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Crazy to Rent a Campervan in Winter?

seattle, wa
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Crazy to Rent a Campervan in Winter?

Our family of 4 - 2 adults and 2 young kids - really wants to do a few week campervan tour in New Zealand but the only time we can get away from school is during June/July during New Zealand winter. Would we be miserable in a campervan during the winter? Looks like it's pretty cold even at the coast during this time of year....

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Greymouth, New...
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for South Island
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1. Re: Crazy to Rent a Campervan in Winter?

"Crazy' is quite a subjective term, so I wont comment on your level of sanity.

This last winter, there were still a lot of Campers on the road doing their tour of NZ.

-Make sure thatthe vehicle is big enough to carry the number of people.

-If you want to 'Freedom Camp' then make sure that your hired camper is self contained and that you do not litter camp sites with rubbish or sewage.

-I am certain you would find staying in the motor camps with a powered site, so you can keep the heater on at night if you are feeling cool.

-Buy a small electric Oil heater, the heat safely, and are quite.

-Make sure when you get your camper, that chains are included, and that they have shown you and that you have practiced fitteng the chains to the driving wheels.

- Keep an eye on weather forecasts, dont drive too early in the mornings if there is frosts,as a rule of thumb dont leavebefore 10 am

check out the flowing web site for advice on where to camp if freedom camping is part of what you want to do and dont be afraid to 'ask a local' http://www.camping.org.nz/

Kawhia,New Zealand
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2. Re: Crazy to Rent a Campervan in Winter?

Not as crazy as tenting in the winter which we have had some guests do-

and then complain they are cold and ask for blankets when they could have hired a really cheap cabin for not much more.

Auckland Central...
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3. Re: Crazy to Rent a Campervan in Winter?

Parts of New Zealand will be a lot colder than Seattle. But the rain maybe the same.

Have you thought of travelling by car and staying at B n Bs and motels???

Then you can get dry and get warm. This can be very differcult in a campervan.

Destination Expert
for Madison
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4. Re: Crazy to Rent a Campervan in Winter?

Would you be comfortable camping in the Cascades in the winter? Can you drive over the pass to Spokane or Idaho in a snowstorm?

These are the conditions that you may face. I would also suggest that you read redhen's trip report, to give you some real perspective.....


Reserve sites with plug-ins ahead of time, so you don't have ice on the inside of the van, and water dripping from the ceiling. Be sure to learn how to empty the sewage tank when you are at altitude. You will be unpleasantly surprised if you don't!

I think it would be great fun, if you are ready for the possible downside(s). You can always send redhen a message by clicking on her name next to her posts, if you have specific questions......

I hope you have a great trip!

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5. Re: Crazy to Rent a Campervan in Winter?

Check with the agencies what kind of advice they can give you. Sure it's cold in winter but I did it, and I enjoyed it, the landscapes are more beautiful in winter. I rented my van at Escape Camper. Check it out!

Park City, Utah
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6. Re: Crazy to Rent a Campervan in Winter?

We have been on winter ski trips twice in the South Island in a hired campervan and have had no problem with being cold athough you do need to stay a powered campsite a night so you can use the electric inbuilt heaters. Campervans are much cheaper during winter than summer so it can make for an economical holiday and give you freedom (we have never had to book any campsites in advance). You will get many opinions as to whether using campervans is a good idea or not but some other advantages we found were not having to pack up each day and being able to easily stop for lunch somewhere having use of the kitchen. Using motels or cabins during winter can also be much cheaper than summer with the exception of the ski locations such as Wanaka and Queenstown where it can be quite expensive and mean booking ahead as it is their busy season.

If you choose to hire a campervan I recommend that you get a bigger campervan than you need to give yourselves more space as it is pretty tight. When we took one son we hired a 4 berth but when we took two we hired a six berth. It would have been too tight in a four berth (including meaning the boys would have had to share a double bed). Like many we ended up using the bathroom as a wardrobe due to all our ski gear.

7. Re: Crazy to Rent a Campervan in Winter?

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