Catch up with the latest news from the world of motorhomes:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The latest edition of Practical Motorhome magazine contains a special guide to the top 100 motorhome friendly sites in Great Britain, voted for by readers.
December 2012 news
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.
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.
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.