With rates that will not burn a hole in your pocket and a large selection of vehicles to choose from, Happy Campers focuses on making their customers happy. Of course with their name, they are in for a world of pain if their customers are in fact, NOT, happy campers.
About Happy Campers
Having a company name like that of Happy Campers can be a struggle. Well, you need to live up to that name, and with Happy Campers, it can be proven that not all companies fully define their names. With depots in Auckland and Christchurch, this large rental entity offers value cost campervan hire with standard equipment, complimentary airport transfers, cleaning fees, camping park directors, route planners and more. They have a massive range of units so that you can choose the style of travel with rentals that won't cost a pretty penny.
Happy Campers offers a lot of campervans types (9 options in particular): Happy Sleeper, Happy 2, Happy 2 S&T, Happy 3, Happier 3 Kuga, Happy Black Sheep, Happy 4, Original 3, and Original Sleeper. You will be impressed with how easy these can be parked despite its size and spacious sleeping rooms. And if you've got to travel with your kids, be still because all campervans can be fitted with child seats and are well-stoked with kitchen and sleeping essentials. Most units have a 5 speed manual transmission so you need to check with them first if you want an automatic one. Some of the units have a separate house battery, which means this battery charges if plugged into a main power or whilst driving without running the engine battery flat. And for vehicle consumption, it really depends on how far you travel though most of the Happy campervan series have an average fuel consumption of 10-12 ltrs per 100kms. Here's a closer look at each vehicle on fleet:
The Happy Sleeper, a 2000 to 2002 Toyota Estima, is one of the three automatic campervans on selection. This unit comes with a portable gas-grill, kitchen sink, CD player, large double bed, and storage space. The CD player has an MP3 output, and the vehicle is equipped with dual batteries so that outgoing couple who want a smooth and fun ride will appreciate their NZ holiday even better.
The Happy 2 is a deluxe camper that features a walk-through access from the driver’s cab to the rear cabin. This 2002/2003 Toyota Hiace SBV Hi-Top is equipped with a fold-away dining table that can be stored at night so that you can have a large double bed. The nicely designed kitchen includes a refrigerator, microwave, two-burner gas cooker, cookware, and storage cabinets.
Happy 2 S&T
The 2003/2004 Ford Transit is a 2 berth camper that comes with a toilet. This well-furnished unit is a treat for those looking for extreme space with luxury features. With a spacious living area and foldaway table, the campervan is also very economical because of its power diesel engine. Travel in style and sleep in comfort with this self-contained unit.
For couples or small families, the Happy 3 berth camper is convenient choice. This 2003/2004 Toyota Hiace Hi-Top is the standard option for those looking for a budget 3 berth campervan with one double bed at the rear and one large single bed in the roof. Expect for a pleasant cooking session with the help of the shelf space kitchen speckled with a two-burner cooker, fridge, utensils, cupboard and more. Take control of your own adventure and travel comfortably with this economical campervan.
Happier 3 Kuga
This 2005/2006 Toyota Hiace Hi-Top is relatively newer compared to the other Kuga 3 berth; hence, the name— Happier 3 Kuga. With its newer campervan model and added features, the unit is a great alternative in case the other one books out or you simply just want a more favorable campervan hire. Your happiness does not end there as the campervan also has bigger engine and fuel capacity with same fuel consumption as the other model. So, this means that this Happier unit actually makes you happier!
Another from the Happy campervan series is the 4 berth, which is also the biggest and the most popular choice for touring families. This 2003- 2005 Ford Transit is a top of the range vehicle with full bathroom, elegant kitchen space, large living quarters and an internal access from the front cabin. Even with its luxury features, the campervan is still a charm for frugal travellers because of its powerful and economical diesel engine.
Happy Black Sheep
Another sleek and compact rental with all the comforts you expect from a teeny camper in a car-size van is this 2000-2007 2 berth camper in automatic transmission. This is the only campervan in dark tone exterior that's why it's called Happy Black Sheep, but technically not a black sheep. Actually, this unique little camper is a fave pick among budget backpackers who'd love to explore the outskirts in a small van with just enough but essential facilities like comfortable bed with bedding, petite kitchen with fridge and single burner gas cooker, and entertainment set with CD player and MP3 output.
The Original Sleeper is the last of the three automatic campervans being offered by the company. The campervan is a 1993 to 1999 Toyota Estima model, which means that this unit offers the oldest vehicles. The vehicle age, however, does not compromise the quality of your trip, though minor wear and tear features could be visible. This budget sleepervan provides you with the basics, starting with the cooking/ storing amenities down to the good-sized double bed. Few extras like iPod/MP3 connection and auxiliary battery have been chucked to give you a more pleasant trip.
The Original 3
The Original 3 berth camper is also an older model— a 1999 Model Toyota Hiace in particular. Because of the late model used, this is suitable for those on really tight budget but looking for a campervan with modern interiors. These 5 speed transmission vans are a pleasure to maneuver with petrol engine and power steering. And to give you maximum comfort while on the road, you are stocked with a gas stove, fridge, sink with running water, dinette, and two large beds.
All Happy Campers rentals come with a standard insurance or tagged as their Bronze insurance cover. The amount of excess depends on the rented vehicle: Happy 4 Berth with an excess of NZ$5,000, Happy 2, 3, HI5 and 2ST with an excess of NZ$3,000 and Happy & Black Sheep Sleepervans with an excess of NZ$2,000. The excess can be reduced by availing one of their insurance options:
Silver: Happy 4 at NZ$30 per day for an excess of NZ$2,000, Happy 2, 3, HI5 and 2ST at NZ$15.00 per day for an excess of NZ$1250 and Happy & Black Sheep Sleepervans at NZ$12.50 per day for an excess of NZ$750.
Gold: Happy 4 at NZ$45 per day for an excess of NZ$750, Happy 2, 3, HI5 and 2ST at NZ$22.50 per day for an excess of NZ$500 and Happy & Black Sheep Sleepervans at NZ$20 per day for an excess of NZ$125. Plus, inclusions of picnic table & chairs, baby seat and/or child booster seat as well one window, multiple windscreen chips and two tyres coverage.
Platinum: Happy 4 at NZ$70 per day for an excess of NZ$0, Happy 2, 3, HI5 and 2ST at NZ$35 per day for an excess of NZ$0 and Happy & Black Sheep Sleepervans at NZ$32.50 per day for an excess of NZ$0. Plus, inclusions of GPS, outside BBQ, solar shower, porta potti, picnic table & chairs, baby seat and/or child booster seat, as well one window, multiple windscreen chips and two tyres coverage.
Before, ratings were generally good for Happy Campers, with an average rating of 76/100. Some of the customers thought the size of their camper was perfect and comfortable, with all the necessary supplies and accessories. However, the reputation of the company is now flooded with lots of negative reviews that talk about disappointing customer service and constant maintenance issues during the rental, delayed refunds, and more. Though they have an extensive fleet of campervans on budget, renting from them needs careful deliberation.
The main thing to notice about this mob is the age of the vehicles with nothing being newer than 2006 and some being as old as 1993. Pay close attention to the age of the vehicle during your booking process and don’t expect all things to be perfect inside the vehicle. And if ever you want to try your luck with them, then might as well bring your own tools, just in case!