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iMotorhome

Great Expectations!

Issue 2: Dec 03 2016

Win!

$50 for the! best letter

TToHuring te st LR enega de

We had great expectations of the Carado T449, but could it live up to them?


2 About iMotorhome

iMotorhome New Zealand magazine is published on the first Saturday of each month and is available by free subscription from www.imotorhome.co.nz. Reader contributions are always welcome! Follow us on Facebook and Twitter Facebook “f ” Logo

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PO Box 1738, Bowral. NSW 2776. Australia.

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ABN: 34 142 547 719

E: chris@imotorhome.co.nz

Christopher O'Hare

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© 2016 iMotorhome. All content of iMotorhome New Zealand Magazine and website is copyright and cannot be reproduced in any form without the written permission of the publisher. Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of content, however no responsibility is accepted for any inconvenience and/or loss arising from reading and/or acting upon information contained within iMotorhome New Zealand Magazine or any iMotorhome websites.

Richard Robertson E: richard@imotorhome.co.nz Editor Malcolm Street E: malcolm@imotorhome.co.nz


3


4 Street view

Kia ora!

H

aere mai to the second edition of iMotorhome NZ. I'm not long back from the Camper Care NZ Motorhome, Caravan and Leisure Show in Christchurch. Whilst there I took the opportunity to spend a few extra days not only catching up with various dealers and manufacturers, but also enjoying a little bit of the Garden City.

I spent a few nights in the Top Ten Holiday Park and in the kitchen one evening I read the emergency evacuation plan. What actually caught my eye on the fairly new looking sign was the word "earthquake" rather than the more usual fire and medical headings. It detailed specifically what to do in the event of an earthquake and I briefly wondered what it might be like to be in a motorhome when an earthquake happened. Of course, had I been in town for a few more days I would have found out, because the earthquake that caused so much damage and distress particularly around Kaikoura is now part of history. I've been to Kaikoura a few times and remember very well the spectacular views that are there to be enjoyed, especially from Kaikoura Point looking north to where the mountains meet the sea. As many know, Kaikoura is well known for its resident seal population and whale watching. Judging from various media reports, no one quite knows how they, particularly the seals have been affected. For many of us, apart from giving money, there probably aren't too many ways we can help the local residents but one sure way, once the roads are open and the area safe again, is to plan to visit. There's nothing like giving the local economy a boost by helping businesses in the most practical way – buying their goods and services. Apart from anything else, Kaikoura is a great place to visit.

I mentioned earlier that I spent a few nights in the Top Ten Holiday Park whilst in Christchurch. I quite like the park; it being fairly central and close to facilities like shops, restaurants and the airport. It’s also popular with other travellers; this being demonstrated by the considerable number of rental motorhomes booked in each night. A novel feature, at least for motorhomers, is the drive-through check in – no need to get out of your motorhome until you get to your site! It's my practice when in any town to check out other caravan parks, as I did one night to the south of the city. Talk about chalk and cheese. Clearly the park gets most of its income from semi permanent residents and I, along with the only other motorhome in the park that night, gained the impression we almost weren't welcome. It’s not a good look, especially as I paid the same rate for much better facilities and more friendly people at the Top Ten..... During my last few visits to Christchurch I've made some interesting discoveries in the form of regional parks. They are not on every tourist's list of places to see but in the course of looking for photographic locations I've visited quite a few. The Groynes (north of Christchurch) or Coutts Island and Waimakariri River Park – both close to the Waimakariri River – are very pleasant places to relax for a hour or so. On my list this trip was the Governors Bay area above Lyttelton Harbour, since I had a grey day on my last visit. It's still on my list since I scored another grey day for my proposed trip. But that's NZ for you, always something to do next time! Enjoy your reading.

Malcolm


40 Header 40

DONT CALL IT A DREAM. CALL IT A PLAN!


6 Contents

2

About Us

8

Behind the Wheel

4

Who we are, where and other legal stuff

So Close

10

Street View Kia ora!

Letters Win $50 for the best letter!

12

News

20

Touring Test: Carado T449

42

Touring Test: THL Renegade

56

Feature: Christchurch Show

60

Technical: Power Play

64

Travel

72

What's On

What’s happening in the wider RV world and beyond

Great Expectations – Could the Carado T449 live up to our great holiday expectations?

Renegade or Not? Malcolm Street’s view on this big, used 6-berth

A peek at the recent Christchurch show…

Fiat’s downsized 2017 Ducato engine promises much…

Say Cheese!

Things to do for the next three months!

68

MobileTech

78

Next Issue

Christmas Apps!

What’s coming up and which shows are on soon!


Header 7

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8 Behind the Wheels

So Close

W

e were free camping in perhaps the most beautiful spot ever; a beachfront nook sheltered by pines, with a thoughtfully stacked driftwood windbreak. Apart from occasional late night traffic on SH1 not far behind us, a solitary light down the coast was the only sign we didn’t have the planet to ourselves. The campfire crackled as embers glowed; overhead, stars wheeled in impossibly clarity while pounding waves set a rhythm for the night; one as old as the world itself. It’s nights like those that people in luxury hotels will never know. Campers know them, as do those who venture from civilisation seeking fulfilment, enlightenment or just escape from the pressures of modern life. It’s also nights like those we love the freedom and comfort a motorhome brings; allowing us one moment to be a part of something almost primeval and the next, cosseted by civilisation’s comforts. The following morning we meandered just a short distance south to Kaikoura and the next day our adventure ended in Christchurch and we flew home. Three weeks later news of the earthquake brought home the fragility of all we accept as safe and immutable. We found it surreal to think that just three hours flying time away is a land where the chance of such things is everyday reality. Our thoughts went out to people suddenly coping with a dramatically altered world and the hardships that entails. Events like this also bring out the best in people and it was wonderful to read about NZMCA members rallying to help in any and every way possible. While natural disasters are just that, the response they trigger in humanity – whatever their location – is universal and instinctive. It’s a reminder that no matter our

culture or creed we are all human and can identify with the suffering of overwhelming situations. I have a mate who was visiting Christchurch on business the day the big ‘quake struck. He was in a bank boardroom meeting and said that as the room tilted and the huge table pinned him and others against the wall he thought he was going to die. But he was one of the lucky ones. In the three days that followed – as chaos engulfed the city and the world held its breath – he and a colleague were befriended by a local woman who accommodated them and others in the shell of her CBD-fringe house. They slept inside but ran out at every aftershock, drank rainwater from broken gutters and ate tinned food from her shattered pantry. A neighbouring nursing home was cut off from power, water and staff, so all of them spent a couple of days caring for the elderly as best they could. Eventually, emergency services reached them all and some semblance of order returned. He and his colleague were flown home to Australia by the RAAF and he walked out of the airport a changed man. Soon after, he proposed to his longtime girlfriend. Not long after the marriage they left high pressure corporate jobs in Sydney and moved to Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. I’m pleased to say both are now ‘living their dream’ and have never been happier. That disasters strike and are terrible is inescapable. That they can bring out the best in people and change lives for the better is their silver lining. To those affected by this or any other tragedy we send our sincerest wishes for the best possible outcome. Life is fragile, so grab it with both hands and hang on tight. And while hanging on, go make those memories that just might help you get by should events get so close you become a part of their story…

Richard


Header 9


10 Letters

Win $50 for the best letter!

You’re invited to share your thoughts, comments, questions or bright ideas in our Letters section. The best letter published receives $50, so if you have something to say please email it editor@imotorhome.co.nz . Good Luck

Thanks Kaikoura!

M

y wife and I have just returned from New Zealand, where we were caught in the earthquake zone – what an experience. The people of Kaikoura were marvellous with their generosity and kindness to locals and tourists alike. In the time we were there after the earthquake and before outside help arrived we paid very little for anything.  We were given free food, medication, bottled water and camp fees. There was a concerted effort to ensure all visitors were cared for and comfortable – well, as comfortable as one can be without electricity, running water and sewer. We were in a motorhome parked in a holiday park south of town just near their little airstrip. The van – a Maui Mercedes Sprinter – rocked violently from side to side, so much so I feared it was going to tip over.  Our stuff went everywhere and the front curtains opened to reveal red and blue flashes of light commonly

associated with earthquakes. The kettle suffered a dent and the two crockery cups on the bench, which were ready for our wakeup cuppa, toppled off.  Fortunately we hadn't latched the cutlery draw properly and it opened and caught the cups as they fell, unharmed! There were two quakes with just a very brief pause between. The whole event lasted 90 seconds and the rumbling noise was very scary!  I jumped out of bed, put on my clothes and shoes and ventured outside. The first thing I heard was a voice saying, “But it's been downgraded to a 9.5…”.  I immediately disconnected and stowed the power cable and observed some vehicles were leaving. I chatted to a Kiwi who said he was heading up the highway to go inland – I didn't have to be told twice. My very calm wife had returned to bed so I suggested she pop into the passenger seat


Letters 11

as we were about to head west. I followed a couple of vans travelling at what I thought was a leisurely pace. Didn't they know we could be overtaken by dolphins and whales at anytime, I thought?  It wasn't until I saw the first major crack in the road that I realised slow and steady was the way to go.  We all camped around 4 km inland, outside a farm, until daylight. We then dispersed and went our separate ways. There had been a tsunami that reached shore about 15 minutes after we had arrived at our farm camp spot.  Fortunately it was reported to be 2 m and arrived at dead low tide, which was sitting 2 m below the high water mark. Consequently, no water broke beyond the beach. As far as I know our van is still sitting at the Kaikoura school waiting to be driven out. Maui were marvellous and put on a chartered helicopter to ferry stranded customers out of the area.  We were told the road west would be opened in about 5 days so we decided to stay.  When it was apparent the road wasn't going to open that early we took the offer of a free cruise on the New Zealand Navy’s ship HMNZS Canterbury, where we spent two very comfortable nights as guests of the NZ Government. The cruise itself was only four hours and most of our time on the ship was spent watching the magnificent relief effort whilst anchored off Kaikoura. Helicopters from NZ, Australia, the US and Canada worked all day moving equipment and stores ashore from the Canterbury.  Maui has already refunded our security deposit and while one could never plan a trip like this, it was rare to have the opportunity to be a guest on a naval ship! Overall it was a scary experience but an incredible one, which at times was very uplifting. We saw humanity at

its best and as a nation New Zealand punches well above its weight.  I would like to encourage anyone visiting the South Island of New Zealand – Aussie or Kiwi – to spend at least one night in Kaikoura to help pay back some of what the locals gave to us tourists during what was a very distressing time for them. Post earthquake it is still a beautiful place to see and one night isn’t really enough. This community now has to rebuild and as it’s a tourist town, without tourists it will wither. For the scenery alone it is worth a visit but the Kaikoura community deserve our support. Could iMotorhome NZ in conjunction with iMotorhome Australia run an article about the town, it's wonderful scenery and the generosity and resilience of the community? Unfortunately my photos are a bit light on and regrettably don't convey the true situation as we weren't able to get to the worst locations due to the damaged roads and travel restrictions.  Cheers, Bevan Thanks Bevan, that’s quite a tale and absolutely my pleasure to share it and encourage people to spend time in Kaikoura; a place we visited just recently and are very fond of. I think your story and photos are a powerful motivator and when we know the road has reopened and the town is properly open for business again we’ll run a special feature. For you efforts please accept the first $50 prize for an iMotorhome New Zealand letter. Perhaps you should put it towards your next and hopefully complete New Zealand holiday!


12 News

Latest News NEWS WANTED If you, your company or organisation have topical news to share with the wider motorhome community then let iMotorhome New Zealand know. Reader letters relating to news, articles in this issue or other topics are also encouraged. Send all correspondence and images to editor@imotorhome.co.nz and we’ll do our best to include it.

VOLUNTEERING – THE NZMCA WAY NZMCA members can certainly be proud of themselves, following the actions of over 300 members who volunteered to assist after the earthquake that damaged so much infrastructure at Kaikoura and surrounding areas. On the day following the earthquake, the NZMCA sent out a request seeking volunteer drivers. Such was the response from as far away as Invercargill, that a second request was sent out requesting no more volunteers. NZMCA President Bruce Stanger commented that, “We have always been proud of our club members' willingness to voluntarily give their time to help others, but this response is beyond our wildest expectations”. What some of the 300 volunteer drivers will be doing is moving the 100-plus rental motorhomes that became stuck in Kaikoura following the earthquake. A difficult logistical exercise for the rental companies, yet one that is more easily accomplished by experienced motorhome drivers when the roads into Kaikoura are opened. iMotorhome NZ can only say well done fellow motorhomers – do travel safely and thank you for your efforts.


14 News

DETHLEFFS' NEW MODEL Amongst a host of new Dethleffs models coming to NZ is the Globus T7 6.98 m (21’) A-class motorhome. With a GVM of just 3499 kg it's also packed with features that include an island bed, more than 600 kg of load capacity, a spacious front lounge and capacity for 4 passengers. Like most of the Dethleffs range, the Globus T7 is based on a Fiat Ducato Multijet chassis. It comes with the 2.3 litre 109 kW/150 hp turbo-diesel engine that drives through Fiat's 6-speed AMT gearbox. For better handling and ground clearance, Acacia Motorhomes NZ have specified 16-inch wheels as standard. There are also a number of alternative Globus layouts available. For further information on the North Island call Acacia Motorhomes 0800 112 828 or UCC on the South Island on 0800 222 108. You can also find them online here


Header 15

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16 News16

TRAILLITE MOVING TrailLite have announced that in April next year they will be moving to a new location in Christchurch – 61 Hayton Rd Wigram. Anyone who has visited their existing premises at Hornby will know things are somewhat crowded. The new facility will allow for displaying much more of the TrailLite, Auto-Sleeper and Benimar ranges of motorhomes already available, in addition to the Bailey caravans that up until now really have not fitted in.

According to Adam Newman, TrailLite operations manager, “Securing the perfect site is a project we have been working on for a number of months. While it has taken some time it will be well worth it, come April. We have been involved in the Christchurch community for a long time now and felt it was time to bring more of our range, expertise and overall TrailLite experience to the south by delivering a larger TrailLite exclusive site". The April opening date will be advised in the near future but until then the Hornby site at 280 Main South Road remains open for business. For anyone interested in staying up to date with the new Christchurch branch, including joining the mailing list for notification of the official launch event, please email newsletter@traillite.co.nz. You can also call 0800 872 455 or visit the website here


News 17

SHARE YOUR MOTORHOME? Want to make a little money from your motorhome? Then consider joining the ShareaCamper New Zealand scheme. Developed by Simone Johnstone and Samuel Latter, the company puts owners happy to rent out their motorhome in touch with travellers who wish to rent them out. ShareaCamper can advise on the necessary details, like rates and insurance. Call 03 668 1211 for more information or visit their website here

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18 News

SMART CLUBS! At the recent Camper Care New Zealand Motorhome, Caravan and Leisure Show in Christchurch, SmartRV held a Mix and Mingle event for both Bürstner and Carado owners. It was a first time get together for Carado owners but for the two-year old Bürstner Owners Club it was a an opportunity to get together again. Boasting nearly 500 members, the Club offers a number of benefits, including that of meeting together with fellow Bürstner owners and receiving early notice of SmartRV and Bürstner developments.

According to John Managh, SmartRV’s managing director, “The club allows Bürstner owners to compare notes, swap tips and share photos of recent adventures. We really love hosting events and helping people to connect over their passion for the open road. It’s for that reason that we at SmartRV are looking to create a similar club for Carado owners but we'll have to wait until the numbers grow, which based on current sales, won't be too long.” John said. Call 0800 007 627 for more details or visit the website here

NAPIER CITY COUNCIL REJECTS CAMPERVAN BAN Napier City Council has rejected a proposal to ban campervans from a popular Westmore reserve. However, it has resolved to limit the vehicle numbers at the site instead. This action has been taken in part because of objections from nearby residents and is clearly a compromise to see how things pan out. The message is clear though wherever freedom camping is allowed – do the right thing at all times!


Header 19

“With views like this across the bay, Kaikoura’s stunning natural beauty is reason enough to stop and stay awhile…”


20 Touring Test – Carado T449

Great Expectations! We had great expectations of the Carado T449, but could it live up to them? by Richard Robertson


TOURING TEST 21

M

rs iMotorhome and I had been seriously looking forward to our eight day trip in the Carado T449. Not only was it a chance to revisit NZ by motorhome for the first time in four years, it was to be our first experience living in an imported European model. So no pressure then… The vehicle came from Wilderness, the rental arm of SmartRV – NZ importers of Bürstner and Carado motorhomes. It’s a clever symbiotic business relationship that helps spread brand awareness, allows prospective buyers to try some of the models and also provides a steady stream of young and relatively low mileage used models. We picked up in Auckland and dropped off in Christchurch, and along the way were reminded of why New Zealand is the perfect motorhome destination. Carado might sit below Bürstner in the prestige stakes, but the T449 is a good looking motorhome that’s well built, well equipped and easily able to stand in the market on its own merits.


22 TOURING TEST

Car Who?

C

arado is the entry-level brand of the Erwin Hymer Group from Germany. Hymers are widely regarded as the best mass produced European motorhomes and while Carado is entry level, it’s a relative term. Carado motorhomes benefit from the same design, engineering and manufacturing expertise as all brands in the Hymer Group, which includes Bürstner. Where most money is saved is on things like a limited range of floor plans and the Group’s buying power. There’s certainly nothing cheap or basic about Carado motorhomes. Wilderness calls the Carado T449 an Outlander 4 in its rental fleet, which makes it easier for customers to remember and means they can use any suitable vehicle under that name. In line with other fleet model names, the ‘4’ refers to its seating and sleeping capacity. In our terms this is a B-class motorhome but Carado calls it a Low Profile. They also offer Coach Built motorhomes, which we’d call C-class because they have an over-cab bed. Finally, like all motorhomes from the Erwin Hymer Group – including all right-hand drive models it sells in the UK – every Carado has its main entry door on the driver’s side. I’d read much about the disadvantages of this in a right-hand drive environment and it was an aspect I was keen to experience first hand, but more on that later…

Our test vehicle was part of the rental fleet of Wilderness, which is owned by SmartRV. Being able to try a specific vehicle, or even just the style or brand, is a terrific way to get to know just how suitable it might be for you.


TOURING TEST 23

Mechanically

C

arado is a Fiat-only motorhome brand and all models ride on a single version of the Ducato cab-chassis: the Multijet 130. This uses the least powerful version of the 2.3-litre engine, producing 96 kW (130 hp) of power and 320 Nm of torque, but with a gross vehicle mass of only 3495 kg it’s okay. Importantly, it qualifies for a WOF in private usage. While on weights, the tare is 2945 kg, payload 550 kg and the braked towing capacity is 2000 kg. While it might be the baby of the Ducato range power-wise, on the safety front it still has dual front airbags, anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control, traction control and a hill holder. It also comes with a reversing camera, cruise control, day running lights and all the usual Ducato niceties like cab airconditioning, heated electric mirrors, electric windows and even a leather wrapped steering wheel (although no wheel-mounted audio controls). Interestingly, it has an aftermarket touchscreen audio system that displayed the reversing camera image, but sadly no GPS. For navigation I used TomTom in my iPhone 6 Plus, held securely in place by the Ducato’s excellent pop-up phone/tablet holder atop the dashboard, and used power from a dash

“Importantly, it qualifies for a WOF in private usage” USB charging outlet just below. I was also able to Bluetooth my phone through the sound system, although it wasn’t fussed on reliably broadcasting TomTom’s navigation directions.


24 TOURING TEST

Investigating some freedom camping spots proved the value of the ground clearance afforded by the standard Fiat Ducato chassis. In this situation we got over a rise in the track that would have snagged a lower-slung vehicle.

The Carado T449 we had was one of a small batch of manual vehicles on the Wilderness fleet. It’s a long time since I’d driven a manual Fiat Ducato and given the limited output of the engine I was keen to see how the ‘little’ 2.3-litre engine and 6-speed manual worked; both in combination and at keeping the vehicle moving along in the real world. Measuring 7.43 m (24’ 5”) long, 2.3 m (7’ 6”) wide and 2.91 m tall (9’ 6”), the Carado T449 is not a small motorhome, especially

by European standards. One benefit of the Fiat chassis, especially compared to the ALKO chassis fitted to some Ducatos, is the substantial ground clearance. This allowed us to explore some freedom camping locations that would have been out-of-bounds in other vehicles and with a set of all-terrain tyres I think you’d be surprised how far you could get in this vehicle. That increased ground clearance does require the inclusion of an electric entry step, however.


TOURING TEST 25

Body Building

T

he sleek body is made using walls that sandwich solid XPS foam between external aluminium sheeting and internal ply. The roof and rear wall use glass reinforced plastic (fibreglass) on both sides of the foam core, as does the floor. Windows are double glazed acrylic swing-outs, but without integrated insect screens and privacy blinds. For these items Carado fits a separate internal window frame with pull-down blinds. However, in our rental situation only the kitchen window was thusly equipped. Fortunately, the six roof hatches – all of varying sizes and spread between the cab, above the roof bed, over the kitchen, above the main bed and in the bathroom and over the shower – were all screened. Our rental Carado T449 had a number of differences from one you’d buy new. Apart from the window screens this meant it missed out on the 4-metre wind-out awning, 150 W solar panel and pair of 9 kg gas cylinders. At the rear of the body a tunnel boot (or garage depending on your terminology) runs the full

Above: The sleek Carado T449 is a B-class motorhome (no over-cab bed) and its appearance is enhanced by factory black alloy wheels and a pleasing colour/striping package. Below: Thanks to its 122-litre fresh water capacity, filling the water tank wasn’t an overly regular task.


26 TOURING TEST

The tunnel boot runs under the main bed. Its size would easily handle a couple of sets of golf clubs or even a pair of mountain bikes and it comes with strong tie-down points. LPG cylinder storage is in a cupboard just inside the smaller door on the far end.

2.2 metres across the vehicle, below the main bed. It’s 1.23 m deep at its maximum and 0.96 m tall, providing plenty of bulky item storage for things like golf clubs or a mountain bike or two, and comes with heavy-duty tie-down points on an adjustable slide track. Large doors on either end – the biggest is on the driver’s side – provide good access and the gas cylinders are located in their own compartment just inside the kerb-side door. Fresh water capacity is a commendable 122 litres, although as seems to be the norm with European motorhomes no mains water connector is fitted. Grey water capacity is 92 litres and hot water 10-litres. While as mentioned the standard LPG provision is 2 x 9 kg cylinders, for rental purposes the fit-out is 1 x 9 kg and 1 x 4 kg; the latter sized for easier external use with a barbecue. The water heater is a Truma Combi 6E, a gas/ electric system that also provides heating to

the living area and which proved very efficient. I counted four adjustable and three fixed heater outlets and it worked a treat. The location of the hot water/heating controls, however, on an angled corner of the main bed base where it’s dark and usually concealed by the doona was perhaps the most inconvenient I’ve encountered. I know it’s there because the Truma unit is underneath the bed and it keeps costs down, but seriously? A few extra Euros spent on putting the controls at head height on the bathroom wall would be money very well spent! A last thought on the LPG system: The 9 kg cylinder lasted us the full 8 days and ran the two-door fridge freezer when we weren’t driving or plugged into mains power; provided cooking every day for up to 3 meals, hot water and lowish-level heating used every night. It took 8.1 kg when topped up on the last morning, so I’d say a week from one cylinder would be realistic. Just watch it in winter if using the heating more seriously.


TOURING TEST 27

"With a set of all-terrain tyres I think you’d be surprised how far you could get in this vehicle"


28 TOURING TEST

Behind the Wheel!

F

irst impressions are funny things. Driving out of Wilderness’ Auckland depot my first impression was, “This is a bit of a slug”. A few hours down the road I’d changed to “This is fine,” and after a couple of days it was “What was the question?”. By the time we were into our last days I’d have happily lived with that engine/gearbox combination forever.

automated manual and reserve my judgment on that for now. Maybe next time?

Outright performance aside the Carado T449 drove pretty much like every other Fiat Ducato motorhome I’ve driven – well. It’s comfy, quiet when cruising, provides good visibility and is easily manoeuvrable. In other words it’s civilised, modern and car-like. In the course of While there’s no disguising the lack of kilowatts our travels we covered 1536 km at an average and Newton metres, the real world reality is of 11.18 L/100 km or 24.4 mpg. The best that when you’re touring the prevailing speed was 10.7 L/100 km (26.4 mpg) and the worst limit and road conditions are usually the limiting 12.1 L/100 km (23.3 mpg). Considering it was factors. To this end the ‘little’ Fiat acquitted a new engine, the terrain in many places and itself well, and surprised in steep terrain that I wasn’t driving for economy, that’s pretty where second and third gears were highly good. effective. I’ve often wondered why Europeans All-in-all I was sceptical of the engine’s ability to choose lower powered vehicles considering deliver an acceptable driving experience, but the mountains all around them. Now I know by trip’s end I was thinking it would be quite and I’d have no hesitation buying this engine/ transmission combination myself. The gearbox okay in Australia. Funny how sometimes you just need time with a vehicle to understand itself had a light clutch and slightly long, deliberate changes that I’m sure would free-up and appreciate its character, attributes and abilities. with use. I haven’t driven this engine with the

Mrs iMotorhome was right at home behind the wheel and very happy to make a mile or two in the Carabao T449.


TOURING TEST 29

Us Indoors…

M

oving indoors meant entering via the doorway on the driver’s side, unless we felt like entering through the cab (which we did on a few occasions). As I said I’d read and heard comments on how unsafe this is and so was keen to discover the truth for myself. Opening the door when parked on a busy street was no different to opening the cab door, and in fact it’s easier as it doesn’t stick out as far and folds almost flat against the body. When opening from inside, the windowless door has a prominent warning sign reminding you to watch for traffic and exercise caution. With that in mind it was easy to crack the door open an inch or two and peek out from inside. I think it took about five minutes to get used to the door being on the opposite side to usual. I also have to say that from the driver’s perspective it’s very handy having the main door just behind yours. Yes, there were times it would have been more convenient to have the door on the kerbside, but for us it didn’t prove a safety issue at all.

Above: Despite tales of danger and woe we found living with a right-hand entry door a non-event that took about five minutes to adjust to. Below: The roof bed mechanism is strong and even when lowered there’s still room to get in and out of the vehicle – if you duck!


30 TOURING TEST

Inside

L

ayout-wise the Carado T449 has a front dinette with secondary roof bed above, mid kitchen, slightly-aft split bathroom and rear main bedroom. In practice this translates into a highly liveable layout that we thoroughly enjoyed. The design is typically European (so no surprises there!), by which I mean bordering on a little claustrophobic by Antipodean standards due to the maximum use of available space. Europeans have spent centuries learning to get the most from every precious and expensive space centimetre of land and housing, so it’s no surprise they’ve transferred this obsession to motorhome design. Decor-Wise the Carado T449 reflects middle ground contemporary European taste; that is mid-tone wood with light fabrics and design accents on things like door and cupboard handles and bathroom fittings. It’s conservative yet stylish and won’t date in a hurry.

Right: Her Majesty with a morning cuppa. Note the headroom to sit up under the overhead cupboards, plus the storage space in the front of the base of the non-lifting bed. The silver thing in the middle of the floor is a finger hole to remove the lid of an under-floor compartment ideal for shoes, etc. Below: Decor is contemporary, conservative and nicely done. White things on the cab bulkheads secure the lowered roof bed.


TOURING TEST 31

Dining

W

e both found the dinette comfortable and practical. The cab seats swivel to face the substantial, solid and adjustable dining table, while opposite them is the forward-facing two-place fixed dinette seat that is also seatbelt equipped. There’s also an inwards-facing sofa on the wall between the driver’s seat and entry door. Overhead are cupboards on both sides, while the cab has a big hatch that’s great for extra light and ventilation, and thankfully can be screened against the sun and insects. Around the hatch are storage areas in the corners of the nose cone, plus there’s a shelf running full width across the top of the windscreen. These proved ideal for my camera, rolled-up puff

jackets,maps, books and all the sorts of stuff you want to grab in a hurry. I used the swivelled passenger seat as my onroad office chair, setting up my laptop on the dining table within easy reach of the inverter for 240 V power (Apple laptops don’t have a 12 V charging option). From there I could also chat with Mrs iM as she prepared meals or just sat opposite and read or relaxed. I found it interesting that even with the secondary bed lowered – it lives in the ceiling above the dinette – I could still use my laptop as normal and easily duck under the bed to get to the kitchen, bathroom or main bedroom.bed to get to the kitchen, bathroom or main bedroom.

The swivelled cab seats work well with the dinette while the table is large, sturdy and practical. Note the cab curtains for nighttime privacy. We’d replace them with proper cab blinds.


32 TOURING TEST

Cooking

M

rs iMotorhome is an avid cook and was highly doubtful the small L-shaped kitchen so beloved by European motorhome designers could/would work. It’s a feature we’ve negatively commented on when looking at this type of motorhome at shows or online and we’d come to the conclusion European motorhomers must dine out a lot. How wrong we were! Over eight days Mrs iM prepared three meals a day with just a few lunchtime exceptions. Like me wondering about the small engine’s ability to deliver a positive driving experience, she found the kitchen’s ability to ‘deliver’ to be the same. Yes, the lack of bench space was a drawback, but the table is large and close at hand and she soon became accustomed to the limitations. Dedicated kitchen storage space is also a bit limited, but what there is is well thought out and (mostly) easily accessible when standing in the corner of the ‘L’.

Because we free camped all but one night the lack of a microwave was irrelevant and the inclusion of an oven and grill more than compensated. From roast vegetables to breakfast toast these two items came into their own. On the separate three-burner gas cooktop Mrs iM rustled up everything from poached eggs and one-pot wonders to fluffy rice using the absorption method. Within a couple of days she was as familiar and comfortable with her ‘little’ domain as I was with the ‘little’ Fiat. We both came to realise that you really have to use something and keep an open mind before casting definitive judgments on what can and can’t work in a motorhome! Despite misgivings Mrs iM was soon right at home in the small kitchen, from where she prepared most meals during our eight-day adventure. Note easy drawer access and excellent lighting from the LED strip and rangehood.


TOURING TEST 33

Bathing

W

e’re both fans of ‘dry’ bathrooms; that is bathrooms where you can use the loo after a shower without having to dry off the seat and/or floor. The split bathroom on the Carado T449, with the loo and handbasin in their own compartment and a separate shower across the aisle is the ideal arrangement. But this design takes it further. The bathroom forms part of the greater bedroom area and you step up into it all from the kitchen. The loo compartment, which is on the left as you step up, has a solid door that can either give you essential privacy or open right out to block off the entrance from the kitchen you just passed through. In that mode you then have a totally private ensuite bedroom which, if you look at the floorplan, takes up more than half of the body’s living area. While that might seem like a waste of space to some, to us it was pure indulgence. The loo compartment has a swivel-head cassette toilet to the left as you enter and a decent semi-corner handbasin straight ahead, backed by a generous mirror. There was storage below the basin and a very handy shelved, tall cabinet in the corner behind the toilet. Well lit and ventilated, it proved highly practical. Across the way the shower is a masterpiece. At first sight it appears small and impractical, but in practice it’s a ripper. The first thing you notice is it has a removable board that sits in the shower tray and forms part of the bedroom floor. This is terrific as it provides easy walkaround across to the bed on the kerb-side; much easier than the squeeze between the loo cubicle and bed on the opposite side (especially with the mattress bolster in place). The next thing you notice is the two-piece folding shower screen, which looks flimsy but works perfectly. With the floor section removed you step down into the shower, although it

The split bathroom provides a private toilet cubicle with plenty of storage and room to move. The door in this position has closed off the living area and created an ensuite bedroom.

still has a wooden duckboard to keep your feet above the water and stops you slipping on the smooth moulded base. Unfolding the screens on both sides and extending them to meet in what is an unsupported corner closest to the foot of the bed, my first thought was, “This isn’t going to be waterproof.” But it was. The screens lock together firmly and after showering there wasn’t a drop of leaked water on the bedroom floor. Impressive! Also impressive is that the shower floor area is only two thirds of the space you have to shower in,


34 TOURING TEST the other third is recessed into the back wall. This space also houses the height-adjustable hand shower, mixer tap, and some shelves in one corner, plus it has a moulded step at the bottom which you can sit on or use for washing legs and feet. Above is a small roof hatch with a swing-down drying rack idea for a flannel, bath mat or single bath towel. Simply clever… The 122-litre fresh water supply and 10-litre hot water capacity meant we only had to top up the water once on our journey; admittedly using it sparingly and carrying bottled water for drinking. One more thing about the water system: Carado uses a submersible water pump that is silent and always on. This means the water system is like being at home, you just turn on the tap and water comes out,

no need to go hunting for a water pump switch and no loud, droning pump noise that wakes everyone and sounds awful. On that score alone we’d buy this vehicle! Still on systems, the electrical control panel is simple and will be too simple for some as there are only red, orange and green indicator lights for things like water tank levels and battery condition. As a tech nerd who usually can’t have enough information on what systems are doing, this basic display actually proved relaxing. Seriously. And it added to the laid back holiday feel we found ourselves slipping into. Psychologically it was an interesting and unexpected result and made me realise sometime too much information is just that. All-up the bathroom works extremely well. It’s clever, convenient and an eyeopener we’d be happy to live with long term.

Although it looked small the shower worked well and the screen didn’t leak a drop.


TOURING TEST 35

Sleeping

M

easuring 1.9 m x 1.5 m the main island bed is a good size and comes with a foam mattress. It doesn’t lift up but there is limited storage accessible via doors in the front of the base, which is also where the water heater lives. The Carado’s windowless rear wall means you can sit up in bed and there’s enough height between the bed and overhead cupboards to allow most people to do this, although with varying numbers of pillows required for support! There are bedside windows, wardrobes and shelves on both sides, but no power points from memory. Like lighting throughout the rest of the Carado, a nice mix of fixed, adjustable and LED strips provided more than enough illumination for our needs. The secondary bed is very clever and when required is easily pulled down from the dinette ceiling. It’s manually operated with spring assist and a large sturdy handle that makes operation in either direction simple. It runs east-west across the vehicle and is slightly longer

Above: The roof bed was comfortable and even had its own hatch. It was also easy to reach down and put the kettle on for the morning cuppa! Below: The main bed was a good size and had plenty of storage at hand, plus good lighting both manmade and natural


36 TOURING TEST

What I Think

at 1.95 m, but narrower at 1.1 m due to a tapering corner. When deployed it sits directly over the dinette, allowing full kitchen use and there’s enough space underneath to let you get to and use the swivelled cab seats. It also has its own roof hatch that is only ‘revealed’ when the bed is lowered, a light, privacy curtains and safety nets if required. Access is via a ladder from the kitchen side. At least it should be, but I found ducking underneath and using the driver’s seat as a step much more convenient. It also meant the ladder could remain in the tunnel boot. How did I find out about accessing the bed that way? I’m an especially poor sleeper and at home we have a king bed that affords Mrs iM a degree of protection from my restless nights. We tried the main bed the first night and I lasted a couple of hours. In the end the lure of the roof bed proved too strong and its extra length accommodated my long frame better. That’s the way I slept for the rest of the trip and Mrs iM said she felt like a queen in her own chamber, especially when I took her a cup of tea in the morning. That was easy to arrange as all I did was fill the kettle the night before and in the morning lean down from my lofty perch, light the gas and put it on. Which reminds me, I was surprised the gas cooktop didn’t have piezo ignition. What’s that about?

T

owards the end of the trip we were sitting at the dinette one evening – me in my ‘office’ and Mrs iM in her favourite spot – with dinner done and the TV on, and it suddenly struck me: we were totally at home. I remarked that this was a vehicle we would buy ourselves and could live in without major compromises or modifications, right off the lot, and be happy. Mrs iMotorhome nodded. There is only one other motorhome I can remember thinking that of. That’s not to say the Carado T449 is perfect, but what is? I think the T447, which has an identical layout but with single beds at the rear, would be even better for us, and if Wilderness ever puts them on the rental fleet we’ll be there with bells on (hint hint). We’d also like to try a range of other European imports as we are obviously in tune with the design philosophy, but as a first taste for us this was a winner. Above all else this touring test reinforced how you can’t truly know a motorhome until you live in it – and not just overnight. It also demonstrated how you must keep an open mind, lest you do yourselves a serious disservice. The Carado T449 met our great expectations and dismantled many preconceptions. Would it be right for you? By Dickens, rent one and find out!


TOURING TEST 37

“This was a vehicle we would buy and could live in without major compromises or modifications, right off the lot, and be happy”


38 TOURING Header TEST 38

Specs GENERAL Make

Carado

Model

T449

Type

B-class

Berths

4

Approved Seating

4

Licence

Car

VEHICLE Make/Model

Fiat Ducato Multijet 130

Engine

2.3 L 4-cylinder turbo-diesel

Power

96 kW @ 3600 rpm

Torque

320 Nm @ 1800 rpm

Gearbox

6-speed manual

Safety

ESP, ABS, Traction Control, Hill Holder, Dual Airbags

Fuel

90 L

WEIGHTS Tare Weight

2945 kg

Gross Vehicle Mass

3495 kg

Max Payload

550 kg

Braked Towing Capacity

2000 kg

DIMENSIONS Overall Length

7.43 m (24’ 5”)

Overall Width

2.30 m (7’6”)

Overall Height

2.91 m (9’ 7”)

Internal Height

2.10 m (6’ 11”) max

Main Bed

1.90 m x 1.50 m (6’ 3” x 4’ 11”)

Roof Bed

1.95 m x 1.1 m (6’ 5” x 5’ - 3’ 7”)


TOURING TEST 39

Specs

Pros

EQUIPMENT Slide-Out

No

Awning

4 m wind-out

Entry Steps

1 x electric

Hob

3 x LPG burners plus grill and oven

Rangehood

Yes

Sink

Round stainless steel

Fridge

167 L 2-door 3-way

Microwave

No

Lighting

12 V LED

12 V Sockets/USB Outlets

Cab only

Air Conditioner

Cab only

Space Heater

Truma Combi 6E LPG/electric

Hot Water System

Truma Combi 6E LPG/electric

Toilet

Thetford cassette

Shower

Separate cubicle

• • • • • • • •

Value Innovation Layout Inclusions Build quality Liveability Sleeping arrangements Split bathroom

Cons

• Smallest Fiat engine if towing • Manual gearbox (auto optional) • Not ideal for ‘larger’ people • Some odd switch locations • No piezo ignition for cooker • Not available in Australia!!

CAPACITIES Batteries

2 x 90 AH

Inverter

800 W

Solar

1 x 150 W

LPG

2 x 9 kg

Fresh Water

122 L

Grey Water

92 L

Hot Water

10 L

Toilet

19 L

PRICE - ON ROAD NZ From and as-tested

$132,900

Warranty – Vehicle

2 years

Warranty – Body

2 years plus 5 years water tight (conditions apply)

Warranty – Appliances

2 years

Contact: North Island Click for Google Maps Smart RV Auckland 11 Pavilion Drive Airport Oaks, Auckland. 2022. T: 0800 007 627 E: sales@smartrv.co.nz W: smartmotorhomes.co.nz South Island Click for Google Maps Smart RV Christchurch 3 Export Ave Harewood. ChCh. 8051. T: 0800 007 628 E: ccsales@smartrv.co.nz W: smartmotorhomes.co.nz


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42 Touring Test – THL Renegade

Renegade or not?

RV Super Centre's Renegade six berth motorhome offers an interesting and usable alternative to more conventional styles.. by Malcolm Street


Touring Test 43

A

s many iMotorhome readers are aware, for the most part in this fine magazine we feature brand new motorhomes. However, occasionally we get to play with used motorhomes and in this case it’s a 2010 Jaycobuilt Renegade. Now just before you go hunting in Jayco brochures of old for the Renegade, you won't find it because it was part of an order for the Britz/Maui motorhome's rental fleet. And in the case of this particular motorhome, it spent several years trundling around Australia before emigrating to New Zealand. Recently I was in Christchurch for a few days, mostly to check out the Camper Care Motorhome, Caravan and Leisure Show, but also to catch up with manufacturers and dealers. Steve Lane from the RV Super Centre kindly arranged the Renegade so that I could have a mobile office and accommodation whilst in town. Fortunately the RV Super

Centre is very handy to Christchurch Airport if you happen to be on a flying visit! I have to admit pondering the choice of the Renegade name. Unusually, this motorhome is based on a VW Crafter dual-cab cabchassis. It also has seating and sleeping for six, while the over-cab (Luton) bed that can be used either north-south or more conventionally across the body. I turned to the Oxford dictionary to find a couple of definitions for Renegade, one being "A person who deserts or betrays an organisation, or a set of principles". Hmmm, don't think so. How about, "A person who behaves in a rebelliously unconventional manner"? The latter certainly fits – dual cabs are rare, as are north-south Luton beds, while family motorhomes (i.e. six berths) aren't particularly common, except in the rental market.

The Renegade features a body made by Jayco in Australia; the country where it did its time as a rental motorhome before heading across the Tasman. Because it’s a dual cab there’s no walk-through access from up front, but the over-cab bed is massive and, unusually, runs north-south.


44 Touring Test Impressions o how does the Renegade stack up, both as an unconventional motorhome and a second hand one at that, with more than 210,000 km on the clock?

S

I couldn't see any obvious signs of water leaks. Just a point of note here; because of the six-seat dual-cab, it and the ‘house’ area are totally separate. There's not even a small window sized opening between them

First up, it's clear this five year old motorhome had had a major makeover, clean up and, in some areas, a respray. Both the cab body and the motorhome body had a distinctive shine about them; one not normally associated with a rig that’s spent its life outdoors. Inside the cab there weren’t any signs of Aussie dust and dirt, whilst in the motorhome body everything had been dusted out and cleaned up. Also,

Around the outside there are the usual external bins for the toilet cassette and LPG, the latter with both a 9 kg and a 4.5 kg cylinder. I like that setup – the smaller cylinder can be used as a reserve for the larger one and is handy for external use with a barbecue. In addition there’s an asymmetrical tunnel boot across the rear. It's actually the rear under-seat area and can be accessed from both inside and out.

Left: VW’s Crafter has been a popular rental vehicle in Australia and the Renegade has scrubbed up well for its new life. Below: Cab comfort is high and safety is good as the Crafter is basically a rebadged Mercedes Sprinter with a different drivetrain.


Touring Test 45

Function wise, most things worked as they should – the odd exceptions being a external bin door that wouldn't unlock, a driver's door electric window switch for the passenger door that wasn't working and an electric door step that was a bit sluggish. On the road, there were no surprises from the 2.5-litre turbo-diesel nor the six-speed Tiptronic gearbox. Both performed much as I remembered them, which was good given the age and usage the motorhome has probably had, although still occasionally sluggish on steep hills.

Right: A pair of LPG cylinders are provided: 1 x 9 kg and 1 x 4.5 kg. The latter is a good main back-up and also easier to use outside with a barbecue.

"Both the cab body and the motorhome body had a distinctive shine about them; one not normally associated with a rig that’s spent its life outdoors."


46 Touring Test Technically a six-seater, you’d really only want to travel with four adults and maybe a couple of kids. For a couple, however, the back seat could handle oversize things like golf clubs or could even be removed to maximise space.

On the Road

S

itting in the driver's seat gave me a slightly odd feeling. Light commercial vehicles don't have model upgrades every year, so the dashboard in front of me did not look too dated. That’s apart from the radio/ CD player which was just that – no Bluetooth, external player input socket, no nothing. Still, for anyone desiring a bit more from their sound system an upgrade would be fairly simple. Much appreciated was the rear dual-view camera, located on the right hand side of the dashboard. I have obviously become too used to walkthrough motorhomes, because not having that feature was slightly disconcerting. However, it did mean a relatively quiet cab area, which would make it easy to talk to passengers in the back seat without the usual squeaks and rattles from the rear. The downside of that, of course, is you don't hear when a cupboard or drawer has been left unlatched. Also, you have to make a point of locking the motorhome door; it’s all too easy to hit the central locking and walk away!


Touring Test 47

"On the road there were no surprises from the 2.5-litre turbo-diesel nor the six-speed Tiptronic gearbox."


48 Touring Test

For The Family

T

he Renegade is described as a six seater. In reality that is at best four and two halves. The rear seat will seat four people but the position of the seat belt mountings means smaller people have to sit in the outer seats and even if there are only two in the rear, the inner seats are going to be more comfortable.

Above: The Carefree electric awning is a welcome inclusion. Note the length of the side windows in the Luton peak over the cab. Below: Wrap-around rear windows provide good viewing when stopped for a break or the night.

From the outside, the Renegade does have the look of a large motorhome. While it is only 7.7 m (25’ 3”) in length the extended Luton enhances the ‘big’ look, which is even more obvious inside. Very much a rental motorhome layout, it has a club lounge at the rear, a kitchen bench along the nearside and an L-shaped lounge behind the cab. That leaves enough space for a mid offside combo bathroom. The general decor gives a clue as to the age of the motorhome, although some cynical types might suggest it looks a bit like current Jayco products. Large windows give plenty of natural light and ventilation, except the rear ones which have sliding openings. I particularly like the relatively large Luton windows because that area can be hot and stuffy. For general storage there are plenty of overhead lockers as well as the usual under-seat and kitchen areas. What there isn't is any hanging space. From a rental perspective experience has taught me to travel with a soft duffeltype bag that can easily be stashed away (under the rear seats in this case) without difficulty. I make that observation because at one point I saw a couple in a smaller motorhome who had clearly not thought that through and had to move their suitcases around all the time!


Touring Test 49

Sleeping

L

uton beds aren't always popular, particularly with couples of more advancing years. However, I reckon this one works well. The bed, being 1.98 m x 2.15 m (6’ 6” x 7’) is almost square in shape and there's a ceiling height of 620 mm (2’). Unless you are very tall the bed can be made up for sleeping north-south thus making it relatively easy to clamber in and out without disturbing the other occupant. However there is one slight catch if the pillows are at the front with your feet towards the rear. Of the four reading lights fitted, two shine into your eyes rather than on your book. It’s a positioning thing and the bed could certainly be turned around but it does make things more difficult for access. Down on the ‘main deck’ both dinettes can be used to make up beds; the front one measuring 1.7 m x 1.3 m (5’ 7” x 4’ 3”) and the rear 2.18 m x 1.38 m (7’ 2” x 4’ 6”), so there are other choices if the Luton is not the preferred bed.

Top: The massive bed in the Luton peak runs lengthways and means you don’t have to clamber over each other getting in or out. Above: Front bed access is via this substantial ladder. It’s a bit of a climb to clear the cab roof, but once ‘up top’ there’s plenty of room.


50 TOURING TEST

Dining

O

n the eating front, both dinettes have detachable, single-pole mounted tables. The one oddity being that although the motorhome comes with custom fitted removable carpets, the carpet under the tables has no pole holes and so they have to be lifted to fit and use the tables! Six people could easily be accommodate between the two tables and being on my own I tended to use one for eating and one for working (or more correctly, since I used the rear club lounge, watching what was going on outside!). Still on eating, the kitchen comes fully equipped with a four burner hob and grill, a microwave oven under the grill, a stainless sink/drainer and a 90-litre fridge. It's probably the fridge size that is the weakest point; good for two people but requiring frequent shopping in warmer weather for a family.

Top: The front lounge is long and converts into a good sized extra bed. Note the carpet section has been removed to allow insertion of the table leg. Right: Decor is fine and the kitchen’s a decent size. There’s another table for the rear lounge, but you need to remove the carpet section for it too.


Touring Test 51

Keeping Clean

L

ast but not least is the bathroom. Being a combo shower/toilet unit it's not going to suit those who like a full blown bathroom. In addition to the shower and cassette toilet, it also comes with a moulded vanity cabinet that includes a fold-down wash basin. Family ‘bathing’ would probably require a roster but it’s still very handy for nighttime ‘walks’…

Top: There’s plenty of seating in the front dinning area, but no internal seating positions are seat-belt equipped; probably due to with the lack of through-cab access. Right: A big Heki roof hatch really brightens up the front living area and kitchen. There’s good kitchen storage overhead too.


52 TOURiNG TEST

What I think

F

rom a buyer’s point of view, although the Renegade has over 200,000 km on the clock I reckon it has quite a few more left in it. As noted it's been nicely cleaned and I couldn't see too much beyond the normal signs of wear and tear. Although the Renegade is clearly designed for rental or family use, it certainly offers options for just two people, be they a couple or singles. For a start, transporting friends and other family members is quite easy in the dual cab. I addition, if the rear of the dual cab is not required for seating, it could be used for something like bicycle or golf club storage without much difficulty. And if the club lounge is desired to be something more than just a motorhome living area – like a small office – then that could be achieved relatively easily. So is the Renegade an unconventional motorhome? When compared to more traditional C and B-class styles, most definitely! But a rebellious one – don’t think so at all!

Above: The bathroom is compact and has a drop-down handbasin over the front-wall mounted cassette toilet. For six you’d need a good shower roster worked out! Below: For the money this used THL Renegade has a lot of room and potential, whether you’re a family or a couple looking to modify it to better suit your needs.


TOURING TEST 53

"transporting friends and other family members is quite easy in the dual cab"


54 Touring test

Specs GENERAL Make

THL

Model

Renegade

Type

C-class

Berths

6

Approved Seating

6

Licence

Car

VEHICLE Make/Model

VW Crafter 50 LWB dual cab

Engine

2.5 L 5-cylinder turbo-diesel

Power

100 kW @ 3500 rpm

Torque

330 Nm @ 2000 rpm

Gearbox

6 speed AMT Tiptronic

Safety

Disc brakes, ABS, EBD, airbags

Fuel

75 L

WEIGHTS Tare Weight

3600 kg

Gross Vehicle Mass

4490 kg

Max Payload

890 kg

Braked Towing Capacity

2000 kg

DIMENSIONS Overall Length

7.70 m (25’ 3”)

Overall Width

2.30 m (7’ 5”)

Overall Height

3.20 m (10’ 5”)

Internal Height (minimum)

2.00 m (6’ 6”)

Main Bed

2.18 m x 1.38 m (7’ 2” x 4’ 6”)

Luton Bed

1.98 m x 2.15 m (6’ 6” x 7’)

Dinette Bed

1.70 m x 1.30 m (5’ 7” x 4’ 3”)


Touring Test 55

Specs

Pros

EQUIPMENT Slide-Out

No

Awning

Carefree electric

Entry Steps

Electric

Hob

Swift 4 burner and grill

Rangehood

Swift

Sink

Stainless steel

Fridge

90 L Dometic RM2350

Microwave

Sphere

Lighting

12 V halogen/LED

12 V Sockets/USB Outlets

2 x 12 V

Air Conditioner

Coleman Mach 8

Space Heater

No

Hot Water System

23 L Suburban gas/electric

Toilet

Thetford cassette

Shower

Vari-height flex hose

CAPACITIES Batteries

1 x 100 AH deep cycle

Solar

1 x 80 W

LPG

1 x 9.0 kg, 1 x 4.5 kg

Fresh Water

75 L

Grey Water

75 L

Hot Water

23 L

Toilet

19 L

USED PRICE - ON ROAD NEW ZEALAND As Tested

$79,990

Warranty

12 months mechanical

• Dual cab handles six (sitting close together) • Reasonable condition for a used vehicle • Club lounge at rear • Luton bed set up • Window area • External & internal storage • General lighting • Multiple use motorhome

Cons

• Dual cab – no access to living area • Ceiling lighting in Luton bed • Basic cab radio • No pole holes in under-table carpet • Small fridge • Rear seat comfort for four

Supplied thanks to… South Island Click for RV Super Centre Google Maps 159 Orchard Road, Christchurch Airport, Christchurch. T: 0800 52 00 55 E: info@rvsupercentre.co.nz W: rvsupercentre.co.nz North Island Click for Google Maps RV Super Centre 169 Bush Road, Albany, Auckland T: 0800 52 00 55 E: info@rvsupercentre.co.nz W: rvsupercentre.co.nz


56 Feature

Camper Care at Christchurch

by Malcolm Street


FEATURE 57

I

t was all happening in the Horncastle Arena, Christchurch, when I turned up early on the Sunday of the recent Camper Care NZ Motorhome, Caravan and Leisure Show. The All Blacks were being done by Ireland at the Rugby and anyone with a TV on their stand certainly drew a crowd, but sadly a disappointed one at the end (now you know how Aussie’s regularly feel)… I'm not really a sporty person, so I took the opportunity to get around to all the exhibitors and check out the latest Auto Sleeper, AutoTrail, Avida, Benimar, Bürstner, Carado, Diamond, Pilote, Roller Team, Traillite, Tribute and Winnebago motorhomes that were on display. Not to be forgotten, there were a number of caravan manufacturers, a host of accessory suppliers like Dometic and Apollo and also stands like ShareaCamper; the last one being an organisation that connects motorhome owners wishing to rent their vehicle for extra income, with vetted renters. I did like the very small Mitsubishi-based motorhome on their stand – one done very much in the NZ motorhome style of old. It’s not always something mentioned in show reports but I always try to eat vaguely healthy food at RV shows, which frequently is not easy. However, I was pleasantly surprised at the Camper Care show, there being multiple choices on the healthy foods front.

Above: Lots happening on the SmartRV stand. This aerial shot also shows the size of the show. Below: Despite the trend to imports, TrailLite still has a full order book for its locally produced models, like this massive 900-Series built on an N-series Isuzu that comes with huge water and electrical power reserves and is ideal for longterm independent travel.

As a footnote I have since learned that the All Blacks have just avenged their rugby defeat by winning a later round against Ireland. That was also something show goers at Christchurch were able to do at the show – win that is – because there was plenty to see and time to chat with the exhibitors who had much to show.


58 FEATURE

"I took the opportunity to get around to all the exhibitors and check out the latest‌"


FEATURE 59

Meanwhile down the road‌

F

or various reasons several manufacturers/ importers did not have a stand at the Camper Care show; instead having special open days at their respective sales premises. I have to admit that did make it slightly difficult for someone like me who flies in and hopes to catch everyone in the same place. Fortunately, Christchurch is not particularly large and so I was able to get to both the RV Super Centre and UCC as well.

At the RV Super Centre it was good to catch up with Steve Lane and the THL crew. Timing is everything and I was but a few weeks early to see a new Mercedes Benz-based Breeze and also some new Roller Team models from Just Go, THL's subsidiary in the UK. Also on site were Barry Avery and Mike Irvine from the RV Leisure Centre with their range of Elddis caravans. Yes I know they are those engineless things, but Barry and Mike are old acquaintances. Thanks also here to THL's Julie French, who in absentia managed to organise such a good late afternoon tea that thinking about dinner wasn't necessary! To the south of Christchurch, Rob Floris and his crew had plenty of Dethleffs and Frankia motorhomes on display. Such was the line up that my only problem was figuring out which motorhomes I'd be taking out for review in the following days. Adding to that dilemma were a couple of new Pilot motorhomes that happened to be in the yard. Also on the premises was an old friend, Wayne Bates, with his Leisure Line caravans. Yes, those motor-less things again, but I mention them because for quite some years the caravan side of the RV industry in NZ was in the doldrums thanks to a Government that introduced a caravan tax and just about killed off an entire industry. Wayne and the Leisure Line team were one of the few local manufacturers who lead the charge to make the caravan industry viable again. Ironically that same caravan tax made the NZ motorhome industry what it is today. Judging from what industry people are telling me, it’s in very fine shape indeed. Top: This Italian-built Roller Team Rambler 9 from the RV Super Centre is a lot of motorhome for the money. Left: This Globescout from German manufacturer Dethleffs is an interesting conversion, and compact at just 6 metres.


60

Technical

POWER PLAY! Fiat powers up for 2017 with a new Ducato engine that promises much…


Technical 61

F

iat Professional has announced a new Euro 6 emissions-compliant 2.3-litre turbo-diesel for the Ducato in 2017. Ducato turns 35 next year and although it hasn’t been available in Australia or New Zealand all that time it has certainly carved out an enviable niche in our local RV markets over the last decade. The new move sees the end of the popular 3.0-litre engine, but buyers can take heart because the new engine retains the same power while claiming to reducing fuel consumption by close to 20 per cent. Importantly – and unlike other brands – the Ducato’s new engine doesn’t require the addition of AdBlue fuel additive to meet its emissions targets.

State-of-the-Art Technology

F

or the new MultiJet2 Euro 6 engines used in motorhome applications, Fiat Professional says it has capitalised on its leading position to develop the solution most suited to all needs of motorhome customers by implementing one-of-a-kind technology: Low Pressure Exhaust Gas Recirculation (LPEGR). This technology intercepts the exhaust gases after the Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) and returns them to the combustion chamber via a low pressure circuit. This has two advantages: it abates nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by decreasing the combustion temperature and it saves fuel by ensuring better efficiency of the turbine.

“The new Multijet2 Euro 6 engines implement state-of-the-art technology, developed specifically for Fiat Professional to meet legal requirements and be ideal for Fiat Ducato motorhomes,” said Fiat Professional spokesman Denis Mahoney.


62 Technical “Fiat has adopted a single approach aimed at identifying the best solutions and picked LPEGR. This technology respects the current Euro 6 standards and offers better advantages for motorhome bases compared to the Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology used in the past on Fiat Professional solutions dedicated to passenger transport,” Denis explained. Key to the new design is rational design, meaning there are no tanks or additional systems compared to Euro 5 engines (so no AdBlue refilling), which implies simpler maintenance and no increase of vehicle weight. The new Euro 6 engines are claimed to be top-in-class in terms of fuel efficiency and deliver high torque at low rpm, which is a essential for motorhome use.

Facts and Figures

T

he new 2.3-litre Multijet2 engine will be offered in two states of tune: 150 hp and 180 hp (although why Fiat persists with horsepower ratings is unclear). “The 2.3-litre Multijet2 150 hp improves performance over the outgoing 2.3-litre/150 hp Euro 5 engine and increases peak torque by 30 Nm. It delivers 380 Nm from 1500 through to 2500 rpm. Fuel consumption is said to be reduced by 3% compared to the previous version and 29% less than Euro 4. The more powerful 2.3-litre Multijet2 180hp delivers the same torque and power – 177 hp and 400 Nm – as the earlier 3.0-litre engine but consumes nearly 20% less fuel (and 29% less than Euro 4), meaning payload can be increased by 40 kg. It’s also worth noting maximum torque is available between 1500 and 3000 rpm, providing a wide, flat and highly usable torque curve. “This outstanding result is also obtained by means of dedicated developments focused on improved turbocharger aerodynamics, a

Above: The LEPGR system meets Euro 6 emission standards without the need for a fuel additive. Below: Power curve of the entry-level version of the new 2.3 L Multijet2 shows a significant torque increase over its Euro 5 predecessor.


Technical 63

Fiat’s factory will produce around 1000 of the new engines each day – enough to power every new motorhome sold in NZ for about 18 months! special steel crankshaft, reinforced pistons and a larger capacity fuel pump. It is ideal for large and heavy motorhomes and for users seeking the highest level of performance,” Denis concluded.

More Improvements

O

ther new features on the Euro 6 compliant 2.3-litre Multijet2 engines include a new 200 AH alternator (up from 180 AH) that promises 10% faster battery recharging. Importantly this isn’t a Smart alternator, which can negatively impact house battery charging. Cruise control will incorporate a speed limiter function that sets a maximum speed the vehicle can reach and will be invaluable in towns as well as on the open road. Fiat has also added an improved double-ames flywheel it says will reduce engine vibration and provide a smoother ride. iMotorhome has been promised priority access to drive both engines in early 2017 and we’ll report back on this promising

development as soon as possible. Given the Ducato’s popularity the new engines are a major development, especially their promise of significant fuel savings and emissions reductions without the need for a fuel additive. Fiat Professional did, however, ask us to note that the supplied fuel consumption data always refer to vans in mixed-cycle driving.

This outstanding result is also obtained by means of dedicated developments focused on improved turbocharger aerodynamics, a special steel crankshaft, reinforced pistons and a larger capacity fuel pump.


64 Travel

Say Cheese! Say Farmhouse cheese in fact… by Richard Robertson


Travel 65

W

e were ambling down SH2 in a fine drizzle one recent October morning, just south of Eketahuna and heading towards Wellington, when Mrs iMotorhome spotted it. “There’s a cheese place down that road!”, she squealed in pure delight – cheese being one of her favourite food-groups/interests/obsessions. Slow to brake I missed the turn and continued on. But the withering if-you-know-what’sgood-for-you look that followed the wide-eyed disbelief that I hadn’t slid our rental motorhome rally-style onto the rural side road brought me to my senses. Two hundred metres further on we turned around and went cheese hunting. Cwmglyn Farmhouse Cheese isn’t a place you just stumble upon. Down a dead-end gravel

"Cwmglyn Farmhouse Cheese isn’t a place you just stumble upon."


66 Travel

lane off said small road, all that proclaims its presence is a farm-gate sign. Not your usual farm gate mind, but a purpose-built pedestrian gate through a brushwood portico that leads you literally down a garden path. At the end – past the tiny milking shed – is Cwmglyn (pronounced coom-glin) Farmhouse Cheese. And Middleton Model Railway. Of course… Cwmglyn could be from a Hobbit movie. It’s also likely the smallest commercial dairy farm in NZ and possible the world. Cheesemaker Elizabeth (Biddy) Fraser-Davies milks her four cows – yes, four – once a day and makes one

From the daily hand milking of her four cows to every aspect of the cheese making process, Biddy FraserDavis does it all.

type of cheese – traditional English farmhouse style – on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Every ‘wheel’ requires 20 to 45 litres of milk to produce and spends up to 3 days in a press before being stored. There it’s wiped and turned daily. Hand made and individually numbered, every cheese matures for between three and seven months in this paradis du fromage. The result is a rich, creamy cheddarstyle cheese that’s to diet for. The cheese tasting room is in a cluttered shed and shares its space with an expansive model railway and model railway enthusiasts’ shopof-dreams, run by husband, dairy man and all-round handyman Colin. The morning we popped in the place was in semi-chaos: A new calf – Nellie – had been born a day earlier than expected, which is big news in such a tiny herd. Nevertheless we were ushered inside, the lights went on and Biddy arrived wearing a big rubber apron (being a Friday she was busy making cheese). After a brief-but-thorough explanation and tasting Biddy handed over to Colin as she was ‘whey’ busy in the cheese room (pardon the cheesy pun). Despite its tiny size Cwmglyn Farmhouse Cheese has serious credentials. Its cheese is a regular at Government House – young Prince George enjoyed a sandwich of it during the recent Royal visit – and in 2014 it received a Super Gold Award at the World Cheese


Travel 67 Travel

Awards in London for placing in the top 62 of 2700 entries from 33 countries. It was also the only awarded New Zealand cheese! We bought a freshly cut 250ish gram wedge and I think it worked out around $50 a kilo. It lasted almost the rest of our trip – you don’t eat a great cheese all at once (even if you want to) – and I can honestly say it’s the best cheddar-style cheese I’ve ever had. Despite the morning’s fracas Colin graciously granted us visiting rights to the maternity ward. There, on fresh sawdust in a small enclosure rested Nellie, just four hours old. Mother Daisy sat close by and a more contented dairy cow you’ve never seen. We bade our farewells and, What: Cwmglyn Farmhouse Cheese prized cheese securely tucked away, heading Click for Google Maps back up the garden path. So what about the Where: 36 Morgans Rd, RD2 model railway? It’s terrific, but that’s another Eketahuna. 4994 story. No bull… When: Open 9:30 to 4:30 ‘most days’. Call 06 375 8634 to check!

Fast Facts

Why: Arguably the best traditional English farmhouse-style cheese you’ll ever try, in possibly the World’s smallest commercial dairy. Why not? How: Look for the sign on SH2 9 km south of Eketahuna/ 2 km north not Pukaha/Mt Bruce National Wildlife Centre.


68 Mobile Tech

Tis the Season!

Apps to make your Christmas more productive – and just fun… by Emily Barker


MOBILE TECH 69 Christmas is a relaxed affair; the sun is shining, the days are long and the holidays are in full swing. The following is a brief list of festive apps to help add a little Christmas spirit to your end of year. get out there and eat, play and be merry, because the weather is warm, the country is on holidays and ‘tis the season to celebrate!

Shake 'n' Create Christmas Cocktails! Platforms: Android and iOS Cost: Free Size: 22.9 MB This app is pretty self-explanatory and I think the ideal addition to any successful festive plan. It’s guaranteed to put some extra ‘cheer’ into your celebrations! Whether starting the morning with a healthy vitamin C-enriched Mimosa, looking to create some decadent mulled cider or searching for some refreshing icy concoctions, this app has you covered! You can select from a list of popular traditional festive cocktails or mix it up by ‘shaking’ for a random recipe but be warned – ensure lunch is well on its way before attempting this activity! And like most things, moderation and responsibly is the key…

Santa Spy Cam Platforms: Android and iOS Cost: Free Size: 27.3 MB The ‘magic’ of Christmas is possibly one of the most precious gifts a child can receive. Nibbled carrots, cookie crumbs and an empty milk glass are Santa’s traditional calling cards, but thanks to modern technology we can take this one step further and provide actual video proof the Big Guy came to your house. After all, seeing is believing! This is the third season of this internationally popular ‘proof of Santa’ app, and each year it just keeps getting better! Parents (and grandparents) can capture live-action, high-quality video of Santa Claus, his friendly elves, and real reindeer in and around your home thanks to the power of augmented reality! There are a host of customisable options within the app to further personalise the experience. Now, you can even integrate physical objects into the video to be left behind and discovered. Videos are easily shared via email or social media and are sure to spread more than a little festive joy!


70 MOBILE TECH NZ Post

NORAD Tracks Santa

Platforms: Android & iOS Cost: Free Size: 20.1 MB

Platforms: Android & iOS Cost: Free Size: 37.5 MB

New Zealand Post has recently launched a new app and if you haven’t already downloaded it now is the perfect time. Still in its early stages the app has four primary functions: address and postcode finder, tracking, rate finder and locator. With it you can find the best option for sending a parcel within New Zealand with the domestic rate finder, look up postal addresses, postcode areas, PO box and private bag numbers, track your New Zealand Post and courier parcels and locate your nearest PostShop, Kiwibank or Kiwibank ATM, complete with opening hours and contact details. Watch for developments in 2017 and watch this space again next Christmas!

Santa's Naughty or Nice List Platforms: Android & iOS Cost: Free Size: 23.6 MB If we can track Santa across the skies with Federally funded hi-tech satellite imagery it’s only fair that he can check in on us at any time, so you really better watch out! It certainly must make his life easier – imagine the reindeer air miles saved now he can remotely check if you’re sleeping, awake or behaving? The advanced fingerprint technology utilised assures both accuracy and efficiency; there’s no fooling Father Christmas! This app, like so many others, is just about fun and spreading Christmas joy. It’s a great way to captivate little one’s attention for a moment or two and there is something so special embracing the spirit of Christmas – which is all about behaving, right?

The NORAD Tracks Santa App is the official mobile app of the NORAD Tracks Santa program. As with many great traditions, America’s high-tech Santa tracking system began with a mistake, a misprint to be precise. Instead of calling Santa’s official workshop at the North Pole, Kids were dialling into the Continental Air Defence Command’s public hotline. As the story goes that instead of spoiling the fun they ran with it, giving children across America and Canada updates on the Big Man’s progress whenever they called. Flash forward 60 years to today and hello technology! Love or hate Big Brother there are many eyes in the skies today and luckily for us, Rudolph's nose gives off an infrared signature similar to a missile launch; so as they say “We Have the Watch”. The app is backed up by an impressive website and you can discover some amazing facts including theories on how Santa functions within his own time-space continuum. Watch the countdown to Santa's flight, follow Santa's progress on December 24 and plot his journey as he tracks across the world! This is a free festive app guaranteed to delight kids – of all ages!


Header 71

What is life but one grand adventure


72 What’s Header On? 72

What’s On?

What's happening across New Zealand over the next three months!


What’s On? 73 North Island

December 26 Nov - 4 Dec – Auckland: Puhoi Art Show 2016. Annual major fundraiser for the Puhoi Centennial Hall where you can view or buy works from the area’s talented artists. Experience a day in Puhoi and soak up the local atmosphere!

3 – Te Puke: Epic Te Puke Float Parade and Food Festival. It’s not just any Christmas float parade, it’s an epic parade followed by multicultural food of similar proportions! Enjoy an atmospheric day of fun, festivities and food in the Bay of Plenty! 3 – Raglan: Music and Dance Festival. Enjoy a free day of traditional music and dance, celebrating, promoting and showcasing the rich culture of the Waikato Region! With market and food stalls onsite and a variety of displays and workshops held throughout the day; celebrate community, culture and creativity!

3 – Paraparaumu: Kapiti Food Fair. Experience a gastronomical celebration as local producers come together to showcase and celebrate the finest foods and beverages the region has to offer. Also plenty of live entertainment and activities for the whole family.

3 – Auckland: The New Zealand Ukulele Festival. Celebrating its 10th birthday this vibrant festival offers a range of performances, workshops and competitions culminating in a concert by the Kiwileles Massed Ukulele Orchestra, with over 2500 Primary and Intermediate students representing 115 schools from Northland to Christchurch.

4 – Palmerston North: Palmerston North Christmas Parade. Ho Ho Ho, get into the holiday spirit with nonstop activity in the square from early in the morning, culminating in the Christmas Parade. Shop for local produce and crafts from 10 am at the markets, enjoy the entertainment on stage from noon, then line up and watch as hundreds participate in the Palmerston North Christmas Parade at 2 pm!

4 – Auckland: Auckland Fair. One of New Zealand's biggest and best design, art and craft markets and a unique shopping experience. Showcasing a curated selection of independent, artisan talent from throughout the country featuring only the best quality, locally handmade products.

9-11 – Wellington: Under the Spinfluence. Open to all ages and skill levels, Under the Spinfluence is a vibrant and energetic three day community circus Festival. Participate in a wide-variety of circus arts workshops, from aerials to juggling and burlesque, all taught by international and home-grown circus professionals. The festival also includes performances, a market, a party with DJs and live bands, and a Renegade Show where anyone can strut their stuff!


74 What’s On? 10 – Auckland: Takapuna Beach Christmas Carnival! Experience community Christmas carnival atmosphere, shop local market stalls and indulge in the freshest regional produce and products.

31 – Auckland: WonderGarden. New Zealand’s newest and most exciting New Year’s Eve musical extravaganza. A family friendly event that’s a feast for all the sense; indulge in fine food, music and entertainment!

17 Dec - 7 Jan – Hastings: Fiesta of lights. A spectacular, community orientated creative light display that needs to be seen to be believed. There are diving penguins, jumping fish, spurting whales and a host of colourful sea creatures amid thousands of dancing fairy lights animated precisely to music.

January 6 – Waihi Beach: Waihi Beach Summer Fair. Alongside the stunning Waihi Beach, this is a summer fair with festive flair! With 100s of market and food stalls, live entertainment and music there’s something for everyone!

7 – Levin: The Eketahuna Express. Experience the magic of steam travel through some of New Zealand’s most picturesque areas aboard authentically restored vintage steam and Diesel heritage locomotives. Throughout the year STEAM incorporated run regular excursions to assorted locations. Enjoy buffet lunches and spectacular scenery. 7 – Auckland: FitzRoy Family Fun Festival. Held alongside the Great FitzRoy Mussel Fest it’s a free, no alcohol event with craft and local produce stalls, fun entertainment for children, live music and some food stalls.

7 – Port Fitzroy: Great FitzRoy Mussel Fest. Enjoy a day of live music, entertainment and great food as the tiny town of Port Fitzroy kicks up its heels and celebrates the bounty of its pristine deep-water harbour. The humble Mussel is honoured for the delectable delicacy it truly is!

13 – Auckland: Jazz and Beanbags. A free open air event held on the strand at Takapuna Beach. As the name suggests it’s a casual relaxed event where you’re encouraged to kick back and relax to some of NZ's finest jazz musicians while chilling on bean bags with friends, craft beverages and funky food trucks!

20-22 – Marton: Marton Country Music Festival. Featuring a great local, national and international line-up of musicians and performers, this ‘home-grown’ country music festival in its 9th year is an expanding and evolving event filled with atmosphere! Enjoy a weekend of great music, great food and great people!

22 – Otaki: Festival of Pots and Garden Art 2017. Held within a stunning 10 acre established garden this festival offers a delightful fusion of art, craft and horticulture. All forms and styles of pottery and ceramics are exhibited for sale, including large sculptural pieces, featuring wood and stone carvings. Various potters and artists, provide demonstrations of their craft, enabling the public to observe the creation of some truly magic forms. 26-29 – Martinborough: Cruise Martinborough. Join in the fun of four days of classic cars, hot rods and retro caravans. Cruise Martinborough is a classic and muscle car event open to cars and caravans from ‘back in the day’. Entry is free to the public


What’s On? 75 and there’s plenty of entertainment to enjoy including a drive-in-movie, live bands, great food and an afternoon on the drag strip!

February 4-5 – Hahei: Leadfoot Festival. A unique automotive weekend set in a picturesque private property belonging to New Zealand racing legend Rod Millen. Experience a world class mix of classic cars, vintage motorcycles and motorsport legends.

4 – Martinborough: Rotary Martinborough Fair. Held twice a year, on the first Saturdays of February and March, and reportedly the largest of its kind in Australasia. Features more than 480 stalls selling locally produced artwork, crafts, clothing, food and other quality products.

6 – Palmerston North: Waitangi Day 2017. The Te Manawa Museum of Art, Science and History commemorates New Zealand’s National Day with a community event designed to enrich knowledge understanding of the nation’s birth and modern identity.

9 – Auckland: Chinese New Year Celebration. A free and fun community evening for all to celebrate the year of the rooster.

17-19 – Auckland: Splore 2017. Three-day family friendly music and arts festival; the ultimate modern, sustainable and creative summer festival! Set in a sublime beach-side location, it’s described as an epic adventure tucked away in its own piece of paradise.

17-19 – Rotorua: Rotorua Home & Garden Show 2017. Be inspired by the latest ideas, trends and information!

18-19 – Bay of Plenty: NZ International Tattoo & Art Expo. Showcasing the creativity and versatility of art through live tattooing, burlesque, music, graffiti, and much more.

5 – Coromandel: Mussel Festival. Celebrate the mighty mussel and indulge in an extensive variety of succulent dishes accompanied by live music set in spectacular Coromandel.

18 – Rotorua: New Zealand Ocean Swim Series - Legend of the Lake. Consisting of four different swim events, the Legend of the Lake is an open water swim event for all ages and abilities.

5 – Lake Taupo: Waitangi Tuwharetoa Ki Pukawa Festival 2017. Acknowledge New Zealand's National Day of celebration with a community orientated, family friendly and entertainment packed day of fun and festivities.

19 – Shannon: Super Cheap Auto - Shannon Spectacular Car Show. The annual fundraising event for the Shannon Progressive Association, view over 500 unique vehicles, explore markets and experience live entertainment.


76 What’s On? 22-26 – Gisborne: Te Matatini National Kapa Haka Festival. Bi-annual cultural festival and the pinnacle event for Māori performing arts. Described as one of the most highly anticipated events for performers, their whānau and the mass of passionate Kapa Haka fans throughout the world.

10 – Timaru: V4 and Rotary South Island Champs 2016 - Ultimate Track Day. For the love of everything automotive, Champs features passenger rides, racing sessions, burnout and drifting sessions, drag racing sessions, Grasskhana, dyno, trade sites, entertainment and so much more!

24-26 – Auckland: 6th Annual International Yoga Festival 2017. A full weekend of yoga and wellness immersion for all ages. Including workshops, classes & wisdom talks.

17 – Dunedin: The Beach Market Dunedin - A Very Merry Christmas. Browse, shop, celebrate and enjoy a feast of great local arts, crafts, produce, entertainment and food.

25-26 – Ohakea: Royal New Zealand Air Force 2017 Air Tattoo. The Royal New Zealand Air Force is celebrating its 80th Anniversary by showcasing its capability, personnel and skills with the 2017 Air Tattoo at RNZAF Base Ohakea.

30 – Dunedin: Whare Flat Folk Festival. For the ultimate summer escape, experience four days of sun, music, and entertainment set in the idyllic natural surrounds of Waiora Scout Camp, 15 minutes from Dunedin. Self-catering, camping festival filled with Workshops, performances, displays and Concerts.

South Island

December

January

3 – Cromwell: Cromwell Festival Fete. The Cromwell Festive Fête is an incredible outdoor festive experience combining Christmas shopping with a music festival. Experience a leisurely day out with friends to enjoy wonderful food, local wine and beer, plus world-class entertainment, all while shopping at carefully selected artisan stalls for that perfect gift.

28 – Christchurch: The Great Kiwi Beer Festival. What better way to kickstart 2017 than with a celebration of beer? Hosted by industry experts and featuring a range of more than 300 local, national and international brews it’s a celebration of the brewing industry in New Zealand and a toast to the amber ale in all its glory. Sample beers from all over the world, experience live performances, cooking demonstrations, seminars, brand experience areas, beer and food matching classes and much more!

29 – Upper Moutere: Sarau Festival. Celebrate the diversity and quality of the people and produce from the Moutere region with a relaxed late afternoon festival of live


What’s On? 77 music, colourful entertainment, fantastic food, and traditional country fair fun. Supported by the NZ blackcurrant growing industry, discover the crops, crafts and cookery of the valley!

February 1-3 – Wellington: Pinot Noir NZ 2017. Celebrate, taste and meet ‘the best of the best’ in this three day event showcasing New Zealand Pinot Noir. Attracting some of the greatest international minds on the subject and described as “The best Pinot Noir event on the planet”, it’s more than a wine show – and not to be missed!

8-11 – Invercargill: World Shearing and Woolhandling Championships. Witness the best shearers in the world compete for the title of World Champion Shearer, World Champion Blade Shearer and World Champion Woolhandler. It’s an iconic event with plenty of additional entertainment including cultural performances, laser shows and live music. It’s tops – baaaa none…! 12 – Marlborough: Wine & Food Wind Down 2017. Relax and unwind with this free community festival celebrating the best of Marlborough food, wine and beer set amongst the expansive grounds of The Vines Village.

12 – Dunedin: Alpaca Open Day - Flagstaff Alpacas. Meet and greet an Alpaca and get a hands-on insight into the alpaca industry in New Zealand.

19 -Nelson Wine & Food Festival (NWFF). Held at the stunning Middle-Earth Vineyards, experience sensational music and award winning locally produced wine, beer and food.

1-8 – Golden Bay: Luminate Festival 2017. A vibrant summer festival of cutting-edge live and electronic music, visual and performing arts, inspirational knowledge-sharing and pioneering eco-initiatives. Children 13 and under, and seniors over 75 attend for free.


NEXT ISSUE

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

We’re kicking off the new year with a new-release homegrown beauty: Traillite’s impressive Wanaka 756 – with Landmark custom interior finish. Featuring a slideout dinette and built on the latest Iveco Daily 70C17 with 8-speed automatic, this beautiful motorhome is a world class reminder that the local manufacturing industry is alive and well. Then, for something completely different we’ve also got the Frankia T7400GD. Fully imported from Germany and built on a Mercedes Benz Sprinter 519, this low-profile B-class motorhome is impressive in both fit out and quality, and features a massive boot amongst many other innovations. Issue 3 of iMotorhome New Zealand magazine will be out on Saturday 3 January. Until then why not join our more than 32,000 Facebook Friends and followers on Twitter , Pinterest and Instagram to see what we’re up too in the mean time? Facebook “f ” Logo

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SHOW

CALENDAR Mar 17-19 2017 Covi Motorhome, Caravan and Outdoor Supershow ASB Showgrounds Greenlane, Auckland. Open 9:00-5:00 daily • • • •

Parking: Free Adults: $16 Multi-day: $25 Kids: U16 free Website: Click Here

Click for Google Maps

Sept 2017 Camper Care Motorhome, Caravan & Leisure Show Mystery Creek, Hamilton. Times: TBA • • • •

Parking: TBA Adults: TBA Multi-day: TBA Kids: TBA Website: Click Here

Click for Google Maps


iMotorhome New Zealand Issue 2 - 3 Dec 2016