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Campervan Hire New Zealand Tips
Campervan holidays in New Zealand are a popular travel option for a wide range of travellers. All reputable motor home companies in New Zealand will provide you with all the necessary information required before you hire a motor home. We have provided a list of useful questions to consider when you are about to hire a campervan.
Where do we camp at night?
We do strongly recommend staying in a caravan park at least every 2nd or 3rd day to re-charge your batteries, get fresh water and empty your waste tank. New Zealand has a fantastic network of caravan parks in all major centres and towns Caravan parks offer essential shower and toilet and kitchen facilities, most of them have a laundry and playgrounds for children etc, barbeque and picnic areas and you only need a powered site while travelling with a Camper van. Approximate costs per adult are between $20 and $30 per night children are either free or pay half of the adult costs per night. Some National Parks have areas assigned for camping with toilets and picnic areas however no power sites (no connection to a main power source) please watch for signs where camping or overnight camping is prohibited.Roadside camping on the side of the road near towns and cities is generally not allowed (by Council laws) however this is generally permitted outside towns and in rural areas.
How long does the battery system last?
Most Camper vans and Motor homes hired in New Zealand have a dual battery system, this means the engine battery is separate from the battery system used for internal appliances such as the fridge, lights and the water pump etc.
The appliance battery system will last approximately 12 hours when fully charged. The batteries only recharge when you drive the vehicle or let the engine run for a while. The engine battery is separate, so if your appliance battery is flat, you will still be able to start the engine and drive and consequently charge up the appliance battery once more. Most motor home vehicles can be plugged into a mains power source for electricity. When you plug into electricity in a caravan park all equipment will automatically run off the 240V electricity supplied and not from the batteries. Some of the appliances in your vehicle such as the TV and microwave run only off electricity from this main power source.
What is supplied with the vehicle? There is only one Camper van company in New Zealand which charges extra for personal equipment. Most other companies provide a fully equipped vehicle with bedding, cooking equipment, eating utensils, bath towels and tea towels which is included in the Rates you pay (New Zealand Dollars). Most if not all Motor home companies also provide you with travel maps, camp ground guides, caravan directory (where to find your next campervan park) etc etc We do recommend travelling with soft luggage, so this can be fitted easily in the storage provided.
VIP Protection Packages
If you pay Standard Rates for your Motor home hire, you are still liable for an excess if you damage the hired vehicle or third property. With most if not all campervan companies you can purchase extra protection insurances to reduce these liability (excess) costs associated with theft and damage. For example you are liable if a passing rock hits the windscreen and causes damage either to the windscreen or the vehicle itself. VIP Protection insurances give you part or full peace of mind while travelling around in a hired camper van in New Zealand. You are usually fully protected against most odds if you purchase the All inclusive Rate option which provides you with complete peace of mind travel.
Cost of fuel in New Zealand
Petrol (gasoline) in New Zealand comes in either unleaded or leaded grads, and is sold by the litre. Diesel is cheaper than petrol and sometimes you are charged to pay extra diesel tax when you hire a camper van in New Zealand please read the terms and conditions or ask if this surcharge applies at time of booking. Your friendly travel agency should be able to advise you correctly. Some prices for Petrol and diesel can vary depending if you purchase it in a town or rural area.
By: Heidi Eberhart
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New Zealand Maori Council P O Box 33373 Petone, Lower Hutt, 5046