Benimars for hire at VentureRV

By: Jill Malcolm, Photography by: Jill Malcolm and Bill Savidan


VentureRV, started by two first-time RV buyers, has a boutique fleet on hire in Auckland

I think I’m safe in saying most people would be perfectly content to own just one Benimar Mileo 294 motorhome. First-time buyers Hazel and Richard Pitt thought about it and then decided they’d have three.

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The trio of just unwrapped Benimars await their first hirers

The day was light and breezy when I drove to the couple’s property through pleasantly contoured farmland mottled with native and exotic trees; and there was the Benimar trio, barely unwrapped and parked in a yard behind the house.

On the verandah of Hazel and Richard’s rural home, they talked to me about how they had come to such a decision. Hazel runs a computer training service. Richard recently retired from a company that leased and gave engineering support for helicopters located around the world.

"Richard being at home all day just didn’t work," Hazel grinned, giving her husband a married look. "He had to find something to do or it was me who would go mad."

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VentureRV offers its clients an individual and friendly experience 

They put their minds to work and among their discussions, the idea of buying a motorhome popped up. They’d used motorhomes in Europe and America but not in New Zealand even though, when they moved here from England 25 years ago, they’d quickly developed a passion for exploring their adopted country.

It was Hazel who came up with the idea of buying more than one RV and forming a rental company that would attract discerning travellers. It was a solution that would keep Richard occupied, keep Hazel happy, and give their clients a quality experience. The couple already had a small bed and breakfast cottage on their property near Waiwera and they enjoy having visitors.

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The guest cottage close to the house on the Pitt’s farm 

Richard began digging. "He’s a fastidious researcher," Hazel said. "Obviously, he’s interested in all the technology and engineering." Most of Richard’s investigation was online or in magazines and within a month, he’d come up with a short list. Hazel’s input was invaluable, as she had definite ideas on day-to-day function and flow and how they would best work in rentals.

Their final decision of make and model was made after the Covi Show in Auckland (March 2018).

The classy, Spanish-built, 7.4-metre, four-berth, Benimar Mileo 294 from TrailLite ticked nearly all the boxes. Hazel pointed out the drop-down second bed over the cab, the fixed island bed, relatively roomy kitchen bench, comfortable lounge, and particularly the mid-ships, separate toilet and bathroom, which closed off from either the bedroom or the lounge giving privacy for two couples or children.

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Hazel and Richard Pitt are passionate about travelling around New Zealand and are now encouraging others

"They’re sophisticated units," Richard said, "but what clinched the deal for me was that TrailLite had their technical people on the stand at the show. I grilled them about the engineering, the technology and aftersales support. My questions were answered on the spot by experts in the business. For someone like me, that was valuable."

The Pitts have called their rental company VentureRV. "The idea is to attract people who like to camp but with a bit of pampering, and so apart from top-of-the-line vehicles, we offer them an extensive personal service," Richard said. "If they are flying into Auckland, for instance, we pick them up from the airport and bring them here for a night in our B&B to recover from their journey.

We will already know what they want to add to their hire package such as electric bikes, a barbecue, paddle boards, or Wi-Fi, and we’re happy to sit down and discuss their itinerary or give a bit of advice here and there.

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The Pitt’s property is set among gentle hills close to Waiwera 

"The next morning, we begin the comprehensive handover. This takes several hours. There is a lot for people to take in, especially for first-timers. People have a better experience if they don’t have to spend the first week of their holiday learning how to operate the motorhome, and it’s better for us because we are lending the vehicles to people who know how to look after them. We’ve also produced our own reference manuals which are kept in the motorhomes."

Although VentureRV Ltd is still a fledgling company, the bookings are already lining up. Hazel and Richard’s high-class show is definitely on the road.

Win a VentureRV experience

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VentureRV Ltd has kindly provided two lucky readers with a one-night bed and breakfast prize package, including dinner, at their farm cottage, or the use of one motorhome during off-peak season for 10 nights at the cost of seven.

CLICK HERE TO ENTER THE COMPETITION

Competition ends 16 November 2018.

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