I'm a 67-year old self-employed handyman who lives in Tucson, Arizona, USA with my wife and 19-year-old son (who won't be coming with us to Europe). Diana and I have been together for 27 years. She's a substitute teacher. We have lived in a house we built ourselves 27 years ago just north of downtown Tucson. The house is part of a 4-house community of which I am 1/3 owner, along with my 2 older sons, who are in their 40s. Together, we rent out rooms in the other houses and maintain the property, while I also work other jobs for friends and neighbors. I love nature and have spent most of my life advocating for its protection and restoration. I do a lot of hiking in the local mountains, where I'm a trail-maintenance volunteer. I also do a lot of nature photography. We love to travel, and have done so extensively throughout the Western United States, lately in a camper we bought from my oldest son. We have never been to Europe and are really looking forward to this trip, especially France.
My partner and I rented Clement’s Campervan for 7 weeks, from 22-08-18 to 07-10-18, to tour southern France. Clement met us at the train station, which was nice (an hour and a half late, explaining he had been involved in an accident). He drove us to the van about 10 minutes away, showed us everything we needed to know about it, and then pointed us toward a place on the mountain nearby where we could drive to camp, which was also nice.
The next day we noticed that the diesel tank was only about 1/3 full and water tank maybe half full. The propane tank didn’t seem to have much in it either, but we didn’t realize how little until late the next day, when it ran out. The day after that we had to change plans to look for propane, which took awhile. Also, about half way through the trip the water pump to the sink stopped working, and thereafter we used recycled water bottles for our water uses (easy enough).
But the campervan itself was mostly quite comfortable and functional. The kitchen area was especially well designed, and we liked the ample storage and roll-down awning. We appreciated the outdoor table and chairs and some other things Clement provided.
We would like to have given this campervan more stars except for 2 issues. Setting up and breaking down the bed is a complicated 10-to-15-minute, twice-a-day process. Among other things, you fold down the rear seat, fold back the front seats all the way, and add a separate side cushion (watch your fingers!) – 7 pieces altogether, which results in such a very irregular surface that I honestly have to say it was one of the most uncomfortable beds I’ve ever slept in. We padded it as best we could.
Lack of power steering isn’t a problem with most vehicles. But tight turns with this van take much effort and arm muscle. You can forget sharp turns; most normally 3-point turns turn into 5, 7, 9, or more point turns; and parallel parking is nearly impossible. Also, the 5-speed transmission is geared so low that you spend a lot of time frantically shifting gears to try to keep up with the flow of traffic.
Otherwise, it was a good camping vehicle, while Clement was friendly and helpful. We really enjoyed our journey around southern France – one of the best trips of our lives!