Thinking of renting from Wicked Campers? We decided to try one out before buying our own campervan. Read more to hear about our experience.
Buying a campervan of our own to travel the East Coast of Australia in was always on the cards, however, neither of us had any prior experience with similar vehicles so thought it would be a good idea to have a trial run.
For Matt’s birthday this year we decided to journey down the Great Ocean Road – a gorgeous stretch of coastline between Geelong and Warrnambool.
After searching the internet for the most reasonable camper van rental, we stumbled across Wicked Campers.
About Wicked Campers
Wicked Campers offer a wide range of rental vehicles from standard hire cars to 12 seater busses sleeping up to seven people. We went for the “Iconic 3-Seater Camper with AC”.
The company’s vans definitely stand out with comical/rash/striking paint jobs such as the mystery machine from Scooby Doo or other memorable movie themes. We ended up with a Cheech & Chong themed vehicle with a big thumbs up on the front and some (what could be considered offensive) spray paint on the back.
Our Wicked Campers experience
There was no air conditioning which wasn’t a massive problem other than we thought we had paid for it. To avoid burning through an open window (my left side was constantly in the sun) we did try the air fans which pumped out cool-ish air. It did smell strange, perhaps down to not being turned on for a while.
Internally our van had heaps of scribbled messages all over, stemming way back to 2009.
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In the boot, there was a kitchen area with shelves filled with basic equipment, a sink and a cool box. Over three days we bought two lots of ice to keep things fresh. There were no mug type cups though so I was having tea withdrawals by day three.
We had to climb through the side door to get into the internal section of the van. Inside, a platform of wood made up the base of the bed which also lifted up revealing a large under bed storage area. Three thin floor mat type pads (which were stacked up on each other) had to be laid down to form a ‘mattress’ of sorts. We had to take our own sheets as Wicked Campers do not provide them due to hygiene reasons.
I did not have the comfiest nights sleep but that was to be expected in a well used old camper.
The van had done around 382,100 kilometres when we picked it up. As for the drive itself, the vehicle made various squeaks and breaking noises. When we started her up on the third day she made a very long high pitched whine which turned heads of many fellow campers at the campsite.
Matt the driver says
The first and second gears were stiff and almost impossible to use and the other gears weren’t much better. I didn’t feel that the tyres had the best grip and I had to break hard. Saying that, the hand break seemed to work better than expected for a well-used car.
Pick-up and drop-off
The pick-up and drop off of the vehicle was completely hassle-free. This was great initially as we were behind schedule and itching to hit the road. However, it would have been good to receive more instructions. The only direction we received from the extremely unenthused receptionist when he showed us the vehicle was that there was storage, a burner and equipment in the back which took him all of 30 seconds. We didn’t realise the bed mats and wooden base could convert into a table and chairs until it was too late.
Renting from the company made us realise what we wanted (or didn’t want) when purchasing our own van. We rented the camper for two nights and three days which cost $265.09 AUD. Their initial costs seemed much cheaper but there were hidden compulsory costs such as a $35 toll road levy fee. We had to pay it despite not even travelling on tolls.
Our opinion on Wicked Campers
We would use Wicked Campers again but only for a short trip no longer than a week.
We received an old car but for us, the main thing was that it got us from A-B safely. The engine temperature remained consistent and other than the occasional noises, we had no problems starting her up meaning internally the car was sound enough.
MORE: A step by step guide to buying a campervan in Australia
It’s probably worth mentioning from our experience that you do not get to pick what vehicle you are given which may be a problem for some, so if you don’t want a rash stand-out car we’d recommend renting elsewhere.