Our first night in our new rig (Wednesday 28 June) was spent at Papamoa Beach Resort—a fabulous motor camp with lovely staff, and the amenities I saw were modern and spotless. We arrived late at night and fortunately had some friendly neighbours assist with plenty of parking advice, as we had rather a tight spot to manoeuvre into. We just thought, “It is what it is”, and got on with it. Found out in the morning as we were about to leave that we were really too large for that spot and would probably have been better off in another lane. Well, Dave managed to get us in and out of there, so we figure any others will be a breeze! Next time, we’ll ask for a site with a sea view as apparently they are more spacious.
We spent the evening unpacking and finding places for things to live. Although the camp ground is right on the beach, we never even saw the beach. It was over the hill. I fell into bed exhausted that night.
Then we were up and off the next morning. We had quite a tight schedule, mostly due to delays in picking up the rig. I was still driving the Citroen—we’d held onto this as it transported most of our gear we needed to pack into the rig. We went straight to my brother’s farm where our container is stored in Arohena (near Arapuni, east of Te Awamutu). I led the way in the Citroen and felt like I was towing the Ranger and the rig myself! Probably more nervous than Dave, driving down some of those tight country roads willing oncoming traffic to “Get outta the way—move over!”
We parked on Grant & Pam’s tanker track but were having problems getting our fridge to work on gas. Fortunately, we were able to plug into their power and thus save our frozen food.
As soon as we were set up, we took the Citroen in to the car auction place in Hamilton where we left it with them to sell. We had an appraisal done on Mum’s car as well before dropping it back to TA, then headed back to the farm in Grant’s ute. Another full day.
The next day we were flat out busy transporting “stuff” between the rig and the container . . . final decision time. "Do we need this? No! Can we fit this in!?" I'm sure I've made some bad choices, but we can always come back.
We were back on the road again after lunch, down to family in Inglewood, arriving just after dark. Our granddaughter’s birthday was on the Sunday. Fourteen 8 to 9-year-old children make a lot of noise! Note the doughnut theme.
Monday we moved on to Stratford, where our friends, Garth and Helen, laid out the
red brown carpet for us. I must have begun to
relax as I’d started to take photos again.
We felt very welcome and although we were a little apprehensive about getting down their drive, it went without any problems. Once unhitched, (still no fridge on gas), we hooked into their power supply and then found our satellite dish and the gas heater were not working. We eventually managed to get the satellite dish going again after unplugging everything to force a reset.
A couple of nights earlier, our battery had started to tick. This was more obvious at night-time with it situated at the foot of our bed. Dave described it as “Chinese water torture”, and did not sleep at all well. No sleep = one grumpy bear in the morning! The next night, following advice, we switched it off. This caused a beep from another monitor but that noise was further from the bedroom and could be ignored more easily. We switched it on again in the morning, but the problem remained.
The next morning (now Tuesday), all our lights went off. The water pump died at the same time. It wasn’t long after that we made the decision to travel back to Mount Maunganui to where we bought the rig to have all these issues addressed. We’d been in touch with On The Way RV (OTWRV) all this time, and as there were a number of issues, they advised us to come back and let them find out what was causing all the problems. I’d also discovered a small leak under the kitchen sink. So we packed up and set off. “Are we having fun yet?” was beginning to become the catchcry of the week.
The gas man walked into our rig within five minutes of our arrival at OTWRV and pronounced the fridge and heater both working well. Grrr!!
Then the electrical guy discovered the battery was not charging. Apparently, during assembly, some fuse thingy parts were not put on tight enough and had been moving around. The end result was that our battery was not charging and so, of course, we eventually ran out of power. Lots of things I don’t understand, (not being an electrician), but it seems the gas needs power to ignite and this could have been causing the issues with the fridge and the heater as well. With the long drive over, the battery had charged up sufficiently from the truck (Ranger/Ute) battery for the fridge and heater to work when the gas guy tried it. I don’t know why it would charge up off the tow vehicle but not the solar or the 24v power connection. It’s a mystery to me. But I have to admit, I’ve learned a lot over the past week and know quite a bit more about these things than I did before we moved into the rig. Sadly, I’m still no expert.
Facing an evening without lights as the battery would not have charged up fast enough, OTWRV sent us to a motel just across from the harbour. A lovely relaxing hot shower was bliss!
This was the view across the road from our motel.