It’s something those who follow us and N+B on social media have already known for a while: We swapped Marilyn for Marygold at the end of April.
And we now have the great honour of being chauffeured around town in a tip-top-brand-new Arto 85 E, Face to Face! With the new automatic transmission, big lithium energy package, new huge TV and a seriously impressive special paint, we got the whole works! And it was all at the same time as the whole corona thing – will we even be able to pick it up, and when, will we even be allowed to go on holiday, or will we be testing the motorhome in our yard – some pretty exciting times!
Choosing a name for a marvellous new motorhome is always a real challenge. It was basically impossible to top “Marilyn”, so we decided on an evolved version of the name as soon as we saw the planned colour in the sun: Marygold! And the name is a good fit – but we’ll get to that later. In the next two stories here, we want to tell you all sorts of things about this fantastic motorhome.
So we’ll start with our story on 30 April: Swapping an amazing motorhome like Marilyn for one that’s even more amazing, like Marygold, is by no means unemotional, that we can tell you. Our motorhomes are always more of a family member than a vehicle. But with our “let it go” sign, we managed to do it. And luckily, there was a bottle of bubbly from N+B in the fridge – which helps after such an exciting day ;)
The next day, it was time to hit the road! The first thing to do was fill up with some AdBlue. Worked like a charm. We were a bit taken aback during the first few metres on the road, but had fortunately been warned ahead of time: the new ZF automatic transmission sounds completely different. Unfamiliar, but perfectly okay.
We instantly named it “Falkor” (the dragon from the Neverending Story). We’ve since grown to love the vigorous sound, because it simply let’s you know you’re dealing with some serious power. So we cruised along the Moselle for a while and then back to Polch. There are some pretty impressive slopes in the area. What can we say, we were impressed and in love! Bo as the driver had always handled the Comfort-Matic well. But the way the nine gears of the automatic transmission purr up the mountain and then impress with even more capacity on long uphill stretches on the motorway is genuine relaxed driving!
The next weekend, mid-May, we actually crossed state borders to Lower Saxony and then to Schleswig Holstein! Being on holiday couldn’t make us happier: we’re allowed to go to the seaside! We spent one week in East Frisia and one week on the Baltic Sea. We of course only drove a fraction of our accustomed holiday kilometres – but for us, it felt like the whole wide world out there!
One holiday spot was the highlight of our trip that we would highly recommend: Kappeln on the Schlei inlet. The perfect campsite is at the marina, and its entrance runs through the boats at their docks. You can reach the beautiful town by foot, where you can stroll down the boardwalk with plenty of space along the Schlei. Have a look at the little fishing boats, buy some fresh fish or have a meal at one of the lovely restaurants, big or small. There’s a free museum harbour where you can marvel at treasures from the past. A small shopping area invites you to have a leisurely look. It’s an all round ideal holiday destination to take a break from everyday life. And – without a motorhome and a spontaneous trip in Germany, we never would have discovered it!
Everything was still quite new during the first week on holiday and we simply enjoyed sitting in Marygold. And why should we go and sit outside in the freezing cold anyway? Forget that! We deliberately chose the face to face lounge area, as it gives you a more generous sense of space. You can make the table smaller or bigger and twist it or turn it to suit your needs. We needed a few meals before figuring out where we wanted to sit and when ;). During the second week, the time had once again come for some outdoor cooking. Marygold has an exterior gas outlet of course, so our chef was able cook away to his heart’s content!
In Schleswig Holstein, we had the opportunity to cruise all along the coast on small roads. We also drove through a town whose name reminded us of Marygold’s manufacturer (Nieby). But that’s something we only realized after Frohmi said the name of the town on the map, so we obviously had to stop for a picture! We imagined we were travelling in a state-approved health resort on wheels. And that really is how it feels! We also discovered a small lighthouse (Falshöft). There needs to be at least one lighthouse per holiday!
We adopted a new favourite word during our holiday that you can hear being called out loudly in the motorhome every morning: 100! What that means is: the battery is completely topped off. Hairdryers, coffee maker, all of our batteries, from e-scooters to cameras to our cordless vacuum cleaner, all of them are fully charged. Bo’s new major hobby is watching the Victron app for what is basically live coverage of how much power is going out and coming back in. In summer, we had to put in a lot of effort to get to a capacity of 85%. But at the very latest, it’s with the first rays of sunlight every morning that you hear a happy “100!” ring out in the motorhome. We were particularly excited to try out the new lithium energy package… It has a 500-watt solar panel, three batteries (100AH lithium batteries), an inverter and an app. It is definitely one of the things that makes everyday motorhome life extremely relaxed and that we now can’t imagine ever doing without. It let’s us move freely in the world of camping regardless of where the next power outlet might be! That’s true luxury! We’re already excited about giving it the winter test!
In the picture of the control panel, you can see the Victron display at the bottom left and the inverter panel is to the right of it. The accessible ETFE solar panels are flat and adhered directly to the roof, which makes cleaning a lot more enjoyable! The rear garage does a good job storing the combined inverter and battery charger (Victron MultiPlus 12/3000/120 inverter 2400 W and charger).
A look under our raised floor reveals our bun and wine cellar. It does feel like there’s always way too much tasty food on board for two to three weeks… We have the raised floor box system for the first time, and it’s pretty cool because it keeps things from sliding around. If you take the boxes out, then you discover the three hidden lithium iron phosphate batteries. Since the batteries don’t charge well at low temperatures, they stay nice and warm in there. There’s also a heating coil from the Alde water heater and an electric heating pad underneath the batteries to protect them in winter.
And do you know what a motorhome is actually perfect for in these crazy times?! For visiting relatives who you really shouldn’t get too close to at the moment. That meant our Marygold surf-mobile turned into a bike-mobile and we packed the mountain bikes in the garage. Then off we went to a town right near Frohmi’s parents. From there, we took the bikes for a balcony visit or a car park pizza. We were even able to use Marygold’s freezer compartment to bring all kinds of tasty treats back home from mum’s freezer! Super convenient! But what was even better was that we were finally able to go to Brouwersdam! We’ll show you the beautiful pictures and tell you more about the magnificent Marygold in our next story!