"Review of my Happy-Campers hire"
- very limited shuttle service hours from airport (10-3), drop off time of ...
- very limited shuttle service hours from airport (10-3), drop off time of 4pm also very early
- campervan was not ready when we arrived for pick up, it was brought out then taken away again to be cleaned. Had to wait another 30 minutes, underwhelming when we had arrived early (about 9.45) and expected a full days worth of the car. Note if we had returned the vehicle late we would have been harshly penalised. We paid for 11 days but really only had the vehicle for just over 10.
- definitely an older vehicle, close to 300000kms and rubber door seal in driving compartment weren't great so was very noisy
- terrible petrol consumption (less than 200kms for half a tank / 30 L)
- passenger side window didn't work as plastic casing on door itself was broken
- inside was well appointed and had everything we needed and was all in working order
- definitely needed more dividers / nets for storage purposes. The crockery got a real bashing as we went around corners (and there are many) as there was no way to keep things from moving
- well practised run through from service desk of the cars operation and features
Customer service was very lacking, young and not very professional. The water hose for the sink had clogged up green and black gunk which they tried to go under the radar and even when I protested they tried weasling out of changing it. The car, upon inspection, were absolutely littered with holes, windshield breaks, scratches, rust and smaller bumps and bends. A lot of the interior was put together with zip-ties and generally just poorly held together. The kar locks central locking mechanism didn’t work, so I had to manually lock the door with the lock all doors button and then manually the driver’s seat door. The outside car mirrors were shaking while driving which made it hard to properly orient myself while driving.
We had two engine problems which caused us a lot of headaches because we spent ages trying to find a mechanic and talking to happy campers about what we should do. The second time, we noticed a small flicker of light coming from the dashboard. It turned out to be the check engine light which had been covered with black marker to hide the fact that the light was on. We wiped it off the dashboard and the wet-wipe had a blue-ish/black teint to it as it came off. Happy campers acted totally oblivious to this fact and I cannot know for sure, but I highly suspect it was someone from their office.
The engine problems might have stemmed from oil leakage, but we were never told to pursue a mechanic after the second time, so we never found out.
The only thing the car did great was not breaking down entirely and we got around. If that was pure luck though is hard to tell.
To start, customer service was a 2 hour wait after they took our bond and signed paperwork.
Manager swearing and very agrivated, treated staff badly.
One girl not trained correctly, served other campers before us after we paid.
Booked 6 months in advance, our van was in the lot but got told someone else had it or it wasn’t working, note: it had a cleaned sign stating it’s ready for use. Expected our advanced booking would give us priority.
Gave away camp chairs and table before us and told us to buy the equipment and keep a receipt when we paid platinum insurance and expected it all to be supplied.
Got told we had another van that had cream plastic and olive seats, completely different layout to what we asked for.
Got tranfered to a deisel vehicle, 1 minute later got told we take it or we don’t have a van.
Drove fine, was decent on fuel. Handled good. Traction was horrible on slippery/loose surface.
The drain hose for sink waste leaked, didn’t drain through hose just sat.
Cooking pan was sticky with anything we cooked.
Plastic spatula melted, no tongs.
Plates and cup shelves weren’t designed for New Zealand’s windy roads, had cups and plates fall all over the place.
Sharp screws pointing up in seat cussion and one actually lifts off its screws.
Small fold out table,not what we asked for.
We completed our trip and managed, purchased a lot of extras to leave in the van due to not having everything for proper meals.
Terms say no bond with credit card, only pay bond if credit card isn’t available. We gave them a Visa card, they still took bond.
Just wish the office was more organised, cared about what their customers are paying, felt like they just wanted money coming in.
We hired a van with shower and toilet for 2 weeks and a bit. The company was fantastic. We had an older van (2004) so you have to understand that you get a cheaper rate for that - it's not brand new! It was mechanically no problem, clean and functional. We really recommend them because we found the company really helpful to us and very much appreciated the diligent assistance they gave.
We rent a Happy Camper for 8 weeks. got a KIWI Camper, as KIWI and HAPPY is the same company/people. Our experience:
-agreed to pay cash, but got charged the full amount to our CC. Ended up having 5000$ in cash when we picked up the van
-we especially asked (before we booked) if they have a 220V inverter. They confirmed there is an inverter to charge the laptop on the go. There was none. None of their camper has one. So we had to go to campgrounds more often.
-van was old, 400‘000km. Van condition very worn down. The cupboards white peeled off. Multiple water damages on the chipboards. Table had a hole. Faucet old/broken/glued. Mosquito nets partly gone...
-had to renew the car registration ourself the day after the pickup. It was overdue for more than 5 months!
-2nd battery was weak from beginning. Fridge & light went out after 2h when we stopped. Got it measured, Battery was dead (wrong battery type and size anyway). Called the office and they directed us to a car dealer closeby where we got the battery replaced. Invoice went to the rental company.
-Gray water leaking
-Fresh water leaking inside the van
-No hot water. Boiler made hot water, but nothing came through to the faucet
-Rosty propane bottle; security issue! Got refused to refill this rusty bottle many times.
-Engine did stall when hot. Very few torque from idling. Could not start/accelerate uphill. Very scary!
-Lost the first gear when hot
-Engine lost oil
-V-belt broke. Had to be towed. Had to organize the towing ourself, but the costs were covered by the rental company. Very old belts; had to replace all 3 belts because all was old and not maintained
-Steering wheel points to 11 when going straight
-Rain pouring in at the rear window
-Moss growing inside
-Camping gear worn down, torn & bent
Everything else was ok or as expected when you rent on a budget.
Conclusion: the cars are not checked before they send them out. Maintenance has to be done by customers. Bring some tools as you might need them!
Happy Campers is a low budget camper rental, but I didn’t expect it to be so low…
The camper itself was quite okay, but I would not recommend it to people without any car/technical knowledge. Throughout the month came across a couple of hiccups. For example, as soon as we started driving the fridge would turn itself off, the water drain was leaking and some regular car maintenance (oil and cooling liquids)
But this is all very minor and these are things that you can expect when you rent low budget, right? The real hassle started when another camper hit our side mirror when we where parked. Since we where in the car at that moment we could contact the other party and that went very well. They where fully insured and our contact was pleasant. So we contacted happy campers to report the accident and they wanted us to buy a new mirror. Since we where almost at the end of our holiday I proposed the resolve the issue as soon as we return the camper. When we returned the car they charged us 125 NZD for the damages and gave us a receipt to claim back the damage. On the airport it appeared that they had given us a receipt for the wrong car with a wrong name. Thereafter it took us almost 2 week to get the right receipt. When we wanted to claim back the damage from Apollo campers they said the claim has to be issued by the owner of the car. Ever since I have been trying to contact Happy Campers, but they did not respond to any of my email. I came back from NZ in the beginning of March and I’m writing this review 2 months later.
I knew I could not expect a lot but this is really below my expectations. This is what they call, bad service. If I would make a recommendation, do not rent with this company. Also it might be good to know that Happy Campers is the same company as Kiwi campers, but under a different name.
Rented a small camper and assumed the staff at Happy Canper did a complete check before letting it be rented. Once we were on the road and camping, all of the problems surfaced. Brakes shuddered at highway speed, only 1 burner worked on stove, both roof vents were inoperable and would not open, roof leaked, and cupboards were loose and starting to fall apart. They also charged us $375 fir a chip in the windscreen. Bottom line is they should never have let this van be rented without these safety issues addressed. Great holiday, poor service.