Sunday, January 16, 2005

Thinking of a change in the New Zealand plan

I need to start by saying the RV is death on wheels. So much so that I am thinking of taking it back and just getting a rental car. Now the story. I picked up the RV (a converted Toyota box van with a bubble top) they show me what I need to know about the features and send me on my way. I start to drive away and notice a pull to the left. As I get it up to around 50 mph I really begin to notice how much it is pulling. I stepped on the brake and it got worse. I turned around and headed back to the RV shop. I tell them the issue and that I would like a new van. They take it to the shop to look at. After about 15 min they come and tell me that the mechanics had looked at it and decided to replace the front tires and then test drive it. Another 10-20 goes by and they come back and tell me that the new tires helped but there was still a pull to the left. I tell them that I do not want to drive it for the next 21 days like this. He leave ands returns a few minutes later and tell me that it needs an alignment and they can't do that here. He offers me a card for a Firestone repair shop that I can take it to in the morning. I told him I was not going to take care of a problem on a rental. I asked about getting a credit and a rental car if he could not get me a replacement RV. He left again for 10 minutes and came back and told me they did in fact have a replacement and would bring it around. I get in this and start on my way. It drives fine so I make my way to the Highway. It is not the fastest thing on the road but it did 60 mph fine. My only complaint was that the shocks felt spongy but this is do to the extra camper top that makes it some what top heavy. I would not get the full effect of this extra 2 1/2 foot hump on the roof until I got of the highway (not many of them) and on to the state roads. The twists and turns make it drive like a drunk prom date on roller skates. Then as soon a you get into a clearing of just fields the wind takes over from where the curves left off. Blowing you around the road. It not bad if you easy back into the correct path, avoid sudden turns. This takes some getting used to, I have almost mastered it. The drawback is a tend to get white knuckled in the clearings. At least I could control my speed on the curves. Even after getting out a few times on the road to walk around my back is killing me. Not a good sign for the fate of the RV. I am going to sleep on it tonight and decide if I put up with the dangers involved. Also knowing the driving I want to do in the south is going to be harder than the north island. I will let you know what the outcome is.

My current location is The Bay of Islands on the north east side of the north island. I am looking into some tours to do in the morning. There are lots of things to see in this area. I am thinking of doing a half day boat trip or a 1 1/2 jet boat ride or a airplane tour of the islands. The one with the best bang for the buck is going to win out. This will also give me some more time about the RV.

The drive up was fairly boring compared to yesterdays trip to Coromandle Town. If I had to describe what it looks like the best thing I can think of and very close to driving in Vermont in the middle of the summer. Not too hot or humid, you are either driving though a valley surrounded by mountains in the distance or driving thought mountain passes. I did not see much water today so I felt I could be in Vermont. Other than the fact the steering wheel is on the right and you drive on the left.

A special shout out to my first donation. To the donor, who will remain anonymous, much thanks. I put that out there as a joke but if it works, who am I to complain.

That's about all I feel like writing about for now I will let you know how things turn out.

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