The scenario might be a familiar one. You and the other half have a nice relaxing stretch of downtime planned for the festive season, lots of sun, a fresh sea breeze punctuating the afternoon, a good book, and a bottle of something convivial chilling inside the motorhome.
Sounds great. In fact, it sounds so good that once everyone hears about it, all of a sudden you find you'll be entertaining friends, family, and myriad little ones. That means more seats, more sleeping spots, more shade, more stuff...
Of course, when you're on the road extra gear can mean a storage space disaster. It's always amazing what you end up filling your camper's capacious nooks and crannies with — and that's just your gear, never mind all the other odds and ends you might have to consider if you're expecting guests on site for a couple of nights (or more if the sun is shining and the fish are biting).
Thankfully modern camping gear is a lot more cleverly packaged than that big, heavy canvas tent bag with the rusted zip you inherited from your uncle and aunt back in '85.
These days the most robust and comfortable chairs origami themselves down into something that can slide away with ease. A sturdy table for four or a camping kitchen complete with multiple preparation surfaces and storage pockets becomes a slim suitcase in the blink of an eye.
And what's more, a camping outfitter and supplier like Kathmandu is a one-stop shop for all this sort of stuff; one visit and you'll be sorted for summer. So here's MCD's guide to some of the essentials for entertaining at the campsite these holidays.
Cabana table and benches
WHAT IS IT? A foldable table with inbuilt benches. The carry case even zips down into separate seat covers for those dewy mornings.
WHY YOU'LL WANT IT Aren't motorhome dining tables little miracles of form and function? And they usually work best with just two or three gathered 'round them, rather than 10.
WHAT'LL IT COST? $239.98
Cabana rocker chair
WHAT IS IT? A camp chair with a rockin' difference.
WHY YOU'LL WANT IT It'll be the one chair that everyone clambers for of a morning, but once the friends and family have departed again, you can watch the tranquil sunsets like you're on your very own deck.
WHAT'LL IT COST? $139.98
Maison camp trolley
WHAT IS IT? A fold-away camp trolley with a load capacity of 100kg.
WHY YOU'LL WANT IT All those extra rellies mean extra dishes, so you'll be trekking to the campground kitchen rather than using the on-board water supply. Well, until the kids get ahold of it and start using it as a makeshift go-kart anyway...
WHAT'LL IT COST? $259.98
WHAT IS IT? A roll-up picnic rug with a waterproof EVA backing and buckle system for tidy storage.
WHY YOU'LL WANT IT Even when all the extras have packed up and left you in peace once more, this is the sort of durable item that could come in handy for those treks down to the beach.
WHAT'LL IT COST? $39.98
Dual-Use bunk bed
WHAT IS IT? A dual-use bunk bed that splits into two separate camp beds, depending on the sleeping arrangements.
WHY YOU'LL WANT IT Because you love your queen-sized double in the camper. You love the grandkids, too, but you don't really want to have to top-and-tail with them through a sweltering summer's night either.
WHAT'LL IT COST? $239.98
Twenty-piece kitchen set
WHAT IS IT? Everything but the kitchen sink... in a bag.
WHY YOU'LL WANT IT Because will little Madeleine bring that potato peeler back when she's finished with it? Where was the bottle opener last seen? Mike took it to the camp barbeques... Oh, that was yesterday wasn't it? Umm... From a frying pan to a chopping board, cheese grater, slotted spoon, scissors and more, this kit has the lot.
WHAT'LL IT COST? $179.98
Retreat beach shelter
WHAT IS IT? An easily-pitched shelter that'll keep you out of both the sun and wind down on the beach. There's even a nifty extended floor panel to keep the hot sand at bay.
WHY YOU'LL WANT IT That fold-out awning on the camper is a great feature in the midday sun, but what happens when all your guests want to trek down to the beach en masse?
WHAT'LL IT COST? $99.98
Roamer Cap kitchen
WHAT IS IT? An extra prep surface for those summer salads. The benchtop will take up to 30kg load weight (that's one enormous Christmas ham).
WHY YOU'LL WANT IT Too many chefs in the kitchen — especially in a motorhome's kitchen.
WHAT'LL IT COST? $199.98
WHAT IS IT? A phone and gadget charger that uses the rays of the hot, hot Kiwi sun to charge five-volt, USB-compatible devices.
WHY YOU'LL WANT IT Between you and your partner you might have a couple of phones. Possibly a laptop too. But when the relatives and grandkids start heading your way looking for the necessary voltage to bring their fading tablets and iPods back to life, this will come in mighty handy.
WHAT'LL IT COST? $99.98
Cabana Moon Chair
WHAT IS IT? A comfy spot for resting or reading, with a sturdy frame and 600D padded polyester seat.
WHY YOU'LL WANT IT Camp chairs area always handy items, but the moon chair will let you curl up with the latest copy of your favourite magazine in absolute comfort. Despite its size it folds down into a slim carry-bag too.
WHAT'LL IT COST? $159.98
WHAT IS IT? A shower tent with a removable floor, clip-in shower caddy, venting roof and a hook for hanging a solar shower.
WHY YOU'LL WANT IT If your friends or relatives have come to join you at your out-of-the-way spot for a couple of nights this summer, you might not be relying on a campground shower block. This handy extra means you save your onboard water supply and everyone still gets to freshen up after a day at the beach.
WHAT'LL IT COST? $279.98
Retreat 360 eight-person tent
WHAT IS IT? An enormous eight-person tent with two living areas, continuous zip doors on the inner, storage pockets, anti-insect mesh panels, privacy screens and multiple attachment points for lanterns, radios and power chords.
WHY YOU'LL WANT IT Because you bought your two- or four-berth camper for space, didn't you? This way your visitors might even end up with more space than you, but at least your space remains yours.
WHAT'LL IT COST? $1,599.98
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