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NZ: Rental car or camper van??

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I'm just beginning to plan a trip to NZ for 13 nights in Feb and am just at the transportation stage of planning. The camper van sounds interesting...I can see some pros (complete freedom from having to be at a particular place for a reserved room, and basically being able to change itinerary on the fly if necessary). But I can also see some cons: becoming stir crazy after being cooped up in it for so long, gas prices (glug,glug).
Has anyone done this and how was it? Will it be hard to find space at campgrounds during the peak season? Will a van like that be able to make it up all those mountainous roads?
Also, as far as price...what's a good deal? Most of the deals I see on the internet include airfare, but we're using Skymiles so airfare is already taken care of.
The only reason I'm contemplating a van over a car is the fact that we are usually shoulder season travellers and typically like to just drive and find a room as we go, but I hear that wouldn't be such a great idea during peak season...and I just hate to have to tie us down to being at certain hotels on certain days.
What do you think??
Thanks,
Lisa

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