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23 March, 2023 - Updated Last updated on
08 July, 2024

Posted by Spaceships Crew

Once you’ve decided to embrace the freedom of the road for your next trip, you'll need to compare campervans and decide which campervan is right for you. There are several campervan rental companies to choose from in New Zealand, but which campervan is the right one for you? We’re here to help to find the best campervan for your road trip.

Tips from Spaceships about Spaceships?

Our tips will help you decide which is the best campervan for your travel needs. At Spaceships we offer a wide variety of compact campervans, there’s almost always a Spaceships campervan suitable for you. However, there are situations where a different type of vehicle would be better for you. The most important thing for us is that you are having the best time in New Zealand and are driving a vehicle that fits your travel needs. We’ll always be honest and if a Spaceship isn’t for you, then we’ll tell you. No worries.

Also, if your travel plans change or your travel wish list changes you can always make changes to your Spaceships booking before arrival (subject to availability) or even cancel your booking free of charge (within 7 days of making the booking).

How many people will be travelling?

When thinking about your next road trip adventure, consider how many people you'll need to seat and sleep. Compare campervans and you’ll see that they all have different seating and sleeping arrangements.

Campervan that seats 4 and sleeps 2

The Beta (original & award-winning) is our budget model and can seat up to 4 people but only 2 people can sleep inside the vehicle. You might want to bring or buy a tent or stay at a holiday park with cabins or hostel beds.

Beta campervan seats 4 Space Travellers and sleeps 2

Beta campervan seats 4 Space Travellers and sleeps 2

Back in the day... A long time ago in a galaxy far far away, there was also a Rocket campervan, but that one has left the Spaceships fleet. The Beta campervan is the only Spaceships NZ campervan that can seat 4 travellers, but only 2 travellers can sleep inside the vehicle.

Campervan that can seat & sleep 2 travellers

Our Beta 2S (spacious) and the Dream Sleeper Mini (comfort) are the perfect campervans for solo travellers or when travelling as a couple. These campervans don’t have a backseat so there’s more space to move around to set up the bed. The space can even be used to store stuff you need during the day.

And then is of course the Beta 2S Self-Contained Campervan, another great option for 2 travellers. Certified Self-Contained according to the most recent certification rules.

Beta 2S sunny road trip

More space inside as the Beta 2S (premium) campervan doesn't have a backseat

Can more people sleep in a Spaceships campervan?

However, if you are taking your 7-piece band on the road or hoping to transport a crowd you might need to rent more than one Spaceships campervan… Or go for a rental company that has these big motorhomes in its fleet. Although these will be more difficult to drive on the small, windy New Zealand roads. Two compact campervans like a Spaceship are always easier and cheaper than a big RV or motorhome.

What amenities do I need?

A compact campervan will allow you to explore off-the-beaten-path locations that are inaccessible via a larger vehicle. This gives you plenty of independence. All campervan categories in the Spaceships New Zealand fleet are compact campervans that are ready to explore the outer space of New Zealand with you. And the best part is, you’ll get free NZ Frenzy guidebooks - e-books included with your booking - and you'll get access to the free camping app all Spaceships Crew Members love and use..

But you might wonder how you’re going to keep food cool on a longer trip or where you can cook when there are no take-outs or chip shops nearby. In other words, would you like to whip up a grilled cheese sandwich or heat up some soup at a rest stop? Or want to cook up brunch for your trusted co-pilot aka travel partner? Then cooking facilities and cooking tools are a must!

Not all campervan rental companies include cooking gear and some offer limited kitchen facilities. At Spaceships, all campervans come with all cooking gear included. Yes, everything you need for creating and eating simple yet yummy meals. Pans, utensils, plates, forks, knives, spoons, chopping board and more. It’s all included with every Spaceships campervan.

Included with all Spaceships NZ campervans

From coffee/tea to yummy meals, it's easy with a Spaceship. All cooking gear is included!

Self-Contained vs Non-Self-Contained

In New Zealand, self-contained campervans are designed to be fully self-sufficient and able to operate without external assistance for an extended period of time. They have a built-in toilet, grey-water storage tank, and freshwater storage tank, and are certified to meet specific requirements for waste management, water supply, and electrical systems. This means they can legally park and stay overnight in designated areas where non-self-contained vehicles are not allowed.

Spaceships New Zealand offers both non-self-contained and self-contained campervans. Both are great for exploring New Zealand. Both campervan types can stay at heaps of amazing & remote campsites. The big difference is that when your campervan is non-self-contained you will need to stay at a campsite with at least basic facilities like a toilet, while a self-contained campervan can stay at a campsite with no facilities at all.

All campsites in New Zealand are listed in the recommended free camping & road trip app. Simply select between self-contained and non-self-contained in the app and see that there are 1000s of campsites available for your type of campervan.

What’s your budget?

You might be able to find a few different campervans that fit within your budget. That’s exciting until you read the fine print. Many campervan rental companies surprise you with extra fees for young drivers, one-way trips or mileage that extends beyond the bare minimum.

If budgeting and accounting are not your favourite part of trip planning, look for a straightforward fee structure like the one at Spaceships Rentals New Zealand. At Spaceships, there are no extra fees for one-way trips and all drivers pay the same low price. No hidden fees. The price you see is the price you’ll pay. When you know what you'll pay upfront, you can plan accordingly for your trip without draining your bank account.

No need to shop around as we also offer a Lowest Price Promise and Price Match and free cancellation (within 7 days of making the booking). You’ll only need to compare campervans on the Spaceships website, so you can decide about features that are important to you. Leave the price comparison to us and our Best Price Guarantee. The best campervan is the one that will make you smile when roadtripping in New Zealand. We’ll do everything we can to make sure you’ll be smiling throughout your once-in-a-lifetime trip.

What kind of driver are you?

If you’re not used to driving on the left side of the road, you might already be nervous about a road trip in New Zealand. A compact campervan can make your road trip more comfortable because it drives just like any car. Automatic transmission may be easier for many people to operate. Plus, these smaller options don't guzzle fuel like a motorhome and can go everywhere that a big motorhome can’t access.

Which one do you choose?

If you know that you’re travelling solo or with up to four people, you know that a campervan could work perfectly for your trip. Now, you just have to select the right one for your needs. It’s not just about the features or the price of the campervan. It’s also about the company behind it. Spaceships is unique in its approach as we promise you it will be a great road trip. We show you exactly what you can expect from us and our campervans.

Other rental companies might seem to offer a similar compact campervan, but there are lots of differences. Check out the table below and see how we compare versus other compact campervan rentals companies.


Average cheap campervan in NZ

Spaceships campervan (for example the Beta campervan)

Sleeping options

Only 1

2 sleeping options: 1) full inside 2) partially extended outside + rear awning

Bed set-up

Difficult, lots of different sections

Easy, pull out bars and put bed board on top of it

Sleeping gear (sheets, duvets and more)

Available at extra fee



None, which leads to a damp campervan with a risk of mould

Yes, stops dampness for a better & more healthy night’s sleep.

Curtains for privacy


Yes, curtains all around the sleeping area

Mosquito nets






Cooking gear

Included, a few basic items

Included, everything to create yummy meals

Gas cooker

Single gas cooker

2x single gas cookers (portable as well)

Lockable storage


Yes, safely store your belongings out of sight




Credit card fee


No payment fee

One-way fee


No fee for one-way

After-hours fee


Free after-hours

Extra driver fee


Free to add an extra driver

Young driver fee


No young driver fee, no hidden fees at all

Cancellation fee


No cancellation fee if cancelled within 7 days of making the booking

Hidden costs


No, the price you see is the price you’ll pay



Get more at Spaceships


Do I need a toilet and/or be self-contained?

In case you’ve been wondering, compact campervans don’t feature toilets or showers. Do you really want to empty your wallet just for a private bathroom? When you ditch the self-contained campervan for a non-self-contained one like a Spaceships campervan, you swap the hassle for lower costs, more freedom and less stress.

The free camping app will guide you to the many free and budget campsites in New Zealand with appropriate facilities. You'll be camping in remote places while enjoying incredible views. That's what a New Zealand road trip is all about!

Compare campervans and see which one is the best campervan for you

Ultimately, the best campervan is the one that makes you feel comfortable, stress-free, and happy as you camp around the coast and countryside. Are you ready to book your next adventure?

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