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Motorhome Guide

Absolutely everything you need to know about motorhomes

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Allowing the freedom and flexibility to explore at your own pace, motorhomes are a popular choice for travelling around New Zealand; and the trend is on the rise with more and more locals catching on to the international hype.


So much more than just booking a bach and staying put, or exploring one overseas holiday destination each year, motorhoming can happen whenever the mood takes you and time permits. Explore new towns, destinations and activities as often as you like.

Whether you’re new to the motorhome lifestyle or are more experienced, still researching your options or ready to buy, you’ll find everything you need to know about motorhoming right here.

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Is the motorhoming lifestyle right for you?

Anyone and everyone can enjoy motorhoming as a lifestyle choice and that's why thousands do. It's great for retirees, families, couples, those who want to get away for a bit and those who want to sell up and live full time exploring.

What's great about motorhoming?

You can sightsee at your leisure

Self-contained freedom campaign means you can stay almost anywhere

You don't have to go without the comforts of home

New Zealand is an easy country to explore by road; you're only ever a few hundred kilometres from the nearest town

You can get off the beaten track with the right motorhome

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Activites you can enjoy more while motorhoming:

Golf - a good way to follow a circuit and play different courses

Walking and hiking - most locations you stop at are likely to have great tracks

Events - hit every wine and food festival concert around without having to pay a premium for accommodation

Following sports - whether it's a major event or just your favourite team

Visiting family and friends - take your own space and accommodation with you

Swimming, fishing and boating - find a good spot and enjoy it from the shore or, with the right motorhome, you could tow a boat

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5 reasons why motorhoming is a good retirement option

Motorhoming is not only an option for the retired. Each year hundreds of different demographics turn to a motorhome or caravan as their preferred lifestyle. However, it's fast becoming more and more popular as the desired lifestyle choice for many reaching retirement.

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What types of motorhomes are there?

Motorhomes come in a lot of different sizes and capacities. Here's a rundown of the different kinds of features motorhomes tend to have and what they mean.

  • Berth

    Usually from two to six and refers to the number of people the motorhome can sleep and carry (e.g. number of beds and seatbelts).

    Some motorhomes can sleep a certain number of people but don't necessarily have the same number of seatbelts or travelling seats.

    The berth advertised should always be representative of the number of seatbelts the motorhome has when the two are different.

    You'll want to make sure the number of berths represents the number of people who will be using the motorhome the majority of the time. You won't want to cram in beds for six when 95% of the time only two people will be using it.

  • Bed style

    Beds can be singles, doubles or queens and you'll find them located in all sorts of places including over the cab, island bends, drop-down beds and front/back of the motorhome.

  • Length

    There's a common misconception that longer motorhomes are harder to drive. Don't let this put you off choosing the right motorhome for you. Once you've got the knack, it makes little difference whether you're driving with 6m or 8m behind you.

    Under 6m - these won't always be van conversions, and there are some great compact floorplans in our Benimar range

    6-7m - option for someone needing something smaller but still wanting storage

    7-8m - you'll start to find permanent beds in this length with kitchen and living

    8m+ - best of both worlds with permanent beds, storage and decent living and kitchen spaces

  • Rear vs front wheel drive

    The answer to this really comes down to your lifestyle and where you plan on going with a motorhome. If you want a motorhome to take you to remote locations this often means driving off-road or down gravel roads; choose rear wheel drive for adventure. Rear wheel drive also offers better traction if you intend to tow a boat or car behind the motorhome.

    A front wheel drive is better suited to sealed roads and motorcamps. Many new vehicles, particularly European imports are built on front wheel drive chassis, which is the majority of the market in NZ. You'll just want to consider where you'll be going and what sort of traction you need on those surfaces.

  • NZ made vs imported

    You can be certain Kiwi-made motorhomes are built to suit our roads, weather conditions and freedom camping regulations because they were made right here. Made in, for and by New Zealand. Naturally, that comes with a higher price than an imported motorhome. If you're looking for something more off the rack, ready to drive away with a good price to value ratio then an imported product may be more suited to your style.

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How much does it cost to buy a motorhome?

It's important that your budget and dream lifestyle are in sync so before settling on a fixed number, consider what you want to do in/with your motorhome. For example, if you want to live and travel full time, you'll need a big spec motorhome with big water, big solar, and big batteries to ensure you can do this with ease.

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What motorhome is best for you?

It all depends on who you are and what kind of lifestyle you want your motorhome to create for you

  • Used motorhomes

    Good for the budget conscious or those looking to get into a full-time motorhome without the price tag; depending on the brand and age, depreciation could be as low as 2-4%, meaning it could cost you as little as $2,000 per year to own.

    Pre-owned won't always mean "cheapest" however and, the price range of used motorhomes varies as much as it does when it comes to new motorhomes. What it could mean though is what your budget, you can get the right specification and floorplan for your needs in a used rather than new motorhome.

  • Benimar

    A great entry motorhome for beginners or anyone looking for the perfect weekender/holiday motorhome. They're great value for money and have a variety of functional floor plans to choose form. Benimars suit people who aren't looking to get off the beaten track but rather prefer exploring towns, campgrounds and tarmac self-contained camping for a few days before moving on.

  • TrailLite 300+ Series

    The great all-rounder! These New Zealand made motorhomes are perfect for the buyer who is budget conscious but still wants the best. With great specifications for people looking to upgrade into a rear-wheel drive and start getting into some serious self-contained camping. Perfect for long stints on the road, our 300+ would be comfortable for weeks to months travelling.

  • TrailLite 500 Series

    The 500 Series comes with more choice than the 300+ and the option to add your personal taste to the interior colour scheme. Add-ons are available to really make this motorhome your very own. The 500 Series is built on a Mercedes-Benz base and drives like a car. It's easy to handle but with rear-wheel drive and great specifications so you can go remote and enjoy some quality self-contained camping.

  • TrailLite 700 Series

    If you're wanting to get away for prolonged stints, this is the motorhome to consider. Our 700 series is built on an Iveco base and has huge specifications so you'll enjoy maximum comfort while you're away. It also comes with the option to upgrade specifications and customise your interiors with the Landmark option. Think big water, big solar, bit batteries and an easy to drive powerful engine.

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Tips for buying a motorhome

Ready to buy? How exciting. Here's what to expect when you go through the process, including some questions to ask to help you know you're making the right decision.

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Thinking of selling your motorhome?

When it comes time to sell your motorhome and get the best price, you'll need a comprehensive and professional valuation that takes into account current market conditions, and a reputable company that can sell it as not all people like to buy privately as it offers no protection.

We can trade your motorhome or sell it on your behalf. Click here for a free valuation.

Inspiration - travelling New Zealand in a motorhome

Nobody knows motorhomes like we do, so here are some helpful resources to make sure you experience the very best of New Zealand in your motorhome.

Looking for more information about motorhoming?

Beginners Guide to Motorhoming

Just starting out? Find out everything you need to know before you get into motorhoming by downloaded our free beginners guide.

Download now
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Buyers Guide to Motorhomes & Caravans

Once you're ready to buy, our free buyers guide to motorhomes has everything you need to know before deciding.

Download now
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