Article 5 tips for travelling in a campervan
If you have never driven a campervan before, the thought of what to pack and what to consider can be quite daunting. That's why we've compiled some information and tips what you should consider for your campervan adventure.
1. What should I pack for a trip in a campervan?
In general renting a campervan is similar to renting a holiday apartment. Depending on the type of campervan, the season and on how long you'll be away on your campervan vacation, the requirements about what you need and what you should pack differ considerably.
Bedroom: Some of the rental campervans come with linen, bedding and towels. To be on the safe side you should check this before you book your motorhome.
Storage: As you will have limited storage capacities pack your clothes and belongings in a soft bag or backpack, not a big hard suit case that will be difficult to store.
Some other necessities you should consider to pack:
- adapter plugs
- a torch
- a beach towel of course
- pharmaceuticals (sunscreen, sandfly repellent etc., painkiller (just in case))
- if you are an international traveller remember to pack your international driver’s license
- music for the road
- some DVDs (some campervans come with TVs & DVD players)
- navigation system
Usually the campervan kitchens are fitted with a standard 2-3 burner gas cooktop, a fridge and some basic kitchen utensils water glasses, pots, kettles, ...
Your first trip once you've picked up your campervan should usually lead directly to a supermarket. Keeping in mind that you won't have much storage and not your usual sized fridge and stove, you should aim to buy food for easy camper cooking such as one pot meals or salads.
Things you might need from the supermarket:
- bin bags
- dishwashing liquid
- toilet paper
2. Where to stay
With a campervan you are much more flexibility than with other travel options. According to your preferences and weather conditions you can choose to stay longer in one place or even to move camp earlier if you feel like it.
New Zealand offers basically three options to camp for camper enthusiasts: Commercial camping, camping on DOC campsites and freedom camping.
Find out more details in our article "All you need to know about camping in NZ", where we have discussed all three options. No matter what option you chose, seek flat and horizontal locations to ensure you get a good night sleep!
3. What to do with wastewater
It is very important for New Zealand’s environment to be responsible and to adopt good behaviours when you empty your toilet and wastewater. Wastewater treatment stations (also commonly known as dump stations) are located in most campsites. Just look out for the distinctive blue dump station logo!
Find out more details in our article "How to use dump stations in New Zealand
4. Driving a motorhome
Campervans are generally quite easy to drive and manoeuver. If you have never driven one before here are some tips to help make driving a campervan easier.
- Driving is on the left but the driver is still located in the "middle of the road"
- Never forget the height of your vehicle, especially when you park under trees or shelters.
- Check always the speed limit.
- Don’t be surprised if on multi-lane roads a vehicle passes you on the left.
- Braking distance and acceleration in a motorhome takes longer.
- Be careful driving in windy areas as your vehicel is much higher than a passenger car.
- Respect and extend the safety distances.
- Driving in town can be more complicated since there are more people and less space.
- If you are not familiar with driving a manual you should opt to book an automatic campervan.
5. Always check before you hit the road
Don’t forget to always check that your belongings and the kitchen ware in the campervan are secure and don’t end up on the floor when you turn the first corner. Make sure to check if the cupboards and drawers are securely shut.
In the same vein, if you use your power cable, make sure it is disconnected and tidy in your camper before hitting the road. The same goes for the gas cylinder, ensure it is safely closed.
Do you have some more tips you think we should include, then hit the comments and let us know what you think should be on the list.
We’ve got you into the right mood for a road trip, and all you need is a campervan to get you on the road? No problem, we have campervans of any size and for every budget. Find out more either on our NZ website or on our AU website.