Category Archives: Int’l Motorhomes

Dethleffs Owners Group Get together 2018

Every year this is an event I look forward to and we missed it last year as we were in the South Island.  This year it was held at Zion Motorhomes new premises at Pokeno rather than the usual Rally somewhere.

The rain on the way.

As the Rally this year was at The A&P Showgrounds at Pukekohe next to the Racetrack, Fiona and I decided we’d go straight to Pokeno and camp outside for the night. This worked really well as we found a driveway next to the Rental fleet yard and later we were joined by three or four others. Those at the showgrounds were bussed out to Pokeno and back.

Since we bought Rafe, Jonas and Irene have added several new brands of Motorhomes to their stable.  This year we were  also joined by Morelo, Frankia and Niessman and Bichoff owners too.

Other overnighters outside who later moved down near where we were in Rafe in the distance. It was windy and rainy too!

In previous years, they’ve been held at Camping grounds and one year was at the Car Museum in Hamilton where Gary and I did the parking!

The layout

The event was well organised  by the Zion crew with a couple of ladies singing and the food was fantastic.

Irene during the quiz and prizes

Over the course of the night, there were some spot prizes given out. Some were drawn out of the pot and others were for answers to some easy questions.. like who’s the youngest and who had the highest NZMCA number !

Click on the Gallery below to see a Slideshow

It was nice to see some of our old friends that we haven’t seen for a while and amazing to think that our Rafe is one of the oldest Dethleffs Motorhomes on NZ roads as Jonas only started bringing them in not long before we bought ours 🙂

A great night thanks to Jonas and team and I’m looking forward to next years.

A new Showroom

From small beginnings behind a church in Howick to the brand new custom built building they’re in now in Pokeno. Jonas and Irene have come a long way with Zion Motorhomes.

Click on an image for Hi Res

A happy looking Jonas in his last yard

I popped in to have a nosey on my way home from Waihi and it looks amazing.

The front of the showroom

The building is 1000 square metres and is in the middle of a 5000 square metre yard. Plenty of room to play with but on my visit, they’d managed to fill in all the gaps and still had some more motorhomes still to move!

Click on the Gallery below for a slideshow

The showroom is fantastic with a polished concrete floor and its nice to be able to check the various models out without getting in and out of the cold and wet.

in the Showroom

While I was there, I had a good look at the Niessman and Bichoff Arto 79 which is a slightly smaller version of friends Gary and Diannes Arto 88.  Check out the piccies below.

Click on the Gallery below for a slideshow

Looking good Jonas.. keep up the good work.

The Hamilton NZMCA Motorhome Show

Along with a few hundred others, I arrived fashionably early and we were all marshalled into a temporary parking area on the grass.

Click on an image for Hi Res.

The parking!

Kickoff at midday came and the lines formed to get in and once settled, there were old friends catching up everywhere you looked.

One of the many happy setups

The parking was superbly managed and given the huge task of parking hundreds of Motorhomes and Caravans along with Buses with Toads, the end result was just a work of art. Well done to all the volunteers who pitched in. An amazing effort.

Out with the awning

I was only there half an hour and spotted Nelson and Maree in Caniwi so popped in for a chat with them and later caught up with them for a drink after also catching up with John and Sarah Pedersen. It was really nice to catch up with them too. John does a blog called licenced to retire.

The next morning was showtime! .. I’d only just stepped in the door when Chris Nuttall tapped me on the shoulder. Chris runs the NZ Motorhome Forum and it was nice to see him. It has been a wee while!

The Swift Caravans are always a treat and this years new models didn’t disappoint. See below

Click on the Gallery below for a slideshow

With the bathroom and shower at the back, an east-west bed and then Galley and Lounge at the other end, with the finish and polish you would expect from Swift.

I was really impressed with the new Dethleffs Caravans for Families. One of them has two bunks with a childrens lounge at one end, the bathroom and shower facilities, a french bed and Galley area and then a big adult lounge at the other end. Its a big Caravan but they also have a smaller one without the kids lounge which is also a little cheaper.

Click on the Gallery below for a slideshow

Most of the big manufacturers were there, Trailite, Bailey, Jayco along with many others and it was nice to see Eldiss’s new Motorhomes too.

Click on the Gallery below for a slideshow

Going from one manufacturers Caravans and Motorhomes to another all in one spot, its really interesting seeing the different design styles and layouts.

I was really interested to talk to Carters Tyres executive Phil Jackson who was at the NZMCA stand, about tyres. Phil was telling me that many Motorhomes and Caravans are actually close to the weight limit of their tyres with some even over. This isn’t something that I ever thought about to be honest as you tend to watch things like GVM and axle weights. His team were going to weigh Motorhome and Caravans the next morning including Rafe.

I also found out that they have a brand called Giti which are well suited for Motorhomes and Caravans and will perform as well as or outperform my current factory fitted european tyres, and they’re less expensive too especially with the NZMCA discount.  I’m really looking forward to finding out more as mine have done 58000k’s and need replacing!!

Rafe’s tyre weights were interesting. Weighed without me and without the bikes on the back, my current weight was just about 50 kg’s under on the front (each wheel) and would have been just over on the back with the bikes. The Giti’s have another 100kgs approx of payload each compared to my current tyres… who would have known!

Rafe’s overall GVM is just under 4300kg and on a heavy day is 4100kg with water, wine, groceries and packed with two of us ready to go.
After having a great chat with Phil, and Ryan from NZMCA and a few others, I headed out the other end for a bite of something. There was a huge covered area with picnic tables with food carts down both sides offering all the usual treats. Some music was provided too.

Click on the Gallery below for a slideshow

From here I’ll let the pictures tell the story but a fabulous show and I heard that it is now going to be an annual event. I can’s say enough about the volunteer parking people who did an amazing job with what seemed to be a zillion Motorhomes and Caravans.

From the early days

The Vintage Caravans looked fantastic too.

The Vintage section

Robin and Linda’s home

They had a huge home at Waihi Beach.  Over 260 square metres! It has been sold and in its place, their new Home, an 8.2 metre Morelo from Germany.

Click on an Image for Hi Res

These are seriously nice Motorhomes. They’re well appointed and they have everything that opens and shuts.
A real treat.

The Helm station

Underneath is a 3 litre turbo charged Iveco connected to the rear wheels via an 8 speed gearbox.

The Bedroom

I first bumped into them a few weeks ago when I first stopped in at the NZMCA park at Waipu beach and they had been staying here for a few nights being their old home turf.

The Galley

They’re really enjoying it and have lots of ideas for making it “theirs”.

The Living Space

The amazing thing that Robin volunteered later is that this is their first Motorhome.. What a way to go!

Robin and Linda with their Morelo

The New MORELO Palace

And soon one might be on its way to NZ! This will be the first of this make/model of this size in the country..!

This is the last in the series of images of flash Motorhomes  from Jonas in Dusseldorf and its of the new Morelo Palace. Thanks to Jonas for making them available.

Click on the Gallery below to see a slideshow of the interior

In the Uk, these are sold from 186 K Euros. The UK ones are fitted out as follows

IVECO 6.5T Chassis
Meier Chassis
Double Floor
43mm Insulation
Alde Heating
3.0Ton Tow.
SLIDE OUT
CAR GARAGE

I hope you enjoyed his photos.

New Model Niesmann + Bischoff Arto 88LF


These images are hot off the press from Jonas Ng who is at the big Motorhome and Caravan show in Dusseldorf in Germany.

Jonas’s comment on this “Impressive” as well :-)..

Click on the Gallery below for a slideshow of the Interior

The new Niesmann and Bischoff is based on the Fiat Ducato and in NZ are 180HP with a 6 speed comformatic gearbox. These start at NZ$280K in NZ.

We met up with our friends Dianne and Gary in the UK when they first laid eyes on their Arto 88F, a slightly different model than this one. They were over the moon and have been since with it being one of the first of its kind in NZ. Check this out for another look at their thing of beauty.

A happy Dianne in the living area while Fiona inspects Gary and Dianne’s unit in the UK 🙂

 

The New MORELO Empire Liner

These images are hot off the press from Jonas Ng who is at the big Motorhome and Caravan show in Dusseldorf in Germany.

Jonas is Managing Director and with his wife Irene, they own Zion Motorhomes in Pokeno who also import Frankia, Neismann Bischoff  and Dethleffs Motorhomes.

This new vehicle is based on the Mercedes Benz Atego 1530L… Jonas’s comment “Impressive”!

Click on the Gallery below for a slideshow of the interior

This model starts at 450K Euros and is on either a Mercedes or Eurocargo base chassis depending on the customers needs. Jonas has some other smaller models made exclusively for the NZ market but if you want an Empire, I’m sure he could be persuaded to get you one 🙂

Enjoy his photos.

Half a Million Hits !!

Its a huge milestone and we finally got there..

Some of you probably aren’t aware of the number on the top right of the blog but thats the total number of hits that have come our way.

The Hits on the right

You’re not alone and its really interesting where everyone comes from. Most hits come from NZ but there are a lot of you from the UK and around Europe as well. The Dethleffs Users UK have been big supporters too.. Thanks Richard!

Where the hits came from over the last year.

We started the Blog way back in August 2015. One of the first posts was about a Fiamma clothesline I installed on the bike rack on the back of Rafe which as been really useful and it was nice to see that it got some good hits again just in the last week!

When Fiona and I went to the South Island last year, it became very obvious how often we were recognised and how well read the Blog actually is. Thanks to everyone that made themselves known .
It was really nice to meet so many of you and get your feedback.

Thanks again for your support.. Now to get to the Million Hits!

New Home in Pokeno

From starting out 5 years or so ago from a yard behind a church in Howick and outgrowing that space, Jonas Ng and his expanded team, are about to move into their new custom designed building and yard in Pokeno.

Click on an image to see Hi Res

A happy looking Jonas

The building is still under construction and with competion due in June, they’re making the best of it in a temporary yard a few doors down the road.

The current yard

In the last year, they’ve added a Rental Motorhome business with McRent NZ.

A line of McRents ready to go

Now they have Frankia Motorhomes, Neismann and Bichoff, and Morelo to add to the Dethleffs fleet and the yard is looking really busy.

Outside the new building
Inside the huge new Building

And I couldn’t leave without having a nosey at the inside of one of the new Frankia Platins..

Click on the Gallery below to see a Slideshow

Compared to the Church yard though, there is plenty of room and the new building will be really good for them. Go Jonas!

Rafe’s Tracker Map

Be kind to Your Fridge

One of the issues with the influx of a lot of European Motorhomes has been that many of them don’t have “Tropical” Fridges but instead have a Dometic fridge setup for Europe which it is generally expected to work in much cooler conditions than here in NZ.

Click on the images to see Hi Res

The Kit on the floor

An easy way to sort this out is to install a Fridge Cooling Kit which Dometic supply for approximately $110 depending on where you get it from.  This helps to get rid of any build up of heat in the cavity behind the fridge to help with  it’s efficiency, especially when it is sitting in a campground.

Before I go any further.. although this kit is relatively easy to install yourself, I found that it involved putting screws into the back of the fridge in an area I wasn’t comfortable with so if you have any doubts, get someone like Vantage RV to install it.

Make sure you fix the Fan the right way up

Rafe was booked in to Vantage RV for a week for a whole lot of maintenance as we have been living in it fulltime and had to defer several things that needed to be done. While it was there, it made sense to get a Fridge Cooling kit installed despite the fact that my fridge has never really had any issues. It all helps as they say 🙂

Click on the Gallery to see a slideshow

Johan was given the short straw to do the job…Once the 3.5 years off dust was blown out of the back of the fridge, he screwed on the fan unit and then clipped on the Thermostat. Next came the wiring. The cover came off and there were two terminals there waiting for the wires to clip on to.

All done.. nice and tidy.

It was all very straight forward but not a job that I’d want to take it on myself and the whole job was done very quickly but then Johan has done heaps of these and made it look very easy.

We tested it by turning the fridge on and directing a heat gun on the thermostat and off it went. I was amazed by how quiet it was.

Now to load up the fridge and give it a real test!

There is more information on this see Robs Fan and Mikes Fridge