Niall HamptonSee other Blog articles filed in ‘Editor's Blog’ written by Niall Hampton
The Caravan, Camping & Motorhome Show rolls back into the NEC Birmingham on 17 February and there will be plenty for motorhome enthusiasts to see and do during this popular six-day event.
As previously reported, Bailey of Bristol will be showcasing its new entry-level range. The range officially launched at Manchester’s EventCity Caravan and Motorhome Show in January, but this will be its first display at a national show. Four Approach Advance models are available, all based on the latest Peugeot Boxer and weighing under 3500kg. Four popular layouts – selected to attract new people to the pastime – feature in this new and distinctive-looking all-white range of ’vans.
The Bailey Approach Advance 615 is a compact end-lounge two-berth, while the two-berth 635 sports a parallel lounge and an end washroom. The 640 model carries a caravan-esque layout in the shape of a parallel lounge, rear fixed double bed and rear corner washroom. The front-dinette end-lounge 665 is the largest in the range and will sleep six.
Approach Advance prices start from £38,515 OTR for the 615, topping out at £40,795 OTR for the 665. Kit lists are good value for the price, highlights including Whale water and space heaters and well-equipped kitchens. A Premium Pack of attractive options is available for a reasonable £1199. See the new Approach Advance models for yourself on stand 2100 when you visit the NEC Birmingham for this month's show.
Leading campervan converter Wellhouse Leisure will have three new van conversions for you to view at the show: a two-berth pop-top camper based on the long-wheelbase Ford Transit Connect, and a long wheelbase version of its award-winning Terrier. The extra inches free up some extra room for an L-shaped kitchen and rear corner washroom.
And to mark the 50th anniversary of the Ford Transit, Wellhouse will also unveil a higher-specified special edition of the Terrier, called the Cinquanta. Only 50 of these distinctive campers will be made, so make sure you take a look. Wellhouse Leisure is on stand 4330.
Yorkshire-based slide-out specialists Moto-Trek will also launch a new motorhome at the show. The new X-Cite G 3.5T is a rear transverse bed low-profile with a front lounge slide-out section on the offside. When deployed, this will considerably increase space in the lounge and kitchen areas. Further back, you’ll find a rear garage under the fixed bed and a washroom with a shower compartment. Moto-Trek can be found on stand 3108.
Another well-renowned converter will be showing off a new base vehicle at the show – Romahome from the Isle of Wight. Taking an island stand (what else?) in Hall 3 of the NEC, the manufacturer will be displaying two van conversions, a coachbuilt and a demountable.
The R30 high-top makes its first outing on the updated Citroën Relay base vehicle, alongside the Citroën Nemo-based R10 mini-camper. A left-hand-drive R20 coachbuilt based on the Citroën Berlingo will also be available to view, as well as the dinky D20, a DFSK pick-up-based demountable that launched at last October’s NEC show.
Like its Fiat Ducato/Peugeot Boxer SEVEL stablemates, the new Citroën Relay boasts a sharper-looking cab and benefits from a series of driver and passenger aids including Bluetooth hands free and USB connectivity, as well as air conditioning. Other extras fitted to the R30 include rear parking sensors, Teletrac Smartnav satellite navigation and Trackstar stolen vehicle tracking. Check out the Romahome range on stand 3185.
Another Relay-based van conversion will launch at the show. The 5m-long, elevating-roof WildAx Pulsar sports four travel seats and a large double bed. It also features a full kitchen and washroom with a shower, so the Pulsar offers more than the conventional VW-esque side kitchen layout. Compact enough to be used as a daily driver, the Pulsar has generous internal headroom with the roof down and carries kit including LED lighting, a Truma Combi 4 water and space heater, an LPG tank, large insulated water tanks and sliding doors on each side. The water tanks are insulated and, with the roof down, the ’van is fully winterised. The retail price at launch will be £42,995 OTR and a roof double bed is available as an option. WildAx is on stand 4320.
Two new Marquis Motorhomes dealer special editions will make their public bows at the show. Based on the new Elddis Encore, which launched at the autumn NEC show, the four-berth Majestic 255 will appeal to caravanners upgrading to a motorhome, its floor plan featuring a parallel lounge, a rear fixed bed and a corner washroom. Its two-berth 275 sibling has a large front parallel lounge, a kitchen split across the width of the ’van and an end washroom.
Marquis Majestic extras over and above the Elddis specification include an 150bhp engine upgrade, touch-screen DAB radio with Bluetooth connectivity, a reversing camera, ESP including traction control and hill assist, and a factory fitted awning.
Marquis will also reveal a fifth model in its range of Benimar Mileo coachbuilts, which it exclusively imports to the UK. Benimar is part of France’s Trigano Group and its ’vans are built in Spain. Unlike other Continental imports, though, the habitation doors are on the UK nearside – a clever tweak requested by Marquis which helps the Benimar Mileo range stand out in the market.
Other unique selling points are the contemporary interiors, generous kit lists and low prices, all of which probably help explain just how popular Benimar has been since being reintroduced to the UK last autumn.
The two-berth Mileo 231 joins the current line-up at the NEC show. Based on the new Fiat Ducato with a 130bhp engine, the 231 has a fixed rear French bed and corner washroom, all on a 5.99m body length.
To see the new Benimar Mileo 231, and the new Majestic dealer special models, make your way to Marquis Motorhomes at stand 3150 at this month's NEC show.
With over 350 exhibitors taking space at the event, the Caravan, Camping & Motorhome Show is a great value day out for all the family. Whether you're browsing the motorhomes for sale or the great many motorcaravan and camping accessories, visit Birmingham for this show and you'll find there is much to see. Other attractions to enjoy include the very popular dog agility display, the Learning Zone, cookery demonstrations, an onsite campsite, towing and motorhome manoeuvring lessons and have-a-go free activities for the family.