Summer checklist for RV road trips

Author: Your RV Good Guide   Date Posted: 10 January 2024


There’s no better way to make the most of summer’s long, warm days than with a New Zealand road trip. One of the first steps to creating the ultimate road trip planner is to put together a family camping checklist. After all, there’s nothing worse than being parked up away from home and realising your WOF is out of date or you forgot the bug spray! Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with our comprehensive summer campervan checklist. From maintenance must-dos to summer RV supplies, our handy checklist has it all covered. But first …


Benefits of doing a summer road trip in New Zealand 

A summer road trip in New Zealand is the ultimate antidote to the dreary days of winter. It’s a time when you can forget about the daily routine, enjoy some freedom, discover new places, and reconnect with nature. Park up beside a lake, set up your camping chairs, pour a glass of wine, and simply… relax.

Travelling in a motorhome adds another layer of freedom and flexibility to your New Zealand road trip. Whether you're into water sports, hiking, or simply soaking up the sun, you can do as much or as little as you please. You can tailor your own New Zealand itinerary, make spontaneous stops, and have all your camping supplies conveniently at hand. It's the ultimate way to fully embrace the beauty and adventure that summer in New Zealand has to offer.



Summer RV road trip checklist 

This handy campervan checklist will help make sure you, your family, and your campervan, have a safe and enjoyable summer road trip.


□ Check your air conditioning system 

When it comes to comfort on your summer road trip, air conditioning is a game-changer. Some RVs come with air conditioning in the cab only, while others also have a unit in the living space. If you're lucky enough to have both, you can enjoy a cool journey and a comfortable stay when you're parked up.

If your RV does have an air conditioning unit in the living space, it's wise to schedule an annual inspection with a qualified technician. They can test the system, clean it, and sort out any issues you might have. You can easily get this done by the service team at your local RV Super Centre.

If your campervan doesn't have a built-in unit in the living area, don't sweat it. RV Super Centre offers a wide range of both fixed and portable air conditioning units to help keep you cool all summer long.


□ Check engine coolant level 

The last thing you want when you’re in the middle of your New Zealand road trip is for your vehicle to overheat. The engine coolant plays a crucial role in regulating your RV's temperature. For this reason, checking your coolant levels is a must-do on your campervan checklist – especially if your RV is an older model. Ensure that the coolant level is closer to the max line rather than the min line on the reservoir. If you're confident in your abilities, you might consider topping up yourself. However, if you're not sure or prefer a professional touch, the service team at your local RV Super Centre can check this for you. They also offer this as part of a pre-trip tune-up or a service package.


□ Consider some summer RV accessories 

Summer is all about making the most of the great outdoors, and the right RV supplies and accessories can elevate your road trip experience to a whole new level. Here are some must-have accessories for summer:


Motorhome bike racks: If you're a cycling enthusiast or simply enjoy leisurely rides, a motorhome bike rack is a must. It allows you to carry your bikes safely and securely. RV Super Centre offers a range of RV racks for both ebikes and pushbikes, and we can take care of professional installation too.

READ MORE: Check out the must-know rules for motorhome bike racks.

Campervan awnings: A campervan awning provides that extra bit of outdoor living space, perfect for relaxing or dining al fresco. It's also a great way to stay shaded from the sun or protected from a sudden rain shower. RV Super Centre has a range of motorhome awnings that can be fitted to your vehicle, offering both manual and automatic options.

READ MORE: What is the best awning for my caravan or motorhome?

Portable fridge: Keeping your food and drinks cool is essential during a summer road trip. A portable fridge offers the flexibility to store perishables and keep beverages chilled. RV Super Centre stocks portable fridges of all sizes that can run on your RV's 12v solar panel, making them energy-efficient and eco-friendly.

READ MORE: Choosing the right fridge for your motorhome.


□ Stay summer safe 

Spending time outdoors is one of the joys of a summer road trip in New Zealand, but it's crucial to be prepared for the conditions. Here are some tips to ensure you and your loved ones stay comfortable and safe:

The New Zealand sun can be intense, so be sure to pack plenty of sunblock, along with sunhats and sunglasses. These essentials will help you enjoy the outdoors without the worry of sunburn.

Remember to park your campervan so that you’ll be positioned for shade under your motorhome awning when you need it.

For those travelling with furry friends, always make sure they’re kept cool and have ready access to fresh water. You may even like to pack a small fold-down or inflatable paddling pool that you can fill up for pets and children (and even yourself!) to cool off in.


□ Switch out to summer bedding 

A good night's sleep is the cornerstone of any successful New Zealand road trip. However, sleeping in the heat can be a challenge.

That's where switching to summer bedding comes in handy. Before you set off, consider making up your onboard beds with lightweight summer sheets and bedding. Opt for breathable materials like cotton or linen, which help to regulate your body temperature and keep you cool throughout the night. It's a simple change, but one that can make a world of difference to your comfort and sleep quality.


□ Make the most of the sun with solar panels 

Summer in New Zealand brings longer daylight hours. And what better way to make the most of this than by harnessing the power of the sun with a solar panel? These panels are a fantastic way to power up your RV's appliances, making your New Zealand road trip even more sustainable and enjoyable.

If you're new to solar power, the team at RV Super Centre can guide you through the process, from selecting the right panels to installation. They offer a variety of solar power solutions, including 12v solar panels that can be permanently installed on your RV, or portable options that you can set up at your campsite.


□ Check your paperwork is up to date 

Before you set off on your New Zealand road trip, it's crucial to ensure all your paperwork is in order. This isn't just a box-ticking exercise; it's about ensuring your safety and that of others on the road.

Firstly, make sure your Warrant of Fitness (WOF) or Certificate of Fitness (COF) is current. These certifications confirm that your vehicle meets the required safety standards.

It's also wise to have your campervan serviced before you hit the road. A thorough check by professionals ensures that your vehicle is in top condition and ready for the journey ahead.

Don't forget to check that your vehicle registration is up to date. Also, ensure any other certifications like your eWOF (electrical warrant of fitness) and self-containment certificate are current.

Your local RV Super Centre can assist with all these checks and certifications, making it a one-stop shop for ensuring you're road-ready.

READ MORE: Warrant Of Fitness Vs Certificate Of Fitness: What You Need For Your Motorhome


□ Bring some loose change 

In an increasingly cashless world, it's easy to forget the value of good old-fashioned loose change. However, when you're on a New Zealand road trip, you'll find that a handful of coins can come in quite handy.

Many Department of Conservation (DOC) campgrounds operate on a donation basis, and having some change readily available makes it easy to contribute.

New Zealand is known for its fresh produce, and you'll often come across roadside stalls selling everything from avocados to honey.

These usually operate on an honesty box system, where loose change is essential. In addition, many local community market vendors only take cash.


□ Download any maps you may need 


While New Zealand's landscapes are breathtaking, some areas are so remote that they have poor or no internet reception. To ensure you don't find yourself lost without online access, it's a smart move to download any maps you may need before you set off.

The thl Roadtrip app is an excellent resource for this. It provides detailed maps and travel guides to help you navigate your New Zealand itinerary. The app is available free on Google Play and the App Store.

For those who prefer the tactile feel of a traditional map, RV Super Centre has got you covered with the Hema NZ Touring Atlas that you can purchase online. It's a great backup to have on hand.


□ Stock up on bug spray 

Summer in New Zealand is all about the great outdoors. Whether you're exploring the bush or relaxing by a lakeside campsite, you're bound to encounter some of the local insect life. Most bugs are harmless, but some can be downright annoying, especially when you're trying to enjoy a peaceful evening.

A good bug spray is a must on your camping supplies checklist. It's a quick and effective way to keep those pesky insects at bay.

Another must-have is RV Super Centre’s Techlight LED Lantern with Bug Zapper. This rechargeable lantern not only provides light but also features a bug zapper that operates independently. It's a great way to enjoy your evening without the constant buzzing of bugs around you.


□ Check that your insurance is up to date 

Before you head off on your New Zealand road trip, make sure your insurance is up to date. Accidents can happen, and the last thing you want is to be caught off guard. With the right insurance, you can hit the road with peace of mind, knowing you're financially protected should anything happen to your RV.

There are a couple of providers in New Zealand who specialise in RV insurance including StarInsure CamperCare and Covi Insurance.

It’s also a good idea to consider comprehensive breakdown insurance and roadside assistance. This is particularly important when travelling to more remote regions.


□ Load up with summer gear 

One of the great benefits of travelling by motorhome is that you have room to bring along a fair bit of extra gear. Depending on the size of your RV, you may be able to fit in bodyboards, camping tables and chairs, kids' beach toys, inflatable SUP boards, and more.

Of course, not every moment will be spent outdoors. For those quieter times, a good book, a pack of cards, and some favourite board games can make all the difference.


Summer road trips are made more enjoyable with RVSC 

As you gear up for an unforgettable summer road trip in New Zealand, remember that preparation is key. From ensuring your RV's air conditioning and engine coolant are in top shape, to creating a camping supplies checklist, a little planning goes a long way. Your local RV Super Centre is your one-stop shop for your ultimate summer road trip. From servicing and certification to new accessories and modifications, we’ve got you covered.

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