Susan and Tony
We are a couple of novice travelers from New Zealand who recently spent 5 months travelling around in Otto through Portugal, Spain, France, Italy (as far south as Sicily) and back to Germany so think we are well placed to feed back on the Tour Europe experience. We spent every night in the van, ate virtually every one of our meals in the van, and survived rains, snows and plenty of sunshine. Over the 5 months we drove 16,000 kilometres.
After leaving Otto in Germany with Sebastian, we spent a month in UK and are now in the USA, and have missed the convenience and homeliness of Otto a great deal – camping in a small tent in the British rain is not remotely the same as the comforts offered by a camper van. Being away for such a long time, the biggest plus of a van is that it remains one constant no matter where in the world you are, coming back to the same space with all of your belongings just where you put them. In the cold and wet weather, the efficient little heater was fantastic, and in the hot weather, just pull out the chairs and find a big shady tree!
Aside from the obvious benefits of any camper we found that the Otto had particular benefits: its size meant that we could go virtually anywhere that a car width could go without taking up half of the opposing lane of traffic; and it is a discrete size and model so that if we chose to free camp, we could do it without drawing undue attention. We also felt that because the van is modest in appearance, it helped to hide our tourist status and perhaps contributed to five months of avoiding being tampered with no matter where we were.
It's true there were limitations. Like any camper, you have to be aware of your height but you don't have to be rocket scientist to know that if a sign says 2.5 metres, you aren't going to fit – so just don't go into those parking buildings or under those rail bridges. Park in the town carpark and give your legs a bit of a work out instead. Second potential drawback was that Otto was not the fastest of vehicles but given time he could go anywhere – including over the highest road in Europe. On the positive, it saves money on those alarmingly expensive French motorways as he's never going to make the speeds, use the secondary roads instead which are far prettier (although in Italy where the motorways are cheaper its worth taking them to avoid congestion and to enjoy sometimes a far more scenic drive). It probably also pays to have some mechanical knowledge if you are planning a long trip like ours, or have the vehicle serviced once or twice while you're away – on a shorter trip its not likely to be an issue.
So in short, a huge thank you to Sebastian and Rolf – both really great to deal with and entirely trustworthy fellows – for helping us have such an amazing experience. Would we hire again? Absolutely. We are more than happy to answer any questions potential hirers might have while planning your own big (or little) trip.
[Susan and Tony,from New Zealand, on a 5-month tour-Europe]
Jenni and Steve We hired a T3 camper from Tour Europe for 4 months. From the very beginning everything was easy, Rolf and Sebastian were very helpful and went out of their way to make things easy and convenient. The car was prepared extremely well and met all our needs. Our trip started in the winter with lots of snow and ended in the spring and the whole time we were comfortable. Some people may prefer a bigger camper but to travel around Europe's many narrow streets the T3 was the perfect size. We would highly recommend this company to anyone wishing to travel around Europe in a camper.
We wish all the best to Tour Europe and thank you for enabling us to have a trouble free and great holiday. Kind regards Steve and Jenni Lowe, Peregian Beach, Queensland, Australia
[Jenni and Steve, from Australia, on a 4-months tour-Europe]
Hello Rolf We had a great trip we travelled around 3600km in 19 days and the camper that Sebastian supplied was excellent. He also helped out with the train time tables that we required to get to Bruhl which was extremely helpful. We will be in touch next time we head to Europe. Many Thanks
[Anthony and Amanda, from Australia, on a 19-days tour-Europe]
"I rented a VW Westfalia from Rolf for 8 weeks and it was just a fantastic way to travel. If you enjoy driving, which I really do, it's a great way to see the country as you drive through it. I covered about 5000km over 8 weeks, going through Germany, Czech, Austria, Slovenia, Italy, Croatia, Hungary, Poland and Holland. The camper was always absolutely solid mechanically and we never had any problems with it. It wasn't the quickest vehicle on any of the road but we were in no rush and always got to where we wanted. The camper was a perfect size for a couple. It had room for 4 but for 2 people it was just right. It was set up really well and had obviously been well looked after by Rolf and I would thoroughly recommend it as an excellent way to travel through Europe. Especially if you are coming from Britain renting saves you having to transport a camper to the mainland and back and there's no need to worry about organising insurance or break down assistance, both of which Rolf provides. Rolf was always really helpful too and paid us back the full security deposit immediately upon our arrival back in Germany. There were definitely no catches to getting the full deposit back which was good as that was my only real worry. Well, safe travels if you decide to drive round Europe in a campervan. It's a fantastic way to see it!"
[Hisa & Ray, from New Zealand, on a 2-months tour-Europe]
[Jenny & Michael, from Australia; on a 10-weeks tour-Europe campsite at the Seine river, France, campsite at Lake Como, Italy, campsite at Mundaka, Spain]
We spent 89 days traveling through Europe with Fritz, our VW Westfalia. It was an amazing way to travel and we were able to see places we never would have gotten to by train or backpacking. We drove about 10,000km through Luxembourg, France, Italy, Greece, Macedonia, Montenegro, Croatia, Hungary, Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Germany. We did have a couple of minor issues with the campervan (in a 1989 VW that's to be expected – a flat tyre, and a hose had to be replaced) but Rolf was always really helpful and responsive and reimbursed us for anything we spent on the repairs we needed to keep going. We were really impressed and pleased with the level of service we received, and the cover that was included for insurance and roadside assistance. It was a really easy stress-free way to travel and the camper was obviously well maintained and regularly serviced. By the end of our trip we were sad to say good-bye to Fritz, our faithful camper, and would highly recommend Rolf and Tour Europe to anyone who loves to travel and likes the freedom to explore without being limited to major cities and train lines.
[Catherine and Alan, from Australia, on a 12-weeks tour-Europe]
Robyn and Gerald
‘Karl’ worked out really well for us….very convenient, and everything was there and in working order; amazing for a 22 year old car. Say hello to Sebastian who helped us greatly with our extra arrangements.
[Robyn and Gerald, from Australia, on a 1-week tour-Europe]