackson hotels are expensive and we had to weigh staying IN park to see the sunrise on the Tetons vs being in Jackson. We're paying about $100 extra for in-park lodging than what we could get in Jackson, and THEN comforting ourselves a tad by making a couple meals. We do feel unsettled by the $295 room though. ..especially reading reviews how tired the place is, but it's the VIEW we're going for.

Yes, the $350 and $617 are taxes and fees included. Weekly rates are only $94 and $199. We're paying for 3 extra days, but also getting a 10% Alamo Insider discount. Can't complain.
4sharie is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2012, 06:50 AM
  #45  
 
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Sounds good. Our Tahoe arms the alarm with the door lock. The reason I am sure is that our passenger side door doesn't lock with the driver side door lock, so the door is open. AND when I go to open it, the alarm goes off!!
Your planning and asking is going to pay off, I am sure. Have a great time. When we took our 6 week trip our kids were 14,12, and 10. We did spend a week at a ranch in the Tetons. Be sure to go up and see the Gros Ventre Slide area. It is the largest land movement ever recorded--boulders the size of houses. It dammed the river, and then that broke years later, and wiped out the town of Kelly (I think).
Gretchen is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2012, 11:24 AM
  #46  
 
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Traveling heavy: some suggestions

If you know where you are stopping on the trip, and you sound pretty organized, you can UPS or Fedex a lot of your lightweight but bulky items to yourself to pick up on arrival.

Janisj's soft cooler will help a lot, especially if you get some that nest so that you can double them for really hot weather.

Buy a soft roof bag for <$40. Throw it away when you fly home. It has cost you, what, $2.30 or so a day as compared to the cost of renting a van. Google is your friend.

Buy only enough food for a day or two at a time instead of stocking up for the whole trip at Walmart. How much more can it cost? They have food in all kinds of places. Eat at local non chain cafes; breakfast for less than $5 with coffee refills.

Order food online and have it shipped to one of your stops.

And on an on.
Ackislander is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2012, 11:38 AM
  #47  
 
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The rooftop carrier is an idea. Just be sure it will attach to the type of gutters the car has. And the roof, without damaging it--for a return on a rental.
Our soft side coolers work very well without doubling.
I still like the van. It is a lot of driving and the van is a good heavy car for easy riding. And the price is really good, as we have all marveled at.
Gretchen is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2012, 11:57 AM
  #48  
 
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Just this past week, my parents arrives at Portland, OR airport and had a reservations with Hertz. They were shocked to find about 30 people line before them. Hertz did not have a single car available. I often find myself in a rental that isn't anywhere close to what I actually rented. I would think the mini van might be something they would hold, but I don't know that I would count on it.

If there is one person in your group that could fly an earlier flight, catch transportation, and rent off sight-that might be your best bet.

I could easily fit everything I needed for a 3 week vacation in a car for 4 people. Worse case scenario, stop and do some laundry.
spirobulldog is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2012, 12:22 PM
  #49  
 
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Go with the mini-van. For all that driving, comfort wins over money.

You will be glad you had the van.
grosenb is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2012, 02:33 PM
  #50  
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We definitely considered shipping a box to our first location but opted to use AmEx to check a few bags for free. We'd still have the stuff in the car either way ...except for that first long day of driving... hmmmmmmm. I must rethink this.

but the van is the one that sure feels right overall. Not just for the stuff, but for the comfort and features. Even DH is more relaxed about it and has pretty much let the $350 one go, mentally at least. We still can't quite bring ourselves to cancel it just yet since we still have 2 weeks to decide.

Spiro, 30 people and NO cars? The stories are getting better and better. Not. Please tell what ended up happening. Very interesting idea about someone flying out sooner though! I think we have the first flight of the day though.
4sharie is offline  
Aug 24th, 2012, 08:15 AM
  #51  
 
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True story. I just picked up my compact car at the Denver airport from Budget. The woman at the counter asked if I was going to the mountains, when I said yes she asked if I wanted a free upgrade to a minivan. I almost laughed at her because I immediately thought of this thread. So, I guess it does happen....but this is a first for me after about 10 trips to Denver so don't count on it.
WhereAreWe is offline  
Aug 24th, 2012, 08:52 AM
  #52  
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That is soooo not funny!!! (okay, yes it is!!)
4sharie is offline  
Aug 24th, 2012, 08:57 AM
  #53  
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PS I've decided NOT to share this with my husband. It would be pouring salt in the wound. haha
4sharie is offline  
Aug 24th, 2012, 10:48 AM
  #54  
 
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My parents got a car 2 hours later and Hertz knocked off $100. They originally said that they would give them a $50 certificate for the next time they rented. My mother threw a fits(usually this would be my dad). I guess it worked for her. Sometimes it pays to be nice, sometimes it pays to get upset. I always try to start out being nice though.
spirobulldog is offline  
Aug 24th, 2012, 11:40 AM
  #55  
 
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The Hertz and Avis lines are the reason I never rent from them. The one time I did (Avis, because of a good price on Hotwire), the line and time to rent was excessive. Whenever the agency has a bus to take you to the offsite, you know there's gonna be a long line.
Gretchen is offline  
Aug 24th, 2012, 12:12 PM
  #56  
 
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<<>>

You should have said "no, but will you hold it for this person I [know] who'll be next week?"
sf7307 is online now  
Aug 25th, 2012, 05:45 PM
  #57  
 
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It was funny, mostly because of this thread but partly because I wondered what she was thinking - I was by myself so I sure didn't need the extra room, and it's not like a minivan is the vehicle of choice for mountain driving.....
WhereAreWe is offline  
Sep 6th, 2012, 07:02 AM
  #58  
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Okayyy, here we go!!! We leave tomorrow morning! I just checked-in online for the $614 van (and canceled the $350 car). They offered an "upgrade" for an SUV for $800something, but I declined and kept our van. I was able to add me as the additional driver, link our flight, and give our credit card.

Keeping fingers crossed all goes well and we can bypass the counter, go straight to a van, and get out of there!

Let the adventure begin...
4sharie is offline  
Sep 6th, 2012, 07:10 AM
  #59  
 
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There's certainly nothing wrong with a minivan for mountain driving--we have gotten them several times for ski trips even. It's a comfortable heavy car--more restful for long mileage, in my opinion.
the SUV probably wouldn't have as much room, really. And I drive a Tahoe.
Gretchen is offline  
Sep 28th, 2012, 12:57 PM
  #60  
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Glad to see everyone is dying to know how we enjoyed our van! (kidding!!!) Online check-in worked as promised, and we got off the shuttle and went straight to the row of vans and had our pick. There were about 10, mostly Grand Caravans, but there were 2 Town and Country vans with DVD players, leather seats, rear camera, touch screen audio panel, so we picked one of those. It was fantastic.

I happened to have AAA batteries so we powered up the remote and wireless headphones for the kids. Stopped at Super Target for groceries and also picked up some $5 DVDs (so I joked to DH that our $614 van actually cost $634 since we bought DVDs for it! I meant to bring some "just in case" we got lucky with a DVD player, but in the hustle of packing never got around to it).

We LOVED having the van. So much room, comfort, and convenience. We put 3340 miles on it. Oh, and since Alamo Insiders lets spouses drive free, I took a few spins in it and DH sat in the back with DS and watched Batman. Nice break for him and I enjoyed driving in the wild, wild West!
4sharie is offline  

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