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Best Company for 4WD rental at Midland airport?

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Offline Steadygirl

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Best Company for 4WD rental at Midland airport?
« on: April 08, 2016, 10:43:43 AM »
I want to rent a 4WD jeep or truck or SUV (I don't care as long as it has high enough clearance for the Glen Springs Rd) at Midland Airport.  Any recommendations? The "Midland International Air&Space Port" has all the usual companies and I'd rather not call them all to see which ones have 4WD (the web sites don't provide any info on that).  Thanks!

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Offline Jalco

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Re: Best Company for 4WD rental at Midland airport?
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2016, 05:54:59 PM »
Unless it's been raining (doubtful), Glen Springs Rd. doesn't require 4WD.  Any high clearance vehicle would do.  I've traveled Glen Springs in my Suburban and my son's Trooper.

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Offline Quatro

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Re: Best Company for 4WD rental at Midland airport?
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2016, 10:53:51 PM »
1) if you get a 4WD, check the contract.  I've had rental companies indicate that I couldn't take them off-road.  :eusa_doh: 
2) Be aware that undergrowth intruding on the roads sometimes leaves scratches (desert pinstripes).  I don't know current road conditions though.  Consider getting the insurance. Always freaks me out with rentals.
3) Check the tires and the spare before you leave.  Tires in the Big Bend area are gonna be a hassle and expensive.

Let us know how it goes!
When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro - HST

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Offline dkerr24

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Re: Best Company for 4WD rental at Midland airport?
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2016, 12:23:29 PM »
As a former employee of a car rental company, I can confirm that if you take even a 4WD vehicle off road, whatever insurance you take could be considered voided.  That being said, as long as you don't roll the vehicle off a cliff, just don't tell them you plan on going on backroads in BIBE.

Definitely check those tires before leaving the lots.  Most rental car companies today are running on very thin profit margins, and they let the tires go much farther than they used to.

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Offline Quatro

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Re: Best Company for 4WD rental at Midland airport?
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2016, 01:41:39 PM »
As a former employee of a car rental company, I can confirm that if you take even a 4WD vehicle off road, whatever insurance you take could be considered voided.  That being said, as long as you don't roll the vehicle off a cliff, just don't tell them you plan on going on backroads in BIBE.

Definitely check those tires before leaving the lots.  Most rental car companies today are running on very thin profit margins, and they let the tires go much farther than they used to.

I did not know that about the insurance.  Interesting. And I'd bet they have GPS trackers on all rentals so they'll know if you take it off-road.  The part about the tires is that if you blow a tire, you get to replace it on your dime.  If I were to slice a sidewall off road, I get that.  But a blow-out on pavement doesn't seem like my fault.  So I check tire condition as well as tire pressure before I leave the lot.  If either is bad, I ask for another car.  I guess I'm a cranky customer for them.
When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro - HST

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Offline fartymarty

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Re: Best Company for 4WD rental at Midland airport?
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2016, 09:57:17 AM »
I never rented a 4WD, but since you really aren't going "off road" when driving on a dirt road (that requires you to be completely street legal and liability insured) is it still considered "off road" by the rental companies? 
If pavement is the factor here, is a gravel parking lot "Off road"?   

In case it isn't clear, I'm asking, not arguing.  :)
Fort Worth

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Offline Slimkitty

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Re: Best Company for 4WD rental at Midland airport?
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2016, 11:56:34 AM »
A couple of years back I flew into Midland and rented a four wheel drive Ford Explorer from one of the car rental places there at the airport. We drove it through Big Bend quite a bit but didn't venture onto the backroads with it.  We did, however, take it out to Chinati hot springs.  Upon return we cleaned up the car, left a full tank of gas, and that was that.  No surprise charges, not a word from the rental place. 


Sent from my iPhone using Big Bend Chat mobile app

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Offline dkerr24

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Re: Best Company for 4WD rental at Midland airport?
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2016, 01:30:59 PM »
The company I worked for would charge customers 'cleaning' charges if the vehicle was brought back excessively dirty.  I'm talking caked in mud.  We charged a customer $200 for taking a Chevy Cavalier down a muddy road during an unusual rain event in Las Vegas.  The car was pretty well covered, so the $200 charge was fair.

If you rented a 4wd and it came back with 'pin stripes' in the clearcoat, don't be surprised if you don't get billed for that.  Buying a cheap set of pruning shears or limb cutters might be handy for clearing a path if you encounter some really dense undergrowth along the backroads.

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Offline Quatro

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Re: Best Company for 4WD rental at Midland airport?
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2016, 04:59:06 PM »
Great timing for an article about tires on truck rentals and Big Bend.

http://www.mystatesman.com/news/news/opinion/inglis-theres-nothing-quite-like-a-camping-adventu/nq2sw/

When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro - HST

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Offline Geezer

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Re: Best Company for 4WD rental at Midland airport?
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2016, 10:31:47 PM »
Last week I went down the Glenn Springs Rd. as far as Glenn Springs itself. That's where Black Gap Rd. takes off to the west. There's a little water running across the latter in the draw.

Was in a Subaru Forester (all wheel drive, but not a lot more clearance than a sedan). I think someone experienced driving dirt roads could have made it in a sedan. No brush problems.

In addition to checking inflation of tires and spare, make sure you know how to use the jack.

Also, take several gallons of water in case you do get stuck overnight.

Geezer

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Offline dkerr24

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Re: Best Company for 4WD rental at Midland airport?
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2016, 07:46:16 AM »
I read the article about 'truck tires' that was linked above. 

Very few SUV's and trucks come standard with LT tires.  In fact, I can't think of any that do until you get into the F250, 2500 range pickup trucks.

Heck, even my wife's Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk... which has 4x4 and a rear differential locker... came with Firestone AT's, which have an aggressive tread pattern, but the tire is still just a normal 'P' rated passenger car tire.

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Offline presidio

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Re: Best Company for 4WD rental at Midland airport?
« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2016, 02:04:26 PM »
I want to rent a 4WD jeep or truck or SUV (I don't care as long as it has high enough clearance for the Glen Springs Rd) at Midland Airport.  Any recommendations? The "Midland International Air&Space Port" has all the usual companies and I'd rather not call them all to see which ones have 4WD (the web sites don't provide any info on that).  Thanks!

You should carefully read the contract limitations. Despite rental companies being more than eager to provide you with a high cost rental, every contract I've ever seen prohibits operation off PAVED roads. Do people ignore that? All the time. It's only a problem when you prang the vehicle or have to have it retrieved from someplace that obviously wasn't allowed by the contract. The typical credit card protections won't give you any coverage on that.
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<  presidio  >
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Wendell (Garret Dillahunt): It's a mess, ain't it, sheriff?
Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones): If it ain't, it'll do till the mess gets here.
--No Country for Old Men (2007)

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Offline Steadygirl

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Re: Best Company for 4WD rental at Midland airport?
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2016, 11:23:02 AM »
Thanks everybody! I'm used to getting 4WD because my other favorite vacation spot is the northern part of the Outer Banks of North Caroline, where you'll get stuck in the sand if you have an AWD vehicle rather than 4WD.  But you're right, desert pavement, gravel, and rock won't shift the way beach sand does so an AWD truck or SUV should be fine.  I appreciate the cautions about checking the tires.  I'll do some research on what truck tires vs passenger car tires look like.

ANd thanks for the road report from Glenn Srings!

 


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