Renting a motorhome in New Zealand
This article is a travel topic.
Hiring a motorhome and travelling around New Zealand is a popular and relaxing way of seeing the country.
The main ones are Auckland and Christchurch. Some companies also allow renting in Wellington, Queenstown and Nelson. One way trips may also be permitted e.g. pick up in Auckland and drop-off in Christchurch.
If travelling between the North and South Island, you will need to book the Cook Strait ferry trip . Indicative costs for this for a family of 4 return range from $230 to $310. It may be better and cheaper to drop off the motorhome in Wellington, fly to Christchurch and pick up another motorhome there.
- Apollo Motorhomes 
- Backpacker Campervans 
- Bedmobils 
- Britz 
- Camper Travel 
- Driftaway Campers 
- Easy Go Campervans  - Operated by the same folks who operate Pacific Horizons (Easy Go offers older equipment and lower rates).
- Escape Camper Hire 
- Explore More Campervans 
- Find A Camper 
- Jucy Camper Vans 
- Happy Campers 
- Kea Campers 
- Kiwi Autohomes Ltd 
- Kiwi Campers 
- Maui 
- Pacific Horizon Motorhomes  - Operated by the same folks who operate Easy Go (Pacific Horizons offers newer equipment and higher rates).
- Rental Car Village 
- Spaceships 
- Walkabout Rentals 
- Wicked Campers 
- Wilderness Motorhomes 
The most common configurations are:
The rates are approximate guides in New Zealand dollars. Low season is May to September and the high season is December to February. Booking is advised over the high season as most suppliers will rent out their entire stock.
The first figure will normally include unlimited km, GST (local tax), insurance, nationwide road side service, free phone helpline and a "Travel Wallet" including road maps.
The second figure in brackets is the full cover insurance (assuming no excess) and includes diesel tax recovery fee, 1 camping table and 2 chairs and baby or booster seat(s).
A bond will be required. This is equal to the excess on the insurance option chosen. The standard insurance excess is around $ 2500 (The standard insurance will cost around $20 per day). The bond is fully refundable if the vehicle has not been involved in an accident / break-in and is returned in a clean and undamaged condition.
IMPORTANT - You are advised to check with your cc card company especially a Visa Gold (This is included ) or to include this on your travel insurance as this is a lot cheaper than paying extra insurance from rental companies . Good Travel insurance company to use is through a company Walkabout Motorhome Rentals on their website ,they also cover vehicle security deposits for motorhome rentals.
The minimum period is normally 6 days. In high season (especially over Christmas / New Year) the minimum is normally 18 days.
A normal driver's licence is sufficient. A heavy-duty licence is not required. The minimum driver's age is normally 25.
Most motorhomes will include stove, fridge, sink and bedding (often sleeping bags). The stove is gas-powered while the fridge normally has a gas/ mains option. The motorhome has an outside power lead to plug into the mains in camping grounds. In this mode, everything (except the stove) will be mains powered. Hot water is mains heated.
Most of the suppliers have depots near the airports and will pick you up. If you arrive by car, cars can normally be left at the depot. Before taking the motorhome, you will be given a half hour instruction / introduction so that you know how everything works.
The fuel tank will be full. The toilet will be empty. The vehicle must be returned in this state otherwise extra charges will be levied.
Ask for a fully-serviced (powered) motorhome site. This will normally have a plug-in power point, drain and water. A number of camping grounds have dump points to dump the toilet cassette. Remember to fill up the water tank. Most will have communal kitchen, laundering and bathing facilities if you find that the motorhome facilities are a bit cramped. Most also have a TV / games room. The cost is around $10 - $17 per person per day. Over school holidays and especially during the high season, it is a good idea to book before hand.
A full list of all points in New Zealand is here . Some motor camps only allow use for overnighting travellers, others will charge for the service. Grey waste (shower / sink) should also be poured into these or down a drain in the motor camp. Do not empty grey water into any watercourse, stormwater drain, swampy ground, sea foreshore etc. as this is environmentally damaging.
This is camping away from official camping grounds e.g. the side of the road. In this mode, everything runs off gas. Only some of the internal lights will work. These are battery powered – the rest are mains powered. Hot water is heated by the engine heat. In the mornings, hot water can be obtained by running the motor for a while. Normally, there is enough battery power and gas to camp for two to three days before topping up and emptying the toilet.
Free camping is permitted in most of New Zealand. Sadly, because some people are dumping their rubbish and (even worse) the toilet contents, signs forbidding this are increasing.
There is some risk in camping in isolated places although physical attacks are few and far between.
There have been some reports of thefts from motorhomes. Ensure that valuables are secure and hidden from view. Thefts occur in the cities as well as in the country.
Roads in New Zealand twist and turn and passing lanes are not always present. Remember that you are driving a truck and so will not be able to travel that fast anyway. Allow for a normal speed of 80 km per hour. Please be courteous and pull over where possible to allow the queue of traffic behind to pass. Being self-contained, you can stretch your legs and brew a cuppa at the same time while admiring the view.
The larger the motorhome, the less chance it will fit into a standard parking place. You may need to find two adjoining ones or else walk to the supermarket.
This page was last edited at 17:51, on 25 January 2009 by Wikitravel user Butwhatdoiknow. Based on work by Ian Sergeant and Annie Harris, Wikitravel user(s) Miranda Rights, Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel and others.