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This blog is our review of Mad Campers and New Zealand’s first-ever one-person campervan for the solo traveler.
Mad Campers Review – About the Company
New Zealand’s first-ever one-person campervan was created by the company Mad Campers. Mad Campers is a young, energetic, locally owned business here in New Zealand!
These guys build and rent innovative campervans for adventurous travelers (just like us!) They really think of every little detail when it comes to their campervans (and business in general.)
We have actually met the owner and like us, his business is powered by his passion for New Zealand. What we found with Mad Campers is that you’re getting more than just a rental company. You’re not just a number, instead, you’re joining a family of renters who has made memories to last a lifetime!
It sounds cheesy, but nothing makes us happier than supporting the little guy – I guess we too are the little guy!
With an environmentally conscious operation as well as friendly and professional staff, Mad Campers is a great choice when deciding who to rent your NZ campervan from! But don’t just take our word for it, their 5-star reviews speak for themselves!
Mad Campers Service
Service is a huge factor when choosing a campervan company. Of course, you usually want the perfect mix of both service and price in any rental company. Well, I can honestly say for the price (they’re very competitive) you get amazing service that’s personal.
Not only will you have help on the road but their briefing before setting off is something you won’t get with larger companies. They have hired people who know New Zealand really well, so you’ll get local advice (and we all know there’s no better travel advice than from a local!)
Their campervans are also very well looked after so you’re not likely to have problems with your campervan on your trip. However, in the unlikely event that you do, you can relax knowing you’re in good hands!
Mad Campers Pricing
Now to the price! These guys are cheap considering what you get! Their MAD2 is only $100 NZD or $62 USD a day* (base rental rate). If you want a similar car with another company you’re looking at around $120 – $150 NZD per day.
Their MAD1 (read below for more info) is only $65 NZD per day – that’s only $42 USD per day*.
Honestly, they’re one of the cheapest, but what makes them stand out from the rest is their quality service, campervans, and extras!
Note: Prices are subject to change without notice. Prices vary seasonally and don’t include extras or insurance.
New Zealand’s First One-Person (Single Berth) Campervan
New Zealand is the perfect country to travel to as a solo traveler. Not only are there endless things to do in New Zealand but it’s also one of the safest countries in the world. This means that embarking on a New Zealand road trip by yourself is not only fun but safe too!
During our road trip in New Zealand, we met many solo travelers. And while NZ is the perfect country to travel alone, there was never a campervan rental suited for just one person – that is, until now!
If you’re curious about this new solo traveler campervan, then keep reading! In this blog, we reveal all the details about this single berth campervan including its benefits, the cost, and more!
Related Read: Beach lover? Check out our list of the best beaches in New Zealand’s North Island and see which ones you want to add to your bucket list.
About the One-Person Campervan Rental Idea
In the past, all campervan and motorhome rentals have been geared toward 2 to 6 people. This meant that the cost of renting a campervan or motorhome for one person was extremely unaffordable. To many visitors, this was enough to turn them off traveling to New Zealand in their very own home on wheels.
Both Bailey and I always thought this was such a shame and remembered all of the amazing memories we made while traveling New Zealand in our own campervan. However, very recently Mad Campers decided to tackle this issue by creating New Zealand’s first and only one-person campervan.
I thought this was a fantastic idea so when I got offered the chance to take it for a test and share my experience, I was super excited!
A Camp Car!
The first thing I noticed about the MAD1 was that it wasn’t actually a van at all, but a car! This tiny Nissan Cube is the smallest campervan vehicle out there.
When Dan and I were traveling in our own campervan (a Toyota Hiace) I never drove it for myself because I wasn’t comfortable driving such a huge vehicle. But this campervan was perfect for me. A small vehicle, easy to maneuver, and an automatic – that’s my kind of campervan (or should I say camp car!)
Related Read: Need more space? Consider renting a motorhome instead! We wrote a complete guide to motorhome rental in NZ with all of our best tips and tricks.
The great thing about the one-person campervan is that it only has a single bed. This means that there is tons of room for storage or moving around. In fact, the MAD1 has more space per person than any two-berth campervan. It also has a higher roof than most cars which is really important for comfort!
The trick with this one-person campervan is that the single bed lays out the length of the car, from the back all the way up to the front next to the driver’s seat. It also doesn’t fold up, so there is no need to make up the bed each night. There is a fold-out table and a seat in the back as well.
The kitchen is at the very back of the campervan and is accessed from the trunk. This allows for maximum space inside the car.
For storage, there is tons of space under the bed for storing luggage and clothing. There are also plenty of drawers in the kitchen for storing food.
A Hint of Luxury
This one-person campervan does not sacrifice luxury. I was surprised by all of the small details in the campervan that makes it so much more comfortable and easy to live in.
In the MAD1, there is a mini refrigerator that is perfect for storing beers and food. There is also a dual stove-top cooker, lights, charging points, and a great sound system that can be connected with Bluetooth and played when the car is parked. The bed is also very comfortable!
One feature, in particular, that I absolutely loved was the electric tap with an extendable hose! This meant there was no manual hand-pump tap (so washing dishes was easy.) The extendable hose also could be used to wash your feet or have a quick “shower”.
The MAD1 one-person campervans are all newer vehicles (2004 or newer) with keyless entry and an alarm system.
There is no doubt in my mind that anybody could live out of this one-person campervan comfortably long-term.
If you ask anybody what the most expensive part of their New Zealand road trip was, they will tell you it’s the fuel! Fuel prices in New Zealand are ridiculous. Large campervans chew through the fuel quickly. But not this campervan, it is the most fuel-efficient campervan rental available!
And besides saving money on fuel, you can feel good about driving around in such an environmentally friendly car!
Related Read: One of best areas to explore is on a road trip through the South Island of New Zealand.
The Cheapest Campervan out There
Mad Campers has priced the single berth campervan to suit any budget solo travelers. Before the MAD1, solo travelers had to pay for a two-person campervan which is much more expensive. Now, the MAD1 is cheaper which makes it affordable for solo travelers.
Click here to browse prices for the MAD1!
My Experience in the One-Person Campervan
I was only able to take the MAD1 for a couple of nights (as I was leaving New Zealand the next day.) But even in that short time, I was able to really experience this innovative, one-person campervan.
After picking up the campervan in Auckland I decided to take it to one of my favorite places – Piha Beach! For those who don’t know, Piha Beach is about a 45-minute drive from Auckland city center. As you get closer to the beach the roads become narrow and windy. I was a little nervous driving on these roads, but in such a small campervan it was actually really easy!
Once I arrived at Piha my next mission was parking – something I really don’t enjoy! However, in the small vehicle, it was much easier than in a campervan.
Now all I had to do was watch the sun go down and enjoy a nice home-cooked meal.
After experiencing New Zealand’s first single berth campervan for myself, I can honestly say this little camper is great! It was super comfy and easy to get around in.
Dan and I spent three months living in our own campervan (that we converted ourselves) so we know what a campervan needs in order to be liveable. I must say, Mad Campers thought of everything with this single berth campervan and it would be the perfect rental for any New Zealand road trip!
You can browse all of Mad Camper’s options and check prices! If you need more space you can see all available campervans on MotorhomeRepublic here.
Related Read: One of the best things to do once you have secured your campervan is learn about freedom camping in New Zeland and where you can do it!
Some Great Spots to go in Your Campervan
For any New Zealand road trip, there are a few places that, in my opinion, just can’t be missed! Some spots you definitely need to check out while traveling in your one-person campervan are:
- Mt Taranaki – hike to the Pouakai Hut and get the best views of this impressive volcano
- North Island West Coast – Some of the beaches not far from Auckland are incredible. Muriwai Beach is one of my favorites and one of the best things to do in Auckland!
- The Coromandel – Hot Water Beach and Cathedral Cove are must-visit spots!
- Mount Cook – Go here for some amazing hikes and mountain views. There are tons of things to do in Mount Cook National Park.
- Queenstown – For an adventure traveler, Queenstown is the place to be! There are endless things to do in Queenstown and amazing Queenstown tours to do!
- Milford Sound – Go on a scenic cruise or kayak Milford Sound! It is one of the most beautiful places in New Zealand.
Thanks for reading!
If you’re in the planning stages be sure to check out our recommended road trip itineraries. It includes estimated travel times and stops along the way!
For more information about traveling in New Zealand, check out all of our New Zealand blogs! We have tons of detailed guides and information to help make your trip amazing!
If you have any questions or comments, as always, we’d love to hear from you! Leave your comment below and we WILL get back to you! In the meantime check out some of our other popular road trip blogs:
Christchurch to Queenstown road trip
Getting from Te Anau to Milford Sound
Drive from Queenstown to Glenorchy
Sunday 4th of August 2019
I spent 6 months with the ESCAPE 4 person van and travelled all over both islands post-retirement. However you go GO!!!
Monday 5th of August 2019
6 months is awesome! Id say it's the perfect time to check out what New Zealand has to offer!
That's it just get out there and do it!
Thanks for your comment and happy travels!
Wednesday 27th of March 2019
I love it, looks great it's cute and convenient looking.
Wednesday 27th of March 2019
So cute right! I loved that is was easy to drive, not too big like the huge vans :)