Hiring a Camper Van

I have never been camping in my entire life so even thinking about it as a senior was challenging. However, as we had been invited to join friends on a nine-day trip, we decided to give it a go.

First up was finding the perfect van. The Internet is the obvious place so I typed in, ‘hire camper van, Perth’. The results came up with around 20 sites for hiring online and three sites here in the city.

I had no intention of hiring anything sight unseen, so we headed off to Wangara, which was the nearest camper van hire site to our home. Staff at this hire place were very pleasant and very knowledgeable about their products but the vans looked quite old and tired.

We had expected that there would be a bond but presumed it would be like hotel bonds and that the funds would not be taken unless there were extra costs involved

However, the hirers insist on a $5000 bond, which is taken out of the customer’s credit card immediately and not put back for about a week after the hire van is returned – less any costs for damages. Strike one site.

The second site was in Welshpool. Again the staff were very good and very persuasive. The vans were all very similar but hirers paid less according to the age of the van. This was the cheapest site but the vans looked very well used. Strike site two.

Luckily our third and last site was fine.  The staff at Britz camper van hire on the Great Eastern Highway at Redcliffe were very efficient but also very busy. It is obviously a popular place especially for tourists as the depot is very close to the airport. A ticket system for would-be camper van hirers and camper van returners would be very useful.

Hiring a Camper Van

We looked at campervans with a toilet and shower and camper vans without these useful facilities. The difference in price was around $630 so we decided that we could usefully spend that amount of money elsewhere and went for the Britz Hi top 4 berth camper van which did not come with a toilet or a shower. All vans have GPS, gas rings (LPG), a microwave and a fridge as well as a small sink. They are fully equipped with crockery, cutlery, glassware, kettle, toaster, towels, pillows and linen.

The campervan we chose had a pull-down table and a pull-down bed. There is ample storage under the seats. All vans also come with a power cable, water hose and a waste pipe to connect to utilities at caravan parks. Full instructions are on leaflets in the van. Our van was an automatic and took 91 octane petrol

The cost per day was $92 for seven days and $112 for two days as were travelling for two days of a holiday weekend. The cost of hiring the camper van for nine days was $868. But we also bought insurance. There are several options to choose from. We opted for an inclusive package at $55 per day. This package covered us for everything, which came in handy as we dented a panel trying to negotiate the entry into a service station in Kalbarri. Our total costs came to $1401.16. The inclusive package included an outdoor table and two chairs, no charge for an extra driver (normally $18 per day), free wifi and a portable heater or fan. I would also recommend hiring an awning.

My husband found driving the camper a lot easier than he had anticipated. Just be aware of the extra height and length. We found it was better to stay around the 90-100 kms on the road as the effect of wind and noise at a higher speed was not good.

As for the interior – it was spacious during the day and the table was a good size. It was difficult to make the bed and once the bed is down there is not a lot of space.

Hiring a Camper Van

On return, the water container must be refilled as well as the fuel tank. The LPG tank must also be refilled but there is an $18 prepay service if you don’t want to go to the bother of finding a camping shop to refill the LPG tank.

Our first camping trip was a success and it will definitely be the first of many!

About Hazel Broomhead

My name is Hazel and I am a Perth senior!

Originally from Edinburgh in Scotland, my husband and I moved to New Zealand with our children in 1974. As my husband is in the oil business, we moved to several other countries including the Sultanate of Oman, the Netherlands, Singapore, the Philippines, the USA, Russia and Kazakhstan during the next 36 years before retiring to Perth.

We have six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren who live in different parts of the globe – New Zealand, Scotland and Colombia - which makes a great excuse for us to travel and visit.

My career background is in radio and print journalism in Scotland and New Zealand as well as public relations in various other countries.

We love to eat out, walk, travel and enjoy the wonderful lifestyle here in Western Australia.

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