This posting will give information on how to choose a campervan that is the right size and price as well as appropriately equipped. Attached is also a list of the important things – everything from driving to budgeting – that are worth considering before booking a campervan. The post will focus on giving tips applicable to New Zealand, but the information can be applied elsewhere, too. These advice will help you succeed in enjoying the possibilities offered by campervan travel to the fullest.
- Start here
- What kind of a car and equipment
- Kitchen equipment and Cooking
- Accommodation alternatives
- A list of good campsites
- Driving a campervan
- Other beneficial things
- Thoughts, Feelings and budgeting
1. Start here
Most people begin the hunt for the campervan with a merciless Internet search in order to get some kind of an initial idea of the service providers and different car options. It is therefore a good idea to look into it a bit, if you want to get the best bang for your buck.
Car companies are usually not good places to start. We were at the brink of desperation right from the get-go, because even though we were able to find ”a good car for a good price,” the total sum ended up being a lot higher due to the automatic addition of random items – everything from insurances to GPS and patio furniture.
Many of the car rental companies also weren’t able to show images of the layout of the car or a clear list of the basic appliances and equipment that came with the car. The biggest anxiety was caused by companies that, after choosing a campervan, threw a three-page list of extras at us. From the list we had to choose how many patio chairs, tables, sightseeing flags and so on. The total price then ended up being something completely different than what we had initially been given.
To form a big picture we absolutely recommend reading blogs that have collected the best car rental tips. These will help in formulating an idea of one’s own needs and preferences. The best link that we found was Wilderness New Zealand “How to choose –guide”. The writing delved into what things are good to pay attention to and what kind of situations it is possible to end up in with a campervan. The best part was first and foremost reading about the pros of traveling with a campervan compared to a regular car and hotel accommodation. That’s what it’s all about, really.
2. WHAT KIND OF A CAR AND EQUIPMENT TO GET?
GET A CAR THAT’S BIG ENOUGH FOR THINGS AND PEOPLE.
Our family of five would have gone crazy in a space that’s too small – especially, since it was winter in New Zealand and the outdoors wasn’t available for use in the same way as in warm weather. A good alternative was therefore to get a campervan, where the grown-ups and the baby slept on the wide bed downstairs and the pre-teens got their own place for escape on the car’s top shelf. There were curtains to make both spaces secluded. This is especially convenient, if you plan on having any kind of intimate interaction with your spouse…
CHOOSE A VEHICLE THAT’S SELF-CONTAINED
Our campervan of choice was a Berth 5, whose strategic measurements were 7.1 meters in length and 3.5 meters in height. The car provided seating for six people and sleeping for five. The car was fully self-contained and had a shower, a toilet, a kitchen, and heating. The toilet and the grey water tank are particularly important items on the equipment list, because a campervan equipped with these is allowed to park at so-called Freedom Camping –areas. That, in turn, will save money in camping prices. Remember to check that the campervan has the appropriate toilet-sign, which entitles camping at the free areas.