"Great van but at too high a price in stress trying to deal with the company from the US."
The van itself was very new and functioned well with a couple of minor prob...
The van itself was very new and functioned well with a couple of minor problems. The fuel bottle door lock was very difficult, the electrical plug door broken requiring a screw driver to pry it open, and the smoke alarm went off twice for no apparent reason. The staff at the Hobart airport were fine. The problem was the lack of commuication and transparency. From my first attempts to rent a van until I was certain that the required security deposit had been returned, I had little to no confidence that I wasn't being taken advantage of or worse. Of the many attempts I made to ask questions via email or to their 800 number in New York, three were acknowledged and only two answered. The exception was with the owner of Motorhome Republic, who took the time to explain in detailed emails how the whole rental system worked and how to best get insurance after I could not get satisfaction any other way. If you are willing to do plenty of research, can live with lots of uncertainties, and don't mind spending the money to make several calls to AU, then go for it. The campervan experience, once underway, was a lot of fun. The rest of it, not so much.
The motorhome supplied did not have a working fridge. The hot water system also did not work. We were supplied with one (not big enough) sheet that smelt of dog. The hose supplied was too short, kinked and very old (we had to borrow hose from other motor home people to fill the water tank). Various lights were also dodgy.
The motorhome fridge and hot water did not work, amongst other things. We returned the vehicle as were told that we needed to complain in writing via email. We did only to receive a reply claiming that the fridge and water heater were ok. Not the case at all.
ps: check the one sheet that you are given as our one stunk of dog.
We booked a 4WD vehicle supplied by Energi Motorhomes through Motorhome Republic (the booking agent)to look at Kakadu in September 2012. All of our worst fears were realised when we got to Darwin. NO 4WD vehicle had been reserved and we were informed none was available. Instead we were forced to travel in a clapped out 2WD ( we were told all vehicles were at least 2007 vehicles but we managed to be given a 2005/06 vehicle)in which neither the fridge, sink or gas stove worked adequately. Because of this we could not travel to the parts of the Northern Territory that we had intended and had to totally revise our travel itinerary. We were also forced (because the battery system charged by the vehicle would not hold a charge longer than a paltry 12 hours) to travel to, and pay for, a POWERED campsite every night.
Instead of being able to visit the remoter parts of Kakadu and Arnhem Land, and spend time away from other tourists, we were forced at CONSIDERABLE ADDITIONAL EXPENSE (as powered commercial sites are more than double the national park camp fees) to stick to the well-worn tourist trail on the sealed roads and ‘camp’ each night cheek-by-jowl with hundreds of other tourists.
We reserved a picnic table and were assured that one would be available. On pick up day, we were informed that they never promised this even though we had confirmation in writing. We checked the chairs before we left and they were both broken. They had to raid two other vans before we could get something that passed muster to sit on. We ended up having to waste valuable time before leaving Darwin to go to Bunnings and buy a table.
Between the incompetence of Motorhome Republic and Energi who supplied the van we eventually ended up with our holiday completely ruined. Instead of a holiday of a lifetime for which we had planned for months, we had a thoroughly miserable time and couldn’t wait to return home. We do not believe we could have done any more to ensure that what we’d ordered was actually what was provided, but it was all to no avail.
Basic issues with the van were as stated earlier 1)the battery not charging properly so the fridge and lights would not work 12 hours after a long drive 2)the water pump for the sink not working 3)one stove burner not working) were as follows … interior light fell off on the first bump in the road out of Darwin and kept turning on throughout the trip, plates missing, can-opener didn’t work, several windows would not open, fridge springing open whilst driving along, drawers not opening, hinges on cupboard doors loose so doors would not open/close properly.
We’ve rented motorhomes in many parts of Australia before and this is the first time we’ve encountered such a woeful and forgettable experience. I’d avoid Energi Motorhomes and Motorhome Republic totally and go with people who have a long list of solid reviews. Don’t risk ruining your holiday plans and experience. It’s just not worth it.
We hired a Toyota Hiace for 10 days in Tassie. Campervan was in good condition. Service was good as well, we were picked up at the ferry terminal at 7 am. Can recomend.