The coffee cup holder

This was Pete’s first rally with his new Dethleffs Black Magic so it was great to see the Kiwi ingenuity being applied to his van.

There is a notable absence of anywhere in the Ducato cab for holding coffee. Pete decided this had to change and came up with a nice  tray with  locking blocks underneath the hold it between the two front seats on the seat arms.

Pete with his coffee cup holder
Pete with his coffee cup holder

Clever use of dead space and with the use of matching vinyl from the floor and a nice wooden surround, it really looks the part.

The Wooden Table

This is Richards second year at a Dethleffs owners rally so it was nice to catch up again.  Being the clever chap that he is, he  significantly upgraded his dining area with a  new table. Looking at the photo again, it looks like it might be Kauri. Very Nicely done!

Richard with his new table
Richard with his new table

A thing of beauty.

The slide out cupboard

John with this Black Magic
John with this Black Magic

The nice thing about a get together like the Dethleffs Owners meetings is to catch up with other owners like John with his Dethleffs Black Magic, and see the modifications and improvements they have made to their Motorhomes.

Johns Slide out masterpiece.
Johns Slide out masterpiece.

One of the wee gems that I really liked was John’s change to his curved galley cupboard which was hinged with shelves, into a full slide out cupboard. It completely changes the the availability of the shelves behind and allows you to make better use of the shelf space.

2nd Dethleffs NZ owners rally, day 2 – 20 plus images

The next day under cover
The next day under cover

After a great day of meeting new people, swapping notes and checking out new Motorhomes, everyone arrived at the Miranda Motorcamp outdoor kitchen. While most continued the chat over a cold orange juice,  a BBQ fry up was under way by Owen and his team representing Jonas and Dethleffs NZ. They did a magnificent job of cooking for over 80 people. Thank you Owen, Jonas and Dethleffs NZ for providing the great food and for another great event.

Dethleffs crews ready for tea
Dethleffs crews ready for tea

A surprise for the evening was the presence of a team from Mecatronics and Kiwisat in Italy who supply the bulk of the Dethleffs TV antennas in NZ.

The team from Mecatronics with Rob from UCC in Christchurch (with the blue stripe) and the agent in NZ for Mecatronics on the right.
The team from Mecatronics with Rob from UCC in Christchurch (with the blue stripe) and the agent in NZ for Mecatronics on the right.

Enjoy the Gallery and remember to select the images for hi-res images.

After the tidy up, many retired to the hot pool in  the Campground.

Bernie had an impromptu class of how to look after and maintain your toilet cassettes. The reaction from the willing students was fun.
Bernie had an impromptu class of how to look after and maintain your toilet cassettes. The reaction from the willing students was priceless!
Dethleffs owners and others enjoying the Hit pool this morning.
Dethleffs owners and others enjoying the Hot pool this morning.

This morning, many left to head home to all over NZ but there are quite a few staying on. More tomorrow!

2nd annual NZ Dethleffs owners rally. 30 plus images

imageA great showing of hardware, nice weather, lots of happy faces and gatherings of like minded people swapping notes and enjoying their Motorhomes. imageMiranda Holiday Park is a great venue and is chocker with Dethleffs. I’m looking forward to a swim in the hot pools later.

Enjoy the images.

Don’t forget to click on each image to get the hi res version

It I s interesting to see innovative improvements made by owners to their Motorhomes. I’ll post more on these over the next few days.

imageLast year, we had 24 odd Motorhomes  attending, this year it is more than 40! What will it be next year.

 

 

Milford Marina Footbridge

As it was
As it was
The Bridge as it will look
The Bridge as it will look

This is a wee bit off topic, more about boats than Motorhomes but I’m so disappointed in our brain dead elected council people to let this go ahead. Read on.

Years ago, there was a huge footbridge with steps that went from the northern end of Milford beach and climbed up into the cliff to join a track to go to Inga / Beach Rd. Over the years, the bridge fell into a state of disrepair and in the late 60’s -early 70’s was deemed unsafe and demolished with a promise from the council that it would be replaced at a future date.

Time marched on and the Milford Mariners Society and Milford Cruising club members developed the marina to where it is today with about 200 boats with jettys, power and water.

Along came a few people from Castor Bay who couldn’t be bothered walking around the marina to get to the beach and had the council drag out the “promise” to renew the bridge.

This “replacement” is a mechanical bridge which they intend to operate remotely which is very different from what was there and with all the best intentions, will break down. When it does, it will become a safety issue, not to mention the costs in running it.

The bridge
The bridge

Anyway, how it works – Boaties are supposed to radio in to Viaduct Harbour to have the bridge opened when they want to leave or enter the creek. There will be alarms to “warn” people off the bridge which will be heard all around the Milford basin.

Most mariners will tell you that Milford creek is a nightmare to enter in anything from an easterly quarter in more that 15 -20 odd knots with the swell. If the bridge fails to open, there would be mayhem with boats up each others chuff in the corner of the entrance with nowhere to go.

I’ve entered the channel several times in Rorqual when it has been quite rough after a holiday weekend or two and once you’re committed to enter, there is no turning back. It is simply too narrow with rocks on both sides with the swell coming from behind. This makes it incredibly hard to steer until you get well into the creek. It is a safety issue which I think the council has largely ignored.

Map from Google Earth showing the layout
Map from Google Earth showing the layout

I understand the cost before construction started was already at $1m with talkfests and surveys. I reckon it’ll be at least $2-3 m before its finished.. all for a few people to walk to the beach.

A digger in the water preparing the bridge
A digger in the water preparing the bridge

We hear them say.. “ it won’t fail”. Those in Viaduct harbour will tell you about their bridge that “wouldn’t fail” that has failed regularly since it was installed which is why we are hearing talk about it being replaced.

Bridge in relation to the boats
Bridge in relation to the boats

Anyway .. as you can see, it is being built.

Looking down from Beach road towards the Cruising club. The poles for the safety pontoon.
Looking down from Beach road towards the Cruising club. The poles for the safety pontoon.

As a safety measure, they are constructing a pontoon which will require ongoing dredging (cost) just outside the bridge. On a busy holiday weekend with returning boats, this will be totally inadequate as it will only be big enough to hold about 4 vessels.

News Flash : A wee birdie tells me that the folk who open the bridge at Viaduct Harbour won’t work the Milford bridge as they have enough trouble getting folk off the Viaduct bridge before opening, let alone try to do Milford remotely.. What now ?

The view from the new pad

Who would have thought that by the end of the day we would have thunder, rain and hail. I went upstairs today to be greeted with this amazing view.

From the Lounge window
From the Lounge window

These have been taken on a camera as opposed to a cell phone.

Click on the images to see the detail.

Rorqual in front of the Cruising club
Rorqual in front of the Cruising club

Andrew couldn’t have set this up any better. After handing our Whalechaser Rorqual to the next generation, Alex and Andrew, Andrew has managed to get a house where he can see the boat lying in his bed out of the window!

The Dethleff Owners meeting is on this weekend at Miranda which I’m looking froward too. Look out for plenty of images from that.

Wifi for Motorhomes

On friday afternoon, I left the NZMCA park at Ardmore and headed to my son and daughter in laws driveway in Ardmore where I was later joined by Fiona after she had finished work.

My son Alex is a Systems Engineer and has been working on a solution for Wifi in our motorhome for some time. He was given an directional Antenna which has a range of up to 5k and for being top in his course, he was given a tiny Router which will work on 12v and also has enough grunt to drive the Antenna. … and he was happy to donate it to my Wifi cause.. thanks Alex 🙂

The wee Router up behind the TV
The wee Router up behind the TV

I didn’t realise how much setup was involved but after a lot of configuration changes, he managed to get it working in the van with huge throughput from an Access point in his shed, some distance away.

The current directional Antenna
The current directional Antenna
The Antenna pointing at the shed. Its further away than it looks here.
The Antenna pointing at the shed. Its further away than it looks here.

While there is some fine tuning to be done, the concept works. I think his plan is to change the Antenna to one that’s easier to setup and get working when its permanently mounted on the roof. While we’re testing it, we had the router on our bed with a network cable out of our window with the antenna bolted to the bike rack.

I have an account with Spark and have the free gig a day thing happening from the phone boxes but they’re always positioned where you can’t park an 8m motorhome anywhere near them, and the signal they send means you’ve virtually got to sit on top of them to be any use.

Ultimately, it’ll mean that our iphones, ipads, laptops etc will log in to the wee router permanently in the van and the router with the Antenna will drag in the signal from  wherever.

This system will hopefully mean that I can be a block or so away and still get a Spark signal or any other free wifi available 🙂

Our last night at the NZMCA park on Sunday night
Our last night at the NZMCA park on Sunday night

Exciting times.

Historic place 400m

At Kawakawa bay
At Kawakawa bay

While waking up this morning to another nice sunny day, I thought I should head out to Kawakawa Bay and have a cup of tea while the cockle gatherers were doing their thing. It’s also a bit more interesting that watching small planes come and go  for another day. 💤
There were plenty of gatherers there too, making the most of the weather and getting down to business.

Kawakawa Bay cockle gathers on the go.
Kawakawa Bay cockle gathers on the go.

While there, I met an interesting couple with their newly built Motorhome who were trying to retire after giving their lifelong printing business to their adult children. There was a problem with a machine so they’d been summoned from their break  down by Kaiaua, to sort it out! It was interesting swapping notes on how our respective but similar business’s had changed over the years with technology and changes in the economy.
After an hour or so there, I headed back to Ardmore. As I went through Clevedon, I kept seeing these signs saying “historic place 400m” so decided to check it out.

The warehouse at Clevedon wharf with a ship purpose built for the river.. In the late 1860's. Pic from the sign on the wharf.
The warehouse at Clevedon wharf with a ship purpose built for the river.. In the late 1860’s. Pic from the sign on the wharf.
Clevedon Wharf, the site of he old wharf.
Clevedon Wharf, the site of he old wharf.
Clevedon Bridge
Clevedon Bridge

It turns out that the Wairoa River in Clevedon was quite a bustling place. There were warehouses, a sawmill and several other businesses on both sides of the river. They even towed barges with planes on them during the war from Hobsonville via “Port Clevedon” to hangers in Ardmore. Really interesting.
I had a quick walk around Clevedon before heading back to Ardmore MCA park for the afternoon.

The Main Street of Clevedon
The Main Street of Clevedon
Fiona's favourite shop in Clevedon and Cafe
Fiona’s favourite shop in Clevedon and Cafe

When I returned, I found my next door neighbour in the middle of the grass, under his Toyota Landcruiser doing a lube and oil! A caravanner saving some money. Isn’t it funny what people choose to do on a hot day😎

Time to celebrate !

Nice wee spot in the sun.
Nice wee spot in the sun.

After hearing the great news yesterday that our property manager Downee received a contract from new tenants, I thought I’d celebrate by cruising down to NZMCA’s Ardmore Park at the Ardmore Airfield. We know where we’re going now after the false start from “the mad woman that was living in France”!

Busy busy
Busy busy

No sooner had I arrived, I met Roger who we met last year filling up his new AutoTrail Delaware with fresh water. It was nice to see him again and there is a plan to catch up for a cold one later.
Roger and Marion had the unique experience of having a 90 ish yr old woman beating their then brand new Motorhome with a broom in the middle of the night on the Devonport waterfront😱. There was amazingly no damage done. The police were called and apparently she has form for giving anyone a hard time that parks in front of their B&B! So when in Devonport with your Motorhome, watch out for a mad 90 something year old with a broomstick. 😳

It is a busy park but we suspect that because the nearby freedom camping area at Bruce Pullman park has a fireworks display on, that there more here.

The library and Check in Charlie hut.
The library and Check in Charlie hut.
Next door neighbours herbs n spices
Next door neighbours herbs n spices

Tomorrow I’ll get the bike out and have a ride around and see what I can find.
Alex and Sarah and the grandkids are next door to the airfield so might see them tomorrow too.

Fiona & Chris, two empty nesters put their dreams of doing something different into reality… Living in their Motorhome, come along for the ride.

Random Bits of Trial and Error

THE JOYS OF FULL-TIME RV LIFE - Random, moody, and quirky--but always straight from the heart.

Bruvtravels

Retired Military, Living the Dream, Workamping and Playing

Our Tour Motorhome Blog

Touring Europe and Beyond by Motorhome

MOTORHOMENEWS

A personal take by Christopher Macgowan on tourism, travel and motorhomes.

Our Bumble

Travels around Europe & Beyond in a motorhome.

Diverting Journeys

A travelogue of museums, historic homes, and other curious destinations.

%d bloggers like this: