Having spent the last few days with our friends Rob and Helen and their 11yr old daughter Chloe, Rob was keen to show us a modification he has made to his fridge to make it more efficient. Now Rob is a clever guy and is very familiar with things electrical so to see it working as well as it does is fantastic.
Robs fridge is an under the bench style Dometic 3 way fridge. They imported their AutoTrail themselves from the Uk a few years ago and of course it came with a “Northern Hemisphere” fridge. The difference between those and the “tropical” fridge is that the NZ fridges apparently are setup to be able to deal with hotter climates.
The work around for Uk fridges in NZ is to fit a 12v fan in the cavity behind the fridge with a thermostat to expel the air from behind the fridge, outside.
The 12v fans use next to no power and are really reliable.
Rob says it has made a massive difference to its performance and both he and Helen are really pleased with the way it performs.
There is a link to an Aussie web site which details the technical which Rob found that makes it relatively easy. Here’s the technical link
While we were getting ready for New Years Eve, I couldn’t help but notice and amazing retro looking Mercedes based motorhome on the other side of the park.
It was built in Germany as a Micro Supreme branded Motorhome.
Owned by Brian and Kim from Auckland, they bought this two years or so ago and it became Brian’s project do up. The Mercedes D307’s are really popular in Europe as delivery, courier vans and small trucks and enjoy a great reputation as reliable runners and Brian was saying, he has no problem getting parts for it. All he has done mechanically was put in a bigger radiator which is apparently a must do for motorhoming. It also has a real “unimog” look to the front of it which I think reveals its Mercedes truck DNA.
Inside, well all I can say is what a great job they’ve done. New toilet and shower area and a new galley area. The minute you walk in, you get this amazing feeling of big volume. Brian has done amazing things with a TV/ sound station including a server for movies, a wifi router and a pop out Tv station in the awning area.
A great achievement by them both, a nice van and although at 1988 it is not really that old, the improvements that they made are amazing and it was nice to see them enjoying Sullivan’s Bay in the sun with friends and family.
This was first posted in Feb 2016 .. a special repost for lockdown!
What a great weekend! The weather was great and we had things to do.
After Fiona had finished work, we headed out to one of our favorite spots, the NZMCA park at Ardmore, a hop skip and a jump from Alex, Sarah and the Grandkids.
As always, remember to click on the images to see Hi Res.
Our friends, Rob & Helen and their daughter Chloe were heading off for a week or so to Napier and Gisborne so it was great we could pop in to Ardmore to see them off. When we arrived at about 7:30pm, they were off on a walk so they were a bit surprised to see us there when they returned as we hadn’t confirmed that we would be there.
Alex, Sarah and the boys came over after their tea and we all caught up in Rafe. Lots of fun.
The Ardmore NZMCA park is in an airfield precinct so a little noise comes with the territory, usually small planes and sometimes Helicopters.
That morning, things were different. At 8am, we heard the repetitive bark of a Sergeant Major type next door in the cadet parade ground teaching St John Juniors how to march. It was quite interesting to watch too as some didn’t know the left from the right so there were some interesting moves happening.
They were all togged up in their black uniforms and looked good, some even wearing their medals. There was one trainer who forgot his black clobber and was doing it all in his Red shorts.
As Fiona said, good on him for volunteering his time on a Saturday morning but it did sort of spoil the overall look.
About 9:30, we said goodbye to Rob, Helen and Chloe and they headed off to Taupo for their trip to Hawkes Bay and beyond. We left as well and went around to Alex, Sarahs and the Grandkids for the morning and around lunchtime, headed towards one of our other favorite places, Rays Rest at Miranda. We were catching up our friends Gary and Chris who were helping other friends Mark and Tina with their first trip out in their new, second hand Motorhome.
Rays Rest is a great spot and the weather was behaving as well.
After arriving early in the afternoon, we caught up for cups of tea and later a couple of drinks and then headed off in Gary’s van down to get the fish and chips for tea from the famous Kaiaua fish and chips shop. Gary wasn’t drinking so that worked well. It was nice to see how much progress Mark had made on his motorhome as when he got it, it leaked and had quite a lot of dampness in its linings. .. now all gone. More on this in another post soon.
We had a great night together and called it quits and hit the hay.
The next morning was nice in diffused sunshine with little wind. We sat on the foreshore watching people fish and just soaked up the atmosphere.
Gary, Chris, Tina and Mark were going to carry on to Thames and Coromandel so after lunch, we left them and headed home. A nice weekend.
After 15 years of owning their 7m 1990 Nissan Civilian, Engineer Dave and his wife Josy are finally enjoying their now completed Motorhome.
About 10 years ago, Dave and a friend got started on the restoration of two buses, a Hino for Daves Friend and the Nissan Civilian for themselves. After years of using it while the restoration carried on, it now looks fantastic.
Daves friend had access to a CNC router which they used to make the Matai bench top and bathroom hand basin and the results are amazing. The floor was hand made using strips of native NZ timbers put together to look like parquet flooring but a whole lot nicer.
The Galley showing the pantries opened
The swivel tv above the bed
The swivelling drop down TV which can be watched from anywhere. Two slide out pantries.
With the centre island bed, it is very comfortable.
I met them both at Te Mata point as we enjoyed a cold drink. It’s great to see them enjoying the results of their hard work.
They tell me that although they’ve been all over NZ, there are still nooks and crannies that they’re yet to explore.
Mark came back from a Turners Auction about 8 or so months ago and surprised us all when he arrived with a 1995 CI Travelhome on a Ford Trader chassis.
Mark & Tina are old boating mates and knowing that he has his hands full with a car restoration, a bike restoration and still has his boat to look after as well, I wondered where he would get the time from to work on what was a do up !
Click on the images to see Hi Res
The galley area
The sleeping accommodation. Completely relined and insulated as it leaked and was rotten.
Mark & Tina with their new Motorhome
Above the Califont the vent was leaking. Vent no longer leaks.
The Galley area
Wee fridge.. a little beauty
The Bathroom and Toilet
My first observation when I first saw it was rot, dampness and a whole lot of work but what a transformation when I saw it just recently.
All the leaks are fixed, the rot has been removed, leaky hatches have been replaced and all the sleeping accommodation has been completely relined. It looks fantastic.
The weekend we spent with Mark & Tina at Rays Rest was great and for their very first trip away, everything worked well.
Mechanically, it just plods away with the 3.5 l normally aspirated Ford Diesel and Mark tells me it flew through its first COF.
I’ve been busy putting together some books and also doing a whole years accounts for the accountant… big job but keeping the boredom away 🙂
Given that we cant get away, its a bit frustrating not being able to do any new piccies… I’ve been going back through some of our really early posts, think 2016 odd when many of you weren’t aware we existed and over the next few weeks, I’ll repost some oldies!
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 year it became part of the Covi Rally and Show as it has grown so much with Zion’s new brands. The more the merrier and more to talk about 🙂
I arrived at Ellerslie Racecourse around the middle of the day on the Friday and within minutes met Gary and his wife Alison who have a Dethleffs Esprit which is very similar to Rafe in layout, length and size and only a little younger. As it turns out I used to work with Gary’s Dad who was an editor at the Auckland Star when I was an 11 year old on work experience when I was at School. Small world and we had lots to talk about.
Click on an Image for Hi Res
When we first arrived there was a bit of confusion as to where to park so after a big Frankia moved from the inside of the Steeplechase jump, I moved in to the hole and Gary parked beside me. We had just finished parking when we bumped into several other people we knew too.
I was supposed to go to the show that afternoon but it all got a bit too social so I stayed put but it was a great afternoon. When the volunteer stand workers returned home, there was a gigantic happy hour squeezed in between Rafe and Gary’s Esprit.
Lots of fun and we met a lot of new people.
The owners of Zion Jonas and Irene, joined in too and it was a fun night.
The next morning was showtime. I caught the bus to the show and returned early in the afternoon. I was really looking forward to the Zion meal which was being hosted that night by Jonas and Irene out at Melba Restaurant in Manukau. We were picked up in Buses and after a great night, dropped off back to our Motorhomes.
Gary, Alison and I joined their friends Grant and Jo in their Airstream Bar which was parked near us for a few drinks afterwards for what was a really funny night. 😂
Lots of fun with some nice people. Thanks to Jonas, Irene for a great night at Melba.