Niall HamptonSee other News articles filed in ‘Shows and events’ written by Niall Hampton
If you’re planning to head to the Motorhome & Caravan Show in Birmingham from 15-20 October, follow our handy guide to the highlights you mustn’t miss.
Be sure to drop in at our stand (hall 18), meet the editorial team and say hello!
We became super-excited about the V-Line at Auto-Trail’s 2014 preview: as well as a great specification, this luxury small motorhome offers some ingenious engineering solutions and genuine innovation.
The stunning pictures on this page offer a real flavour of how fabulous the V-Line is in the metal, but don’t just take our word for it: have a good look at the NEC. Auto-Trail’s popular coachbuilts will also be on display.
The Auto-Trail V-Line is a show must-see: it features innovative design in a compact package, and offers a great amount of headroom. The standard specification is extraordinarily high, too.
STAND 6-39, 6-41, 6-33, 6-31
Incremental improvements have been rolled out onto 2014 Autocruise models, including the Accent. New for the show will be the Carrera 4, a stylish van conversion. We’re told it will have black and orange furnishings, with white and chrome locker doors. Kit includes a solar panel, canopy awning and roof rack.
The Slovenian manufacturer will show its stylish Compact SPX low-profile, which is less than six metres in length. There’s a new layout for the Adria Twin, and the latest Coral line-up makes its debut. It features a narrow body, a new sky roof and contemporary interiors.
STAND 6-55, 6-49
The iconic British manufacturer adds two panel vans to its portfolio this year: the Kingham and the Warwick Excel are both built on the extra-long-wheelbase Peugeot Boxer. Kingham is the first Auto-Sleepers van conversion to have a fixed-French-bed layout, in the nearside rear corner, and the Warwick Excel has a large rear lounge. (For more on these models, see p135 of November's issue.)
BAILEY OF BRISTOL
This highly regarded caravan manufacturer got off to a flyer with the Approach SE coachbuilts. Two years on, the five-strong Approach Autograph range has been unveiled (for a preview, see our September 2013 issue).
Two new models join the Bailey motorhome collection at the NEC: both Approach Compacts, a smaller version of its sibling range.
Bürstner has recently launched five special-edition Viseo models. Based on the Nexxo and Ixeo Time low-profile ranges, they’ve been fine-tuned for British motorcaravanners. Some new Bürstner layouts will be available to view, including the Viseo i700.
Carthago Malibu is a new, four-strong range of panel vans pitched at the affordable end of the market. Also new from Carthago is the Compact Line, comprising three A-class motorhome layouts.
The whole Chausson range will be on show, including the Best Of 10. The 618 layout has a French bed that slides out to become an island bed; this layout is carried by both Flash and Welcome low-profile ’vans.
Elsewhere, the new Suite Family model offers a lounge drop-down bed and bunks.
CMC Reimo celebrates 25 years of production by launching its new Renault Escape – based on the Trafic Sport – and its Reimo Multi-Style, which has an elevating roof that allows it to combine the functions of a motorhome and a car. The Reimo range of campers will also be on show.
A new Doubleback camper conversion will be launched at the show: a four/five-seat model with a new layout and a slide-out rear pod. A a limited number of VW T2 campers is still available.
DETHLEFFS & SUNLIGHT
STAND 9-27, 9-08
Ten different Dethleffs ranges will be on display, including the compact Trend and the new Magic Edition line-up of low-profiles. Another exciting ’van to look out for is the Evan, a two-model range of affordable A-classes launched at Düsseldorf’s Caravan Salon last month.
Sunlight, Dethleff’s budget brand, will also be on display, with 12 different layouts to check out.
This County Durham-based firm started out more than 50 years ago. The Provence is its latest offering, taking a proven concept from the past and giving it an up-to-date treatment on the new Renault Master LWB van.
STAND 20-19, 20-39, 20-43
The Accordo was the star of Elddis’s 2014 launch. Despite being less than 6m long and narrow bodied, this two-model line-up is deceptively spacious.
The Elddis Autoquest range of low-profiles has improved specification for 2014, and new layouts that will be revealed at the NEC. At the premium end, Aspire receives redesigned interiors to bring the range right up to date.
The Derby-based converter will be unveiling its new Buxton four-berth high-top at the show. Based on the long wheelbase VW T5, the Buxton features a clever layout and has a generous amount of space inside. The beds can be configured as two large doubles, or two singles and a large double. The shower room is a decent size, and includes cassette toilet, sink and shower tray. Prices start from £45,995.
STAND 9-29, 9-31
Hobby’s brand-new Siesta offers a variety of layouts in three profiles: ultra-narrow low-profile, standard low-profile and overcab. The Hobby Premium Van range also has some great new models and fresh layouts to choose from.
The best-selling B-Class line-up has been given a comprehensive makeover, with an elegant rounded front section, offside garage doors as standard and new interiors.
Hymercar, a new range of campervans, will also be available to view. The pop-top Cape Town model is based on the VW T5 chassis; five other van-conversion models are based on Fiat’s Ducato.
Also appearing will be the Exsis-t, a sub-3500kg compact coachbuilt that brings premium comfort to the entry level. We saw the rear-single-beds Exsis-t 588 at Düsseldorf’s Caravan Salon, and it’s very impressive.
IH says it will reveal something “new and exciting” on the first day of the show. You’ll definitely find some fresh British design thinking on van conversions alongside the full IH range.
STAND 17-39, 18-13
The Lunar Vacanza is based on the Nissan NV200 Combi (see our live-in test on page 84 of November's issue): updates for the 2014 season include a poleless awning, inflated using the on-board electrical pump.
This Holmfirth company builds luxury vehicles for motorsport and equestrian professionals, and has recently diversified into motorhomes. It’s bringing its inaugural range of handbuilt luxury motorhomes to the NEC.
This year the French manufacturer launches a new set of UK-friendly layouts; look out for aspects us Brits love, such as large comfortable lounges and full cookers. New for 2014 is the P606LA low-profile model and two new A-class motorhomes, as well as the Aventura F600DPA van conversion.
The leading Italian brand has launched a new starter range for 2014, Zefiro. We’ve been inside one (the 690 G) and can reveal they don’t feel entry level.
Three new Auto-Roller layouts will be at the show: the 675 and 690 G, designed for families, and the 685, a low-profile with twin rear beds.
STAND 6-39, 6-41, 6-33, 6-31
The UK’s largest manufacturer by volume unveils two brand-new ranges for 2014: Swift Esprit and Bessacarr 400. Both offer a high level of equipment as standard.
The popular Escape budget range, meanwhile, receives spec bumps including a passenger airbag. Fixed-bed models get Duvalay Duvalite memory-foam mattresses, which offer substantial weight savings.
The Tribute line-up includes a brand-new van conversion with rear lounge: the 670. The five Tribute coachbuilt layouts for 2014 are all available with a Sport X pack including Thule sun-canopy awning and alloy wheels.
Vantage launches Vue for 2014, a new front-lounge van conversion range with three models. It’s designed for those who want to open their motorhome’s sliding door and enjoy the view in comfort. Vantage’s Med, Sol, Max and Neo van conversions have also been refreshed.
In addition, a fully sealed rear pod (specified in lieu of rear doors) will be launched at the show.
The NEC show will be the first place where you can see the inaugural motorhome conversion of Ford’s Tourneo, the new luxury people-mover sister van to the Ford Transit.
A collaboration between Ford and Reimo, the van can seat and sleep five in a vehicle that’s just under 5m in length. The elevating roof, developed by Reimo, houses an extra-large double bed.
STAND 11-70, 9-142
As we reported in our October 2013 issue, WildAx has signed an exclusive deal to produce mini campers using Chinese DFSK panel vans as base vehicles. This year sees the launch of the new two- to four-berth campers, designed to function as a replacement car but with the specification of a much larger motorhome.
Free fitting of Fiamma awnings
Buyers of Fiamma F45S and F45L motorhome awnings, Zip motorhome awnings and F65S and F65L campervan awnings at the show will qualify for a free fitting on their motorhome at the NEC. This offer is a show exclusive and is available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Ring ahead to the Johns Cross accessories store (01580 883 085) before the show to avoid disappointment. The Fiamma Megastore is in Hall 12 (stand 12-30) and offers an opportunity to stock up on leisure accessories and take advantage of hundreds of ‘show-only’ offers.
Don't forget to come and visit us at our stand, in Hall 18!
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