Tag Archives: My Motorhome

The Real Oil

Its amazing who you end up meeting in campgrounds! After our first night in the Greytown Motor Camp, we moved to a sunnier site with more room next to Karen and Ian who were staying in their new Eldiss Caravan while they have their house built in Masterton.

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Ian and Karen with their Caravan

I popped my head in the door and introduced myself. Later in the day we got chatting and I discovered that they too were an Army family along with hearing about their huge success in the Olive industry.

They started their Olive business around 2001 by planting their first 1200 trees and later added more in 7 different varieties to bring the total trees up to approximately 1900. Over the course of the last 10 years, they have won numerous awards for the quality and flavours of their oil.

The Eldiss

Last year they sold their business, Juno Olives, bought a caravan, are building a new house in Masterton and retiring!  A busy year… All going well the house will be ready in July.

The caravan is a brand new Eldiss Explor with a rear bathroom and Karen’s favorite part, the HUGE shower. Downsizing from their house to their first experience in a caravan, they found the awning an absolute necessity along with the motor movers for shuffling it around at campsites.

Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow

Ian spent 20 odd years as an officer in the NZ Army specialising in Ammunition’s and Ballistics. He later spent many years in project management before the Olive industry beckoned. Karen was an Editor with TVNZ for years and later became a Technical Writer after doing a degree.

Its fascinating talking to people with these different backgrounds and working out how they both got from there to growing Olives 🙂

I’ve always liked the Eldiss caravans and their one is very comfortable with plenty of room. A lovely couple enjoying their caravan.

We popped into Juno Olives later.

David and Liz’s Cosy Rapido

Fiona and I first met David and Liz at an annual Dethleffs do at Miranda years ago when they had their new A Class Esprit.  They had it for several years until they fell in love with their 2010 Rapido A class Motorhome on Trade me.

It is 7.4 metres long, has a huge payload and is rear wheel drive with a Mercedes 185HP motor which “goes like stink”.

David and Liz both come from a long NZ Army background like us and David knows Fiona’s Dad, Uncle and they have many common friends.. love it when that happens!

We met up with them again at the Covi Rally at Ellerslie Racecourse.

Nicely finished. I love the woodgrain on the dash.

Since they picked it up 8 months ago, they’ve done 20000k’s in it so they really enjoying it.

Galley area
Galley

David’s favorite spot was Mt Cook on a beautiful clear day when they went on the Alpine Track.

Most French beds are tucked up against the wall and hemmed in top and bottom, making it hard work to make the bed.. this is the real thing!  Access to 3 sides !

Corner Bed

What I liked about this Motorhome over their last Motorhome was its nice cosy feel, it looks and feels solid but is still under 4 tons GVM.

A good solid look to it too.

Really nice people enjoying their really nice Motorhome.

Wzzzzz and up it goes

I’d just switched the engine off and was plugging in the power point when Lance and Sophie pulled up alongside in the next door Camp spot. They were huge plots so we had plenty of room.

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It turns out that they has recently just bought it online from Palmerston North and was only 5 weeks old ! This one is a Flagstaff Mac made by the great American RV company Forest River.

Lance and Sophie with their trailer

This is their second one of this type although the first one was no where near as flash as this new one. They leveled it on the ground, plugged in the power cord to the post and flicked a switch and up it went! Quite impressive if you haven’t seen one before. Apparently their last one was a wind up one.

With a slide out dining area and the end bedroom areas that po out, its amazing how much room there is. It has a built in BIG gas heater for those cold nights too. Despite the fact that it is mostly canvas and several layers of blinds etc, it really holds the heat in.

Roomy!
Galley area

Lance was saying they got theirs second hand but they are available here new for around $32k fully kitted out which is an option for families who have a limited budget and don’t want a big Caravan.

Extra bed space
Dining area slideout

This was one of the first trips away they have had in it apart from bring it up from Palmerston North and they seemed very happy with it.

Looking across the slide out

A great couple enjoying their time on the road.

The Shiny Rosa

We all know how buses come in all shapes and sizes and this is why I find them amazing with self conversions as to what gets squeezed in and the décor.

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Paul, Ruth and Wilson the Labradoodle with their Motorhome behind.

My next door neighbours in Pauanui, Paul and Ruth were no exception to the surprises with their amazing bus.

Shiny new paint!

Their 2008 Mitsubishi Rosa was one of a fleet of 10 or so 19 seaters that had been downsized due to the Covid lockdown. Paul had the choice of a few but they are all bright red! When Paul made a mention of the colour, “We can paint it any colour you like in our paint bay”! So it was given a new paint job too !

Bedroom

Over the course of 6 weeks off work, they both got stuck in and completely redid the insides to make it work as a motorhome and it looks fantastic.

Looking back to the Bedroom area, Wilson’s bed below.

A King size bed right across the back with a bed underneath for their big Labradoodle underneath.

Oven and Microwave

On either side of the hallway on the sides are the toilet and shower on one side and the pantry, oven and galley on the other.

Loo with a view with the shower beside. No vision from the outside!

At the front is a table for 4 with new seats which were apparently a nightmare getting them certified for seat belts, and were installed on a solid plate together which in turn is bolted to the floor.

Looking down the hall to the Pantry

As Paul said it is still very much work in progress but from what I saw, on their first trip away, its all looking really good and very functional.

The Galley

We were sitting down outside after the images  and catching up on some of the details on their Motorhome when out of the blue, we realised that Paul’s brother and I used to work together at the Auckland Star back in the late 1980’s! .. Small world 🙂

Nice people, great motorhome and its going to look pretty flash when its all done.

One of the smaller Classic Caravans!

At the Liteweight 75th anniversary, and right next door to us was Karine and Ross in their 1956 Starliner Starlette Caravan.

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Karine and Ross with their Starlette

Its tiny but over the last few years, from the wheels up, they have completely stripped and restored this little beauty.  Ross has gone out of his way to keep it light and tow friendly .. it is less than 475 kgs!

It is a real Tardis but it is surprising how much room is there when the space is used efficiently.

It is what you’re used to as we found with our first Caravan, Wee Rafe.. not much bigger at 650kgs!

It is completely self contained and is surprising how much room it has in it.

Amazing amount of room
Lovely curves on the beds

They tow it with a 1964 Volvo 544 which would be a really rare car.  I haven’t seen any of them anyway.

Ross has completely rebuilt this too including replacing the motor with a Ford Sierra motor and gearbox. It has Ford Mondeo wheels, Smits Gauges on the dash (Triumph Dolomite) Hyundai seats and discs all around. It was a real eyecatcher!

The Volvo

With its awning out they looked quite at home entertaining their friends during the day.

Peter and Margie’s Award Caravan

Before I’d even turned off the motor, Peter emerged from his caravan as my neighbour to show me where I should park to avoid the soft spots. We were due to get some fairly heavy rain overnight in Coromandel so it was very helpful advice.

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After realigning Rafe to take advantage of some fairly serious layers of gravel under the grass, I switched off and went over to say hello.

Peter and Margie

After chatting to them for a while, Peter’s wife Margie said that their son was in the very first rotation when the NZ Army went into Afghanistan years ago. My son Alex was there about the same time and was in infantry but they didn’t know each other.

The Award Caravan

Back to the caravan ! ..Their Caravan was freshly imported from the UK about a year ago.

Click on the Gallery below for a slideshow

Peter and Margie live in Tuakau and had their daughter and her family here too.

Fully self contained with everything you need, there is plenty of room for all. With a centre island bed and completely self contained it is a very comfortable caravan.

Lounge area

I ended up spending two nights here with them and with another Tuakau friend in a pop up trailer caravan. Lots of fun with some nice people.

The Caravan

Vintage Ford Mainline with Bucket of Vino

One of the amazing finds at the Whangamata Beach Hop this year was literally parked right next to us. It was the vintage combination of a 1957 Ford Mainline Ute towing a Canadian Adventurer 5th Wheeler and it was a perfect match in scale and style.

The Ford Mainline

Coming from a Retro Caravan background, Ray and Cathie were keen to make it easier to get the self containment issue solved a so decided to start with the Ford Mainline and match it with a 5th wheeler..

Ray and Cathie with their “Bucket of Vino and their Ford Mainline

After selling their Caravan, they bought the Ford Mainline and at their home in Tauranga, fixed up some rust and upgraded the motor to a 347 Stroker Ford motor and a few other changes and with a really nice paint job, it looks spectacular.

The 5th Wheeler
With its new back

Then came the 5th wheeler which they found in Whangarei and over a 4 year period they’ve nearly completed the project. Ray described it to me as a “leaky building” and they recently just put a whole new back on it. I couldn’t get over how well matched they were in scale and style when they first arrived.

The Galley living space
Dining, look at that ceiling.
The Bedroom

It looks fabulous and its name Bucket of Vino suggests they’re going to celebrate their efforts with the project’s completion. 🙂

Looking back to the door.

First night away in their restored Liteweight Caravan

After 3 years or so of restoring their 1963 Liteweight Silver Mist, Ross and Kay finally got to get their first night away in it.  What a WOW moment and huge sense of satisfaction that must be, when you’re lying there on the first night taking it all in. 😊

I’m sure there were anxious moments but it all worked out well and they looked really comfortable in it.

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Kay and Ross with the Silver Mist

Over the course of a few years in between work commitments and building a house, they have finished what I thought was an absolute gem.

Plenty of room
Dinette / Bed

This is their first foray into older Caravans and  they have done a fabulous job of getting all the period door handles, power sockets and then decorated it with all the period fittings.

Looking really good guys,  a lovely Caravan, well done and nice to see you both again.

The Trakka Motorhome

I haven’t ever seen one of these so when one rocked up and parked right next to me, the Sherlock Holmes in me came out and I had to go and check it out.

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Julian and Dianne come all the way from Christchurch and bought it new in 2005.  It is 7metres long on a Fiat chassis complete with air suspension and they love it.

Comfy Lounge area and sleeping

It was made in West Auckland and apparently they were quite popular. They doing a big long tour around the north.

Click on the Gallery below to see a Slideshow

I was pleased to see a slightly older Fiat motorhome looking in such good condition and although you can see where technology has changed with switches and things it all still works to their satisfaction.

Galley

 

Open Plan Motorhoming

While I was in the NZMCA park in Coromandel, I bumped into Ben and Agnes who were getting ready to go for bike ride.

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They were in their new 4year old Coastal Motorhome. This 8.2 m beast is on a Mercedes Sprinter base and is their 2nd Coastal and they love it.

One of the things I noticed about it apart from the fantastic finish is the huge feeling of space around the living area and galley.

Nice feeling of space.

This comes about by having the Toilet and Shower area across the back where it is most often found opposite the galley, closing the living area in. The Queen size centre island bed has no partitioning between the bedroom to the galley, also adding to that spacious feel. ..Interesting.

Looking forward.

The only downside I can see with this is there is no way of closing the bedroom area off from the living space but then you might not want to 🙂

Nice galley area

There favorite destination is anywhere in the South Island where they’ve been 4 times in the last couple of years.. a lovely Motorhome.

The bedroom. Toilet and Shower behind