Rob GanleySee other Blog articles filed in ‘Editor's Blog’ written by Rob Ganley
But if you’re pressed for time, here are my super seven top motorhomes that have impressed me most, and that I recommend you see there. And don't forget to drop by our stand (2111) in Hall 2 and say hello!
Price £49,995 (Hall 3, 3044)
Following the launch of its Vacanza micro-camper at last February’s NEC show, Lunar has done it again with the Landstar. The 2014 version is based on Mercedes Sprinter and sports a UK-friendly rear-lounge layout with barn doors. There’s a nearside kitchen with combined oven-grill and two extendable worktops, an offside washroom, and a half-size wardrobe atop the fridge. The show ’van was finished in silver, with black skirts to the front and rear, and black infill between the wheels.
With microwave, 4kW Truma Combi dual-fuel water and space heating, dimmable mood lighting and tinted rear windows, Lunar has made a decent fist of matching a luxurious feeling interior with the prestige associated with the three-point star badge.
Price from £29,995 (Hall 4, 4330)
Berkshire-based Roy Wood Transits launched a new compact camper range at the show, starting from just £29,995. Built on the Ford Transit Custom, it features one floor plan that starts with five full-width travel seats. Buyers have a choice of roof – lo-line, pop-top or hi-line – and there is a range of options from which to choose for the base vehicle and the conversion. Fit and finish, using high-quality German cabinet work in the rear galley, is top-drawer, and little wonder: the Leisure Van is built by conversion masters Wellhouse Leisure. When made up, the double bed measures 1.98m x 1.68m (6ft 6in x 5ft 6in) and spans across the tops of the kitchen unit and rear storage unit.
Price from £23,995 (Hall 4, 4045)
Hillside Leisure’s latest offering is an elevating-roof camper based on the diminutive Nissan NV 200, and I really like it! It is offered in a choice of styling and two layouts. The first is a VW camper-style floor plan, with driver-side kitchen unit, and a rock-and-roll rear seat bench that converts into a double bed. The second features a full-width rear seat, which brings to five the number of people who get belted seats. As for kit, it’s pretty minimal, with a two ring hob and small fridge on-board. There’s the option of a roof bed, but crucially it is a lot smaller and cheaper by some margin than a VW Transporter-based equivalent. A genuine daily driver and a must-see for serious downsizers.
From £41,000 OTR (Hall 4, 4330)
Volksleisure is a new brand from Wellhouse, which officially took its public bow at the show. Its camper are based on the VW T5 base, with the roof fitting and paintwork done in Huddersfield, and the living quarters converted in Bideford in Devon. They feature a classic side kitchen layout, with a Reimo elevating roof and seating for five. The rear seat slides on a rail system in the floor to make for a really flexible living space on site, and for great loading carrying on the road, with passengers up close to the cab seat occupants. It also has 35-litre onboard fresh and waste water tanks, a compressor fridge and LED lighting.
Price from £48,999 (Hall 3, 3020)
The V-Line 600 made a big splash at its summer 2013 launch, and sees the addition of two new layouts at the show, also based on Fiat Ducato. The 610 features a rear lounge which can be pressed into use as two fixed single beds, or massive double bed. The washroom is on the offside behind the cab seat, and the kitchen on the nearside. The 620 features a fixed rear transverse bed and half-dinette up front. Whereas the rear doors in the 600 open for access from the rear, the back panel to the two new models is fixed, and has a top-hinged locker door which opens on a gas strut and the storage space inside both models is very cleverly organised, with zippered pockets for camping chairs, moulded plastic trays for wet shoes, dedicated space for levelling ramps and much more.
Price from £39,995 (Hall 4, 4430)
The CMC Trekker is aimed at the weekend leisure enthusiast who wants a car-like daily drive. Based on the VW T5, the five-seat Trekker features a sliding seat bench from Reimo, so you can adjust how much space you want for lounging or luggage, or even remove it if you need some serious load-carrying space. Kitchen pods can add a sink or gas burners, and an extra pair of travel seats will turn the Trekker into a seven-seat people carrier. The specced-up show ’van cost £54,727 and features four-wheel-drive, cab air con, parking sensors, privacy glass, leather seats, Webasto diesel heating, awning and roof bed.
From £27,559 (Hall 4, 4039)
It’s the first time Kingston Campers has appeared at an NEC show, and took three models along for its inaugural appearance. The Hull-based converter has been producing VW campers for some three years, and will fit new living quarters into base vehicles varying from five years old to brand new, which Kingston will source. The Curve is perhaps the most interesting: unusually it offers a traditional U-shaped seating lounge, plus a side kitchen, and belted seats for three people up front, including a double seat.