Campervan travelling is a fantastic way to see every inch of New Zealand, but there are a few things you need to know before you get started. In this article, we’ll discuss why you need a certified self-contained campervan to legally (and happily) explore our beautiful home.
What is a self-contained campervan?
In February 2018, it became a requirement of all Freedom Campers to have a fully certified, self-contained campervan.
A self-contained campervan is designed to protect the environment. New Zealand is renowned for its pristine beauty, and we want all travellers to see our country and leave only their footprints.
This means that the van must meet the Caravan Self-Containment Certification, which includes the following requirements:
- You’re able to live in it for three days without getting more water or dumping waste
- It has a toilet
- It has fresh water storage
- It has wastewater storage
- You have a rubbish bin with a lid
The toilet situation
The most important thing to keep in mind when renting or buying a self-contained campervan is to ensure that the toilet meets certification standards. After the regulations were tightened in February 2018, many formerly certified vans were put on the market quickly by unscrupulous sellers. The vans no longer met the stringent criteria and would need to be updated, so many buyers were left out of pocket with maintenance fees to re-certify their purchase.
The key change was that the portable toilet needs to be restrained or secured while travelling. It needs to be usable within the caravan with sufficient head and elbow room, even with the bed made up. Permanent toilets must comply with the sanitary requirements set out in section 3 of the standard plumbing requirements.
A fully certified self-contained campervan has been checked over by a Certified Plumber to meet requirements and has a valid warrant and a visible sticker to prove certification.
Why do you need a self-contained campervan?
Mainly, because it makes life on the road so much easier! It means you’ll have more access to every recreational zone in New Zealand, and lets you freedom camp (park in a public place overnight for free) where it is legally available. Keep in mind that some council’s do not permit freedom camping, so make sure you’re choosing a legal place to stay. For more information about freedom camping in new zealand, refer to freedomcamping.org.
See the beauty of New Zealand with ease
Explore the white beaches and azure waters for as long as you like in the subtropical Bay of Islands. Drive across and see the two largest Kauri trees in the world in the Hokianga forest. Find a spot to park for the night in Kaikohe, where you’ll find campsites for self-contained campervans. Then hop on a ferry from Wellington to Blenheim on the South Island and make a beeline for the Marlborough Wine Region.
If you want to see the sites of New Zealand at your own pace, a fully certified, self-contained campervan is the best way to do so at your own pace. Find the perfect van for your dream trip here.