Yay .. its the end of lockdown.. we’re away again.. almost ! Here’s a couple more posts from early 2017 until we get away again.
What an amazing vehicle. Brian bought this 1981 Revcon of EBay sight unseen and had it shipped to NZ in 2012. It was in his words, “a bit of a mess” so he set to and spent the next two years renovating it.
Most of the furniture is the same but recovered except the bedroom which went from single beds to a centre island Queen bed.
Of course, you can’t have a vehicle like this without having a cocktail cabinet.
Click on the images for Hi Res or a slideshow
The “Handle Bars” had to be shifted too to right hand drive which was a bit of a mission given its a 454 Chev V8 with a chain driven transfer box all driving the front wheels so there is a lot going on under the floor at the sharp end! Once it was all done, Brian and his wife Enid “the Nagivator ” 🙂 shipped it off to Oz where they spent a year or so clocking up over 25000 miles and loving every minute of it.
Brian with the Revcon
At 10 miles to the gallon, she’s a thirsty girl but what a great look and a comfy 30 feet of Motorhome history.
Brian is keen to do up a smaller GM and is currently looking for one to buy to get started with.
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.
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.
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!
During my travels through the last NZMCA Motorhome show in Auckland, I bumped into Phil Jackson at Carters. He made a point of reminding me to make sure I rotated my tyres to get the best out of them but at that stage they had only done 5000k’s odd, but now that they’ve done 10000 k’s, I thought I’d better get on with it 🙂
Click on any Image for Hi Res
So I duly made an appointment with Carters Tyres in Highbrook, where I had my tyres fitted and they were happy to rotate them for me. Carters are a big supporter of the NZMCA and if you’re looking for tyres, they give NZMCA members a pretty good discount. They saved me a fortune.
The Tyre Technician for the day was Mohit who was ready to get stuck in as I rolled in.
One of the traps with the Dethleffs wheel covers is they have some Alun nuts as a decoration and a couple that are actually functional. Sometimes its a bit of a mission to pick the real ones. The plastic ones have to glued back on if you get them by accident !
Mohit successfully navigated his way around that and whipped all the wheels off one at a time and rebalanced the wheels for the front as he refitted them.
While they were off, its amazing seeing them side by side to see the wear. On their own it was hard to see but definitely the wear can be seen next to each other. In the pictures, the front tyre is on the left.
As Rafe is a front wheel drive vehicle, the back wheels are just being dragged along behind for the ride so there is minimal wear until they’re on the front so tyre rotation is really important if you want to get even wear from your tyres.
An hour later, we all ready to go again. .. for another 10 k’s until the next rotation 🙂
Over the last month or so, our Motorhome Rafe has been stored up in Albany getting covered in Motorway dust and crap from a concrete distributor close by so it was somewhat of a relief to be able to park it back at our house again and give the van a good wash!
Our house is one of three units on a cross leased section which run down the hill overlooking each other and then over the golf course. When I say overlooking.. just our roof but we’re at the top closest to the road.
Click on the Image to see Hi Res
It had a parking ramp here already but it was in the shape of a triangle and we all know that Motorhomes and cars for that matter tend to rectangular 🙂
Our neighbour Doug is a semi retired builder who is a magic guy and was happy for us to do whatever we needed to make Rafe fit in the hole.
Enter Ryan and Ray, a couple of concrete experts who are good friends of my son Andrew to take on the project of adding to the existing pad to make it useable and also add another around the corner for an outside water cylinder and Heat Pump.
The project went without a hitch, even getting the concrete truck in to do the pour and the result is perfect.
Click on the Gallery below for a slideshow
Boxing on. you can see the original bit
Boxing and base for HW and heat pump
Since then, the Water Heater and Heat pump have been installed and we’ve managed to get Rafe in here but not without some drama!
The first time in. I got a good friend of mine Alan to be my eyes and ears at the back to help me in. The first obstacle was a hump at the end of the drive which I thought would grab the overhang but surprisingly for me, there was never an issue.
Click on the Gallery below for a slideshow
Start of the pour. Ray and Ryan at the back
The ready mix going in. Ryan floating off the slab
Ray filling up the slab for the Hot water and pump
The car testing it
all finished ready for Rafe
With extra soil
The tight bends around the front fence were a bit of a problem and I managed to get the front wheels stuck in a small patch of grass behind our letterboxes! After jacking it up and slipping some things in to jump out, it finally did but not without creating some stress and some mess of the grass.
Anyway, we’re in and it works a treat but I have decided since to convert a fence panel into a gate and add some gravel to make it a lot easier to get in and out.
We also have a 16 amp socket going in to keep the batteries topped up.
Thanks to Ray, Ryan for the great concreting, Pete the sparky for his wiring and Alan, a big thanks for helping me get in for the first time.
Ernest and his wife Hannah Hayes emigrated to NZ in the mid 1882 from England and settled in Oturehua. Intially working as a Millright in one of the flour mills here, Ernest’s real achievments began when he began inventing things to make life easier on their 150 acre farm.
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From windmills to rabbit bait cutters, the Hayes inventions quickly spread around the country and overseas. Perhaps his most well known tool is his refinement of J Reid’s fencing wire strainer, perfected in 1924, and is still used around the world today.
As the business grew, so did their family and although they had nine children, Hannah became one of NZ’s first travelling saleswoman biking all over the Maniatoto, and McKenzie areas selling their products.
Their factory on the farm was powered by Windmill and Pelton Wheel from water running down the hill and after initially living in a mud hut, later they built a large villa which they also powered from their factory.
The Hayes engineeing works has been maintained by the family and is still in really good shape.
The various buildings for Dairy, Laundry, the workshops and the original Mud Cottage that they lived in is now Hannahs Cafe.
Click on the Gallery below to see a Slideshow
The orginal Hayes home which is now a Cafe. They had 9 children living here.
Hayes also made Windmills.
The famous Hayes wire strainers
The Laundry and Dairy
One of their Windmills
Fiona and I walked along the road about 1 k from our spot in Oturehua and checked it all out. It is also right on the bike trail as you come into Oturehua.
A magic place and its really nice to see how they lived and where one of New Zealands great inventers and his saleswoman wife lived and worked.
I had just been for a walk around the grounds of the pub and was returning to Rafe when in comes Rex and Jenny with their beautiful homebuilt Teardrop Caravan and WOW!!
Its roomy too, much bigger than your average teardrop. They have a Queen size bed in it along with a wall of wardrobe and shelves.
The back lifts up for the Galley area and there is a great little hideaway for their slide out Barbeque.
Having taken 2 years to build from scratch, they’re returning to their home town of Tauranga after a 3 month trip around the South Island. They finished building it 3 years ago and are now are getting to enjoy it.
Click on the Gallery below to see a great Slideshow!
Rex and Jenny
The BBQ pulls out of one of the rwar guards
The 1957 Chev . (same year as me !)
Matched with the 1957 Chevrolet, it is the full package and sounds it too.