Trip restartFebruary 26 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C
We woke up to rain hitting our van. We took showers, and had breakfast in the common kitchen area, which wasn't full of pensioners this time. At 10:30 we had to leave the campsite, so that's what we did but all we then did was park immediately next to the street. We hadn't slept too well and we were increasingly unhappy with the van and worried about our health. With the windows closed in the night, we could just smell the mold. We also did some further inspection on the vehicle and found mold also on the ceiling and in the mattress. So we concluded quite quickly that we didn't want to continue in it. We called customer service and asked for our options. They proposed we could buy anti mold spray and new mattresses and declare all the costs for it. But we figured that would mean we'd spend a lot of time and effort and still not be comfortable in this van as the chronical issue would still remain. The better option seemed to be returning our vehicle to Melbourne to exchange it for a new one. We negotiated that we'd be compensated for 2 rental days and the fuel costs.
By now it was 11:45 and we needed to make it back to Melbourne before 16:00. So we drove away immediately and after a few driver swap stops and a short lunch break, we arrived at 15:30. Halfway back we received a mail from Travellers Autobarn confirming the compensation. It took us a bit by surprise as they only wanted to refund the daily rental rate but not the daily insurance rate (which costs just as much). They also only wanted to compensate whatever was missing in the fuel tank but not what we had fueled the day before. Nonetheless, when we arrived, they were very sorry, agreed with the moldy state of the vehicle and swapped it for a newer slightly bigger van. So that was very nice. This time we had airbags, a central locking system, electric mirror adjustments, etc. Most importantly, it wasn't full of mold. We moved all our stuff and drove off again. This time a lot happier, we quickly realised that this had been the right call.
We had decided to go to the Grampions now as we didn't know if our time was gonna be enough to see those and the Great Ocean Road again. 2 hours later we arrived in Beaufort where we decided to spend the night. They call themselves an 'RV friendly town', there were no signs disallowing us, so we parked next to a small park and public toilet building. We cooked some pasta and ate it outside on our camping chairs. When it got dark we went into our van. It has a very long bed (probably about 2.3m) and felt very comfortable and this time we weren't disgusted by touching the surroundings.Read more