It was on a trip to the beach over Easter that I first really looked at a Wicked Camper van.
A young guy walked around the back, slamming the door to reveal a knee-buckling quote: “I don’t trust something that bleeds for 5 days … and doesn’t die.” Or something to that effect.
My sensibilities went into shock. Had a law been breached? Where was feminism hiding? Is there a vehicular signage code of practice? I noted the website – wickedcampers.com – as senses returned.
A few days later, I was alerted to Marieke Hardy’s blogging on the same subject. And when I called Wicked Campers, the receptionist said they get a fair few complaints: “some people love ’em, some people hate ’em”.
Wicked Campers provide cheap van hire, with each vehicle given a “unique paintjob”, meaning it’s sprayed with lurid images and quotes.
You certainly can’t knock the brand strategy. The gaudy vans, all 800 or so of them, promote themselves as the roam across Australia. Wicked Campers relies a lot on “word of mouth”, acknowledges Jethro in the marketing department. And yes, the brashness is calculated, though they “don’t try to go too out there”. There are many vans, he says, and the ones we’ve been noticing are exceptions to the rule. The loud mouths. Later this year, the company will be in seven countries, having started from scratch in 2001 with just 15 vans. Its messages might not be smart but the business clearly is.
As for renters, do they get to choose their van? Wicked Campers looks after people who have a preference, says Jethro. And if there’s a religious group, for example, “that’s taken into account”. But it’s not 100% guaranteed due to availability. (Cue unfortunate mental image of nuns in their “Massive C-ck” van).
Perhaps there’s a market for Dainty Vans, each one carefully oil-painted with still lifes and Jane Austen quotes.
And now, for your reading/aesthetic pleasure, Hardy’s post:
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I’m not going to bang on about my holiday in Byron all week (did I mention I was there? In Byron? Try the veal, etc) but I just need to unleash about something that in my mind is a menace to the otherwise relaxed streets of the North Coast and its Wicked Vans and you can’t convince me that these things are in any way good or proper no matter how much gin you order me.
If you’re yet to be introduced to the wild and magical world of Wicked Campers
look away now before you want to scoop your own eyes out with a rusty fork then AREN’T YOU IN FOR A TREAT as I have found photographs of a few of my favourites and I am going to share them with you.
According to the website:
What Wicked Campers does is sort you out with Australian cheap rental camper vans for about the same price as hiring a car. Each van comes with a unique paintjob as well as accommodation and a kitchen built in.
You won’t waste your money on the frilly bits so you’ll be able to afford all those great activities and have all those wicked adventures in Australia you’ve always dreamed of.
You’ll also share the uniqueness of passerby poking each other in the ribs and whispering: “Look, there goes a massive cockhead who in all probability digitally penetrates hitchhikers”. Lucky thing.
Look, I don’t know what a “Chubby’s Stiffie” is as opposed to a normal erect p-nis but I’m pretty sure if I were creator of such a thing I wouldn’t bang on about it. Particularly not on the back window of my car.
Isn’t Chubby’s Stiffie some kind of tautology, anyway? Discuss.
Makes you think, right? ABOUT S-MEN.
I’m a fan of the Rolling Stones, but the last thing I would want is to burn around the beaches with a painting of them looking like Cabbage Patch Kids on crack. What the hell is going on with Keith’s mouth? Is he supposed to be some kind of lion man?
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