Guide to Choosing a Wilderness Motorhome

Choosing the right RV rental for your New Zealand holiday is easy with our range of layouts, sleeping configurations and features – so whether you’re travelling with the family, a group of friends, your partner, or even on your own, we have the perfect motorhome for your New Zealand adventure. This useful guide to choosing a Wilderness motorhome helps you decide which motorhome is the right one for you.

 

1

Why choose a Wilderness motorhome?

Rental motorhomes in New Zealand do vary in quality and size. At Wilderness, our range of premium motorhomes are homes away from home. Think of them as hotel rooms on wheels. With fixed beds, quality linen, full-service bathrooms (toilet and shower), a kitchen and plenty of storage. You’ll always be comfortable on your travels, no matter the season you’re exploring New Zealand. 

On top of the luxurious amenities, our motorhomes are self-contained certified which means you’re allowed to freedom camp almost everywhere (unless a sign says otherwise). And because we won’t restrict you where you’re allowed to drive you can truly experience New Zealand’s wilderness. 

There is so much to love about a Wilderness motorhome, so we’ve dedicated a whole article to list all its advantages.

Read more about why Wilderness motorhomes are a cut above the rest.

2

About this guide

Once you’ve decided to go with Wilderness for your RV rental, you can narrow down your search to deciding which of our motorhomes is the right one for you. And while we can’t make this decision for you, we can certainly help you come to a conclusion.

First, we introduce you to our motorhome fleet and give you a quick overview of what stands out in each respective model. To make it easier for you to weigh our motorhomes against one another we created a downloadable sheet comparing the features of each vehicle.

We then go on to suggesting which motorhome could fit your type of travelling. Whether you’re road tripping with your partner, by yourself, as a young family or with teenagers, there are many variables that need to be considered and every traveller’s needs and wants are different. What they have in common, however, is that there is a Wilderness motorhome for everyone.

If you feel like skipping this altogether and just look for a quick and easy answer to the question which Wilderness motorhome is for you, click here to get to our motorhome selector tool, answer a few questions and see our suggestion.

We do hope you stick around and keep reading this guide to choosing a Wilderness motorhome, as we have more handy tips for you on what to look out for when deciding on a motorhome as well as links to some of our other helpful articles.

3

Meet the Wilderness Motorhome Fleet

At Wilderness, you can choose from seven motorhome categories. Firstly, let us introduce you to our motorhome fleet and give you a breakdown of each before we dive deeper into which category could be the right one for you.

All our motorhomes are fully insulated, certified self-contained (CSC) for freedom camping and drive with automatic transmission.

  • Compact for 2

    Our smallest motorhome in the fleet, the Compact for 2 is ideal for adventurers who want to go almost everywhere without compromising on comfort. At a length of just under six meters, this motorhome fits into every standard parking space and lets you tackle winding roads with ease.

    Inside, you’ll find a fixed double bed, a bathroom with shower and toilet and a lounge spacious enough to relax after a long day of adventuring.

    Click for more details about the Compact for 2

  • King/Twin for 2

    Built with travelling duos or families with a young child in mind, the King/Twin for 2 is a 2-berth motorhome with multiple sleeping configurations.

    Not many motorhomes let you sprawl out on a super-sized king bed (1.95m x 2.1m!). And if you prefer two separate beds instead, transform the king into two twins anytime you like. Easy as!

    The practical kitchen and bathroom make life on the road a breeze and the lounge is big enough to spread out, too.

    Click for more details about the King/Twin for 2

  • Double for 2

    The Double for 2 is one of our most popular motorhomes. It’s a 2-berth motorhome with an island bed in a separate bedroom and a sliding door separates the bedroom from the living area for added privacy.

    Kick back and relax in the comfy lounge or cook up a storm in the kitchen.

    Click for more details about the Double for 2

  • Compact for 4

    Small enough to drive like a car and big enough to sleep four people in hotel-style beds. This is only possible with a very clever layout and the Compact for 4 has it all. A fixed double bed is nestled into the corner in the rear of the motorhome while the other is tucked into the high ceiling, waiting to be released at night.

    And there’s even still space for a kitchen, bathroom and a lounge area!

    Click for more details about the Compact for 4

  • King/Twin for 4

    Probably one of the best choices for families. The adults get to relax and chat in the lounge while the kids are asleep in their own twin beds at the rear of the motorhome. The front bed is hidden in the ceiling above the lounge and can be released with the push of a button once the adults are ready for bed.

    Click for more details about the King/Twin for 4

  • Double for 4

    Like the Double for 2, this motorhome comes with an island bed in a separate bedroom and sliding door for extra privacy. Additionally, another double bed is embedded into the ceiling above the lounge by day and can be released with a push of a button at bedtime. The bathroom with shower is separate from the toilet, ideal for multiple people who share the motorhome.

    Click for more details about the Double for 4

  • The Suite

    Indulge in comfort, style and space with The Suite. This motorhome comes with two full-size, hotel-type double beds for a good night’s sleep. And because they’re both tucked into the ceiling during the day, there’s heaps of room to sprawl out indoors, even on a rainy day. The rear of the motorhome boasts an L-shaped leather sofa while the front is reserved for the kitchen and dining area.

    Click here for more details about The Suite


We've also created this downloadable rental fleet guide to help you compare and find the motorhome that suits your travel needs best.

4

Which Wilderness motorhome suits you?

Now that you got to know our fleet, you might still wonder which motorhome works best for you and your travel needs. 

Read on for our thoughts on some of the more common travel groups we see and the motorhomes which best suit their situation:

Top picks for families

For two adults and one child sharing a bed, any of our vehicles would be possible (although it might get a little too snuggly in the Compact and Double for 2). All our motorhomes have four seatbelts and a child restraint can be secured in the dining area.

For two adults and one baby, where the baby needs a bubble cot, consider the Double for 4. The bubble cot is placed on the rear bed.

The only motorhome in the Wilderness fleet with floor space for a travel cot is The Suite, where the travel cot is placed in the rear of the vehicle on the floor. When using the travel cot, the rear bed cannot be lowered and used. The Suite is also great for when you need to entertain the kids indoors on rainy days. Both beds tuck away into the ceiling, giving you plenty of room to play.

For two adults travelling with two children who need separate beds, the King/Twin for 4 is the perfect choice. When two adults travel with a baby and a toddler, we recommend the king set-up in the King/Twin for 4. All 4-berth motorhomes can have up to two child seats secured in them.

The bed lengths are specified in each motorhome description and in the comparison, so you can make sure there’s room for everyone to stretch out and be comfortable in the layout you choose.

If you’re unsure of which layout is best for your family, our friendly reservations team is happy to talk through the options with you.

By the way: Children under 7 must travel in appropriate child restraints. We have a range of child restraints for hire – you can see more in our Extras and Accessories section.

You can find out more about travelling in a Wilderness with children here and learn more about how to plan a family motorhome holiday.

Top picks for couples

Couples get to select from the complete Wilderness Motorhomes range as all vehicles can work for them.

Couples who prefer something a little smaller and cosier find the Compact for 2 a perfect choice. As the name suggests, this is our shortest motorhome at just under 6m. It features a double bed that’s tucked into the corner.

The Twin/King for 2 has a nice large bed where you get to properly sprawl out if you like while the Double for 2 comes with an island bed.

The Compact for 4, King/Twin for 4, Double for 4 and The Suite are a little longer than the designated two-people motorhomes. They’re 4-berth but thanks to the fact that one of these double beds is tucked into the ceiling it can still be used by two people without losing any interior space.

 

Top picks for solo travelers

Solo travelers can choose from all of the Wilderness motorhomes. Thinking of the space needed and the drivability, however, the best choice to go solo is the Compact for 2. It drives pretty much like a car and fits every parking lot. Despite the fixed double bed, there’s still plenty of space to invite the friendly people who just pulled up in the neighbouring spot for dinner.

Top picks for friends

Rental campervans are often designed for families and couples but our motorhomes also think about friends who travel together. King/Twin for 2 has two single beds in the rear of the motorhome. The King/Twin for 4 even hosts three people in individual beds (two single beds and one double).

 

Are you curious what previous travellers think of our motorhomes and what the various motorhomes look like on the inside? Many have taken videos of the vehicle they rented from us. You can watch all the videos here.

 

Take our Motorhome Selector Quiz and find your perfect Wilderness motorhome.

5

Considerations in choosing a motorhome

When choosing a rental motorhome, there are a lot of things to consider before you can book. 

How many of you are travelling?

The first bit to consider is how many people, both adults and children, will be travelling. When travelling with kids, it depends how old they are and whether they sleep in their own bed or need a baby cot. 

Under New Zealand law, all passengers (including babies and children) must be secured in their own seatbelt, so only choose a motorhome with enough seatbelts for everyone in your group. All our motorhomes have four shoulder seat belts, two in the driver’s cabin and another two in the main cabin at the table, so you can technically fit up to four people in a Wilderness motorhome.

How much indoor living space will you need?

Think of your plans while on the road. Will you only need the motorhome to sleep in, the smallest version for the number of people you are will be fine. The more time you’re likely to spend inside the motorhome, the more space you’ll want. Also take into consideration the season you’re travelling in (you might have more rain in winter, meaning more indoor-time) as well as the campsites you’re staying at. If you’re more likely to freedom camp, you might be using the motorhome’s facilities more often than on campsites with communal kitchens and bathrooms.

Are there any special needs or requirements, such as travelling with a baby or elderly traveller?

We have travel cots and child restraints available. Some of our motorhomes have larger living areas to make moving around easier, or for family time.

Larger bathrooms and island beds can be easier for older travellers to access.  Everyone has different needs and wants during their holiday. If you’re not sure if our motorhomes cater to yours, please don’t hesitate to contact our awesome customer service team with your questions.

What type of bed do you prefer? 

The first question here is, are you fine with assembling your bed from a couch every night? If the answer is no, you have come to the right motorhome rental company. All our beds are hotel-style and do not need to be assembled first. Most Wilderness motorhomes have at least one fixed bed. When there’s more than one bed, the other one is usually tucked into the ceiling during the day and can be released at night. No one will have to sleep on the couch.

Once you answered this, the other question is what type of bed do you prefer? Will it be an island bed, a french bed or a drop-down bed?

See how a drop-down bed is ready to use at the simple push of a button

 

Useful terms to know about beds

Berths: The number of sleeping spaces in a motorhome.

Drop-down: A bed that lowers from the ceiling either electronically (at the push of a button) or manually, where it is unlocked and pulled down. It is accessed using a step or short ladder. These beds tuck away into the ceiling during the day and open up more living space.

Island bed: a bed that’s fixed to the floor and can be accessed from both sides. 

French bed: a double bed that’s fixed to the floor and can be accessed from one side only (i.e. against a wall) and angled slightly on one side to create more room.

 

What sort of bathroom layout will be easiest?

We have two types of bathrooms in our Wilderness motorhomes. Our Double for 2 and Double for 4 motorhomes have one room for the bathroom and another, separate room, for the toilet. That’s especially great when you travel with friends and family as both facilities can be used individually.

Our other motorhomes combine the bathroom and the toilet. However, the toilet and vanity are still separated from the shower by a cabin door so the floor outside won’t get wet.

Read more about the Wilderness motorhome bathrooms here.

Are you taking any oversize items? Do you need storage space for a stroller, surfboards, snowboards, fishing or golf gear?


All our motorhomes for rent have ample storage inside the vehicle as well as storage that’s accessible from outside. Garage space can vary between models so it pays to check there is room to store everything you want to take with you. If you know you’ll travel with some bulkier items, best talk to our team for their advice

 


A road trip with Wilderness is an amazing way to see all our country has to offer. You can get your accommodation and transport in one simple booking. Having a luxurious home on wheels means you can go wherever you want, whenever you want and find even more remarkable moments on the road.

We hope this guide has been useful. Check out our inside tour videos to see what it's like to travel New Zealand in a Wilderness motorhome.

Find the perfect motorhome.

Wilderness motorhomes offer different styles and comfort, so we've created a downloadable rental fleet guide to help you compare and find the motorhome that suits your travel needs best.

Compare our motorhomes