Tag Archives: Special events

Dethleffs Owners Group Get together 2018

Every year this is an event I look forward to and we missed it last year as we were in the South Island.  This year it was held at Zion Motorhomes new premises at Pokeno rather than the usual Rally somewhere.

The rain on the way.

As the Rally this year was at The A&P Showgrounds at Pukekohe next to the Racetrack, Fiona and I decided we’d go straight to Pokeno and camp outside for the night. This worked really well as we found a driveway next to the Rental fleet yard and later we were joined by three or four others. Those at the showgrounds were bussed out to Pokeno and back.

Since we bought Rafe, Jonas and Irene have added several new brands of Motorhomes to their stable.  This year we were  also joined by Morelo, Frankia and Niessman and Bichoff owners too.

Other overnighters outside who later moved down near where we were in Rafe in the distance. It was windy and rainy too!

In previous years, they’ve been held at Camping grounds and one year was at the Car Museum in Hamilton where Gary and I did the parking!

The layout

The event was well organised  by the Zion crew with a couple of ladies singing and the food was fantastic.

Irene during the quiz and prizes

Over the course of the night, there were some spot prizes given out. Some were drawn out of the pot and others were for answers to some easy questions.. like who’s the youngest and who had the highest NZMCA number !

Click on the Gallery below to see a Slideshow

It was nice to see some of our old friends that we haven’t seen for a while and amazing to think that our Rafe is one of the oldest Dethleffs Motorhomes on NZ roads as Jonas only started bringing them in not long before we bought ours 🙂

A great night thanks to Jonas and team and I’m looking forward to next years.

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.

Click on the images for Hi Res

Outside

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.

Click on the Gallery below for a slideshow

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..!

A Sea of White

The Motorhome and Caravan parking was a real treat. The NZMCA volunteers pulled out all the stops and the result was amazing.

The whole scene. Behind the pavilion was chocker with Motorhomes as well..

The few volunteers that I spoke to were enjoying themselves with everyone parking as instructed and it looked great.

I really enjoyed catching up with several old friends and seeing some new ones too.

It was good to catch up with Chris and Margaret and the crew from the NZ Motorhome Forum people who had their own little spot.

The NZ Motorhome Forum Happy Hour.

I also caught up with John and Sarah Pedersen for the first time. John does a blog called Licensed to Retire.

You can tell where the Satellite was !

And it was nice to Nelson and Maree and their friends from Caniwi.

Everywhere you looked there was a sea of white and a few other colours! I’m not sure how many Motorhomes were there but there must have been hundreds.

The parking!

Great parking and great organisation of the event itself and I’m looking forward to next years now it is every year!

Settling down

The Netspeed speedtest for this location
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Rafe’s Track to Mystery Creek

The Hamilton NZMCA Motorhome Show

Along with a few hundred others, I arrived fashionably early and we were all marshalled into a temporary parking area on the grass.

Click on an image for Hi Res.

The parking!

Kickoff at midday came and the lines formed to get in and once settled, there were old friends catching up everywhere you looked.

One of the many happy setups

The parking was superbly managed and given the huge task of parking hundreds of Motorhomes and Caravans along with Buses with Toads, the end result was just a work of art. Well done to all the volunteers who pitched in. An amazing effort.

Out with the awning

I was only there half an hour and spotted Nelson and Maree in Caniwi so popped in for a chat with them and later caught up with them for a drink after also catching up with John and Sarah Pedersen. It was really nice to catch up with them too. John does a blog called licenced to retire.

The next morning was showtime! .. I’d only just stepped in the door when Chris Nuttall tapped me on the shoulder. Chris runs the NZ Motorhome Forum and it was nice to see him. It has been a wee while!

The Swift Caravans are always a treat and this years new models didn’t disappoint. See below

Click on the Gallery below for a slideshow

With the bathroom and shower at the back, an east-west bed and then Galley and Lounge at the other end, with the finish and polish you would expect from Swift.

I was really impressed with the new Dethleffs Caravans for Families. One of them has two bunks with a childrens lounge at one end, the bathroom and shower facilities, a french bed and Galley area and then a big adult lounge at the other end. Its a big Caravan but they also have a smaller one without the kids lounge which is also a little cheaper.

Click on the Gallery below for a slideshow

Most of the big manufacturers were there, Trailite, Bailey, Jayco along with many others and it was nice to see Eldiss’s new Motorhomes too.

Click on the Gallery below for a slideshow

Going from one manufacturers Caravans and Motorhomes to another all in one spot, its really interesting seeing the different design styles and layouts.

I was really interested to talk to Carters Tyres executive Phil Jackson who was at the NZMCA stand, about tyres. Phil was telling me that many Motorhomes and Caravans are actually close to the weight limit of their tyres with some even over. This isn’t something that I ever thought about to be honest as you tend to watch things like GVM and axle weights. His team were going to weigh Motorhome and Caravans the next morning including Rafe.

I also found out that they have a brand called Giti which are well suited for Motorhomes and Caravans and will perform as well as or outperform my current factory fitted european tyres, and they’re less expensive too especially with the NZMCA discount.  I’m really looking forward to finding out more as mine have done 58000k’s and need replacing!!

Rafe’s tyre weights were interesting. Weighed without me and without the bikes on the back, my current weight was just about 50 kg’s under on the front (each wheel) and would have been just over on the back with the bikes. The Giti’s have another 100kgs approx of payload each compared to my current tyres… who would have known!

Rafe’s overall GVM is just under 4300kg and on a heavy day is 4100kg with water, wine, groceries and packed with two of us ready to go.
After having a great chat with Phil, and Ryan from NZMCA and a few others, I headed out the other end for a bite of something. There was a huge covered area with picnic tables with food carts down both sides offering all the usual treats. Some music was provided too.

Click on the Gallery below for a slideshow

From here I’ll let the pictures tell the story but a fabulous show and I heard that it is now going to be an annual event. I can’s say enough about the volunteer parking people who did an amazing job with what seemed to be a zillion Motorhomes and Caravans.

From the early days

The Vintage Caravans looked fantastic too.

The Vintage section

Another go with the House

We tried and we failed earlier in the year after putting the house on the market without any real tarting up. The house had been rented out for a couple of years and needed tidying up. The advice we had was let the new buyers add their own stamp which is what I thought too but the Devonport market seems to be a wee bit pickier than that.

The feedback was the house needed a bit of TLC and everyone seemed scared to come near it!

Blinds cleaned, room, windows, skirtings, doors all painted.

Over the last month or so, we’ve sanded, fixed up and painted all the doors. We’ve repainted 7 rooms through the house including windows, architraves and skirting boards.

Click on the Gallery below to see a slideshow

We’ve had the garden made over and the house professionally water blasted.. its looking great. We also had some lots of help from stylist friend Stacey, along with Jenna and Fiona with the staging and it looks heaps better.  Lighter and cleaner looking seems to be the name of the game!

Check out the piccies below…Click on the Gallery for a Slideshow

The first open homes this weekend and we already have plenty of interest so its looking good. It also has powered Motorhome parking and we have a Motorhomer interested in it 🙂

And what we did before.. Click on the Gallery for a slideshow

Fingers and toes crossed !

The New MORELO Palace

And soon one might be on its way to NZ! This will be the first of this make/model of this size in the country..!

This is the last in the series of images of flash Motorhomes  from Jonas in Dusseldorf and its of the new Morelo Palace. Thanks to Jonas for making them available.

Click on the Gallery below to see a slideshow of the interior

In the Uk, these are sold from 186 K Euros. The UK ones are fitted out as follows

IVECO 6.5T Chassis
Meier Chassis
Double Floor
43mm Insulation
Alde Heating
3.0Ton Tow.
SLIDE OUT
CAR GARAGE

I hope you enjoyed his photos.

New Model Niesmann + Bischoff Arto 88LF


These images are hot off the press from Jonas Ng who is at the big Motorhome and Caravan show in Dusseldorf in Germany.

Jonas’s comment on this “Impressive” as well :-)..

Click on the Gallery below for a slideshow of the Interior

The new Niesmann and Bischoff is based on the Fiat Ducato and in NZ are 180HP with a 6 speed comformatic gearbox. These start at NZ$280K in NZ.

We met up with our friends Dianne and Gary in the UK when they first laid eyes on their Arto 88F, a slightly different model than this one. They were over the moon and have been since with it being one of the first of its kind in NZ. Check this out for another look at their thing of beauty.

A happy Dianne in the living area while Fiona inspects Gary and Dianne’s unit in the UK 🙂

 

The New MORELO Empire Liner

These images are hot off the press from Jonas Ng who is at the big Motorhome and Caravan show in Dusseldorf in Germany.

Jonas is Managing Director and with his wife Irene, they own Zion Motorhomes in Pokeno who also import Frankia, Neismann Bischoff  and Dethleffs Motorhomes.

This new vehicle is based on the Mercedes Benz Atego 1530L… Jonas’s comment “Impressive”!

Click on the Gallery below for a slideshow of the interior

This model starts at 450K Euros and is on either a Mercedes or Eurocargo base chassis depending on the customers needs. Jonas has some other smaller models made exclusively for the NZ market but if you want an Empire, I’m sure he could be persuaded to get you one 🙂

Enjoy his photos.

The Grand Opening

And  even Gary the Mayor was there too!

Click on an image to see Hi Res

It was a great occasion and the Central Bay of Plenty crew did a fantastic job getting it all across the line.

Nice tidy parking

Fiona had work on Monday so wasn’t keen on a flog down there from Auckland and back for 2 days so I was on my own. So fighting a worsening cold, I jumped into Rafe and off I went.

Lots of white behind the water feature at the gate!

As I came around the last bend before the camp, all I could see was lots of white from Caravans and Motorhomes.. was there going to be room! There were 68 vehicles in the park and it was chocker.

I arrived just in time for a drink in the tent with many others which was perfect timing. It was nice to see so many old friends there too.

The park is looking good and the CBOP team had all hands on deck making sure that everything was covered.

Click on the Gallery below to see a slide show

Early on the Saturday, it was all hands on deck for a mass tree planting of all the bunds around the park. It was great to see the party atmosphere that came with it. This was followed by a nice bbq’d sausage lunch which went down a treat.

The 2pm opening came around just inside the entrance to the park and lots dragged their deckchairs out for a ringside seat.

The grand opening by the gate

Guest of honour was Audrey who is number 164 and is now in her 90’s. She was planting a tree along with Gary the Mayor and Ross Hamilton from the board. There was also a tree planted by a senior parks manager from the council, Peter.

Audrey, Gary the Mayor, Peter from the council and Ross from the board.

After the ribbon cutting performed by Audrey and Gary the Mayor, it was back to the tent for the cutting of the cake and some refreshments.

Audrey and Gary the Mayor curting the ribbon.

Earlier in the day, I managed to get a pic of Audrey (164) with one of the NZMCA’s newer members and first timers at a Rally, Bill and Colleen. (81847)

New members Bill and Colleen (81847) with board member Ross and Audrey (164)

A nice afternoon and lots of fun.. and my cold is much better now too 🙂

Rafe’s Track to the NZMCA park

The Control Gates at Aratiatia

On the way to the National Equestrian centre where we were to stay for the night, there is a bridge and dam that is crossed which crosses the Aratiatia Control Gates.

Click on an image for Hi Res

Waiting for the start with the gates behind

Every now and then, they open the gates to let the water head down the Waikato river. It is spectacular and there are always good crowds there to see it happen.

Before

The rush of water is amazing and the area below the bridge transforms from empty to full with millions of litres of water in minutes.

Nearly full

There is good parking there for Motorhomes and Caravans and while we were there, there was a visit from the Huka Falls Jetboat.

The Huka Falls jet above the gates

We quietly queued up and waited for the sirens and then the rush of water.

Click on the Gallery below for a slideshow of the stages

An amazing spectacle and you can check with the Taupo visitors centre for opening times.

After the action, we moved on up to the Equestrian Centre for the night.. another favorite place.

Toilets, Showers and rubbish right opposite

The prices have changed and are now $5 per person plus $5 for power. This includes access to a toilet and shower. A good place to stop for a night.