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First time hiring a campervan? Here’s what you should know

The global pandemic is shaping the way we live, work and holiday, and not just because of travel restrictions but because of the groundswell of support for local businesses. 

“Many of our recent customers who have hired vans have told us that this is their way of contributing to the tourism industry and getting out there to support small businesses on their travels” says Leanne Edwards, co-owner of Quirky Campers NZ.

An increase is domestic travel is inevitable as we head into summer, and campervanning is proving an increasingly popular choice as the method to do it. 

Here are Quirky Campers NZ’s top tips for first time campervan users:

Choose a van to suit your needs

It sounds obvious but it’s easy to get swept up in the look of a camper!

Before you book, think carefully about how you’ll be using it and what’s important to you. Do you mind assembling the bed each night in exchange for more living space during the day? Do you want to be able to stand up or cook inside? Will you need a fixed toilet and shower cubicle or will facilities at a campsite be roomier and cleaned for you! Can your van sustain itself power-wise if you’re freedom camping?

Download camping apps

The easiest way these days to find places to park up (and to fill up with fuel or responsibly discard your waste water) is to use one of the many camping apps available.

Campermate and Rankers NZ seem to be the most popular and it’s worth reading the latest reviews from contributors to get a sense of what to expect, and if space is limited, what time of day you might need to arrive to secure a spot.

Be a responsible camper

A reminder to leave no trace never hurts. There are bins at campsites and freedom camping spots but if everyone disposes of their rubbish in them, they fill up and overflow very quickly.

Keep your own rubbish with you until you return home.

Drive carefully and considerately

It’s not the time to opt for a manual drive vehicle when you’re most familiar with an automatic.

You need to feel comfortable and confident with the size of your campervan so that you’re not putting yourself or others in danger when manoeuvring them.

Our roads can be twisty, hilly and narrow, which will slow you down even more so remember to take your time and drive to the conditions.

And don’t let too many cars trail behind you! Pull over somewhere safely and let them pass.

Pick an area and stay a while

While we’re advocating a campervan trip, it doesn’t mean you need to clock up hundreds – or thousands – of kilometres. Why not pick a region to explore and stay relatively local? It’s a great way to really see what an area has to offer.

And before booking your van, do your research on local events and recommendations.

Quirky Campers can be picked up from various locations across New Zealand. Prices include fully comprehensive insurance and booking fees and most are pet-friendly. They are currently offering 15% off all rentals for trips before 31 March 2021. Simply use the code LETSGONZ when booking.

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