We had a backpacker van for 30 days in Tasmania and we were really satisfie...
Tassie Motor Shacks is a family-run campervan hire business, owned by Tasmanian locals with over a decade of experience and based out of Hobart. Also trading under the name Tasmania Campervan Rentals, they offer vehicles ranging from 2 to 3 berths for travellers on all budgets.
What Tassie Tell Us
The company puts a real emphasis on providing vehicles fitted with all the mod-cons, as well as on strong customer service — there are German speakers among their staff, and they also operate an essentially identical German-language service (under the name Campervan Vermietungen Tasmanien). Rigorous quality control and maintenance of the vehicles in their fleet is a point of pride, too.
Although they offer no true ‘motorhome’ models, Tassie have a varied fleet of 2-berth and 3-berth vehicles, mostly Toyotas ranging from the truly compact (their Town Ace mini-camper is described as a “two-man tent on wheels”!) to self-contained and luxurious. Unusually for a campervan rental company, they also provide side awnings free of charge with all models — as well as including free tables and chairs with each vehicle, which is a cut above other firms’ often exorbitant hiring rates for camping furniture. Every model features air conditioning, which is a real plus point if you’re planning a trip for the summer months.
Most of the vehicles in the fleet have more kilometres on the clock than you’d expect to see from other campervan hire companies, but by all accounts, they live up to the high quality of maintenance that Tassie promise. This is especially significant, as (unlike with most firms) you are permitted to drive Tassie vehicles on unsealed roads (e.g., gravel), which are prone to causing damage. All vehicles come equipped with appropriately stocked crockery and cutlery.
The Mini Camper, a Toyota Town Ace frequently referred to as a “2-man tent on wheels”, is the smallest model offered by Tassie, with room in the back to sleep a maximum of two adults (reviews indicate that even this is a tight fit). Additionally, it is the only model among
the fleet that drivers under the age of 21 can rent. However, if you’re looking for a budget-friendly vehicle for an active, get-up-and-go sightseeing tour, extra space usually isn’t so important. A gas cooker and an ice box comprise the catering facilities — reasonable on a tight spend, but those who’d prefer actual refrigeration or built-in stoves may want to look elsewhere.
With five-speed manual transmission, the Super Limo sleeps a maximum of three (although two is optimum) and features a handy built-in roof rack with an awning. Despite being longer and wider, in other aspects it isn’t so different from the Mini Camper — although it has a convertible bed setup, it offers many of the same amenities on a slightly larger scale.
The 2-berth Hi Top van, another Toyota model, runs on unleaded, with a manual transmission. It features three seatbelts, along with a permanently fixed double bed in the back, and is spacious enough to incorporate a portable 2-burner gas stove and portable hot plates, as well as a built-in 55-litre fridge-freezer.
The 2/3-berth Toyota Hi Top (manual transmission with unleaded fuel) is best for a couple with or without a child accompanying them; it features three belted seats in the front cabin, along with a convertible dinette-to-double-bed and a single bed in the overhead compartment. Although portable hot plates are not provided, it also comes fitted with a 55-litre fridge-freezer and a 2-burner gas stove.
Going up a step, the 2/3-berth super-deluxe Hi Top sleeps a maximum of three adults, or two adults and two small children — if you’re looking to spend a little more for a more comfortable journey, this model is the ticket. Sleeping options are comprised of a dinette (which folds out to a queen-sized bed) in the rear living area and one small double above the front cabin; this vehicle also features a microwave, toaster and kettle as part of the package, as well as a cold-water sink. Even if you’re planning on a trip for two only, you may want to shell out for a travelling experience that’s actually comfortable rather than simply adequate — in which case, the 2/3-berth Hi Top is a truly good bet.
If fuel economy is a priority, you may wish to avoid the 2-berth self-contained campervan, a diesel-fuelled Mercedes Sprinter with automatic transmission — but at 13 litres per 100 kilometres, it’s a better option than other firms’ equivalent vehicles. This model is the only one to feature onboard toilet and shower facilities, which means no hygiene breaks and freedom camping in almost all of Tasmania’s national parks. The living area converts into a single queen-sized bed or two twin bunks, while the campervan also features luxuries like a 3-burner gas stove, fridge/freezer, a slide-out barbecue and 2-burner exterior cooker, pressurised hot and cold water and interior heating.
For drivers between the ages of 18 and 21, the Mini Camper model (the only one under-21s are permitted to drive) comes with a standard liability of $4,000; by choosing the single excess reduction package offered, liability can be reduced to $2,000 with $25 payable per day. This includes windscreen cover.
For those between the ages of 21 and 26, the standard liability is as above for all campervan models (they are not permitted to drive self-contained vehicles). Two reduction options exist. Option 1 provides windscreen cover with a liability of $1,500 by paying $25 per day; Option 2 includes windscreen and tyre cover, as well as linen provided for two people and a full gas bottle, and reduces the liability to $0 at $45 per day.
For drivers older than 26, who are able to drive any Tassie vehicle, the accident liability on motorhomes is $5,500. As with drivers between 21 and 26, Option 1 provides windscreen cover with a liability of $1,500 by paying $25 per day; Option 2 is as above with windscreen and tyre cover and amenities provided, reducing the liability to $0 at $45 per day. For campervans, the standard liability is $4,000, with both these options available.
If any accident occurs off-road, an additional $2,000 (18-26 years) or $750 (26 years+) will be charged.
A security bond of $500 is required as a deposit upon collection of any vehicle as a full charge to your credit card (only Visa and Mastercard are accepted). It is fully refundable within 7 days of the return of the vehicle in a clean, undamaged condition with an equivalent amount of fuel as was present upon hiring.
Glowing reviews of Tassie Motor Shacks abound — from well-maintained vehicles to the staff’s flexible, accommodating nature, they are praised across the board. Their affordable pricing and great customer service, even during peak season, is particularly admired; free transfer from the airport is a bonus. Extensive equipment, from kettles to cookers, can also be supplied at no charge.
Vehicles have been reported once or twice as being dirty or poorly maintained, but this is far from a common occurrence for Tassie customers.
This small company clearly go out of their way and do everything in their power to ensure high-quality service and maximum comfort.