Your perfect motorhome match

What could be better than heading into the new year with a new motorhome? The key is finding the vehicle that can help you realise your on-road dreams.

Having a good idea of the sort of lifestyle you want from motorhoming is the first step to determining what sort of vehicle you need.

Smart RV

SmartRV Sales Manager Samantha Kidson says building a picture of how customers imagine themselves living on the road is a crucial part of the purchase process.

"We talk about what it is exactly that they picture themselves doing in that motorhome; what they’ll be taking with them, for example. You might have somebody who wants an island bed and they want a WOF [for a lighter vehicle], but they also want to take with them skis, golf clubs, fishing stuff, kayaks and bikes.

"We’d then recommend they look at a heavier chassis vehicle because it will give them more payload. We try to gather as much information as we can in order to put them in the vehicle that’s going to be able to accommodate whatever it is that they dream of doing."

Handy starting points to consider include:

  • Who will do most of the driving and what are they comfortable driving? (This could influence the size of vehicle you look at)
  • How many people would you like the vehicle to accommodate? Will you travel regularly with friends or grandchildren, for example?
  • Are there extras you’d like to be able to fit in? Fishing gear, bikes, golf clubs etc?
  • Are you keen cooks? Is extra kitchen and dining space a must-have?
  • Have you considered which bed configuration will work best for you?

Once you have narrowed your choices to two or three vehicles, the next step is to take your time exploring the various features of each. Samantha Kidson says visitors to the SmartRV sales centres in Auckland and Christchurch are welcome to look over the vehicles at their leisure.

"We’ll get them a coffee and give them time to hang out and picture themselves in the actual motorhome. We pop back to see if they have any questions, but they really need that time and space to go through it and get in the shower, sit on the toilet, lie on the bed. Often people aren’t comfortable if there’s a sales person hovering around, which is why we don’t do that!"

For those new to motorhoming, Samantha says they recommend a trial of at least four days in a rental vehicle first to see if the full motorhome experience is something they enjoy.

"It’s generally on the third or fourth day that you have to empty the toilet cassette and refill the water and go to the dump station. If you’re freedom camping or even campsite camping you need to be able to do that once or twice a week, and that’s not for everybody - though once you get used to it it’s simple and quick to do."

SmartRV offers motorhome rental trials through its sister company, Wilderness Motorhomes. Based in Auckland and Christchurch, Wilderness has a fleet of premium rental motorhomes, allowing potential motorhomers to try out the motorhome lifestyle before they buy. SmartRV also offers used motorhomes from the Wilderness rental fleet for sale.

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