We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Beware Apollo Motorhome Rentals in Broome

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
1 post
84 reviews
Save Topic
Beware Apollo Motorhome Rentals in Broome

If you are travelling in the Kimberley, or remotely anywhere, think carefully before renting with Apollo. Here's our experience as four experienced campers/over 60 adults, from June 2013, starting in Broome, and hitting the Gibb River Road for 3 weeks. With our first 2 nights in Broome, we had time to discover that the equipment in the van was ridiculously basic - 4 of each essential item, no margin for loss. No frills such as a basic serving spoon, platter, wine glasses, grater. They did supply a small broken brush taped with sticky tape which we also asked to be replaced, and an awful pillow that should have been tossed). We also found that the spare tyre didn't match the other 4, so was not safe to use...these people are supposed to be 4 wheel drive experts! Under pressure, they replaced the spare the next day, so we headed off for 5 hours to Leopold downs. Next day, the vehicle wouldn't start, and we found out that the battery had almost no water in it - a servicing blunder that cost us 2 days of our holiday and endless stress, as we were tossed between RAC operations and Apollo head office. Frankly, the roadside assist promise just doesn't work in remote areas, unless you have a satellite phone, and who does, and certainly not on the weekend. The company demanded we be towed back to Derby, but the tow truck that arrived couldn't fit four adults in its cabin, despite being informed about our group, so we had to drive this so called ündriveable" vehicle ourselves. We waited the whole weekend in boring Derby, to find out on Monday morning that the battery was fine, which could have been established much earlier with any decent roadside assist. Head office acknowledged we'd been badly treated and offered a rebate, which we gratefully accepted...and they have apparently changed their practices as a result and will now use distilled water in batteries. What a relief for future travellers and renters, but how unprofessional that they didn't in the first place. What shocked us was the company's failure to apologise even when a bad experience was acknowledged. It seems the branches are hamstrung by head office rules, which is worrying when you are in the outback.

But at the end of the day, what sort of company sends people into the wilderness with such appalling backup and no water in the battery. We will never use them again. Yes, they are cheaper, but not worth it...they are clearly a low cost operation with service to match. Interestingly, other renters we met when we turned our vehicle in had similar bad experiences. Just for the record, we were also stunned by the onerous contract conditions - $700 to clean the vehicle, it not done properly, hire charge per calendar day, not a 24 hour period, comprehensive insurance that is not comprehensive, and extra charges for everything. Such a pity when they have an opportunity to be a market leader, with consumer respect. The Broome Office tried to fix the mess in the end, but the fact remains that the service was poor, and our vehicle was supplied to us in an unroadworthy state.

South Pacific
Destination Expert
for Hobart, Tasmania
Level Contributor
26,106 posts
75 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Beware Apollo Motorhome Rentals in Broome

I think Apollo must buy secondhand vans from Hippie. :)

Ooops! Silly me!! .... They're the same company. :)) http://www.hippiecamper.com/

I wonder if it's just a re-branding???

Edited: 05 July 2013, 06:04
Gungahlin, Australia
Destination Expert
for Canberra
Level Contributor
14,551 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Beware Apollo Motorhome Rentals in Broome

If it's Monday.. or Tuesday or Wednesday or Thursday or Friday.. it must be time for another Apollo thread.

>>Yes, they are cheaper<<

Oz
Level Contributor
11,892 posts
51 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Beware Apollo Motorhome Rentals in Broome

Hi,

Must have been a hell of a trip, and a very large motor home:

>>experienced campers/over 60 adults, from June 2013, starting in Broome, and hitting the Gibb River Road for 3 weeks<<

Caveat emptor?

Cheers,

South Pacific
Destination Expert
for Hobart, Tasmania
Level Contributor
26,106 posts
75 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Beware Apollo Motorhome Rentals in Broome

If you google "Apollo van review", one finds this TripAdvisor thread at the top of the list: tripadvisor.com.au/ShowTopic-g255055-i120-k3…

And if you didn't bother to google for reviews before renting, and you then decide to submit a complaint, guess which TripAdvisor thread is again at the top of the google list for "Apollo complaint"?

Wellington, New...
Destination Expert
for Wellington, Bay of Islands
Level Contributor
10,069 posts
206 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Beware Apollo Motorhome Rentals in Broome

<< But at the end of the day, what sort of company sends people into the wilderness with such appalling backup and no water in the battery >>

Never heard of car rental company forcing anyone to go anywhere. I know that some prevent people from going places.

Gee I wish TA had a review section for rental vehicles but that's for another day ...............

South Pacific
Destination Expert
for Hobart, Tasmania
Level Contributor
26,106 posts
75 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Beware Apollo Motorhome Rentals in Broome

"Gee I wish TA had a review section for rental vehicles ..."

Beanb, three days ago you wrote on the Ascot rental thread: "Two first timers with contradictory comments and we wonder why TA wont have a Car rental review forum."

I look forward to the discussion on another day. Sounds like you've got both sides covered. :)

Wellington, New...
Destination Expert
for Wellington, Bay of Islands
Level Contributor
10,069 posts
206 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Beware Apollo Motorhome Rentals in Broome

"Tongue in cheek" Luigi. I am fully aware of the debate

Consett, United...
2 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Beware Apollo Motorhome Rentals in Broome

I was planning to rent an Apollo motorhome around Sept 2014 for a "top end" trip from Perth to Brisbane taking around 4 weeks but I have been completely put off by all the negative reviews concerning this company.

Does anyone out there have a sensible and cost effective alternative suggestion of the best way to make this trip ? I worked on the Ord River Dam project in 1970/71 and still want to re-visit the area for nostalgic reasons before heading to Brisbane to see an old Aussie mate who worked there at the same time.

South Pacific
Destination Expert
for Hobart, Tasmania
Level Contributor
26,106 posts
75 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Beware Apollo Motorhome Rentals in Broome

There are reputable companies operating in the van rental business, however, it seems illogical to me to expect that the cheapest one will be the best. Or even that it will be satisfactory. You get what you pay for.

This is a pretty good summary of the relative merits of major operators in the industry: www.discovery-campervans.com.au/suppliers.php

It would be worthwhile considering the alternative option of renting a car and staying in ordinary hotels - or even old-fashioned pubs in the middle of town - rather than a van. And the difference in fuel costs between the two is also significant. With one-way drop-off fees in the equation, a van may well not be the cheapest option anyway.

10. Re: Beware Apollo Motorhome Rentals in Broome

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This post was determined to be inappropriate by the TripAdvisor community and has been removed.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

Our staff may also remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason. Thanks for being a part of the TripAdvisor travel community!

Removed on: 27 December 2013, 23:35