“Cannot recommend it. Despite the fact that the staff was friendly they were incapable of solving any issue. We had to live with non-functional important elements for 2 weeks just because of the fact that they were on the cheap side of maintenance.
I would not recommend Escape Campervans if you need a reliable partner.
We discussed with another person that rented also from them and had been stopped 7 times by the police because of expired registration. Not very professional.”
“My boyfriend (now fiancé) and I rented one of the Mavericks vans (Smokey). We should have been tipped off when we realized the van had 250k+ miles on it and was definitely showing its age, unlike the photos of the newer models on the website. Regardless, we were excited for our trip, and overlooked the wear and tear on the exterior and interior (cracked dashboard, threadbare chairs, broken seatbelt adjuster, broken charging port, maxed out cracking speakers) to begin our trip. A few miles in, we noticed was that the brakes were incredibly worn down, to the point where every time we used them, you could hear the screech of the worn brake pad indicators which was odd, since we were told the van was fresh out of the shop for repairs and an oil change. Again, we overlooked this, despite being in Mount Rainier, where half of our trip was spent nursing the brakes down steep hills, as we were still in vacation bliss.
The real issue began when we heard some rustling in the night. We chalked it up to creatures in the woods, and fell back asleep. In the morning, we awoke to all of our paper goods torn to shreds, and all of our pantry food (bread, apples, ramen, etc.) ripped open with little bites taken out of everything, and droppings throughout the shelves — it was a obviously a mouse.
We called roadside assistance (it was early in the morning, and we couldn’t find a phone number for the specific depot) and let them know the issue and that we wanted to swap out our van in Seattle, since we were going North. Eric was very amicable and helpful, and seemed surprised that this had happened. (With that said, we weren’t planning on heading into Seattle, which was another bummer in terms of wasted time, gas, and having to re-buy our food and paper supplies at a supermarket.) When we got to the depot, the staff was also incredibly nice and understanding, which was much appreciated. However, it was very disconcerting that they seemed all too familiar with this issue, noting that they would spray “extra” mouse deterrent on our new van, even giving us a mouse trap that they already had set and ready to go to ease our minds. One staff member casually mentioned that she had seen a mouse make a home in a dashboard console, and that they sometimes get in from underneath and go up into the roof of the van. She also mentioned that they had killed 4 this year, laughing that they had made makeshift gravestones for each. While this was all fun and lighthearted in the moment, it speaks to a larger issue that this is something the staff (at least in Seattle) deals with on the regular, meaning we can’t be the first to have this complaint. When browsing the free section while our new van was being cleaned, I even found a roll of toilet paper ripped to shreds in exactly the same way ours was. They said they would “isolate” our old van and “set traps” to catch the mouse inside, and we were off, back on the road in a new, mouse-free van (Delawhere, which still had over 200k miles, but was the lowest mileage in the lot) Or so we thought...
We again woke up to rustling, but thought there was no way we could have a second van with a second mouse. We didn’t see any “damage” in the morning, and continued on our trip. The next night, my fiancé found a mouse in the trap that the staff had given us, and we were completely beside ourselves that this had happened a second time. Disgusted but determined to enjoy the rest of our vacation, we drove on, thinking we had killed the culprit. Little did we know that we hadn’t.
The next evening, we heard the rustling that we had grown all too familiar with, and knew there was something in the van...again. We had been asleep for only an hour or so when it got into our food, causing me to have a panic attack out of being stressed, sleep-deprived, and not wanting to be in close quarters with yet another rodent. We anxiously called every hotel within an hour drive, hoping someone would have a room, but somehow there was nothing available. We sat at our picnic table in the cold until 5am when we realized the only thing we could do was drive back to Portland. Before starting the engine, we heard some more rustling, a different kind that I had heard previously but didn’t investigate. There was a clawing/scratching noise coming from the front of the van. Determined to rid the van of the mouse/mice once and for all, we turned on all of the lights and searched desperately, only to realize that the scratching was coming from inside of the dashboard, meaning that somehow this mouse was living inside of the van, unreachable by us until it came inside for food at night, going back to its “home” each morning while we drove. We again had paper goods ripped and the last of our groceries nibbled, with more droppings on the shelves.
We drove furiously back to the Portland office to drop the van off early, skipping by our last day’s planned stops in the Columbia River Gorge, instead opting for a hotel in Portland. We again called roadside assistance to let them know we were dropping the van off early. Deborah (I believe was her name) listened to our story, but only offered a curt apology, starting to give us the standard spiel that we were outside and critters aren’t uncommon.
Back at the Portland depot, we were met by Josh, who we had met previously when picking up the van, and who was told the story by roadside assistance before we arrived. He remained stone faced and told us that he was sorry that it had happened, but he had never heard of it happening before, and there was nothing he could do, but that like the Seattle depot, they would “isolate the van and set traps.” He went back inside as we cleaned out the van, getting one of the cleaners who was working on one of the newer models (which looked gorgeous, crisp and clean) to keep us occupied and check us out while another family came into the office to pick up their van, I assume so they wouldn’t overhear our mouse talk.
Overall, we had a wonderful vacation, but I’m sad to say that it was tarnished by such a stressful experience with Escape. The responses we got from staff that this “had never happened before” and that “we were in the outdoors” were pretty upsetting since we were cautious to have doors and windows closed and not bring firewood inside. We are avid campers and know the “risks” (for lack of a better word) of being outdoors. With that said, it is completely different to see critters nearby than it is to wake up continuously in the middle of the night to a rodent crawling around and defecating in close quarters of your sleeping/dining area, and then having to drive said quarters on just a few hours of sleep.
As a New Yorker who has unfortunately dealt with pests in apartments before, I know that setting traps is just a quick solution, and will not stop the problem. It is finding the entry point that is the only solve to stop future infestation. While I can’t speak to the newer models, it was clear that the conversions were not done with care, as there are plenty of cracks and crevices throughout for pests to hide in, from the ceilings to the floor of both of the vans we were in. While the new vans look fantastic, I have to say that after this experience, we will never again be renting with Escape. We have rented several campervans and and RVs from other companies previously, and never had issues like this, not to mention that this was the most expensive car/van/RV rental we have ever had to-date, and the largest expense of our trip, which I now wish we had saved for our future wedding.
I truly hope that this will inspire the company to invest more in the cleaning and care put towards the maintenance of its vans so others do not have to endure a similar experience, and can instead enjoy and relax on their vacations.”