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"Still-NoHurry"

A 10 meter Bus

"Still-NoHurry" is owned by John & Glenda Knell from New Zealand.

 

About Still-NoHurry

Balmoral Forest - It can get quite chilly - [Click for a Larger Image]
Balmoral Forest - It can get quite
chilly

Still-NoHurry is a 10m, 1970 Bedford VAM. She had been converted a number of years prior to our purchase in June 2004.

Initial changes where to add an inverter, batteries & solar. Also a change of couch to a foldout type to allow couples to come for a visit.

Few other changes occurred during the years we lived onboard while tripping around New Zealand, however 2010 & 2011 have seen us living in Auckland while Glenda worked for the University of Auckland so since earning some more money we have/are in the process of:

- Installed opening tinted windows & tinted any remaining ones

- Changed wall linings

- Changing couch to 3 seater pull-out slat bed with lift up storage

- Changing fixed table & 2 chairs to 1 swivel seat, 2 seater couch with liftup storage & a swivel table

- Changing fixed double bed to slat bed with lift up storage

- Increasing build in storage & converting many cupboard shelves to full extension draws, still behind cupboard doors

- Complete internal repaint

- Installed 6kw diesel heater with hot water cylinder

- Redesigning dash

- And as luck would have it, upgrading our batteries to Lithium!

All renovations & upgrades finished 6th August 2012 and back on the road a few months before.


We have an excellent 3-way Electrolux/Dometic fridge which spends most of it's life on LPG and one of the best gas ovens I have struck. Naturally the Australian company that made it no longer appear to be in business so I hope to never need to replace it.


We also tow a 5dr Suzuki Escudo on an A-frame which, happily, has remarkably little effect on the driving performance.

Tauranga Bay - Nothing like being on the edge - [Click for a Larger Image]
Tauranga Bay - Nothing like being on
the edge

Balmoral Forest - 3 inches of snow in 2 days - [Click for a Larger Image]
Balmoral Forest - 3 inches of snow
in 2 days

Balmoral Forest - One of our favourite places. - [Click for a Larger Image]
Balmoral Forest - One of our
favourite places.

Gabriels Gully - So many great places  - [Click for a Larger Image]
Gabriels Gully - So many great
places

Mt Egmont - From a beach in Taranaki  - [Click for a Larger Image]
Mt Egmont - From a
beach in Taranaki

Our place in Auckland - It is level honest!  - [Click for a Larger Image]
Our place in Auckland - It is level
honest!

Tauranga Bay - A truely fabulous place - [Click for a Larger Image]
Tauranga Bay - A truely fabulous
place

Tauranga Bay - Having a bad weather day - [Click for a Larger Image]
Tauranga Bay - Having a bad weather
day

The Electrics

Still-Nohurry has one irritating feature in the electrics. She's completly 12v except for the starter motor. Originally this was delt with by a large relay which would move the 2x 12v batteries from parallel to series during the start cycle.

When installing the solar system this was rectified by having dedicated crank & house batteries.

The crank batteries are only charged by an 80w 24v solar panel rather than either splitting 24v to charge both systems or having a second alternator. This has worked flawlessly for over 6 years now and I'm very happy with it.


House power is NO LONGER provided by 2x 200Ah 12v batteries, a 1200w inverter and 2x 120w solar panels.

Whilst we have left the inverter & panels alone, after more than 6 years of service our Sealed Lead Acid batteries had begun to fail. Given that we never used more than 30% of the battery capacity we had approximately 120Ah of usable battery. Recent research seems to indicate we shouldn't have used more than 20% (80Ah) which may well have extended their useful life.
We now have a single 300Ah Lithium Yttrium battery (actually 4 x 3v in series) that can be taken down to 30% (that's using 70% of capacity!) 3000 times over a 10 year period with no loss of capacity. Yes only time will tell but it's a really good start. Our usable capacity is now an incredible 210Ah from a single(ish) battery weighing a third of our previous two.

Whilst we were at it, the old pwm solar controller was replaced with a Trace MPPT. The combination of the two has already amazed with greater power in (14 amps in winter). It will be interesting to see just what we can achieve in summer. BTW the panels were flat on the roof at this time.

A great feature of our panels is that they are bolted together and form the rear hatch cover. They are also hinged allowing us to lift them up to 45 degrees & tilt them toward the sun. The first winter we increased our solar output by 250% by this simple act.

It also allows us to 'sleep beneath the stars' on a hot summers night. Fortunately the hinges are the same side as the head end of our east-west bed affording us glorious star filled views.


240w of solar seems to work very well for us with only the darkest of winters in the South Island beating us & this is probably mainly due to my not replacing the alternator when it failed a number of years ago. Yes it's on the list to do before returning to the road hopefully before 2012 arrives.
* Alternator fixed but half way into 2012 :-(


Snow on the panels - Doubling the output still only got me back to square one! - [Click for a Larger Image]
Snow on the panels - Doubling the
output still only got me back to
square one!



About John & Glenda Knell

John & Glenda Knell - Retired

John:

I AM RETIRED, even if I do have to work occasionally! OK, maybe more semi retired.

Having worked in IT for more years than I care to admit to & having a Kidney Transplant during that time, Glenda & I decided it was time for some fun & motorhoming has certainly fulfilled that need.


Since setting out early 2006 we have found many beautiful places but the two which have made the greatest impression are the Tauranga Bay Holiday Park, Tauranga Bay in Northland and the Alpine Adventure Holiday Park in Hanmer Springs.

We have spent extended periods of time in both and feel like family in both locations. They are both the jewels of New Zealand.


Until recently we travelled with our beloved cat Ziggy who sadly succumbed to cancer late last year (2010). If anyone is unsure whether to travel with a cat, no matter what their age or background I say Do It! He added a dimension to our travel that will be sorely missed and was a conversation starter no matter where we went. I doubt we would have met half the wonderful people we did if it were not for their fascination of seeing a cat magically appearing from his own private entrance for a pat or seeing him come for one of our many long walks.

He was just shy of 18 when he left us & loved every moment as much as we did.


While many of our friends have done such things as fruit picking to help bolster funds, life has conspired to drag us back to Auckland every few years where we usually seem to pick up enough work to see us through until our next visit. Having been in Auckland for the last couple of years we hope we can return to our bussing life style for a few more years before it is interrupted again.


[EDIT/UPDATE] 

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