return to news list     generate pdf     print

November 2014 Rally Report

by Lyn Buxton

What a wonderful response we had with more members than expected attending our Club’s second rally at Ohakune. Three Auto Trails arrived on Thursday, 20 by Friday night and 32 for Sat/Sun. We had a most enjoyable time meeting one another, socialising, swopping travel stories and helping each other with minor problems and issues.


Linda McKenzie started the Club membership, organised the first rally last year and made the venue booking for this year, however health problems have meant she has not been able to continue with the organisation.
Several members expressed gratitude for what Linda had already done to get the Club up and running and wished her well with her recovery.


There was much discussion about where to from here for the Club and a wish was expressed to have one, preferably two rallies a year at a similar venue to the one at Ohakune ie plenty of parking space, a large room to hold our meetings and socialising, and dining facilities to have at least a Saturday night meal all together. Also a website and forum was discussed and one of our members, Chris, had one as an example designed on his computer by Sunday morning! It was brought to our attention that there are several motorhome forums on the web that one can consult. These have a wealth of information and ideas however treat suggested solutions cautiously as not all submissions may be good; some may even be quite dangerous or quite inaccurate. If in doubt do more research and find an ‘expert’ on the subject to consult.


On Saturday afternoon we sat in one big circle for a group discussion on technical issues/problems, ideas, modifications and all things Auto-Trail. For three hours with a break for
afternoon tea, we covered a great deal of interesting and informative topics. There was no attempt to record this session, making it as informal as possible. Over the page I have summarised most of the matters raised, written from memory a few days later.


At Saturday night's dinner Lyn handed out prizes for lucky van, the furthest travelled etc ; the prizes and name tags were kindly sponsored by Auckland Motorhomes.


Unfortunately the weather was a little wet, cold and windy but that only dampened ideas for some outdoor biking and hiking. The parking area was very sheltered.


On Sunday morning we all assembled for morning tea followed by a very interesting and informative talk from local historian, Merrilyn George. She covered several periods of local history from early settlement to timber milling, farming, vegetable production, railway construction, a devastating fire and mountaineering. Merrilyn has devoted much of her spare time to collecting and archiving vast amounts of Ohakune's history. She also showed us some outstanding examples of her other passion - working with textiles including quilting.


A few members had to leave early so a photo of us all lined up in front of our vans unfortunately didn't include everyone that attended the rally. (Thank you Chris for photo).


Lyn and I are happy to continue with keeping the database up to date and sending out a newsletter or two to maintain interest. A few members expressed interest in helping or running a rally in their area. One idea for a venue was the Car Museum at Hamilton. It has a big parking area, meeting room and dining room; also venues at Waipu and Tauranga are being investigated.


Until next time, happy, safe motorhoming.


Summary of group discussion session held on Saturday afternoon:

(Note: no record of discussion was made; this has been written from memory a few days later so accuracy not guaranteed nor should suggested solution be taken as gospel.– David)

Fridge - several problems ranging from not re-igniting, loose wire on spade connection, venting to outside, to not good to operate when not level.

Charging batteries - when driving with fridge on battery, fridge takes most of alternator output so not much goes into battery. If want batteries charged quickly turn fridge off while driving. Some leave it on gas while driving. Debate whether or not this nullifies insurance.

Rubbish bag in door - use a pencil to secure bag to back of bin.

Trip meter, distance or empty etc on speedometer - push and hold button on end of wiper stalk to reset to zero or change modes.

Holding side door back so it doesn't slam shut in windy conditions - install long hook or flip up catch.

Table inside - replace small round table with larger one made by kitchen shop or install a second round table or buy small folding table from The Warehouse to use instead of getting bigger one out of wardrobe.

Breakdown insurance - pay extra for AA Plus or for extension on Covi Insurance. It is included in Campercare policy?

Tyre pressures - recommended 79psi is far too high. 65 - 70psi seemed to have most owner's agreement.
Tyre make - wide range of opinion!

Boosting engine power - Thames? company inserts chip in computer to increase engine power. Some expressed concern that this may nullify warranty.

Water drains either side of windscreen blocked - water then tracks down into body and causes corrosion.

Water spilling over engine - causes corrosion and failure of electrical and sensor components.

Slow draining of sink and basin - fixed by replacing right angle traps with standard household U traps.

Dissipating excessive heat from heaters under bed - install a computer fan to blow air out into van or raise bed to give an airflow gap all around.

Broken plastic window catches - these can be replaced.

Broken clips on drop down TV screen - no replacement apparently.

Take care with windscreen and door shades - they are very expensive to replace. Similarly the side door fly screen.

Wall paper joining strip in bedroom of Dakota vans peeling off - replacement strips available. One fix is to take about 15mm off edge of drawers so they don't snap along wall and catch strip.

What's the best way to improve radio reception by replacing aerial in left mirror with external aerial?

Don't forget you have a remote for the dimmer lights and radio as well as one for the TV.

The plastic surround for the window behind the gas hob gets so hot it sags. Carefully heating with a hair dryer allows it to be straightened to some extent. Some members also commented that the wall beside the hob gets very hot and the wall surface may blister.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

PS. Copy this into your web browser for a Christmas message from Auto Trail UK:




Register  |  Login