We checked out some of the solar powered refrigeration options, from small 80L compressor fridges up to a domestic size 165L fridge with separate 40L freezer unit. They also have three-way auto fridge/freezer models for that market if you aren’t solar’ed up with panels, though Harry tells me that for around $1400 he can power up just about any vehicle with panels, controllers and chargers to run any of their fridge units and accessories in an RV.
The company is also a specialist RV repairer for insurance claims and owner’s repairs. They have in-house repairers for the specialty body work, have common parts for a range of imported motorhomes, and can help with all sorts of adaptors, fixtures, fittings, fillers, pipes and more for a variety of makes and models of RVs. They also maintain a comprehensive engineering workshop that is kept busy making, repairing and creating solutions for their clients’ needs, as well as manufacturing clip-on accessories for the larger-vehicle market with in-house-designed products. For the RV market they make lockers and rear storage boxes, bbq slide-outs and re-fit showers, kitchens and toilets.
Looking upstairs in the showroom it was fascinating to learn about the ALDEN automatic satellite dish and Smart RV systems that Vantage import and install. These high-quality satellite systems are made in France and have been in the New Zealand market for over four years. Alden is one of the major manufacturers of satellite equipment sold throughout Europe. They have been making products for RVs for over 20 years, and their reputation for making reliable, value-for-money simple products has seen Alden equipment become the best-selling satellite systems in France – Germany comes in second and the rest of Europe follows. Australia and New Zealand consumers also flock to the product when the quality and price become known. Harry delighted in showing us the automated system that works really simply; turn the TV on and the satellite dish goes up automatically, turn it off or start the vehicle engine and it will retract. One of the latest options in style is the perforated dish; covered in tiny holes this model is highly wind resistant when in use, and packs down to the lowest profile available at only 150mm high.
The team at Vantage are experts in many fields, and the art of wireless connectivity is part of their solutions packages as well. Talk to them about your needs. Maybe you run a mobile office on the road and need internet all over the country; Harry’s team of experts will be able to get you sorted with hardware to meet your needs.
It was so nice to spend time with Harry, meeting the team and seeing just how incredibly knowledgeable and expert they are in so many aspects of motorhome and caravan work. It is a complex industry to be fair, involving electrical work a domestic electrician wouldn’t fully understand, and requiring specialist gas knowledge, plus really specialist ‘how the heck was this built and why’ knowledge across a massive range of RV manufacturers from brand new imports to the old motorhomes and caravans. This team can turn their hand to anything – including repairs of virtually every sort top to bottom, refurbishment of interiors, installs of anything into the body, onto the body, under the body and on top of the body.
Judging by the vehicles parked up, many of the local importers appreciate their expertise as well – self-containment, compliant gas and electrical solutions, NZ-compliant appliances installed as required. For everyone else, including insurance companies, they are a big one-stop shop, but doing it quietly, discreetly and without fanfare, apart from their customers singing their praises to all who will listen.
Part of the success of this business is the shared team work ethic, and the individually picked staff who offer specific expertise to the business, all working together to achieve the same result: happy fulfilled customers driving out with smiles on their faces – and probably some change still in the wallet.
From personal experience you can waste a lot of time and money on a motorhome doing things yourself or using a local tradie to do work. You will save yourself a lot of grief and potentially money if you use an expert in this RV field – you won’t be paying them to work out where that wiring loom goes, or how does that gizmo get plumbed in up there. Just a tip from me to you: a professional RV business is worth every cent and time spent to get to them.
Thanks to Harry and the team for the tour.