The King of New Zealand CampervansToyota Hiace Commuter DX Hi-Top…

11 Апр 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »
Toyota Deliboy

The King of New Zealand Campervans

In 2009, my partner and I traveled to New to attend a back-to-earth gathering. to be in the country for a few months, we figured it would be economical to buy a campervan and it at the end of our trip. Indeed, NZ van rentals around $100 per day. A rental would put you somewhere $9,000. We spent a week in buying our van and having it prepared. We we had bought a great van, but it was a few until we realized we had bought the of NZ campervans.

Why the King?

This is to sound awful. But once we driving, over the weeks, we to feel a bit sorry for 99 percent of the who had also bought campervans. Comfort, comfort, comfort. every backpacker van on the road be a torture if two people had to spend afternoons sitting in the back. And time in your van is the reality of van in NZ. It rains a lot in this country. We days and days in the back of our It felt as loungy as a cosy room!

What makes van so comfortable?

There are many Hiace vans in NZ, but there are only two or three Toyota Commuter DX vans. Nothing on the market comes close to it for and reliability. And the way this van is equipped with the large queen-size bed converts into two sofas on you can sit or lounge all day) puts it in a of its own.

Natural High Top = You Can Sit All Day!

Ninety-nine percent of vans in NZ (including Toyota vans) have a low roof.

do you mean, low?

Sure, vans are higher than sedans. But once you put a bed in there, if you try to sit on the well, you simply cannot, your head will against the ceiling. Imagine months and months sitting on a bed your back bent That’s what most NZ van have to do. Ouch! Not for us.

The Hiace DX has a natural high top. By I mean that the high is part of the original constructionunlike rental vans, where the roof has been cut out and replaced a plastic high top.

A few many) vans on the backpacker have plastic high They are not quite as good as high tops because may leak. Nevertheless, they beat the regular low roofs. A top is a must if you want to be able to in a van: You have to be able to sit By the way, the woman in the picture is tall (175cm).

True Wheel Base = Two Rooms

ads for Toyota Hiace vans that the van has a long wheel But on inspection, most of these do not have a long wheel They just have the Toyota Hiace length. The wheel base is just BS for new buyers who don’t know the

Hiace vans with a long wheel base an extra window. These are also called jumbo. If a van not have that window, it is regular length.

The long wheel base a big difference in comfort. It allows us two spaces:

— a full-length, queen-size bed (which converts two awesome sofas),

— a space for cooking and other activities.

When two people are in a van, unless they are very much in love each other, it is wonderful to independent spaces where can each do their own thing.

Bed Converts into Two Sofas!

traveler vans have beds that are wonderful for when night comes. the day, they are a waste of Who wants to lie down all day? most travelers are stuck vans where most of the is completely wasted during the You simply cannot hang out all day on a bed, especially when the is low. You really need a that is comfortable to sit.

Our van has a great bedin fact a great one, thanks to the wheel base. The man on the picture is tall (187cm). The truly feature of this bed, is that during the day it converts two sofas. In the middle of the bed, is a long board on a hinge. It over to one side. This up a corridor that lets you the whole length of the van, the bed!

On each side of the there is a long sofa. of us can lie down on the sofas. Or we can sit up comfortably for the front, in the middle, at the back, we fancy. You could fit eight sitting and facing each on the two sofas.

The Best Storage

In traveler vans, there is storage space underneath the But it is very impractical to access: How to get shirt you need from under the middle of the bed? the back? From the front? most backpackers give up and their gear all over beds. It is a very, very way to live for any length of time.

Our storage system is absolutely because of the convertible bed. we convert the bed into the two sofas we do every morning) we have access to everything under the We bought many plastic (not cheap in NZ) to fit underneath. with a ten-day supply of in the van, we are able to keep the between the sofas cleareverything under the sofas. Behind the bins, we have the backpacks, the the mattock, the chairs and more.

The have different colors so we what is what. My partner and I have a bin for our personal stuff. there are boxes for toiletries, tools, etc.

Two Pop-Up

It’s really nice to tables inside a van. In the space and in the back of the van, we two great wooden tables can fold back, freeing up the

Table in work space / . This is where the gas stove most of the time, as well as our for tea and other often-used items. to a hinge, the table can fold alongside the right wall of the If you do that, it leaves you with an larger work space.

Table in the back . When you the back door of the van, you can this table in one second and its chains to two hooks inside the It’s very convenient if sunny and you want to cook

Insect Netting

Have you about sand flies? little insects are all over the island. Thousands of them you every morning and night, you with bites that for days.

Does that you must lock yourself in the van and all the windows? You will suffocate the heat, especially if you use the stove to tea. This is a major for most van travelers.

Our van has strong netting that can be affixed to all the windows in a matter of seconds. lets us open the windows and get a on hot afternoons.

Other Niceties

The of the van has two unusual features that it extremely easy to put stuff

Overhead Net and Lines . The net sits the ceiling of the cooking space interfering with your It’s convenient to put away warm clothes and other gear that would clutter the van. From the strong rope lines run the ceiling all the way to the back of the van. lines are useful to hang a or a shirt.

Hooks . We have a few along the inside of the van. for hanging lamps, hair etc.


We bought a lot of for the van.

Special Plug to Up at Campgrounds . Once in a while, it can be to pull up at a campground and pay for a powered It allows you to recharge your and run your computer. The only is that campgrounds use a special plug. The cable costs All rental campervans have it. no traveler campervan has it. We do, and we have the luxury.

Bedding . Two new folding two new pillows, two cushions, two pillowcases, one fitted sheet, two queen-size sheets, two doona (comforter)

Stove . We have a gorgeous new gas (two burners) and a three-liter gas This set-up is brilliant: we can everyday for a month without the bottle. And we are heavy users who water for tea several times a Whenever we want to top up the bottle, we go to any station . where they natural gas by the weight. A full costs 17 bucks! Some have bigger bottles. In our bigger bottles would be a waste of space.

Other Gear . Two stainless steel (one medium, one large). bowl. Two plates, two bowls. spoons, knife, cutting Strainer, tupperware containers and more.

Mattock (= Instant . When we arrived in NZ, we learned some locals have a opinion of backpackers who travel in own van. Why? Supposedly, camp on the side of the road and an unsightly mess behind. In backpackers’ campervans are sometimes crappervans. To me, that’s a bit ironic that the only people we saw toilet paper behind van while traveling in NZ were (see this story ). It more like a public campaign by the tourism industry to get travelers to spend more by either (i) renting expensive with toilets or (ii) in campgrounds.

Having camped my whole I would feel disgraced if you found a sheet of toilet behind me. On walks, I carry a orange plastic shovel to my poop. But that is a slow way of a hole. When you stay in a you can afford a bigger tool. In NZ, for a $64, we acquired the ultimate a mattock. When I dig trenches at gatherings so that hundreds of can go to the toilet in the wild, the mattock is by far my of choice. Having one in the van is the ultimate With a few strokes, you have an toilet for two people.

Electric Cooler (fridge) . This is a large ice box (what Aussies an ‘eskie’) with a long that plugs into the lighter adapter. If you buy vegetables on a hot you have a fridge. The rest of the it’s a great seat in the space.

Table and Chairs . In to the two pop-up tables inside the we have a folding table is convenient when we want to eat It comes with two folding

Tarp . Here is a picture of the we had when we stayed in one place for days. It rained a lot and it was really to be able to step out through the door into a dry spot.

Planet Guides and Full Set of . Full set of detailed maps of NZ (19 maps, numbered). Lonely NZ, 2008. Tramping in New Zealand Lonely Planet), 6th edition. the North and South Island of Department of Conservation campgrounds.

The (steering lock) . Even and stronger than the regular The best theft deterrent.

. Screw drivers, hand tomahawk, velcro, tape, WD-40, spare bulb, cord and much more.

Tent . We bought this in case we found a place we would camp for several The idea was to use the tent as a bedroom and the van as room and kitchen. A six-person is perfect size for two people!

a Toyota, Dude!

In Australia, have another name for Bits Are Missing. This you something about the reliability of the a popular backpacker van. choice.

You can find old vans by Ford, Mazda, Nissan, but the is this: why would you ever buy Toyota are known to make van that last forever. people strip the NZ vans and the engines to Africa, where start a new life and clock million kilometres.

If you want to hassle, buy a Toyota. It’s simple.

Ownership History

The van was in Japan in 1987 and imported to New in 1992. The first NZ owner was the Mini Bus company (close to They kept the van for 17 years. is a really good thing, owners of buses really to stay on top of mechanical maintenance. van has been beautifully maintained. The is clean: if you look along the you see a clean straight line, means it has not been in a crash. If you your hands from the wheel, it will drive forever. There are very few spots, which suggests the van has been garaged for most of its

After the Flying Mini Bus over a period of one month, the van was on to a string of dealers (five!) it found its way to one who specializes in selling to travelers. That is how the van market in NZ. Here is the list of dealers:

Car Mart

Enterprise Motor (sold in one day).

Ahmad (three weeks; we contacted gentleman and confirmed that he is a

BMR Motorhomes (sold in one day).

Henry Storey (11 days).

we were the van’s second NZ (apart from dealers). And we the van’s first traveler That is a very good because most vans on the NZ tend to pass from to backpacker every few months. backpackers tend to do zero at all on their vans. So most on the market are junk. You don’t what you’re buying and going to break down.

We $30 to purchase the Vehicle Information from On this you can download that report as a pdf

On the report, there was one warning the odometer readings (page 2): readings over a period of one (March 1999 to May 2000) lower than before, they jumped right up. Looking at it closely, we could see what had happened: the mechanic who had these four readings year had dropped the last (as though it was the 1/10th km indicator). If you add a to the four low readings, they are consistent and fall beautifully on the That is the only way we found to the jump from 21,000 km in May to 218,000 in October. Here are the readings:

Oct ’97: 145,326

Mar 183,000 (not 18,300)

Toyota Deliboy

Oct 195,580 (not 19,558)

May 210,030 (not 21,003)

Oct 218,248

With this we felt perfectly safe the odometer report. In fact, we lucky to have cracked the that might worry potential buyers about the van (we competing with another

Fuel Economy

Depending on we drive on a flat highway or twisters, we use between 10 and 11 litres per 100 That’s extremely low for a vehicle size and age. But there’s a We try not to drive over 80 kms / hour.

We ourselves the 80kms rule on the days, when we didn’t yet very confident driving a big van and to be safe. Then we realized we enjoy feeling safe all the And there wasn’t really any So we’ve tried to stay at 80 or which can be a challenge as in fifth it’s easy to go faster noticing it.


It is said the engines in Toyota vans can go a kilometers if they are well This is an extremely easy van to but we do have a schedule that we religiously.

Oil . We check it every If we drive long distances we need to top up about once a (older engines all consume a bit of The van had an oil change when we bought it. recommended doing the next oil after 10,000 kms, but we to keep our vehicle in top shape and we did it 5,000. (For my records: the used 10W30.)

Water . As with oil, vans all use a bit of water. The radiator is of green cooling fluid. We the radiator every morning and add a few of water when needed.

. When we bought the van, we a bit of time in Auckland to change a few to make the van even more (even though it already had a of Fitness). We changed:

— the ball joints,

— the hose,

— the rear shock.

Selling the Van

Update: We the van. We left New Zealand on 27 after the end of the tourist season. At the we were living in Nelson. and happened to be an intense newspaper against backpacker campervans not with a toilet. Alledgedly, freedom campers leave a behind. It was the wrong time and the place to be selling a campervan. about that campaign

We were not able to sell the van we left. We planned to return six later and considered storing the van the Winter (June through in the southern hemisphere). The costs high (at least $30 a week). But we met a car we really liked. He offered to do a a sale for uswhat is called a sale in the States. He would the van on his lot, take care of the help potential buyers financing, pay the proceeds into our And if he didn’t sell the van, we have it back. It was very for us.

It wasn’t easy to find a in the middle of Winter. But after two John wired the money our bank account.

Just in here are John’s details, in mind that he may not be interested in other vans as that’s not the of his business.

John Byrnam at Cars

Corner Parkers Rd St, Tahunanui, Nelson

Office 03 547 Mobile 027 432 0042, email on the

In the end, we lost US$1,200 on the van five months ($170 a We can’t complain about And we could very well made that amount of losing itwe were with timing.

Other Vans

While traveling in NZ, we at all the vans we came across. The reason was that we were so in with living in our van that we to know the names of all models of vans to buy if we bought one again in

Nissan Caravan DX 1995 . van is nearly exactly the same as ours: very spacious. A choice if you cannot find a (Nissan engines don’t as long).

Nissan Homy DX . Also a spacious van. comment as above.

Recent Hiace vans . There are Toyota hi-top, long-wheel Hiace vans around. of them are four-wheel-drive (Hiace 4WD Time Grand Cabin), would be a great benefit on roads. In January 2010, we saw a 2000 Hiace van (hi-top, base, two-wheel-drive) offered for Gorgeous but out of reach for most

We saw only one other van like (rego SH4656). It was owned by a who had done a beautiful job on the interior cushy chairs!), though the would not have been as for our needs.

The Campaign against Campers

As I mentioned in the section the mattock. I have a hard believing that the campaign freedom campers is sincere, as the people I saw leaving toilet and wine cartons behind vehicles were Kiwis this story ). To me, it smells a lot a lobbying effort by the chamber of to get backpackers into paid or expensive rental vans.

In my this is a short-sighted effort will probalby bite the New tourism industry in their If I had to do it again, given the anti-freedom-camper I don’t know if I would buy a van. And in that case, the time and expense of traveling to part of the world, I don’t if I would visit New Zealand at

That being said, not loves tourists, so many would see that as a good If I were a local and not connected to I might not be so excited about hours stuck behind vans on mountain roads.

I am certain that a number of campers do leave a mess Travel has changed so much in the thirty years. Seeing the is a thing to do, so everyone does it. country is full of tourists who never have left home town a generation or two Frankly, I’m not sure should ever have as I see a great deal of cultural in countries I visit. A lot of tourists act morons, so locals don’t visitors. That makes it for everyone. I actually don’t to travel anymore.

But back to New What’s the solution? Sure, freedom camping is one. But if I dictator, I might lean in the of education. Perhaps there be a freedom camping license: you camp on the road with van, you have to answer a few that show you’ve a leaflet about how to deal rubbish, grey water and waste at your campsite. you have to show that you a shovel or mattock in your That earns you a sticker you put on your back window. it will never happen but allowed to dream!

Wishing you a time touring NZ,

Toyota Deliboy
Toyota Deliboy
Toyota Deliboy
Toyota Deliboy


Tagged as:

Here you can write a commentary on the recording "The King of New Zealand CampervansToyota Hiace Commuter DX Hi-Top…".

Sign in, to write a review.

Our partners
Follow us
Contact us
Our contacts

Born in the USSR


About this site

For all questions about advertising, please contact listed on the site.

Toyota cars catalog with specifications, pictures, ratings, reviews and discusssions about cars Toyota.