Top five tips for campervan comfort

By Megan Singleton

If you fancy a jaunt around some of New Zealand's great sights in a campervan, Megan Singleton has some handy tips.
If you're more glamper than camper, some campervans offer more creature comforts than others.
If you're more glamper than camper, some campervans offer more creature comforts than others.

I spent five days in a mobile apartment, following my nose around Central Otago in a Maui Motorhome as the autumn leaves fluttered to the ground and grapevines showed their gnarly branches in preparation for winter.

Here are five things to know before you go...

1. Choosing your van

If you're more glamper than camper, the four-berth Maui Platinum Beach van provides great space and comfort for two. Ours came with a flat-screen TV and DVD plus a full-spec kitchen with gas stove, grill, microwave, fridge/freezer, toaster, kettle and essential coffee plunger.

The driver's and passengers' seats can swivel around to create a dining space, and there is a "lounge" space down the back with a removable table.

2. Luggage

Pack into small bags so you can unpack into the cupboards and stow your bags under the seats.

With only two of us we had room to stow our hard suitcases, and plenty more space to keep boots and shoes hidden away.

Keep plastic bags for rubbish and for wrapping open things like coffee and soap.

3. Where to stay

Free camping is not allowed in many parts of New Zealand, thanks to the losers who have gone before us and left more than footprints.

As a general rule, you can free camp 10km outside residential areas, but check for signs.

Staying at holiday parks however, means you can plug into the power to use your heater and microwave, and their bathroom facilities are a lot bigger than yours - with fewer repercussions at the end of your holiday.

4. Keeping warm

It was a chilly 2C overnight in Queenstown so we slept in the double bed above the cab. It's surprisingly roomy and the TV/DVD is positioned to be able to watch a movie from here.

I'd throw in an extra sleeping bag if there's more than two of you, but you have four pillows, two double duvets, sheets and two polar fleece blankets.

5. Driving

Our motorhome was a doddle to drive, with fully automatic transmission. Just beware of your height when heading near trees or shop awnings.

Although you don't require a heavy vehicle licence, you are classed as one so that means your top speed should be no more than 90km/h.

Oh, and don't drive like an Aucklander: Pull over often and let cars pass you.

CHECKLIST

Further information: See maui.co.nz.

Read more about Megan's campervanning adventures here.

- NZ Herald

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