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.
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.
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.
The living space
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..
Fiona and I first met David and Liz at an annual Dethleffs do at Miranda years ago when they had their new A Class Esprit. They had it for several years until they fell in love with their 2010 Rapido A class Motorhome on Trade me.
It is 7.4 metres long, has a huge payload and is rear wheel drive with a Mercedes 185HP motor which “goes like stink”.
David and Liz both come from a long NZ Army background like us and David knows Fiona’s Dad, Uncle and they have many common friends.. love it when that happens!
We met up with them again at the Covi Rally at Ellerslie Racecourse.
Since they picked it up 8 months ago, they’ve done 20000k’s in it so they really enjoying it.
David’s favorite spot was Mt Cook on a beautiful clear day when they went on the Alpine Track.
Most French beds are tucked up against the wall and hemmed in top and bottom, making it hard work to make the bed.. this is the real thing! Access to 3 sides !
What I liked about this Motorhome over their last Motorhome was its nice cosy feel, it looks and feels solid but is still under 4 tons GVM.
Really nice people enjoying their really nice Motorhome.
Yay .. its the end of lockdown.. we’re away again.. almost ! Here’s a couple more posts from early 2017 until we get away again.
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.
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.
Brian with the Revcon
At 10 miles to the gallon, she’s a thirsty girl but what a great look and a comfy 30 feet of Motorhome history.
Brian is keen to do up a smaller GM and is currently looking for one to buy to get started with.
Grant and Jo went over to the US with the idea that they wanted to buy an Airstream Caravan.
They met a chap there who had two of them. So after agreeing to buy both of them, the guy says “Hang on a minute, I’ve got this too around here”, and showed them the then rather dilapidated 1972 Airstream Bar. Grant tells me it was “not a lot” so he bought that too and shipped all three back!
Once they all landed back in NZ, the 2nd Caravan was sold so they could do up the Bar and a year later and lots of hard work, its looking pretty good. With a huge fridge, new lighting and a great sound system, its a fun way to spend a night.
We spent a really good night here after the Zion Motorhomes function at Ellerslie and it was a real hoot.
This is a must do event in my calendar now. Not just as a social occasion to catch up with everyone in the rally and on the stands, its also great too to see some new things available to make our lives easier on the road.
Click on an Image to see it in Hi Res
I arrived long after everyone else on Saturday around lunchtime as we had things on in Auckland that I had to do. Fiona wasn’t coming on this trip either as it we really only had time for an overnighter.
This was one of the biggest Rallies that the NZMCA has had with huge numbers of Motorhomes. Just amazing and the parking volunteers did a wonderful job of making sure everyone was in a safe spot.
I managed to park right behind some old friends of ours in another Dethleff, Noline and Walter.
Walter is a very handy guy and has done some really interesting things on his Esprit. He has installed a Laundry Chute from his bedroom which drops down into his garage making it really easy for them to gather up their washing at the end of a trip away. .. see here for the blog. It was really nice to see them as I haven’t seen them for quite a while.
After opening vents and getting Rafe sorted, I went straight into the show.
Just inside the entrance was Gail looking after the #1 Motorhome which I photographed extensively a few months ago,, see here. Alan and Gail have a Dethleffs too and we’ve been at quite a few do’s together over the years and Alan was involved with the restoration of the first Motorhome.
One of the first stands was the Zion stand with a nice shiny new Mercedes based Globeline Motorhome. It is 7 metres long and apparently handles better than most cars. Its also one of the few Dethleffs Motorhomes available with a Mercedes drive train. All the stereo controls were on the steering wheel.
Click on the Gallery below to see the Globeline
The outside of the Globeline
All the stereo controls on the Steering wheel
The Globeline interior
The front area of the Globeline
Two single beds are really popular sellers
Walking on through, I found it interesting that there was a general trend towards smaller Motorhomes but lots of huge Caravans.
I had a sneaky look at the Rockwoods which are massive and have enough room in them to almost play football in them but very nicely set out, and they didn’t seem to have the over the top heavy American furniture look which was nice to see.
Moving on to the NZMCA stand. I had to get a piccy of the team there complete with the two Bruce’s along with Gillian, Judy and Ryan. Nice to see Ross and Carol Hamilton too along with Brian Stanley.
Not far from here was the ACM stand. These Motorhomes are just the bees knees..
Click on the Gallery below to see the ACM Motorhomes
Stairway to heaven – ACM
Acm’s Loo area
Galley – ACM
With a bed upstairs, plenty of room at the back for a big Lounge
Looking forward – ACM
Outside – ACM
They’re stunning and they come from a factory that make a lot of bespoke Motorhomes tailored for the new owners needs but they also have a range of their own designs. One of their previously made Motorhomes has even been built with a piano in it for an owner who just loves his music. Fantastic.
Click on the Gallery below to see a Slideshow
A Caravan with a Deck on the end
Always nice to see the older caravans
Dethleff Caravan area
Onto the Morelos
The interior of a Rockwood
RV super Centre
Nice to see Duncan and Chris from Apollo freshly back from the Dusseldorf show with some interesting new things too. New automated Hydraulic Rams for levelling your Motorhome along with their range of Kiwisat Satellite dishes.
Outside ther was a huge area set up for food and somewhere to sit.. Much bigger that previous years given the numbers this year. A great show.
One of things that stood out for me at the last Hamilton show, was the greater use in some Motorhomes of drop down beds and rear lounges, instead of permanent rear beds. The end result making a shorter Motorhome.
Click on the Images to see a larger version
Right now the massive Dusseldorf Caravan Salon is on in Germany and many NZ Motorhome importers are there as they do every year.
Jonas Ng who imports the Dethleffs, Frankia, Morelo and Neismann and Bischoff Motorhome brands is there and has sent some images of the new Frankia Platin layout which features a rear lounge and drop down beds. Really interesting.
Click on the Gallery below to see a Slideshow
Drop down beds above
Check out his images.. (I’ve given them a little nudge in Photoshop !)
Featured in these photos are the Platin I7900 Plus and the I8400 Plus. .. Enjoy
Its funny who you meet at places… such a small world.
We’d only been here half a day when Fiona spots an unusual looking Caravan just along from us and says .. “Blog!” .. so off I trundle and introduce myself to Darryn. It turns out that Darryn’s dad was a very good friend of mine and mentor when I first started as a Photographer in my early teens.
Click on the Images for Hi Res
Like me, Colin was an ex Herald Photographer but before my time and had a really successful Photographic business in Milford.
Colin, Darryn’s dad and I had our birthdays within days of each other with Colin being a few years older. We used to make the most of celebrating.. Fiona and Colin’s late wife Val, called them “adventures”!!
Anyway .. back to Darryn. He has been living in Poland after marrying his Polish wife and working remotely for an American Merchant bank in IT.
Having family here who he flies back to see fairly regularly, he decided to get a Caravan and a car to tow it. Having access to good tradesmen and costs being a bit less, he did them up in Poland before shipping them here in a Container.
The Caravan is amazing being a 1978 Otten made in Holland which he bought in Germany.. yep, its crossed a few borders! He has done quite a lot of work on it to tidy it up but has yet to make it compliant for NZ power so was running on Solar and batteries when I caught up with him. With only an 800k tow weight and the Plymouth with the 471 V8, it would hardly know its behind!
The Plymouth has had a lot of work done including the new bigger motor. He has also done a lot with the body and painted it. I’d say it would be a rare beast in Poland. It sounds and looks beautiful.
It was really nice to see Darryn to catch up on the news on Colin and his family and to see his amazing Caravan and Car.
8 months ago new fulltimers Jo and Avon ago picked up their Newmar Country Star and after taking it home to Dargaville to finish setting it up, have now sold up and are starting their adventure on the road.
Click on the images for Hi Res
I was busy chatting to one of the Counties parking volunteers at Ellerslie when they rocked into the rally for parking for the Covi Show. I got talking to Avon while he was setting up the hydraulic levelling and setting up the slideout. What a magic machine.
Being just 10 metres long, it is still able to parked in most places but the 250 HP Cummins underneath sounds nice. Avon is a builder so is keen on progressively making some changes and with Jo, stamping their own ideas on it.
It is setup with a huge paddock like living room behind the drivers area with lounge and dining area on one side opposite the Kitchen. The ablutions off a corridor to the bedroom at the back.
What a difference slideouts make.. massive amounts of room in the lounge, perhaps a great party venue 🙂
And that would be the newly restored 1928 Reo Speedwagon, once owned by the founders of the NZMCA, Andy and Gladys Anderson.
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Once used as passenger and freight bus in Te Karaka, it later went on to be a bus for the Gisborne freezing works.
Andy Anderson bought the old bus in Gisborne and converted it to his Motorhome and then started the NZMCA as #1 !
Fast forward to June 2016, it was collected from the Eastland Museum of Transport and Technology and taken to a workshop at Hallright Plumbing. It spent the next 2 and a half years here being restored by a small army of 34 volunteers.
It was completely stripped down and rebuilt bolt by bolt and the result is stunning.
Click on the Gallery below for a Sldeshow
Allan, John, Brian and Fergus in front
Love the mirror
Comfy seating. Fergus’s nailbox has gone 🙂
The outside loo
Seeing it on the NZMCA stand at the 2019 Covi show, it was a joy to behold. The attention to detail from the volunteers is amazing. Ferg Mckenzie along with 3 other volunteers came up to the Covi show to look after and show off their work.
Well done too to the board for supporting the restoration. A great part of the associations history.
What I took from this years Covi show was the slow move away from ground floor beds in Motorhomes, mostly in the smaller models to drop down or other options. There were lots of new knick knacks too.
Click on an image for Hi Res
There is a new Dethleffs XLI on its way which wasn’t available for the show but comes with a rear lounge instead of beds. The bedding comes as various versions of either a Luton type or different drop down setups. New also to the Dethleffs range is the Pulse GT.
Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow
The new Pulse GT
Inside the Pulse GT
Looking back in the Pulse GT
Bedroom on the Pulse GT
Phil from Carters Tyres. The man you should talk to when you want tyres for your Motorhome!
Neismann and Bichoff
Fold up bike
Inside the back of a Kea van
New bench area in the new Nomad caravans
The new Nomad
The Trailite area
Popular place.. the Bar
Drop in Bach!
Lots of new things in the Accessory area
Burstner has a new 7 something metre van option with a rear lounge with a door, and a drop down bed with another drop down bed further forward. A nice option too.
One of the things I really liked was the trailer mounted fold out camper priced at just $32000 with all the extras. I forgot to get the name of it, but a lot of kit and good comfortable camping without spending a fortune.
Its like a friend of mine once said in the boating world, those who spend less on their boat than the million dollar boaties, still have just as much fun 🙂
Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow
The Dining area
The fold out bedroom
There was lots to see in the accessories area too with several options available in the Generator area and there was also a drop on bach on display too.
No show is ever complete without the Lillput Caravans and their beautifully done up tow cars (Tugs).
A good day with lots of walking. Fiona looked at her phone at the end of the show on the bus back to Ellerslie and we did just over 9000 steps 🙂 .. plenty of exercise for the day.