Tag Archives: Fulltimers

The Tagged Bus

Wayne and Serena have been living in their 1976 Volvo bus for more than 6 years now and a couple of years ago, they decided that as their Red Bus was looking a bit scruffy, it needed a lick of paint! Their daughter Lisa, who works with teenagers, arranged for a group of spray bomb artists to repaint their story onto the bus.

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They parked their bus on one side of a Mt Maunganui carpark and watched it all happen !

Their bedroom

The result is spectacular with bits of life in colour all around the bus.

Lisa is represented by Lisa Simpson with a background of Hahei beach, one of their favourite places in the background. The Pink Panther represents the loss of a close family member.

Wayne with Lisa behind!

On the back is Wayne respresented by the fishing bear as he is known as Poppa Bear !

Poppa bear with Fishing gear.

The front has two Kiwis on each side which is Wayne and Serena. A fantastic effort.

Wayne tells me it was a scream watching onlookers reaction when the bus was painted 🙂

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Inside, its very comfortable and they have been collecting toys for sick children which are stored all around their bedroom!

A great couple enjoying life on the road!!

Fulltimers finally land.

After 3 years or so off full time Motorhoming, Gary and Chris  are back in their Ruakaka bach after having it rented out while they were away. They’re still in their Motorhome outside though while they do a virtual rebuild along with huge changes and additions for their retirement.

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Gary and Chris were old boatie mates and we used to spend most weekends and Christmas holidays in the Hauraki Gulf when we had our old Whalechaser Rorqual. They had a lovely old classic sedan called Nau Mai. There were many happy moments and we had a lot of fun.

Gary on the nailgun

After selling up in Devonport and spending 5 years or so in Ranfurly, for a change of scene and direction running a B&B, they then bought their first Motorhome, an ex CI Munro renter on a Mitzi Canter base. They later upgraded this to a newer 6 berth on a Mitzi Fuso which is what they have now.

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The house is looking fantastic and is very different to how it was.

We popped up a week or so ago to see how theyre going and theyre nearly up to gibbing after huge changes and the place looks fantastic. New Aluminium Joinery and newly cladded and with a very different layout, its looking very sharp. We’re going up to help them do some painting soon.

Chris with the plans of the Kitchen

Looking Good Guys and looking forward to catching up soon with brushes..!

Robin and Linda’s home

They had a huge home at Waihi Beach.  Over 260 square metres! It has been sold and in its place, their new Home, an 8.2 metre Morelo from Germany.

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These are seriously nice Motorhomes. They’re well appointed and they have everything that opens and shuts.
A real treat.

The Helm station

Underneath is a 3 litre turbo charged Iveco connected to the rear wheels via an 8 speed gearbox.

The Bedroom

I first bumped into them a few weeks ago when I first stopped in at the NZMCA park at Waipu beach and they had been staying here for a few nights being their old home turf.

The Galley

They’re really enjoying it and have lots of ideas for making it “theirs”.

The Living Space

The amazing thing that Robin volunteered later is that this is their first Motorhome.. What a way to go!

Robin and Linda with their Morelo

Classic American Beauty

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.

Enid and Brian with their Recon

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.

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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.

At 10 miles to the gallon, she’s a thirsty girl but what a great look and a comfy 30 feet of Motorhome history.

Bling and more bling

Brian is keen to do up a smaller GM and is currently looking for one to buy to get started with.

Eagle Rock

I met Derek while he was doing the rounds of the Bland Bay Motorcamp offer complete strangers Tuna which he and his friends had caught off the beach.  He popped his head in the door of Rafe with a nice wooden platter with beautifully cut thick slabs of Tuna with a couple of sauces.  I later joined him for a drink and found we had lots to talk about with my family Army background.. .. Back to Derek!

Derek and June and Eagle Rock
Derek and June and Eagle Rock

Most of Derek and June’s live’s have revolved around his postings during his years in Infantry and Signals in the NZ Army.  After 20 years, in 1984, he retired and they bought a Tearoom business in Picton which they had for 2 years. For 5 years after this they had a Motels complex and Guesthouse, also in Picton. 

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June and Derek in their lounge area
June and Derek in their lounge area

They then sold this and bought an RV in the US and spent 18 months travelling around there. 

Eagle Rock
Eagle Rock

Returning to NZ and after selling their house, they bought their Isuzu bus which they modified for their use and have since been living in and enjoying travelling all around NZ with their Dog and their Cat. They even have a custom made cat flap and ramp for their cat to come and go on. 

The cat Flap and ramp
The cat Flap and ramp

When asked their favourite spot.. NZ was the answer.

While I was with them in Bland Bay, Derek with 4 friends in a 26 ft odd runabout caused great excitement when they returned to the beach with a 149kg Marlin. The whole camp got involved. A lovely couple enjoying their Motorhome.

The Homebuilt Caravan

While we were in a park in the north, Sculptor Nick and partner Tracy rocked in with their girls Mila and Ruby, and their Homebuilt Caravan.

matakoheThey found it in a barn in Balclutha and after recladding it and  modifiying their table so it could add extra beds for the girls, they’ve set off around the country for a year on the road.

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They were not keen on going down the track of having a gas oven so they settled on a wood burner which also heats their water.


Its all insulated and warm and toasty and it was nice to see them happy and getting around NZ.

All of Eriksen

Well .. It just gets better and better here at Eriksen road. The last time I was here during the Napier Art Deco week earlier in the year, two thirds of it was roped off but now it’s huge.. Massive! What a great park.

Eriksen Park
Eriksen Park

I was staying two nights and came here so I could get a really good signal for uploading some piccies for these posts but I love it here as you’re well away from boy racers etc and it feels nice and secure.

There were only a handful of other Motorhomes here so there was room for Africa. I can’t imagine that even in the height of summer, you’d ever fill this park and it’s dead flat too. I understand too that there is a new building coming for people to meet and greet without getting wet  when it rains, which will be great.

Plenty of room
Plenty of room

The first night was good until 4:30 odd in the morning when Rafe started moving all over the place. I thought it was wind but then decided that the movement was everywhere and it turned out to be the earthquake off East Cape. Within minutes, Facebook took off and eventually I got to sleep and woke up around 9 odd.

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I went for a bike ride into Napier which is about 20 minutes away by bike. There are great bike trails here and it’s pretty much straight down the waterfront and you’re there. Fiona had been “encouraging” me to get a haircut so I found a barber and when I sat down, out came the electric clippers and he went straight up the back of my head!! .. It sounds worse than it was but needless to say, it’s one of the shortest haircuts I’ve had for a long long time. It must be what they do in Napier 🙂

While I was sitting in a cafe in Napier recovering from my short haircut, munching on something, I found that I’d missed a phone call while the barber was attacking me.
It was Chris Nuttall who has recently taken over the admin role of http://www.nzmotorhome.co.nz. I’ve met him before when we first got Rafe at a Campercare show so it was great to hear from him. Between us, we decided it would be good to catch up for something cold back at Eriksen. I had an hour to get back, have a shower and tidy myself up. There was a chance too that Shellie and David Evans might pop in too so I was looking forward to meeting them.
Chris and then the Evans’s arrived and we had a very happy two or more hours of catching up. A lot of fun.

Chris Nuttall, Shellie and David Evans .. A fun afternoon
Chris Nuttall, Shellie and David Evans .. A fun afternoon
The Sunset outside Rafe when Chris and the Evans's left.
The Sunset outside Rafe when Chris and the Evans’s left.

Ericksen Park. I’m very impressed and what a great spot. I’ll be back again and well done to all those involved in getting it to where it is today.

Motorhome Show Rally – Mystery Creek

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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Motorhomes and Caravans as far as the eye can see. Click on the image to enlarge.
Motorhomes and Caravans as far as the eye can see.
Click on the image to enlarge.
Interesting power setup
Interesting power setup

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.

Chris and Margarets Jayco
Chris and Margarets Jayco and the Forum Overnighters

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.

A Monster Caravan But Beautiful Too

I woke up this morning and looked out of the window to see this. It’s huge but looks the business as well.

The view out of the window
The view out of the window

I first saw one in the flesh at the Covi show and photographed it as well. It turns out that Kel and Jenny had just taken delivery of their new baby and lent it to Jonas and the Dethleffs team for the Covi show. I had a think about this and thought, that would be hard to do. With something like this and having only recently got it, you’d just want to disappear in it 🙂

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Kel and Jenny with their Caravan
Kel and Jenny with their Caravan

Kel and Jenny have sold their house in Auckland and are full timing in their 9.42 metre (incl drawbar) Dethleffs Exclusive caravan. Their first big trip was around the South Island early this year and it went well.

mirandaKel tells me he nearly cried when he marked one corner of it as he came off the ferry as the 4m back overhang swung out. I know how he felt as I nailed a corner on the back of Rafe not long after we got it and felt sick.. My new baby was injured ! Their parts are all here and she’s about to go to caravan hospital to made all better again so all’s well.

The Living area
The Living area

The Exclusive is 8.05 metres long(body) and its tare weight is 2040kg with a max of 2800kg.

One side of the Galley
One side of the Galley

I had a quick look through and can see lots of similarities with Rafe. The high standard of workmanship, the comfy feel, it’s all there. A very nice caravan and when I first met them both, they had smiles a mile wide so they’re obviously enjoying their freedom and their new home on the road.

Chris and Gary’s new Fuso

Chris and Gary with their Motorhome
Chris and Gary with their Motorhome

This is their second Mitzi truck, Luton based Motorhome and they’re really pleased with it.
They hit the road full time earlier this year and after driving from their rented out home in Ranfurly to Auckland, they spotted this new van on Trade me. As Gary says, it was the van he’s been looking for forever! So after many will we, won’t we, moments, they bought the van and flew to Christchurch and drove it back up to Auckland.

In the last few months they’ve been back to Ranfurly, worked their way up to the North Island to meet us in Marton last week.
It is 7 m long, has a nice U shaped lounge at the back and heaps of cupboards.

The kitchen area
The kitchen area
The Lounge
The Lounge

A very comfortable, reliable machine with all the comforts of home.