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A Guide to Motorhome Classes and RV Tips for Beginners

Posted on March 3, 2023

A Guide to Motorhome Classes and RV Tips for Beginners

Whether buying a motorhome on Kiwi soil or ordering a caravan import to NZ, you should know what you’re getting into! From the experts in vehicle importing in Aotearoa, enjoy a simple breakdown of some great RV tips for beginners and a breakdown of the motorhome classes in NZ.


Are you ready for rubber to hit the road? Let’s get into it!


What Beginners Need to Know About Owning an RV

There are many little things to know about owning an RV. However, every RV beginner should know these four key things, ranging from common sense tips to knowledge gained the hard way by motorhome veterans!


1. Choose the right RV for you.

First things first, consider why you want a motorhome. Are you going on a solo trip around the country, taking on van life, or do you want the entire family to enjoy yearly holidays together? Your answer will change the ideal class of RV you choose because they each come with different considerations. Ask yourself a few questions to narrow down which class is right for you:

  1. How much space do I need?
  2. How stationery will I be? Do I need to move often and easily, or will I stay put for long periods?
  3. Do I need access to septic, power, and water hook-ups, or will I sort that out myself?
  4. How much do I need to store?
  5. What will my daily routine look like? What is a must-have in this space?


2. Are You Buying or renting?

An expansion on the above point is whether you should rent your motorhome or buy it outright. If you only use your RV occasionally and leave it in your driveway for the rest of the year, renting might save money while reducing the maintenance.


3. Believe in Murphy’s Law.

So, you’ve chosen your RV and are on the road. The final beginner’s tip, hard-won by many veterans of the RV life, is always to believe Murphy’s Law. Murphy’s Law states that if something can happen, it will. That includes the bad things. So, ensure you have a well-stocked toolkit and a fairly good understanding of what’s going on under the hood of your RV before you hit the road.


4. Get Road-Ready.

Finally, before the rubber hits the tarmac, load your RV well and prepare it for long stints on the road. When it comes to what you pack, focus on the essentials. With larger motorhomes, it can be tempting to pack it full, but this will weigh you down and make your journey harder. Every time you pick up sticks, make sure any external hangings and fixings are stowed away, all cabinets and drawers are firmly closed or locked, and anything you’re towing is properly hitched.


Motorhome Classes

Now that we’ve covered what beginners need to know, it’s time to review the options for buying, renting, or importing an RV. There are three formal motorhome classes and a few additional configurations. Below, we start with the formal classifications for a ‘motorhome’ and progress into the converted and caravan body types.


A Class, B Class, and C Class Motorhomes

  • A Class: These are among the most recognisable motorhomes, with a sleek body on a flat chassis. These are purpose-built and often the largest of the three classes, with a dedicated driver’s section that houses the engine in the front while the ‘home’ section extends backwards.
  • B Class: B-class motorhomes are also fairly streamlined, but they sit on a cab chassis rather than a flat chassis, which changes their shape. This also restricts their size somewhat, but they are fairly fuel efficient compared to other classes.
  • C Class: Finally, C-class motorhomes are built on a cab chassis with a motorhome body and a bed hovering over the driver’s cab. While not as streamlined as other versions, these are ideal for couples or solo travellers.


Converted Vans

Converted vans include large can conversions, which are not coach-built like motorhomes, and campervans fall into this category. Large van conversions usually have a moderate-sized bathroom, meaning they’re fully insular, but campervans tend to end up on the smaller end of the spectrum with little to no end for a built-in bathroom. If you’ll primarily be going to formal camping sites with dedicated bathroom facilities, the latter could be a good way to save money while enjoying RV-style travel.



Finally, caravans are disconnected entirely from the main vehicle, instead existing as a towed fixture behind a ute. Full caravans can be up to seven metres long, providing plenty of space for various conveniences. They rely on your car having a high enough towing capacity, and you can even find ‘A van’ folding caravans that fold down into a more compact size when being towed.


No matter which you choose, ensure you’re being safe! Following the best-practice rules for operating an RV is ideal as a beginner, but as you progress and get to know your vehicle more, you’ll learn what it needs.


Talk to us about your RV imports today.

Here at McCullough Limited, we have a simple three-step shipping service that ensures your motorhome will arrive on Aotearoa’s shores in pristine condition. Reach out to our team to learn all you need to know about your RV imports today.

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