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 !
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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.
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.
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 🙂
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.
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Dining area with of the the twin slideouts.
Lots of Living space on Mike and Pam’s Rambler.
The large single slide out on Mike and Pam’s Rambler
The Dining area on Mike and Pams vehicle.
The Helm station
With the large single slideout.
L to R, Peter and Wendy, Pam and Mike, Grant and Sharron with their Motorhomes.
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.
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..
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.
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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.
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.
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. 🙂
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 Hymer Starline 690
With the drop down bed down
The Hymer galley
One of the new Cathargo’s
Yes, a motorbike in the garage.
Stephanie with her Stacks
The Poptop Camper interior
Poptop Camper from the other end
Poptop on the outside. 12 ft long.
The Jayco Stand
NZ made Allisee with slide outs
Inside the Allisee
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 Nomad Kitchen space
The Nomad Bedroom and bathroom beyond
The Nomad with all its space and Doors for the Bedroom
The Shower on one side ..
And the Toilet on the other. Look at all that storage in the Nomad
Plenty of storage in the Platin
The Frankia Platin
Living Space – Platin
Kitchen Area – Platin
Toilet – Platin
Bedroom – Platin
The Electrics all in one spot on the outside on the Platin
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.
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 🙂
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.
The Autotrail Stand
Inside the big Autotrail Comanche
The RV / Camec stand.. Where I bought my mat 🙂
NZ made Allisee with slide outs
Rob finishing off setting up the NZMCA Northland stand
The S650 Hymer is a rare beast on NZ roads so I was really surprised and it was a real pleasure to find one parked right behind me. Donna and Dale hail from Tauranga and were on their way home from up north.
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Dales sister used to live in the UK and had been Motorhoming around Europe for 4 years with it before deciding to return to NZ for good so they returned with it as “baggage”! Dale made it sound like she just popped it in a corner of her suitcase but I’m sure it was a little more complicated than that 🙂
Dale tells me this one is a 2002 Mercedes based machine which is just a smidge over 6 metres. It has a 2.7 litre 5 cylinder Turbo Diesel with Automatic Transmission.
Its interesting with some of the new Motorhomes coming out now with the main bed being a drop down rather than a permament bed. This means smaller vans have a huge amount of space for the living area and galley.
The Hymer group owns Dethleffs along with Burstner and several others. All the older Hymer vans have had drop down beds for years and using the extra space well so its no surprise that the new Dethleffs Travel only has a drop down bed.
It was nice to catch up with them and see them enjoying their trusty older quality Motorhome.
A lovely Motorhome and nice to see it has been reliable and in such good shape after 8 years on the road. It really says a lot about the quality of these vans.
As B&Brs from Waiheke and being in the hospitality business, Brian and Carol were ready to explore NZ in their 7m A Class Burstner Viseo . They’ve sold the House at Waiheke and now moved north.
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I bumped into them at Rays Rest during a cup of tea and lunch stop as we swapped notes with their Burstner and Rafe. Both Dethleffs and Burstner are owned by the Hymer group in Germany and although they’re quite different, there are a few similarities.
They bought their Viseo from a dealer in Taupo in 2011 before the current importer was dealing with them. It has a 3l Fiat motor with a manual gearbox and plenty of room. Having a solar panel and LED lights makes it really easy to enjoy their freedom camping and the NZMCA parks which they’re really keen on.
They previously had a Mitzi Canter which they had had since 2005.
They’ve been all over the country in it several times and are thrilled with it. The favorite place was Lake Tekapo. .. I think Rays Rest is pretty good too 🙂
I woke up this morning and looked out of the window to see this. It’s huge but looks the business as well.
I first saw one in the flesh at the Covi show and photographed it as well. It turns out that Kel and Jenny had just taken delivery of their new baby and lent it to Jonas and the Dethleffs team for the Covi show. I had a think about this and thought, that would be hard to do. With something like this and having only recently got it, you’d just want to disappear in it 🙂
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Kel and Jenny have sold their house in Auckland and are full timing in their 9.42 metre (incl drawbar) Dethleffs Exclusive caravan. Their first big trip was around the South Island early this year and it went well.
Kel tells me he nearly cried when he marked one corner of it as he came off the ferry as the 4m back overhang swung out. I know how he felt as I nailed a corner on the back of Rafe not long after we got it and felt sick.. My new baby was injured ! Their parts are all here and she’s about to go to caravan hospital to made all better again so all’s well.
The Exclusive is 8.05 metres long(body) and its tare weight is 2040kg with a max of 2800kg.
I had a quick look through and can see lots of similarities with Rafe. The high standard of workmanship, the comfy feel, it’s all there. A very nice caravan and when I first met them both, they had smiles a mile wide so they’re obviously enjoying their freedom and their new home on the road.