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Van or car in NZ?

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific Van or car in NZ?

1. Posted by Dodger (Inactive 875 posts) 8y

I have 3 months in NZ and Im trying to decide if I should get a fully kitted out van or a car of some sort, maybe a station wagon. If I get the van I feel like I'll be self contained and no need to be stopping at hostels and therefore missing out on all the fun of the travelers you meet. Part of the problem is Im taking two bicycles and going to be doing some racing and a lot of training. So maybe not being at hostels and getting into late night drink ups and noisy rooms would be good, plus with the van I have a safe place to keep the bikes out of view. With a car, I would still have to stay in hostels, but Id have the transport and a way of getting the bikes around.

I guess with the van, Id have the safety for the bikes, transport and sleeping place, and then can occasionally stop in at hostels when i need a people fix. Its not like I'll be entirely alone, Im already meeting people on a cycling forum in NZ. but then I'm also looking at doing some workXchange, so then the van is sorta getting wasted.

In the end I guess I have to make my own decision, but thought i'd just throw it out there for opinions.

2. Posted by snudge (Budding Member 24 posts) 8y

sounds to me like you can have the best of both worlds with the van mate

3. Posted by caroline5 (Budding Member 4 posts) 8y

I'd go for the van if i were you. We bought a campervan and it was awsome:) There was two of us, three at one point (a bit of a squeeze !) so I guess that it'll be different on your own but I think if you're going to get a car you might aswell get a van as then you have the option as to whether you stay in it or not then. You'll also have more room for your bikes! It's great to go off the track and be able to stay in the van. & we stayed at campsites most of the time anyway as it was cold and we wanted to get power for the heater and lights so we met lots of people that way as they have tv rooms and kitchens just like hostels. & most importantly showers!!! In christchurch we stayed at a hostel where you can stay in your van and use the hostel facitilities....

4. Posted by Dodger (Inactive 875 posts) 8y

Quoting snudge

sounds to me like you can have the best of both worlds with the van mate

yeah probably right. The van will be more expensive than a car, to buy and run, but in the long run I guess more useful.

5. Posted by Dodger (Inactive 875 posts) 8y

Quoting caroline5

I'd go for the van if i were you. We bought a campervan and it was awsome:) There was two of us, three at one point (a bit of a squeeze !) so I guess that it'll be different on your own but I think if you're going to get a car you might aswell get a van as then you have the option as to whether you stay in it or not then. You'll also have more room for your bikes! It's great to go off the track and be able to stay in the van. & we stayed at campsites most of the time anyway as it was cold and we wanted to get power for the heater and lights so we met lots of people that way as they have tv rooms and kitchens just like hostels. & most importantly showers!!! In christchurch we stayed at a hostel where you can stay in your van and use the hostel facitilities....

Weather was an issue. I wondered would I buy the van going into Autumn, then freeze my ass off and never sleep in the thing anyway. I see your point about if getting a car might as well be a van, its just the van is going to be more expensive to buy and run. How much did you guys pay and able to sell for? Looks like for even $5,000 you can get something ok. $9,000 gets you the rolling Taj Mahal! Yeah showers might be a big issue too, with the training, I'll be constantly sweaty, so I don't think anyone will want to travel with me!

6. Posted by mingis (First Time Poster 1 posts) 8y

Hey dodger I would definitely recommend getting a van, we spent three months travelling the North and South Island from June-August 07 and whilst it did get pretty cold it was awesome fun. You can pick up extra blankets and stuff dirt cheap, just barricade yourself in! A campevan will give you so much more versatility and it can save you money in some respects. Obviously it's a place to sleep, but you can also cook to save you going out.

We were lucky enough to get a van for $1,000 and whilst it was a bit of a wreck it managed the full 3 months without any problems. We even took it up Cadrona when we went snowboarding. When we left we managed to sell it for $800 so it worked out at only $100 each for the full 3 months, awesome value.

You've just got to be really organised when it comes to buying and selling. I felt so strongly about buying and owning your own van when travelling New Zealand that I set up a website for backpackers to buy and sell their campervans, check it out at www.vanexchange.co.nz it's completely free and hopefully might help you find a campervan (or car) before you even get there!

$5000 should get you an awesome van with a lot of kit included, but I reckon $2000-$3000 you can still pick up a perfectly reasonably vehicle, just make sure you get the AA lemon check before parting with your cash!

Have a great trip!

7. Posted by Dodger (Inactive 875 posts) 8y

Quoting mingis

Hey dodger I would definitely recommend getting a van, we spent three months travelling the North and South Island from June-August 07 and whilst it did get pretty cold it was awesome fun. You can pick up extra blankets and stuff dirt cheap, just barricade yourself in! A campevan will give you so much more versatility and it can save you money in some respects. Obviously it's a place to sleep, but you can also cook to save you going out.

We were lucky enough to get a van for $1,000 and whilst it was a bit of a wreck it managed the full 3 months without any problems. We even took it up Cadrona when we went snowboarding. When we left we managed to sell it for $800 so it worked out at only $100 each for the full 3 months, awesome value.

You've just got to be really organised when it comes to buying and selling. I felt so strongly about buying and owning your own van when travelling New Zealand that I set up a website for backpackers to buy and sell their campervans, check it out at www.vanexchange.co.nz it's completely free and hopefully might help you find a campervan (or car) before you even get there!

$5000 should get you an awesome van with a lot of kit included, but I reckon $2000-$3000 you can still pick up a perfectly reasonably vehicle, just make sure you get the AA lemon check before parting with your cash!

Have a great trip!

Ok thanks for the info and the site. Ive been watching trademe and Im amazed at how cheap they go for. Its made me get a bit crazy and want something really fancy, when I know cheap and cheerful will do. Sounds like you guys really lucked out, $100 for 3 months of travel!

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