"Could have EASILY ruined our trip"
We did not have a great experience with Awesome Campervans. I wish we had b...
Last updated: 9th May 2021
Awesome Campers no longer offers a depot in Airlie Beach but continues to cater travellers in their other branches. Also, they provide the same set of fleet for the past years, all of which can accommodate up to 2 persons only.
Awesome Campers is an all Aussie owned campervan hire company aimed at the budget market, with branches all over the country. Their name is quite enticing, but are they really awesome?
As a locally operated business in Australia, Awesome Campers targets the budget-conscious travellers through their limited fleet of affordable yet customized campervans. With multiple depots across the country, they allow one-way rentals for a more convenient getaway. In total, they have 7 branches―Sydney, Perth, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, Townsville, and Cairns. And if you want a more comfortable trip, you may opt for their tour packages. They also have some special deals for long-term rentals. On the other hand, they offer short-term hires for those who want to attend a festival and go on a weekend adventure.
Aimed at the budget market, the Awesome Campers fleet provides a selection that caters up two adults only. And these are particularly money-conscious couples and solo backpackers. Their campervan fleet ranges from a basic model to a deluxe vehicle. Keep in mind though that the 'super deluxe' standard does not equal to a fancy Kea or Maui. So, manage your expectations well. As there are only four campervans on set, along with some other car choices, travellers will have a restricted selection. But to compensate the limited option and the fewer frills, each rental already comes with 2 outside chairs, 1 outside table, kitchen & cooking utensils, crockery, pots, pans, tea towel, washing up gears, linens, pillows with cases, and towels. Well, the inclusions are quite charming!
The fleet begins with the Classic Camper―a funky unit with some comical designs. Built on a 2014- 2016 refurbished unit, these are equipped with facilities like gas cooker, esky, double bed, and CD player. These vehicles are ideal for those who are okay with a simple yet convenient holiday on the road.
Second in line is the Deluxe Camper, which is run by a Toyota Estima. This is somewhat the same as the third option, or the Elgrand Camper. Technically, the two only differ in certain angles like sleeping dimension and models used. The Deluxe Camper comes with more treats that are not included in the first one such as fan, fridge, electric mirrors and the like.
Now, here's the Elgrand Camper―the grandest or we say the most improved among all campervans on set becayse of its larger double bed and newer vehicle model. There's really not that much upgrades with this one. It also has a fridge on board, which means less wasted food due to ice melt that you get in an esky (cooler box, chill bin, or whatever you call it).
Another Awesome camper is added to their rental fleet, a compact 2 berth with modern features. This automatic camper may be smaller in terms of size but it has all essential things you need for a cozy road trip. You might even be surprised that this petite camper has its own kitchen area, sleeping place, and storage spaces all inside. Other features include the dual battery, tinted windows, fridge, and gas cooker.
There are three insurance options on hand. First is the Standard with no daily charge but a bond of $3000 and an excess of $4000. The second option is the Liability C with $20 per day, which limits the bond to $000 and excess to $3000. This already includes coverage for tyres and front windscreen. Lastly, the Fast Track Package at $30 per day reduces the bond to $500 and excess to $2000, plus inclusion of tyres, front windscreen, and extra driver.
Awesome Campers is quite reputable on its own, providing affordable and well-equipped vehicles. However, it only attracts solo travellers and couples as all their vehicles are 2-berths. The limited selection may be a downer but the competitive prices still make them attractive to budget-conscious renters. But by all means, expect to be a little more cramped than something like a Hiace Hi-top campervan. Another thing to consider is that they have gathered more negative reviews than positive ones for the past years. Hence, this might something to take into account before hiring a unit from Awesome Campers.
With several negative reviews surrounding Awesome Campers, you might want to think hard if you plan to rent from them. On the bright side, they can be a great place to start with if you have little money on your account or if you want the convenience of having multiple depots.
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We did not have a great experience with Awesome Campervans. I wish we had been more vocal about our complaints upon pick-up and drop-off because it ultimately cost us money and ultimately didn't end up being a budget vehicle. We selected the smallest campervan to hopefully combat spending more on gas prices, but at pickup the van they had available for us was much larger than what we had rented. We were in a hurry so we decided to just roll with it. It was a pain to park and drive and guzzled gas. The agent did not have our add on items prepared and we had to ask for them. The van was not impressive to look at and turned out to have several problems we discovered down the road. We did not find the pillows and sheets under the floorboards until the last night, the fridge was on the fritz, our power plug did not work at campsites, the radio didn't work, the tires were bald, hazardously bad windshield wipers, and the van squealed for the first 5 minutes of driving every time you turned it on. Which turned out to be pretty embarrassing pulling out of camp sites early in the morning. I'm sure we woke everyone up.
We are not Australians and ended up getting pulled over for a minor traffic violation. The police gave us an additional fine for the condition of the vehicle, which they said the rental company would be responsible for. Luckily this happened just before we returned the vehicle or we would have spent the day getting new tires instead of vacationing. When we delivered the paperwork they were curt to my husband and eventually fined us, which was apparently within the rights of the contract we signed. We never complained about the ways the company failed us and I feel a little scorned having this fine tacked on, legal as I'm sure it was.
I don't typically take time to write bad reviews. Luckily our trip wasn't ruined by some of these events, but I can say it easily could have been and I wouldn't make the decision to use this company again.
Additionally, the Melbourne pickup location is extremely inconvenient to the airport. We spent about $100 on a taxi. When we left we tried to save money walking to the train, but it probably only saved us $30. But it cost a lot more time and effort toting our luggage around and making multiple connections.
Be warned, it's money down the drain!
I had the Elgrand Campervan 3 weeks and since day 1 several defects reported to the hotline.
I had not received a GPS although it was specified in the package, at the same time all USB accesses were defective in the driver's area. To use the phone as a navigator and to charge was therefore not possible. Also no music via USB.
The battery was also dead (after 6-12h drive) after 4 hours and woke you up in the middle of the night with a loud beep.
My wipers were not present in the back and in the front also defective.
The front left light was patched with cable ties and not very trustworthy. The alarm system went off (to the delight of the other campers) every time you put the key in the lock or unlocked the door from the inside - because the battery on the key was not working properly you were forced to do so.
The gas stove was also defective and the 10l water tank was stocked with animals when I arrived.
I was told I can have the missing USB charging facility repaired and get a refund for the powered campsites, as I had actually planned to stand free and the battery only worked for 4h.
All empty promises, after the return no one wanted to remember despite written confirmation and I never saw the money!
Apart from that, it is expected that the van may be picked up only at the last minute and completely cleaned inside and outside at 10 o'clock is given back (deep clean, so that it is rented directly so further - cleaning utensils you have to buy yourself of course and pay the car wash).
Honestly, I would have rented a simple car (which would be much cheaper) I would have had more of it and less stress!
This company is a crime!
This is complete renter beware. Awesome rip-off rather than Awesome Camper.
The camper we hired had a fridge that didn’t work the minute the car was turned off, super expensive for a very very basic van.
The aircon worked eventually and it wasn’t even a really hot North QLD day.
The van was unroadworthy with chips in the windscreen and the wing mirror swung in once you drove over 80kms per hour.
Complete bomb and worth about $40 a day if that is what the budget traveller is happy to pay. We were charged well in excess of this.
We collected the van with just enough petrol to make it to the nearest petrol station. Really, who does that?
The agent in Townsville was lovely, but seriously the middle man shouldn’t allow these vehicles to be on the road.
Horrendous experience, not worth one star! Broke down 10 mins after leaving the office in Cairns.. nobody from the company would help as it was a Sunday. Spent a day of our holiday sat on the side of the road arranging their van to be towed, even though we were 10 mins from their office!!!!!!! Soooo dangerous too, the van went into limp mode and was on its last legs and basically wouldn't go faster than 40km in a 100km, thankfully nobody was hurt!! We had to sit on the side of the road, no toilet, no water in 32 degree heat for 4 hours trying to arrange fixing their camper ringing so many numbers with no help. Absolutely no communication from the company to explain what to do, nobody was interested, I had to chase every step. We got the racq out who deemed the van unsafe.They arranged another camper for us with had no fan and meant another 5k deposit on top of the 3k already paid. Its crazy to think, that although we were paying customers, we had to spend a day of our holiday organising (had ring about 10 ppl) to fix their van. No compensation was given, no even a "sorry"... far from it, they tried to make out that we were incapable drivers with snidey remarks! When it came to getting our deposit back they told us that we had been driving the van in 2nd gear??? Almost as if to say we weren't going to get it back, even our new company which we got the 2nd camper from had the cheek to say... "oh but there was nothing wrong with the first camper.. ive heard you were driving in second gear?! " so they had even blamed us to the new company.......Absolute insane as we have 26 years driving experience between us plus the racq deemed the vehicle as unsafe! Why would we want to break down and waste time Tried???? Tried to put the blame on us. We also spoke to an Irish girl in the office who was super unfriendly and nasty and snappy to us. She also said you might not get the deposit back as you were driving in second gear??? I have no idea where this assumption came from. Funny I managed to drive from Cairns to townsville fine in the second camper? Im honestly disgusted, they should be apologising to us for sending us out in an unsafe vehicle and losing a day of our holiday! Disgusting seevice all round. I would never ever ever go with them again, if you have any issues you are screwed, do not book with them!!!!
We booked the deluxe camper with the fridge and we add the netting to cover the back hatch and window socks for the front.
- The car was in disrepair when we got it, bumps, scratches and cracks everywhere
- The fridge never worked
- The window socks we booked, were not available for the model of car (we were informed at pick up)
- The Back hatch netting was just a bug net that we were supposed to figure out how jerry rig up.
As you can imagine we got eaten alive by bugs due to the poor netting; when we closed the car up to keep the bugs out we immediately overheated. Making it near impossible to sleep in the car. We lasted two of the 5 nights we had booked before having to book hotels.
The worst part is the tracking down who is actually responsible for these cars, they operate in some joint network pushing responsibility of onto someone else. When I raised my concerns dropping off the car. The response was two fold 1)" Why didn't you tell us earlier?" 2)"I just look after the cars drop off and pick up, you will need to track the company you rented from. But they will ask why you didn't say anything earlier?" to both I would say we had were hours drive from any city, moving pretty constantly and didn't want to let this shitty company ruin our vacation anymore by having to wait for them somewhere.
The staff is friendly and that is unfortunately the only enjoyable part. Van was in a pretty bad condition, curtains were missing, the extinguisher faulty, the passenger door lock broken and there were bed bugs in the matresses.
On top of that the company charged us for an already broken rear bumper.
rented a van online for one month. it was old, ok no problem. the engine was ok, the doors, lights and the breaks no good at all. Gave me a broken gps (paying it for sure), told them it was no good in the first minute, but for them it was ok. After three days they gave me a new one. The only problem is that I loosed three days driving with a broken gps. I don' t wanna say that the staff service was bad, but it was no good at all. I will not go back.
Booked online with a package that reduced bond and included a GPS. Didn't get the GPS and had to buy my own. Staff at pick up location were not friendly at all. I requested a plain vehicle and got one with a paint job. Had 460,000 km on it. Sink tap leaked every time I used it. Van constantly was making noises that didn't sound too good... and when it rained it got into the vehicle! It was dripping from the ceiling near the windshield. This was the final straw for me as it got on the GPS I purchased. Do your research before hand. Don't rent from this company.
I would not recommend this company to people.
We did a rental return for Awesome campers and the camper was fine, an old converted van that ran OK (it had 500k on the clock).
However, we had a misunderstanding when we booked the van. On the website during the booking it gave us the option to reduce the bond/liability on the van and we took it. When we picked up the van we were informed by the company that there was no option to reduce and my card was charged $1500 in bond. It was far to late at this point to arrange another rental return, it was taking the van or fly down.
This was a bit of a pain but not a terrible. The conversation I then had with the GM of Awesome was. I rang up to complain about the issue, I did not ask or demand a refund etc. just wanted to register a complaint with the GM who for some reason we had contact details of. The GM was extremely confrontational and informed me that I was lying and that I had read on the initial booking page that there was no option to reduce the excess. There was no attempt to understand and no reassurance that she would look into the issue.
Later I had a read through the terms and conditions that where in a folder in the car. From my understanding of what is written here our liability was far more than $1500 and there where a lot of restrictions on when and where we could drive, gravel roads for instance invalidate the cover. This is crazy, I’ve rented vehicles for many years and the liabilities of this old and cheap van far exceed anything I have ever seen, even if you can take the reduced bond cover.
On returning the vehicle we where expected to vacuum the van, not a massive issue but the place we dropped the car off to had a vacuum cleaner there in clear view and required us to go and find a car cleaning place and pay to use a vacuum cleaner (or pay them $150 for the clean!).
And finally, they held onto my $1500 for a week after we had dropped off the van. Not a big deal for me but if I was someone without money on a round the world trip this could have put me in a very bad place.
Overall the van was fine, I just pity anyone that rents from these people and are short of money or find themselves broken down on a gravel road because google routed them that way (we ended up for an hour on a gravel road following google.)
I was happy with Awesome. The people were great.
we hired a deluxe camper from there Sydney depot, the staff was really friendly and very accomodating, the camper was great, everything we expected and more. would recommend them to any one.
Awesome campers was a horrible company to rent from. They provided us with a dirty vehicle with a bald tire, down to the metal belt showing. When we refused the first vehicle, the second was not much better. The vehicle was dirty, and missing items. Lawn chairs provided broke on the first day, and we had to go and purchase missing items from the camper. The brakes did not work correctly, the windshield wipers were worn and one was broken, which my husband managed to fix on the road. After driving the vehicle for about two weeks, the fan belt began to slip, and was chirping and squeeling when we drove, and when we came to a stop, the radiator was literally boiling. It was audible when we stopped. When we complained to awesome campers after two weeks into our 5 week trip about our concern of the roadworthiness of the second camper, the response we received from Lauren was what do you expect, it is an old vehicle. I completely expected an old vehicle, but I had expected that it was serviced regularity, oil and fluids were checked before it was rented to us and that it was cleaned, and that inventory was checked. The vehicle was also down a liter of oil when we received it. Condisering that we were driving the van for 5 weeks in the summer, I would have expected that the fluids were topped up, and the basics were checked for us before we hit the road. I did expect that we would have to check oil and water levels, as it is an older vehicle, but I expected a road worthy vehicle.
We received a third vehicle after our complaint, and we did ask for an upgrade for our inconvenience, which we did receive, however, the third vehicle was not much better. This one was at least clean, or so we thought, and had the full inventory of supplies as listed, however, that being said, the first time I had to use the portable propane stove, about a week after pick up, I opened the case to find a dirty stove, with rotten food all over the stove and in the plastic case, and when we had to use the sink for the first time, the drain was not only clogged with old food and black guck, the drain pipe was not properly attached, causing the pipe to pop off, and drain the dirty sink water all over the inside of the kitchen area, which we had to clean up. The drain for the sink was inoperable, and despite our efforts to fix it, the drain hose was made of flexible plastic, and had two 90degree kinks in it, pinching off the water flow, think of a kink in a garden hose, making the sink drain inoperable.
When we returned the vehicle, we brought up our concerns with all three of the vehicles we had or were offered for our 5 week rental. We were told that our expectations were too high, and no, of course they don't check their vehicles regularity. There are old vehicles, what did we expect.
We did manage to negotiate a partial refund for our troubles, but I would have much rather paid the full price, and not be faced with problems we had over our vacation we had planned and saved for for three years. Simple regular checks of oil and water levels, windshield wipers, and that all equipment provided was present, cleaned, and in working order, are not high expectations, just regular expectations of a customer who read what was included in the vehicle description provided in the listing when I booked. You can't tell me the vehicle has a sink in it if I can use it. Just saying.
The customer service at the Brisbane depot was awful. Lady was incredibly rude and unhelpful. The customer service at the depot where we dropped off the van couldn't have been nicer, chilled, helpful friendly guy.
Van drove fine and was comfortable when driving with armrests. A fair bit of damage to panels and missing trim which they 'hadn't noticed' when we collected but on pointing it out they did put it on form. Many of the features we were told would be in van and were stated on website weren't available.
The conversion/living accommodation was ok but poorly thought out and in a lightweight wood that didn't seemed designed for the amount of use hire vans get. The mattress (foam) was very thin, every time you turned over you could feel the boards . The mattress covers appeared hand made and torn. The curtains didn't fit around the van. The van wasn't clean when we collected it although we were told in no uncertain terms that it had to be clean on return. We even found a used bar of soap in the van. Nice kitchen unit. Unfortunately kettle provided in van was too powerful to run off the electrics in the van unless the van was plugged in on site.
I might have been a bit more positive about the overall impression if we had encountered the guy we handed the van back to at the beginning of the trip. Unfortunately the lady in Brisbane soured the whole experience.
I accept these are budget vans but simple fixes are possible. A friendly helpful reception costs nothing. A thicker mattress would require an investment I accept. The kettle should be easily remedied. The website could be changed for free to be accurate.
It is telling that no one ever asked us for any feedback at the end of the hire!
The people at Awesome really were awesome. Very friendly, and answered all of our questions.
The interior of the van was all great, with the exception of the mattress. It is thin. I recommend this company, but I also recommend you budget for some additional padding if you're renting for longer than a few days.
if you were smart you would avoid this company like the plague. terrible vehicles, even worse customer service. and no refund or return policy. once you pay you are left in the dark.. dont walk away from this company.. RUN
Got a van with faulty engine, no air-conditioned. That was be enough.
But now, 3 weeks after return, we get charged 600aud for a damage that was not done by us. My credit card is totally taken into hostage as they can take freely take whatever they want from it without justifying it.
They are crooks of the worst kind. Beware of cheap because this ended up costing us more than the most expensive options out there.
These people just want your money, don't waste your time. Their no refund policy is a joke and their customer service is completely unreasonable, driven only but how much money they can get out of you.