Winter Woolies – Not Yet

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It has finally been raining here in Pukekohe. Over the last few weeks the grass has greened up and the cracks in the ground have nearly closed. I can’t say it is actually that cold up here in Pukekohe; we went back to Martinborough for a few days recently and had to light the fire, it was so brisk, but here we are still sleeping with no duvet as yet, just a light blanket — such a contrast.

We have been out and about a bit with that trip to Martinborough, down
to Tauranga, and lots of excursions in and out around Auckland visiting the RV industry to check out new models for the Covi show in March. A trip down to Whangamata for Beach Hop was great fun — always some wonderful classic caravans at this event. You will read about a couple of them in this issue.

We had a new gearbox and clutch fitted to our Rockin Robyn recently. It is unbelievable how quiet and smooth the gear change is now — the Rock is well impressed with the difference. We didn’t know there was much wrong with it, just took it in to be checked as it was a bit grainy and noisy. When they drained a bit of oil out, it shone a beautiful silver — from all the metal grindings, lol.

We rented out Rosie a couple of times as well and had a couple of dramas with both rentals. The first one was mechanical, even though things should have been tickety-boo as ever we’d replaced the diesel pump and had her fully serviced before she went out. After it had been picked up by the tourists who rented her when she got to Matamata they had to fill the diesel tank, which was a bit strange. Then they realized diesel was pouring out from under the engine, damn! Share-a-Camper worked with us and the renters, via the Roadside Assist people, to get the problem diagnosed, find someone to repair it the next day, sort out towage, etc. — and the fire brigade had to be called to clean up the diesel, eek! It turned out that an incorrect fuel filter had been fitted and, as you’d expect, it didn’t seal properly. Rosie was up and running and back on the road by Ipm the next day so it could have been worse. The next rental went out at 10 am on the Saturday of the Covi show, and at Ipm we got a call to say they had hit a bollard in a supermarket carpark in the Thames. This was an Argentinian girl traveling with her parents. So the entire side of Rosie — that we just paid good money to have rebuilt and made perfect — had now been ripped from the habitation door along the bottom to the back, and for good easure, a bit of the back had also been ripped. We sat with the team on the Share-a-Camper stand at the show and sorted this one; all it needed was some hundred-mile-an-hour tape to be applied by the panel beater who checked it out, and away they went. It was safe, drivable and water tight so no reason to stop their holiday. She is now at ACM in Auckland awaiting a quote to be fixed.

What a pain in the backside it has all been. A bit stressful having to scramble to help resolve these issues as quickly as possible, being aware that this is someone’s trip of a lifetime in some cases. And poor Rosie, just made perfect in nearly every way with new interior and exterior, only to go out on her second trip looking gorgeous and then come back all taped up.

Oh well there is insurance, yes, but who knows how long that will take — our previous experience with insurance dealings indicates it could be
a few months. The renter paid about $2500 insurance bond and Share-a-Camper insurance took care of the repair, but for us, it is loss of income as she can’t be rented out until finished and delivered back to us. And there’s also loss of the spare room for guests at home and just the disappointment that she has been damaged.

That got me thinking about accidents and driver safety especially with winter weather coming on, it is a prudent time to check your RV for winter storage and travel safety, read our feature on winterizing tires, batteries
and solar great general information and items to check, it could save your life or at the least an accident this winter. Take care and be safe on the roads.

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