News Archive

News: 2015 and earlier

December 2015

Auto-Trail's 2016 brochure is downloadable from their website - for motorhomers who are off on a winter break, the company's products now have Grade 3 thermal insulation keeping the interior warm even in temperatures of -15 degrees C.

November 2015

The NCC launched its new Verified Leisure Battery Scheme at the recent NEC show. The scheme helps you choose the right type of battery for use in your motorhome or other leisure vehicles. Find out more and a list of Verified products here.

BC Motorhomes and Leisure will return as headline sponsor of Scotland's Caravan, Motorhome & Holiday Home Show event. The show, the largest in Scotland, allows visitors from North of the border to explore the latest model motorhomes, caravans and more. It will take place from 4-7 February at the SECC, Glasgow.

The team that brought Airstream to Europe changing their name to Adventure Leisure Vehicles - and they unveiled their first ever motorhome range in October at the Birmingham show. Called the Silverline and based on the V-Line range by Auto-Trail, the motorhome has "undergone the full Adventure Leisure Vehicles treatment to make it one of the most luxurious yet compact motorhomes on the market".

October 2015

The recent Tyre Safety Month asked drivers in Britain the tongue-in-cheek question: When did you last do it? Ideally, the response will be once a month minimum and before long journeys - this is at least as important on a motorhome as on a car, especially if it has been parked up.

Practical Motorhome's November issue reveals the overall winner of its Motorhome of the Year Awards 2015, plus 2016 new model previews and more.

August 2015

The Motorhome and Caravan show is the place to see the latest 2016 innovations from an unsurpassed array of manufacturers. The big names of Swift and Bailey will of course be there, plus everything from contemporary compact conversions to smart and luxurious coachbuilts. Compare the newest layouts and interiors all under one roof, and discuss your perfect motorhome with the experts. Take advantage of specialist industry insights from fuel economy to size and weight questions - and benefit from exclusive show-only deals.

Marquis will be displaying an extensive selection of their 2016 Exclusive Ranges including the Lifestyle, on their stand: 6.55/6.49 at the NEC - the dealership promises to offer 'the best deals' at the show

Wellhouse Leisure is to add a new entry-level model, the Lux, to its award-winning Ford Terrier campervan range. It offers two single beds, a large wardrobe, rear kitchen and either a pop-top or high roof, with on the road prices starting from £34,000.

Motorhome manufacturer Auto-Trail is to build a new multi-million pound manufacturing facility, to help meet demand. The production plant, on the outskirts of Grimsby, builds range of 24 vehicles, on imported Fiat chassis. The proposal will see a move towards the car assembly model, with a ‘clinical approach to ensure the highest standards'.

Black Horse has launched SignIt, a paperless, secure way to offer motor finance ‘within a few clicks' at its dealerships. The new faster finance agreement process works via a secure online website - customers will be guided through an enhanced security process to help verify their identity, answering questions based on their credit history.

Truma has launched its iNet System, which enables the Combi heater and Truma air conditioning systems to be remotely controlled ‘anywhere anytime' via the Truma app and to query the current device and vehicle status. The Truma iNet Box central control unit enables communication between the Truma app on smartphone or tablet and the Truma devices.

June 2015

The latest version of Volkswagen's iconic transporter, the T6, is expected to be unveiled in the UK at the NEC show in October. VW retains a major share of a very varied campervan sector, with its California enduringly popular.

The NCC has revealed the strongest March for new motorhome registrations for five years. DVLA figures showed 1,953 new motorhomes were registered in the month - a clear demonstration that their popularity is continuing to rise. More than 2,500 new motorhomes have been sold in the first quarter of 2015.

Motorhome and caravan dealership, Lowdham Leisureworld, is one of London Stock Exchange's 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain. The report is a celebration of the UK's fast-growing and most dynamic small and medium sized businesses. Lowdham's was established in 1966 and is one of the first dealerships to achieve the coveted NCC Approved Dealership accreditation.

Black Horse, a major provider of finance for motorhome purchases, has reported year-on-year UK net lending growth of 37 per cent. They also have a motorhome buyer's checklist/guide.

Thetford is flushed with success after it had it Aqua Rinse Spray evaluated by a consumer panel that scored it 8 out of 10. Aqua Rinse Spray offers a protective layer for a smoother flush in plastic and ceramic toilet bowls.

Dometic has launched its new Clean & Care products, formulated for the care of all surfaces in caravans and motorhomes. It includes stainless steel surfaces, refrigerators, ovens, grills, awning fabrics and acrylic glass windows.

Spring

Swift Group says its 2015 models offer higher specification, while its prices remain competitive. With SMART intelligent construction and the new Fiat cab, Swift motorhomes offer a choice of four ranges, including the brand new compact Rio.

Auto-Sleepers has devised a fresh looking, easy-to-use website. It has been designed to allow visitors to quickly view model ranges and specifications, request brochures and locate their local dealer. The new website also includes a unique member login area where those registered can receive special discounts, automatic competition entry and speedy service booking.

Dometic has launched PerfectWall / PerfectRoof, which it describes as ‘the perfect awning for every type of vehicle'. The product range covers lengths from 1.5 up to six metres and extensions between 1.75 and 2.75 metres, in manual or automatic models.

February

It's showtime! Here's where to see all the latest campers and motorhomes - 17 - 22 February 2015 at the Caravan Camping & Motorhome Show 2015 in Birmingham's NEC. Advance tickets start at just £7 for seniors and £8 for adults - accompanied children go free. Call the Box Office on 0844 581 1250.

This is the UK's biggest start-of-season showcase, with hundreds of caravans, motorhomes, tents, caravan holiday homes and accessories all under one roof. All the major UK manufacturers will be exhibiting their latest models plus ‘special editions' from major dealerships, plus:

- Have-a-go FREE activities for the family, dog agility shows and much, much more!
- Speak to the experts who are on hand to give the best advice
- New to caravanning and motorhoming? Visit the discovery zones and find out just how easy getting started can be
- Destination ideas to suit all tastes

January 2015

Figures released by the industry trade body the NCC (National Caravan Council) revealed that sales of new motorhomes and touring caravans increased significantly in 2014, illustrating that more buyers are entering the leisure vehicle market. New motorhome registrations went up by 18% year-on-year - 8,733 new motorhomes were registered with the DVLA in 2014.

Elddis is 50! The motohome and caravan manufacturer will celebrate its 50th anniversary and new-season launches by hosting an extra special weekend at their factory in Consett. On Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st September, this one-of-a-kind event promises fun for all the family! 

Improved Caravan Guard insurance: New and renewing Caravan Guard customers can enjoy enhanced UK breakdown cover as part of their fully comprehensive motorhome insurance policy. Operated through breakdown assistance provider, AXA Assistance, the cover has two new features: misfuelling cover and stuck in mud recovery. The insurer also offers services of the Helphire Group to provide assistance for motorhome customers if they are involved in an accident that wasn't their fault.

August 2014

A new Truma app gives news about the company, information about their products, fast access to user manuals, brief instructions, tips and how-to-videos.  It is available on Android and iOS from 29th August.

Camping in the Forest has invested £500,000 into its Bracelands site in the Forest of Dean.  This includes the instalment of 60 hardstanding pitches, 200 electric pitches, new site roads and a motorhome service point.  Bracelands offers panoramic views of the countryside and easy access to scenic walks and cycle paths.

VisitEngland is offering a free map of cycle routes across coast and countryside to encourage people to get ‘on yer bike’ ...

July 2014

The number of Approved Workshops in the AW Scheme has now reached 350 nationwide.  To find your nearest workshop, use the search facility, choosing the option 'motorhome' under type.

A recent edition of George Clarke's Amazing Spaces on Channel 4 features a £40k renovation project of a 1960s split-screen VW camper, dubbed 'Matilda'.  The owners sought out original features to re-create the iconic van, giving it a 'new' authentic look ... complete with souped-up engine, leather upholstery, swivel front seats and pop-up TV.

June 2014

Improvements to motorhome cover: Insurance specialist, Caravan Guard, has made a number of improvements to its motorhome cover – the policy caters for all types of motorhomes including campervans and RVs.  It is available to both new customers and existing policyholders at renewal. Customers can now benefit from £5000 automatic cover for portable equipment such as awnings, gas bottles, TVs and trailers.
Customers can also venture abroad for up to nine months per policy term, and there is additional cover for motorhome keys plus personal accident benefit. 

Bailey Parts Direct gives owners the convenience of purchasing genuine Bailey motorhome parts and accessories online, and having them delivered straight to their door.  Over 5,500 parts available currently available to purchase direct from the website www.bailey-parts.co.uk

Camping and caravanning road atlas map: Philip’s, the map and atlas publisher, has released the first edition of its Navigator Camping and Caravanning Atlas of Britain, in association with The Camping and Caravanning Club. This is based on Philip’s famous Navigator 1:100,000 scale mapping, which includes detail down to farm track level.  Over 3,000 sites operated or recommended by The Club are located on the maps – plus details of over 6,000 bridges restricted by width, height or weight.The Atlas is available now from: www.myccc.co.uk/atlas

April 2014

Auto-Sleepers comes to Sheffield: Marquis is opening a new outlet in Dinnington, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, on the old South Yorkshire Motorhomes and Caravans site.  A range of Auto-Sleeper motorhomes will be stocked, and some exclusive Elddis and Swift models.  The dealership's grand opening is on 25-27 April - there will be some special opening offers.
Auto-Sleepers recently named BC Motorhomes in Ayr as their new dealer in Scotland.

March 2014

Swift goes black: A new Kon-tiki Black Edition motorhome has been launched for 2014.  The makeover includes a striking black metallic cab and special graphics.  Swift says the enhancements make this the ultimate Kon-tiki range, at the best ever price.

Lunar has expanded its motorhome offering with the launch of the Landstar RL, a new 2 berth Mercedes-based van conversion.  Lunar says it offers exceptional performance and a high-spec interior. It delivers 129bhp, with a three-year unlimited mileage warranty - the lead-in price is £49,995 on the road.

January 2014

The Caravan & Camping Show makes a welcome return to the Birmingham NEC next month (18th – 24th February 2014).  Over 300 companies from the UK and Europe are expected, filling the halls with a sparkling display of new caravans, motorhomes, accessories and related products.  Britain's Got Talent winners Ashleigh & Pudsey will be performing in the Dog Agility Theatre on 19th & 20th, demonstrating their skills and entertaining antics. Tickets for the show start at £7.00 and can be booked online.

Details of Swift’s four latest motorhome brands – Esprit, Bolero, Bessacar and Kon-Tiki – are live on the website, with a lead-in price for 2014 of £38,885. 

The Approach Compact, from Bailey’s range of smaller coachbuilt motorhomes, is now available in a choice of innovative layouts, including features such as drop down double beds and rear storage garages.  They are aimed particularly at couples and small families and can be seen at dealerships around the country and at the NEC next month.

New models have been added to Auto-Trail’s V line range – they are less than 20 feet long and weigh in at a standard 3,500kgs

December 2013

Motorhome manufacturer Auto-Sleepers is expanding into Sweden and has named Multi Purpose Campers as its latest European dealer appointment.

Swift is offering a whole new range of features in its Esprit, Bolero and Kon-Tiki motohomes.  This includes a Tracker Retrieve system, and ‘Duvalay Duvalite’ mattress in fixed bed layouts, in certain ranges - see their website for full details.  All of Swift's Group's 2014 caravans and motorhomes now meet Grade III standard for heating and thermal insulation. 

November

Full details of the Approach Autograph motorhome range can now be viewed on the Bailey website.  Included are:
- A PDF of the Approach Autograph brochure
- 360 degree interior product tours
-  Image gallery plus specification information and technical data

All models are built using Bailey’s patented Alu-Tech bodyshell and feature an enhanced aero-dynamic body shell.

Auto-Trail  launched its new ‘V’ Line at the NEC show last month – billed as an innovative design in a compact package.   The ‘V’ line is built on the latest Euro 5 Fiat Ducato and offers a wide range of standard features, including the signature raised aerodynamic roof + panoramic sunroof.  The V Line has been awarded Grade III insulation standard, making it suitable for year-round use.

October

At the Motorhome & Caravan Show , all the new 2014 motorhome models from the leading UK and European manufacturers, dealers and importers will be on show - hot off the production line!
Hundreds of new models – from compact 2-berth conversions through to luxurious 6-berth coachbuilt vehicles – will be on display across five huge halls.  Compare all the new model layouts, interiors, specifications and innovations between 15 and 20th October, Birmingham.  The show will be opened by Melanie Sykes and Ed Baines will be cooking live!

August

Bailey of Bristol returned to the Millbrook Proving Ground to complete a simulated six-year structural durability test on their new Bailey Approach Autograph motorhome. The company believes that its Alu-Tech body shell sets new standards in durability. 

Auto-Sleepers has announced the appointment of its first European dealer – Caravaning-Sawitzki based in north Germany. 

Truma has received a special award for being one of the 100 most innovative medium-sized companies in Germany – view their online product brochure on their website.  The company will be exhibiting at both the The Caravan Extravaganza and the Motorhome and Caravan Show.

Shrewsbury-based caravan dealership Salop Leisure has signed a deal with Shropshire Motorhome Hire to add two Volkswagen campervan conversions to its existing hire fleet.  By working together, the companies now offer a range of eight motorhomes, from two to six berths available for hire.

June

Auto-Trail is to launch a new compact vehicle based on the latest Euro 5 Fiat Ducato - the company says the new vehicle will have a high spec and will include a generous payload and a number of key safety and comfort features. Vehicles will feature solar panels, fully moulded toilet shower room and integrated wind-out awning as standard. Auto-Trail will be exhibiting at the Motorhome & Caravan show on Stand 7-20.

ITV’s breakfast shows, Daybreak and Lorraine, are giving away a Swift Bolero 684FB motorhome worth over £52,000 plus £20,000 cash. The four-berth, Fiat-based motorhome is ideal for families and is suitable for all-year-round use. Audiences will get the chance to enter the competition which will run for two weeks from Monday 17th June until Friday 28th June.

It's catchy and features a cool camper - but could it top the charts?  'Livin' the Dream' is the debut single by Club 2gethr.  It is described as 'a fun song promoting the great outdoors', and has the support of The Caravan Club. Mike Stock (of Stock Aitken and Waterman fame) was involved in its creation - downloads will be available on iTunes next month.

Virtual Elddis: the motorhome and tourer manufacturer's website features a virtual tour of the award-winning Autoquest motorhome range. Elddis has also picked up an award for its Majestic 175, which it builds for Marquis - it won the Caravan Club 2013 Design & Drive Award for 'Best Coachbuilt under £45,000'.

Driving licence requirements due to be relaxed
A recent European Directive (2012/36/EU) on Driving Licences is due to relax the rules regarding driving vehicles over 3.5 tonnes for leisure use.   The new category of driving licence (C1 97) due to be introduced will mean that non-professional drivers who passed their test after 1 January 1997 will not, for example, be required to demonstrate knowledge of legislation/equipment such as the digital tachograph/driving hours/rest periods, or rules for the national/international carriage of goods or passengers.

May

Swift Talk, the social networking site from the caravan/motorhome manufacturer has welcomed its 10,000th member. The website allows members are to liaise with the Swift team via the forums and interact with each other through publishing their own content, uploading and sharing photos and videos, posting blogs for other members to follow and to share experiences. The site also acts as a central hub of information for those looking for advice and tips on products.

March

Four more tourer/motorhome dealerships have achieved NCC ‘Approved' status  taking the total number of dealerships to have met the strict assessment criteria up to 34. Brayford Leisure, Broad Lane Leisure Ltd (Alcester), Broad Lane Leisure Ltd (Kenilworth) and Sussex Caravan Centre (West) are the latest to become ‘Approved' under the scheme.

February 2013 

The Spring Caravan and Camping show was the venue for the launch of Lunar's new Vacanza Camper Car which sees the Preston-based manufacturer return to the motorhome market with a new style of vehicle. The Vacanza ‘combines the dual benefits of a roomy, four-person camper with an efficient, easy to manoeuvre, everyday family car'. At just over 2m wide, it stands no larger than most family cars, is fuel-efficient and has four belted seats, so it will appeal to both young families and seasoned camper van enthusiasts.

You can see the latest Swift Escape motorhomes on Swift's own video channel and hear about the two new models - prices start at less than £40k.

Elddis's best-selling motorhome range, the Autoquest, has been given a makeover, which it says has resulted in detailed improvements inside and out. In addition to the benefits of SoLiD Construction, Autoquest now comes with a GRP underskin floor, 13L Whale water heater for longer, hotter showers, 90L fresh water tank, spare wheel and carrier and an all-new interior. There is also a new addition to the range - the all-new 2-berth Autoquest 175.

 

Queen gets her first trip in a motorhome

As part of her Jubilee celebrations, HM The Queen and HRH Prince Philip visited the Bailey motorhome and caravan factory in Bristol.  The Royal couple took a short trip in an Approach SE 760.  Their verdict?  'It's a real home from home, very nice.'

Motorhomes on show

All the major manufacturers will be displaying their new models at the Spring Caravan & Camping Show at the NEC.  Hundreds of new models - from compact 2-berth campervans through to luxurious 6-berth American coachbuilts - will be on display.  Visitors will be able to compare layouts, interiors, specifications and see the latest innovations.

Wellhouse's new Hyundai dealer network

Wellhouse Leisure has announced the setting up of a network of specialist retailers for its award-winning Hyundai i800 campervan. Initially, ten Hyundai car dealers throughout the UK have taken on the franchise for Wellhouse's campervan conversion - the company plans to continue to increase the number of specialist retailers.

The new premium Nero version of the Wellhouse Hyundai debuted at the NEC's Motorhome and Caravan Show.   See www.wellhouseleisure.com or call 01484 600416 for more details of their products. 

Low Emission Zones in Europe

The number of Low Emission Zones (LEZs) in both the UK and in Europe are growing. Germany and Italy for example now have a number of LEZs - vehicles to which the zones apply and the fees/fines vary by country- find out more.

October 2012 news

NCC Approved Motorhome Dealership scheme launched.

September 2012 news


Dometic's end of summer sale
Dometic UK Ltd is having a clear out and, as a result, has lots of items for sale. In order to streamline its UK warehouse, it is ‘out with the old, discontinued and reconditioned stock at low, low prices'. Everything in the sale is new and boxed - to get hold of these bargains, ‘like' Dometic on Facebook

Official launch at NEC for Auto-Sleepers
Auto-Sleepers will unveil the all new 2013 Symbol and Nuevo models at their official launch at the Motorhome & Caravan Show at the NEC in October. As in previous years, the group will be launching new products for 2013, alongside modifications to the popular Nuevo and Broadway ranges. Also on show will be the totally redesigned Symbol model - their highest selling van conversion ever.

Price freeze for Auto-Trail
Auto-Trail is to freeze prices of 2013 models at 2012 rates until 21 October. The new models are on show at Lincoln and then at the Motorhome and Caravan Show at the NEC.  For more information on the show, see August's news.

Swift in 2013
Information on the 2013 models of Swift motorhomes  is expected to be available at the end of September.

August 2012 news

Price freeze for Bailey
Bailey of Bristol has announced a price freeze for the start of the 2013 model year. Current ‘on the road' prices (as at 6th August 2012) will be maintained, which Bailey says offers ‘market leading value for money'. However, it warns ‘these prices cannot be sustained indefinitely and with a review of the supply cost of the Peugeot cab due, we advise anybody considering a motorhome purchase to contact their local retailer soon'. Bailey's Approach motorhome prices currently start at £41k.

Elddis factory tour and preview
Motorhome manufacturer Elddis is to hold a free factory preview  to showcase their brand-new 2013 motorhome range. Visitors on 15/16th September 2012 will be able to take advantage of exclusive deals available on that weekend only. There will also be factory tours to see how and where motorhomes are built.
The company recently unveiled a revolutionary method of joining panels together - called SoLiD (strong, light and dry) it avoids increasing the vehicle's weight whilst reducing the threat of water ingress.

Bigger and better NEC show
The star-studded line-up at the national Motorhome & Caravan Show's (NEC Birmingham 16-21 October) includes TV chefs Paul Hollywood and Matt Dawson.

This year's event will occupy 11 halls and there will be more than 400 exhibitors. As well as the celebrity chefs in the Cookery Theatre, industry experts will offer advice on a wide range of subjects and there will be free towing and motorhome manoeuvring lessons. Advance ticket prices start from £7 (plus booking fee).

July 2012 news

End of the road for fan-in-a-van
After 70 days and 5000 miles, Rosie the campervan on her torch-relay inspired journey of the British Isles comes to rest.

Beware CO poisoning!
Motorhomers need to be more aware of the dangers of CO poisoning, the Gas Safety Trust claims. It has launched a campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of carbon monoxide (CO) when camping - BBQs burning in confined spaces such as tents or awnings are particularly perilous.

 

Non-carnivorous campers: Those looking for veggie alternatives while on tour can find recipes at http://www.frysvegetarian.co.uk/

Motorhomers travelling to France must carry breathalysers: New regulations for driving in France include a requirement to carry breathalysers in the vehicle at all times. From 1 July 2012, all drivers must carry two official NF (Norme Française) approved breathalysers - these can be purchased from ferry and tunnel terminals for around £2.00.

June 2012 news

Try as soon as you buy - Salop's new touring park
Caravan dealership Salop Leisure has opened a fully serviced five-pitch park for touring caravans and motorhomes beside the company's sales centre in Shrewsbury. The company says the mini-touring park is ideal for first time buyers to try out their new motorhome or tourer overnight.

Fan in a van: Voted England's biggest fan, Rachel Kershaw from Lancashire, has hit the road! A huge advocate for English tourism, she is heading on a 70-day road trip around the country inspired by the torch relay - all in VisitEngland's funky campervan. Follow Rachel's journey on twitter @faninavan and via her blog, www.visitenglandblog.com/faninavan 

May 2012 news

Olympic camping: The Camping and Caravanning Club has partnered with various Borough Councils to offer event campsites during July and August 2012. The Club is operating and managing a range of campsites, ideally located with close links to London. Bookings can be made on 0044 (0)845 130 7633 or 0044 (0)2476 475426
The Club recently invested £29 million into a five year plan to position its Site Network amongst the best in the country by 2015.

Bailey wins at Caravan Club Design Awards: Bailey Approach SE 745 has been announced as The Caravan Club Motor Caravan Design and Drive Competition Winner 2012. A newcomer to the motor caravan scene, Bailey of Bristol  scooped the award at its first attempt. The judges praised the Approach for its combination of build quality, featuring Bailey's innovative Alu-Tech bodyshell construction, and value for money.

Campbells takes over Brownhills Preston site
Campbells Motorhomes, part of the Campbells Group, has moved to the old Brownhills site in Clifton, near Preston, which closed earlier this year. The site is close to the M65 and M6 and allows the company to expand its offering of new and used motorhomes.

European Whole Vehicle Type Approval (ECWVTA)
Swift has gained ECWVTA for both coachbuilt and van conversion motorhomes for every model in Swift, Bessacarrr, Autocruise and Escape ranges. The company says that each product has gone through rigorous testing and inspection to ensure high standards of safety and security of vehicle and it occupants, as well as its impact on the environment.

Auto-Sleepers has become the latest NCC member to announce that all their products have been approved to ECWVTA (European Community Whole Vehicle Type Approval).

Note: It is now no longer possible to register a motorhome in the UK without appropriate certification. 

It's showtime: Motorhome & Caravan show

Birmingham 16-21 October 2012
The UK's biggest, most exciting, motorhome and caravanning event returns to the NEC this autumn, and with an extra hall added, there's even more to explore at this year's National Show! This is the ONLY show where you'll see all the new 2013 motorhome, tourer, holiday home models from the leading UK and European manufacturers and dealers - hot off the production line

March 2012 news

New Lifestyle from Marquis
Motorhome and caravan dealer, Marquis, has launched an all-new-for-2012 special edition motorhome, the Lifestyle.  The range is built exclusively for Marquis by the Swift Group with the aim of providing ‘outstanding specification and pricing'. For further information about Marquis, visit the website or call 0800 026 77 77.

New Lifestyle magazine from NCC
The NCC has launched a new magazine packed with information about motorhoming and caravanning. The magazine can be viewed online here

Elddis crams new features in 2012 Autoquest models
Motorhome manufacturer Elddis has crammed a whole raft of new features into its 2012 Autoquest models. This includes space-saving Whale under floor heater, energy saving LED interior lights, positive locking to all overhead lockers, a 90L fridge with removable freezer and 'Easy Glide' bed technology. For the full specification, see http://www.elddis.co.uk/autoquest.html


Better fuel economy and lower CO2 emissions for Swift Sundance
Swift's entry level motorhome, the Sundance,  now comes with a choice of two High-line and four Low-line models. With all models now getting the new 130bhp Euro 5 engine with 6-speed gearbox as standard, Swift says buyers can be assured of improved fuel economy and acceleration, with lower CO2 emissions.

Bailey reviews motorhome warranty package
Bailey of Bristol has announced that ‘in order to maintain current, very competitive, pricing structure and to offset recent increases in raw material and component costs' it has carried out a review of its motorhome sales package. As a result, the 4-year extension to the standard 6-year bodyshell integrity guarantee, which was formerly free, will become a cost option with an RRP of £189 (incl IPT) in the first year of ownership. The updated motorhome warranty information and full T&Cs are displayed here.

Workshop winners
The latest Approved Workshop Scheme annual winners, which are voted for by the public, have been announced. The winners are:
Fixed workshop - Tilshead Caravans Ltd
Mobile workshop - Leisure Tech North East
Runners up are:
Fixed workshop - GW Caravan Services Ltd
Mobile workshop - BC Caravan Services

Latest tourers on show at the NEC in February 2013
NCC Events has launched a new regional show, The Spring Caravan & Camping Show, which will run from 19th - 24th February 2013 at the NEC, Birmingham. The show will welcome newcomers to caravanning and motorhoming as well as existing enthusiasts looking to purchase new models, leisure accessories and services.

Out and about on Dartmoor: Motorhomes travelling to the West Country in early spring will have lots of opportunities to get out and about on the moors during ‘Active Dartmoor' week.

February 2012

New models on display in London
The Motorhome, Caravan & Camping Show at London’s ExCeL will be the place where the major motorhome manufacturers and dealers will be displaying their latest models – just in time to start planning your holidays! Hundreds of new models – from compact 2-berth campervans through to luxurious 6-berth coachbuilts – will be on display.  You will be able to compare new layouts, interiors, specifications and innovations from: The Swift Group; Bailey; Elddis; Auto Trail; Autocruise and Adria (among many others).

Catterick Caravans takes old Discover sites
Catterick Caravans has purchased two retail outlets in the north-east of England - premises previously operated by Discover Leisure. The new outlets at Birtley, Tyne and Wear, and Flaxton Moor, York, will revert to names used previously – Tyneside Leisure World and Ebor Leisure World respectively. Both will retail new and used caravans and motorhomes.

Warners launches guide to buying motorhomes
Warners Group Publications, publisher of MMM, has launched a guide to choosing a motorhome. Buying Your First Motorhome covers: layouts; types of motorhomes; base vehicles; chassis and construction; size and weight.  More than 900 models are listed and the guide is sponsored by The Caravan Club.  It is available in WH Smith priced £4.99.

Taking pets abroad – rules eased

Taking pets on holiday will be easier and cheaper this summer after the Government relaxed its regulations to bring the UK into line with the European Union. From this date all pets can enter or re-enter the UK from any country in the world without quarantine provided they meet the rules of the scheme, which will be different depending on the country or territory the pet is coming from.  Owners will still need to have their pets vaccinated against rabies. To see new rules in full visit http://www.defra.gov.uk/wildlife-pets/pets/travel/

Winning ways for Cheshire AWS service centre
Caravancare, an Approved Workshop Scheme (AWS) mobile workshop in Warrington, currently boasts an impressive 99 per cent customer satisfaction level.  The results come from customers who fill in an online questionnaire about the service received at their chosen AWS member; questionnaires are then analysed and the results posted on www.approvedworkshops.co.uk so potential customers can see them.

One of Caravancare's regular customers recently became the latest winner of the £150 prize in the AWS customer draw. into which all caravanners/motorhomers who fill in the survey are entered. 

 

DECEMBER 2011

Caravanning Christmas

For those considering holidaying in their motorhome over the festive season, The Caravan Club has a useful guide.

Presents for caravanners

The Caravan Cookbook by Monica Rivron (Pavilion, £14.99): This is compiled by wife of TV presenter Rowland Rivron. She is a trained chef and her recipes can be cooked on the go, over a fire or in a slow cooker.
Campervan Calendar: This wall calendar with a distinctly retro feel is available from Amazon and other online retailers.

Stig reveals love of motorhomes

 The original ‘Stig' from the popular BBC show Top Gear has revealed that he - like many other racing drivers including Jenson Button - regularly uses a motorhome. Perry McCarthy, ex racing driver turned Top Gear icon has also revealed he is a member of The Caravan Club.

Sites for the London show

The Caravan Club has suggested a number of sites in London and the home counties for those visiting the Motorhome, Caravan and Camping Show 2012 at ExCeL London. The Club will not provide a temporary campsite on site during the event due to logistic difficulties but suggests the following as suitable alternative sites:
Federation Road, Abbey Wood, London SE2 0LS
Approximate journey time to ExCeL: 50 mins
Crystal Palace Caravan Club Site
Crystal Palace Parade, London SE19 1UF
Tel: 0208 778 7155
Approximate journey time to ExCeL: 55 mins
Alderstead Heath Caravan Club Site
Dean Lane, Merstham, Redhill, Surrey, RH1 3AH
Tel: 01737 644629
Approximate journey time to ExCeL: 1hr 20 mins

NOVEMBER 2011

10-year warranties for motorhomes

Elddis has announced that its 2012 season Autoquest and Aspire motorhomes will now benefit from a 10 year Body Integrity Warranty. The Consett-based manufacturer upholds its products are built to last, using the very latest manufacturing techniques and advanced materials technology.

Swift Group says their new 2012 season coachbuilt motorhomes will come with ‘an industry leading 10-year body shell integrity warranty’. This is in addition to the 3-year manufactures’ warranty on the base vehicle. An annual service is required to maintain the warranty.

95 per cent satisfaction levels for Approved Workshop Scheme

In its first user survey, the Approved Workshop Scheme for motorhome and tourer servicing has achieved high satisfaction levels. Nearly 3,000 caravanners responded to the online survey, after they had used a workshop - a massive 9.5 out of 10 (95 per cent) said they were satisfied with the service received.

Earlier this year, the first ever Workshop Awards were held. The winners were:
- The Approved Mobile Workshop of the Year - Total Caravan Care
- The Approved Fixed Workshop of the Year - Dave Butlin Caravan Services
- The Approved Dealer Workshop of the Year - Fry’s Caravans Limited

 

Elddis launches ‘belts equals berths’ campaign

Motorhome manufacturer, Elddis, has launched a ‘belts equals berths’ campaign. The company says it will ensure that there is a seat belt for every designated sleeping berth in every model that it produces.

London Low Emission Zone – pre 2002 motorhomes affected
Owners of older motorhomes are reminded that from 3 January 2012, the London Low Emission Zone standards become tighter. Virtually all the Greater London area is affected and to drive within it without paying a hefty daily charge, vehicles must meet certain emissions standards. Motorhomes from 2.5-3.5 tonnes Gross Vehicle Weight and registered as new before 1 January 2002 are affected, unless fitted with an approved filter to improve the vehicle's emissions. Otherwise, charges starting at £100 per day will apply. More information about charges and vehicles affected is available on www.tfl.gov.uk

New NCC member Wellhouse Leisure now has ten agents nationwide where buyers can see the award winning Hyundai i800 Camper. Next year, the Camper will be available from selected Hyundai dealers; in the meantime, existing customers are making their own Hyundai available. For more info visit their website or call 01484 600416.



OCTOBER 2011

Motorhome & Caravan Show at the NEC Birmingham breaks records
The October 2011 Motorhome & Caravan Show at the NEC Birmingham attaracted a record-breaking 93,323 visitors and saw a significant increase in sales - read the press release.

SEPTEMBER 2011

Bailey motorhome unveiled

Bailey's first venture into the motorhome market, the Approach SE range has just been unveiled. Full product details and the option to book a test drive in one of the new vehicle are available on a new microsite www.baileyapproach.co.uk. Models go on display for the first time at the Motorhome & Caravans Show in October (Hall 19, Stand 19-29).

Practical Motorhome readers give Auto-Trail thumbs up ...

Motorhome manufacturer, Auto-trail has been given gold awards for both its new models and for pre-owned ones in the 2011 Owner Satisfaction Awards, compiled from reader survey results.
The company says it is already working on ‘even better' 2012 models, when it will celebrate 30 years in the industry.

... and Auto-Sleepers bags two golds too
Practical Motorhome readers who had bought a new or pre-owned motorhome since January 2009 were invited to rate their van and supplying dealer in the owner satisfaction survey. Motorhome manufacturer Auto-Sleepers also celebrated success by winning gold in both the new and pre-owned motorhome categories.

Euro 5 engines power Swift motorhomes
All new Swift motorhomes will be powered by the greener and more fuel efficient Fiat Ducato Euro 5 engines. The company says this will give better performance, lower emissions and reduce running costs. See www.swiftgroup.co.uk/motorhomes/euro-5-engines

Importance of checking gas appliances
September saw the re-launch of Gas Safety Week, which aims to raise awareness of gas safety and the importance of taking care of gas appliances. The NCC advises all motorhome owners to have gas appliances tested annually - faulty appliances can cause gas leaks, fires, explosions and carbon monoxide poisoning. Contact your local Approved Workshop for more information.

Comanche named luxury motorhome of the year
Auto-Trail's Comanche Super Lo-Line has been named ‘Best luxury motorhome over 3,500 kgs' in the 2011 Practical Motorhome awards.

And finally
For those with no onboard toilet facilities ... the appropriately named BoginaBag made a recent appearance on TV's Dragon's Den. This solution to an age-old problem is a foldaway, portable seat that doubles as a toilet, ‘perfect for when nature calls and there's nowhere to go' apparently.

JULY 2011

Bailey to enter motorhome market

The well-known touring caravan manufacturer, Bailey of Bristol, is to enter the motorhome market. The first models will be on show at the Motorhome & Caravan show at the NEC. The company has spent months developing its Alu-Tech body shell construction system for use in motorhome production. Prototype motorhomes have been subjected to a variety of tests, including an automotive standard structural durability assessment at Millbrook, equating to 50,000 miles (or six years) of heavy use.

Let's do lunch (and more) at the Motorhome & Caravan Show

Star of 'Let's do lunch', Gino D'Acampo will be cooking up a storm at the NEC October show. As well as Gino, there will be all sorts of activities, promotions and giveaways there. Dometic UK Ltd, for example, is giving away an absorption fridge every day in their competition that celebrates the manufacture of their 10 millionth refrigerator. Find out more - and have the chance to win one of 100 pairs of tickets at www.motorhomeandcaravanshow.co.uk

Re-launched Majestic with Euro 5 Peugeot engine

Marquis is to re-launch its Majestic range for 2012 with 'significantly enhanced features and an additional new model'. The new Euro 5 Peugeot engine will be used across the range to provide better fuel economy and fewer emissions. A new 4 berth, fixed bed 165 model had been added to give more choice. For more information about Marquis Motorhomes contact the Free Phone number 0800 026 77 77 or visit www.marquismotorhomes.co.uk/majestic-2012

Autocruise van conversion range enhanced with new Euro 5 engines from Fiat/Peugeot

To benefit from the Euro 5 enhancements, all models will initially be built on a Fiat base with the new 2.3 litre 130bhp Euro 5 engine (giving better fuel economy and lower CO2 emissions). When Peugeot Euro5 models are available, the medium wheelbase Jazz will have a 2.2 litre 110bhp Peugeot engine with 5-speed gearbox as standard. The 2.2 litre 130bhp Peugeot engine with 6-speed gearbox will be standard in all other models.

Other improvements include upgraded radio/CD player, Bluetooth mobile phone connectivity, USB MP3 device connection and a Truma 'Drivesafe' regulator for en-route use of heating and water heating.

Improved power and fuel economy in Swift Group's 2012 Sundance and E 400 models

A combination of the new Euro 5 engine and cab package from Fiat, general improvements and new wood finishes aim to give the Swift Sundance and Bessacarr E400 models improved performance and feel for 2012.

The new 130bhp Euro 5 engine/6-speed gearbox, now standard on all models, gives improved acceleration and economy. The cab comes with a fully integrated factory fit radio/CD/MP3 player. A new, specially-priced Driver's Pack provides upgraded radio/CD player with steering wheel controls, Bluetooth mobile phone connectivity, USB MP3 connection and a twin view colour reversing camera. The pack is completed with cab air-conditioning and cruise control.

SORN or insurance: motorhome owners beware

The NCC is reminding motorhome owners to ensure they have the correct insurance for their vehicle as the Continuous Insurance Enforcement law has now come into effect.

Keeping an uninsured motor vehicle is now illegal unless it is declared as being 'off the road' - even if it's unused on a driveway or locked away in a garage. Previously motorists were only charged with the offence if they were actually caught driving an uninsured vehicle.

'Staycationers' don't bother with insurance

Over half of people take a 'staycation' without taking out travel insurance. A survey by moneysupermarket.com showed only one-fifth would take out adequate cover in the UK. Holidaymakers will therefore not be covered for e.g. cancellation costs, loss or property or other eventualities excluded under their motorhome insurance policy.

Motorhome owners to Guernsey

Two of Guernsey's campsites have now agreed to accept motorhomes - see Wildguernsey.wordpress.com

Approved Workshop status for Marquis Service Centres

Marquis Motorhomes and Caravans has announced that all nine of its Service Centres passed stringent assessments and have been awarded the coveted Approved Workshop Scheme status - see www.approvedworkshops.co.uk To comply with the Scheme, the benchmark for caravan servicing standards, Marquis have been investing heavily in training and additional equipment.Graham Davidson-Bowman, Marquis Commercial Director commented: "Our Service Centre personnel should be justifiably proud of this achievement.

FEBRUARY 2011

Industry launches new Spring Show in 2012

A new show is launched in February 2012 - Ncc Motorhome, Caravan and Camping Show ExCeL London 14 - 19 February 2012

Once again supported by all major industry manufacturers and dealers and by The Caravan Club, this show will be managed by NCC Events and will be the only exhibition taking place in the Spring where the major caravan and motorhome manufacturers will be displaying their latest season’s models.

JUNE 2009

Escape wins Caravan Club Design/Drive Award

The new Escape, launched by the Swift Group at the February NEC Show, beat off competition from 33 of Europe's best models to win the prestigious Caravan Club Motor Caravan Design and Drive Awards.  The winning model from the range was the Escape 686, which has 'the ideal layout for a family looking for their first new motorhome'.

The Swift Group also reigned supreme in the Coachbuilt over £45,000 category, with the Swift Kon-Tiki 679 taking first place.

Special offer for Excel

Auto-Trail have launched the new Excel motorhome - with an introductory price of £39,996 OTR.  It comes complete with driver and passenger airbags, cruise control, GRP scratch and damage resistant sidewalls and quality insulation.

The Great Outdoors

The Camping & Caravanning Club has launched a site to help people new to outdoor holidays - visit their website.

Scrapping your car?

New motorhomes are also eligible to benefit from the Government's scrappage scheme as long as they are less than 3.5 tonnes - see the Directgov website for details.  Then contact your motorhome dealer for more information.

Remember digital switchover for your motorhome TV

The West Country has already gone 'digital' and Granada and Border regions are also scheduled for this year - motorhomers are reminded they will need to ensure their TVs are usable.  Digital UK has published a leaflet designed to help people retune their digital TV equipment so it continues receiving all available digital channels.

Lights off!

A new innovate product for use in caravans and motor homes has recently been launched called Magic Blackout. It allows you to blackout windows - anywhere, in seconds for use with or without blinds.

MAY 2009

Caravan Club 'Discover Touring' campaign

The Caravan Club has launched 'Discover Touring', a new marketing campaign to promote the benefits of touring in caravans and motorhomes.  The campaign is supported by TV personality Carol Smillie - see the Discover Touring website.  

Travelworld for Auto-Trail

Auto-Trail has welcomed Travelworld RV of Telford as the latest addition to their dealer network.  The dealer, previously a specialist in American RVs/ motorhomes, says that widening their range gives the best possible chance to service their customers. Travelworld RV can be contacted on 0845 230 5033. Full contact details of Auto-Trail's dealer network can be found on the Auto-Trail website through the find the dealer link. www.auto-trail.co.uk

Motorhome auctions increase in popularity

A recent specialised caravan sale at British Car Auctions (BCA) Measham attracted nearly 500 registered buyers and lots of interest in older motorhomes as well as two- to three-year old models.

A BCA spokesman commented: "These sales have always been popular, but the step up in interest this year has been exceptional."  For full details of forthcoming sales see the BCA website.

Eco-wash

The Camping and Caravanning Club's six acre site at Teversal's in Nottinghamshire has added a luxury environmentally-friendly amenity block. Eco-friendly features of the block include rainwater harvesting, light sensors, and under-floor heating.

Awards for Ballyness Caravan Park

Ballyness Caravan Park, in Bushmills Co Antrim is the first caravan park in Northern Ireland to receive the AA's top rating of five Pennants for its touring pitches and facilities.  They also recently voted top regional site, in Northern Ireland, by readers of a leading UK caravan magazine, Practical Caravan.

For further details visit the Ballyness Caravan Park website.

Keep in touch at Camping and Caravanning Club sites

The Camping and Caravanning Club will soon offer  wireless broadband (Wi-Fi) at 91 of its UK Club Sites. Powered by Wicoms Ltd, 'Site Wi-Fi' will allow users to connect to the network via devices such as laptops and other wireless enabled devices. Campers will be able to access the wireless 'hotspots' securely for a small fee, or buy a seasonal pass.

Caravan Channel moves to Freesat 402

The Caravan Channel is broadcast on Information TV, Sky 166 and Freesat 402. For more information, or to watch online, visit the Caravan Channel website.

New show to feature motorhomes

The new British Leisure show will be held on the banks of the River Thames, at the Royal Windsor Racecourse, from Friday 19 - Sunday 21 March 2010. It will feature a wide range of outdoor leisure products, including caravans and motorhomes.

APRIL 2009

Motorhoming in Scotland and Northern Ireland

With motorhomers travelling further afield this year, parks in Scotland and Northern Ireland are set for a busy summer.  Regional winner of the Practical Caravan Top 100 parks (Northern Ireland) is Ballyness Caravan Park in Bushmills, close to the Giant's Causeway.

For more details of the Practical Caravan Top 100 parks, voted for by readers of the Practical magazines, click here.

Scotland is also growing in popularity - for places to stay and motorhome hire, click here.

Club at Dartmoor

The Camping and Caravanning Club's new Dartmoor, Barley Meadow Club Site officially opened on Thursday, March 12.  The site offers 63 pitches and is set towards the east of Dartmoor National Park.

New sites from Camping and Caravanning Club

There are six new Camping and Caravanning Club Sites opening their doors to caravanners in 2009, boosting the Club's network to 109 sites. Adding an additional 170 pitches to the network, the Club will be able to offer almost 17,000 pitches nationwide.

The new sites are:

- Corfe Castle at the foot of the Purbeck Hills in Dorset

-Tavistock in Dartmoor to the west of the famous National Park 

- Polstead in Suffolk on the edge of a conservation area 

- Dartmoor Barley Meadow

 - Ashbourne in Derbyshire, close to the peaks and dales

- Skye at the shore of Lock Greshornish on Skye

Drop in number of illegal drivers in the UK

Drivers will welcome a drop in the number of illegal road users in the UK. The level of unlicensed drivers who are stopped has halved over the past two years, with the level of uninsured motorists also down from 1.9 per cent in 2006 to 1.2 per cent.

East Enders gone West? 

The West Country is the second area in the UK to be switched to fully digital TV. Aerial manufacturers Maxview have highlighted that the digital TV switchover mean visiting motorhomers will not be able to get the old analogue TV signal, unless they have made the digital switch with their motor home's TV. 

Dog-friendly touring sites

If you enjoy holidaying with your canine companion, there's a new website that has a searchable database of dog-friendly touring parks, pubs and days out, as well as a list of 1,800 dog-friendly beaches.

Contact details for over 4,000 vets and dog wardens across the UK are also included, offering peace of mind for owners in case their pet falls ill or wanders off. Holidaymakers should also ensure that they are fully covered by their caravan insurance before they set off in case a dog damages the vehicle. Visit www.k9directory.co.uk.

Over-65s will prioritise holidays

Consumers will cut back on short breaks and pub and restaurant visits in order to save for their annual holiday, according to a new report.  Figures from PricewaterhouseCoopers show that the over-65s are the most determined to prioritise holidays in 2009, with 27% of this age group putting holiday spend first - in contrast to the indebted generation (aged 25-34).

STOP PRESS!

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has announced his intention to suspend the third phase of the Low Emission Zone (LEZ), which was due to affect vans and motorhomes from 2.5 to 3.5 tonnes from October 2010.

The proposed changes to the scheme will be subject to public consultation and will need to be confirmed by the Mayor once he has reviewed the outcome of the consultation. For more information, click here

Swift Group's great motorhome Escape

Swift Group has launched a new motorhome designed to offer all the essentials at a starting price of around £30,000. The Escape is aimed at making owning a new motorhome an affordable proposition and will appeal to those who would rather buy new than second hand, the first time buyer and anyone looking for a good value motorhome. The Escape comes with the backing of a major British manufacturer making it a solid choice with a comprehensive aftersales service.

Nick Page, Commercial Director for Swift Group commented: "The Escape completes the Swift Group motorhome line up. It is a well equipped range at an affordable price... ideal for those who want new but thought they couldn't afford it. With more people wanting to holiday at home, the Escape is the ideal entry point to enjoy the freedom that owning a coachbuilt motorhome can bring."

 

Motorhome manufacturer, Elddis, has launched a ‘belts equals berths’ campaign. The company says it will ensure that there is a seat belt for every designated sleeping berth in every model that it produces.

Latest motorhome models come to London
At the Motorhome Caravan & Camping Show (ExCeL London 14-19 February 2012) a raft of new motorhomes will be on show – including models from Auto-Trail, Bailey, Bilbo’s, Elddis, Lunar, Marquis and Swift - there's a full list on the website. It’s being billed as the biggest event of its kind in the south of the country.

London Low Emission Zone – pre 2002 motorhomes affected
Owners of older motorhomes are reminded that from 3 January 2012, the London Low Emission Zone standards become tighter. Virtually all the Greater London area is affected and to drive within it without paying a hefty daily charge, vehicles must meet certain emissions standards. Motorhomes from 2.5-3.5 tonnes Gross Vehicle Weight and registered as new before 1 January 2002 are affected, unless fitted with an approved filter to improve the vehicle's emissions. Otherwise, charges starting at £100 per day will apply. More information about charges and vehicles affected is available on www.tfl.gov.uk

New NCC member Wellhouse Leisure now has ten agents nationwide where buyers can see the award winning Hyundai i800 Camper. Next year, the Camper will be available from selected Hyundai dealers; in the meantime, existing customers are making their own Hyundai available. For more info visit their website or call 01484 600416.

OCTOBER 2011

Motorhome & Caravan Show at the NEC Birmingham breaks records
The October 2011 Motorhome & Caravan Show at the NEC Birmingham attaracted a record-breaking 93,323 visitors and saw a significant increase in sales - read the press release.

SEPTEMBER 2011

Bailey motorhome unveiled
Bailey's first venture into the motorhome market, the Approach SE range has just been unveiled. Full product details and the option to book a test drive in one of the new vehicle are available on a new microsite www.baileyapproach.co.uk. Models go on display for the first time at the Motorhome & Caravans Show in October (Hall 19, Stand 19-29).

Practical Motorhome readers give Auto-Trail thumbs up ...
Motorhome manufacturer, Auto-trail has been given gold awards for both its new models and for pre-owned ones in the 2011 Owner Satisfaction Awards, compiled from reader survey results.
The company says it is already working on ‘even better' 2012 models, when it will celebrate 30 years in the industry.

... and Auto-Sleepers bags two golds too
Practical Motorhome readers who had bought a new or pre-owned motorhome since January 2009 were invited to rate their van and supplying dealer in the owner satisfaction survey. Motorhome manufacturer Auto-Sleepers also celebrated success by winning gold in both the new and pre-owned motorhome categories.

Euro 5 engines power Swift motorhomes
All new Swift motorhomes will be powered by the greener and more fuel efficient Fiat Ducato Euro 5 engines. The company says this will give better performance, lower emissions and reduce running costs. See www.swiftgroup.co.uk/motorhomes/euro-5-engines

Importance of checking gas appliances
September saw the re-launch of Gas Safety Week, which aims to raise awareness of gas safety and the importance of taking care of gas appliances. The NCC advises all motorhome owners to have gas appliances tested annually - faulty appliances can cause gas leaks, fires, explosions and carbon monoxide poisoning. Contact your local Approved Workshop for more information.

Comanche named luxury motorhome of the year
Auto-Trail's Comanche Super Lo-Line has been named ‘Best luxury motorhome over 3,500 kgs' in the 2011 Practical Motorhome awards.

And finally
For those with no onboard toilet facilities ... the appropriately named BoginaBag made a recent appearance on TV's Dragon's Den. This solution to an age-old problem is a foldaway, portable seat that doubles as a toilet, ‘perfect for when nature calls and there's nowhere to go' apparently.

JULY 2011

Bailey to enter motorhome market

The well-known touring caravan manufacturer, Bailey of Bristol, is to enter the motorhome market. The first models will be on show at the Motorhome & Caravan show at the NEC. The company has spent months developing its Alu-Tech body shell construction system for use in motorhome production. Prototype motorhomes have been subjected to a variety of tests, including an automotive standard structural durability assessment at Millbrook, equating to 50,000 miles (or six years) of heavy use.

Let's do lunch (and more) at the Motorhome & Caravan Show

Star of 'Let's do lunch', Gino D'Acampo will be cooking up a storm at the NEC October show. As well as Gino, there will be all sorts of activities, promotions and giveaways there. Dometic UK Ltd, for example, is giving away an absorption fridge every day in their competition that celebrates the manufacture of their 10 millionth refrigerator. Find out more - and have the chance to win one of 100 pairs of tickets at www.motorhomeandcaravanshow.co.uk

Re-launched Majestic with Euro 5 Peugeot engine

Marquis is to re-launch its Majestic range for 2012 with 'significantly enhanced features and an additional new model'. The new Euro 5 Peugeot engine will be used across the range to provide better fuel economy and fewer emissions. A new 4 berth, fixed bed 165 model had been added to give more choice. For more information about Marquis Motorhomes contact the Free Phone number 0800 026 77 77 or visit www.marquismotorhomes.co.uk/majestic-2012

Autocruise van conversion range enhanced with new Euro 5 engines from Fiat/Peugeot

To benefit from the Euro 5 enhancements, all models will initially be built on a Fiat base with the new 2.3 litre 130bhp Euro 5 engine (giving better fuel economy and lower CO2 emissions). When Peugeot Euro5 models are available, the medium wheelbase Jazz will have a 2.2 litre 110bhp Peugeot engine with 5-speed gearbox as standard. The 2.2 litre 130bhp Peugeot engine with 6-speed gearbox will be standard in all other models.

Other improvements include upgraded radio/CD player, Bluetooth mobile phone connectivity, USB MP3 device connection and a Truma 'Drivesafe' regulator for en-route use of heating and water heating.

Improved power and fuel economy in Swift Group's 2012 Sundance and E 400 models

A combination of the new Euro 5 engine and cab package from Fiat, general improvements and new wood finishes aim to give the Swift Sundance and Bessacarr E400 models improved performance and feel for 2012.

The new 130bhp Euro 5 engine/6-speed gearbox, now standard on all models, gives improved acceleration and economy. The cab comes with a fully integrated factory fit radio/CD/MP3 player. A new, specially-priced Driver's Pack provides upgraded radio/CD player with steering wheel controls, Bluetooth mobile phone connectivity, USB MP3 connection and a twin view colour reversing camera. The pack is completed with cab air-conditioning and cruise control.

SORN or insurance: motorhome owners beware

The NCC is reminding motorhome owners to ensure they have the correct insurance for their vehicle as the Continuous Insurance Enforcement law has now come into effect.

Keeping an uninsured motor vehicle is now illegal unless it is declared as being 'off the road' - even if it's unused on a driveway or locked away in a garage. Previously motorists were only charged with the offence if they were actually caught driving an uninsured vehicle.

'Staycationers' don't bother with insurance

Over half of people take a 'staycation' without taking out travel insurance. A survey by moneysupermarket.com showed only one-fifth would take out adequate cover in the UK. Holidaymakers will therefore not be covered for e.g. cancellation costs, loss or property or other eventualities excluded under their motorhome insurance policy.

Motorhome owners to Guernsey

Two of Guernsey's campsites have now agreed to accept motorhomes - see Wildguernsey.wordpress.com

FEBRUARY 2011

June 2009

Escape wins Caravan Club Design/Drive Award

The new Escape, launched by the Swift Group at the February NEC Show, beat off competition from 33 of Europe's best models to win the prestigious Caravan Club Motor Caravan Design and Drive Awards.  The winning model from the range was the Escape 686, which has 'the ideal layout for a family looking for their first new motorhome'.

The Swift Group also reigned supreme in the Coachbuilt over £45,000 category, with the Swift Kon-Tiki 679 taking first place.

Special offer for Excel

Auto-Trail have launched the new Excel motorhome - with an introductory price of £39,996 OTR.  It comes complete with driver and passenger airbags, cruise control, GRP scratch and damage resistant sidewalls and quality insulation.

The Great Outdoors

The Camping & Caravanning Club has launched a site to help people new to outdoor holidays - visit their website.

Scrapping your car?

New motorhomes are also eligible to benefit from the Government's scrappage scheme as long as they are less than 3.5 tonnes - see the Directgov website for details.  Then contact your motorhome dealer for more information.

Remember digital switchover for your motorhome TV

The West Country has already gone 'digital' and Granada and Border regions are also scheduled for this year - motorhomers are reminded they will need to ensure their TVs are usable.  Digital UK has published a leaflet designed to help people retune their digital TV equipment so it continues receiving all available digital channels.

Lights off!

A new innovative product for use in caravans and motor homes has recently been launched called Magic Blackout. It allows you to blackout windows - anywhere, in seconds for use with or without blinds.

MAY 2009

Caravan Club 'Discover Touring' campaign

The Caravan Club has launched 'Discover Touring', a new marketing campaign to promote the benefits of touring in caravans and motorhomes.  The campaign is supported by TV personality Carol Smillie - see the Discover Touring website.  

Travelworld for Auto-Trail

Auto-Trail has welcomed Travelworld RV of Telford as the latest addition to their dealer network.  The dealer, previously a specialist in American RVs/ motorhomes, says that widening their range gives the best possible chance to service their customers. Travelworld RV can be contacted on 0845 230 5033. Full contact details of Auto-Trail's dealer network can be found on the Auto-Trail website through the find the dealer link. www.auto-trail.co.uk

Motorhome auctions increase in popularity

A recent specialised caravan sale at British Car Auctions (BCA) Measham attracted nearly 500 registered buyers and lots of interest in older motorhomes as well as two- to three-year old models.

A BCA spokesman commented: "These sales have always been popular, but the step up in interest this year has been exceptional."  For full details of forthcoming sales see the BCA website.

Eco-wash

The Camping and Caravanning Club's six acre site at Teversal's in Nottinghamshire has added a luxury environmentally-friendly amenity block. Eco-friendly features of the block include rainwater harvesting, light sensors, and under-floor heating.

Awards for Ballyness Caravan Park

Ballyness Caravan Park, in Bushmills Co Antrim is the first caravan park in Northern Ireland to receive the AA's top rating of five Pennants for its touring pitches and facilities.  They also recently voted top regional site, in Northern Ireland, by readers of a leading UK caravan magazine, Practical Caravan.

For further details visit the Ballyness Caravan Park website.

Keep in touch at Camping and Caravanning Club sites

The Camping and Caravanning Club will soon offer  wireless broadband (Wi-Fi) at 91 of its UK Club Sites. Powered by Wicoms Ltd, 'Site Wi-Fi' will allow users to connect to the network via devices such as laptops and other wireless enabled devices. Campers will be able to access the wireless 'hotspots' securely for a small fee, or buy a seasonal pass.

Caravan Channel moves to Freesat 402

The Caravan Channel is broadcast on Information TV, Sky 166 and Freesat 402. For more information, or to watch online, visit the Caravan Channel website.

New show to feature motorhomes

The new British Leisure show will be held on the banks of the River Thames, at the Royal Windsor Racecourse, from Friday 19 - Sunday 21 March 2010. It will feature a wide range of outdoor leisure products, including caravans and motorhomes.

APRIL 2009

Motorhoming in Scotland and Northern Ireland

With motorhomers travelling further afield this year, parks in Scotland and Northern Ireland are set for a busy summer.  Regional winner of the Practical Caravan Top 100 parks (Northern Ireland) is Ballyness Caravan Park in Bushmills, close to the Giant's Causeway.

For more details of the Practical Caravan Top 100 parks, voted for by readers of the Practical magazines, click here.

Scotland is also growing in popularity - for places to stay and motorhome hire, click here.

Club at Dartmoor

The Camping and Caravanning Club's new Dartmoor, Barley Meadow Club Site officially opened on Thursday, March 12.  The site offers 63 pitches and is set towards the east of Dartmoor National Park.

New sites from Camping and Caravanning Club

There are six new Camping and Caravanning Club Sites opening their doors to caravanners in 2009, boosting the Club's network to 109 sites. Adding an additional 170 pitches to the network, the Club will be able to offer almost 17,000 pitches nationwide.

The new sites are:

- Corfe Castle at the foot of the Purbeck Hills in Dorset

-Tavistock in Dartmoor to the west of the famous National Park 

- Polstead in Suffolk on the edge of a conservation area 

- Dartmoor Barley Meadow

 - Ashbourne in Derbyshire, close to the peaks and dales

- Skye at the shore of Lock Greshornish on Skye

Drop in number of illegal drivers in the UK

Drivers will welcome a drop in the number of illegal road users in the UK. The level of unlicensed drivers who are stopped has halved over the past two years, with the level of uninsured motorists also down from 1.9 per cent in 2006 to 1.2 per cent.

East Enders gone West? 

The West Country is the second area in the UK to be switched to fully digital TV. Aerial manufacturers Maxview have highlighted that the digital TV switchover mean visiting motorhomers will not be able to get the old analogue TV signal, unless they have made the digital switch with their motor home's TV. 

Dog-friendly touring sites

If you enjoy holidaying with your canine companion, there's a new website that has a searchable database of dog-friendly touring parks, pubs and days out, as well as a list of 1,800 dog-friendly beaches.

Contact details for over 4,000 vets and dog wardens across the UK are also included, offering peace of mind for owners in case their pet falls ill or wanders off. Holidaymakers should also ensure that they are fully covered by their caravan insurance before they set off in case a dog damages the vehicle. Visit www.k9directory.co.uk.

Over-65s will prioritise holidays

Consumers will cut back on short breaks and pub and restaurant visits in order to save for their annual holiday, according to a new report.  Figures from PricewaterhouseCoopers show that the over-65s are the most determined to prioritise holidays in 2009, with 27% of this age group putting holiday spend first - in contrast to the indebted generation (aged 25-34).

STOP PRESS!

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has announced his intention to suspend the third phase of the Low Emission Zone (LEZ), which was due to affect vans and motorhomes from 2.5 to 3.5 tonnes from October 2010.

The proposed changes to the scheme will be subject to public consultation and will need to be confirmed by the Mayor once he has reviewed the outcome of the consultation. For more information, click here. 

Swift Group's great motorhome Escape

Swift Group has launched a new motorhome designed to offer all the essentials at a starting price of around £30,000. The Escape is aimed at making owning a new motorhome an affordable proposition and will appeal to those who would rather buy new than second hand, the first time buyer and anyone looking for a good value motorhome. The Escape comes with the backing of a major British manufacturer making it a solid choice with a comprehensive aftersales service.

Nick Page, Commercial Director for Swift Group commented: "The Escape completes the Swift Group motorhome line up. It is a well equipped range at an affordable price... ideal for those who want new but thought they couldn't afford it. With more people wanting to holiday at home, the Escape is the ideal entry point to enjoy the freedom that owning a coachbuilt motorhome can bring."