Self Containment

Self containment of the waste water

Self containment by adding solar



We do our Self containment and certification through the New Zealand Motor Caravan Association (NZMCA) and hence you must be a member.

If you don’t intend becoming a member we can arrange certification through another trade body.


The NZMCA work tirelessly for the benefit of caravan and motor home owners, there are many member benefits available which even without trying often amount to more than the annual subscription, plus a fantastic travel directory listing amongst all the regular DOC and campgrounds many ‘secret’ spots kindly shared by other members and a bi monthly magazine.

Self containment goes a long way to keeping NZ clean and green the association fights strongly to ensure councils allow certified self contained caravans to park in freedom camping spots that are not available to none certified vehicles.

We have 2 qualified self containment officers so can do the conversion on your caravan and get it certified self contained for you.
What it involves on your caravan.


For Self Containment you need

  • Fresh water supply: 4L per person per day for 3 days (i.e. minimum 12L per person)
  • A sink
  • Toilet: 1L per person per day for 3 days (i.e. minimum 3L net holding tank capacity per person)
  • Holding tank: 4L per person per day for 3 days (i.e. minimum 12L per person ) and monitored if capacity is less than the fresh water tank
  • An evacuation hose
  • A sealable refuse container (with lid)

We have to replace and re-route most of the waste water pipes under the van, fitting waste traps and observing the diameters and max run a pipe can be.
We take these pipes to a point on the off side of the caravan and route them into a closeable ball valve. Next we modify your roll away waste tank with breathers and close off ball valves (see pic) the tank then connects to the caravan via a flexible hose.




Doing it this way means we can usually SC the van for 4 people, any more than that and you need to take additional water capacity.


We generally don’t install permanent grey water tanks – but we can do, you just need to take the following considerations into account
1. When you pitch up you will often have an awning up and it then doesn’t make it very easy to take your caravan to the dump station to empty the tank.
2. Caravans have a carrying capacity of around 200kg which is usually taken up with all the thing you load into the caravan so having a full say 100L water tank (Fresh or waste) is more than likely going to overload your max load rating

The cost is $500

this doesn’t include a rollaway waste tank (we modify yours) or membership of the association you can join here.


Self containment by adding solar

If you are planning on freedom camping then its all well and good self containing the waste water but what will you do in 2-3 days when your battery starts to run low?

you may say “I have a generator” but who wants to listen to your genny chugging away?.

Having a solar setup takes away the need for a cumbersome generator and it will also keep your battery topped up all year round we install the panel on the roof and the controller is tucked away near the battery so really ones its fitted there is not much else to do.


What we would recommend is a large 200w panel through a 20a MPPT tracer solar controller, the MPPT controllers are more efficient at about 97% (but much more expensive) there is also a visual control panel for the solar controller so you can see at a glance the system efficiency.

If you go away all yr round when the sun is lower and the days are a bit shorter so you can have a larger 260w panel fitted.

You can get cheaper setups but if its a smaller panel and an MPW controller you might find your battery going flat.

We need to check your roof space 1st though to see what size panel will fit.

This setup is $1175 fitted upgrading to a 260w panel is plus $145


We can of course add a bigger panel or even 2x smaller ones wired in parallel, it might also be worthwhile adding a 2nd battery to take storage capacity up.


Available roof space on you van can often determine how many panels/power you can get on, its sometimes a case of having 2 smaller size panels fitted to make up the required Wattage – but this will add to installation costs.,