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Meanwhile, back at the Ranch...



Hello again, time to update you on developments. It’s a good thing I said not to expect to see changes soon, because as soon as I sent out that email, I was enticed into a week’s work that became two weeks and then three. Essentially, that was most of July and so it’s only now I have the time to begin getting on with ‘things’.


The work that progressively consumed my July was driving a mobile billboard, built on the back of an Iveco Daily. You can actually read the backstory in the Dec/Jan 2020/21 issue of iMotorhome Magazine, but since then the company has added two more Dailys to its fleet, spanning two model updates.

The original truck was the first of the dramatically-updated Daily; the model that introduced the excellent eight-speed automatic transmission. In July I drove that particular truck on a four-day ‘adventure’ that from Sydney covered Wollongong, Goulburn, Gundagai, Wagga Wagga, Gosford, Newcastle and Nelson’s Bay. Yes, that was a heck of a drive, but it was good to reacquaint myself with their original Daily, especially as it has now covered some 63,000 km, mostly in stop-start city conditions. I’m pleased to report it still drove perfectly; the gearbox shifting smoothly and the engine pulling strongly, although there was one particularly annoying rattle/buzz somewhere un-locatable around the passenger-door quarter window.


Before and after that ‘adventure’ I did two separate trips in a newer Daily; the model with Apple CarPlay, adaptive cruise control and a completely new instrument cluster, steering wheel and controls. Those updates significantly improved the driving experience – from adaptive cruise reducing the fatigue in traffic to Apple CarPlay allowing the use of my favourite nav app and also easy access to my iPhone’s messages, calls, audio books and other features. The engine is the same three-litre unit, although it’s now Euro 6 compliant and requires AdBlue, which I’m pleased to report is much more readily available at the pump. The gearbox remains the same sweet eight-speed auto and the driving experience is just as pleasant. Areas covered in that truck included the Southern Highlands, Kangaroo Valley, Bomaderry and Nowra, plus Tamworth and Port Macquarie (via the Oxley Highway). Interestingly/frustratingly, it had the same buzzy rattle in the passenger door, which also manifested itself from time-to-time in the driver’s door. Hmmm…


All these drives demonstrated the Iveco Daily’s ability to deal with widely varying terrain and road conditions, plus its reliability and easy driving characteristics. It also feels truck-tough rather than like an up-rated delivery van, and should last well in any motorhome application. Cab build-quality was the only disappointment, but these are working trucks operated by many drivers and they’re certainly not mollycoddled.


How Much?

I’ve been keeping an eye on used motorhomes and find it difficult to believe the prices some people are asking. In many cases it seems that after a decade they want their original purchase price back – possibly more – and so I’m asking, am I just out of touch after two years (quite possible) or is this real?


Speaking of gouging, just last week a little bird told me of a new motorhome for sale for around $275,000, which a year ago was about $190,000. How is this possible beyond sheer greed?


New Polly Dreaming?

Since closing the magazine and selling Polly, I’ve become heavily involved in motorcycles (there are four in the garage now!) and motorcycle touring. I’ve also become deeply involved with my local club – including building its new website and sitting on the committee – and have been on some sublime two-to-four-day trips. Still, I’m now hearing the siren call of another motorhome for the first time and so the thought process has begun.

I’m torn between an off-the-shelf solution and a custom build, and cheaper old-tech in a used model or the latest tech in something new. I have specific wants as a solo traveller with an e-bike I want to keep safe from the elements and the attention of undesirables, and so have narrowed my search to a few production models and/or what could be achieved with a clean-sheet design. There’s no time frame and of course, half the fun is looking/researching/planning, but the process has begun. If/when ‘she’ arrives, will she be a Polly? I think so. The spirit of Mrs iM is strong and so it seems a given. Will she be Polly 2, Polly Too or Polly Also? We loved word play and so time will tell. Thankfully, there is time to plan. Perhaps Polly2?


Inspiration

Now I have time to get down to business, I’m diving in at the deep end. On August 22nd I fly to Germany to spend 10 nights at the 2023 Dusseldorf Caravan Salon – the world’s biggest RV show – and then a month later I’ll be across the Ditch for the New Zealand Motorhome, Caravan and Leisure Show in Hamilton.


Both experiences will, I hope, supercharge my interest in and knowledge of the wider RV world. In Dusseldorf I’ll be looking at the latest European design trends and innovations, not only in vehicles but also materials and components. In NZ I’ll be keen to catch-up on what’s happening and to see if its market has yet surpassed ours in term of sales (long ago it passed ours in terms of model diversity and innovation). I’ll bring updates from both shows, plus in the mean time continue the thought process of how best to update the website to reflect iMotorhome’s new direction and global outlook.

It’s an exciting if daunting time and good to have something to sink my teeth back into. It’s just gone nine months since Mrs iM left me and I’m still not sure if this is what I really want to do, but it feels right for now and so I’ll give it a go. Just remember, it will be a while until you see website changes, but watch for updates and please spread the word. Oh, and thanks for all the input on what you’d like to see in the ‘new’ iMotorhome website. I’m not sure it’s all possible, but I like your enthusiasm. Safe travels!


Richard.

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Hi Richard, maybe it’s that free wheeling spirit… I too am a motorcyclist, have been since 16 when I got my L’s back as a young fella. Have done the big lap on my trusty, now old, Ducati, we bonded over 20,000 is in 7 weeks, so could never get rid of her now. She has a more modern sibling these days and an older mate that fits under the bed in the Olive Van. Funnily enough, it’s the electric pushies that do the van trips as the final wife reckons I’d abandon her every time a mountain range was spotted if we traveled with the little Duke onboard 😁

For me… Apple CarPlay, cruise control and other modern ammenities,…

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Antwort an

Once a motorcyclist always a motorcyclist! Funny, I also want my next motorhome for transporting an E bike. Birds of a feather eh? Yes, I love the new technology, including Starlink, which I'm using to reply to you now. Cheers!

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Neil Benson
Neil Benson
03. Aug. 2023

Mate, great to see you getting back into the swing of things. I am sure the spirit of Mrs IM will always be with you. The Buzz you hear, I have put down to wind noise around the big mirrors as it changes depending on the amount of wind and direction. My 2016 Iveco is still going strong. Looking forward to seeing the write up of your trip.

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Antwort an

G'day Neil, good to hear from you. Thank you and yes, I'm sure Mrs iM will always be with me. Thanks for the heads-up on the buzz and good to hear your 2016 Daily is still going well. Cheers for now!

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nlgom3
nlgom3
03. Aug. 2023

Richard,

So good to hear your “written voice” again - still as smooth and informative as before.Gosh I read it as soon as I opened my iPad today and keen to read more. Already you have whetted my appetite and look forward to your German and NZ reports. You‘ll know when the saddle fits again. keen to receive the next communication. Best wishes,


James Gall

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Antwort an

G'day James, thank you for your kind words, they are greatly appreciated. Two weeks tomorrow till I head off to Germany and still much to do, so keep an eye out for things, I plan to start updates from the show. Here's hoping the saddle still fits. Kindest regards...

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Bush Walker
Bush Walker
03. Aug. 2023

Been my thoughts for some time, used campers asking price equal or greater than when bought new, and that’s including on road costs! Buying second hand then there is stamp duty transfer extra. Reading today(3rd), new car supply is expected to improve, shortening supply lead times. This might help to eventually reduce second hand prices.


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Antwort an

Sorry, technology not me. What I thought I said was that it would be interesting to see how supply chain stabilisation along with a tightening financial market affects prices. Fingers crossed a bit of normality returns!

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Ian McNab
Ian McNab
03. Aug. 2023

Richard I too am into Motorcycles and have owned bikes since I was sixteen I am now 78 and still riding all be it a 360 cc KTM duke . A bit of a come down from My R1100 RS BMW that my late wife Clarissa and I toured NZ on . We managed to have bikes and a Caravan , but since her passing I have Purchased a 7 metre Mercedes Nomad and the bike is reduced to the Odd Ulysses run . I now travel in the Nomad with a fellow group of singles called the "Sou -west free wheelers ". May see you at the NCMCA show in Hamilton .


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Antwort an

G'day Ian, Great to hear from you and to know that you are still riding. Doesn't matter what size or how often, just being out there is the main thing. I recently saw a photo of one of our club members are who is 91 next birthday on his 1980s Honda 500. He was just getting on to go for a ride with his girlfriend! If you're going to be in Hamilton, send me an email and we can meet up. Until then, safe travels in your Nomad, it sounds like the perfect vehicle to me…

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