This is a self-initiated, unpaid and unbiased review of Wicked Campers Campervan Hire based from our 7 day hire, driving from Adelaide to Melbourne, Australia.
During the last 3 years of travel we’ve slept in everything from tents, to tree houses, airports & trains but we were yet to experience “van life” as they call it here in Australia. Van life was an experience, especially with Wicked.
What is the best campervan hire company for driving Adelaide to Melbourne?
This really depends on your idea of “best”. When we looked at booking a campervan for our drive from Adelaide to Melbourne we were surprised to find there were very few options available that offer pick up in Adelaide.
The popular backpacker campervan companies such as Travellers Autobarn and Juicy only had depots in the larger cities, so after extensive research, we were left with only a few other alternatives; Wicked Campers, Britz, Maui or Mighty.
Wicked, was the chosen one, simply because they were the cheapest. Budget life.
We had read some questionable reviews of Wicked Campers and to be honest, we were rather skeptical but you can’t believe everything you read online so we decided to test it out! If you have low expectations, there’s no room for disappointment? Right?
Wicked Campers don’t have the greatest of reputations… they have fairly old campervans (the cars are ok) and are painted all over, with slogans such as “Boogie till you Barf”, “Dope Fiends”, “Drop Acid, not Bombs”. They’re way better than they used to be, but they sure do get a lot of attention!
If you don’t like having attention drawn to you, then perhaps steer clear, pay a little extra and go with one of the other companies that have plain vehicles. We’d heard rumours that some caravan parks don’t allow Wicked vans into their sites but we didn’t encounter this during our trip at all.
Picking up our Wicked Campervan
I was so nervous as we pulled up to the depot in Adelaide. What kind of campervan are we going to get? Should we really be doing this? How big is it going to be? Will it be comfortable? As you can tell, my brain was going at 100 miles an hour.
There were 20 or so cars that filled the garage and I was trying to determine which one of these bad boys we were going to drive out with. Shortly after we finished all the paperwork, we were shown to our car. We chose the 3 seater van (good call) even though there were only 2 of us. It was the same cost as the 2 seater and it allowed us more storage and sleeping space. I have absolutely NO idea how 3 people can travel in there especially at our height. The thought just makes me cringe…
Within 45 minutes we’d hit the road. Quite seamless!
First Impressions of our Van
First impressions? It definitely could have been worse ;).
I’d never driven something so large before and it felt as though I was in a giant bus. It took some getting used too but overall it was relatively easy to drive & ‘clean’ (don’t open the ashtray).
Was it an old vehicle? Yup! Did it make some funky sounds at times? Yup! Did it have some missing curtains and ripped armrests? Yup! Did it chew up petrol like no other? Yup! But it had character and at the end of the day, it did what a campervan was supposed to do. It got us from A – B and gave us a place to sleep.
Living our best lives inside the Van
Firstly, there’s one thing I learnt about living inside of a van and that’s you have to be organised! Either that or have no problem with your shit being everywhere. For me, having my shit everywhere wasn’t an option so from day 1 we had a place for everything. If it wasn’t where it belonged, we deemed it lost.
Once you leave the depot, before you make the bed for the first night, we strongly recommend getting together a smaller version of your main suitcase, ie the essentials for the week. This may include your toiletries, underwear, a towel, something warm and of course a few changes of clothes. Why? Because the largest storage compartment where your luggage will be kept is underneath the bed. We found it to be a real pain undoing and remaking the bed each day. Having our essentials within reach made it a far smoother process with less fussing about.
As for sleeping, we were given 3 plastic mattresses which we joined together to make one double bed (god forbid there’s 3 of you in here!). Considering we’re both almost 6ft, we could both stretch out comfortably without our feet hanging off the edge. We kept the bed made the majority of the week only moving the mattress closest to our seats when we needed to drive. It was pretty straightforward and somewhat comfortable considering what we were sleeping on after all.
And then there was the “kitchen”. There was a small sink with a large container of water attached underneath. This can be filled up anywhere because tap water in Australia is clean. Be careful when you empty the sink as water falls out the bottom of the van. We had a few little soapy toe incidents. There is storage draws containing plates, cutlery, cups and basic cooking utensils such as a saucepan, frying pan and a portable gas stove. We didn’t cook too many meals that required a lot of effort (& cleaning) but we will say, it was the perfect kitchen to cook up pasta, pumpkin soup or put together a sandwich and cheese plate. Personally, we wouldn’t recommend cooking a 3-course meal on here as it will take far too long with only one very basic stove.
The Highs & The Lows of Van Life
Our 7-day trip was quite a different type of holiday than we’ve ever had before. For those of you who don’t know me, I’ve never been an avid camper or really loved the concept of being “outdoors” 24/7.
How much does Wicked Campers cost?
Over the course of 7 days, we covered some serious land and drove a total of 1720km. Here is a breakdown of costs for the week for our Wicked Campervan rental.
- Rental – $320 (pretty decent considering it is your form of transport & roof at night)
- One way drop off fee – $185 (ouch)
- Booking Fee – $37.25 (let’s just add another fee shall we)
- Insurance – $200 (not necessary if you already have insurance via a credit card or travel insurance, we made this mistake)
- Petrol – $285 (this thing chewed up petrol like no other, probably 10-15% more than a usual car)
- Caravan Parks – $110 (4 nights of the 7 we spent in caravan parks)
- 7 Day Grand Total: $1137.25 AUD
Top Tips for renting a Wicked Camper
- You need to supply your own linen which you can find for a reasonable price in Big W, Kmart or Target. Don’t forget to buy a fitted sheet with it!
- Pack a small quick dry towel to shower with alongside a beach towel.
- They provide pots pants and cutlery but make sure you pick up a sponge and dishwashing liquid in your first grocery store visit.
- Remember to lock the doors and boot when you’re asleep.
- Keep a headlight and baby wipes handy for those midnight toilet breaks.
- If you stay in free campsites, use public toilets and cold showers you can avoid the caravan park fees which were an average of $30 per park.
- They have a receive empty, return empty fuel policy so don’t go filling her up before you bring the van back!
- Take it easy around the Great Ocean Road. These cars aren’t made for speeding and are actually quite wobbly.
Until Next Time… Maybe
Peace out van life!
Have you rented with Wicked Campers before? We’d love to hear your experience.