We took a VW California for 6 days from Geneva to Montepellier. What a great way to see France. Perfect for our style of travel, which is to plan very little, be outdoors as much as possible, see places off the beaten path, and stay open for whatever interesting things might come up. The staff was friendly and accommodating, and the van was clean and in worked well. We took it up some intense roads to Village Notre Dame and Village Reymond near Le'Bourg d'Oisans, and it did the job on some of the scariest roads I've ever been on. I highly recommend!
Picked up a California van in Barcelona, Luis gave a great explanation of the van and its features. Great fuel economy. Easy to drive and its size allows it to park in almost any car parks (including underground).
Drove 4500km through France Spain and Portugal without issue.
Luis and the Indie Campers team are quick to respond to any queries and very helpful.
All in all a great experience, highly recommend.
My husband & I picked up our rented Indie Camper Van in the Indie Camper Depot in Barcelona. We rented the van so that we could drive North & check out the Costa Brava region. The van was in great shape & had everything one would need, including toilet, shower, cooler, stove top, two beds, & bedding for one bed, as there was only two of us.
Luis helped us while picking up the van. Luis recommended that we rent a wi-fi thing he had so that wherever we went, we'd have wi-fi. He also recommended a navigation app & a camping app. The ability to have wi-fi at all times, was so necessary & gave us "peace of mind" the whole time.
The van uses DIESEL gas. At the first place, we filled up the gas, my husband swears there was no labels on the gas pumps. So, he chose, the green handled hose, as all DIESEL pumps are green in the US. Well, this was NOT the correct gas. The Diesel hoses in Spain are BLACK! Eventually, the check engine light came on, just as we were about to park. I immediately contacted Indie Campers. At this point, we still were not aware of the gas issue. Indie Campers got a tow truck to come to us. When the tow truck arrived, they tried to start the van at which point, the van would not start. At that point they asked if we might have put in the wrong kind of gas. This was when we realized our mistake. Everyone that we spoke to at Indie Campers, was professional, kind, and helpful. Indie Campers had us towed to the nearest repair shop (Rodi Motor Services, in Sant Felieu de Guixols). At this point, Indie Campers were prepared to bring us another Camper Van from Barcelona so that we could continue on our trip, and they were going to wait for the van repairs. Amazingly, the Camper Van sustained no damage & we were on the road again in a few hours in our same van. The whole repair situation could have been a horrible experience. Instead, because of all the support from the staff at Indie Campers & the honesty & kindness of the Rodi Motors (Daniel), the stress factor was minimized & we were on our way. I highly recommend this company! All of the staff we dealt with (Luis, Melia, Roman, Joao, and I'm sure I missed some, I am so sorry about that!), were awesome and generally interested in making sure our trip was outstanding! Luis & the staff, were always available when we had questions, or needed recommendations. We cannot wait to rent from this company again, perhaps in Portugal next time!
We arrived in Bilbao and spent 8 days traveling around Northern Spain surfing/skateboarding in an Active Plus van.
The van was in great condition and V Clean.
The Indie Campers personnel was always available and extremely helpful!
It was our first Trip with Indie and will definitely do it again!
Thanks for having us!
First I must say the staff was very nice and professional and the van was in good condition. The issues are the practicality of using a van to travel around Europe. They do start with a tutorial but was quick. They failed to mention how the reverse works but I figured it out after 5-10 minutes. Trying to drive one of these vans if you never drove anything larger than a car is quite a challenge for the first couple of days. The hardest part is definitely backing up and driving in tight spots. There are so many roads throughout my 6,000 km road trip that the roads were so thin I would have to pull over until cars passes by. This would lead to very angry drivers behind me requiring me to pull over non stop. The other challenge is europe is full of steep sloped roads. The van can handle it only if you got speed and usually you don't have that opportunity. Usually the steep slopes come with thin roadways and usually parked cars along the road. The entire time you are driving you are constantly looking for obstacles and avoiding collisions. Then you got bike riders, mopeds, and motorcycles everywhere who own the road. They will cut you off and it will be your fault. Europe if full of chaotic routes and trying to make your way you will definitely take wrong turns often and when you do expect to add 20-45 minutes trying to get back on your route. It doesn't help that there are hundreds lane splitting and merging every km. Expect to add 10% of you trip trying to find you way back on your route. This includes the inevitable roads or parking lots you start down and find out there is no way out. Then trying to drive in reverse for sometimes half a km. That's when I hit a low concrete bollard. Such a small dent that cost 1,700 euros. There is no way you can go 6,000 km through major cities without a dent. There are excessive amount of aggressive driving even though there are speed cameras every 2 km and red-light cameras in every major city. The biggest problem of driving the large van is parking. There is no parking for a van this size in europe. You must park in a designated RV parking lot. They will be very hard to find if they exist and usually very far away from the destination. Dont bother trying to find a garage cause the 2.75 meter tall van wont fit anywhere. If you think parallel parking is possible take a close look and you will find that only smart cars can park there. Not to mention every single car in Europe is dinged up from all of the parallel parking. No one seems to car about their cars bouncing off bumpers. You should walk down the line of parallel parking and look at these bumpers. That will be your bumper and it will cost you as mentioned before. If you somehow find a parking space they may very well block you in with their tiny smart car. I the two times i parallel parked my side was hanging way out. There are many signs no camper/rv parking. You will get a ticket and you may be towed. When i got to Portfolio I was told to turn around and leave. You need to be very careful where you go cause there is many roads you can't go down. Also if you park up a slope expect the car to stall and start rolling down hill. I almost hit a car more than once this way. That includes red lights and stop signs such as Monaco. Too many times i almost rolled back into a car. Also, the majority of the 16 camp sites i stay at closed down at around 8pm so don't arrive late or you will be camping on the street. Also, dont expect to leave before 8am cause the offices don't usually open till then. If you are staying in Switzerland the plugs are different and you wont have power unless the campground has a plug you can rent. If you are staying in a place where its below 0 degrees Celsius then don't expect your heater to be sufficient. Gas is approximately 1euro/5km and I kept good records (gas throughout south Europe). Expect to pay tolls that is equal to around 50% of your gas consumption. The tolls are super expensive which includes all 9 of the countries I visited. By time you are done you could have gone with the touring buses for basically the same price. You could rent a tiny smart car and stayed at hotels for less. There are many cheaper options. This van would be best served in a more for nature and not for the city. You would be surprised by how many unsafe places in Europe which is another reason you may want to opt for a bus tour. Bus' can drop you off at each destination and not have to park 3 miles away and pay a small fortune for all the parking fees. If driving a large van is not hard enough the locals will remind you that you should not be on their road. No one there will be happy about your campervan. They do have a fridge on board but it doesn't keep things that cold. If you think this is the cheapest options it isn't. Driving the van is very much a chore as you need to stay very focused. Is that how you want to spend you vacation?