Last year in New Zealand it was the first time that we decided to rent a campervan for our vacation and we totally loved it to be so close to nature. So naturally this time in Patagonia we wanted to have that experience again. Due to the lack of alternatives we decided to go with Wicked South America, as they are the only ones offering this type of vehicle in that area. We rent the car for 15 days including the permit to cross the border to Argentina and insurance. The package set us back about € 1.800,- which was quite a lot considering that we payed only € 2.100,- for our way better equipped Spaceship campervan in New Zealand for 4 weeks. However, we were really happy with the service of Wicked South America as a whole. The communication with the office before our trip was great and Alejandro, the guy responsible for the rental business in Punta Arenas, did an amazing job in showing us around the Wicked campervan and giving us useful tipps for driving in Patagonia.
What do you get for your money?
- Well, obviously a campervan. The car is a Chevrolet N300 Max and fits 2 people. Bigger vans for up to 6 persons are also available. Check directly with Wicked for a detailed overview.
- A mattress in the rear for a good night sleep
- A lot of storage in the back
- A camping table and two chairs
- A camping stove
- A camping cooler
- Cookware, cuttlery and dishes
- A fuel canister and an emergency kit in case of a breakdown
So actually you are good to go camping the way you receive the van. The only items you need to bring are sleeping bags (good ones as it can get really cool at night) and pillows. Beneath you can find some pictures of the van and the equipment. The outside of the car is already quite dirty since I took the pictures after having driven already 3.000km through Patagonia with no breakdowns at all.
By the way, all Wicked Campervans have their own unique design. Ours was the so called 3D Van. On the back it said “Si ves doble es porque estas borracho!” meaning if you see double it’s because you are drunk. It was actually quite funny and other tourists often told us that they have already seen us on the streets and remember us because they love the design.
The cockpit is really basic with no bangs or whistles except a Radio with a CD player that reads MP3s. No AUX input or Bluetooth to connect your phone and listen to music while driving. No speedometer, automatic windows and not many space in the cockpit to put some smaller items.
Generally, we received the car in a good and clean condition (considering the car already had 120.000km on the clock). The back was fully converted for all camping needs like a lot of storage for bags on which you put the mattresses while sleeping. It was actually quite comfortable to sleep as the car itself is very tall and you got a lot of room for your legs. Where you open the tailgate you can find a little kitchen with an integrated sink. The water comes from a water reservoir you connect it to (we used a big 5 litre water bottle we bought at a local supermarket).
Given the many kilometres the car already had on the clock, riding in the Wicked campervan was not the fanciest experience ever. The clutch had no real biting point and the first days it was always a guessing game where the spot really was. However, I got used to it and at the end it didn’t even bother me anymore. The car was well maintained from an engine point of view and we had no problems at all during the time we rented it. It is worth noting, that the car has no power steering so parallel parking in the cities was quite tough. Suspension was not very comfortable and very basic. But nothing broke while driving the various gravel roads so that’s probably a plus.
Generally, we never drove faster than 85 km/h as at around 90 km/h the steering wheel started to wobble around and the motor got quite loud since the car only had 5 gears. Fuel consumption at that speed was also really good and you can drive the car very economically.
For the little time being, the small annoyances didn’t bother us and the car never broke down. So we were really happy.
Conclusion – can we recommend a Wicked Campervan?
We really enjoyed the experience with Wicked South America as a whole. However, we also encountered a few drawbacks that nevertheless didn’t stop us from enjoying our stay in Patagonia at its fullest. The van itself was quite spacious to sleep in, was well equipped with camping gear and it takes (almost) all the roads you are faced with in Patagonia at a very low fuel consumption rate. So all that is definitely a huge plus. However, where there is light there is also shadow and from our point of view the camper vans are a little overpriced for what they offer. They are equipped very basically electrical-wise and the insurance package they come with let’s you hope that you don’t have an accident or break the windshield, since the bond they keep is quite high. It would be great if the vans were equipped with a second battery that runs a small refrigerator, so you could also buy some dairy products or other things that need cooling. Keeping everything we just wrote in mind, would we rent the van again? Probably yes, since there are no real alternatives and all in all we had a great experience.
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