Around Europe in a motorhome


Around Europe in a motorhome Around Europe in a motorhome
Around Europe in a motorhome Around Europe in a motorhome
Around Europe in a motorhome Around Europe in a motorhome
Around Europe in a motorhome Around Europe in a motorhome

Tony and Helen Yeoman purchased a motorhome, got it delivered to Europe, for their big trip, and then shipped it back to New Zealand, all thanks to SmartRV

Tony and Helen Yeoman dreamed of travelling around Europe in a motorhome, but thought it would be too expensive. Thanks to Smart RV, their dream became a reality.

The couple first rented a motorhome in Australia for a week and loved it so much, they went back a second time for a seven-week trip, which was enough to convince them to buy their own motorhome in 2014.

"We looked around for maybe eight months before we found the one for us," Helen says. "We kept an eye on Trade Me and called in on dealers wherever we went. When Smart RV showed us the Bürstner Ixeo 664, we were smitten. It was just a far better layout than any other motorhome we looked at. We loved the quality and how well made it was."

After 18 months or so and a number of adventures around New Zealand, they started thinking about a longer vacation—a road trip around Western Europe.

"We figured that hiring a motorhome for a few months was going to be too expensive, so we talked to Smart RV. They gave us the option of trading in our old motorhome and buying a new one and instead of shipping it to New Zealand, we could pick it up in Europe, use it for four months, and then ship it home."

The Yeomans opted for another Bürstner, this time the Nexxo T740.

 "They [SmartRV] have a contact in the UK, so we picked it up from him. He’d kitted it out with all the kitchen gear we needed. We sent our bedding to his home address so it was all ready to drive away when we got there."

And so began the trip of a lifetime. 

"We lasted just four days in England because we found the roads horrendously narrow," laughs Helen. "We also struggled to find anywhere to stay so we took the EuroTunnel to France because we heard it was a lot easier over there. We decided to stay away from the toll roads as much as possible because we wanted to explore the real countryside and that worked out really well.

"It was such a bonus being in the motorhome, as it meant we didn’t have to book ahead. We could stay as long as we wanted if we loved a place or move on if there wasn’t a lot to see."

From Calais, they travelled along the Normandy coast and then down into Paris.

"What we tended to do in the bigger cities such as Paris, Bordeaux, and Barcelona was find a campground close to the city centre that was on a bus or train route. We’d park up the motorhome and then bus or train into the city. We loved the history of the larger cities, and we spent hours wandering the streets and soaking up the atmosphere.

However, they didn’t enjoy the English summer quite so much.

"It was August but it was windy and cold. It was 12 degrees one day and we were thinking ‘what are we doing here.’ Luckily, our Nexxo motorhome is built for colder temperatures with great insulation and a great heater, so we were quite snug inside."

At the end of their road trip, they met Chris (Smart RV’s UK-based contact) at the airport before flying to Amsterdam for a Norwegian and Baltic cruise. While they were relaxing and reminiscing about their trip, Chris and Smart RV looked after shipping their motorhome back to New Zealand.

"They looked after everything," says Helen. "When it arrived back in New Zealand they took care of the New Zealand conversion and installed the TV aerials and other bits and pieces we wanted.

 "We looked at a lot of motorhomes and in terms of value for money, we’re really happy with it. We’ve already made some wonderful memories in it."

There is no doubt holidays in caravans and motorhomes are on the rise again in vehicles, which are virtually apartments on wheels. Holidaying in motorhomes and caravans is making a serious comeback in New Zealand as we recapture the essence of 40 years ago, when caravans were as much a part of the New Zealand lifestyle as fish and chips and jandals.  

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