Hippie Campers Review

Customer rated 3.5 / 5 from 22 reviews

Editors Review

Hippie Campers is aimed squarely at the budget and youth market so they allow drivers aged between 18-21 to rent the vehicles. They have limited  models - a mere 2 options - so at least choice will not be hard. They only supply 2 berth and 2/3berth campervans.

Hippie are part of the Apollo family of campervans so you will be picking the camper up from a depot branded with Star RV, Apollo and Cheapa Campa. Apollo are one of the largest campervan and motorhome rental companies in the world with vehicles in Australia, New Zealand and USA and are listed on the Australian stock exchange.

Hippie campervan hire in Australia

In general, the maintenance and general appointments of a Hippie Camper interior is good for the price range. The other distinct advantage is that even the budget version comes with a fridge and an electric water pump. Most the others in this price range are going to come with an esky (cooler box, chilli bin), which is a pain as you are constantly having to find ice supplies and the ice melt will inevitably ruin some food. Generally the fridge is the way to go, however, you might have to put up with some humming during the night when it turns on. If you're a really light sleeper, this may be problematic, but worst case is to turn it off at night and turn it on in the morning. Fridges will always run off a 2nd "house" battery so there is no need to worry that you will flatten the car battery when you use it whilst parked.

What Hippie Camper Tell Us

Hippie exude a vibrant and youthful feel. They want your road trip to be fun and exciting and they suggest many ideas on what you can do. They have even teamed up with an Australian adventure company to get discounts on activities around the country, called the Hippie Club. Sometimes these discounts are actually worth it and really save you money, other times not so much, but at least the ideas are there to see. They want you to know they are 'cruzy' and cheap whilst at the same time giving quality for your money, and in general you won't be disappointed when approaching a Hippie rental with this in mind. 

A Small Fleet

Hippie Drift budget campervan

Hippie is keeping it pretty simple for a company with such financial might behind it by going with only 2 models of campervan - the Hippie Drift (budget model) and the Hitop (deluxe model). What's the main difference other than price? Budget equals low roof is the biggest difference. The hi-top is the camper costs more but  accommodate more than two people, but even though Hippie is suggesting a it should be a child due to the weight rating of the overhead bed. Don't worry about that, I slept 2 adults upstairs on one of those beds for a whole year in a 4wd camper with a similar roof style and weighting. If there is 3 adults in your party the hi-top will be just fine

Introducing the Hippie Hi-Top

hippie campers review

Hippie Campers has introduced a Hi-Top and being their "deluxe" model say they are 0-3 years old. This is stepping up the range to compete for the dollars of those travelling on less modest budgets who want a bit more comfort and style. Hi-Tops allow for full, upright standing inside the campervan. You can't do this in the Budget models. Nimble young-ens on a tight budget generally couldn't care less about this element, but those choosing a bit more comfort or who are a bit older will love it. Being able to stand up  makes a camper a lot more "homey" and less like tent-living. The interior design is fairly standard. There are only about 4 designs that pretty much everyone uses in 2 berth campervans and this is one of them. Fully internal kitchen means easy cooking no matter what the weather and a bigger water container mean less running out at the wrong moment. Nearly all Hi-Tops in Australia are based on the Toyota Hiace and this is no exception. They are nicer to drive than the budget model Hippie Drift Mitsubishi Express, being a comfier driver's seat and bit quieter if nothing else. A bigger fuel tank and better fuel economy will also mean fewer petrol costs. Not only does it have better mileage, but you won't be forced to stop at that super-overpriced petrol station as you should have enough to continue on to the next town. If you are doing a long journey (eg. Sydney to Cairns) then better mileage is something to consider even if the campervan costs a little more to hire. Saving around 30% on fuel bills really add up in Australia. Check the current price of fuel per litre in Australia here. The hi-top can seat three, but they will all be in the front. There are no seat belts in the back and children under 8 cannot travel in this camper.

Recommended campervan.

The Hippie Drift

Hippie campers budget interior

The Hippie Drift is the budget model of the 2 available from Hippie being 3-5 years old. Built on the ubiquitous Mitsubishi Express it is actually decked out pretty well for a budget van. The seating and table arrangement is good, there's a safe and a nice addition of some roof racks which most companies don't have also an awning is thrown in as an inclusion which is rare for a budget 2 berth campervan. If you're on a surfing safari the roof racks and the awning are going to be a bonus. The kitchen is at the back of the campervan, as is the case with pretty much all budget vans, so you have to open the back flip-up door in order to cook, wash etc, but snacks can be obtained from inside by leaning over the back. Hippie seems to still be transitioning out of some older style vans (the ones that have flowers painted on them) to a newer paint job and model style however the flower ones are still definitely floating around in the fleet. If you arrive to pick up your Hippie Drift and it has flowers on it, you know you are getting an older model camper. As with all companies with large fleets, there are going to be slight differences between campers over the years as they are produced so keep an open mind that some things might be different with the camper you get and in a budget camper this old DO NOT expect everything to be perfect and shiny. There will be wear and tear - that;s why they're cheap!

Whilst the Hippie Drift is cheaper to rent up front, if you are in it for a long distance, keep in mind that its fuel efficiency is not as good as the Hi-Top so over a long journey it might end up costing a little more to run.  This seems counter intuitive due to a lower roof, less wind resistance right? Wrong! An old Mitsubishi engine is not as efficient as a Toyota new one. One of the best things about this budget model though is that it has a fridge in it. I get a little excited about this as I think the other option of an esky (cooler, chilli bin) with ice in it is not as good. Apart from the $7 per day you spend on ice, the melted ice inevitably ruins some food that doesn't take well to water so a fridge is a great bonus. It runs off the house battery that also powers lights so don't worry about it flattening your campervans engine battery.

The Hippie Drift is for 2 people only as there are only 2 seat belts, both in the front. There are no seat belts in the back and children under 8 cannot travel in this camper.

Additional Items

Hippie are trying very hard to value-add to their brand. The vehicles they supply realistically can be found at many campervan hire companies so how are they going to be better? 

  • The Hippie Club that gets you discounts on Australian adventures
  • 10-15% Discounts at caravan parks
  • Web check in before you get there - but you still have to sign stuff when you get there.
  • Lists of things to do in the major tourist towns with some offering discounts
  • Instagram feed on the home page - your chance to get seen 

Locations an Oddity

The locations for Hippie Camper is worth noting. Whilst they are owed and operated by Apollo Campervans it seems Hippe are not welcome at a number of the branches. Hippie is mainly restricted to the east coast, which is definitely the most popular route in Australia. However there is one branch waaaaay over the other side of the country in Perth - 4000km and 40 drive hours away - but you have to bypass Adelaide even though there is an Apollo branch there. Apollo also have branches up the middle in Alice Springs and the top-end in Darwin, but Hippie Camper doesn't participate in these either. Go figure.

Summary

Hippie Campers are a good hire in their price range but are still only providing the essential services in a campervan. With recent improvements in the fleet, design and depot location, it is now one of the leading budget campervans hire companies in Australia (and New Zealand if you are going there too.) If you are restricted in the budget, then this is definitely one to get a quote from. If they come out a few dollars more expensive than their competitors, then it is probably worth it for the comforts provided.

Branch Locations

Get a quote on your next camper holiday

22 reviews from our community

Write review
, Australia
1 Review

"Good Value overall & Great Customer Service!"

  • Reviewed 2 months ago

For a budget, older campervan (ours is named Thom), the Hippie Drift Campervan was cosy and warm to sleep in (we travelled in Winter), and was mechanically sound, even though a warning light appeared 50 mtrs down the road from Apollo'/Hippies Depot, We phoned the Assistnace Ph No at once, and was advised to return to the Depot to have it checked out, which we did, and apparently it was due to an oversensitive sensor re the type of Octane unleaded fuel previously used (?), and was told not too worry about it unless the temp gauge went up/oil lamp appeared. We had no other problem at all with the vehicle, though we did tie up the awning as it was banging against the van when we turned corners. The layout was reasonable for the L300 van and plenty of storage underneath the bed frame when pulled out, and there was even a table inside as well. The fridge kept everything in it cold for 10 days just charging while in transit, and being winter I'm sure helped as well.
Everything we needed re equipment was provided (except a plug for the sink!)and it all worked fine, and the van was clean, though a lot of scuff marks were visible inside and a few outside on the panels as well, which was noted down (and pics were taken) before we left the depot. The van is reasonably economical, and we enjoyed travelling around in Thom, even if he doesn't have all the comforts of the bigger, newer hightop campervans. :)
We purchased campervan rental insurance (Rentalcover) for under $90 for the 10 days, prior to hiring the campervan, in case anything unforseen happened and $3000 deposit/bond is required from Apollo/Hippie campers, (which I was concerned about) that is deducted from your credit card, but I was absolutely delighted when after returning the van (cleaned by us and tidy) without any incidents, the $3000 was deposited back in my Credit Card Acc within 5 days! The staff were friendly and helpful., and we'd be happy to travel in a hippie camper or similar again in the future if/when the opportunity presents itself.

5Service 4Mechanical 4Interior 5Value
, Australia
1 Review

"Pretty good all around"

  • Reviewed 7 months ago

We had a Hippie Drift for a simple little run up the coast from Sydney. The van was as expected and did everything we wanted. The staff were fine and I can't fault any part of the campervan. Would use again.
Cheers.

5Service 5Mechanical 5Interior 5Value
, Australia
1 Review

"Review of my hippie-campers hire"

  • Reviewed 7 months ago

It was just great. Especially that we got a free upgrade to the Hitop and paid for the Hippy Camper only :)

5Service 5Mechanical 5Interior 5Value
, Switzerland
1 Review

"Disappointed"

  • Reviewed 10 months ago

As from the start, hippie camper tried to get as much money out of us from all the possible tricks they can think about. It is terrible. In addition, the car is very old and not so well thought about. The only positive think is the bed which is fortunately comfortable enough, but not very practical when you want to cook after having made the bed... Also the locations are the worse and you need at least 1h or 2h public transport to come back to town. Finally, the staff did not explain half of what needed to be explained and we learnt at the end of our trip different options that were available from the start (such as charging your phone in the car after having plugged in the electricity...).

2Service 3Mechanical 3Interior 2Value
, France
1 Review

"desapointed"

  • Reviewed 10 months ago

we toke the cheapest RV :
Old ? why not ! but lots of problems could be avoid if hippie campers really maintain the vehicles !
The worst is that if you have troubles : don't trust the assistance when they say "we call you back"... we had to battle 3 days to find a solution after the V breackdown. Finally we was so pissed off that we had to ask to talk to the boss of assistance service besause nobody tried to help.
+ Companie expensive (1600$ for the vehicule...800$ for options you cant refuse /assurance, glass breackage.../)

2Service 2Mechanical 3Interior 2Value
, Australia
1 Review
  • Reviewed 1 year ago

Best time of my life. Did some amazing activities and the campervan was really ok. No Problems, everything was there and clean as well.

5Service 5Mechanical 5Interior 5Value
, Australia
1 Review
  • Reviewed 1 year ago

I would like to add my voice to those suggesting it’s not a good idea to book a Hippie Camper. My partner and I recently hired one from their Brisbane office; these were our main concerns.

1) The single biggest issue for us was the Customer Service we received when picking up the car and completing paperwork from Carol, who was rude, impatient, irritable, unapproachable and ultimately really brought us down from feeling quite excited about our short holiday when we arrived at the Apollo office to feeling very discouraged and trepidatious.
2) Apollo can’t seem to sort out a problem with their vehicles using toll roads, maybe because they sell $50 toll passes (when a single toll fare is around $4-5) and instead of clarifying with me whether a toll had been in fact paid for (which it had been), billed my credit card for a toll and an infringement notice. It would have been simple good courtesy to contact me first
3) The mattress had significant stains.
4) The check engine light went on towards the end of the trip, a mechanic we visited suggested it was likely because of the exhaust system not functioning correctly. This was concerning as it indicated to us that the vehicles may not have been well maintained mechanically.

2Service 3Mechanical 3Interior 2Value
, Australia
1 Review
  • Reviewed 2 years ago

I have nothing good to say about my experience with Hippie Campers and the head ache continues long after you return the sub-standard vehicle back in one piece. Their administration is a nightmare. They expect an exorbitant bond unless you pay more per day of course, then they advise that your bond will not be refunded until 21 days after return....Good luck with that! No one answers the phones in the finance department and the message says they will return your call....yeah right!
They expect you to pay them up front for the use of their vehicle (which chews more fuel than a Boeing 747 per mile...by the way), but when it comes to them repaying you your money they don't even return your call or refund your money in the time frame stated!
There are better options to rent a camper van than going through Apollo/Hippie Campers!

1Service 4Mechanical 4Interior 4Value
, Australia
1 Review
  • Reviewed 2 years ago

We rented the Hippie camper through a german company which was defintely worth it and very helpful. (bestcamper)
We had the car for 28 days from sydney to cairns.
The first thing which we realized was that the pick up station was not very central rather outside of sydney.
The staff was very nice and helpful on the pick up station.

We gave hippie camper (apollo) only one star because it was our worsest car renting experience ever. Hippie camper doesnt freeze the money (deposit) like anywhere else in the world they charge your credit card which means lots of fees to pay. (not if you take the most expensive insurance) Its not possible to pay the deposit cash. Than we got our deposit 4 weeks later back. The deposit is 2500 dollar which is really high. We had to write them.
On the first 5 days we had many issues with the car. Ok, it always can happen but the reaction was not very helpful. Sometimes after lots of passion you may get a good person who can help you. They seemed to be overhelmed. They could not really help us and we were calling the company every day (5 days). That was very stressfull and costs money for us too.

advantages:
- very comfortable bed
- kitchen area was very good
- clean
- fridge was very good
- light in the car (second battery)
- lots of stuff (sleeping bags, cooking gear, towels for free

disadvantages:
- bed was to high you couldnt sit inside)
- many technical problems
- gas bottle price too high
- insurance doesnt cover everything
- 14 Liter - 100 km (need much petrol)

3Service 4Mechanical 4Interior 3Value
, Australia
1 Review
  • Reviewed 2 years ago

Ver rented a deluxe Hippie camper in March. And the experience was quite poor.
I had read many negative reviews but thought they must just have had bad luck... But after having had a car with a faulty battery for 5 days, a return guy that couldn't care less about our problems during the rental in Melbourne, and a refund that took over 1 month!!! I have the confirmation that Hippie Camper not the best choice if I ever have to book or recommend a camper in AU or NZ.

2Service 3Mechanical 3Interior 3Value
, Australia
1 Review
  • Reviewed 2 years ago

Just a quick review on Hippie Camper (through Apollo) because it fits to the topic. I hope this helps people to rethink their decision to hire a Hippie campervan:

My boyfriend and I are on a trip along the East Coast in Australia. We strongly recommend avoiding Hippie Camper / Apollo and better going with Jucy as we've had a much better experience with them for exactly the same price.

Here are the reasons:

1. Aircon broken: I constantly had wet feet and even the mechanic from Apollo (on the second day of our travels) said just put a towel under the leak.

2. Engine lamp constantly on: Mechanic told us to ignore that, too.

3. One break light not working: Mechanic told us to pretend not to know it if the police want to fine us.

4. Rail for bed broken: We had to put our suitcase under the bed so that we could lay on it at all.

5. Poor equipment: No sheets at all, dirty linen (white stains), one camping chair not useable due to damaged frame.

6. Radio and light in driver's cabin not working.

7. Windows in driver's cabin didn't close properly (especially uncomfortable when raining).

All of these things wouldn't have bothered us at all - we know we've hired a budget vehicle and you usually get what you pay for. BUT:

8. Clutch broken down: No chance to gear the vehicle anymore (we had a manual) - and this happened in the middle of the road after two weeks of travelling. This is not only annoying, but really dangerous as well. We're glad that there was no accident due to this and that we could make it to the next rest area (in the first gear).

9. Really bad customer service: Apollo didn't send a mechanic to help us on that day, so we had to wait for the next morning.
Instead of bringing us to the next city where we could enjoy the time at least a bit, we're waiting in the middle of nowhere at a random RACQ garage now. The vehicle will not be fixed in the next days and the mechanic told us that this severe breakdown is normal for an old campervan like ours. So far no information about if and when we'll get a replacement vehicle. We're basically stuck.

Edit: After two days (!) of waiting at a BP station next to the garage in the middle of nowhere and several calls from our side they will deliver the replacement vehicle today (hopefully). They are not ready to bring the campervan to the next bigger city to which we would have a lift this morning.

Please think twice if you really want to book a Hippie campervan.

2Service 1Mechanical 1Interior 2Value
, Australia
1 Review
  • Reviewed 5 years ago

Expecting to have found a cheap camper, ending up paying double the amount as expected…. They are ripping you of and you there’s nothing you can do about it. Bad start of the holiday.

1Service 5Mechanical 3Interior 1Value
, Australia
1 Review
  • Reviewed 5 years ago

Hi Ben,
My name is Melanie and I am the Marketing Coordinator for Hippie Camper which is part of the Apollo Group of Companies. I would like to look into your feedback further if you can email us directly on [email protected] In regards to your claim- i can’t comment on this as it will be going through out fleet department however in regards to the fees that you mention are not advetised – we have no hidden fees, all fees are written in our terms and conditions which are available online and which you must agree to before confirming a rental. Hippie Deluxe models are vehicles are 0-3years old and Hippie Budget models are 3-5 years so I am surprised to hear your feedback on having an “old” vehicle. If you would like contact me please do so and I can inform our customer services department of your feedback.
Kind regards
Melanie

5Service 5Mechanical 5Interior 5Value
, Australia
1 Review
  • Reviewed 5 years ago

1.Company wouldnt honor their insurance cover, I am having to fight the case through the courts.
2.Hippie and the whole Apollo group apply excessive fees and charges which are not advertised and are compulsory.
3.The van was very old and in poor condition/unclean.

My advice is to go elsewhere, even at the budget end there are much better alternatives. Jucy Rentals is an excellent one that I have used before.

1Service 1Mechanical 1Interior 1Value
, United Kingdom
1 Review
  • Reviewed 5 years ago

the only good thing i can say about these guys is the one nice guy that we picked the van up from and the fact we had a near new van. the total package cost me over $300 in extra expenses as they 1) took an unauthorised payment off my credit card, then refunded it, but the mistake cost me $100+ in international credit card fees and a change in exchange rates and 2) refunded the ‘bond’ (less the $51 in fees that you have no choice to lose as they only take CC) to a different credit card so that it cost me another $150+ in fees and bank cheques to correct their mistake. not worth using these guys, hence all the bad reviews EVERYWHERE!!! check tripadvisor.com, they guys really are bad. go Jucy or britz, they actually care about their customers.

1Service 4Mechanical 4Interior 2Value
, Australia
1 Review
  • Reviewed 6 years ago

My girlfriend and I hired the Hippie deluxe and what a pleasant that was. Well-equipped, cozy and much fun during our 1 month trip in Australia. No Problems with the vehicle and the best thing was the comfy bed, just slide it out and you got yourself a nice large bed.

5Service 5Mechanical 5Interior 5Value
, Australia
1 Review
  • Reviewed 6 years ago

Very good Expierence.

Good van (bed, fridge, tv), good value, efficient people.
Would definitely hire from them again.

5Service 5Mechanical 5Interior 5Value
, Switzerland
1 Review
  • Reviewed 6 years ago

Very bad experience. The interior lights are not working from the first night. When I went back to their Perth branch 3days later. They told me its because the battery is not properly connected. Hard to believe that such a large company could miss checking that important part before they rent out the vehicle. The staffs were too busy to take care of me when I went back the branch. Waited for 1 and half hour.

Will never hire Apollo vehicles.

1Service 4Mechanical 1Interior 2Value
, Australia
1 Review
  • Reviewed 6 years ago

We used Hippie Campers in December. The van we rented was OK, Apollo who own Hippie Campers were not. They claim we incurred toll fine and for this they have charged us $150. The authorities have not fined us but Apollo will not refund the money as they say it is an admin fee so whether we owe the authorities or not is irrelevant. The holiday was great, shame we have to end on this sour note.

2Service 5Mechanical 5Interior 5Value
, Australia
1 Review
  • Reviewed 7 years ago

I would rent from Hippie Campers again.

5Service 5Mechanical 5Interior 5Value