Renae Hutchinson, Australia
Overall, our camper van experience was great and we loved visiting bthe beautiful South Island.
We did, however, have a few issues with the van itself, including the pick up process. We had conducted a pre-registration process for the van, indicating that we would pick up the van at 1000 the following day. On arrival at the depot we were told it would be another half an hour before the van was ready. That was ok, but then an hour later we were told the vans (we were travelling with another family) were still being prepared, including having new tyres fitted at the other site, so it would be another couple of hours. To their credit (and obviously this happens a lot) the staff offered us free family passes to the Antartctic Centre. So we visited there for a couple of hours to pass the time. When we came back we still had to wait another half an hour or so before we began the paperwork. This was not a good start.
Our van was in reas onable condition for its age although it was missing the wine glasses (the staff member handing the van over to us saw this, but didn't do anything about it.) subsequently we found the coffee bodum was broken (cracked in the base). The bedding was adequate but the pillows were in terrible condition and need to be replaced.
We also subsequently found out that we should have been given access to the complementary Tourist Radio system when we picked up the van but we were not made aware of this at the time.
The oil light kept coming on for the whole trip. We checked the oil, so we were satisfied there were no issues (it was just over filled).
The seal on the fridge in the van was broken, and kept coming off - which made the fridge harder to close as the days went by.
The camping chairs were in bad condition and were not at all suitable for adults ( they were barely suitable for our kids aged 11 and 13). The chairs need to be replace d.
When we handed the van back, we offered to do a walk around to point out some of the issues, but the staff member wasn't interested. Otherwise some of these problems might have been resolved before handing the van to the next people in the same state.
We understand that the depot is a bit of a clearing centre for a number of camper van companies, so the level of care and interest shown by staff seems to be minimal (that said, the staff there seem very nice and helpful to the point they can be).
I am sure that the friends we were travelling with will also write a review, and I know they had problems with old food smells in their van (clearly the drains in the van had not been cleared properly - as they were draining rice and noodles (not theirs) for our entire trip).
Overall, we had a great time and appreciated Gigi's assistance in the lead up to our holiday. The booking process was very easy.
I don't n ormally write reviews, but think its important that you hear about some of these issues.
We have some great photos of the holiday, some including the vans so we will be sure to forward them to you ASAP.
Posted by Gigi - 12 October, 2014 at 10:57 am