Electra's picture
14 April 2013

As part of looking at what mobile homes are available overseas and what the likelihood would be of importing something, we had to find out what the maximum vehicle dimensions were for New Zealand.

In short it is 2.5m wide, 4.25m tall, 11.5m long if towing a trailer or 12.6m if not towing.

There are other factors to consider as well, like front overhang, turning circle diameter etc.  You can see all of that here.

The choice of mobile homes in a country such as America are huge, with only a tiny few being imported here.  The main differences are that they run on 110-120v; are left hand drive (if you aren't talking about a 5th-wheeler) and end up having their entry doors and pull-outs opposite to what we would design.  The prices seem very competitive for the features - it is hard not to get envious and frustrated.

The process and cost of importing varies per country of origin, and initially looks enough to put anyone off.  I won't say the door is firmly closed, but it would take quite a bit of research and organisation to bring something out.

Have you taken a step back and got the facts about all the options you have?

Electra's picture
04 April 2013

There are really a lot of things that we can do without, and very few things we use on a daily or weekly basis.

So how do you figure out what to pack in a mobile home, besides the advice to make sure everything is compact and stacks?

What we have started to do, for our kitchen area, was tape a piece of paper to our pantry door, and as we go about preparing meals or using the space, we write on it what we used.

The conundrum will come with those items that are valuable but which currently only get used at one time of the year, like the preserving equipment.  I know some families have more time and opportunity to bottle on the road, but then you do have to intend to consume the produce in a timely manner as well.  I can see that jams and fruits would be beneficial, with the occassional pickle thrown in for good measure, but would a large stock pot readily replace the preserving pan, leaving only the wide-mouthed funnel and bottle tongs to pack?  I will have to sit on that one for a while, and concentrate instead on refining the list on the wall.

The other part to this equation is what food stuffs do we use?  Do we need 2 dozen spices and blends?  How many packets of pasta do we go through on a regular basis, and what kind?  Much of this can be determined by your grocery dockets, so start to stockpike these.  They can serve a double purpose, in that while you are looking through what you have brought you also write up a master shopping list to make the shopping process a whole lot simpler en route, when things are going to be tucked away, possibly out of sight, in your motor home.  As you run out of something you check it on the list.  We have laminated our home shopping list and use a whiteboard marker with it.

What basics do you really need to make your life easier?
Can you free yourself of some of the other stuff?

Electra's picture
04 March 2013

Strolling through a country market

Maraekakaho is one of those blink and you miss it places.  We'd passed by on the way to Stony Creek Ranch previously but never had a reason to stop, unless photographing the war memorial for a friend counts.

So off we drove to see what there was to see.  The Market Day was certainly larger than what we had anticipated, with artisan stalls, white elephant, food & drinks, even the Civil Defence were there.

We ended up catching up with someone we hadn't seen in years, and who didn't know about Kita!  Always fun to 'shock' people!

After that, we tootled over to Whakatu, with absolutely no idea of what we would find at the 'Junk to Funk' day organised by David Trubridge Ltd, but nosey enough to want to find out.  Vega, Gemma and I were pleasantly surprised, and could have stayed longer had it not been for the boys being in tow.  People had brought 'junk' to donate to a collection of objects that anyone could then up-cycle /re-fashion into something else.  Some tools were on hand and the welder looked to be working overtime.  The creations were show-cased under a platformed gazebo and could be taken away by anyone for a donation.  It was one big huge kindergarten workshop craft area for adults.

I would usually shy away from events like this for their arty farty nature, but I was drawn to this one due to it's innovative environmental element.  It did win me over.  I also liked that Vega and Gemma could create from a variety of materials and they didn't have to follow us home.  We will certainly be looking out for the announcements of the 'Junk to Funk' days in the future, and this time I know the boys will want to join us. 

Here are some of the objects we made:

'Junk to Funk' - Steampunk bustle skirt from a market umbrella cover

'Junk to Funk' - plastic rods stuffed into a tube and cut crosswise

'Junk to Funk' - wicker basket filled with testtube-like containers for floral arranging

Hawke's Bay

What have you done differently lately to take yourself out of your comfort zone?