This review is not a reflection of the owners themselves, but of the circumstances that arose during our trip and how the issues could have been handled better.
Originally we rented SOFI for the 2 week period, but the owners were going away and requested whether we could arrange collection sooner which we did, this allowed us an extra 12 hours on the start of our trip. We were travelling the Scottish route 500.
The contractual agreement we signed stated return to be by 5pm, yet after a week into our trip we received an email stating SOFI must be returned by 12 midday and not 5pm as they needed to be somewhere else.
I tried to dispute this saying we had planned our journey accordingly, but was informed that we had been given SOFI earlier than contracted (at their request) and had to return it at this new time.
We therefore rearranged our travel plans and ended up forfeiting a trip to York, which put a dampener on the end of our trip.
The second night into our trip we started to have problems with the electronic functionality control which has the ability to control the gas/electric/hot water and heating. I contacted the owners and asked if it should have this problem, it seemed the system was calling for action but kept cutting out. It appeared that if you requested more than one function the system could not cope, i.e. having gas/ hot water and heating simultaneously did not work together. Obviously without heating it was cold.
The initial response from the owners was to be amusing and suggested we share the bed together (we were friends travelling) the subsequent response was ‘’not sure never happened before’’, after discussions a few suggestions were made in configuring the options and to see if it settles. We also expressed that the system completely shut down at midnight switching everything off, again leaving us cold. Despite going through the manual and trying to cancel this function with the advice of the owner on the phone….nothing was resolved. Again their response was we never used this function on the controls. On two separate occasions when asking for assistance the response was ‘’what do you want us to do?’’
We gave up at this point and continued with our trip with the reduced heating facilities.
The second week in shortly after we had arrived at Ullapool, I started to become extremely unwell, wheezy and short of breath, after an hour or so I realised that this was down to fumes in the motor home as my colleagues had also started to notice the fumes too. We immediately opened up all the doors vents and shut everything completely down. I contacted the owner and expressed what had happened almost had me admitted to hospital. Obviously the owners were surprised and expressed their regret at this happening to us.
We tracked this fault to the pump itself with the fumes heavily congregating under the bed.
However the advice given was extremely disconcerting. I was advised the following day to try and switch the pump back on requesting hot water only, leave the air vents open and go out for the day to see if it was okay when we returned. As I immediately pointed out I certainly was not prepared to do this as it proposed a huge fire risk and we could end up with no motorhome at all. I stated I had completely shut the control panel down and under no circumstances was going to risk using it again.
We were then given 3 options, 1. To return home, 2. Use the gas only and use the cooker open to keep us warm, 3. the owners offered to pay for campsite services so we could have hot showers.
We agreed the latter, and they kindly honoured their agreement.
This review is so that in future when the owners rent SOFI out it is with the expectation of having a complete understanding of the control panel and some idea as to why it may be malfunctioning. It would have been wise to have immediately rung the company and discussed the issues with them as I had sent the fault codes to the owners each time they arose. Something I considered myself to do, but did not as it was pointed out to me we were supposed to be enjoying a holiday.
When you are paying a considerable amount of money for a luxury trip, you expect to have support/backup/solutions to quickly eradicate any unforeseen issues or concerns. Informing the client that you have never used all the facilities available in question and have no idea what to do does not help at all when you are off grid and in the middle of nowhere and solely reliant on their advice and guidance with their motorhome.
We are fully aware that things can go wrong at any point but we would anticipate a more comprehensive response than what was offered as it left us worrying about the motorhome and whether to alter our holiday plans rather than enjoying the amazing trip we had originally planned.
We hired 'SoFi' for a little over 2 weeks and took her all the way up to the West coast of Scotland. Fiona and Jon were amazing and really helpful throughout. 'SoFi' was perfect, the hot water, heating, cooker, shower/toilet were all easy to use and we had no problems wild camping. We would highly recommend and will be looking to hire again in the future!
We found booking SoFi easy with clear communication from Fiona. SoFi’s in great condition & suited our lakes trip perfectly. Aircon and fridge issue should be sorted soon and would highly recommend to anyone
We can not recommend Fiona, Jon and lets not forget Sofi high enough!!
Professional, fast, friendly and an easy, enjoyable experience for us first timers.
We will definitely be using SOFI again, she was everything we expected and more with home comforts in abundance.
Our first campervan holiday together and it was perfect. Can't wait to do it again!
Kelly & Simon
A great introduction to hiring/owning a camper van. Everything you could need. Very thoughtful owners that had covered every eventuality. Despite fuel scares the capacious 600 mile tank took us far and wide. Hot & cold water, central heating, an excellent fridge, cooker and hob. Very comfortable bed. Easy to drive. I highly recommend SoFi.
Great experience hiring from Fiona.
The van was in excellent condition and presentation and handover was first class.
Would definitely recommend
Fiona was very thorough and helpful when picking up the van and only a phone call away if any problems. The van it’s self was clean and tidy and everything where it should be ..would recommend to anyone as the van helped make our experience
Just returned from a short break in Sofi what a lovely van and such a comfortable bed. It was lovely to meet Fiona and Jon who showed us all we needed to know to get the best experience from sofi and for a delicious cake added in too.
SoFi was absolutely perfect. We loved staying in her and thoroughly enjoyed driving her around the Lake District. She had absolutely everything you could need in a campervan and was super comfy too. We used her 'off grid' we didn't hook up to the electric once and the battery never let us down. We were genuinely really sorry to have to take her back! Fiona was absolutely brilliant, great communication and makes a great cake and a very good cuppa too :-)
SoFi was perfect for our trip. We took her for over a week and it was had everything we needed and more for a self contained holiday.
Fiona and John were great hosts, very helpful and accommodating.
Will definitely be using again
We had a great trip in Sofi down to the Mendip hills - not a big trip, as we were just learning the ropes!
Fiona and Jon were amazing - great detailed communications before the holiday, a thorough explanation of all the features and things to take care of, and very keen for us to call if there was a problem.
The van was easier to drive than I expected, and packed full of all the things we needed. We found the main bed comfortable - the kids tried all the options, settling on the folded down rear chairs in the end!
Thanks very much to Fiona and Jon for a great van and holiday :)
Perfect van, excellent handover, lovely people.
Yes we would hire again.
better than expected, everything we needed and more , would recommend.
Wonderful friendly owners of Sofi, many thanks
Loved SoFi ,
Our trip was perfect through the Scottish mountains and valleys, Sofi was the perfect companion for 1620 miles.
We had a wonderful time travelling through the West Coast of Scotland and up to Skye in SoFi. She was fully equipped with everything we could possibly think of needing— including a couple of delicious freshly baked cakes to set us on our way!
Fiona and Jon were amazing from start to finish in terms of communication, not to mention in general being incredibly warm and lovely people.
All we wish is that we could have stayed on our Scottish adventure with SoFi for longer!
Thanks so much
We had a wonderful experience in "sofi". It was my first time in a camper but not partner's. We just had short break away but didn't matter as it was a delight to be mobile and travel around. We heartily recommend "sofi" to anyone.
Fiona is the loveliest person I've met in a long time! Such a pleasure to meet and do business with. She's literally thought of absolutely everything you could possibly need on your rental adventure (and even baked me a very yummy birthday cake)! We've rented a few other campervans in the past but SoFi has been our favourite by far! It has a super cute African theme inspired by the Kenyan charity Fiona so passionately works with. The layout was just perfect for us and the solar power meant that we could go off grid worry free, just paying small fees at campsites to use water and waste facilities. We can't wait to rent FiBee next time!
We took Sofi down to Cornwall and Dorset for a short break away and she had everything we needed to make it a great journey. Sofi was easy to drive making the long distance a pleasure. The vans heating warmed up nice a quick when we needed it and I was surprised at how comfy the bed was!
Fiona and Jon were extremely helpful when showing us around the camper. Making it super easy to know how to work and operate everything with helpful notes where they are needed such as the van measurements on the sun visor. Moreover they added a couple of treats which were a great addition. When we go away again we will certainly contact Fiona and Jon again!
Our stay in SoFi for the weekend, was our first experience of staying in a camper van and will definitely not be our last. SoFi was easy to drive and Fiona had equipped it with everything you could possibly need - it felt like home from home. Jon took time to provide a comprehensive hand over of SoFi and Fiona was excellent at communicating before hand our trip, with no question too small to answer. We would definitely recommend to anyone looking to hire a camper van for their next adventure.
Jackie and Tare
We absolutely loved our adventure with SoFi! Fiona and Jon were very thorough with the handover, they had made sure SoFi was in immaculate condition and stocked her and ready with everything you could possibly need. This van is very will equiped for a great adventure and the ability to be off grid was a bonus. We will definitely be hiring again!