Driving a campervan is definitely different to driving a car and there are certain things to be aware of - not only when it comes to maneuvering the unit itself, but the things you need to check before you start each leg of your trip, and the places you'll be able to drive it to.
Check with your individual campervan hire company, but generally your insurance will be deemed invalid if you drive on the following roads as they are unsuitable for campervans: 90 Mile Beach (the Far North); North of Colville Township (top of the Coromandel Peninsula); Ball Hut (Mt Cook region); Skippers Canyon (Queenstown region); or above the carpark at any ski field. Snow chains may be required in certain areas, again, check with your rental company.
Campervans are taller than most passenger vehicles, so know the clearance height required and consider things like service station canopies and low-hanging branches.
Some highways either restrict or recommend non-use for vehicles over a certain length, so research which roads you can travel in your motorhome and how to access them.
Always bear in mind that campervans are heavy and require longer braking distances than you’re probably used to.
If you are going to tow something behind you, consider whether your campervan can carry the extra weight up steep mountains or slippery surfaces. Make sure the hitch attachment is secure, and also consider the total length of the campervan and attachment combined.
Before each leg of your trip, make sure you thoroughly check the following on your campervan: electrical and plumbing systems; integrity of the LPG tank; fluids, brakes and tyres; angle of mirrors; and hitch and coupling system if there is one.