Bunk Camper Van Rental
4th Nov 2011
An unusual review to write for a change. It was half term last week so we headed off to Ireland. Realising that it would not be nice camping weather we looked into camper van rental and found a company who have a depot in Dublin called Bunk Campers. Their website was a breath of fresh air compared with most vehicle hire sites that seem to attempt to service the entire planet and in doing so lose all sense of the fact that we are customers at the end of the day. Prices are laid out for all to see, there are pictures of the different models of van, and a good FAQ section which covers most bases.
After a little negotiation we booked. It turned out that it wasn’t quite as perfect as we’d first thought. The depot is a taxi ride from both the airport and the ferry port, and also closes at 4pm. Our boat arrived in at 5pm so we had to either arrange a reasonably expensive after hours pick-up or wait until the following morning. We opted for the latter. Pick up was smooth enough. We were met by Mick, a super-friendly chap who asked us our names and never once forgot them. In retrospect we probably should have booked the luxury 4 berth instead of the standard (the Ranger – a Fiat Ducato). The Ranger has three seats in the front, none of which rotate which means you have to exit the van to get into the main section. Also the seats in the rear face sideways which was not ideal from a child-seat perspective. The luxury model (an extra £10 a day) has forward facing rear seats and rotating front ones. I think that the website could have better illustrated this, but at the end of the day all the information is there if you look.
Inside the set up is pretty slick. A toilet and shower cubicle, a sink, fridge, gas cooker, stereo, plenty of LED low energy lighting, a set of bunks for the kids in the back, and a double bed for us once the table had been stowed. The bunks probably ought to have had a safety rail – again, the luxury model does – as our eldest fell out on the first night and I made a make-shift rail out of drift wood. On return we mentioned this, and I’m pleased to say that the company owner telephoned this morning to say that he would be looking into a practical solution.
The van drove very nicely. It felt pretty big on the narrow walled roads of the Burren, made worse by the lightning fast local van drivers who never slow down. I clouted a mirror on something much to my embarrassment. Fortunately it was still useable despite being cracked, but it did cost us €40 to fix it on the insurance which was frustrating. The excess damage waiver option was prohibitively expensive so we opted to leave it and drive carefully. Hey ho.
Wehad to empty the toilet container a couple of times (one of which was on our return to the depot) which wasn't too tricky. The three pin sockets didn't work unless hooked up to a mains supply, but otherwise we had absolutely no issues with the power setup.
We were once again greeted by Mick on our return and would have no hesitation in recommending Bunk Campers to anybody.
We paid £75 per day for a 4 berth basic model. The Vista, the luxuray model is £85 per day. Low season rates.