Our rental caravan, just 16 feet long, was made in England and has good insulation and double-glazed (plastic) windows that keep us warm and cozy inside. Plus there are two heaters, one that runs on electricity and one on propane. The windows open and screens pull down to let the incredibly fresh NZ air circulate.
A primary job when we arrive at a new place is to get the camper level. See those crank-down legs above? They can be adjusted to uneven ground to ensure a level floor. An actual level comes in handy inside to verify, this one on Art's ipad.
See the grey exterior tank lower right? That's for greywater, which comes out of the kitchen and bathroom sinks. Before moving on you pour it into an approved area, stow the greywater tank, and go. There's also an exterior freshwater tank, not shown, with a hose attachment that brings water through the faucets.
Here's the kitchen: stove with tiny oven, sink under a counter flap, and storage.
In action, breakfast in the making
Most campgrounds have grills, but most of the grills are just griddles, a flat hot surface. Occasionally there's a gas grill but most don't get hot enough to sear a steak. Art's been experimenting with these disposable charcoal grills (Rob: do you remember your Walgreen's disposable?), which do a serviceable job, but, mad scientist that he is, he's also been collecting bits to make his own charcoal grill. I'll keep you updated.
Here's the wee fridge, which holds a lot more than it appears. We keep milk products, meats, and cheeses in here.
The reserve food bin lives in the back of the Rover. While the days have been sunny and warm, the nights are cool and everything stays fresh until we cycle through it.
Everything in the kitchen has a drop-down surface to increase the amount of counter space when you need it.
What makes NZ campgrounds insanely great are these central kitchens, where you can cook a full meal (lots of tent campers do this) or part of a meal or just wash up in a place that's not a tiny sink. Often there are pots, pans, and utensils for all to use. These kitchens have large fridges, too, where you can store food during your stay. And electric stove tops (hobs). Some even have ovens. I've never seen anything like this in the US.
A small poster in our current kitchen says: If you haven't brought your mum you'll have to do the washing up yourself.
Here's a hard-working caravan area: a daytime seat/couch for each of us with pull-out table. The table flips back at night and pull-out slats come down the middle. The cushions are flipped and the bed is made up with linens we keep in the closet. We've got this process down cold and it's a surprisingly comfortable bed. With all this fresh air and walking, we sleep the sleep of the angels.
Closet at far left and then bathroom, with a sink and toilet, but all the holiday parks we camp in have great toilet/shower facilities so we don't mess with the blackwater (toilet) waste, which moves into a large onboard cassette that's emptied periodically in a designated place.
Speaking of tiny caravans, and vintage, this one parked next to us yesterday and can't be more than 14 feet long. This morning we introduced ourselves to the owners, who were packing up to leave.
Jo and David were fun and funny. She actually saw their little caravan on the side of the road even as he was checking it out on TradeMe (NZ's ebay). They restored the exterior and will do the inside next. I forgot to take my camera, but it's beautifully set up inside and they're having fun on their holiday away from Christchurch.
Jo and David's vintage beauty reminds us that we're missing one of our favorite gatherings this week, the Tin Can Tourist campout in Michigan with hundreds of vintage examples and their beloved owners, including my friend Daisy...