Everything you’ll want to pack for your campervan trip in New Zealand

Many people love to travel by campervan in Aotearoa New Zealand.

They provide great flexibility, allow you to enjoy our world-renowned scenery and can be super convenient.

Though hire campers tend to come with bedding, towels, basic cooking supplies, cutlery and a heater, you’ll feel much more comfortable by adding a few affordable supplies to your stash.

What should you pack for your campervan rental though?

We recently asked the members of our Facebook community to share their tried-and-tested packing tips, and we’re pleased to share these with you.

Did you know? Though a campervan is a converted van and a motorhome is a custom-built van (that’s often larger), we tend to use the term campervan, camper and motorhome interchangeably in New Zealand. This article relates to them all … portable accommodation and transport combined.

Tourists looking at view of Aoraki Mount Cook National park and mountains on pit stop next to their campervan.
A well-supplied camper can make a big difference to your trip!

Campervan packing list

The following items are recommended by people who travel frequently in motorhomes.

We suggest you look through the list and pick and choose the items that you feel you’ll make good use of.

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  • soft-shell bags (not hardshell suitcases) as they’re easier to store
  • packing cells to transfer your gear into campervan storage


  • Hang your gear:
  • mesh bag for dirty clothes
  • laundry liquid
  • bar of laundry soap (for quick handwashing)
  • $1 and $2 coins for washers/dryers

Bedding & manchester

  • airbed or mattress topper to make your bed more comfortable
  • comfortable pillows, blankets etc (optional as these are generally supplied)
  • small towels for the floor – perfect for after a shower and to keep the entrance dry/clean
  • microfibre/Turkish cotton towels – perfect for swimming and they dry quickly


  • reusable plastic containers for leftovers
  • ziplock bags and/or gladwrap
  • rubbish bags
  • salt, pepper, oil and spices
  • coffee plunger or machine
  • dishwashing liquid
  • paper towels and/or tea towels (to stop things sliding when driving)
  • non-stick frying pan (the ones supplied often aren’t very good)
  • sharp knifes
  • rubber gloves


Camper-friendly clothing

  • slip-on shoes like jandals or crocs – great for wearing around the campground and in communal showers
  • warm socks/slippers
  • umbrella

Optional extras

  • binoculars
  • chamois cloth for wiping moisture off windows when it gets really cold outside – especially in the winter
  • fly spray
  • insect repellent
  • wet wipes
  • scented candles/air fresheners
  • fairy lights
  • torch/flashlight/headlamp
  • scissors
  • pen/pencil/paper
  • supermarket shopping bags
  • mini sewing kit
  • mini first-aid kit (including plasters, paracetamol, burn cream)
  • playing cards
  • camping chairs
  • extra toilet paper
  • hot water bottle
  • 2-3L bottles (to fill with drinkable water at dump sites if freedom camping)
  • large plastic container/dish pan
  • disposable gloves for dumping grey water and waste
  • brush and shovel set
  • lumbar support roll if anyone gets a sore back while driving

Also, check that your camper comes with:

  • a good gas or diesel heater
  • toilet chemicals.

Where to purchase your campervan gear

If you’re travelling from within New Zealand, you’ll likely have a lot of this equipment at home already – lucky you!

If you’re coming from overseas, you’ll probably want to pick up some of these items locally.

Remember though, this list is not designed as a complete must-have collection – don’t race out and buy everything on it.

Think about what you will actually use and what will make your life easier/better on the road – those are the things that are worth picking up.

We recommend checking out the following stores for affordable gear:

  • The Warehouse
  • Kmart
  • Bunnings
  • Mitre 10/Mitre 10 MEGA
  • Hammer Hardware (more common on smaller towns)
  • Briscoes
  • One of our supermarkets
  • Costco (if you’re in Auckland and you’re happy to buy in bulk)
  • Op-shops/second-hand stores (like SPCA Op Shop and Dove Hospice Shop)
  • You could also check Trademe and Facebook marketplace for second-hand equipment.

Keen to hire a motorhome in New Zealand?

You’ll want to read this!

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