We are discussing our first houseboat trip. It will be out of Bullfrog in late May. Some family members want to rent from a friend with an older house boat that is used 3-4 times/year, to save some money. My feeling is that renting a standard houseboat from Aramark or whatever company will have a shallower learning curve for us and be easier in general. This is with the assumption that they boats are maintained and checked regularly. I do plan to call and ask about extra charges, such as cleaning, dumping waste tanks, etc. Can you think of any questions I should definitely ask about renting when I call? Is renting from a houseboat rental company a better idea for newbies than from a private party? If so, why?