Category Archives: Int’l Motorhomes

Darryn’s Otten

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.

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Darryn with his Otten

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”!!

The other side

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.

Table or Bedding

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 Galley area

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!

Hinged covers

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.

Darryn with the Plymouth and the Otten

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.

The Country Stars

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.

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All setup for the night

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.

From the back

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.

Looking forward
The Helm station

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.

Living space for Africa !

What a difference slideouts make.. massive amounts of room in the lounge, perhaps a great party venue 🙂

And at the back

Nice couple and nice Motorhome.. !

#1 NZMCA

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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4 of the volunteers that could come up with #1, L to R, John, Alan, Brian and Fergus

Once used as passenger and freight bus in Te Karaka, it later went on to be a bus for the Gisborne freezing works.

#1 sporting its new Headlights

Andy Anderson bought the old bus in Gisborne and converted it to his Motorhome and then started the NZMCA as #1 !

Looking forward

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.

Looking back over the Galley

It was completely stripped down and rebuilt bolt by bolt and the result is stunning.

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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.

Storage on the back

Well done too to the board for supporting the restoration. A great part of the associations history.

People queing to see it on the stand

Covi Show 2019

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.

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Morelo area

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.

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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 🙂

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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.

A Mark 1 Zephyr with matching Lilliput. I had one of these during my misspent youth 🙂

No show is ever complete without the Lillput Caravans and their beautifully done up tow cars (Tugs).

Great Caravans
The lovely Lilliputs

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.

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 !

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 🙂