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13 June, 2024 - Updated Last updated on
08 July, 2024

Posted by Marty | Spaceships Crew

With the new rules for certifying self-contained campervans coming into effect in 2024 - for rental companies - travellers are wonder what it will mean for non-self-contained campervans? If you're one to these travellers then keep reading. We'll guide you through all the rule changes and will show you that non-self-contained campervans can still be used and that they offer heaps of advantages versus big self-contained campervans.

Exploring the outer space of New Zealand by campervan is by far the most flexible way to travel. You'll be able to get to remote places, amazing places you can never get to when on a bus tour. Roadtripping by campervan is here to stay!

What is a self-contained campervan? What are the new rules?

A self-contained campervan is a campervan that is certified under the official self-containment standard. Currently that's the NZS-5465-2001 standard aka the Blue Warranty standard also called the Blue Sticker. The new self-containment standard & rules come into effect in December 2024 for rental companies and is called the Green Warrant.

The certification process is an official process done by independent external professionals that result in a special certification been award and displayed on the window of the campervan. Being certified self-containment is more than just having a toilet or water facilities. Under the new rules, a self-contained campervan is required to have:

  • Water Loading System: the campervan must have a secure way to load water without contaminating it.
  • Water Supply System: There should be a system that stores and conveys water securely, keeping it clean.
  • Fixed Toilet: A permanent toilet that can be emptied without removing its base.
  • Wastewater System: A system to store and collect both grey-water and black-water safely and hygienically.
  • Ventilation System: A system to remove odours from the campervan and prevent bad air and gases from entering.
  • Sink: A safely installed sink that drains to the wastewater tank.
  • Rubbish Storage: Secure and appropriate storage for rubbish.
  • Wastewater Disposal: A hygienic way to dispose of wastewater to an appropriate outfall.

The driver of the campervan is responsible for dumping the wastewater at an official dumping station. These dump stations can be found by using the Spaceships recommended free camping & road trip app.

Advantages of Spaceships non-self-contained campervans

In the Spaceships fleet there are certified self-contained campervans, like the Beta 2S Self-Contained Campervan. These self-contained models are certified self-contained under the current rules and will remain certified self-contained under the new self-containment rules, as explained on this page about the new rules. Our crew is working hard to upgrade all self-contained campervans so they will be officially certified when the new rules kick in - before that they are still certified self-contained and approved to drive,

There's also a part of  Spaceships campervan fleet is not self-contained and will remain that way. These non-self-contained campervans offer so many advantages over these big van-like self-contained campervans or huge motorhomes.

1. Lower prices making it a cheaper road trip

Our campervans are compact campervans packed with awesome features. We occasionally have discount deals & promos running that lower our affordable prices further. But there's nothing to worry about. You will never miss out on a deal. Our super easy to use yet advanced booking engine will always give you the lowest price available on your travel date & route combo. There are no hidden discounts or promo codes. Any discount deal that is active will be applied automatically.

And with unlimited kilometres, no fee for one-way travel and no fee for young drivers - anyone 18 years and older with a valid driving licence can hire and drive a Spaceships campervan - it is an easy choice when planning an road trip in New Zealand. You can always change your travel dates before pick-up if your plans change, there's no change fee. It's all are all part of the Spaceships' promises.

Our campervans are equipped with bedding & linen, a gas cooker, all cooking gear - pans, plates, cutlery, utensils - and a fridge/freezer. The Dream Sleeper Mini - a even more advanced model with a different lay-out - features a fully-equipped kitchen at the back of the vehicle with everything you need.

All campervans come with cooking & sleeping gear included, all included in our low prices. The price you see on the online quote is the price you'll pay. Send that online quote to yourself via email and you have locked the price for a certain amounts of days, so you'll have time to think about it before booking it.

You'll save money when going for a campervan road trip

Travelling with mates and staying at campsites is cheaper than a hostel. You can take your time exploring the area and you aren't limited by tour bus routes. The weather in New Zealand can be unpredictable and a campervan offers a lot more protection from the inclement weather than a tent.

With a campervan, you can pack what you need without carrying around a backpack. Sharing the cost of the trip with friends means you spend less money on your travels and can spend more on activities or food & drinks. Together is better, and everyone benefits. There's no better way to bond with friends and meet new ones than on a road trip. Seeing the sights together and sharing adventures is more fun.

2. Heaps of free & budget campsites for non-self-contained campervans

There are so many places in New Zealand where you can camp for free or by paying just a small amount per night. No matter where you go in New Zealand there's always a free or budget camping option nearby. There are literally 1000s of these campsites.

All campsites for non-self-contained campervans are easy to find when using the Spaceships recommended travel & camping app.

Remotes campsites in NZ

Camp at amazing, remote places with your non-self-contained campervan

3. Easy to filter & see non-self-contained campsites in the app

The Spaceships recommended free smartphone app is for finding all campsites in New Zealand, for non-self-contained campervans and for self-contained campervans. It's super easy to filter out the ones you don't want to see and only see the campsites that are specifically for non-self-contained campervans.

And that's a lot of campsites, both in the free and budget category. These sites for non-self-contained campervans are often located in remote areas and offer just the basic facilities like a simple toilet. So no worries, we're not talking about big commercial campsites with heaps of facilities, nah these are called holiday parks in New Zealand, we are talking about basic campsites often in remote areas. You won't miss out on sleeping in places surrounded by New Zealand's beautiful scenery when travelling by non-self-contained campervan.

4. Lower excess - frozen, not a payment

A lower excess fee or bond is another advantage of renting a non-contained campervan from Spaceships. The excess is the amount of money you are liable for (maximum you'll pay) in the event of an accident or damages to the vehicle.

At Spaceships you don't pay the excess, it is simply frozen (reserved) on your credit card. There won't be any transaction fees or currency conversion differences as it isn't a payment.

5. Cheapest rates on the ferry

To explore everything New Zealand has to offer you'll need to cross Cook Strait, the water that divides the North and South Island. Travelling with 2 people in a self-contained motorhome means that you'll pay around $500 for the ferry crossing.

When you need to travel by ferry to get to your destination Spaceships are cheaper to transport than a motorhome since they're classified as the smallest vehicle: less than 5.5 metres in length and a maximum of 1.8 metres in height. You'll pay half of what a motorhome customer will pay for the ferry crossing.

By adding a prepaid, open-dated ferry ticket to your Spaceships booking you'll always pay the same price year-round and you will be flexible in picking your sailing date (you simply select the date later).

6. Easier to drive

Spaceships are multi-purpose vehicles (Toyota Estima) that are easier to drive than a motorhome. An MPV that features more space than a regular car, has one or two sliding doors and runs on regular petrol. Since Spaceships have automatic transmission they're easy to handle, especially if you aren't accustomed to driving on the left-hand side of the road.

7. Low maintenance

Maintenance on Spaceships vans is quite simple. Since the vehicles are non-self-contained, there isn't a need for emptying wastewater or grey water tanks. As pipes in self-contained vans and motorhomes are smaller than at home, these pipes often get blocked when you're used to flushing food leftovers. No need to worry about annoying maintenance like that when travelling in a non-self-contained Spaceship.

8. Super easy to set up

Spaceships campers are easy to set up. No need to follow complicated procedures to get the bed ready at night. And it's all explained in instructional videos on our self-service page. Before you get on the road, you can familiarise yourself with all the vehicle's features.

9. Save money on toll roads

Spaceships are cheaper when driving on toll roads. Our campervans are classified as a car so you'll pay less. A heavy vehicle like a motorhome is charged twice the amount of a car. And as Spaceships customers you don't have to pay for using toll roads like other motorists. All Spaceships campervans are on our toll account, so we'll get the notifications when a toll road is used. We then add the toll costs to your booking, without any added fees, and process it via the card you have added to our secure vault at check-in. 

Although there aren't that many toll roads in New Zealand. More info about toll roads in New Zealand and how easy it is to pay for them as a Space Traveller aka Spaceships customer.

10. Easy to park

Parking is easier with Spaceships campers, and you have the option of camping for part of your trip, then staying in a motel or hostel. The vehicles are easy to drive whether you're in an urban or rural area.

See, we told you: a non-self-contained campervan does not limit your camping experiece!

Non-self-contained campervans will remain non-self-contained campervans. There are no rule changes for these vehicles. And a non-self-contained campervan can still enhance your New Zealand road trip. Spaceships compact non-self-contained campervans are easy to drive, on the motorway but also on small & windy road or gravel roads.

It's all super easy with your Spaceships non-self-contained campervan. And you can do a lot of (wild, free or freedom) camping throughout the country as there are so many campsites suitable for non-self-contained campervans. Camping is an affordable option for travellers who want to explore the most remote parts of New Zealand, with heaps of campsites to choose from. For example, the Department of Conservation offers more than 200 campsites all over New Zealand.

Narrow road in NZ

No need to worry about these narrow road in NZ. A Spaceship will get you there

Comparing self-contained and non-self-contained campervans

Spaceships Rentals New Zealand is an innovative campervan hire company that has been around for a long long time. Being one of the first companies to create compact campervans based on a MPV car model so you could call us the OG!

Our fleet has evolved from solely non-self-contained campervans to more advanced models and also a range of self-contained campervans. Compare are current fleet of non-self-contained campervans and find the best one for your road trip plans.

Or go straight to comparing prices and seeing the availability of each campervan model: self-contained and non-self-contained. Our systems are build around you the customers. We give you access to the same info as our crew, so you'll see exactly what we see and can find the best price & campervan model for your travel plans. Don't go for a regular road trip, go for a #SpaceshipsRoadTrip.

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