Life at No.22, New Zealand, The Motorhoming Years

Motorhoming – The beginning

When do most inspiring ideas occur?

For us, it would seem they pop up when we least expect it.  The Wandering Hobo idea germinated in 2007, while trying to relax during a coffee break on the deck overlooking all the work that needed to be done that day, on our small orchard/farm.  It was also a time where more time was spent chatting in person than on the internet, as there was too much work to be done.

Though when this conversation grew to the stage that the only thing missing was more detailed information about living in a motorhome.  This is where computers and the ingenious google comes into its own.  It worked a treat and an excellent excuse to ignore outside work as we were on a mission to gather more research, to back up our fantastic idea of living in a motorhome full time.  Who would have thought this possible, let alone us two leaving our slice of paradise?

After a few hours, we were hooked, “hook, line and sinker”, and the first steps to becoming the proud owners of a motorhome had started.  After a few days tripping about, walking in and out of a few various motorhomes, we had just one last one to view.  On a sunny Autumn day, we headed over to Tauranga to see a larger vehicle than we had previously done.  We loved it, and after a bit of negotiation, a deposit was handed over.

We finally had our next home, our apartment on wheels.

This all happened in March, by the end of Easter we were the happy owners of a 10.5m converted motorhome.

“PURR-INN” was her name. SUZYV_edited

When we do put our minds to achieving a dream, we don’t muck around.  One of the main reasons is we met later in life, and we had many years to catch up on as well as living in the present.DSCF3085

Now comes the exciting part, the Squire did not have an HT license [Class 2 – which is required for large vehicles over a specific weight].  How confident were we about him getting his license?  100 per cent sure.  A week or so later, after the second attempt. What was that about being confident or did I omit the “over”, he had the documentation in his hand.

We could now proudly hit the road and get those wheels moving, our first long maiden trip was to visit my brother Steve and his family in Takaka, Golden Bay.  Just on a side note for those of you who absolutely love Ginger Crunch, this is the place to visit, even if you have to travel for 24 hours to get there, it is so worth it! The Wholemeal Cafe  Here is the recipe just in case you can’t get to the cafe Takaka Ginger Crunch Recipe

What an adventure that landed up being!.  Plus of course with a few slices of Ginger Crunch to keep up the energy levels!

The Adventure down south started the usual way.

With a drive down to Wellington, on this particular journey, we passed through the middle of the North Island, via the Desert Road.  Then it was onto the ferry to Picton.


Driving up a massive hill by car is so much easier than manoeuvring a large vehicle up that said hill, so we found out on the very first hairpin corner!  This was the beginning of when I started perfecting the outstretched leg movement with my foot on the imaginary brake.

At this point in time the Squire wished he had a quieter demure wife when my panic-induced banshee screaming began with the odd comment uttered, “What the heck, we don’t have enough room on this road for both our vehicles!”, luckily the Squire knew better and portrayed more confidence [I was to find out later that this was not the case] to the conversation than I was ever going to muster up.

Of course, the truck driver and we survived our close encounter.  With smiles exchanged from both drivers whose faces looked like they were inches away from each other, with myself clinging to my chair and trying not to peer down the steep bank.  Of course, the wheels were placed on the road, though the body of the vehicle had the passenger’s side hanging over the edge.  This would now be an opportune moment to express my dislike for heights, which I am glad to report as improving.  Okay, for a moment or two I was cursing that we actually thought it was a good idea to live in a motorhome and travel to Takaka.

There was, of course, a perfectly valid reason for this outrageous long first adventure, it was to visit a new member of the family, Lily our niece, who was just a few months old.

44 thoughts on “Motorhoming – The beginning”

    1. Thanks, yes it did Em 🙂 Happy to say that my dislike of heights has diminished to just a small gasp when confronted with sheer drops! I bet you encountered a few on your walk this weekend!!

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  1. How amazing. Your motor home looks so spacious and comfy. I loved your “perfecting the outstretched leg movement with my foot on the imaginary brake.” I know it well. I even resort to that for some hairy landings in Wellington airport if I think the pilot needs some help! 😂

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    1. Hahaha, what a good passenger you were Carolyn helping out the pilot 🙂 Exactly what I thought when I put the passenger brake on for the Squire! The MH was very comfy.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Now, that was a roomy RV! So, I assume you were pulling a car the whole time you were living in it full-time? I remember that massive hill! We did it in a Mercedes Sprinter RV (slightlybigger than our Zesty) about three years ago. The Golden Coast was a complete surprise and we loved that beach in the west of which I forgot the name and starts with Wh… 🙂 I’m happy to read about that part of your lives, Suz! Like you, we don’t mess around when we have an idea and put it to action as soon as possible.

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    1. Thanks Liesbet, it is a stunning part of NZ! Great minds think alike ☺ Why muck around being indecisive when there are things to do. No we didn’t always have the car and the times we didn’t were certainly more relaxing and hassle free!

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  3. And that’s the reason hubs and I are considering a Class B Van. The road you describe has what we call the “hangy-downy side.” We want to be able to drive and park anywhere without towing another vehicle. But we’re also planning on spending every third night or so in a hotel or Air BnB. Not planning on living in it full time. Loved your story! ~ Lynn

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    1. Thanks, Lynn, pleased you enjoyed the story. I am not sure why you would want to stay in another place once you have your van. When it feels like your own I think you may feel differently? Look forward to reading about your travels.

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        1. You will get used to it and another way is too use camping grounds. When you get home again you will be so grateful for that lovely big shower ☺

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  4. Oh brilliant, I’ve been wanting to hear all about your motorhome days 🙂 I too know where the invisible brake is in our camper, I use it all the time 😂 I don’t know what my other half would do without my invisible braking! A scary moment for you Eeek!

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    1. Thanks Sam, I had better get on and write some more up!! I have heard of women back home who have sat in the bathroom while travelling along due to the precarious road conditions 🙂 We had tears in our eyes when we sold the old girl, good memories attached to that motorhome!!


    1. Thanks, Jonno. Yes, that is exactly what life is about, no risk no gain. If you fall, get up again and try a different way! Battling those inner fears is always challenging for many people!!

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  5. Loved this post as of course, we’re ex-motorhome’rs.
    I say to people, the concept isn’t too different to living on a boat, except you can’t sink a motorhome!

    Wow, 10.5 mts – no half-measures then, looks very comfortable inside.

    And here I thought our 5.5-mt long Reg was very comfortable! I do miss motorhoming…and thinking of going around Australia in one, or a 4WD Campervan in out dotage. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was really comfortable Nilla, had everything we needed and most of what we wanted.
      No, we don’t do things by half measure! Though having said that Purr-Inn just felt right and going fulltime as in years we needed a bit of space. By the time we sold we could go freedom camping totally off the grid for weeks at a time. More on that later!
      Yes, doing more of Australia is on the travel list 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. You two epitomize the rule of Carpe Diem! What an amazing bus …. rather The Squire than I driving it on scary roads (or actually any roads) though I must admit … tootling around Europe in a car must be a piece of cake for him (or maybe Ginger Crunch which having looked at the recipe may well become my new best friend!!)

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    1. Thanks Osyth. Be careful the ginger crunch is very addictive. Yes, driving a car around Europe is a breeze compared to manoeuvring the motorhome around N.Z.’s windy roads!

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    1. April, I got used to it, though part of me would’ve preferred sitting in the bathroom where there were no windows during those more scary roads 🙂

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  7. Gosh, it makes our little Dove Outback look minuscule! What a wonderful story and so great to hear how it all began. The start of so many amazing adventures. Isn’t it great to reminisce? 🙂

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    1. Miriam, the old girl would have been more suitable in Australia than NZ. Though she was not air tight even for all the Aussie dust 🙂 It was a major part of our lives, so I want to document a few parts of our tiki touring around NZ and include our motorhome trips to Australia [in a hire van]. Many pros and cons of having a smaller one, doing it part time we would certainly go smaller. With a world starting to get rid of diesel fired vehicles I am glad we sold her. It would seem electric is the way to go!.

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  8. What a fab looking vehicle Suzanne, was it a converted bus? It makes ours look very bijou indeed! You must have had some great adventures in her/him…….along with the scary driving moments too of course!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Jane [or is it Tim?], yes we brought it as a converted bus. More posts to come every now and again about our nearly 10 year ownership of the old girl. Your motorhome is far more practical than ours [not ours anymore sold it last year!]. It was great to live in fulltime though sometimes it was certainly a hassle moving it around!


      1. I can imagine the practicalities of the driving would be a challenge. It’s definitely a trade off between size and manoeverability. I’ll look forward to your future posts about your time on the road😀 Jane

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Since “the Squire”, is 6’4″, though I am sure he was an inch taller back then, the movable apartment had to be a reasonable height 🙂


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