Proud parents

November 10, 2019

We interrupt this regular broadcast for an important message, this time nothing to do with Motorhomes, where we’ve been, who we’ve seen, what we’ve been fishing or other escapades, this time it’s all to do with being proud parents.

We hasten to add that we are very proud of all our children, they are all wonderful people in their own right, each with their own great career and they all make valuable contributions to making a difference in this world. However, once in a while they get recognised for their work and efforts, and this exact thing happened to our son Antony at a recent Annual Police Awards night.

Award Trophy

There was also a certificate with a long citation explaining why he was given the award but we cannot publish what it says as some of the content is operational and still before the courts therefore not for public viewing. But it was very glowing in its entirety.

It’s nice to know that hard work is recognised and rewarded. We are thrilled for you Ants, well done.

Usual transmission will resume shortly.

Rarawa part one

November 6, 2019

Nearly caught up!

We’ve been coming to Rarawa now for a good many years, and we still never tire of the place. We’ve been here on our own and with various friends over the years making each visit memorable for one reason or another.

The route

We’ve set up camp in every part of the park, never parking in the same place twice, and this time is no exception, although we did move after a couple of days to hunker behind the flax to give us some protection from the cold southerly winds.

Three in a row and one across

We are on the right, Keith & Deb further along and Jim furtherest away with Carol & Glen facing toward the camera. Jim arrived a day or two after we had set ourselves up otherwise we may have set ourselves up slightly differently. But after a couple of days parked where we were initially parked, Jim too moved to be in the spot nearest the camera. Now we are perfectly fine and sheltered from most winds.

Set up in comfort

The fishing off the beach has also been very fruitful, with again Roy showing the others how to catch fish successfully! Something he has been reminded of frequently, all in good humour of course.

Keith taking out Roys line

I haven’t many pictures of the fish caught, I’m too busy helping to haul them all in to have time to take pictures.

The largest snapper (top) was 11lbs.

Besides, by the time they are ready to bring in the lines I am usually soaked after being in the tide collecting tuatuas. The fish go straight into the chilly bin packed with salt ice to keep the fish nice and cool ready to be filleted after a few hours of chilling, or even overnight, which them makes them much easier and nicer to fillet.

As I mentioned previously we have collected tuatuas. Tuatua (for our foreign readers) and according to Wikipedia are Paphies subtriangulata a species of edible bivalve clam known as tuatua in the Maori language, and are endemic to New Zealand. It is found on all three of the main New Zealand islands, buried in fine clean sand on ocean beaches.

The large shell is asymmetrical, with the hinge at one side. Its closest relative, the pipi, has a symmetrical shell.

Tuatua

If we go at low tide then you can pick them in shallow water, but with waves rolling in and splashing over me as I’m bent down scratching around in the sand for the shellfish, I usually come out fairly well soaked. The latest effort had me being completely bowled by the surf ending up either on my knees or on my bum, a sight greeted with much hilarity by all. Roy wasn’t immune, he too got bowled, and lost his grip on his shorts, mooning onlookers. But I did win the wet t shirt competition!!!

Ready to be shelled

After collecting them, we leave them in a bucket of clean sea water over night so that the shellfish purge themselves of any sand, then open them the next day with a blunt edged knife to prise open the shells. Some people steam them open, but I prefer to open them with a knife so they don’t get cooked twice. A slow process but many hands make light work as we sit around the bucket opening the shells and chatting away.

Job done

I then chop up the tuatua to make into fritters, and use very little else to make up the fritters apart from egg and just a tablespoon or two of flour to bind them, plus a few other flavour enhancing ingredients. Delicious.

Tuatua fritters

It’s not all plain sailing though, line has been broken off and sometimes it comes in tangled, usually when an eel has been caught.

Roy and Keith untangle a line

There have been some stunningly beautiful days, with the weather finally coming right. The evenings have been lovely for fishing the change of light, I have to admit I haven’t dragged myself out of bed to accompany the guys on their early morning forays.

Fishing the evening change of light

And the freshest have been especially good …..for some!

Nice one ROy

A bit heavy are they?

Yes, I think he measures up!

Tokerau Beach

October 30, 2019

(Still in catch up mode….).

We finally left Uretiti heading towards Kerikeri and the NZMCA parking site for a couple of nights to hunker down, out of the way of an impending storm that was forecast.

Apparently we missed most of the storm but we heard from others who were still at Uretiti that they suffered 100km/hr winds and terrible driving rain, and it wasn’t very pleasant at all but much better than the snow, wind and rain that we saw the rest of the country was suffering. Spring weather at its finest showing its true self.

The ground at Kerikeri was very very boggy with most of the site cordoned off and reduced to a small area that had scoria laid down, even then we sank into the ground a bit. We can report that we had no leaks through our roof so we can presume that it had been well and truly fixed.

Roy also got a chance to have a catch-up with his cousin Stuart to discuss genealogical matters and other projects going on in their respective lives. As well, we lined the pockets of a number of establishments in and around Kerikeri stocking up the larders, getting a few maintenance matters sorted, buying wool for this grandma to knit up, and some of the touring party apparently visited the chocolate shop (I resisted 😇), as well as numerous other sundry items were purchased.

After a couple of nights ‘enjoying’ the very wet ground at Kerikeri, we were soon on our way again heading further north, this time to Tokerau Beach, and the NZMCA parking area.

It wasn’t long before the blokes decided it was time to have a fish, and for Roy to perfect his method of launching his baits and line with Keith’s drone.

Glen launching his drone next to Keith’s

Keith launching his drone and line

Now for some reason I did not take many pictures of the fish caught, but suffice to say over the four or five days, quite a number of fish were caught, processed, eaten and many vacuum packed and frozen.

Roys first catch

A good start

Roy was gaining a bit of a reputation of catching the largest fish each time they went out, and he was not allowed to forget it either!!

A couple of trips into Kaitaia for laundry and shopping were done whilst we were here. My vacuum sealer finally gave out after many years of good use (it would vacuum but not seal) so a trip into the shops to buy a new one was in order.

Food vacuum sealer

The freezer is getting nicely full of fish for us to enjoy over the summer months when we are parked up camp hosting at Shakespear. As well, lots of fish is being eaten, from whole fish, to fillets cooked every which way, to curries and the like.

Fish fish fish

We have our favourite dishes that we regularly come back to, after trying many many recipes. Sometimes the simplest is the best especially for such fresh fish.

Deb had a birthday whilst we were here, Keith cooked dinner of crumbed Weiner Schnitzel with a cauliflower mash, salads and veg which was all very good and I made a dessert of lime pannacotta with citrus salad and passionfruit.

Dessert

We do eat very well.

Time to leave here and head further north whilst the weather is reasonable, again we are picking our days to travel as with another bit of windy weather due, we make the most of calmer days.

The R&M continues

October 23, 2019

I’m in catch up mode, being a couple of weeks or more behind in blogging, somehow life gets a little busy or maybe I’m just easily distracted?

In between fishing escapades whilst at Uretiti, and with the weather showing its ugly side, we discovered we had a bit of a leak. That will teach us to be oh so cocky after having the roof cleaned, obviously they cleaned it too well with some of the sealant around vents and the like parting ways with the roof. The leak was a drip drip drip right over the end of our bed. And of course there is not much you can do about it when it is actually raining.

With a bit of a break in the weather, it was time to investigate the roof. The ingress of the water wasn’t apparent, nor was it evident immediately above where it was making its way inside. As water tends to travel in not so obvious routes, finding the entry point was proving difficult.

Roy went up to investigate and Keith kindly offered to supervise the pensioner on the roof!

Roy and Keith on the search

Think we’ve found it! Even though the drip inside is on the other side of the van

We think they fixed the leak, we just have to wait for the next lot of rain to test out the hypothesis, which wasn’t too far away by the look of those dark clouds rolling in.

It did still leak a little, but just a drop or two which could well be residual moisture being pushed though by pressure….well, that’s the theory at this stage.

After a few more tweaks we think it is all solved with the magic tape that Keith had on hand for such just eventualities.

We left Uretiti on the Sunday as it was a good window of fine weather as the forecast was not looking very good for the next couple of days with heavy winds and rain expected. We thought we would head up to Kerikeri for a few days and sit out the storm there.

We arrived in clear skies but the following couple of days we were subject to a bit of wild weather. Although we didn’t get the 100km/hr winds they were experiencing back at Uretiti, we still got the rain. And very heavy rain at that. OMG what is this? The drip has moved, it is now in the toilet area coming through the light fitting. Again, not much we can do in this weather, we just have to wait it out.

A break in the weather again, everything inspected and checked, nope, can’t see where it’s coming in at all. Theories were put forward, tested, refuted and more theories put forward. What’s this? Raining again? Guess what? No leaks. Fingers crossed it’s all sorted.

Now let’s get back to the fishing.

The fish called and we answered

October 18, 2019

Contrary to some cheeky comments by those at Shakespear, we did leave the park as planned after a week of R&R. Don’t ask us what we did when we were there as I’m not really sure, apart from making lots of tea and coffee for friends and acquaintances we caught up with over the week.

We did make the final adjustments to our table, making a nice mounting plate and putting it in place. However, after a couple of days of using the table and looking at it, we came to the conclusion it wasn’t quite right. So the backing plate and mount was moved about a cm so it could be firmly fixed in place (it had a bit of a wobble), and we also had to adjust the angle of the table top as we realised that rather than being level by using a spirit level, it should really be parallel with the floor. Anyway, it’s all done now and it works well for us. Now we just have to find someone to make the table top we want.

So we left Shakespear and headed on out of town. But first a bit of a circuitous route as we first headed north to Hatfield’s Beach to the dump station and then back south to Dairy Flat to the fuel station to top up with LPG and fuel before hitting the motorway north to Uretiti Beach.

The route

We were soon parked up at Uretiti settling ourselves in for a few days. we are again with friends Keith & Deb as well as their friends Glen & Carol. We hadn’t been there long before it was decided that our first fish for the season would be a good idea. Particularly as Roy has a new system for fishing that includes a rod with electric reel, it was time to see if it all works and to do a bit of a test run.

All geared up.

The drone took the line out, and it all worked perfectly well. Glen had his drone and line out as well and then Keith put out his line.

Meanwhile back at the van, I received a text to say you had better come down to the beach as it looks like we have all caught fish. Deb & I went down to help bring in the haul. But hang on, this is getting very hard to bring in the lines, what is going on? It soon became evident we had something very big on the line, and sure enough we did……somebody’s torpedo had drifted along the beach and collected all three lines. Now all our lines are braid which means they are very thin, easily tangled…what a mess. Grrrr. With infinite patience, the lines were eventually detangled, the torpedo dragged onto the beach, however it’s line was cut a few times to detangle from the mess. Eventually it was all done, Roy had two beautiful big fish, Keith had three and Glen had five but he had to return two to the sea as they were a little small. And there were no fish on the torpedo line to make up for the shambles, plus there was no sight of the torpedo owner either. We shall try the phone number marked on its side.

Nice snapper there Roy

Guess what was on the menu for dinner?

Not to be deterred from having another go, they all went again the following night, again returning with a few fish each.

We had a lovely few days at Uretiti, managing also to catch up with Mark & Glynis one morning for brunch at the Waipu Golf Club. But all good things come to an end, as it is definitely time to move north, especially before the forecast bad weather due in the next day or so.

A clean break

October 6, 2019

Sometimes it just gets to you, being parked on gravel that it. We’d had enough of being parked at Ardmore and we were both hankering for grass, nature, beach and some space around us. We decided it was ok to leave Ardmore but we would not be going too far as we still need to be around Auckland just in case. We packed up the van ready to move but with a few tasks to do along the way it was not going to be a quick getaway.

First stop was to Bruce Pulman Park to dump the tanks and fill with fresh water, it’s within a couple of kms from Ardmore and not too far to travel. It’s a very good dump station as it has plenty of room, accessible from both sides, drive in and out and basically level as well. Job done, from there it was along the road to the petrol station to fill up with fuel. We know which stations have good, easy access for the van as not all are accessible for us. Some have very low overhead structures, some have the pumps lined up in such a way making it nigh on impossible for us to get in or out, others are just in awkward locations. Filled with fuel we are on our way, taking the Western Ring Road hence avoiding the centre of Auckland, traffic, and the Harbour Bridge.

Our next stop was in Onehunga to Cleanco Truck wash. We had heard that this company also cleans motorhomes and that they do a great job of cleaning the vehicles so we thought we would give them a try.

Lots of men washing the van

I waited for a short period of time in the customer lounge, chatting to a couple of truck drivers whilst the attendants washed the outside of the van. Roy remained inside the vehicle as he then had to move the van from that particular bay to another bay where they could access the roof via mobile stairs and gantry.

About to clean the roof

At this point I left them to it to continue on the journey in the car so I could get a bit of shopping done along the way. Roy meanwhile stayed with the van, he said he had never seen so much dirt come off the roof as they cleaned it, and in hindsight they should have cleaned the roof first before the rest of the vehicle. A lesson learnt for next time.

With wheels polished, tyres siliconed, and everything sparkly clean he was soon on his way. And at just $66 for the clean, well worth the money we thought and we will definitely use them again.

We are heading as far as Shakespear Regional Park, back to familiar territory for a week of R&R in amongst nature.

The route

I met up with Ranger Emma on my way into the Park, and was very warmly greeted before catching up on all the news from the Park. Roy arrived shortly afterwards and he had a quick catchup with Emma before it was time for us to park up….on grass!

It is so nice to be back, with plenty of space around us, the joyous sounds of prolific bird life and the crash of waves on the shore. Bliss.

Parked on grass again.

We had just finished setting up, and I had just put the kettle on for a cuppa when from across the park we hear a familiar voice calling out to us. It was head Ranger Bruce. Although he was on his days off he’d heard we were back for a visit (thanx Emma) so he came down to see us and welcome us, how lovely is that?

Over cups of tea we caught up on all the news and happenings, and no Bruce we are not starting Camp Hosting duties early, we are just having a bit of a break before heading north again. The fish are calling.

Plan B and another little task or two

October 1, 2019

We had intended to be heading on out of Auckland long before now but sometimes life just throws a curve ball at you. Actually it feels as though the curve balls have been coming at us in a continuous stream over the past year or two, and I can tell you that we are getting pretty good at batting away those balls.

So to plan B, to cut a long story short, Roy had to have a few tests and the like done which meant we had to stay around Auckland at Ardmore for an extra couple of weeks. The upshot is that he is all good and we can soon get back to plan A.

On the positive side it has meant that we’ve spent a bit of time with Antony, well, that really means that we have been heading around to his place most nights for me to cook dinner for us all, not that I mind at all and I’m sure he doesn’t either. And it’s been great to watch the rugby with him as well.

We’ve also managed to catch up with Simon, Anita and Maria and spend some time with them. Maria turned 3 the day after we returned from the UK so it was lovely to catch up and spend some time playing games that only 3 year old girls like to play! She is a delightful young lady and a pleasure to be around.

So to keep busy whilst we wait, there has been another couple of tasks that I’ve managed to get underway whilst at Ardmore.

Many years ago, my lovely sister-in-law Ann made us a beautiful quilt. Ann loved her quilting and over the years made many heirloom keepsakes for family and friends. As well, she was involved with quilting guilds on a local and national level and she loved going off with friends for weekend retreats and workshops.

We love our quilt and had been on our bed just about ever since it was gifted to us. It is made even more special since Ann sadly passed away just over 7 years ago, aged 59, but we remember her every day that we look at the quilt. However, the quilt has started to need some repair as the batting that she used inside the quilt has shrunk with washing and some of the material has started to fray.

The last time I saw my sister Sue (also an expert quilter), she said that if I unpicked all the quilting she would repair, reback, and rebuild it for me. A huge task in itself but the unpicking is not an inconsiderable task either.

Not one to back out of a challenge, I started on the incredibly laborious task of unpicking the tiny machine quilted stitching this week. With quick unpick in hand, I carefully started on one side of the quilt. After many many hours with not much to show except very sore fingers and bits of cotton everywhere, I had managed to unpick one small edge side of quilting. I was quite proud of my efforts.

See all that tiny tiny stitching in the pale coloured material? Yep, I have to unpick a queen sized quilts worth of this!!!

To give you an idea of scale, each one of these little squares is approximately 4cm…that’s an awful lots of stitching to undo

I was sitting in the van doing a bit of unpicking when some fellow motorhomers called in for a cuppa. We’d only met Debbie & Chris the week before but we enjoyed chatting with them so invited them in for morning coffee. Debbie noticed my unpicking and asked what I was doing, she said she was a seamstress/dressmaker (ok, what IS the difference between the two?) and could she show me a quicker way to unpick? Oh yes please, said I. First I needed to go and buy some one sided razor blades and she would show me what to do.

Later that same day, with a pack of razor blades in hand I was knocking on their door asking for a quick lesson in fast unpicking. Debbie showed me the method; cut the stitching with the razor blade between the backing material and batting pulling it apart to expose the stitching and cutting the thread. As we are replacing the backing material there will be no issue if I have a wee oops!

Well, now there is no stopping me. What was going to take me a month of Sunday’s before even making a dent with the unpicking, after three days I have the bulk of it done and another week should see it all finished. Thank you so much Debbie for showing me the way!

Some of the fabric is pretty fragile, I just hope that somehow Sue will be able to work some of her magic on it for us.

During the week I also got another task done, that is making my Christmas Cakes. I went round to Antony’s to utilise his oven, as one of the cakes has a 3 and half hour bake time .

Christmas cake one underway

This recipe is the one my mum used to make not only for Christmas but also for our wedding cakes. We love this cake with a slice of cheddar cheese – a Yorkshire way of eating fruit cake. The recipe is actually my grandmothers and contains just sultanas, raisins and currants (1.75kg – nearly 4lbs) and no nuts. It’s supposed to have a dash or two of brandy in it but we didn’t have any but I did find a good alternative.

Found this substitute for brandy in our stash.

We brought this Armagnac back from France some time ago so I thought it is a good swap as it is a style of brandy, and I carefully measured it in exactly the same way Mum did….a good glug or two poured straight from the bottle into the cake mix is a measure isn’t it?

Ready for the oven

and the end result

Baked and cooled

Time to wrap them up and put away in the tins for a month or two.

Then it’s onto the next cakes, these ones are a recipe I have developed over the years and is basically all fruit and nuts, some call it a stained glass window cake as when the cake is sliced it resembles a stained glass window. This time Roy sacrificed some of his rum to go into these cakes, rationed nip measures of course.

Ready to go in the oven

Once the cakes were cooked and cooled, I wrapped them tightly in tinfoil and went to put them in the tin, but guess what? each cake was just a little too long to fit into the cake tin so a sliver had to be sacrificed off each end.

Trimmed

Of course we had to sample the trimmed slices, with a cup of tea, as it would have been a waste otherwise 😉. We can report it is delicious!

R&M

September 27, 2019

We tried, we truly did. But the wing mirror fix was not going to work, it was still wobbly so in desperation Roy went to see a man, returning a little later to tell me that we would be taking the van down the road to see the man at Vanco as he was going to fix it for us. Friday we went for a drive down the road to dump at Bruce Pullman Park and then on to Vanco for the repair work to be done. We were there for just under an hour whilst options A,B and C for the repair were discussed before finally agreeing on the simple fix.

With the wing mirror removed and the old holes filled, new holes were drilled ready for an aluminium plate to be attached on top of the fibreglass body of the van. Oh, and the wing mirror also has an indicator light on the arm so things have to be kept clear of those wires so they can be reconnected.

Old holes filled, new holes drilled

Next it was time to affix the new base plate.

Attaching the plate

All complete

With the mirror back in place. Sorted!

Perfect, it all works and it’s still on the side of the van a week later so a good job all round.

Next we had the new table leg to position inside the van. Where to put it came with lots of debate, not all of them polite!, with several positions attempted by holding the leg in different locations and trialling it until Roy decided he would put in a couple of screws to hold the base plate in place in where he thought it should go .

Location No. 1….nope, that wasn’t going to work as it was too close to the slide out for a table to move effectively.

Location No. 2….nope, that wouldn’t work either but if we moved the power point by putting in horizontally rather than vertically, that could work.

No, the picture is not the wrong way, the power point has been turned on its side

Location No. 3……nope, not in the middle of the seat Roy, too inconvenient.

Location No. 4…..yes, that may work, let’s try it. A couple of pieces of wood found in our ’roundtuit’ box are used to set it at the right angle and position, let’s try that.

Temporarily positioned.

That looks like it may work…BUT, it all depends on the size and shape of the table top that we are going to have. The next round of debate ensues. First large pieces of cardboard are used as table top prototypes, duct taped into position to trial. We think we know what the final size should be.

Then we had the brainwave, we have a stack of tables in Antony’s garage, let’s measure up a few and see what we have. Perfect, an old table that folds in half which is what we were thinking for our final table top, with two sizes in one. A bit of duct tape and it was attached to the table mount.

Trying out the table for size, yes, we know it’s upside down when folded out, we were just gauging the size and position.

Now, I am a ‘visual’ person, as in I need to actually see what and how something will look like and work before committing to it. Do we really want a table that shape and to fold in that manner? I know, how about I try folding pieces of paper cut to scale to see which idea is best and will work?

My prototypes in paper form.

We looked and we tried different versions and sizing and came up with exactly what would work for us. A small table perfect for the two of us, which folds out so that it will then fit six people around it comfortably, something like the middle version of the paper examples above.

Another brainwave, what about trialling the old small table top that we used to use, it had a central leg but we can unscrew the mount off that and give it a go as we need to be sure where the table top should be mounted onto the table to give the best movement and height. It is a bit smaller than the final size we have agreed upon but it will do in the meantime.

Version number……oh, I’ve lost count now!!

In store away mode

The duct tape has been usurped and we have screwed this table top in place to continue the trial. Next will be to attach the leg to the front corner of the seat in its permanent position and then get the table top made.

We also have an extra mounting plate which can be used elsewhere in the van, the debate continues on where that one will be positioned…..watch this space!

Unpack and a reshuffle

September 19, 2019

The worst thing about getting home after a long time away is the unpacking, nothing ever seems to fit back where it should, or you cannot remember where things should go, and of course there is all the extra goodies that we brought home with us to find a new home.

Actually, we didn’t bring too much back with us although the bags seemed to be fairly full. We did bring back with us a Lagun table leg for the van. See here for a clip of it in action. Its a height adjustable swivel table mount that you can then put on your choice of table top. Now, that’s the issue, we don’t have a table top as yet that we are both happy with. Much debate will ensue I am sure.

I did bring back some tea bags though, rather a lot! Not only the 480 Yorkshire tea bags but also tea bags with a malty biscuit flavour!! It’s the tea you have when you want a biscuit but don’t want the calories.

Tea bags and a cuppa

Yes, I know, you can buy the tea bags here but these were such a large quantity for a bargain price, I just could not resist.

Also brought back were a couple of items I picked up at IKEA for the van kitchen and pantry, and some organisational pieces for the wardrobes. I can’t think of what else we brought back, apart from wonderful memories of time spent with family and friends.

It’s about time to have a good clean out of lockers, ditch a load of gear that we have been carting around for “justin” …….as in just-in-case, either to off load to store at Antony’s or just get rid of stuff.

The shed at Ardmore became the recipient of some fairly decent items, all to give away in the hope that they find their way to a good home.

Items included;

a Navman GPS (we use our phones/iPads for navigation) including the instructions

A portable 600w inverter (we have a decent built in one)

Headphones and charging cord

USB Charging plugs

4 x Stainless steel drink bottles

A static mini cycle

Various other items. NB. all items disappeared within a few hours of putting them out.

Lockers have been emptied and anything not used in the past year or two have been put into storage and a reshuffle of other lockers items have been done to make better use of the space.

As well, a bit of R&M has been undertaken on the van; the sliding door inside has had some mods done to make it glide more efficiently, the drivers side wing mirror mount has had a bit of TLC after we noticed the mirror wobbling a bit. The fridge has a new ignitor installed after it spat the dummy on our return. And the major thing has been some welding work done on our A-Frame after a weld broke, with it all now having been checked and sorted.

And in case you were missing out seeing lots of Callum pictures, here are a few to keep you going!!

Solar upgrades

September 15, 2019

We have had our solar set up on our van for just over 8 years now. We’ve had a great run with our set up including the solar panels and the battery bank. We are told that AGM batteries should last only about 5 years but ours are still going strong, which is what happens when you;

a) buy decent batteries in the first place

b) look after the batteries

c) don’t overload their usage ie. we panic if the battery levels ever get below 80-85% full!!!

However, we did want to put in a new charger that would top up the van battery off the solar feed that serves the house batteries, as when we sit still for any length of time, the van battery starts to lose power and although we can top them up from running the engine, it seems silly to start the engine every day just to charge it up again although we do have a magic switch that allows us to start the van off the house batteries. A new charger would keep the battery topped up all the time with the excess solar. So it was off to see Wayne Hunt in Hamilton.

We had arranged to meet him at his premises opposite the Base shopping complex in Hamilton, after a bit of discussion we also opted to have a new solar controller put in, an MPPT controller which would allow better charging of the batteries especially when they are getting to nearly full. I had it explained to me once that putting the last little bit of power into the battery was like trying to fill a container of water to the very top, carefully and slowly trying to dribble in the last little bit in to get it absolutely full. Previously, on a sunny day and batteries at 96% full, we would get a maximum of 0 to 1.5 amps dribbling in. In stark contrast, today at 96% with a weak sun we are putting in up to 11amps with the inverter going as well. A great improvement.

Wayne had it all done quickly, efficiently and tidily, he also tested out a couple of other things for us and also told us that our initial set up done by Absolute Power all those years ago was very well done which is always good to hear and he also made a point of telling us that our batteries were in great condition and we must have looked after them very well. We were happily on our way in an hour or so.

The new digital VSR on the left and the new MPPT controller at the rear

We can highly recommend Wayne at Motorhome Solar in Hamilton for very friendly, excellent service and at a very reasonable price, plus he goes out of his way to explain in layman’s terms the ins and outs to people like me who have few clues on all things electrical!