Vehicle types when hiring a motorhome

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Deciding on the type of motorhome, campervan or RV you need

This decision basically comes down to three questions:

  • do you need a toilet and/or shower?
  • how many beds do you need?
  • Do you want an automatic or manual transmission?

Answering those questions will help you get started with choosing the right vehicle from the below list.

Self-contained vs non-self contained

If you want to park your campervan somewhere for the night, you may be required to have a self-contained vehicle. For example, in New Zealand, your vehicle must be certified self-contained if you want to stay in a freedom camping area. 

A campervan is considered self-contained if it can hold waste water for up to 3 days. This includes your water supply, grey water, which is water from the sink and shower, and septic waste. Other features of a self-contained camper include:

  • a sink connected to a watertight tank
  • grey/black wastewater tank
  • a rubbish bin with a lid
  • a portable or fixed toilet.

Non-self-contained campervans don't have their own contained waste and sewage facilities.

Side on view of 4 berth motorhome.

2-3 berth

2-3 berth campers can sleep up to 2-3 people. While they are generally smaller than 4-6 berth campervans, they can still come with things like a microwave, stove, toilet and shower.

If you only need the basics, some 2 berth motorhomes have back seats that convert into a double bed and kitchen facilities that fold out from the boot or trunk. These vehicles are usually the smallest type of campervan and are easier to drive around cities and towns.

Side on view of a 2 berth motorhome.

4-6 berth

Do you need enough beds for the whole family? Living and dining areas in campervans at this size can convert to become beds, so that they can accommodate up to 6 people. They're basically moving hotels!

Of course, with that extra space comes greater length, especially if they are also self-contained. That's something to be aware of if you are planning on driving around urban areas.

Side on view of 6 berth motorhome.