Lizzie PopeSee other Blog articles filed in ‘Motorhomes’ written by Lizzie Pope
This week’s Caravan, Camping & Motorhome Show at the NEC Birmingham takes over five halls and with so much to see, it can be hard to know where to start. So you might be pleased to hear we’ve done some of the legwork for you. To help make sure you get the best from your trip, here are Practical Motorhome’s top ’vans at the NEC.
Adria Compact SLS
This show is the first time the eye-catching Adria Compact SLS has been seen in the UK – and it’s definitely worth a look. Priced from £49,990, this 5.99m-long, 2.12m-wide motorhome manages to accommodate a bed measuring up to 1.98m long by 1.68m wide thanks to its 70cm slide out, that works at the touch of a button. This ’van, with an MTPLM of 3500kg, is fitted with twin singles as standard, an in-fill cushion used to turn these into a double.
To make the most of the space inside, the compact washroom has a foldaway sink, while concave overhead cupboards maximise headroom. But the stand-out detail of this three-berth is the stunning, sparkling ‘Constellation’ skylight in the bedroom.
As we shared in our NEC show preview, the new Peugeot Boxer-based Auto-Sleeper Corinium is in the limelight in Birmingham. We took a look around the fixed bed Corinium FB, the Duo model offering a pair of fixed singles, a rear island bed option to follow in the summer.
Inside, the smart browns/greys and chrome details give the Corinium FB an elegant, modern feel. The parallel lounge up front is a sociable area, which can be converted into a 2.21m x 1.22m double, while the rear fixed bed measures 1.98m x 1.37m.
Lunar Selena and Venus ’vans
We were keen to make tracks for the Lunar stand, after we learnt of the four new models being launched at the show. The wood-effect floors on all certainly make them stand out, while the Lunar 740i’s snazzy split washroom is worth the trip alone.
It’s to be expected that the entry-level Venus 590HL feels a bit Spartan, but the two-tone doors of the overhead lockers, plus the grey wood effect table and kitchen worktop are thoughtful details which look great. Visit stand 3044 in hall 3 to see them for yourself.
Unfortunately, after the show we learnt that the Venus 590HL has been withdrawn, but we hope to see a revised version in the future.
Benimar Mileo 346
Last month we revealed that three new Benimar Mileo models would be launched at the NEC show, so we had to make sure we paid a visit to the Marquis Leisure stand. In particular we were looking forward to having a nose around the Benimar Mileo 346, which has a transverse double bed across the rear.
Like what you see? NEC show offers represent savings of between £1693 and £1962, depending on the model.
Roller Team Pegaso 740
Roller Team’s first A-class to be sold in the UK, the Pegaso 740, first fell under the public’s gaze at The Scottish Caravan, Motorhome & Holiday Home Show earlier this month in Glasgow and we think it’s well worth making time to see if you’re going to the NEC. The split washroom across the centre of the ’van is undoubtedly its star feature, and prompted lots of ‘ooos’ and ‘aaahs’ from fellow showgoers.
Priced from £57,990 OTR, the layout is similar to that in the Roller Team T-Line 740. Rear of the washroom is an electronically height-adjustable island bed, while up front is a lounge with an L-shaped dinette that has two extra travel seats, plus a drop-down double bed.
Two ’vans on the IH Motorhomes stand in hall 4 caught our eye. One of these was the firm’s newest model, the 630 FB. Developed directly in response to customer queries at October’s show and making its debut at the February show, it has a 6ft 4in-long fixed double bed over a large rear garage. Based on the Fiat Ducato, there are three engine variants, the 130bhp 2.3-litre, the 150bhp 2.3-litre and the 180bhp 3.0-litre, priced from £53,995, £54,995 and £56,500 respectively.
The ’van other was the N-Class 630 RL which, as its name suggests, has a rear lounge – and it’s a lovely, cosy, friendly space. Available with the same engine options as its 630 FB stablemate and priced from £61,995, that rear lounge can either be used as two single beds at night, or transformed into a double.
Swift Bolero 684 Lounge
As the name of this Swift Bolero suggests, it is all change up front in this ’van. The difference is that there’s now a parallel lounge, meaning you lose the travel seats. Speaking to a Swift representative on the stand, this is in response to touring couples who don’t want the option of taking others with them on occasion, preferring instead the comfort of a parallel lounge.
Bailey Approach Advance
Another spec tweak from another British motorhome manufacturer can be found inside the Bailey Approach Advance 640 on stand 2100. There’s a new upholstery option called Queensway, and with its pale green, blue and brown tones, we think it could be popular.
Meeting the proprietors of new companies eager to break into the motorhome market is always exciting and chatting to Mark Sharp of Nirvana at the NEC was especially so, as his firm is building a range of ’vans designed to help people with disabilities get touring.
All wheelchair accessible with the interiors on one level, these motorhomes will offer two to six berths, and will start at just under 6m long, going up to 7.4m long. Built in Spain, they also feature drive-in wetrooms and sufficient space inside to allow a wheelchair to turn round. If this is what you’ve been waiting for, stand 1438 is where you need to go. Prices range from £39,950 to £44,950.
We were impressed by the new Tribute 680 on show at the NEC this week. This Fiat Ducato-based three-berth has fixed single beds at the back, both with useful storage space beneath them, and as well as the nearside sliding door, there are barn doors at the rear. And at just 6.36m in length, it is manageably sized, too.
Wellhouse Evie and Terrier LUX-XL
There’s lots to see on the Wellhouse stand. Making its show debut is the Terrier LUX-XL, a direct response to customers wanting a campervan with a car-like drive and good mpg, without skimping on spec or space.
Based on the Ford Transit Custom, this 5.4m-long, 1.9m-wide ’van, powered by a 2.2-litre engine, packs in a 6ft bed, a proper toilet, a kitchen with a mini grill and a two-burner hob, five overhead lockers and a freestanding table. And as it’s built on the high-spec Trend, niceties including alloy wheels, Bluetooth connectivity and front and rear parking sensors are fitted as standard. For now it’s only available with a manual transmission, but an auto is in the pipeline.
Head to the company’s stand in hall 4 and you can also see the Evie camping car that has been mildly tweaked since we reviewed it. Popular with young couples and older customers who tour solo, Managing Director David Elliott feels this is a ’van that’s more about what you can make it do. It was certainly drawing the crowds whenever we walked by.
We also found out that a long-wheelbase version of the Terrier will be coming in June.
Last but by no means least, we stumbled across an impressive new Pilote. Built on a lowered Al-Ko chassis and measuring 7.85m long, the not-very-snappily-named LV7.8LU has a sumptuous, U-shaped rear lounge that can seat six, a funky kitchen with neat ambient lighting, electrically-operated drop-down twin singles over the cab, plus a smart central washroom, split across the width of the ’van. This four-berth could be yours from £87,268.