Category Archives: Shows

Covi Rally 2020 at Ellerslie Racecourse

This never disappoints and although this year possibly wasn’t as big as previous years, there would have been at least 400 odd Motorhomes and Caravans.

Click on an Image for Hi Res

The volunteers did an excellent job parking everyone and there was a Bar open for a couple of the nights if you felt the need for some cold lubricant πŸ™‚

From the Stand

There was also a special area for the Dethleff, Frankia, Morelo and Neismann and Bichoff Motorhomes.. more on this later.

Rafe on the left in front of one of the Steeplechase jumps
All shapes and sizes

The buses called around regularly to ferry people to the show at the showgrounds, the weather was fine, it couldn’t have been better.

Smiles from the Volunteers

Thanks again to the Volunteers who make it all happen.

Looking toward the stand

The 2020 Covi Motorhome Show – lots of Images

The numbers were definitely down with the Coronavirus hanging over us all but despite that, several vendors I spoke to did well.

Click on any Image for HI Res

The Reo

I guess with more room to move, many had time to have a good nosey and spend more time doing what they came for.

NZMCA Stand

I went early on the Saturday morning and my first stop was say hello to the happy crew at the NZMCA stand then from there onto the Zion Motorhomes stand where the new Morelo Palace was on display.

Where to start?

At 9 metres long and 7.5 tons, this is a serious Motorhome. Check out the piccies below.

The Morelo Palace

Click on the Gallery below for bigger images

Zion also have a new Dethleffs XLI Alpa which has a rear lounge with really clever drop down beds above the drivers area which doesn’t feel like a drop down system.

Dethleffs Alpa Kitchen

Just in the next hall was ACM Motorhomes who have a repair facility and manufacture their own Motorhomes too, but have made some really nice bespoke designs for those with special interests or needs.

Click on the Gallery below for bigger images

One of the Motorhomes they had on display was one that I saw being put together for a handicapped customer and its beautiful. Complete with a wheelchair lift at the back which comes up to a rear bathroom. Very nice and nice to see what I saw in bits all finished and looking so good.

ACM Motohome for wheelchairs

Moving on from here I was amazed to see some of the refinements made to the smaller Caravans.

Chameleon

In order .. the Chameleon Crusader, a little bigger was the Manta Ray by New Age, then there was the Rockwood with slide outs and a bunk room which was interesting.

The Manta Ray Kitchen area

The 5m long Bailey Discovery is interesting too.. Perfect for two people and can be towed with a small vehicle.

Bailey living area. Nice big vent.

Jayco have got an interesting small Caravan which is called the Crosstrak Hybrid. Again well suited for two and an easy tow for a smaller SUV, it is just under 5 metres.

The Jayco Crosstrak

An interesting show which I finished by checking out the Lilliputs and watching an auction of a Benimar. I suspect someone got a bit of a bargain at 136k πŸ™‚

Click on the Gallery for bigger images and a slideshow

I stayed at Ellerslie Racecourse as part of the Rally there which was free this year and was well served by some free buses to the Showgrounds. A great show!

Lilliput magic

Hamlet

While we were at the rally, we noticed that the Pop up Globe was open and Hamlet was on.

Click on an Image for Hi Res

The Theatre

Having had hearing aids for most of my adult life since meningitis as a teenager, I have always avoided these types of shows as usually I can’t hear anything and the whole exercise is just a bore but armed with brand new technology hearing aids, I thought I’d give this one a go.

The Theatre

After starting with a glass of wine in the bar area, we wandered into the pre seating area under the trees and into the theatre.

Fiona enjoying a cider with the Artwork

There was a lot that I couldn’t hear as the stage is almost surrounded with the audience on three sidesΒ  so they talk in all directions. This means the lip reading function is unavailable largely but I could still make out enough of what was going on and it was just fun being there and taking it all in. These are good hearing aids too!

The cast during a moment of silence for Christchurch before the show

For some reason I seemed be able to hear more in the second half but put that down to more mayhem and shouting πŸ™‚ …a Great show!

The King getting close to the audience.

Its an amazing venue and being just β€œpopped up” in different locations, they take it pretty seriously with a nice bar and seated area under some trees. The artwork and the dΓ©cor was something special too along with the Minstrels wandering around with their costumes playing their instruments.

Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow

Good seating and nice people directing you around. Its a great setup. Well worth doing and only 5 minutes walk to our Motorhome afterwards πŸ™‚

Back at with Rafe 5 minutes walk away πŸ™‚

#1 NZMCA

And that would be the newly restored 1928 Reo Speedwagon, once owned by the founders of the NZMCA, Andy and Gladys Anderson.

Click on an image for Hi Res

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.Β  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.

Click on the Gallery below for a Sldeshow

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.

Click on an image for Hi Res

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.

Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow

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. IΒ  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 πŸ™‚

Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow

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 πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚ .. plenty of exercise for the day.

Taradale Club parking for Phil

Late last year, I received an email from our Taupo Motorhome friends Gary and Dianne asking if we wanted to go to the Phil Collins concert.. yes please says I so Gary bought them online. I’m not sure exactly where he was at the time but I suspect it was somewhere in the UK.

Click on any Image for Hi Res

On the way.. Taupo

All I had to do was arrange for some parking at Napier for our two Motorhomes. Just as that was happening, I received a very timely email from mary at the Taradale club saying they had limited Motorhome parking for $25 a night.. thats us I thought so I immediately booked us for two nights for both of us.

Happy parking

Fast forward 6 months or so and despite moving out of our house in less than two weeks, we’re on our way for a few days to Napier.

Arriving at Taradale, I met Mary who was happy to change Gary and Dianne’s park so they were next to us and not long after we arrived, in rocked Gary and Dianne in the Niesmann.

34 Degrees C! .. not much talking happening here πŸ™‚

The Taradale club was doing a BBQ tea for $20 a head and a $10 cooked breakfast so we clocked oursleves in for those too!

Every nook and Cranny was used.

The parking was great and with the temperatures hovering around the early 30’s it was stinking hot. The club’s bar with its air conditioning was a great spot to hang out and the drinks were reasonably priced too.

It was one of these !

There were probably about 30 odd Motorhomes there with most taking up the option for the meal and the breakfast.

Everyone was happy to chat to each other in the parking area and it was a very friendly spot.

Over the road, The NZMCA had leased a paddock fromn a local farmer and there was parking there too and that would have helped that Clubs turnover too!

Acroos the road at the NZMCA parking

Mary did a gfreat job making sure everyone was where they wanted to be and organising the meals. A neat spot to stay and very close to the concert venue as well.

The Netspeed Speedtest
Download: 29.41mbs
Upload: 7.43mbs
Ping: 47ms

Rafe’s Tracking map north showing where the club is.

A Sea of White

The Motorhome and Caravan parking was a real treat. The NZMCA volunteers pulled out all the stops and the result was amazing.

The whole scene. Behind the pavilion was chocker with Motorhomes as well..

The few volunteers that I spoke to were enjoying themselves with everyone parking as instructed and it looked great.

I really enjoyed catching up with several old friends and seeing some new ones too.

It was good to catch up with Chris and Margaret and the crew from the NZ Motorhome Forum people who had their own little spot.

The NZ Motorhome Forum Happy Hour.

I also caught up with John and Sarah Pedersen for the first time. John does a blog called Licensed to Retire.

You can tell where the Satellite was !

And it was nice to Nelson and Maree and their friends from Caniwi.

Everywhere you looked there was a sea of white and a few other colours! I’m not sure how many Motorhomes were there but there must have been hundreds.

The parking!

Great parking and great organisation of the event itself and I’m looking forward to next years now it is every year!

Settling down

The Netspeed speedtest for this location
Download 78.26mbs
Upload 35.49mbs
Ping 51ms

Rafe’s Track to Mystery Creek

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.Β  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

It gets even Bigger

The Covi Show NZMCA Rally at Ellerslie just keeps on growing and this year, it looked great.

Click on on an image for Hi Res

Huge!

Fiona was working on the Thursday so after a stop at Countdown in Takapuna, I tootled on my own to the Rally arriving around midday. As I entered the gate, there was a nice cheery exchange with Pete and then into the rally and once I was parked, I was right next to friends Nelson and Maree.

Another one comes in

I had just turned the engine off when in the doorway popped one of the volunteers and a friend from Ardmore Jim. Nice to see him too. There was a real buzz about the place. Fantastic.

The ladies in the Registration tent doing a great job.
L to R, Carol, Robyn, Debbie, Noeline and Shona.

Everywhere I went, it was seeing friendly faces and at the Registration tent, I got some gentle ribbing from Jill about leaving Fiona behind again.. all good fun πŸ™‚

Busy

The Rally was well set out and it all went like clockwork but when you see it, its impressive. All those Motorhomes, Buses and Caravans.

After a happy time with Nelson next door, I had a stream of visitors to Rafe which was neat.

At lunchtime on the Friday, there were already over 300 vehicles of different sorts at the Rally.

Well done to the volunteers who put it together and nice to hear that it was a fun time for all. I gather that there were more than 500 Motorhomes over the weekend!

2018 Covi Show

Its always an exciting time to see what another year brings in new Motorhomes, Caravans and gadgets and this year the show filled an extra 2 pavilions. One of the biggest stands at the show was Zion Motorhomes stand with the new Morelo Motorhomes, Frankias, the Neismann and Bishoff and the Dethleff Motorhomes. This year it won the Stand of the show award.

Click on an image for Hi Res

Morelo with its left hand habitation door

When we were in Europe last year we saw a few Morelos in Germany. They’re very nice but generally massive. Its interesting to see that Zion Motorhomes models have been specifically made for NZ roads being 5800kg which mean they can be driven on a car license and also have the habitation door on the left hand side.

Click on the Gallery below for a slideshow

Also on this stand was Brett from Central RV with one of the newest Dethleff Exclusiv Caravans.
These Caravans are stunning and the Galley area is huge. Nicely laid out with plenty of space and storage, Brett tells me they’re a great seller.

Cathargo Galley.. check out the Coffee machine

Cathargo was another Motorhome that I had to check out. We saw lots of these in Europe too but this was my first decent look inside one. Nicely set up. They had a nice feature in the Kitchen where a concealed Coffee machine shelf dropped down over the bench. Nicely done.

Click on the Gallery below for a slideshow

As none of us are getting any younger, it was nice to see Avida have a wheelchair lift integrated on one side of a motorhome. This is great and will certainly help those who mobility issues who want to enjoy the Motorhoming lifestyle.

Avida

It was also nice to see my friends Frankie, Harry and Janice from Vantage RV with their new Alden satellite dishes. The stand looked great and for the few minutes I spent there, they seemed run off their feet.

Alden Satellite dishes

There were also lots of nice things to see in the accessories area with new ways of preparing food, new Fridges, TV’s etc.

Click on the Gallery below for a slideshow

A great show. It was was huge and it was nice to see lots of new things happening.

Love those old caravans