Motorhomes Caravans & Destinations



Facebook group FREEDOM Camping NZ has more than 50,000 members. They have plenty of tips for RV owners trying off-the-grid living for the first time.


• Know the local bylaws regarding freedom camping wherever you go (some councils enforce calendar month rules, especially during summer holidays, others prevent use of neighbouri­ng freedom camp sites if you’ve already stayed at one of them).

• Use Wikicamps and Google the local council pages to find spots.

• Buy a 25-litre water container so you can set up somewhere amazing and not be stuck for water.

• There are water taps available for filling at some freedom camping sites, but some do not have a top on the tap. Keep a pair of pliers handy to turn the taps on to fill your tank with water.

• Whenever you boil the kettle, put the excess hot water into a thermos (to use for another cuppa or for washing dishes).

• Write down the address where you are staying and put it on your whiteboard/ fridge/blackboard so in case of emergency you know exactly where you are. Also, give the informatio­n to a family member or friend so they know your location, especially if you don’t have cellphone reception.

• Be friendly to your neighbours as you never know when you/they might need/ give a hand. And chat to locals in the area; they might give you tips for great areas to explore.

• Pick up your trash and others’.

• Be nice to the council staff who come to take down your number plate every day; make a point of saying hello, as you never know when you may need to call on them for help.

• Don’t park right next to another camper. Leave an empty carpark between vehicles if at all possible, as people like to have a bit of private space without being imposed on. This is common freedom camping etiquette.

• If your solar power is running low, switch off your main energy drainers, like your fridge, overnight. Your food will still be frozen/chilled in the morning when the sun rises again, providing a fresh boost of solar without ruining your expensive batteries.

• Introduce yourself to other campers. Share campervan stories, trade jokes, and check out the latest inverter30­00 they have installed in their rig! Meeting other travellers is great, as often they have similar ideals and camping issues.

• Apps Gaspy will tell you where to find the cheapest fuel in your area, and Sharewaste gives you local addresses in your area of people happy to take your food scraps for their compost or to feed chickens/pigs.

• USB rechargeab­le everything: mosquito zapper combined lights, power banks, smaller hand mixer, fans, lamp that clamps onto anything handy for crafts or reading etc,

• Put a mini level on your dash to help with level parking up when you get to your spot.

And finally:

• Love your journey wherever you may travel.

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