Camper Quality Versus Reality
What Quality Can I Expect from My Camper or Motorhome?
Travelers who are planning on going on a motorhome holiday in Australia or New Zealand usually have a clear idea of what their dream vehicle should be - and what it should cost. In this article we shed light on why both wishes often cannot be realized at the same time.
The Dream of Freedom Traveling
For many, traveling to New Zealand and Australia is the epitome of a dream vacation. Once the decision has been made to undertake the long and expensive journey, the question soon arises of how to get around in the country? For a very large number of visitors, the answer is very clear: with a motorhome!
When looking for the right model, the right motorhome rental company and the right route, you quickly find that the range of vehicles is wide and so is the price range. Those who are not familiar with it do not know what is important to consider.
Good Advice Is the Beginning
The CamperOase itself has no campers. We are a broker conveying vehicles from other providers to you. We can hardly influence the quality of the vehicles. But from years of experience and personal visits to the rental companies on site, we know what our customers can expect from which provider and which vehicle. The quality of our advice is not that you get an impeccable vehicle for little money – that surely would be nice! Rather, we aim to supply everyone with the right camper representing the best compromise between budget and minimum requirements of the individual customer. Furthermore, we want our customers to be informed about what they will get for their money. As a rule, we will send you several offers so that you have an impression of the additional costs you will have to face, for instance in regards to the jump from budget to middle class and explain what advantages this higher price offers you. You can then decide for yourself what is important to you.
With this form of advice, we have been able to send satisfied customers almost exclusively to the world, because those who get a vehicle with some defects know that they have paid for this exact type of vehicle and are consequently not disappointed.
Demand Determines the Price and “Expensive” Is A Subjective Matter
Even if the range of vehicles initially seems unmanageable, it is actually a fact that all these motorhomes are on the move almost every day, at least nine months a year. The demand is huge and can still not be met during main season, even if new vehicles are purchased every year.
The rental companies therefore charge heavy prices for their campers / motorhomes. These prices are NOT based on what comparable rental vehicles cost in Germany! In fact, 80% of these vehicles would probably no longer be offered for rent in Germany. This is different in Australia and New Zealand. As long as the vehicles are roadworthy, they will be used and only the demand determines the price.
Therefore, there are always situations in which customers think they have chosen an "expensive" motorhome, because it is a lot of money that has been requested. However, "expensive" is only meaningful if you compare your own product with the market. Unfortunately, many travelers do not. You only keep the absolute price of your motorhome in mind connecting it to a feeling of what you should get for this money. This feeling is based on experiences made in Germany or other travel countries and often does not correspond to the market in Oceania. This creates discontent that can be easily avoided if you know in advance which vehicle class you are booking and what quality this vehicle class pledges.
The rental companies are not interested in whether German tourists perceive their prices as excessive or not. Among them, Germans are known to be picky, which is simply because we are used to different standards than many Asian or southern European customers. With complaining, we do not change the New Zealand standard. If you want more, you have to pay more.
Of course, there are shortcomings from time to time that are not appropriate even with the right expectations and these cases must therefore be solved. The rental companies are always cooperative and interested in a quick solution.
The Demand Determines the Maintenance Time
The high demand during main season is both a curse and a blessing. On the one hand, it forms the financial basis for a very seasonally dependent industry. On the other hand, the best possible utilization of the rental vehicles also puts on pressure on the staff, who often have to maintain, clean and repair the vehicles within a few hours. No customer would be satisfied if they would receive their camper / motorhome a few days late due to the damage of a previous tenant which has not yet been repaired. Therefore, the companies proceed as follows:
• The vehicle is being cleaned, as far as this is possible
• The vehicle is being repaired so that it is safe for the next tenant
• All parts important for the ability to drive are checked carefully
• Blemishes (stone chips in the window, dents, scratches, rust, worn interior such as chipped corners on veneer wood) are collected until the vehicle has a longer break and will then be repaired in one go
Some things cannot be determined in such quick maintenance. This mainly concerns defects on the interior. Dripping taps, leaks on the vehicle or cupboard doors that open automatically while driving are defects that the previous tenant must report in order to be repaired. Unfortunately, these tenants often fear that they will be held liable for defects and often decide to rather keep them to themselves. The next one takes it all.
You Get What You Pay for - The Vehicle Class Decides the Quality
If you consider the heavy use of campers / motorhomes, you quickly understand that vehicles from the lower price segment have most definitely been through a lot. The cheapest vehicles - the budget segment - are usually at least seven years old. They have spent all those years on the road accommodating many different tentants. The kitchen was used daily and so have the beds. The engine was running for hours and 300,000 KM is nothing on this side of the earth.
So, if you make your decision mainly based on the price, please be aware of these facts! There is nothing to be said against renting an old, inexpensive vehicle unless you expect a modern, barely worn luxury vehicle. If you can live with some wear and tear and longer downtimes due to repairs on the road, you drive well with it.
If you need freshly scented curtains and scratch-free cupboards to feel happy, if six-digit numbers on the mileage display make you nervous and, above all, if you have a very tight schedule, you should dig deeper into your pockets.
Middle-class vehicles are usually between three and six years old and less worn out than their colleagues from the budget area. Of course, six-digit kilometers can still be expected and these motorhomes are far from new. However, damage on wear parts that require a longer stay in a garage for repair are much less common than with the very old models.
If you want to be on the safe side, book premium class. But that costs. The vehicles are new or only little used and often in very good condition. Those who cannot enjoy their vacation without a flawless vehicle or who have a very tight schedule should accept the additional expense.
Priorities Are Shifting
It seems so simple and yet so difficult: The booking priorities should not differ too much from those of the travel reality! Customers repeatedly assert when booking that it is okay for them if a vehicle is old. Their main wish is that the price is right! Half a year later on the other side of the world, money is often forgotten. Eventually the clattering drawer will get annoying and the thought of your vehicle having traveled around Australia at least five times becomes nagging. All the tenant has in mind is the price he paid for the motorhome rental and feels it is high. The comparative offers with newer vehicles are no longer on the radar.