@saphiresunset - We had a very similar negative experience. We were reading your review and (almost) laughing at how similar our struggles and experiences were with the rental van. We can kind of laugh now because it’s over, we have some ridiculous and entertaining stories and overall we had a lot of fun… but at the time the issues that came up were not very fun. Overall Jeff was accommodating with pickup and drop-off but other than that we had many challenges with the van. We are certainly lucky the van did not break down as we travelled approximately 2400 km's down to the states. I'm glad we are not the only ones who had a stressful experience. Jeff did not answer his phone or return our calls when we ran into trouble (van kept stalling out on us and almost left us stranded our first night. We were going to get a hotel room for fear of breaking down on the highway. Luckily the van smartened up after we let it cool down for a bit).
We had the same experience of the gas tank overflowing at the nozzle and leaking underneath at the tank. A stressful situation, especially when people were telling us we had something leaking and we were fearful we would not be able to hold enough gas long enough to make it to our final remote destination. Just a tip - the gas tank, as we learned after it was overflowing and leaking, does not spill or overflow/leak if filled extremely slowly (slowest setting on the pump handle or manually holding it). Once we learned this quirk we didn’t have any further issues but could have avoided the stress and spillage had we known this was a normal quirk (according to Jeff).
We had been told to top up the oil every so often as the van tends to burn oil. We hadn’t realized how much or how quickly the van was going to eat up the oil until the van would become temperamental and would start stalling out. We quickly learned we had to add oil often as it burned much more quickly than we thought. We added at least 4 bottles of oil to the van during our trip (total driving time approx 4 days), checking and/or adding oil at every few fuel fill ups. Jeff told us this was fairly normal for Westfalias.
We went to a propane fuel station at a gas station to have the propane checked/topped up if needed before our camping trip. The attendant had concerns with the tank and could not find the pressure release valve and therefore could not legally add any propane. Not only that, but the propane had been left on/open since we received the van from the rental company and had since driven approximately 1200 km’s unknowingly with it open. Very dangerous, and you would think this is something the rental company would check for before renting it out (we didn’t think we’d have to double check it). The tank was quite rusty and we ended up not using our stove at all as we didn’t trust the safety of the propane tank.
To add to the list of issues, half way through our trip, our sink's pump stopped working and we had only used about 10 L of the water in the 40 L tank. We were also not able to use any of the interior lights or have the radio on without having the van running as using power seemed to kill the battery quickly. We ended up buying closet lights and headlamps to light our van at night and did not use any interior power (we were not hooked up/did not have anywhere to hook up to as we were camping in a remote area).
I would not recommend renting from this company unless you are staying locally in BC or on the island, and not climbing any big hills/mountains. Even then, it's a toss up. There were several more issues that we could detail but we’ve covered the majority of the major issues. When you pay good money for a rental (it’s not like these rentals are dirt cheap!), you shouldn’t have to worry about it breaking down on you on the side of the road. In the end, the van worked out for us and overall we had a great trip, however we did experience many negative and stressful situations that I would not want to have to go through again.