What to Do Before and After Returning Your Wilderness Motorhome

What to Do Before and After Returning Your Wilderness Motorhome

Mortorhome at a campsite


As your epic adventure in a Wilderness motorhome approaches its final days, you’ll want to relax and enjoy the last of your holiday. But as you’ll probably know by now, motorhome vacations aren’t only about sitting back with your feet up.

Just as motorhome travel requires things done before your journey, on the road and when parked up at night, it also involves tasks to complete before and after drop off.

In this blog, we outline tasks you’ll need to do like refuelling gas, emptying waste water and removing food — before returning the motorhome rental to the Wilderness base.


What to do before returning your motorhome

You need to complete these tasks before bringing the RV back to our Wilderness base.

Refuel your tank with diesel


Filling up a motorhome with diesel


Before returning your motorhome to our Christchurch or Auckland bases, fill up the diesel gas tank at the closest service station.


One of the closest and easiest gas stations to fill up your tank if you’re returning to Auckland is Z Tom Pearce Drive — only 4km from our base. Alternatively, if you’re coming from the north, call into BP Connect in Mangere.



If you’re travelling back to the Christchurch base, we recommend stopping at Harewood Road BP. It’s the closest to our depot and easy to enter and exit, regardless of your direction of travel.

Refill the LPG bottles

*If you opted for our VIP liability reduction option you won’t have to worry about refilling the LPG gas bottle. However, if you chose our basic or extra liability reduction options, you must refill the motorhome’s LPG bottle.

Gas bottle swap



The nearest gas stations to our Auckland base for swapping your LPG bottle are Z Tom Pearce Drive and BP Connect in Mangere.

If you prefer to refill it, call into a Caltex gas station that offers this service on your drive back to our depot.


Travelling from the south back into Christchurch allows you to easily stop at one of the city’s few locations for refilling LPG gas bottles — Kiwigas. Some Caltex gas stations also have an LPG refilling service.

Harewood Road BP is the nearest gas station to our Christchurch base that offers to swap LPG bottles.

Learn about LPG gas safety if you’re unfamiliar with using it as a power source.


To refill or to swap?

Only a few petrol stations offer to refill LPG bottles, but many will swap your 9kg bottle (not the 4kg one). Refilling is always cheaper than swapping a bottle — even if it’s completely empty.



Drain your waste water tank


Draining grey water tank

During your motorhome travels you’ll use water for showering, washing up and cooking. This water drains into a storage container and is commonly called grey water.

Before returning your motorhome, you’ll need to empty the grey water tank at a designated dump station.


Empty the toilet cassette

Emptying the toilet is fairly straightforward nowadays — particularly if your motorhome or campervan hire has a toilet cassette. If you haven’t emptied a toilet cassette before, it’s important to set aside at least half an hour and take your time to work through the process.

Plan your final travel day allowing plenty of time, just in case:

  • State Highway traffic is more congested than expected
  • There’s a queue of campervan rental vehicles at your chosen dump station
  • The gas station where you intend to refill your LPG bottle isn’t offering this service anymore.

It's important to make sure that your toilet cassette is completely empty — without any water or toilet chemicals inside. If your motorhome arrives back without empty waste tanks, you risk a fee of $200. Read our terms and conditions for more information.

Find out how to empty a motorhome toilet cassette.

Taking out toilet cassette


Dispose of your rubbish


Our Auckland and Christchurch bases have limited garbage capacity so we kindly ask you to remove all your rubbish from the motorhome before dropping the vehicle off. You’ll be able to easily find public rubbish and recycling bins at:

  • Commercial campgrounds and holiday parks
  • Near public toilets and parks
  • Gas stations.


Fill out our motorhome feedback form

Before your holiday ends, you’ll receive an email reminder to fill out the motorhome feedback form you received upon pick up. Please take a moment to complete this form before arriving back at our Christchurch or Auckland base.

The form has ten quick questions that will help us address any concerns — and improve our service going forward.


Why it’s important to return your motorhome on time

Your latest drop off time is 2:30 PM — however, we recommend returning the motorhome hire earlier to avoid a potential rush.

A late drop off fee of NZ$150 will be charged for returning the motorhome after our latest time but before 5pm. Dropping off the motorhome after 5pm will incur the $150 late fee plus your daily rental rate. This includes your liability reduction option — as detailed in your contract.


What to do after returning your motorhome

After bringing the RV back to our Wilderness base, you have to do these tasks.

Remove items from the fridge freezer

Checking items in fridge


Your onboard fridge freezer will have been very convenient while motorhoming around New Zealand. Like many of our guests, you may still have some leftover food or drink in your fridge freezer on arrival back to our base. These items need to be removed from the fridge freezer and:

  • Taken with you — if you still want them
  • Left with us if still sealed — to pass on to other travellers
  • Disposed of in a rubbish bin — prior to arriving back at the Wilderness base.


Pass it on

Do you have any leftover items or sealed food from your motorhome adventure?

We have a popular pass-it-on shelf at our Auckland and Christchurch bases. Check it before you begin your holiday — then contribute to it when you return.

Leftover dishwashing liquid, toilet paper and cleaning wipes are a few examples of what can be useful for future hirers.



Take all of your belongings

The last thing we want to find when cleaning your motorhome is a phone, wallet or important item that’s been left behind.

Give yourself plenty of time to go through the drop off process, and you’ll be less likely to leave something onboard. Be sure to check:

  • The safe box
  • All the storage cupboards
  • The glove box and other containers in the cab
  • Underfloor and under seat storage spaces
  • The garage.

Checking underfloor storage


Leave the motorhome tidy

You’re contracted to leave the motorhome in a clean and tidy condition — or risk being charged a cleaning fee of $500. Being clean and tidy means taking out any rubbish, washing the dishes and ensuring all your food, drink and storage items are removed.

See our terms and conditions for more details.

Complete an evaluation survey


As you relax back at the Wilderness base, please complete our evaluation survey before receiving your complimentary ride to the airport.

Write an online review

Upon departure, keep in mind that we’ll send you an email requesting an
online review of your experience if you wish to give one.


We truly appreciate all reviews from our guests as they help us improve our product and service — for the next time you choose a Wilderness motorhome hire.


Happy Wilderness travellers


Start getting excited about your motorhome adventure by browsing over these tips for cooking on a road trip or our packing blog and checklist.


motorhoming in NZ using your motorhome