Parked just a couple of rows across was a flash big German Caravan called a Vivaldi made by Tabbert.
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Brent and Natalie from Papamoa are the proud owners of this fantastic Caravan and most afternoons of the Timber Town Romp, there was a Happy Hour set outside this van. The others in the Happy Hour were mostly Brent and Natalie’s neighbours at Papamoa where they are based.
I popped over and joined them one afternoon and the next morning went over for a chat and a look see. One of the first things you notice are the massive windows.
At 8.65 metres long, its a biggie but apparently tows well. With 800 watts odd of Solar power and massive storage, theyre never going to have the lights dim 🙂
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Lovely dining/Kitchen area
Brent and Natalie
From the front
After buying the 2005 model van 3 years or so ago from a dealer in the South Island, where they used to live, they’ve now been “everywhere” but their favorite places are up North.
A nice Caravan and well set up for some fantastic trips to come.
While I was standing in the main carpark helping traffic get from one side to the other at the Tokoroa Timber Town Romp, in came John and Joan in their massive 11m long Motorhome.
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They originally came from Rotorua but have recently moved to Matata and “Homely” is their mobile Bach which they’ve had for more than 20 years. In that time, they’ve completely rebuilt the interior including putting in features like slide out cutting boards and bench extensions.
John tells me that it is two Ford D750 chassis’s welded together powered by a Hino eh700 with a Manual Gearbox. It has a Leyland Bison Cab and the the exterior is colour steel. On top is a Butynol roof.
They’ve been all over in it and travel with their two small dogs Bear and Wolf.
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The front end
The Main Bedroom
Bunks for the grandkids.. one used as storage.
The magic pull out extensions
Looking forward towards Wolf and Bear
They got a very clever friend of theirs in Rotorua to do the fantastic graphics on the side which make it quite distinctive.
As I walked away after chatting to them for half an hour or so, they looked very settled and content in their very comfortable Motorhome.
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.
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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.
Its funny who you meet at places… such a small world.
We’d only been here half a day when Fiona spots an unusual looking Caravan just along from us and says .. “Blog!” .. so off I trundle and introduce myself to Darryn. It turns out that Darryn’s dad was a very good friend of mine and mentor when I first started as a Photographer in my early teens.
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Like me, Colin was an ex Herald Photographer but before my time and had a really successful Photographic business in Milford.
Colin, Darryn’s dad and I had our birthdays within days of each other with Colin being a few years older. We used to make the most of celebrating.. Fiona and Colin’s late wife Val, called them “adventures”!!
Anyway .. back to Darryn. He has been living in Poland after marrying his Polish wife and working remotely for an American Merchant bank in IT.
Having family here who he flies back to see fairly regularly, he decided to get a Caravan and a car to tow it. Having access to good tradesmen and costs being a bit less, he did them up in Poland before shipping them here in a Container.
The Caravan is amazing being a 1978 Otten made in Holland which he bought in Germany.. yep, its crossed a few borders! He has done quite a lot of work on it to tidy it up but has yet to make it compliant for NZ power so was running on Solar and batteries when I caught up with him. With only an 800k tow weight and the Plymouth with the 471 V8, it would hardly know its behind!
The Plymouth has had a lot of work done including the new bigger motor. He has also done a lot with the body and painted it. I’d say it would be a rare beast in Poland. It sounds and looks beautiful.
It was really nice to see Darryn to catch up on the news on Colin and his family and to see his amazing Caravan and Car.
8 months ago new fulltimers Jo and Avon ago picked up their Newmar Country Star and after taking it home to Dargaville to finish setting it up, have now sold up and are starting their adventure on the road.
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I was busy chatting to one of the Counties parking volunteers at Ellerslie when they rocked into the rally for parking for the Covi Show. I got talking to Avon while he was setting up the hydraulic levelling and setting up the slideout. What a magic machine.
Being just 10 metres long, it is still able to parked in most places but the 250 HP Cummins underneath sounds nice. Avon is a builder so is keen on progressively making some changes and with Jo, stamping their own ideas on it.
It is setup with a huge paddock like living room behind the drivers area with lounge and dining area on one side opposite the Kitchen. The ablutions off a corridor to the bedroom at the back.
What a difference slideouts make.. massive amounts of room in the lounge, perhaps a great party venue 🙂
And that would be the newly restored 1928 Reo Speedwagon, once owned by the founders of the NZMCA, Andy and Gladys Anderson.
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Once used as passenger and freight bus in Te Karaka, it later went on to be a bus for the Gisborne freezing works.
Andy Anderson bought the old bus in Gisborne and converted it to his Motorhome and then started the NZMCA as #1 !
Fast forward to June 2016, it was collected from the Eastland Museum of Transport and Technology and taken to a workshop at Hallright Plumbing. It spent the next 2 and a half years here being restored by a small army of 34 volunteers.
It was completely stripped down and rebuilt bolt by bolt and the result is stunning.
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Allan, John, Brian and Fergus in front
Love the mirror
Comfy seating. Fergus’s nailbox has gone 🙂
The outside loo
Seeing it on the NZMCA stand at the 2019 Covi show, it was a joy to behold. The attention to detail from the volunteers is amazing. Ferg Mckenzie along with 3 other volunteers came up to the Covi show to look after and show off their work.
Well done too to the board for supporting the restoration. A great part of the associations history.
While we were in Narrow Neck, across the car park was a Blue Truck with an amazing Dragon artwork along one side.
I wandered over when the owners turned up to meet Garrith and his partner Summer.
Takapuna based Garrith has had the 1996 Ford Trader for 6 months, and in that time has set it up so he can live in it. It looks comfortable but with only 6 months, I get the feeling it will be quite different in another 12 months time.
There is an amazing amount of room in it and they’re really enjoying being on the road and check out Garrith’s Mural on the side.
Shortly after we arrived at Kaupokonui, there was a knock at the door with two smiley chaps wanting to have a quick look at Rafe’s interior.
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It turned out that one of them was Brenton who was a long way through the restoration of a Caravan. Brenton with his wife Aimee and two kids were from Wanganui and were staying right next door.
I later wandered over to have a look see. It was a 1974 Chevron lightweight which Brenton and Aimee started on about a year ago. When they first got it it was full of dark stained cupboards, the roof leaked in several places and it was generally a bit of a mess.
This is not what I saw when I went over.. Its looking great and doing the work themselves, has kept the lid on the cost. The biggest job was reroofing with a bitumen roll on product and then completely repainting the exterior and then redoing the interior.
Along with a new Awning, its was great to see them away with other friends and family with their own two kids, enjoying their Caravan.
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.
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 Mitzi Fuso which is what they have now and now they’ve finished their Ruakaka rebuild, it is on the market!
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New cladding and some paint.. looking good.
Their two homes
Gary on the nailgun
Chris with the plans of the Kitchen
Looking back to the Mitzi
The house is looking fantastic and is very different to how it was.
And from now…
So .. the Mitzi Motorhome.. here’s some facts and figures that Gary has sent me.
Its a 2008 Mitsi Fuso Canter with a 3.9 Litre Turbo with a Manual 5 speed box.
It has Rego till December and a New COF and its never failed a COF
There are 3000 RUC remaining.
The Speedo has 95088 km on it, and the Hubometer has 91220.
It is officially a CI MUNRO ULTIMA 4 berth. Gary put 6.5 metres on it but I’ve parked next to it and its at least 7 metres long.
Rear wheel drive on duals. Stove / oven / Dometic 3 way fridge freezer and a Diesel Heater. It has also had Netspeed installed and the Aerials are on the roof.
Here’s some piccies when he first bought it….
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Chris and Gary with their Motorhome
The kitchen area
Our park at Pelorus Bridge
At Evans Bay
Thats about all I can add or remember so call Gary for more info on 027 778 8557.
All I can add is that Gary being an engineer, he has looked after it and it is in really good Nick.. Someone is going to be buying a really nice Motorhome.