UPDATE AUGUST 2017 - Drive Beyond are no longer! Gone! Kaputski! We will leave the listing here for a while for those who are still researching them from other avenues but it's Gonski.
Drive Beyond are a relatively new company specializing in 4wd (4×4) rental across Australia.
We haven’t had a chance to really dive into the nitty-gritty of this mob yet, but on the surface, they are a small operation with big goals. With depots in nearly every mainland capital city (no Canberra) as well as Cairns, Alice Springs, and Broome, you should be able to pick up one of their campers close to where you want to get off the beaten track. Having said that, there is a “remote location” fee of $700!! if you want to pick up the vehicle in Broome (WA). They are headquartered in Queensland.
4wd’s or Bust
4WD campers by their nature are less luxurious than things like hi-top campervans and fully kitted out motorhomes, but those vehicles won’t take you where these things can. Designed for 2 peeps or 5, the Drive Beyond campers will help you, well, drive beyond.
Given that they are keen for you to get off the bitumen, they are pretty OK with getting adventurous, however, you have to let them know what tracks you are planning on going on and get written permission. This is not unusual and it is just as much for your safety as much as the protection of their camper. They will know the right places to check to see if a track is closed or in major disrepair. You might, for instance, want to go up a 200km track that is currently rutted to all-get-out. Doing this track in that state is no good for the vehicle or your sanity, so they may say no. You certainly don’t want to vibrate your camper to pieces and break it hundreds of miles from anywhere.
They get specific in their Terms and Conditions…
15. ROAD RESTRICTIONS AS FOLLOWS
A. 4WD vehicles can be driven on recognised unsealed tracks.>B. 4WD vehicles may only travel to the following areas with the written permission of BEYOND: Simpson Desert, Strzelecki Track, Gunbarrel Highway, Cape York, the Bungle Bungles, Oodnadatta Track, Birdsville Track, Tanami Track, the Plenty Highway, Gibb River Road, Burke Development Road from Chillagoe to Normanton, Savannah Way from Normanton to Borroloola, Finke Road (between Alice Springs and Oodnadatta), Central Arnhem Road and Arnhem Land in general, Canning Stock Route, the Old Gunbarrel Hwy, the Lost City in Litchfield Park, the Telegraph section of the road to Cape York, Boggy Hole (Finke Gorge National Park) and the Old South Road from Maryvale to Finke at any time. Travel to Cape York between the months of December to May. If the Customer chooses to take the vehicle to any of the above mentioned without the written consent of ‘BEYOND’, the Customer is responsible for any/all damage to the vehicle as well as all recovery costs associated with travelling on these roads.
Some of the places listed are strictly off limits with other campervan hire companies that rent out 4wd such as Britz and Apollo, so these guys are definitely trying to help out the adventurous traveler. I would also suggest that you might find you will be queried about your 4wd’ing experience for some of the listed tracks as some of them are pretty tough, whilst others could almost be done in a 2wd (almost but not recommended).
Roof tents are the accommodation of choice for Drive Beyond, so if you are not particularly nimble, they may not be the camper company for you. You will have to climb a ladder to get to bed at night, but the campers are well fitted out with a fridge, house battery, 2 spare wheels (awesome) as well as shower and toilet. The shower is a hand held shower head connected to the vehicle and you have to shower holding it standing next to the campervan so hope that you are either VERY remote or be prepared to shower with some clothes on.
Recovery Gear and Tires
Recovery gear is provided the standard which is a smart move some other hire companies don’t do (you have to pay extra) including a snatch strap, a pair of bow shackles a pair of gloves and a folding shovel. However, the best thing that REALLY sets Drive Beyond apart is the 12v air compressor and tire gauge. Fantastic!! Why? Because if you are going to be spending any length of time on a dirt track you should deflate your tires a little to help avoid tire blowout. You should deflate them even more if you are on the sand for traction, but without a compressor you can't re-inflate them when you hit bitumen, hence damaging the tires. So with this little device, you can both deflate and re-inflate your tires and the pressure gauge will let you know what level you are at. A great move by Drive Beyond, which save lots of blown tires. My favourite guide for tyre pressure has always been the simple, hand-drawn guide from the old owner of the Pink Roadhouse up the Oodnadatta track, whilst it is supposedly specific for the Oodnadatta, you can apply it anywhere really. See it here
Anyway, if you are looking to do some serious 4wding then you should definitely look these guys up. They are not represented by the booking engine on this site so you will have to contact them direct to be able to compare prices to other players.
Hopefully, sometime soon, we will get to have a look around and a play with one of their campers and give a better run down on the quality, style, and drive.
On the surface, these guys have an impressive offering with some well thought out vehicles, I really hope the renters show respect for the vehicles when they are out there or this company might go belly up with massive repair costs before they can really get off the ground.