Sunday, January 15, 2017

Traveling together

And so the journey continues... and what better time that the summer Christmas holidays. A time we throw everything into the van and head off with family and animals to a beach front location. At last a holiday option our dogs can join... this means, not only their company, but it saves on kennel fees... And they LOVE it.


Introducing Sami (black) and Kahlua (cream) - poodle chihuahuas (non shedding which helps). Ideal size for a camper van. Kahlua knows the blanket on the floor is a great place to sleep. Sami will forever sleep at/on my feet. They are both up and excited as the sun rises - peering out the window and watching the world go by. They prefer that the van is parked, and sleepy, and just the four of us... a moving diesel van, with all its contents, is still immensely unnerving. So more trips will need to be had for them to get used to the uncertainty of that. Any tips and tricks for traveling with our mutts are welcome.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

A New Journey Begins....

Campervan, McLeod Bay, Whangarei Heads, holidays, New Zealand
The Journeys begin - McLeod Bay, Whangarei Heads

The start of this blog, coincides with a new phase in life. Life does that to you - every now and then you are faced with new choices, new directions, new possibilities. Its always been my philosophy to grab hold of new possibilities and find new positive ways of being.

And so with a new phase in our lives - we have purchased a camper van.

Its not big. Its not flash. We waited until the right van became available. We listed our criteria in order of essentials.

1. A good engine and mechanics (A+ AA report was essential)
2. Diesel
3. Self contained
4. Large all round windows
5. High roof
6. Kitchen inside the camper van (not out back door)
7. Good Storage
8.The bed is at the back

After scouring car yards, sale markets, and Trade Me we found something in Christchurch. It fitted all our criteria, so we paid for an AA check before we booked tickets to Christchurch. An AA check was essential, priority number 1, and something we always insist on before buying any vehicle.

It was a good thing we did. The AA report came back with a long list of problems, and we were told not to touch it with a barge pole. Despite falling in love with this camper van that ticked every other box, we abandoned that dream and began looking for another.

Fiona found one in Taipa. Again, it fitted all our criteria (except the last one), and although I did not fall in love with it, we paid for another AA check. This came back very favourably - it has a great engine, and everything is in good working order.

The pale turquoise interior, and slightly odd layout, the minor bumps and bruises annoyed me. But with good bones, I let my imagination take hold and began to plan for an interior make-over. The opportunities this van has provided is the ability to make it our own, to add our touch of creativity, and to begin another exciting journey.... the ability to learn new skills.

YouTube is fantastic - and I have watched video after video on different upholstering techniques, how to insulate a van, painting metal, camper van hacks, etc etc etc

After one weekend trailing our camper van in the Bay of Islands, the creative mind found new energy. And this week the work begins to make it all a reality. It will take some time, but we hope by the middle of summer the van will have a retro, vibrant, shick look - and it will be a fabulous expression of us.

campervan, rambler, travelling, holidays, motorhome, new zealand
Nissan Caravan Hightop 1991

campervan, motorhome, new zealand, holidays
Campervan interior - lends itself to adding our touch of creativity

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