Renting an Escape Campervans to travel three weeks across California.
I always dreamt about doing a big road trip in the US. Who wouldn’t? Infinite roads, heat, gorgeous landscapes… San Francisco has always been my dream city. The city I knew I would love and want to live even if I had never been there before. Do you have a city like this too?
Joshua Tree NP
As we booked our tickets to go to New Zealand on a working holiday visa for a year and as we had to make at least one stop somewhere, we decided it was more worth it to stop longer wherever we where going to be.
It happened to be in San Francisco.
That is when we started to plan our California Road Trip – which extended a little bit to Nevada and Utah (just a little bit). How were we going to travel ? By car and motels or tents, by RV, by Campervan ?
We wanted something practical and more or less cheap for three people to travel during three weeks (a friend of ours tagged along). If we had rented a car, we would have had to take the prices of the hostels / campings into account and it would have cost a lot. If we would have had to buy two tents and all the equipment to do camping, it would have been very complicated and quite expensive too.
Death Valley's Flower
That is when we considered renting a fully equipped van. We haven’t seen any of that in Europe (at the time, because I know now there are a few companies) but I managed to find some informations online because in the US, there are plenty!
Mainly, we had the choice between Escape Campervans, Wicked campers or Jucy when I looked.
We heard things (at the time) about the wicked campers because they have some words, sentences, written on the vans (sometimes trash-ish) and some campgrounds were refusing them because of that so we didn’t go with them. Though, we rented a Wicked in Tasmania for a week and it was great and without bad words on it! (Another article coming up about it soon.)
Escape Campervans were the only ones offering a van that looked practical enough for three people (and let’s face it, they are really nice looking!).
No surprises at the pick up
When we made the quote for the van, we estimated to have to pay a bit more for renting a tent, a solar shower and few other amenities we thought we would need during the trip.
The difference between the quote and the actual bill was good compared to the Hippie Camper we rented in Australia. In the US, they take an imprint of the credit card (not take the whole amount from your bank account like they did in Australia…)
The van was exactly what we expected when we looked online. The description and details on this webpage are very accurate. More over, they have many pictures of the different designs if you want to choose one.
Zion National Park
They are quite ‘recent’ (at least when we got one), around 150 000km (compared to the Hippie one that was 350 000) and in a good shape outside and inside.
The Mavericks is great for three people
Seat with seat belt in the back (up to 3 people in the back so you can drive up other friends). Large enough to sleep three people without being on each other too much. Enough space to put your stuff without having them everywhere.
Very efficient way to put the bed
One thing I really like was the system between the bed and the table. Everything folds very quickly and can be done inside (with a little training ahah) when it is raining.
Awesome customer service
It started when I made the quote. I had tons of questions regarding the van, which one we should rent, what would be big enough for three but not too big… I got an answer very quickly and kindly. They took time to change twice the quote for us. I even asked if they would consider giving us a little discount for taking pictures with the van and putting them online and they said yes (how great!).
We had a trouble at some point, on the road from the Death Valley to Las Vegas. The engine sign started blinking and turn itself on for some reason. As we were close to Las Vegas and they have a shop there, we decided to stop and show them the van.
It took less than five minutes for the manager to send us to the mechanics one or two blocks away in order to check that everything was fine. Well, with our luck, it was not and they had to do some service on the van. Though, the manager gave us another van (even newer than the previous one), he apologized deeply and offered us the unlimited kilometers as an apology! The whole thing lasted less than 30 minutes! We couldn’t believe it!
After all the road trips we took between the US, Australia, New Zealand and Tasmania, I can tell you that travelling by van is the best way to discover a country. You get a sense of freedom that can’t be matched with any other way. Drive anywhere, sleep anywhere, live anywhere.
Escape campervan was the best camper we got on the whole year and three months away. I would rent with them again in a blink of an eye! Can’t wait for the next adventure!
Have you been on a road trip before? What did you do it in? Van, RV, Car? Did you like it?