Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Houston, We Have a Problem

While at Cascade Creek and just a few days before we were due to leave we had a relatively major issue with our “slide out” on the fifth-wheeler, which, had it happened close to a town, wouldn’t have been such a problem. Living full time on the road, the odds are stacked against us that at some stage during our travels we’re going to need specialist help for repairs to the van or the ute. We’ve already had a cracked windscreen on the ute which we managed to have replaced fairly quickly but then we weren’t too far from a large city.

This problem happened 90km from outside help & 75km from cell phone reception. We were unable to tow the fifth-wheeler back to Te Anau due to the problem so for a couple of days we had to do several 150km round trips so David could talk to the various people on the phone. We also did a return trip to Te Anau to check out the businesses that we had arranged to repair the problem.

David & I wanted to take this opportunity of thanking the people that helped us, their expertise & promptness helped us through a stressful few days and I would highly recommend all of them, should anybody need their services. Capable small town New Zealand & that famous “southern hospitality” are very much alive & kicking.

Selwyn- Manapouri Motorhome & Caravan Park- making friends & having contacts like Selwyn on your travels helps save valuable time in knowing who are the best local people to deal with. Selwyn was able to recommend Jeremy, at Te Anau Auto Electrical, as the person we initially needed to talk to.

Jeremy- Te Anau Auto Electrical- Jeremy went above & beyond the call of duty. Coincidentally he was visiting Milford Sound a couple of days after our contact and offered to call in to Cascade Creek on his way home to help us. With his skills and the extra manpower we were able to get the slide in, something David & I could not have managed on our own. Jeremy was also on hand to offer assistance once we had the fifth-wheeler back in Te Anau and he also recommended our next contact….

Russell- Metal Works- Nothing was too much trouble for Russell, he had our van in his workshop the moment we arrived and very quickly worked out what needed to be done. He had it repaired in record time which meant we weren’t off the road for very long at all. He even folded the old towels I had put down on the floor for mats & vacuumed the van once they had finished. And once again, another recommendation, this time where to stay while the van was getting repaired….

Kerri- Radfords Lakeview Motel- We had to spend a couple of nights in a motel while the van was being repaired & I can say that nothing was too much trouble for Kerri from the moment we arrived. It’s no surprise they won the  “NZ AA Supreme Host of the Year” award last year with such a charming lady behind the helm. The motel was beautifully appointed with lots of extra touches that made the stay even more enjoyable.

And last but not least;

Mal & Alisha- On The Way RV, Mt Maunganui. As our Ultima fifth-wheel supplier, once Mal heard we had a problem he was of amazing support and full of reassurance for David & I. Mal supplied unlimited information to David & Russell to help solve the problem and arranged additional personal backup advice from the Australian dealer. Also, replacement parts were arranged for express delivery from the States & arrived in Te Anau in record time. Again, nothing was too much trouble and we were very grateful for the personal service & incredible support we received from Mal & Alisha.


  1. Sorry to hear all this Shellie, but it's plenty of blog material.... Houston problem fixed...just shows how Tech enology sometimes can't help you, but the old fashioned ways will!
    Have posted up my first Blog in awhile here it is.

    1. Sounded like you had issues right at the beginning of your trip Jimu, great read & very entertaining.


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