Category Archives: Int’l Motorhomes

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

Holiday Rambling

Meeting Peter, Wendy, Grant, Sharron, Mike and Pam in Northland and checking out their American buses was a lot of fun. They’re a great bunch and have been travelling together for a few years. Three of them even knew each other from back in their school days !

Click on an image for Hi Res

L to R, Peter and Wendy, Pam and Mike, Grant and Sharron with their Motorhomes.

The Holiday Ramblers are on a Ford chassis with 6.8 litre V10 petrol engines with 6 speed auto gearboxes and honestly, when you stand next to them outside, you can barely hear them running. They’re so quiet.

Peter and Wendy’s Rambler

They’re 10 metres long with centre island beds on a 9 ton ticket. They all have slide outs which makes them huge inside. The décor is very similar with the only difference being that Mike’s has a bigger single slideout on one side.

Home on the Range!

As they pulled up beside Rafe, there was a whir of engines with the Hydraulic rams levelling them up, the slideouts coming out and the awnings rolling out. All of them at the same time ! This is Motorhoming the easy way 🙂

With the two slideouts. Peter and Grant’s Motorhomes are like this.
You could play a game of footy here! Mike and Pam’s Rambler

They were imported as a bunch of 12 by a Tauranga importer who had them specially designed for NZ road conditions (width) and wired to conform with the NZ electrical standards, several years ago.

Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow

Peter, Wendy, Grant, Sharron, Mike and Pam are either on the phone most nights planning their adventures together with their amazing Motorhomes or on the road.

The bedroom

Nibi

Nibi is our good Motorhome friends newest thing of beauty. It is amazing. These are considered to be like the Rolls Royce of Motorhomes in Europe and one look over it, its easy to see why.

Gary and Dianne with the beast behind

We were meeting Dianne and Gary in Telford to check it out before it gets shipped to NZ and we were running late. I texted Gary with an update saying we’d just dropped off the rental car and on our way in a cab to see them. The reply was.. “I’m in RV Heaven” .. I could picture him drooling over it but its neat that both Dianne and Gary are pleased with it as its been a long time coming.

A happy Dianne in the living area while Fiona inspects 🙂

It has a centre island bed with a centre Shower/Toilet bathroom arrangement and the living area in the front. Based on a Fiat Ducato, it is 8.8 metres long and has a custom Alko Chassis from front to back to give it car like handling. Gary also got the Air suspension option so it can self level and be raised to avoid damage on rough campsites.

We’re continuing on around Europe with them until early August and it will be back in NZ before they will so what a great homecoming present..

Gary in the garage

Nice one guys. I want one of these too 🙂

Classic American Beauty

What an amazing vehicle. Brian bought this 1981 Revcon of EBay sight unseen and had it shipped to NZ in 2012. It was in his words, “a bit of a mess” so he set to and spent the next two years renovating it.

Enid and Brian with their Recon

Most of the furniture is the same but recovered except the bedroom which went from single beds to a centre island Queen bed.
Of course, you can’t have a vehicle like this without having a cocktail cabinet.

Click on the images for Hi Res or a slideshow

The “Handle Bars” had to be shifted too to right hand drive which was a bit of a mission given its a 454 Chev V8 with a chain driven transfer box all driving the front wheels so there is a lot going on under the floor at the sharp end! Once it was all done, Brian and his wife Enid “the Nagivator ” 🙂 shipped it off to Oz where they spent a year or so clocking up over 25000 miles and loving every minute of it.

At 10 miles to the gallon, she’s a thirsty girl but what a great look and a comfy 30 feet of Motorhome history.

Bling and more bling

Brian is keen to do up a smaller GM and is currently looking for one to buy to get started with.

The 2017 Covi Motorhome Show

It’s  always an exciting time when  either of the Motorhome and Caravan shows start to see what new knick knacks are available and what’s new. We were staying at the Ellerslie Racecourse NZMCA Rally with 500 or so others and they had put on a shuttle service to make it easy to get to there.

The Rally looks impressive from the entrance.. click on this to enlarge it.

I must have been on one of the first buses to the Showgrounds as the bus driver wasn’t too sure where to drop us off and we circumnavigated the Show grounds a few times before we got there, even a brief tour of Alexander Park too.   🙂

A 4 WD Hymer on the Rocks!

This year was the first year for the new Hymers and also the Cathargo. The Hymer has arrived in force with three or four different models including a 4 wheel drive model which was setup on top of a pile of rocks just to make the point. The Hymer in the piccies is the Starline 690 which is 7.9 metre is length, has a GVM of 5.3 t and has a 3l Mercedes rear wheel drive.

The Cathargo was well publicised at last years Covi show but this year is the first time they’ve got several models here. A very smart looking wagon.

The other interesting story is with the Dethleff Nomad Caravans represented by Central RV. Brett at Central RV sent off his design for a Caravan specially for the local market and this was the first one in. The amount of room in it is amazing and it’s the first caravan I’ve seen with doors on both sides of the bedroom giving complete privacy. The Dethleffs Nomad 650 RQT as it is known is 8.7 meters long, it has a 700kg payload and has a total weight of 2.5 tons so she’s a biggy!  It also has an Alko chassis helping to make it tow nicely.

Jonas and Chris and the team at Frankia have received the first of the 8.4 metre Platin series.  These really are the ultimate in Motorhomes.  The electrical cupboard is a joy in itself having its own external locker with everything very tidily laid out and easy to get at. The inside is amazing as well.. The Platin at the show is 8.5 metres long and has a GVM of 5 tons with a 650kg payload.
Well appointed and is typical of the Frankia range known for its high standards.

Patricia and John with their Lilliput and Plymouth
The interior of John and Patricia’s Lilliput

It’s always nice to see the Lilliput Crew with their lovely old Caravans and usually matched by their amazing, beautifully restored cars.

Patricia and John were here with their  caravan and their 1955 Plymouth Belvedere. It was their 55th Wedding Anniversary.  They were also well colour co-ordinated for St Patrick’s Day 🙂

Peter with others on the NZMCA Stand
The NZMCA stand early in the day

The NZMCA stand was huge. I got there fairly early so it was largely pretty empty given its size but it was nice to see the crew there and great to see most if not all of the Motorhome Friendly Towns all with their own stands promoting their areas.

A lot of the NZMCA regions had their own stands as well and nice to see them too.

I managed to get in and out without parting with too much hard earned loot which Fiona will be pleased about, settling for just a new ground mat for under our awning.

Another great show with lots to see.