By Angela and Ken Bryan
The GSNZ Leisure Line Elite Special Edition 2010 6.5 metre caravan is definitely built for New Zealand conditions.
Regardless of Christchurch quakes and rain and gales living in the caravan is warm and comfortable.
GoSeeNewZealand picked the Leisure Line Elite Special Edition 2010 6.5 metre caravan from the factory floor in Hamilton.
With daughters living in Hamilton it was a good excuse to park the caravan up in one of the local Holiday Parks for a few days and try everything out before heading home. We found a few teething problems, so the guys at Leisure Line had the caravan back in the workshop to get these fixed.
Unfortunately we had prior arrangements so we left the caravan with them to sort out and arranged pick up in a couple of weeks when we were due back in Hamilton. Leisure Line was more than happy to store the caravan in a secure lock-up and when we arrived back it was ready, plus a few extra bonuses added.
Another few days in Hamilton and everything in the Leisure Line Elite Special Edition was great. We made a shopping list of all the little things we needed to personalize our new holiday home and headed to the nearest Bunnings.
The first big adventure was to drive to Christchurch We had every kind of weather you could think of but the caravan has not disappointed us once.
We have bought an electric heater as the gas heater installed in the caravan has a fan system fitted and is a bit noisy for sleeping at night. The Leisure Line Elite Special Edition is warm on the cold nights, with minimal heating hours.
Bedroom end of van
In the worst of winds we have felt safe and stable and even in a Christchurch earthquake we were happy to sit inside. The big windows at the back of the Leisure Line Elite Special Edition have given us heaps of light and sun, I have even spent a few hours over the past couple days both working and studying from the table quite comfortably.
At times I drew the curtains because it just got too hot.
Working room inside the Leisure Line Elite Special Edition 2010 6.5 metre caravan is spacious and easy to get around in. I love the kitchen, everything is within arms reach and there is still plenty of room for others to move about the caravan.
Emptying the grey tanks, which are an optional extra, is an easy task. There are with spacious lockers accessible from both outside and just inside the door.
Even hitching up to the truck is a task that I have learnt to do and can tackle on my own if I have to. A bit of precision backing and once the tow bar is in the right position the Leisure Line Elite Special Edition 2010 6.5 metre caravan is easy to hitch on.
The caravan is fitted with electric brakes with the controller in the Hi Lux so that it can be adjusted for changing road conditions when necessary and it has a park brake option as well.
The trip down south to Christchurch from Rotorua was a bit bouncy due to the distance between the towing point and the rear axle on the new model Hi Lux.
After discussion with Colin of Leisureline at the National Motorhome and Caravan Expo we decided to buy a Load Leveler (Weight Distribution Hitch). This was picked up at the Christchurch Expo from Trojan Trailer Parts.
Spacious caravan and kitchen
They were even able to tell us where in Christchurch we could pick up a new tow ball as well. The current one was not engineered to accept the addition of the WDH to the tow bar. We will report the trip home to see what difference this new addition makes.
The Toyota diesel HiLux is a manual not automatic. Ken tows in 4th gear most of the time as the truck is quite high geared. He can do 80-90kph in 4th gear quite comfortably.
The dealer we bought the truck from was aware what we were using it for.We note that there is discussion on Forums about over-heating in an automatic Hi Lux but we were not given any instructions from the dealer to tow in 3rd gear as is reported in Forum postings. Ken would have reservations about using an automatic anyway.
Living end of Leisure Line caravan
Big windows bring in the sunshine