Switch it on and up it goes

One of the nice things about talking to people in the Motorhome industry is you get to hear about some neat new things coming on the market.

New to New Zealand is a new range of  Automatic Satellite systems and Tv’s from France called  Alden.

Frankie with the two new Alden receivers.

This is unique as the controls are all in the matching Alden TV’s. You simply turn on the TV and are prompted to fold out and tune the dish which it will then go ahead and do. It will also fold down when you turn it off or when you start the motor to move away.. all automagically!

on the left and the Portable one on the right

The price is amazing too..with the top of the range partly transparent (see photo) Evo 65 retailing for $2695 incl GST. If you buy it with an Alden 22in TV, the whole package is $3200 incl GST. This seems to me to be a pretty good deal given these are the bees knees in TV’s for Motorhomes.

Showing the  insides of the Aldens are all precision engineered.

Vantage RV are the agents and can fit them for you too.

The Blue Beast

Its always a pleasure seeing an older Motorhome getting a new life from a bit of and overhaul or some good old fashioned TLC.

Click on any image to see Hi res

Looking Good

Alan and Keitha fom Matamata have had their 1990 Mazda Triton for about 15 years and about 5 years ago decided it was time for a makeover. The 9 month do up was mostly about the exterior but lots was done of the inside too.

Alan with his album of “Before” pictures

I really liked the hidden Waeco fridge in the double drawer. Nice touch.

The Waeco fridge hidden away in a drawer

The exterior was completely reclad and repainted with Aluminium panels with Insulation on the inside.

Click on the Gallery below to see a slide show

Alan proudly showed me a small photo ablum of how it was and when you look at where it is today, a different beast.

A lovely truck and a great do up.. well done to you both.

It gets even Bigger

The Covi Show NZMCA Rally at Ellerslie just keeps on growing and this year, it looked great.

Click on on an image for Hi Res

Huge!

Fiona was working on the Thursday so after a stop at Countdown in Takapuna, I tootled on my own to the Rally arriving around midday. As I entered the gate, there was a nice cheery exchange with Pete and then into the rally and once I was parked, I was right next to friends Nelson and Maree.

Another one comes in

I had just turned the engine off when in the doorway popped one of the volunteers and a friend from Ardmore Jim. Nice to see him too. There was a real buzz about the place. Fantastic.

The ladies in the Registration tent doing a great job.
L to R, Carol, Robyn, Debbie, Noeline and Shona.

Everywhere I went, it was seeing friendly faces and at the Registration tent, I got some gentle ribbing from Jill about leaving Fiona behind again.. all good fun 🙂

Busy

The Rally was well set out and it all went like clockwork but when you see it, its impressive. All those Motorhomes, Buses and Caravans.

After a happy time with Nelson next door, I had a stream of visitors to Rafe which was neat.

At lunchtime on the Friday, there were already over 300 vehicles of different sorts at the Rally.

Well done to the volunteers who put it together and nice to hear that it was a fun time for all. I gather that there were more than 500 Motorhomes over the weekend!

2018 Covi Show

Its always an exciting time to see what another year brings in new Motorhomes, Caravans and gadgets and this year the show filled an extra 2 pavilions. One of the biggest stands at the show was Zion Motorhomes stand with the new Morelo Motorhomes, Frankias, the Neismann and Bishoff and the Dethleff Motorhomes. This year it won the Stand of the show award.

Click on an image for Hi Res

Morelo with its left hand habitation door

When we were in Europe last year we saw a few Morelos in Germany. They’re very nice but generally massive. Its interesting to see that Zion Motorhomes models have been specifically made for NZ roads being 5800kg which mean they can be driven on a car license and also have the habitation door on the left hand side.

Click on the Gallery below for a slideshow

Also on this stand was Brett from Central RV with one of the newest Dethleff Exclusiv Caravans.
These Caravans are stunning and the Galley area is huge. Nicely laid out with plenty of space and storage, Brett tells me they’re a great seller.

Cathargo Galley.. check out the Coffee machine

Cathargo was another Motorhome that I had to check out. We saw lots of these in Europe too but this was my first decent look inside one. Nicely set up. They had a nice feature in the Kitchen where a concealed Coffee machine shelf dropped down over the bench. Nicely done.

Click on the Gallery below for a slideshow

As none of us are getting any younger, it was nice to see Avida have a wheelchair lift integrated on one side of a motorhome. This is great and will certainly help those who mobility issues who want to enjoy the Motorhoming lifestyle.

Avida

It was also nice to see my friends Frankie, Harry and Janice from Vantage RV with their new Alden satellite dishes. The stand looked great and for the few minutes I spent there, they seemed run off their feet.

Alden Satellite dishes

There were also lots of nice things to see in the accessories area with new ways of preparing food, new Fridges, TV’s etc.

Click on the Gallery below for a slideshow

A great show. It was was huge and it was nice to see lots of new things happening.

Love those old caravans

A Tune Up for Rafe’s Dome and Some Smart New Technology!

I had to pop in to Apollo TV to get my now nearly 4 year old Apollo dome serviced as I was having trouble getting some of the channels. Chris was very happy to sort it all out for me!

Click on an Image for Hi Res

All is revealed.. looking good

Ever since Prime moved, it has been really difficult to get and TV1 and TV2 suffered badly from rain fade where TV3 didn’t!

Chris checking over the Dome

After talking to both Chris and Duncan, I made and appointment and off I went to their office in Whnagaparoa. Nice guys that were only too happy to help me with the dome. It also turns out that my Dome cover has just about done its dash so there is a new one coming. $399 fitted. They get hammered by our high UV and get cracks in them. Mine has cracks around the screw holes on the edge so is all good for a wee while.

Chris got the ladder out and within 10 minutes or so, had it reset and pointing correctly at the Satellite fixing all the problems. Apparently my dome has a GPS in it to it knows where it is in the world and sets itself and the skew based on position and the signal strength as well.
Chris was telling me that when they first starting bringing in the Domes, they realised that the Dome Cover was much bigger than the Dish so they had the Dish made as large as they could and still fit under the Cover giving us TV watchers more signal!

I couldn’t get over the friendly customer service and speed at which they dealt with my wee problem.

The sample straight out of the Box

While talking to Chris, he was telling me about the new Avtex Sound Bar which fits on the bottom of the Avtex 19” TV and vastly improves its sound while only drawing .75A and they’re only $375 retail.

Chris with the first Sound Bar

Duncan set one up for me to have a listen and the sound is stunning. The power and sound is all sourced directly from the TV where they mount underneath. All very easy and tidy. They can also be used as a remote Bluetooth speaker for your cell phones too.

Their first shipment is arriving shortly and is already just about completely spoken for!

The sound bar fitted to a 19″ TV

Some of the new technology in this space is amazing with so much happening.. now to just win Lotto and I’ll be very happy 🙂

We’re on the Market !

Well its been nice to be back in our house and to have Rafe safely parked in his little spot alongside.

It has been a fun 8 months or so cruising around Europe and the South Island and we both feel better for it.

Click on an Image to see Hi Res

Back in the late 70’s, we had another smaller house in Devonport which we were in for 28 years or so. The boys grew up here and as we needed more space, we simply kept adding on until there was no more site coverage. At the time I had a huge Photographic Studio up in Albany and had decided to move home amd work from home as my work had changed to more location work. What studio work I had could be done in a big garage. So around 2006 we bought Roslyn Tce..  8 years or so later,  I no longer have any real studio work and the boys have left home, its time to downsize.

Oldest son Drew is a real estate person and he’s handling the sale.

The Motorhome parking is on the far right with a 16 amp plug on the side of the house too.

Having been used to living in a Motorhome for over 6 months, we are rattling in this huge house with no need for a Studio. Its on the Market!

While we were on the road, one question I was asked pretty reguarly was how were we getting on with renting it. How do we know its not getting smashed up and the rent going astray etc.

Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow

Enter Dianne our property manager who has been really good checking out the tenants thoroughly, credit checks etc,  Regular inspections were done to see it was being looked after. When we got back, the house was in good shape. The tenants had had it commercially cleaned.

Back to the House sale..Its been a busy time! I’ve been busy painting fences and fixing things I should have done years ago.. and the place is looking good. If you’re looking for a place in Devonport with motorhome parking (up to 9 metres) and with power, here it is!

Fiona mentioned the other day why we didn’t fix all these little things years ago! I wonder 🙂

Early Magic in Auckland

It was really nice to be back in Auckland after a nice trip around the South Island and to see our families and friends again. We’ve been away now for over 6 months so we had lots of catching up to do.

Click on the Images for Hi Res

Rafe parked for Christmas in Ardmore on Sara and Alex’s (son)driveway.

Fiona was asked to step in at her old job in Takapuna for a few days so we thought we’d treat ourselves with a park on the waterfront at Takapuna Motorcamp. Friends Gary and Dianne with their new Niesmann and Bischoff and Ian and Lynda with their Dethleffs XLI joined us too.

Fantastic spot

On one of the mornings after Fiona left to walk to work, I set off to walk around the coast to Milford. It is an easy 30 minutes or so mostly along paths but with a little rock hopping right at the beginning.

Takapuna beach, campground on the right

Some of the houses are amazing. It is a great walk and it seems like the world is out there enjoying it. Its just nice sucking in the early morning fresh air and stopping now and then just to take it all in.

Click on the Gallery below for a slideshow

I eventually ended up in Milford and went to check out our old family boat Rorqual which was happily sitting in the sun in the marina.

Milford Marina, Rorqual the Whalechaser in the foreground

I have done a blog on the both the campground and this walk before but both the campground and the walk, really are a treasure so really this is all about the photos.

Enjoy

Rafe’s track from Milford