With the heatwave, if you can call it that, we set off for a park beside a beach where we could swim.
Our friends Rob and Helen have stayed regularly and highly recommended Wenderholm Self Contained parks. The park is well setup with a boat ramp (tidal), Electric BBQ’s and Picnic Tables that are free to use and nice new toilets too.
Remember to click on the images for Hi Res
We arrived in the early afternoon, settled down Rafe and headed straight for the beach. A really nice beach with views across to Whangaparoa and you can even see Rangitoto Island.
I was surprised it was so busy for a Monday but it was hot and it is still holiday time. As the day went on, more motorhomes arrived and while we had a glass of wine before tea, a visitor from Wellington was out entertaining us with his metal detector looking for treasure.
He found a house key, several coins and said he’d previously found an expensive ring!
With the Waikato Buses
Behind the beach picnic areas
People enjoying the Estuary
The Toilet Block
The Boat Ramp
Late arrivals at the ramp
I’m think that I would prefer to park in a fenced off parking area like Sullivans Bay, another Auckland City Park further north. In saying that, where we were and because there were a few of us, it gave the impression that it was a motorhome area and cars didn’t park near us.
We have had a situation where we’ve been at beachs where the day trippers have been quietly drinking all day and leave to drive home where they can barely walk.(Not this one)
All in all, a nice place to stay, nice beach and things to cook on too.
Mark came back from a Turners Auction about 8 or so months ago and surprised us all when he arrived with a 1995 CI Travelhome on a Ford Trader chassis.
Mark & Tina are old boating mates and knowing that he has his hands full with a car restoration, a bike restoration and still has his boat to look after as well, I wondered where he would get the time from to work on what was a do up !
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The galley area
The sleeping accommodation. Completely relined and insulated as it leaked and was rotten.
Mark & Tina with their new Motorhome
Above the Califont the vent was leaking. Vent no longer leaks.
The Galley area
Wee fridge.. a little beauty
The Bathroom and Toilet
My first observation when I first saw it was rot, dampness and a whole lot of work but what a transformation when I saw it just recently.
All the leaks are fixed, the rot has been removed, leaky hatches have been replaced and all the sleeping accommodation has been completely relined. It looks fantastic.
The weekend we spent with Mark & Tina at Rays Rest was great and for their very first trip away, everything worked well.
Mechanically, it just plods away with the 3.5 l normally aspirated Ford Diesel and Mark tells me it flew through its first COF.
What a great weekend! The weather was great and we had things to do.
After Fiona had finished work, we headed out to one of our favorite spots, the NZMCA park at Ardmore, a hop skip and a jump from Alex, Sarah and the Grandkids.
As always, remember to click on the images to see Hi Res.
Our friends, Rob & Helen and their daughter Chloe were heading off for a week or so to Napier and Gisborne so it was great we could pop in to Ardmore to see them off. When we arrived at about 7:30pm, they were off on a walk so they were a bit surprised to see us there when they returned as we hadn’t confirmed that we would be there.
Alex, Sarah and the boys came over after their tea and we all caught up in Rafe. Lots of fun.
The Ardmore NZMCA park is in an airfield precinct so a little noise comes with the territory, usually small planes and sometimes Helicopters.
That morning, things were different. At 8am, we heard the repetitive bark of a Sergeant Major type next door in the cadet parade ground teaching St John Juniors how to march. It was quite interesting to watch too as some didn’t know the left from the right so there were some interesting moves happening.
They were all togged up in their black uniforms and looked good, some even wearing their medals. There was one trainer who forgot his black clobber and was doing it all in his Red shorts.
As Fiona said, good on him for volunteering his time on a Saturday morning but it did sort of spoil the overall look.
About 9:30, we said goodbye to Rob, Helen and Chloe and they headed off to Taupo for their trip to Hawkes Bay and beyond. We left as well and went around to Alex, Sarahs and the Grandkids for the morning and around lunchtime, headed towards one of our other favorite places, Rays Rest at Miranda. We were catching up our friends Gary and Chris who were helping other friends Mark and Tina with their first trip out in their new, second hand Motorhome.
Rays Rest is a great spot and the weather was behaving as well.
After arriving early in the afternoon, we caught up for cups of tea and later a couple of drinks and then headed off in Gary’s van down to get the fish and chips for tea from the famous Kaiaua fish and chips shop. Gary wasn’t drinking so that worked well. It was nice to see how much progress Mark had made on his motorhome as when he got it, it leaked and had quite a lot of dampness in its linings. .. now all gone. More on this in another post soon.
We had a great night together and called it quits and hit the hay.
The next morning was nice in diffused sunshine with little wind. We sat on the foreshore watching people fish and just soaked up the atmosphere.
Gary, Chris, Tina and Mark were going to carry on to Thames and Coromandel so after lunch, we left them and headed home. A nice weekend.
A week or so ago, I published Robs Fan which showed how clever people can make their European (or any fridge) perform better by simply expelling warm air from behind or in Mike’s case, circulating cool air as well.
Both are novel ways of getting much better performance and both work briliiantly.
Mike and I were at school together a hundred or so years ago and where I went on to be a newspaper photographer, Mike became a very able Gasfitter and Plumber and clever with it.
Mike recently purchased a very nice new A class Rapido from an elderly chap who imported it from Europe but due to a change in his circumstances, couldn’t keep it.
Fiona and I caught up with Mike and Wendy at Shakespeare Bay for a very nice lunch not long after they got their van. I published an article then and you can see that here.
The Rapido has a 90l Dometic fridge in it and since Mike picked it up has been very unimpressed with its performance and ability to keep things cold. After reading Robs Fan, Mike decided to sort it once and for all.
Pix by Mike. Click on them to see the detail in slideshow
A bracket to hold he fan at the top of the cooling tower
Fan in cooling tower
Twin Fans inside. Purchased off Ebay and clipped to the evaporator fins.
Wiring for the inside fan
Fan at bottom to create airflow
Bottom fan to create airflow
Separate switching for fans
Here is what he did in Mikes words.
I've just finished installing three fans to to accommodate the cooling for a Dometic 8505 fridge freezer 90 l. All items were purchased from Jcar.
There are two 120 x 120 x 25mm fans fitted in the cooling tower.
The top fan is fitted 150mm below the cooling fins...connected via a 50degree temp thermostat.
Air flow: 37 (CFM)
Fan Speed: 1000 rpm
The bottom fan is fitted 100mm above the top of the bottom air vent...connected via a 70degree temp switch.
Air flow: 64.3 (CFM)
Fan Speed: 1500 rpm
The fridge fan:
Duratech 90mm: YX-2572
Air flow: 31.32 (CFM)
Fan Speed: 1500 rpm
Noise level: 20dBA
Each fan can be independently controlled by an on/off switch installed inside the motorhome.
Motorhome vents in full sun:
Ambient temp 27.1 degrees:
Fridge on setting three:
1) Even temperatures through out the fridge at 4degrees.
2) Freezer -10.7
3) On setting 5 the freezer got to -17degrees
Before I had a shit fridge...now I have a master piece.
A shocking Friday’s weather left me thinking that Fiona might not be too keen to drive down to Thames after she’d finished work at 6pm.
The plan was for her to drive down to Thames, park the car at Thames and we’d go to Pauanui in Rafe to catch up with the Grandkids. She had to be back at work on Monday as the holiday period meant standing in for people away.
The rain was just relentless and although it was supposed to be finishing around 5-6 pm, one can never tell with weather forecasts!
The rain slowed around 4pm and the roads all started to dry out.
Around 8:15 odd, she arrived in Thames and we settled down for some Tv.
Saturday, the weather was looking much brighter so I parked the car and we were off to Pauanui in Rafe.
The trip through to Pauanui is virtually up, then down the other side and you end up in Pauanui or Tairua.
We stayed in an amazing ground run by the Pauanui Club. Excellent value and lovely people to deal with. For $8 a night, 4 big areas to park plus power and access to toilets and a cold shower. You also get membership of the club for a day which means you can buy a drink or two and get great meals there at reasonable rates. The park is right next to the mini golf course and you can bike ride anywhere so take your bikes.
When we arrived, we settled Rafe down with the power and opened some vents for fresh air and jumped on the bikes to head down to the water. We arrived just in time to see son Alex and his family trying out their new Christmas Kayak. They tell me they got caught by the wind in a few inches of water in front if a queue of people and youngest grandson Liam (3) shouted out Help at the top of his voice while older grandson Ayden said “get a helicopter”!
Isn’t it funny what kids come up with.
After a nice lunch with the family, we spent a couple of hours at the Pauanui Club and then biked around to my grandchildren where other grandparents, Paul and Mary put on a fantastic Bbq tea.
The next morning, Alex biked around with Liam in a child’s seat and Ayden on his own bike and we all rode into the township “for a treat”!
Pauanui is quite a neat place. There is a airstrip where the houses are built along the side, many with hangers instead of garages, some with both.
A house with a plane outside
A plane takes off from Pauanui airfield.
The Pauanui club
The town is completely flat so it’s a neat place to take a bike. Although we were the only Motohome at Pauanui club that night, as we left, two arrived. A fantastic place and I’m sure they be well patronised once the word gets out !