We have just reached the two-month mark of living full time in our RV!
It feels like it has been a long month but also a very fulfilling month!
Where We Have Been:
Month two began with a highly anxious drive over The Remutaka Ranges in the Motorhome. The Remutaka is this high curly mountain range that divides/links up Wellington to the Wairarapa region. Living in Wellington you often hear of accidents along this road along with many news feeds informing you of the latest traffic jams on the road. So decided to beat the chaos and travel over it at 6 am in the morning. With a well deserved two week Christmas vacation planned we decided to park up in a campsite in Greytown and not move our lazy butts for two weeks solid.
But of course we eventually did, our two weeks were spent hiking, cycling, sightseeing as well as overindulging in both the eating and the alcohol department! If you would like to find out more about this beautiful often overlooked region just click on our article here. 🙂 It is fair to say it was the first time we felt like we were on holiday even though we live full time in our RV.
Isn’t that everyone’s goal when living full time in a motorhome? You want to feel like your on holiday every day.
We then spent a week in the wilderness at Lake Wairarapa where we disconnected from the world and just lived day by day. It was great to get off the beaten path and just enjoy some downtime. The weather was really kind to us as well, the summer dresses came out to play!
The second half of the month has been spent traveling up to Palmerston North and down the west coast back towards Wellington. We had some maintenance work scheduled on the Motorhome that needed our attention! Which nicely rolls into what we lesson’s we have had RV wise this month!
What We Have Learned:
COF s are not so scary: We had our RV booked in for a COF (that’s an MOT to us English folk) at Palmerston North two weeks before its expiry date with the idea that if it failed we would be able to fix it before we had to leave the region. And then two days before it was booked it Isaac met two different people who recommended to him Martinborough Transport Service. Trusting our instincts we decided to book it in and it passed with flying colours!
Fueling up is not so easy: We have had a few stressful situations at gas stations. Trying to fit the RV into them, getting it in seems to be okay it’s getting out of them is where the problem occurs. We cause a slight traffic jam of chaos around us which tests both our patience and the people’s patience around us. It seems the bigger the RV the less patience people have for it. We have discovered this on the road as well, but I won’t get into that on this post! We have decided to eliminate this stress from our lives and have purchased a few jerry cans. We fuel up using the car and then fill the RV up using the jerry cans.
Slide Outs are tedious: We have had a few problems with our slide out as of late. One day it wouldn’t go back in as it had misaligned and was slanting downwards. We both had to stand on the edge of the slideout and use our weights to get it back in. We have since bought a jack to lift it up in case it happens again. And the awning flew off the other evening in high winds, we were both sitting inside doing some work when we heard this tremendous bang, the awning pole (which is heavy and long) had flown onto the roof and caused a slight dent in the roof.
To fix it took two days of investigation via Youtube videos and lots of trial and error. But not before having to fix it temporarily at dusk in high winds. I was on the roof in high winds holding this heavy pole in place doing my best yoga pose whilst Isaac was at the other end fixing it back into place. And of course, this is 9 pm at night on a Sunday night when we would rather be in bed Netflixing and chillin.
Ants are pests and recycling is hard: After being so stationary (3 weeks in total) we had a little ant infestation in the RV. They became attracted to the recycling box that we were having trouble emptying. There isn’t very many recycling stations around the country and it seems if you live in a house in NZ the issue is easy, the council collects it for you.
In England, recycling can be done at your local supermarket but in NZ it isn’t set up like that. We have had to forgo the recycling for now until we have found a better solution. It’s frustrating, to say the least.
Our electrical setup is golden: We did, however, decide to educate ourselves in our electrical set up and we went to see DC Power in Palmerston North. We haven’t had any problems with our set up but just felt we needed an experts advice on whether our batteries are doing their job properly. And they certainly were, in fact, the guy said this was on the best professionally installed off grid set ups he has seen which has certainly eased our anxiety!
Discovered thermal cookers: Whilst in the Lake Wairarapa we met a prepper (you know those people who live off the grid and prepare for the end of the world type situation) and they told us about their Thermal Cooker. Basically it’s like a slow cooker but without the electricity. Firstly you get the food and water up to temperature for about 30 minutes on the hob and place the lid in the thermal which insults the heat and slow cooks the food. After four hours we made a beautiful roast dinner and only used gas for 30 minutes. We are loving this off-grid lifestyle.
Plans For The Future:
In February we are off to England to visit our family and friends which is very exciting for us. Isaac is Best Man at his best friends wedding, we have new additions to the family to meet as well as many of our friend’s new offsprings to meet. All of a sudden being 30 means new life and weddings, oh how things are changing!
It has been over two and a half years since we have been back. Which I think is the longest time we have been away from our home country. We are very much looking forward to visiting our family and friends (not one for favoritism but I think we are mostly looking forward to spending time with our nephews and nieces as well as our grandparents) and visiting some of our old haunts.
We have also realised that we have just rolled into the fifth year of living in NZ, last time we went back to England we wrote this article; We are intrigued to find out what has changed in England after 4 years away, and our prediction is?
EVERYTHING HAS CHANGED!