Wicked camper van review Australia: Cheap, budget camper vans
Doing a road trip in a camper van in Australia has been something that’s been on my bucket list for ages so when me and two friends decided to do that for a four day, three night road trip from Cairns to Cape Tribulation and back, I was beyond excited.
There are a lot of camper van rental companies in Australia, all of varying sizes, quality and prices. I’ve always dreamt of driving around Australia in a little cream coloured Volkswagen van but sadly these are crazily expensive to hire. We ended up going for the budget option but by no means a boring camper van.
The company we decided to go with was Wicked camper vans. They mainly sell basic camper vans with crazy paint jobs. The one we got had a whole load of hippy decoration on it, something about kind gizzard and the wizard lizard and something questionable about smoking pot on it: It’s a miracle we didn’t get pulled over by the police.
The best thing is that these crazy vans are actually the cheapest option when it comes to renting a campervan and we picked ours up for just $278 Aud (around £160) for three people and four days. One thing to bear in mind is that they don’t come with the tank filled up so your first stop might have to be for fuel.
First things first, here are some things to bear in mind about Wicked Camper Vans
Overall we were really happy with our van. For the money, it was really good value and we had a lot of fun driving around in it. The van wasn’t the biggest or the most comfortable for the three of us but for the four days it was ok, but I probably wouldn’t have wanted to do any longer.
The camper van was really basic so there was no kitchen or toilet in it. Instead cooking is done via a portable gas cooker that Wicked supply you with. To my surprise the cooker actually gave out a lot of heat and we were able to cook some decent meals on it like pasta and curry. Wicked are generally able to supply you with your pans and enough plates, bowls and cutely are needed per person plus extra gas canisters.
The least comfortable thing about the camper van is sleeping. Rather than having a couple of fold down beds, the back of the van opens up into one big bed. You open this up by folding down the back seat and laying down the wooden planks and mattresses stacked up at the back. You can sleep three people especially if a couple of you are small but for three tall guys it would be a squeeze.
The van has quite a few crates for storage behind and at the side of the back seat and there are also lots of trays at the back for pots, pans etc.
For an extra charge, Wicked also provided us with tables and chairs. This was so nice because then we could park up in camp sites and site around the van while we cooked our dinner. You are also able to sit on the roof of the van by climbing up on one of the stage blocks and grabbing the ladder from the roof. We sat here a couple of times for lunch.
Where to stay
Australia is made for roadtrips and has loads of cheap and even some free camp sites dotted about. You generally can’t park in public places like car parks or beaches over night as they often have signs and you’ll probably want some facilities anyway like toilets. Download the wikicamps app to find free and paid campsites and caravan parks to stay in.
Things to bring:
- A torch: You won’t really want to leave the inside van lights on over night unless you want to run the battery down so it’s a good idea to bring a headlight or torch so you can see. A lot of campsites do have some form of lighting though.
- Bedding: Wicked also don’t supply bedding so you may want to bring a sleeping bag liner although to be honest we found it so hot that we just slept on our sarongs.
- Mosquito net: The biggest issue that we had at night was the heat. Even if we put the aircon on at night for a bit, the car heated up virtually straight away. The only was to deal with it is by leaving the windows open. Of course wildlife is a worry so we covered the open windows with our towels but what would really be useful is a mosquito net if you have one.
- Wet wipes: Wet wipes and something to dry you dishes with are also a good idea.
- Food and drink: Make sure you stock up on lots of food before you start your roadtrip, especially if you’re heading to places like Cape Tribulation like we did as there aren’t any supermarkets past Port Douglas. The van comes with a cooler in it which we filled with ice and this lasted us a few days. The best things we bought were: Boxed water- like a wine box, you can sit this at the back of the van and refill your plastic bottle, dried pasta, rice, cereals and long life or plant milk and of course, Goon, (cheap wine in a box) and an Australian backpacker essential.
Take a look at the Wicked Camper site for some more info: https://www.wickedcampers.com