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Thread: Campervan vs 4x4

  1. #1
    TheWaters is offline Senior Member
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    Default Campervan vs 4x4

    Hi,

    We are looking for advice on our lastest dilema. Do we buy an old two door 4x4 as we will be travelling the length and breath of both islands for at least 8 months and need something sturdy and we might wannna check out all the unselaed roads and beech roads and back tracks, etc...

    OR, do we go for a small campervan so that if we don't get work providing accommodaion and food or we decide not to work for a couple of weeks we have somewhwere to stay sorted? Will this inhibit us from being able to see all the places we wanna see? Are some places unreachable without something more grrrr? (technical term there...)

    Any thoughts, opinions and experiences more than gratefully recieved thanks!!! :icon_mrgreen:

  2. #2
    LilAmy's Avatar
    LilAmy is offline God like figure
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    Default Campervan vs 4x4

    Hi Helen,

    We're looking to buy a 2nd hand 4x4 as well. Trademe seems to have loads on for pretty good prices.

    We had also thought about a campervan but from what other tourists told us last year it was a tiring drive with the CV especially with the windy/hilly roads in NZ.

    We found we were able to get everywhere we wanted to fine in a car and as for accomodation you could always just tent it if you were struggling on hostels etc? Just a thought.

    Stevey might be able to give you a bit more advice on this one as isn't he travelling in a CV just now?

  3. #3
    TheWaters is offline Senior Member
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    Default Campervan vs 4x4

    You're on the ball this morning!!

    Did you take a tent with youo r buy over there. And if u bought roughly how much did you pay (if u remember)?

    We were thinkin of taking our tent as we are going via LA and therefore have a larger luggage allowance. But then wha else do we take? Sleeping bag, I have to have me air mattress. Oh the list goes on, nut if we gonna doa the tent thing lots they we need other camping stuff and don't wanna spend lods buying it.

    Stevey might well be able to help. We were looking at maybe a VW type CV so smaller than what usually traverse the hills of NZ.

    Cheers then, I will await further comments from the wonderful forum folk. :icon_biggrin:

  4. #4
    MotherBear's Avatar
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    Default Campervan vs 4x4

    A campervan is a place to lay your head at night without worrying about hunting around and it's somewhere to throw a meal together if you don?t want to eat out. A 4x4 is purely a runabout vehicle, but would be ideal if you intend going across rough terrain.

    I think it all comes down to what you, personally, feel you want to do. Both options have their merits and drawbacks. A campervan would probably be more expensive to buy, but then you wouldn?t be paying out for accommodation. If you need to be budgeting, have a rough work out of how much it might cost to stay in B & Bs or motels etc. compared to caravan parks over the period you reckon you?ll be on the road. See if there's any benefit in one over the other financially.

    Depends whether, after a few months of campervan living, you?d be climbing the walls if you?re only thinking of a small one, but it wouldn?t be so bad if you?re out and about most of the day and only sleep in there.

    With a bit of luck, Stevey will look in soon and give us the low-down on his experiences, although it must be said that he has a bigger van. Just hope he's not frozen to the spot wherever he is. Perhaps he's already heading back to NI and a slightly warmer climate.
    Mother Bear

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  5. #5
    moggy's Avatar
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    Default Campervan vs 4x4

    We hired a campervan last year.
    I really would not worry about driving on unsealed roads, we drove on several and found them in a lot better condition than many of the sealed roads in the UK - you really don't need a 4x4 to access them - at least in good weather, wouldn't fancy trying to negotiate a snow drift though. Just take it slow and steady and you will be fine.

    On the South Island, there were only two roads that we were told we were not allowed to take the campervan on, one was the one leading to Mount cook and the other a canyon road and apparently even the locals avoid those if they can.

    Or you could get the best of both worlds and buy something like a bongo which you can get a 4 wheeled drive version but you can also sleep in it and the older models can be had very cheaply on trademe.

  6. #6
    LilAmy's Avatar
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    Default Campervan vs 4x4

    Hi Helen,

    Quite a lot to think about from everyones posts ...

    As for the tent, we borrowed our tent from friends in NZ, when we go out in Aug we're selling up all our camping gear and buying stuff when we're across there rather than hiking it on planes etc.

    Some of the smaller CV's we saw last year were very small and I think Stu and I would have killed each other if we had had to spend any length of time in them. But as MB said if it's just to put your head down on then I'm sure it would be OK.

    If you are wanting to price things up eg accomodations/campsites etc you should contact any car hire company in NZ and I'm sure they would have a soft copy of the books they issue out with car hires which list accomodations and rough prices. If not I'm sure I have one still in the house from last year if you wanted I could look it out and post it onto you if I can find it?

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    MotherBear's Avatar
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    Default Campervan vs 4x4

    Worth remembering that, if you're planning on taking camping gear to NZ, it would have to be scrupulously cleaned beforehand. You know how picky MAF is about outdoorsy stuff like that.

    [img:2090637f6a]http://smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/7/7_2_200v.gif[/img:2090637f6a]
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  8. #8
    TheWaters is offline Senior Member
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    Default Campervan vs 4x4

    oops. forgot that. doh! we were thinking ,maybe to buy cheap over there anyway to save packing as quite heavy. maybe we can get second hand one from backpackers site.

  9. #9
    SteveyC's Avatar
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    Default Campervan vs 4x4

    A little camper would be fine I'm sure. They are tiring and it is properly embarrassing changing down to 2nd gear everytime you hit a hill, holding everyone up behind on the single lane roads.

    As was mentioned our camper was quite huge (shower, kitchen etc.) but it was also new, so was quite well equipped for the roads. We did go a lot slower than cars at times (I caught em up going back down mind :icon_wink: ) but nevrer really below 50ks even on the steepest mountains unless there were bends and then we had to stick to the speed suggestion rigorously to avoid toppling over.

    My concern with a beat up old vw or something is having to crawl up the hills even slower. There are plenty of passing places every 5kms or so but 5ks takes a long time when crawling up a hill at 20-30kms there's a lot of these. If you start holding up some of the truckers who need all the momentum they can to even get up the hill, you'll soon be the subject of rage!!! It's bad enough as a tourist as it is. However if you get one the newer toyotas or something (an estima or similar) you'll be fine these got up the hills easily. You don't want 1.5 diesle vw tho for sure.

    4x4? surely that's gonna get WAY expensive in accomodation costs over that length of time. Sorry I haven't had time to catch up on your plans but 8 months of paid for accomodation could be stupidly expensive. We've watched our funds dissapear on motels etc. even in the two weeks we've travelled, when we had to stay somewhere. Motels all cost around $100 per night sometimes more and can be scarce in the remoter areas tho, because of the short term stays all the time, you'll struggle for decent rates.

    backpacker places however will be fine and more affordable, but they're generally in the more major population centres.

    Sorry that hasn't helped at all, I made both ideas sound bad, that's the choice tho I guess.

  10. #10
    NickampJacky Guest

    Default Campervan vs 4x4

    Hi

    We have a similar dilema - when we land in Aukland we are hoping to buya camper & tour down to Nelson.

    I have noticed that on trademe that there are a few 4wd camper vans, which are toyota hi-ace types. That is a panel van conversion as opposed to a coachbuilt lump on the back of a cab. I guess these are akin to the VW type you mentioned. We found it a struggle to find a decent 4 berth panl van conversion, but there are a few about. Our ideal camper is an isuzu Rodeo, based on a pick-up chassis, with an over cab bed, toilet, shower etc. Wethink this will suit us better as its not too big and has a good sized engine - so it shouldnt struggle over the hills.

    With regards to stuff for the camper van, we are taking the essentials to keep us going - cork screw, wine glasses, pint pots, oh! and plates etc along with sleeping bags asits mostly lihjtweight stuff and we have 40kg each with emirates. Stocking up with new pans at Warehouse will be a necessity anyway as it will be a few weeks in our new home until the container arrives.

    We also needed to think about the volume of our luggage. 160kg of clothes and assorted posessions is going to need some shoe-horning into a 4x4 unless its a Toyota landcruiser, or the infamous big horn.

    These may give you a few ideas. They all have good sized engines with plenty of "Ggrrrrr";

    http://www.trademe.co.nz/Trade-Me-Mo...n-55886517.htm
    http://www.trademe.co.nz/Trade-Me-Mo...n-59540458.htm
    http://www.trademe.co.nz/Trade-Me-Mo...n-59779041.htm

    Hope our thoughts and ramblings help you

    Cheers


    Nick

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