Home lies wherever the road takes them

Pauline and Les Johnson with one of their  Segways outside their Big Country fifth-wheeler...
Pauline and Les Johnson with one of their Segways outside their Big Country fifth-wheeler caravan. Photos by Craig Baxter.
Mrs Johnson checks  the well-stocked fridge and freezer.
Mrs Johnson checks the well-stocked fridge and freezer.
The kitchen features everything you need to make a feast.
The kitchen features everything you need to make a feast.
The lounge has room to entertain.
The lounge has room to entertain.
The roomy master bedroom.
The roomy master bedroom.
The bathroom has all the comforts of home.
The bathroom has all the comforts of home.

When people ask Pauline and Les Johnson where they live, they say Mosgiel ... at least for this week.

''Next week we'll be living in Manapouri, Gore, Invercargill and somewhere on the West Coast,'' Mr Johnson said.

''After that, who knows? We are of no fixed abode.''

That's because their posh two-bedroom home is a $140,000 Big Country fifth-wheeler caravan, made by Heartland, and is towed from place to place by their 280kW Chevy Silverado ute.

Inside, the 11m x 4m abode looks just like an inner-city apartment, with two bedrooms, a bathroom with toilet and shower, a lounge with fireplace, sound system and 42-inch television, and a kitchen/dining room with all the mod cons.

It also has air conditioning, underfloor heating, a washing machine and two Segways which they can ride to the shops nearby.

Their motorhome was one of about 500 at the Mosgiel A&P Showgrounds over Easter weekend, for the New Zealand Motor Caravan Association's National Easter Rally.

Mrs Johnson (67) said the couple had lived in Australia for about 30 years, before deciding to return to New Zealand two years ago to be nearer family.

''We decided not to worry about rates, insurance or maintenance - we just bought a motorhome instead of a house.

''It's complete freedom. The kids ask us when we're coming back and we say we don't know.''

Mr Johnson (74) said it made life ''a permanent holiday''.

''We get up in the morning and decide whether we want to stay another night or not.

''There's no stress. If we don't like the scenery, we go somewhere else.''

john.lewis@odt.co.nz

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