11 May, 2019
Last updated on 19 July, 2022
Posted by Spaceships Crew
When travelling and camping in a country as beautiful as New Zealand it is important to take care of it. Leave no trace when camping is the first step. Another important step is the way you drive. These tips will help you improve your driving and will help you to drive greener and save on fuel... Or to save money. It's a win-win situation for you and Mother Nature.
1. Drive smoothly
When driving in built-up areas be gentle on the accelerator. Accelerate and brake slowly and smoothly when taking off and stopping at traffic lights. As you will be driving a Spaceships campervan you will be driving an automatic. All Spaceships have automatic transmission. That's what makes them so easy to drive. Keep in mind to accelerate slowly and smoothly. Don't accelerate hard from a standing start, let the vehicle move away gently.
2. Look ahead
Be vigilant and try to predict what is going on ahead, maintain a safe distance when following which will enable a more constant speed. If there are traffic lights, stop sign or a group of farm animals approaching, slow down early and roll towards the situation, rather than braking all of a sudden. When farm animals are approaching, be prepared to stop and let the animals pass your vehicle.
New Zealand roads are different, especially in rural areas. Be prepared to stop!
3. Corner smoothly
You are better to slow down before the corner and gently accelerate out of the corner. Once again, just keep a constant speed.
4. Make hills work for you
Ease off the accelerator as you go over the top of a hill and let the Spaceships momentum get you over. Use the 2 in the gear shift going down the hill. Releasing the accelerator when going downhill or stopping the accelerating will help save fuel also. Do not ride the breaks. If you do need to use the brakes do it in short stints to slow down, rather than keeping your foot on the brake over a long period of time when going downhill. Slow down to the appropriate speed, then take your foot off the brakes.
5. Love your Spaceship
We service all Spaceships on a regular basis, every 15,000 km by our in-house mechanics. They are serviced to the highest New Zealand standards. When on a long road trip, especially when driving on a lot of gravel roads, please check the tyre pressure regularly. Keeping the tyre pressure at the same level as when the vehicle left the depot, will give you a more economical road trip.
6. Watch your air-con
Air-conditioning is great on a hot day but it does mean you could use up to 10% more fuel. The rear window heater will also be a drain. Best to make sure they are switched off unless you really need them.
7. Reduce idling time
Try not to park for long periods with your engine idling. Park and shut off the engine, it's better for your wallet and better for Mother Nature. No need to warm the engine in the morning (unless it's an extremely cold day in Winter). By driving off slowly and calm in the morning, the engine will warm slowly. No worries.
8. Don't speed
Go slow and be safe. You are on holiday in an amazing country. You're away from the American highways, German 'Autobahn' or Dutch 'snelweg' or whatever motorways are called in your home country. Roads in New Zealand are different. The scenery in New Zealand is amazing, so take your time to take it all in. There is no need to speed. Driving at 90km/h instead of 100km/h will save you around 12% on your fuel bill.
Typical New Zealand road: off the beaten path in New Zealand
9. Hire a fuel-efficient campervan
The Beta 2S and the Dream Sleeper Mini Spaceships campervans are the most fuel-efficient Spaceships with the lowest footprint. Compare fuel-efficiency of all Spaceships campervans and see the difference. By renting a more fuel-efficient campervan you'll save heaps at the pump. Prices of petrol vary a lot, even in the same town or city. Compare petrol prices and see how much it will cost you to fill up in specific areas of New Zealand.
10. Plan your trip as much as possible
Planning your trip will mean fewer diversions along the way. Fifteen minutes of unnecessary driving in a 1-hour trip results in around a 14% decrease in fuel efficiency. Use the free Spaceships app to plan your trip from day to day. See the distance between campsites or fun things to do. Road trip life is so much easier nowadays with all that data in these road trip apps.