Renting a car with a hitch reciever- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Renting a car with a hitch reciever

    We are in the process of planning a trip in August to Moab/Colorado

    Our plan was to rent a all wheel drive vehicle, preferably a subaru Out Back and using a hitch rack that we already possess to haul bikes.

    Has anyone rented a all wheel drive vehicle with hitch receiver before? If so who did you rent the car from? The first to places I have called (Enterpris and Hertz) didn't offer Subaru Out Back and even if they did hitch receivers were not an option. At this point I would be happy with a all will drive vehicle (not interested in full size suv) with a hitch receiver. Anybody know of rent a car companies that do this?

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    The only company I know of that rents a vehicle with a hitch is Enterprise commercial. Of course that's a full size pickup, but they do have 4x4 as an option.

  3. #3
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    I actually have 4X4 pickup, the problem is gas milege. The gas is the most expensive component of the trip. It is looking like the renting a car thing may not work unless we put the bikes inside, but that may present other challenges.

    Thanks for the suggestion though. I did call hertz equipment rental and it was the same deal, only full sized pick ups with hitch receivers.

  4. #4
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    It may be cheaper to buy a hitch to bolt to the rental car. Most hitches can be installed/removed in a few minutes. Sell the hitch when you get back home. Just make sure you find a hitch that doesn't involve cutting things...

  5. #5
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    I'd be surprised as all get out if the rental company didn't have an exclusion for towing or modifying the vehicle in their rental agreement.

    J.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbikerTi View Post
    It may be cheaper to buy a hitch to bolt to the rental car. Most hitches can be installed/removed in a few minutes. Sell the hitch when you get back home. Just make sure you find a hitch that doesn't involve cutting things...
    You'd most likely need to know the exact make, model, and year of the car in advance. I've never heard of a rental car company that will guarantee those qualifiers in advance.

    But I suppose if you were able to source a compatible hitch after picking up the car, and you were cool with most likely being in violation of the rental agreement (just my supposition,) then, yeah, I guess it could work?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by wbmason55 View Post
    You'd most likely need to know the exact make, model, and year of the car in advance. I've never heard of a rental car company that will guarantee those qualifiers in advance.

    But I suppose if you were able to source a compatible hitch after picking up the car, and you were cool with most likely being in violation of the rental agreement (just my supposition,) then, yeah, I guess it could work?
    Before I knew it was a problem to get a rent a car with a hitch receiver I had a buddy suggest this very thing to get out of paying upcharge for hitch (I had estimated that they may charge me $10 a day for one) Buy one than ebay it.

    When I asked about the Subaru outback enterprise told me they didn't rent that vehicle and even if they did they couldn't guarantee I could get that specific model, so you are correct.

  8. #8
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    Our dealer (I'm a salesman) has delivered a bunch of Subarus over the years to Enterprise and they almost always order them with zero options, so I wouldn't plan on a hitch.

    I am thinking that in general, hitches are options on cars and trucks, so you likely wont find one with one unless there is a trim level of a certain truck or SUV where its standard and the rental company bought that trim level.

  9. #9
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    Yeah, towing would definitely be a bad thing, but a hitch rack isn't towing. This is why most rental vehicles don't have hitches, even if they are an almost standard item (like on a pickup truck).

    I don't know that I would consider bolting a rack on and then removing it modifying a vehicle. Would be about the same as buying a trunk mount rack and strapping it on, except it wouldn't damage the paint.

    The biggest obstacle is going to be figuring out what vehicle you'll be getting, unless you have a local source for a hitch.

  10. #10
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    One option might be U-Haul/Penske/Budget. I'm not sure if they do all-wheel drive though.
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  11. #11
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    One other option is to carefully research trunk mount racks. I have one (long out of production) that only touches the bumper. With careful application of padding (and making sure padding and car stay clean) I have used it several times on rental vehicles without injuring the paint.

    Honestly, it is probably cheaper to go this route and pay a bit if the paint gets a few scratches than buying a hitch, getting it installed, then uninstalling it (plus you aren't in violation of the rental agreement). Not quite as secure, but I have used my rack for tens of thousands of miles on a variety of vehicles-I just watch to make sure the straps stay snug. Of course, really bumpy roads would loosen it up faster (most of my mileage is highway)...

  12. #12
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    I wanted to do something very similar since I was in an accident and had a trip planned to colorado. As someone else stated enterprise won't rent a car or suv with a hitch since it's easy for people to abuse the vehicles pulling who knows what. Ruins it for us that just want to put a bike rack in the hitch. I ended up with an xterra, fit 2 of us with all of our stuff and both bikes for a week in CO. The xterra was perfect for getting to some of the trailheads as well. Gas mileage wasn't horrible on the highway either, somewhere around 20 mpg.

  13. #13
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    You could get that bike rack that uses those huge suction cups? I forget what it's called. There's a thread in here somewhere about it.

    Although I wonder if at that point you'd be spending more than just the difference in gas between your current vehicle and the rental

  14. #14
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    Get the outback and some roof trays.

    Roof trays will allow you to open the rear hatch with bikes loaded and will keep the bikes from getting covered in dust. Also, hatch racks will allow the bikes to swing into each other. Not really a problem on the highway, but on gravel roads the bikes take a beating.
    Those who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither. - Ben Franklin

  15. #15
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    Chevy Tahoes and Suburbans

    Enterprise has Chevy Tahoes and Suburbans - both come from factory with receiver hitches. Don't rely on Enterprise to tell you this over the phone or online. They will tell you either: 1) that they don't allow towing and none of their cars have hitches or 2) that only some of their trucks have hitches. I was told both of these things from different people on the phone, including a local site. Go to the lot. I had to go to two lots before I found these cars. Then I walked the lot with an employee and showed her the back of the cars. She (and the other employees in the office) were surprised. Then explained I don't want it for towing (which they don't allow) but for a bike rack which they were fine with.

  16. #16
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    We have had same experience with Hertz.

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