I rented a 12-foot Ryder last December to move some stuff into storage in Washington (state) from L.A. (It’s cheaper to store there, and I want to move there eventually.)
My current vehicle is a 1999 Jeep Cherokee. It has more-than-adequate power with its straight-six engine, and it will get up and move. Before that, I had a Porsche 911SC. That one would really move! Go past 4,000 rpm and it’s like kicking in the afterburner. And of course, I ride the hell out of my motorcycle which has the best power-to-weight ratio of them all.
So here I am in a smegging truck. First: It’s huge compared to what I’m used to, if not compared to trucks others in this thread have rented. Rear visibility is poor. I like to look when I drive, not rely on mirrors. And power was lacking. Really lacking. Even a small hill reduced my speed. Big hills made me crawl along. Traffic was torture owing to the lack of visibility, the lack of accelleration, and the poor maneuverability. (In fairness, I should say that the truck did have adequate power for the mission; it just was not what I was used to.)
But then, I’m a “tactical” driver. I try to get the feel of the machine and match my abilities to it. I was extremely cautious driving this behemoth. Fortunately I was not towing a vehicle.
Duckster gives good advice. You’ll have to plan well ahead and keep a weather eye out in traffic. You won’t accellerate as well as you’re used to, and you sure as hell won’t stop as quickly. As Duckster says, “Anticipate, anticipate, anticipate.” Remember in Driver’s Ed. when they said to do everything smoothly? Smoothness counts in a truck.
And the gas is important as well. I’d get over 20 miles per gallon in the Porsche when I was cruising along at 80 or 90. At 75 in the Cherokee I can usually count on about 18. The bike gets 50 mpg. The Ryder? Eight to ten at 65. I really hated refueling.
I always parked such that I could pull forward instead of backing up. I stayed overnight at a place that had no abutments between the parking spaces. It’s much easier to drive forward in an unfamiliar vehicle than to back it up.
I bought the insurance from the rental place. Ordinarily when I rent a car I do not bother. IMO it’s a bit of a scam. But the truck was a type of vehicle I had had no experience with, and I was embarking on a 1,300 mile trip. Insurance would provide a piece of mind. It covered everything except the “box”. (I guess people have a habit of hitting overhangs.) Before I got to Bakersfield I heard a crack. Semitrailers often throw rocks at other motorists. After a couple hundred miles I noticed the windscreen was cracking low on the driver’s side. It was spreading. I reported it to the rental return place in Washington. The guy seemed impressed that I “fessed up” to having damage occur on my trip. Since I had bought the insurance, I avoided having to pay a few hundred bucks for a new windscreen.