The Covi Show NZMCA Rally at Ellerslie just keeps on growing and this year, it looked great.
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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.
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.
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 🙂
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!
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.
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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.
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The Morelo Bedroom
Space age helm station in the Morelo
Morelo social area
The Galley – Morelo
Dethleffs Exclusiv caravan
Bathroom – Exclusiv
Shower – Exclusiv
Massive galley area – Exclusiv
Exclusive – Someone really keen to check it out underneath!
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 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.
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The bedroom in the Cathargo
Cathargo Galley.. check out the Coffee machine
Cathargo Social area
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.
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.
There were also lots of nice things to see in the accessories area with new ways of preparing food, new Fridges, TV’s etc.
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The Avida with the wheelchair lift
Mmmm this is comfy
The Dometic stand
A great show. It was was huge and it was nice to see lots of new things happening.
We trekked back to Martinborough on the Saturday morning to a busy Martinborough rugby ground. There were Caravans and Motorhomes for Africa. It was the day of the Fair so people had come from far and wide.
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The park was an amazing place and having gone to virtually having it to ourselves a weekend before with the Cruise Martinborough event to it being as busy as it was was great.
Friends Gary and Dianne, and Ian and Lynda went to Ngawi while we were in Greytown and they arrived back the day before. We met John and Yvonne from Ruakaka in their Dethleffs Nomad Caravan and they were here again too. It was going to be a fun weekend.
We all walked into town and had a good cruise around the Market. Where there were Hot Rods and Classic cars a week before, there were stalls in every corner. It was amazing.
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next door in the Park
This guy was fantastic
The food carts were popular
One of the things I really enjoy doing at these events is simply buying a lime thickshake and a bun and sitting in a street side cafe and watch the world go by. Its great fun.
After a couple of hours of checking out every nook and cranny, we headed back to the park for something wet and cold. The wind finally dropped off a bit, but was bitterly cold. It allowed us to move out into the field where there was some raucous laughter amongst some dancing and singing along.
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
It was nice to see Chris and Margaret and the others from the forum www.nzmotorhome.co.nz, many that I’ve never met before. Andrew and Debbie from Tauranga, nice to see you too. Given the weather was pretty naff, it was good to see such a good turnout.
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Hundreds of vans parked everywhere and all shapes and sizes. I went for a bite of a wander to have a look for some of the more unusual looking or big/little Motorhomes.
It was also good to see my friends from Miranda, Marama and Rob and also Karen from the Motorhome Friends Facebook page with their Trailites. We were also joined by our fulltiming friends Chris and Gary. Good to see them too.
Many had multi day passes to the show and were in and out every day.
Most were there for the full duration of three days. Nice too that so many recognised Rafe and came up to say hello and we could put names to faces. It’s always nice to meet you and get your feedback.
There were zillions of Motorhomes everywhere you looked for the rally. A great turnout. I was lucky to get a spot in close and chose to get a powered site.
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It was well organised and the power was nicely laid out for each site.
On with the show . I was really taken with one of the smaller Dethleffs Caravans called the C Go where there were bunks in the back which folded away for extra storage with outside garage access as well. Very clever. These are 7.7m long overall and are 1220kg tare weight and cost $53000 and perfect for a small family.
Dethleffs Cgo Caravan
Dethleffs Cgo Bunk area from inside with the bathroom.
Dethleffs Cgo Garage with the bunks.
The Dethleffs Cgo
Frankia T7400 Bedroom
Frankias T7400 Bathroom
Frankias T7400 living space
On display this year as well were the new Frankias. The one I saw was the T7400 which had two single beds with a pull out section which made one big massive bed.
Nicely appointed with a roomy social area at the front. They’re on a Mercedes base and are $190.000.
It was nice to see two Motorhome Friendly towns with stands for their towns, Whanganui and Kawerau, encouraging Motorhomers and people to visit.
New this year is Vantage Rv’s Ute based, go anywhere fold out camping setup called Ute-Opia Camp Canopy which fit on your ute. They start at $7000 and come with as little or as much as you want. Their new Alden dishes which automatically unravel themselves when you simply turn on your TV.. Very natty. They also sell and install the Netspeed Motorhome Broadband system. You can see more of these products at www.vantagerv.co.nz.
I was also impressed with the new Jayco Silverline caravans with the pop outs. I was talking to my friend Chris who has one and apparently the new pop outs with Jayco are now leak proof and dust proof and reliable so that’s great. Heaps of room with high suspension and built for the Aussie rough roads will go anywhere. They seem to be reasonable value too in the late $90k ‘s for the one I looked at.
Jayco Silverline Bathroom
The Kampa Awning on the side of an Autotrail
Inside the Kampa Awning
In the garage of a Dethleffs XLI
The eating area
One of the things which was notable this year was the new Kampa air awning room which clips on to your Motorhome or caravan to create a room outside. This one is inflatable and simply blows up and comes complete with opening windows, blinds and insect screens for $1600 approx. Thule and Fiamma also make similar types of this which clip on to your awning.
My only concern with all these was that in most Motorhomes, the fridge is by the habitation door which is covered by these awnings so how does this work with freedom camping and with the Gas exhaust from the fridge.? They’re a fantastic idea and a great way to increase useable space but so far when I’ve asked the question from several retailers, no one seems to have an answer. If you’ve got the Grandkids out in them for the night, you would want to be plugged in somewhere with the gas off or have a big window open. As I say, a fantastic idea but some caution required if people are sleeping in them.
The Pavilion was full with exhibitors which was great and most that I talked to on the first day, we’re having fun and selling plenty so that’s great.
The Pavilion ended with a great Food Hall area with the usual chips, drinks and other food vendors. One vendor there had fried bread with cheese and spring onion with cream cheese which was lovely.
It’s seemed to all run like clockwork and was a well presented show.