We bought this German-built motorhome from a family who bought it new in England in August 2005. They then toured parts of Europe over a 4-month period - covering just over 12,000 miles before shipping it back to New Zealand. I bought it in October 2006.
I saw an advert for it on an on-line auction site in New Zealand (www.trademe.co.nz) - quite liked it but did not put in a bid. About a fortnight later I was given a NZ motorhome magazine to read and lo and behold, the same motorhome was featured together with the Shepherd's story about their touring adventure in it.
I immediately contacted Terry and had him send me about 20 photos of it, and a day or so later I flew to Auckland to look over it. Terry and Kathryn met me at the airport with the RV, we drove to a close-by shopping centre parking lot where I started my inspection. After about an hour of inspection I suggested I take it for a drive, so we drove to their house about an hours drive north of Auckland, on the Hibiscus Coast. On the way there, we sealed the deal by shaking hands while stopped at a red traffic light. By now it was too late for me to catch my flight back to Napier, so I decided to buy and pay for it immediately. So, once we arrived back at his house, a frantic rush to the bank to transfer the funds, then to the local post office to change the ownership details and finally a call to my insurance broker to arrange immediate cover.
I left their house around 17:30 headed toward the dreaded Auckland bridge rush-hour traffic, which did not disappoint - it took me 2 hours to do what should have been an hours trip to just south of Auckland. I stopped to fill up with diesel and a bite to eat then continued on my way.
At around 20:30, it was pitch dark by then, I stopped in a little typical New Zealand town, with plenty hotels and motels and checked into a pleasant hotel for the night. As I had expected to fly back the same afternoon, I did not have a change of clothing, but who cares when ones having fun!
That night I phoned Yvonne and asked her to get a lift with Scott (our son) who was attending a conference in Hamilton. I would then meet her in Taupo so she could at least accompany me on the Taupo to Napier leg - about 145Kms, of extremely mountainous and twisty roads. I did not have to ask her twice! I met her at the little harbour on Lake Taupo in the morning. We had lunch in the RV, then went to Barrons, a local RV supply store where I bought a few RV accessories then we headed home.
Just before leaving Taupo, I filled up with diesel and did a quick fuel consumption calculation, amazingly it was 26.6 m.p.g. I never, ever got that sort of economy in my American RV's.
I was very impressed with the driveability, it was very easy and comfortable to drive, other than the road noise caused by the very rough finish of NZ roads. On the highways I easily kept the speed at the legal limit of 60 m.p.h. and on the narrow steep mountain passes between Taupo & Napier I kept it at just over 40 m.p.h. which I thought was pretty impressive for a 2.8-litre engine.
Below are a few photos from the Shepherd's trip............
Camping in Switzerland
Exit from a Moraccan camp
A back road in France